Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
A Gluten-Free Month
In April, on a whim, I decided to go on a gluten cleanse. Literally, I decided one morning, and then just decided to go with it. I wasn't sure how long I would cleanse for.. a few days? A few weeks? The last few times I went gluten-free, I was dreaming about baked goods and beer, and I never made it more than 2 weeks. But, this time I went a full 4 weeks. And honestly, it wasn't even that hard. I think a lot of it was that it wasn't pre-meditated, there was no anticipation about doing it, and it just sort of happened. And with no goal of how many days I needed to make it, and knowing I could stop at any time, well... I guess that all just made it much easier. No pressure, you know?
I don't think I felt drastically different being off gluten for a month, but I did have more energy than normal and I wasn't getting the late afternoon slump that normally plagues me. My stomach also seemed happier (less rumblings and such).
I found lots of good gluten-free alternatives and started to learn how to work with them. Udi's bread is pretty tasty when toasted (but not so good straight out of the bag). I also baked several rounds of muffins and cookies that were gluten and sugar free, using Bob's red mill gluten-free baking flour and honey instead. They were not as good as gluten-full, processed sugar-full baked goods, but they weren't bad either. My kids were happy with them and I felt a lot less guilty eating whole-food muffins instead of our normal refined ones.
I finally gave in to gluten over the weekend. Todd's mom was is town and we went to a local brewery that has good beer and super delicious hot pretzel sticks. I was done resisting. And I have had another beer since. And it was good. I am no longer on a gluten-cleanse, but I think that I have made a lifestyle change. I don't need gluten every day, and there are many more healthy alternatives that I can be totally happy with. I do feel better when I am not pigging out on gluten. But, that doesn't mean that I shouldn't indulge in pizza and beer every once in a while, or regular old chocolate chip cookies for a special treat.
I am planning on doing another gluten-free month (the kids on board 100% this time) over the summer. I have read some about how gluten (and dairy) can affect kids with sensory issues differently than 'normal' folks and I would like to see how Finn does without any gluten in his system. During my cleanse, he was still eating gluten, but I cut his intake to about 1/3 of what it normally is. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but I feel like he was more in control of himself, less anxious, and better overall. I am anxious to see how he does when we remove gluten altogether.
Do you eat gluten-free? What are your favorite gluten-free recipes? Pin It Now!