My Gluten Free Journey
Being gluten free is hard work. Ever since quitting gluten back in April 2016 I’ve been reading piles of cookbooks, trying not to crave bread and struggling with restaurant menus. Gluten is everywhere! Even in a packet of crisps, wheat lurks so I’ve had to become a keen inspector of every ingredient list! However about 3 months into my gluten free journey I really began to enjoy it. A lot!
I’ve unsuccessfully tried going off gluten many times during the last 8 years, ever since I was diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism at the age of 19. While I do take daily medication to keep things ticking over, there is no doubt in my mind that food is linked with health. While this theory repeals a lot of die-hard foodies, for me I find it liberating and exciting. Even as a child I was fascinated in the healing properties of plants and knew the contents of a battered up herbal book that I found in my parent’s library like the back of my hand. The idea that plants and food can reduce inflammation or sooth a sore tummy is where medicine originated from after all.
So back in April I made the decision to give up gluten completely. My husband and I were beginning to think about having a baby and after a consultation with an endocrinologist, while there were no real hurdles in the way, I would have to lower my thyroid’s TSH reading. This got me thinking that while I would happily take extra medicine I would also like to give my body a helping hand and the first thing I thought of was to remove gluten. Whether there is a link between gluten and the thyroid I frankly cant be sure, but I do know that for any autoimmune disease gluten isn’t really your friend. You’re definitely better off without out it.
Going cold turkey was difficult but having such a powerful incentive was key. I wanted to have an easy pregnancy without having to take mountains of pills. By May we were pregnant and soon we were in a monthly cycle of blood tests and adjusting the thyroid medication with our specialist. I was prepared for some crazy readings and lots of adjustments but overall the 9 months ended up being a lot easier than I thought. After an initial small adjustment, my thyroid settled and the readings came back really low. Success!! Every result that came through almost had me in tears; the relief of having some sort of control was incredible. Turning down a slice of bread suddenly felt easy and empowering.
While I don’t know what will happen once I give birth (about 4 weeks away now!) and how my thyroid will react, I am delighted that I’ve managed to kick the gluten habit and I plan to stick with it. My digestion is so much better as are my energy levels too.
Favourite Gluten Free Cookbooks
River Cottage Gluten Free Cookbook by Naomi Devlin If you get one Gluten Free cookbook make it this one. Full of information and delicious recipes that actually work this is a MUST!
Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman It can be torture to say good bye to cakes and sweet treats when you’ve gone gluten free but this pretty cookbook by a gf pastry chef will keep the the most passionate baker happy!
The Virtuous Tart by Susan Jane White More yummy sweet treats and kid friendly recipes too. I love the maccacino torte recipe-yum!
Have you ever gone off gluten? How did it go? x