In case anyone was wondering, rice bread tastes horrible. Part of this might be due to the fact I’ve worked in a bakery for so long and know what good bread is suppose to taste like, but it unless I smother this cardboard stuff with like… butter or jam or something, I’m probably screwed in the bread department for this gluten-free diet.
I also had a bit of a hard time yesterday when I went down to Plymouth for a day long workshop when it came to food. I usually went to a place right next door that serves breakfast all the time and has some lunch options. But as I looked over the menu online, I really didn’t have as many options, or at least none of the options I tended to get, which usually consisted of cranberry nut pancakes. Seeing that I commute an hour to Plymouth, I’m not super savvy with the place and thus don’t know what’s good to eat and gluten-free. So I woke up even earlier to pack my own yummy, gluten-free lunch. When I got down to the yoga studio, I came to find out that my teacher is also on a gluten-free diet and gave me a bunch of options as to where I can go in the area and get something that won’t make me feel like death afterwards.
As for the workshop, oh my god, so much information! We went over the basics of the spine, mostly looking at the front and back sides of the body, and talked about a lot of in depth stuff, mostly about how the spine works, thus explaining more why yoga poses are effective along with what very much not to do, both in general and for people with back issues. You can only go over so much in a day, but our next session is in a month, so I can let all of that sink in and apply it to my classes. Also had the lovely chance to be able to look at other bodies and examine them and figure out what they would need to do more within their yoga practice, such as tucking their tailbone more if they have more of a lumbar curve in their back ( and holy crap, I never thought I’d come to see the day that I’d randomly throw out anatomy terms like it’s normal ).
Also, my teacher taught a beautiful yoga class that morning that focused on the front and back sides of the body. She has such a leisurely way of teaching with such beautiful imagery that makes sense, plus an amazing sense of humor and overall understanding of the human body. Damn, I hope I can be that good in fifteen years. She cued mountain poses a lot differently than how I was taught in my 200 hour training and it makes a lot more sense, both to me and to the few people I explained it to. Because while we yogis say things like engage this or raise this or whatever, the general population A) doesn’t give a crap about these terms and/or B) don’t get it. I’ve seen more tilted heads when I’ve told people to raise their kneecaps in mountain pose than anything else, so I opt to say don’t lock the knees, but give a soft bend to them. I don’t care if raising the kneecaps is the “proper” way of saying it. If people don’t get it, they don’t get it.
On that note, I have a gentle yoga class I’m teaching/subbing for tonight and a vinyasa class tomorrow morning. The vinyasa class is one of my good teacher’s class, so I’m happy to take it over for a day for her. I know her style and thus know what she usually does to push her students, so hopefully I can give that to the class while still staying true to myself. Tonight’s class? Not too sure…. I took the teacher’s class last week to get a feel for it and… it wasn’t for me. Like, I felt it should have been a gentle stretching class and not a gentle yoga class. It didn’t do a thing for me. And I watched her as she went around the room “assisting” people and she was missing key things to help these people out, like telling them to keep an extended spine and they fold forward and so forth. The group that went last week was a very unfit, older crowd, which is perfectly fine! I applaud them for getting out and doing something! At the same time, I felt like she was limiting them in what they could do. A little challenge in a class, regardless of the level, is always nice and I’d prefer that than just staying on a flat note. We’ll see how tonight goes. I’m definitely not going to ask them to get into handstands or anything, but intuition tells me I’m not the right teacher for them… or maybe I am! Who knows! I will find out tonight!
So I really need to stop looking up gluten free stuff online, because the more I do, the more I start realizing things like, OH MY GOD I CAN’T EAT THAT EITHER. Granted, I have to remind myself I’m doing this for a few weeks, though if A) blood work comes back positive or B) I’m just generally feeling better after all of this, I need to stick to it. My intuition keeps telling me this is the right thing to do, but that doesn’t make me less sad over the things I can’t really have again if I make this a part of my lifestyle.
The biggest thing for me? Baking.
I have always loved cooking and baking and while cooking is easier to do gluten-free, baking just makes my brain explode. Yes, I can still use dairy and egg products while baking, but I’m not exactly a pastry master and thus the only way I’m going to find out if substituting all my favorite recipes with gluten-free flours and stuff is by trial-and-error. I think of things like my best friend and I making cupcakes every time we hang out and while I can still do that with her and have fun, there’s a potential that the next time we do that, I won’t be able to eat anything unless we go flourless, so to speak.
Now, I’ve had a gluten-free chocolate cake before, back when I used to work in a bakery. It was actually really good. A little denser than what I was used to, but good regardless. It wasn’t as dry and bleh as most vegan stuff I had and seeing I don’t shove my face with baked goods to begin with, I figure anything is better than nothing ( and yes, I enjoy baking things more so than I enjoy eating them ). But then I think of all the cookbooks I have with so many recipes and how none of them are gluten-free friendly. I’m sure I could figure out my own “all purpose gluten-free” flour and substitute that… but knowing me, that’ll be a disaster waiting to happen.
I have poked around online and yes, there are ways of baking gluten free, so I shouldn’t freak out over that too much, but still. At some point during this trial diet, I want to bake something gluten-free and see how that goes. Hopefully not to horribly.
On a brighter note, my personal yoga session today went lovely and lasted twenty minutes longer than what I normally do. My half moon is really coming along, though I still need a block because I can’t reach the ground yet without falling over and I can do a wide legged forward fold with the crown of my head touching the floor, too. And to think I couldn’t a damn thing a year ago!
You know, this whole blog thing was suppose to be a combination of my yoga practice, my spirituality, and my overall healthy living. I think I’ve touched up on healthy living a few times and that’s it. Well, I’ve always considered myself to be healthy or at least try to. I can’t eat beef or pork unless you want me to camp out in your bathroom for the rest of the night, so I’m a pseudo-vegetarian. Though my digestive system in general more or less hates me. I’ve always had a sensitive tummy since high school or so, but didn’t actually pay attention to my problems until I was twenty. Long story short, a lot of stomach and intestinal issues run in the family and they were so kindly passed on down to me. I’ve been tested for stuff in the past, but no one’s really been able to pin point anything except drink more water and eat more fiber. At this point, I eat enough fiber to probably make senior citizens look normal, and a majority of the time, I still feel like crap.
To make matters worse, my PCP hasn’t been very helpful. I’ve mentioned the same thing to her physical after physical and kept shrugging and telling me she found nothing and thus I have to be fine. Then last year, when I circled that same problems with my digestive system, she never even brought them up in my physical. That on top of her blatant lack of “give a craps” about me trying to use alternative treatments to manage my depression and anxiety has made me want to change my PCP. So anyhow, fast forward to today. I had a gynecologist appointment the other day and funny how she was more helpful with my general health than my PCP was for the past few years. So after asking me a bunch of questions about my digestive system, family history, and so forth, she then dropped a big question onto me:
Have you ever been tested for celiac disease or gluten intolerance?
Um… well… I’m going to say no!
So she then goes into detail about what this all means and a) signed me up for blood work and b) “prescribed” me to go onto a trial gluten-free diet for 2-4 weeks, just to see if that helps. And then as I’m driving home, it kinda hit me that I’m totally uneducated in the world of gluten-free stuff. My doctor gave me a general run down of what I should do, which was great, but once I started googling it, I nearly went into a panic. Thank god I had my sister for comic relief and helping me sift through what I can and cannot have. For the most part, I can only eat meats, poultry, and seafood ( as long as they’re not breaded, battered, or marinated ), fresh veggies and fruits, unprocessed nuts, seeds, and beans, eggs, and some dairy. And seriously, the list of stuff I can eat is way shorter than the shit I can’t eat.
At least my mom is 200% supportive behind this, even if it’s a trial thing. Hell, even when I was telling her about all of it, she kind of went, “Huh… maybe that might help my eating habits, too.” As much as I don’t want celiac, I’m kind of hoping it’ll pop up in the blood work so I can finally have an answer as to why my body hates me each time I eat food. Granted, having that means I need to be uber picky and conscious about what I eat and the last thing I want to be is that pretentious bitch who asks, “Is any of this gluten free?” each and every time I go shopping for food or out to a restaurant. I like to think that doing it for genuine health reasons and not because it’s “what everyone else is doing” will make me less eyeroll-worthy.
So on that note, I’m still doing this gluten-free diet for 2-4 weeks, regardless. If any of you lovely, beautiful readers have any tips, advice, or even recipe sites to share, PUH-LEASE do so! I’m an avid cook and baker and I need ideas as to what to make for myself for the next few weeks. Many thanks to you guys! <3