My diagnosis of Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease is about as meaningful as the term “unidentified flying object.” Nobody knows what it is or how to react. Recently, a couple of people asked if I had ever gone gluten free, or sugar free, or dairy free, or grain free. Wait… grain free?? OK, well that I haven’t done. And so, at the behest of several naturopaths I trust, I decided to give it a go. Let me tell you the truth about this Paleo diet. It’s hard. I recently spent about eighty dollars and two hours making my own chocolate chips. And after all that time and effort, I got maybe a handful of truffles that were just kind of, meh.
About a year ago, I lost the one form of exercise I could handle. Due to constant joint and muscle pain, there is very little exercise I can do without putting myself at risk. But I try not to focus on what I can’t do. Instead, I put away my running shoes, put on a bathing suit and converted a favorite childhood pastime into a preferred exercise routine. After joining a local gym with a pool, I committed to swimming laps three times a week. I’m not an Olympian by any means, but I always showed up. This little achievement made me feel like I had some level of control over my life, and my body. Everything changed for me last summer. From now on, I won’t go in a pool until I know that the pH levels are in the safe zone.
If you’re new to a gluten-free diet, you may not yet know which products are worth the spend. The best advice I have been given is just to avoid substitute foods entirely and try my best to live a grain-free lifestyle. But with my busy schedule that’s easier said than done. If you’re in the same boat as me and are striving to eat healthier but you still want some quick things you can grab for yourself or your family members, here are a few recommendations.
A few years ago, I won an entrepreneurship competition and launched a gluten-free “Pi” business, defined as anything that had an outer shell and a filling. That business didn’t survive, but the collective wisdom of its founders did.
Converting your home kitchen so that is safe for gluten-free eaters may seem daunting. Luckily, my Pi team and I did a ton of research to figure out how to create a safe environment in our commercial kitchen. You may need to follow the most stringent practices or feel comfortable with a more lenient approach. Either way, there are some practices that we feel can’t be skipped and we wanted take the opportunity to share what we have learned.
There’s a reason Cookie Monster was my favorite Sesame Street character when I was a kid. As a child, I hated eating. I just never had an appetite. (Oh, how things have changed!!) As a result, I often resorted to eating junk food because it was the only thing I could stomach. Except that I couldn’t really, because I always had an upset stomach. My parents once cautioned me that if I continued my junk food diet, there would come a day when my body – that was already fragile – would revolt. And that day came.