Monday, December 20, 2010

Just over 2 Months GF- Airplane Noodles & Aloe Juice

Let me start by saying I did my math and thought I was GF for 3 months when I first wrote this post. Then I realized... no, it just feels like 3 months. My 3 month GF anniversary is Jan 10. So this is a retrospective of the last couple weeks, which begins right as I reached my 2 month mark.

A couple weeks ago, I finally got in with a nutritionist who knew about all the issues that can come with Celiac Disease. Thank goodness! I realized I had lost 9 lb since going gluten free, which was very unintentional. She said she could tell through some analysis that I have been losing muscle, which indicates malnutrition. It was surprisingly emotional to hear her acknowledge that I'm having trouble getting enough nutrients on a daily basis. She told me to try to get 80-90g protein a day (40g more than the recommended daily allowance)! Also, she agreed I should not only cut out dairy but also soy, at least until I start feeling better for a couple months. So where do I get the protein? Oh yeah, I also think I'm allergic to eggs... love it. Oh, and coffee and black tea have been too acidic for me lately, so I'm off caffeine. When it rains it pours.

I'm just eating lots of meat and nuts for the time being. I noticed a difference immediately, which is worth the dietary sacrifice though. My mantra for all these additional restrictions has been "It's only temporary". Man, it's gonna seem like a breeze if I can ever start having these foods and ONLY cut out gluten. Ironic.

Last week, we took our first plane trip to go to Florida for a quick vacation. We knew we were going to a condo with a kitchen, and that there were plenty of good grocery stores nearby, but the plane trip was another story. We didn't check a bag, so I couldn't bring any significant amount of food in liquid form. Going there, we made chicken salad and rice cakes with peanut butter and some fruit. Pretty good. We had almost nothing to do in Florida except cook lots of good food for me, so it was almost like rehab. I felt so much better by the time I came back. The one thing we forgot is what to pack for our plane ride home. I packed a bunch of gluten free crackers and sliced apples and a Thai Kitchen dry noodle soup. Just add hot water. So on our layover, I asked for a cup of hot water at Starbucks, and decided to wait until we were on the plane to assemble the dehydrated noodles, sauce etc all in the plastic bowl it came in.

I finally put it together just before take-off, and fortunately it didn't leak or slide anywhere. It sat and "cooked" in the hot water in Avi's footspace, which would have worked, except the water had cooled just enough to NOT cook the noodles fully. The best part? I forgot to take the packet of oil out of the container before filling it with water (it was hiding under the noodles). Oops! It was a bit raw, but I ate it anyway out of hunger. Note to self: add hot water to noodles IMMEDIATELY!

I went to a more local support group for Celiac the other night, and got lots of great advice about places to eat nearby. I ended up winning a big basket from a gluten free store, which is owned by one of the members who attends. He had hand-picked lots of yummy soup mixes, pasta, and baking mix. It was really nice to meet people who are still working on making their gluten-free life stable.

Today, I finally followed through on a suggestion from my nutritionist to get protein powder and make shakes with almond milk, frozen fruit and the powder. The lady at Hi Health talked me into also buying Aloe Vera juice, which she says is like putting aloe on a sunburn, except on the inside. She said she thought it would be a good first step to help everything heal. It's worth a try!

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