Gluten is the Devil (and other things I’ve said when I can’t just eat a chicken tender).

grid-cell-18586-1446153561-13So, let’s get honest:

In the past year and a half, I’ve probably gained twenty pounds.  Living with and loving with a dude who eats whatever he wants and looks like a mix of swag from Gerald Johanssen and dapper from Jack Skeleton hasn’t helped. However, that’s not my only problem.  I have a thyroid autoimmune disease and it causes a lot of really exciting problems, but one of them is that it’s hard to lose weight. And although, studies haven’t shown that there’s a connection between gluten and thyroid diseases, a lot of experts and just generally other women in forums online have recommended giving up gluten.  The People’s Pharmacy did a whole show on recent studies dealing with thyroid disease.

I feel a little bit like I’m a walking talking believe for a connection between hypothyroidism and gluten sensitivity.  I stopped eating gluten cold turkey in August.  I cheated my way through Iceland and the other night wanted to cut my stomach out a little bit when I got a sampler platter of fried food at Buffalo Wild Wings, but other than those two cheats, I’m hyperaware of whether or not I’m partaking in gluten. And since gluten stays in your body for sixish months, cheating isn’t recommended because you’re just starting all the way over.

1332341647187_4274930I am that person at the brewery that always asks if they have gluten-free beers.  I always apologize for my goobness, but my health is at stake here.  Since August, I’ve lost ten pounds, my thyroid has produced more hormones, and my medicine hasn’t needed to be changed.  Before going gluten free, I cried weekly, was gaining weight significantly, couldn’t remember things or would go through moments of fog where everything in my mind just lapsed. I was miserable. I also had to up my medicine every three months for the last six years.  As a girl who swam uber competitively in high school, anywhere from three to five hours a day, I couldn’t get past the weight gain. I know we’re supposed to love our bodies and turn our insecurities into positives, but that’s easier said than done.

I find a few things outside of going gluten free have helped me be a generally more happy person and better eater.  The first is that I recommend not eating things that you would normally eat that are labeled “gluten free.” Just because they make gluten free pretzels doesn’t mean you should eat them or that they taste good. There’s plenty of pastas (quinoa, rice, black bean) that taste just fine in gluten free versions, but you could replace those with cauliflower or spaghetti squash.  Pizza is the same way.  There aren’t a lot of delicious take-out gluten-free pizzas.  I used to be cool with Dominos on pizza night with Bae, but lately I’ve been making zucchini pizza boats and those suckers are delicious.

This, of course, will not work for everyone and I’m still very much in the beginning stages.  In the New Year, I’ve promised myself that I’m going to learn more about being gluten free (regardless of reasoning) by reading blogs and books.

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The other thing I’m trying to do as a resolution (of sorts because I never stick to them if I label them) is to plan our meals every week.  BJ and I have totally different tastebuds so it’s difficult to plan together but I refuse to be defeated. I created this Weekly Meal Planning Guide in Google Drive. I keep a bullet journal, but it was just too intense to keep track and keep it well in my #bujo.

Here’s the plan:

At the top of the document is our weekly plan, but also our grocery list.  It’s long this time because we have to gear up with the essentials.

Next in our Weekly Meal Planning Guide is PREP.  I’m really, really, incredibly bad at eating if my eating isn’t practically instantly prepared.  I like my food like I like my snapchat or my 24 hour news.  Our fridge winds up looking like a plasticware outlet, but I’m not mad at it. This section just lets me know what I need to do throughout the week to make my eating easier.  This is arguably the most important part of the whole thing if you’re trying to live healthier or gluten free.

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Lastly, I included the recipes for what we’re cooking this week and organized them by Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.  I’m going to be real with you, I’m no casanova in the kitchen.  BJ cooks in this house. I try, but the disappointment overkills the hard work when it doesn’t look or taste like I expect it should. I want to get better at cooking and the only way to do that is to cook.

This weeks recipes come from the following blogs:

I color code so that I know what we already have in the cabinet or fridge and what I need to add to the grocery list at the top of the document. And it’s watermelon colors because that’s just cute, right?

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As I discover more about food, cooking, and the devil of gluten, I will post everything here. This is one of those times where I’m supposed to talk about the journey even though I’d rather be at the finish line. If you have a thyroid disease or have any gluten free knowledge to share, feel free to comment below!

Also, if you’re a sister who just plain craves chicken tenders, but you have a gluten issue, COMMENT because I HEAR THAT.

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