My older sister took me on a bit of an adventure yesterday. We went and picked up my adorable nephew from preschool first, and we had about an hour before his doctor's appointment. So, we stopped at the old Bob's Red Mill. For those who don't know, this is a company that makes a lot of healthy, high quality grain products. And at their restaurant/store, they had EVERY product they make! As one of the best producers of gluten free substitutes, this was very exciting for me.
I ended up buying a 25 pound bag of gluten free all purpose baking flour. The biggest obstacle for baking for me has been how complicated switching out flour can be. You have to add starches and various gluten free flours, and it takes much longer than it should. The great thing about this blend, is all of that is already taken care of, so you can use it straight across. It usually costs $6 for 4 oz or something, so I got a great deal buying it in bulk. I am making cookies today, something I've really missed since I had to go gluten free!
The big challenge of going gluten free for me is that I'm hypoglycemic--I have to eat snacks every two hours, or I get really shaky and can pass out. It used to be a huge problem before I figured out how to manage it. However, the most convenient snacks, ones that hold up well for long periods of time in purses and backpacks and aren't too sugary, are generally made of flour. It's hard to lug around yogurts and peanut butter.
I am working on figuring it out though and making it work because I think it may be making a difference in my pain. The whole point is that by reducing and eliminating gluten as much as possible from my diet, I am reducing the presence of a rather inflammatory chemical. And, as endometriosis is an inflammatory disease, especially mine which inflamed my entire abdominal cavity, cutting out gluten can help reduce the 'fanning of the flames'. Studies have shown that around 50% of women with endometriosis experience significant reduction in pain when they eliminate gluten from their diet. I'm giving it another month, to be sure, but I may luckily fall into that 50%. It is a bummer to have to make such a huge dietary adjustment, but I need to count my blessings that there are things I can do to reduce my pain and discomfort.
I bought several things at Bob's Red Mill, and I even got a sandwich, which was made of the first GOOD gluten free bread I've had so far. It was nice to feel excited about these changes I need to make, and to have hope that there are products that make the change less difficult. Plus, I'm lucky that I can have a tiny bit of gluten without getting severely ill. I just need to avoid it as much as I can, not 100%. My mum is even giving me her old breadmaker so I can make my own gluten free loaves. There are plenty of options, products, and help to make this change more tolerable.