On April 1 I accepted a challenge from a friend who also happens to be a medical doctor. I was complaining about always feeling gross after every meal. I told her that I had the diet of a 17-year-old boy, and I hypothesized that my eat-whatever-is-within-arm's-reach habits might be the root of my misery. I also admitted to being incredibly lazy when mealtime rolled around, and I told her that I despised grocery shopping, so I tended to eat cereal for dinner at home, and made the most of happy hour menus on those nights I just couldn't bare the thought of another bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios.
"Do yourself a favor," she said. "Challenge yourself for 30 days. Go gluten-free and see what happens." The idea seemed ludicrous at the time, but you know me. Ludicrous is my comfort zone. So I agreed to give it a shot.
I went home and cleaned out my cupboards. Like, literally, almost cleaned them bare. Do you know that gluten is in almost everything? I had no idea. I shopped intentionally, and admittedly came home with a grocery bag filled with stuff I didn't even know existed. Gluten-free bread and tortillas? That almost seems like a crime against nature. Goodbye Eggos, hello Chia Waffles! Since this food tends to be a little more expensive than the rest, I buy only what I need. But after only 10 days, I'd already dropped a dress size and my guts were happier than they'd been in years.
Now, when I go out to eat, I have to pay attention to what I order. At first I thought I'd be doomed to restaurant experiences that included only salads or carrots and hummus. Turns out Spokane actually has a pretty decent selection to choose from. In fact, there's a website dedicated to shopping and dining and drinking gluten-free, and if you're curious I encourage you to check it out: Gluten Free Spokane. The pizza in the pic up there is from Europa's lunch menu — a plate-sized pie with mushroom and sausage on a gluten-free crust. It was fantastic.
More bars are jumping on the gluten-free train, too, so if you're a beer-lover with churny guts, don't despair. I've grown might fond of ciders, and thank the high holies that red wine is naturally gluten-free.
Keep in mind I don't think I'm celiac or severely gluten-intolerant. I was just tired of feeling like hell and thought a conscious change might make all the difference. It's been 21 days and so far, oh-so good.