The Underpants Gnomes of South Park had a business plan with a nebulous Phase 2. Besides having spawned a lot of serious discussion regarding business plans and capitalism in general, it can help us in how we get to healthy. Whether you are celiac, gluten sensitive/intolerant or avoiding gluten on general principle, you are trying to get to healthy. But everyone is different and, like business plans, there are so many things that we need to do in Phase 2 to get us to our goal, Phase 3.
Phase 1 was hard. Gluten was freaking everywhere. In everything. I couldn’t turn around without seeing Gluten. It’s like I owed it money.
And I was broke.
You know what helps get through this?
You will need to do some research. Read some books, blogs, tweets and facebook pages. Learn to read food labels. Cook.
And probably go through boxes and bags of anything in the market that said “Gluten Free” on the package. That’s what I did. I found every food analogue I could. Couldn’t eat pizza? Found a Gluten Free crust to make it. Couldn’t eat cookies? GF cookies to the rescue.
Actually, this Gluten Free thing was pretty good. Felt a hell of a lot better and, since half my meals were pre-packaged GF stuff from the store, it was easy.
So, I was now gluten free. Phase 1 Complete!
So why wasn’t I healthy?
Phase 2 is when you recognize that there is a lot you have to do to get to healthy. It’s a looooong phase.
You have to cut down on all the prepackaged GF stuff. No way you would have eated this much prepared snacks prior to going GF. I understand the transition was tough. You needed the cookies. I certainly needed them. But put them away for a while. Those people on the forums and blogs making cakes and pies and that amazing thing with the chocolate that is just like an oreo have been in Phase 2 for a long time. Maybe even Phase 3. They can handle sweets. They have learned to control themselves. You recently ate a whole bag of something just because it said “Gluten Free”. The whole darn bag. Didn’t you? No shame it that. I certainly did.
Cut down. Stop if you can.
You have to find out what damage was done by the Gluten. Research time. Even more research than before. Because there are few doctors that seem to understand this process.
It hit me hard when I saw that dairy could be causing issues. I stopped eating dairy. There are no good dairy analogues that don’t have other issues. Processed Soy Milks have additives and processed soy is not that good for you. Neither is the stuff that is added to the Almond Milk. Don’t get me started on fake cheese!
I got through that. Now GFCF, I looked at how much sugar I ate. And, boy, did I eat a lot. All of the GF processed food from the store had sugar. The “safe” food bars had agave or brown rice syrup. The final straw was the Spice Cake mix* I had at Christmas. I needed to cut out as much sugar as possible.
I just couldn’t handle it. Nor could I handle nightshades (Tomatos, peppers, potatoes).
This was becoming a bummer. I can’t eat anything**!
I didn’t lose any weight the first 8 months being GF. Not an ounce. When I finally listened to my wife and ate what I needed to eat, I lost weight. Excepting the unfortunate sugar binge at Christmas, I have lost nearly 20 pounds in two months.
Kim is keeping me going throughout this. She is the nutritionist and cook. She is the one who points out, patiently, that I am not well enough to tolerate the very things that got me through the first months of being GF. That it was junk. It served it’s purpose but now it is done. I can eat it again in moderation when I am better. As you can see, she’s really the brains behind all this.
Here is the thing we are learning about Phase 2: There are a lot of layers to it. Just when you figure one thing out, something else comes up. I basically ate wrong for decades. It’s gonna take more than a year to get healthy.
What is your Phase 2?
*Yes, I reviewed the cake along with a whole lot of other sweets/convenience foods on this blog. The irony is not lost on me.
**Hyperbole. I eat quite well. Kim is a great cook and I have very hearty healthy meals. I just miss my crunchy, salty, sweet GF snacks that I used to eat constantly.