I have had allergies for as long as I can remember. I now have year-round allergies and honestly I think we should take a large amount of stock in Kleenex because we can’t not have them in the house, van, or within easy reach. Due in part to my allergies and in part to my family history, I’ve also been blessed to suffer through headaches, migraines in particular.
Yeah, lucky me.
A year or so ago I went to the chiropractor in hopes of alleviating my headaches. I’m not sure it was all that beneficial though because even while I was being treated I was experiencing headaches. I’ve honestly had quite my fill of headaches, sneezing, and a constantly drippy nose. So when I saw a link someone posted on facebook about a link between headaches and gluten I was all ears…errr eyeballs.
Now one thing you need to know about me. I eat a healthy diet already. I don’t (generally) eat white sugar and flour. I don’t buy processed foods. We just don’t eat that way. The only boxed foods we have in the house is pasta. I have made my own pasta before but I’m not generally thinking far enough ahead to get that done before we need to eat.
A few years ago we switched to all whole wheat bread and “healthy pasta” made with Jerusalem artichoke flour. I cut out ruthlessly everything with high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, sugar, beet sugar, and all the other ingredients hidden but are sugar. I did not stop eating fruit, because I would eat naturally occurring sugar the way God made it. If I was eating something that told you how many mgs of sugar was in the food, I read the ingredients, if the sugar came from a natural source, i.e. fruit, I ate it anyway.
But seeing the article and learning how gluten can hide and mask itself in different health issues, part of which are allergies and headaches, I decided last week that my 12-year old and I would embark on a gluten free trial period of 4 weeks. She has had a strange rash that we aren’t able to get rid of and she has allergies too. The 10-year old and Mr. FullCup would be free to eat anything their little ol’ heart desires.
Until I read further about gluten and how it can manifest itself. Allergies and asthma. Now my 10-year old has never been diagnosed with asthma but she is on an asthma medication and has been on it since she was about a year old. So I determined she would also join the no gluten month long adventure. Mr. FullCup did not want to be left out so he joined up too.
Then I read it takes 3-4 months to rid your body of gluten. Yay. So I increased our experiment to 6 months. Our plan is to have nothing with gluten for 6 months and then eat a little bit and see what happens. I’m thinking we’ll all die.
No, just kidding.
This is now my 5th day of being gluten free and the second day in a row I did not wake up with a headache. I’m pleased.
Our change in diet has made my cooking, that was at best mediocre (at worst un-edible), a lot more interesting. I’ve gotten creative a little with cooking. I’ve made tortilla-less tacos. I’ve also made quinoa.
Let me tell you something about quinoa. It stinks when you cook it. And for the most part I’m afraid to eat it. I can’t bring myself to eat food I don’t like, no matter how healthy it might be. Which makes me more than a little afraid to try new foods.
A friend is about a year ahead of me on the gluten free diet convinced me that quinoa is good. The jury is mostly still out on that. She gave me a tip yesterday, “rinse the quinoa before cooking.”
So last night I rinsed the quinoa. I lost some of it through my mesh, Pampered Chef colander, but I rinsed what I managed to keep in while rinsing and then had to pry it out to put in the pan.
After doing that I was reading the back of the package a little more, when I stumbled on this gem,
“Our quinoa is pre-washed so you can simply cook and eat, no need to presoak or rinse.”
I mixed our rinsed, rinsed and cooked quinoa with 16oz salsa and cheddar cheese and really if you eat while hot it’s not too bad.
If you’re gluten-free, and have recipes or tips for us, please! Leave them in the comments.