My Life on the Gluten/Wheat-Free List…

There's a whole other world out there...

Sorry I’ve been MIA. Let’s talk about TV for a moment.

-I’ve been enjoying the heck out of “So You Think You Can Dance.” The dwindling number of girls is unacceptable, because that greatly reduces my likelihood of seeing Pasha each week. And Neil! And WHERE is Dominic?

-As much as I like Mark & Courtney’s “The Garden” dance, I’m sick of seeing them do commemorative re-dances of it when the original performance will always be my favorite. They were dancing FOR THEIR LIVES, and you could see how it translated into the piece. If the producers want to remind us how great it was, they should just show the original footage.

-How cool was Levi Johnston on “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” last week? He and his friends were surprisingly good sports about the whole thing.

-I’m a little bit weirded out by “True Blood” right now. Episode 3 got a little too freaky for me. Though the cute wolf pics on the wall of the Were-Bar were LOL.

-What else am I forgetting? Oh, “Top Chef?” I don’t know, I miss the Masters.

-One of my new bosses is le obsessed with “Big Brother,” so I might have to jump on that bandwagon. He makes it sound really fun. Did you know that they have to compete for food? And if they don’t win it, they might just eat tasteless gruel for 40 days?

Tasteless gruel? I smell a segue…

So today I had oatmeal for lunch. The Twilight Zone twist? I was craving it. I was like, this is going to be delicious. I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Absence? Wha?

For the past… about 10 days, I guess, I was eating a wheat/gluten free diet.

It all started during that whole crazy breakfast burrito/quesadilla/almost barfing day. I came home and told my roommate about it, and she very responsibly forced me to throw out my potentially poisonous chicken and use some of hers. I mentioned that I go through phases where tortillas and bread smell weird to me, and she said… “Maybe you have an allergy.”

Simultaneously I was hearing that maybe oats and grains are bad for us, because (much like lactose) our bodies weren’t created to handle the huge amounts that we consume in the Western world.

So I decided to drop wheat and gluten from my diet, and see what happened.

Let me add– I generally can’t even make it through Passover without cheating and eating some bread. I’m a little bit obsessed.

But… I did it. I dropped wheat and gluten from my diet. I ate a lot of fruits and veggies. I discovered brown rice pasta. I realized that Greek yogurt isn’t so bad, if you load it with strawberries and blueberries. I checked labels. I wrote down everything I ate. I brought all my own food to work. I made eggs for breakfast. I cooked turkey patties on the stove and ate them with my rice pasta, or without a bun.

I was so hardcore, I even went out for drinks with a gluten-free guy. (Okay, that was a total coincidence. But it was very appropriate!)

I found out that Mike ‘N Ikes are gluten free. And– THANK GOD– so is Heinz ketchup. M&Ms are gluten free in the US, but not in the UK. And I was already in the habit of getting protein style (no bun) at In ‘N Out.

I had to turn down cake a few times, and my favorite frozen yogurt in my hometown (but Pinkberry is safe, as are several varieties of Edy’s/Dreyer’s).

In short, it wasn’t so bad. Every once in a while I was hit with a pang of– if I really turn out to be allergic, I might never eat x again. But… I wasn’t too devastated. It’s just food. And a lot of times the things we crave taste better in theory than in practice. (Someday soon I will write about my red velvet-related identity crisis.)

The hard part is eating at restaurants, or going to get-togethers. I became that weird person who wanted to make substitutions, or brought my own food.

I was planning on going to a doctor to get tested (I probably still will… eventually), but in short I realized that I wasn’t feeling THAT much of a difference. Turns out that a lot of people in the office were feeling blah because of the air quality.

So… I dug my box of Tofuttis out of the bottom of the freezer, and dusted off my oatmeal and my Fiber One bars.

I DID surprise myself this morning when our script coord brought in Noah’s bagels (good ones) and lox (LOX!), and I thought, nah. Not today. Not to be a big Jewish stereotype, but generally a good bagel with lox and cream cheese (and even the beef steak tomatoes!) is my Kryptonite.

So the wheat/gluten free week was perhaps a major folly, but it was a grand experiment, and I think I will keep up a lot of the habits I began this week. And I will try to limit my intake of the bready stuff, just in case. (I have this crazy theory that if I eat minimal bread and do sit-ups every day, I will someday own a somewhat respectable set of abs.)



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