Wednesday, January 13

Gluten, Dairy, and Me

When I started doing DDPYoga in June 2013, I read the program guide, looked at the different food plans and pretty much decided I was going to do things my own way. I cut back my portions, limited certain foods, added in a ton of veggies and figured it would work. And it did, for a while. After about a year, and after talking to DDP and reading more, I decided to try gluten and dairy free. At first I didn't notice anything. Then, one day I realized that a personal issue (not going into details) that I'd had for a long time had gone away.  By now, I was back on gluten but no longer eating dairy. I decided that I didn't have any issues with gluten and I decided I would just eliminate cow dairy. That went well for me, even though I was losing very very slowly.

In October of 2015, I went to the DDPYoga retreat in Mexico. Now, the retreat was at an all-inclusive gourmet resort. This means that no matter HOW you want to eat, they pretty much have options! On the 2nd day, my friend Julie decided to go gluten and dairy free. It looked pretty easy, so the next day I quietly joined her. By the time I came home, I was completely gluten and dairy free and pretty much finally had an understanding of how to make this work. I also had watched DDP, at a couple of different meals, just flat out tell the restaurant that he had special needs. Now, those who know me know I'm not quiet, but, there are times where I am very quiet. Restaurant ordering is one of those. I have always tried to not make waves. Well, after the retreat, and after some coaching from DDP, I realized that I have to take care of myself. I need to ask for what I want.

In order to stay gluten and dairy free, I order more carefully at restaurants when we go out. I ask them to hold the cheese, and if it's a burger, I ask them to hold the bun, the cheese, and anything else that resembles dairy or has gluten. Years ago, I did a weight loss/lifestyle called Somersize, developed by Suzanne Somers. I had a lot of success with the program and actually even appeared on HSN for 3 days with Suzanne! It was pretty cool. The program utilized food combining, eating the right combinations of the right foods. I lost 75 pounds, and I felt really great. But, at that time, it was really hard to order "special" things at restaurants, as there weren't many options. Now, however, it's really been fairly easy! Even the larger chain restaurants typically have options and choices that work.

Another thing I do is something I started about 18 months ago. On the weekend, I do food prep for the entire week. I make 5 lunches, and I make a huge batch of steel cut oats, which I have for breakfast 6 days a week. I am finding that if I do my meal planning, I eat well, feel great, and I'm happy. If I don't plan, I feel stressed and it's super easy for everything to get out of control. For ME, meal planning is critical.

While I might not officially be gluten sensitive, I have had a couple of patches of contact dermatitis on my neck since my 30s. Eight days into being gluten free, those patches were completely gone. I've had some other things that I thought were just inherently part of who I was that have changed as well, but the biggest change has been the fact that I've lost 18 pounds since 10/25. I'm post menopausal, so losing weight isn't easy like it was in my 30s, it's a big challenge. Now, however, if I stay true to my eating, I lose.

Another HUGE side effect that was complete unexpected was that the Achilles tendinitis in my left heel is gone. By the time I left the retreat, after 5 days of being gluten and dairy free, it was about 75% better. Now, after 3 months? It isn't painful at all. I no longer have to modify lunges and squats in doing DDPYoga, and as long as I do my stretching and stay true to eating gluten and dairy free, no pain. A few days of any kind of gluten or dairy, and it twinges.

For me? That right there is enough. No more gluten. No more cow dairy. It's working for me. It's a small price to pay to not be in pain so bad I can't walk across a room.