Last October, I went gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free. Also as processed-free as I could manage.
It was partially due to timing. I’m lactose intolerant, but not allergic to wheat or anything like that. But my mother died at the same age I’m at now, following a lot of health problems, ending with cancer. She might have been predisposed to some of it genetically, but when I started looking at how we ate when I was growing up, I wondered if that contributed to it.
But it was also a growing change. I ran across some old Jack La Lanne videos, started exercising, and got some of the books he’d written. He didn’t just talk about exercising in those books, but also eating. More vegetables!
I was reading a Washington Post article that mentioned the book Eat Fat, Get Thin. It’s a horrible title. Makes it sound like many of those diet books out there. But there was enough about it in the article, that I bought it as an eBook. Instant book! Most of it talks about the diet industry, which makes a lot of money keeping us fat (as well as the drug industry, the exercise industry, and probably a few others).
So I thought, “Why not?” It wasn’t like it was crazy eating. It was just more vegetables, more fat, no dairy, no gluten, no sugar, and no processed food.
I grew up with lactose intolerance. My mother had it years before it came in to the public view. She had a terrible time of it. We used to get her ice cream cakes for her birthday, which we couldn’t do any longer. She had trouble traveling because airline food had dairy. And everyone pre-made food source seemed to put it into everything.
Then, there weren’t any alternatives like almond milk or coconut milk.
I went largely dairy free the year before because of a book I read that said dairy was a mucus maker. I couldn’t quite give up cheese. I did see an improvement in my sinuses, though I still got the winter cold.
I was also shocked at how much dairy is still added as filler. With all these people with sensitivities, you’d think some of the manufacturers would change the recipes. No! All they do is add a disclaimer that it contains milk.
Even vitamins had dairy in them. I had to watch out because I’m also lactose intolerant, and a vitamin might claim it was dairy free and still have lactose. It’s been a lot about reading labels.
I still occasionally have some cheese, but it’s usually in a pre-made salad. That’s not a deal-killer for me. Gluten on the other hand …
I thought that dairy was added to everything. Gluten is added to a whole lot more.
I now stop outside the door to check the restaurant’s menu. There are a lot of restaurants that sell manly sandwiches or pasta. It gets added into sauces, used as a coating for meat, and is pretty much in all deserts.
I went on the cruise back in February and even found the food there pretty limited. Breakfast wound up being nuts (really! I was on a cruise and eating a bowl of nuts for breakfast every day). Lunch was always a challenge because they had a big pasta bar, and anything that wasn’t pasta had gluten in it, or was at least suspicious. Dinner was better because I ate it in the dining room, and that seemed more flexible.
Even the gluten-free magazines aren’t a big help. They replace it with:
- More dairy.
- More sugar.
- Gluten free bread
It’s like we’re spinning around in this crazy circle!
This one’s been hard for me. I still crave bread. I wouldn’t mind having desert once in a while, but most of them hit the double-whammy of dairy and gluten. And boy, I miss pizza!
This one’s been easier, simply because I’m not buying premade food. I’m also reading labels. And not having dairy and gluten is a sugar killer because I don’t have a lot of deserts available to me to start with (though I’ve nipped at the Trader Joe’s gluten free chooclate-chocolate cookies on a occasion).
The result? Since October, I haven’t had a cold, or the flu, and I haven’t needed allergy medicine in prime pollen season.