Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The war on gluten and lactose

As I ended my cleanse this weekend, I was feeling somewhat better, but not completely.  I decided to turn my attention to the foods that I eat on a daily basis to see whether I could relieve some of the symptoms by cutting them out.  My coach had sent me some good information about food sensitivity and I was getting other good information from a number of others about how diet changes helped relieve similar issues (Thanks, Joanna, for your comment on my house cleaning post).

I targeted gluten and lactose because these seem to be the two most common items that people are sensitive to.  Plus, the change in diet is relatively easy to implement.  I don't believe that I have celiac disease, so there isn't a need to completely eliminate all gluten from my diet.  My goal is to reduce it enough to see whether it makes a difference.  At first I thought this would be a serious chore, but it turns out there are lots of alternatives available, particularly since I don't have to stick to a purely gluten-free diet.  Some items are not labeled as gluten free because they may be prepared on equipment that had gluten-containing products on them.

So, another trip to Whole Paycheck on Sunday lightened my wallet a lot but bought me brown rice loaf, brown rice bagels, brown rice pasta…  You get the picture.  I'll be eating a lot of brown rice-based products.  I also found many gluten-free items at Trader Joe's, which is a relief.  They have rice-based bread, tortillas and pasta.  So, at least this change in diet won't break the bank.

As for the lactose, there's a somewhat simpler solution.  Lactaid makes many products that are lactose free.  In fact, I'm drinking a lactose-free non fat latte right now!  Soy milk is another alternative, of course.  And, I can also take lactaid pills before I eat dairy products to give my gut a little boost of lactase to help digest the diary product of my choice.

I ran 20 miles Sunday morning, biked 8 miles to breakfast with The Genius, walked the dogs and then did a weight circuit at the gym later that day.  I needed a lot of calories, but I felt like I needed one last forbidden meal before making my change.  I asked The Genius what would be the worst thing I could eat if in fact I was sensitive to lactose and gluten.  We agreed it would be pizza.  So, we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Tuli Bistro, and asked them to make their special smoky goat pizza with chorizo, jalapenos, mozzarella and goat cheese on a wheat flour crust.  It was delightful, but my gut paid the price.

Monday, I was still paying for the goat pizza, but today, something miraculous happened.  I woke up without feeling like I ate a brick the night before.  And, when I drank my morning latte, I didn't feel like I was hosting a bubble fiesta in my belly.  I am hopeful that this change will help with my tummy issues.  Once I am back to feeling normal, I'll try adding some things back to my diet to see whether or not I truly am sensitive to them.  I think it should be pretty obvious to find the troublemakers then.



  1. Sounds like you're getting somewhere. Coincidentally, I have a friend who has coeliac disease. She now has it under control and is running better than ever.

  2. Thanks, Ewen. Things are looking up! It's amazing to me how long it takes for people to get diagnosed as having sensitivities to gluten and other foods. I guess it's a byproduct of a medical system focused on treating symptoms. Luckily, we can conduct our own little experiments to figure these things out. Today, I asked my doctor about having a full food sensitivity panel run. We'll see where that leads. More to come on that!