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!


  1. We were gluten free for three years, I removed it from my diet when the little man was experiencing digestive issues in our early breastfeeding days.

    Over the last year or so we have added in some sprouted wheat in the form of Ezekiel bread and we now also eat some rye and spelt. I still do most of our baking gluten free - muffins are a big hit around here. Cookies are still mostly gluten free, but we have made some with spelt recently and they were delish.

    I would not be the least bit surprised if you see a difference with Finn when you remove gluten from his diet. Good luck.

  2. I have definitely been thinking about the affect of gluten especially with several of my grandchildren having assorted digestive/behavior issues. I would try this with my youngest son, Josh but he is almost 17 and not likely to want to go along with a gluten free diet, besides, he seems to have "outgrown" most of his issues except his aversion to math. Thanks once again for a thought provoking post!

  3. my sister and my dad have celiac disease diagnosed within the last 5-6 years. I tested negative but I truly believe I have a gluten intolerance (not that it makes me shy away from it). I have been trying to be gf more often in my meals. My big problem is dairy. I have cut out dairy and feel great. If I do have dairy it is one time and I feel less great. I think you might be onto something with your boy.

  4. I made it gluten free for about 6 weeks some years ago, It cleared up a lot of my tummy stuff and I realized I just needed a cleanse (I wasn't allergic to gluten.)

    So many great alternatives, though rice pasta never quite cuts it.