— For the “backstory” on what I’m writing about, please see this post --
So I’m one week in on the new gluten/dairy (etc.) free diet. Since some of you have asked how I’m faring, here goes:
After seven full days of ridiculously healthy food, I am relieved to find that I have no desire to join a commune or burn my bra. Not that a commune would have me, but that’s another matter. I’ll be honest, I’ve had moments where I’d considered selling my soul for some almonds, a 20 oz. Pepsi or a hunk of chocolate. Like the York peppermint patty I usually have after my massage. I picked it up, sighed and put it back in the bowl. Even my massage therapist was bummed out on my behalf.
The cravings have been lighter than expected. The weight is trending downward slowly (huzzah), but not as rapidly as my bank account is depleting because of buying all that healthy food. (If you own shares in Whole Foods, Fresh Market or Kroger, expect a tidy uptick in that stock over the next quarters). I really wish there was a correlation between weight loss and $$$ spent. Alas, no.
The biggest thing that was driving me slowly crazy was the lack of options for breakfast since I can’t eat: Any form of cereal with gluten, no rice, no oats (there goes my beloved Scottish oats). So none of the usual workaround cereals were an option.
I was starting to fantasize about hot cereal. Seriously. I finally broke down and bought some Quinoa flakes (wow are those expensive – I swear illegal pharmaceuticals are cheaper!) that cook up in 90 seconds. I’m not a great fan of quinoa, but after a week of eating non-dairy yogurt and fruit for breakfast, I was willing to try anything. They wear you down after a while, like Chinese water torture. Apparently when you’re desperate anything tastes good so now I’m looking forward to my morning hot cereal to augment the BACON, fruit, yogurt and nuts for breakfast. Of course anything is edible when you put enough honey on it.
Thank heavens for crockpots. We have two — a smaller one and a way bigger one. Currently Chicken Tikka Masala (homemade masala) is cooking in one and the other has a whole chicken that I am cooking down to its component parts so I can make stews and soup. Yeah, you heard right — I’m doing some serious cooking. Like making Kale Chips. They were okay. I think I like my kale in soup better, but then that’s just me.
So that’s the latest on the Jana front. I haven’t killed anyone for a Snickers bar (though I was thinking about it) and I have found I have more energy. All good, methinks. Stay tuned for updates. And whining about the lack of chocolate. That, my friends, is a given.
Looks like 2014 is definitely going to be one of change. Not to worry — I’m keeping the same husband, house, job and such like that. It’s the food that has to change because it’s slowly trying to kill me.
It appears I have food intolerance issues (as compared to allergies like those folks for whom peanuts, pine nuts, coconut, etc. are lethal). I’ll keep the TMI to a minimum here: I’ve had problems with inflammation (sore joints, high C-Reactive Protein numbers, gut problems) and have long suspected a gluten intolerance. So I had a test to see just what my body doesn’t like. Seems there’s a LOT of things it hates.
I’m usually not so free with my personal info, however I’m putting this info online to crowd source recipes, tips and such on how to manage when about half of what I can eat is now off limits for at least 3 months during the elimination phase. I’ll carefully add food back in and determine if the item remains off limits forever. Some food may. Hopefully most won’t.
To deal with these problems, which are just getting steadily worse (no doubt aggravated by all the travel), I am now on a very strict rotation diet that excludes all dairy and gluten. That would have been hard enough, but there’s also a 90 day restriction on corn, eggs, rice and nearly every form of grain you can think of, including oats. Many of the standard replacements for wheat are not an option. No cane sugar (that includes molasses and sorghum).
What can I eat? Almost all vegs (including potatoes), fruits, most nuts and seeds (excluding almonds, peanuts, pecans and sesame seeds). I can eat soy, meat and all varieties of fish. For someone seriously addicted to yogurt, cheese, chocolate and *almonds*, this a big bummer.
If you folks have any websites, cookbook recommendations, recipe links or restaurant suggestions you’d like to pass along, please do so. Slow cooker recipes are grand because they can bubble away whilst I’m writing in my wee hut and I can freeze the extras.
I’ll post my progress every now and then, but I promise, I won’t plague you with updates.
Here’s hoping it proves a healthier year.
Thanks for your help!
Jana (whose body was apparently built by a third-rate contractor) HA!
2013 was an incredible year for me on so many levels. But as much fun as it was to meet my readers and journey all over this planet, I’ll be home more in 2014. I *need/crave* that downtime to write my stories, so I’ll be like a Hobbit and enjoy the comforts of home (and my lovely writer’s cottage).
Let’s be candid here: I travel so much I made the TSA’s Pre-Flight “You don’t have to take off your shoes, jacket, pull out your laptop” list without even applying. OY.
But first, here’s 2013 in numbers so you know why I’m becoming more of a hermit.
32,800+ business miles traveled (considerably more than the circumference of the earth)
85 nights in hotels (74 – business, 11 – personal)
50 business nights out of the country
15 Meet & Greets (UK & Oz)
12 conventions (2 in Oz)
2-1/2 new books were published (Briar Rose, Tangled Souls & the novella Grave Matters)
Journeyed to 1 New Continent and 4 Australian cities and met lots of very cool people (see photo below)
2014 will be mellower and less frantic. I’m so looking forward to that… calm. This is a chance to get a handle on my writing, work on some projects I’ve had to set aside, improve my overall health and generally chill out.
I will do some travel: there will be a trip to the UK in August (Ireland! London!) along with a book festival in Las Vegas and World Science Fiction Convention in DC (November). So I won’t be a total hermit. Just a very well rested one.
Happy 2014, folks!
Jana is an international & multi-award winning author in several genres including young adult, paranormal romance and urban fantasy.