Gluten

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locke
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Gluten

Postby locke » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:47 pm

So a few months after our wedding, Renee tried going gluten free for a month because it had helped her sister and mom. She saw improvement herself, and naturally the weightloss that comes with cutting gluten. she reexposed after that initial month and promptly had a horrible reaction with all the attendant negative digestive reactions. Subsequent reexposures have the same effect, and now we know if she has been exposed to gluten almost immediately because her face will puff up and she'll get dark circles under her eyes. Even low grade gluten exposures tend to trigger a fairly severe reaction. The one thing that doesn't seem to affect her as severely is really dark beer but only when on tap, though she still reacts, it's an extremely moderate reaction compared to other gluten exposures.

So she's been more or less gluten free for a year and a half now. Interestingly, the weight loss has persisted after the initial five pounds most people can expect (that's just water weight, your body won't retain as much bloat because it takes 4grams of water to digest 1gram of wheat, iirc), has persisted, she's lost about half a pound a month for the last 18 months without exercising or otherwise trying to lose weight--and the weight has all been localized to visceral fat in her midsection, not from anywhere else. This has baffled her, since she struggled so hard to lose weight after her thyroid was removed 10 years ago, losing weight without trying to really surprised her.

I've tried avoiding wheat for years, but never went all that gluten free, because eating it doesn't affect me other than making my farts smell worse. But I've gradually become more and more gluten free as well, to the point that I might as well consider myself to be on the bandwagon as well.

Which is a shame because I love everything gluten. Breads, pastas, pizzas. On the otherhand, you can substitute most of those when you want to (we try to limit a substitute to once a week), and it can encourage you to explore other cooking or refine the real basics principles. When you don't have bread as a crutch at the table you want everything else to taste better. That makes sense because of what gluten does to your brain, making food taste better and making you want to eat more, which is why food scientists add it to everything.

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Mich
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Re: Gluten

Postby Mich » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:17 pm

My ex is gluten-free, which is super-convenient due to living in Portland and thus everything being gluten-free if you want it to be (and actually not having trace amounts of gluten). It never really came up, other than picking where to eat, and when I made her Chex Mix. I did it with gluten-free pretzels, which, it turns out, are pretty addictive.
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Re: Gluten

Postby buckshot » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:18 pm

Gluten is good! support your local wheat farmer :wave:

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Re: Gluten

Postby starlooker » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:11 pm

This is my son in absolute ecstasies over being given a breadstick at Olive Garden the other night (he has half in each hand.)

Image

I believe this pretty well captures the spirit of my pro-gluten arguments.



(I know it's a crappy, blurry camera picture, but I think the emotion still comes across.)
Last edited by starlooker on Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mich
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Re: Gluten

Postby Mich » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:52 pm

Gluten is good! support your local wheat farmer :wave:
That is actually a good question. Do you know if the gluten-free fad has significantly impacted wheat sales? Are companies buying less wheat? Or have they just increased their product lines?
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Re: Gluten

Postby buckshot » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:51 pm

I shure know the gluten free stuff has had a impact on other cereal grains grown here like spelt but yes they must be nervous about the impact on wheat. I do suppose though that it may not be that big of a deal since the majority of our wheat and barley is sold outside the US.

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Re: Gluten

Postby steph » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:06 pm

I'm really glad that Renee found something that worked so well for her!! It's nice living in a time where such dietary changes are easily possible, in they way of what's available.

I count my blessings every day that I have no food issues. I love my carbs way too much. I love my dairy way too much. I love my peanut butter way too much. (You get the picture.)
"When I look back on my ordinary, ordinary life,
I see so much magic, though I missed it at the time." - Jamie Cullum

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locke
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Re: Gluten

Postby locke » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:09 pm

Interestingly, availability of substitutes is more of a problem than a blessing, only because my family is so damn accomadating and nice. Since we cannot be without tons of junk food at my family events they have searched out and found and acquired all possible gluten free substitute junk food. Hooray. :( It's so wonderful they go the extra mile, but we really just don't eat any substitutes except for maybe once a week (TJ's gluten free cheese pizza is honestly the best frozen pizza I've ever had, I really love the crust oddly, so we have that once a week), so it's not a daily staple.

And if I think about it, unless it is pasta, bread is just a side dish at the dinner table, and it's so easy to gorge on bread, that it's nice not to have it there tempting me.

Most of our meals look like: steak, pork chop (or pork loin), chicken, fish: rotate. steaks and pork are done in the skillet, chicken and fish usually roasted. Chicken pieces are roasted atop vegetables. then we have a salad everynight (nothing fancy, greens from a bag and a few cherry tomatoes, maybe some cucumber slices or bell pepper if we're feeling fancy), and usually a side vegetable, often frozen, sometimes fresh (like when asparagus is in season or I feel like prepping carrots and onions or potatoes).

dessert options are surprisingly pretty great, flour often mutes and muddies flavor, which is why flourless chocolate cakes (take a look at this one by nancy silverton I've made twice now, might be the best dessert I've ever attempted) are so intensely chocolately, so if anything, taking out flour makes me experience flavors more purely and intensely. However, there is no getting around the lack of pie. you can't substitute pie crust, people have tried, all the attempts are failures, so it's just goodbye pie.

breakfast is pretty easy, I like real food for breakfast: eggs, bacon, sausage, or leftovers, and renee likes cereal, so she has rice chex or corn chex or corn flakes, with a side of yogurt or cottage cheese and fruit. pretty much all the worst junk food cereal is eliminated by being gluten free.

Lunch is harder, we pretty much stick to salads, as that it easiest. Sandwiches are out of the equation because they would be cold. Gluten free bread/bagels are horrible unless they're hot. Toasted GF bread or bagels are actually pretty excellent, cold or room temperature and they're nearly inedible. Tacos, since they're almost always in soft corn tortillas in LA, are my favorite go to lunch to eat out.
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.


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