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That's it, it's time to go gluten-free.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Yesterday I drove back to my hometown to visit my grandmother (who had just gotten out of the hospital for an infection). I also paid a visit to each of my parents.

I was slightly dreading eating food at home, but I figured it was only one day and didn't bother to bring any food as I normally would for an extended visit. Mistake--big mistake.

I ended up eating spaghetti marinara, bread, canned green beans covered in cream of mushroom soup for lunch (protein? fiber? potassium.. I miss you T~T). Then I was served lasagna and bread for dinner. I was also offered (but I refused) chocolate cake.


I tried to eat only a small amount at each meal (because of my self-diagnosed gluten-intolerance). However, the damage was done and I ended up having a really bad reaction: my tongue dried up, my throat felt tight, my lungs felt tight, and my eyes watered. My entire body felt itchy and I got really anxious, nearly having a panic attack... in addition to that, I had a terrible headache and stomach ache that have persisted into today.

The worst part: I have gained 6 lbs since yesterday of water weight, despite staying in my cal range. UHHHHH. wow.

NO MORE! I knew I was "intolerent" to wheat before this, but now I have realized the extent to which it affects me... it might even be a full-blown allergy. In small amounts I can tolerate it, but now I have realized I really am not doing myself any favors by eating it.

From now on, I am living gluten-free!!

One other interesting thing about analyzing the diet of my family: they eat like 70% carbs (almost exclusively from refined grains and sugars), 20% fat and 10% protein.

Also, if you are full, like many other families, they will push things on you and try to get you to eat more. Why do people do this??? Especially to someone who has an obesity issue? "Eat more of this! have some more of this! I need to get rid of this so eat it! Oh come on, one slice of chocolate cake won't kill you!" Maybe not, but why should I eat something my body views as poison when I'm not even hungry? Worse than that, they judge me for being obese and both of my parents made me feel like less than a person when I was a child because of it, while still pushing me to eat more at every meal.

I know my family comes from poverty (especially in my grandparents' generation and my mother's childhood), so to them having a lot of high-cal food around is comforting. Wasting food is criminal. To me (someone who has made drastic changes in my diet and outlook on food in general), it is just mind-boggling how malnourished they all must be and how they seem to fail to connect their health problems to their diet.

They are nearly all obese. Most everyone on my mom's side of the family has either diabetes or pre-diabetes.. my dad and brother have cholesterol and triglyceride readings through the roof and high blood pressure. My mom has pre-diabetes but drinks milk at every meal and still buys white bread, oreos, pecan sandies, keebler cookies, chips, ritz and cheezits, sugary cereals, etc on a regular basis. Her fridge was stocked with no less than 4 flavors of ice cream, pizza leftovers, chinese leftovers, etc. My dad suffers from gout.....but drinks beer every day and has no less than 5 types of cookies in sight in his kitchen at any given time. Instead of a fruit bowl, he has tootsie rolls and mini hershey bars displayed in bowls in his living room.

On the drive home, my boyfriend (who is not gluten-sensitive) said he felt horrible too. Poor guy is used to eating a near paleo diet that I prepare for us, full of fresh fruit and veg and lean protein, but he was forced to eat mass amount of carbs with very little protein and no fruits and one, lame, canned vegetable.

Never again! Even if it is just a day trip, I will be bringing my own food next time.

Edit: BTW, my family knows better. They know they should be eating more vegetables and less crap and sugar. They just do not care, and will not do it. My mother is a nurse practitioner with a masters degree--she especially knows better. And on top of that, they are all sedentary. They just don't care...because they are all so unhappy and use food to medicate themselves.

Well, I am going to be different. Next time I visit, I will have my own food (plus extra, just in case someone wants to try it). Perhaps when they see me becoming healthier and healthier, it will motivate them to make some desperately-needed changes in their own diets. Probably not, but maybe. These are definitely not the only issues I have with my family, but it is the saddest and hardest to deal with--watching them slowly kill themselves with food.

P.S. this is a vent blog and a record of my gluten-free ideal .. I hope it will serve as a reminder to myself next time I am faced with the temptation of a gooey, warm hunk of wheat bread.
I am not asking for nutrition advice in this blog. Please stop giving me nutrition advice. Please. (I will delete your comment).
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow, I'm so sorry to hear about this. I'm glad you have found alternative grains. I love barley!
    3092 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9392719
    So sorry you had to go through this with your family, but only you know what is good for you. I've just recently cut the wheat and feel much better - fasting blood sugar is down and feel much better all over. Good for you in making the right decision for you!!!!
    3092 days ago
    I imagine it would be really hard to give up wheat and gluten foods. I'm sorry that it seems like that's your option, though. Just remind yourself the way that those things make you feel when you eat them. And definitely record things like this, so you can go back and re-read them as reminders. Past experiences are powerful motivators, as your family has demonstrated. Demonstrate to yourself that you know better, too and are going to do something about it. :)
    3093 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/2/2012 6:31:09 PM
  • IVORY1825
    Well, I know from experience that the best way to say no to that yummy hunk of bread is to remember the last time you ate some and how you felt, so hopefully you can draw on that and stick with your gluten-free. I'm gf for 4 years now, self-diagnosed as well, so I hear you loud and clear. Good luck in everything!
    3093 days ago
  • OPTIMIST1948
    Just remember that people throwing food at you is a sign of love for many: "But I made this special for you!!" and when you reject it, they will feel rejected. I think the key is to develop a plan of action and prepare family members BEFORE you get there. "My trainer/doctor put me on a really strict diet so I cant really eat too much of your food. I'm bringing my own so as not to inconvenience anyone. But really, I'm just thrilled to see everyone!"
    3093 days ago
    I'm not sure I have an intolerance for gluten, but having cut wheat out of my diet I *have* noticed feeling better in general - more energy, less bloating, maybe even less heartburn (the jury is still out on that one).

    When we visit my in-laws, I have to take food. They seem to live off of hot dogs and pizza. Every time we return home, I am so grateful to live in a town where food has become a real issue and there is a farmers market somewhere almost every day of the week.

    Sorry you had such a rotten weekend regarding food, but am so glad you (and I!) have a place to vent.
    3093 days ago
  • BECKYB73
    Damn...your family of origin is sooooo freaking similar to mine, it's downright scary!!

    I don't know if I could go gluten free...but as I realize how cracked out the "whites" make me, I almost think I'll wind up in the same place diet-wise that you are. It's just going to take me some time to wrap my head around it.

    3093 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11490675
    3093 days ago
    I totally understand. I even carry veggies, fruit and bread to soup suppers at church. Most people know what to do, but don't want to take the effort. Nothing tastes as good as being healthier feels! emoticon
    Spark On! We Got This!
    3093 days ago
  • MISSG180
    Figuring out what works for you is the most important thing. Your family is definitely not eating healthy. Good for you, not following them in their bad habits.
    3093 days ago
    I am so sorry you had an allergic reaction. It is the worst feeling and on top of that feeling bloated and just icky from all of the unhealthy food? Yuck!

    I come from a family who not only pushes food, but judges you for your weight so I understand where you're coming from. Real families can be stressful, but remember you have your Spark family here when you need that extra support.

    It's also sad to be in that situation and watching your family making bad food choices. Maybe sometime you could make them a healthy meal and teach them about making good choices. I know that can be a tough topic to bring up, but it's something to think about.

    Good luck to you getting back on track and feeling better!!

    3093 days ago
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