Gluten-free is not as difficult as one would think--definitely not as difficult as ten years ago, when I was first diagnosed with wheat allergy and threw in the towel pretty quickly. Dealing with the symptoms from eating wheat was easier than dealing with lack of alternate products; and what there was tasted "dog foody." You do get used to it quickly, definitely within thirty days, though I advise stocking up on some items if you don't have a specialty grocery close. Even WalMart now carries gluten free pasta at a lower price than specialty stores, several gluten free cereals, and the new Betty Crocker mixes. Another local grocery carries Bob's Red Mill flour and mixes. Items such as pancakes and muffins can be made in advance and frozen to save time. I do miss the occasional bagel--the alternates I tried were awful, but most everything else is great. Some products are far better. Some great finds: Mary's "Gone" Crackers, Glutino breakfast bars and plain and vegetable crackers (great with hummus or cheese), Erewhon rice cereal, Betty Crocker cake mix for birthday or company. Bob's Red Mill website carries a lot of recipes, and you can also use standard recipes, substituting the GF flour and add xanthum gum (sold in a package) for binding. The pizza crust we made was superb. I don't eat rolls/breads except sandwich bread for sandwiches or toast--I miss eating these occasionally but had mostly been skipping these anyway to save calories. We have made muffins--pumpkin and blueberry. We once made cornbread, but I need to find another recipe. Oh, yeah--Tasty Bites Indian Food for something fast. The tikka masala is pretty good, and GF.
I have remained gluten-free for three months, with two small exceptions. I accidentally ingested some in artificial crab meat and was sick in thirty minutes; my daughter ate the same food but was not sick. I researched the ingredients on the web (the ingredients for artificial crab meat are not listed!), and yep, wheat. Then a week and a half ago, frustrated by time constraints, sharing the van, and trying to visit my grandfather before picking up my son for a long appointment and convincing myself this was just a big bother, I ate some regular pasta and a roll. Result: major psoriasis outbreak, nail pitting, a little more hair loss. I am allergic to wheat but ate it anyway for many years (just 2 on a 4 point scale, mild). Regardless of whether gluten causes my health problems, wheat clearly contributes. To go wheat free, one must use gluten free products. So I'm staying on this diet. I wish I had known this years ago as a teen with self esteem issues (and severe itching) from psoriasis.
I don't regret my "experiment," as now I know for sure. Some of my GI issues have been a lot better too--whether that relief is from eliminating wheat or gluten, I don't know, but either way, I'm glad to have some relief in that regard.
With careful food shopping, we've been saving so much on other foods that I don't mind the extra we're spending here. My arthritis pain has often been better--to the point that I haven't scheduled an appointment with the wheelchair seating specialist because my scooter is doing its job again! I won't hesitate if I get another bad flare at this point (as in May and June), but for now...I will keep my fingers crossed. I can't sit in it all day, but I am not in agony just from going to one of the kids' activities and back home. My thoracic spine is killing me, but that is my own fault for moving improperly--well, it wasn't intentional to hurt myself, but hopefully this will go away soon.
Good news: I was told after my son's recent OT evaluation that he's now average or above average in most motor skills, so does not need OT now. That is good since I was worried about him missing school or his grades dropping from being too tired from doing one more thing a few times a week. He does need some downtime! He does not need to see the autism specialist for another year.
Bird's got an after-school orchestra party and her first volleyball scrimmage tonight. 3 of the girls she already knows, and I think this team will work much better! It wasn't just the disability issues with the other team--some of the players would chide others for missing a volley (causing my daughter to lose concentration and not do as well) and one repeatedly argued with the ref!--a 10-year-old, almost causing us to have to forfeit a game. I think we've got a sweet bunch.
I've actually been spending less time at my grandparents' this week--they're having so many people drop by that they're worn out from the company. I think my grandmother feels she needs to entertain people, while she really needs to go nap. She normally needs to, and she's been under a lot of stress. We've sent over several meals and kept visits short. My grandfather actually eats pretty good meals at dinner and we've been trying to make some of the things he really likes--salmon, hamburgers, spaghetti. Not culinary masterpieces, but food he enjoys and has asked about.