EGLGFG Goes G-Free!

I was really looking forward to getting my endoscopy results back. Finally, there would be no more questions. Either I had Celiac and gluten was gone-zo or I didn’t. Apparently I was wrong, kind of. Turns out my villi looked undamaged but they had lots of inflammation. So GI Guy said it’s more of a gluten sensitivity than actual Celiac. He wanted me to try a gluten free diet and see how it made me feel. Luckily, I’d been doing just that ever since the endoscopy. And I. Felt. Awesome. Almost 100% better. It was actually amazing how quickly I went from having no energy and feeling crappy to feeling back to my normal self. I asked GI Guy if that meant it was all in my head but luckily I’m not going crazy…it really can change that quickly!

Because I had such dramatic results GI Guy wants me to have one more test, a genetic test to see if I carry the gene common in Celiac. If I do I have to be super careful about not eating any gluten, as if I have Celiac. If I don’t carry the gene, I know I can be a little more lenient, as I won’t be doing any damage to my intestines. If I eat it I just have to live with the fact that I’ll feel yucky for a few days. Quite honestly I have no desire to eat anything containing gluten because my body just feels so good right now! Even things I didn’t think were related to my gut issues have improved! Here’s where I’ve noticed a change, in just under a week of no gluten:

  1. My knees have stopped hurting. What? Knee pain? and gluten? Who knew! I had chalked up my achey knees to a) 15 years of gymnastics, b) followed by 5 years of on again off again running, c) being out of shape, etc. etc. etc.
  2. The phlegm in the back of my throat is gone. Gross, I know. Potentially TMI. I’ve had what I self-diagnosed as “post-nasal drip” for years, and I just blamed it on my epilepsy medicine. I seem to blame a lot of things on my epilepsy medicine. It’s nice to have a go-to whipping post. But G-free Abbey does not have this anymore!
  3. It’s easier to wake up in the morning. I used to be such a morning person. Alarm clock sounds, Abbey bounces out of bed, ready to go. But a couple years ago that all changed. It was hard to wake up in the morning. My head felt foggy. My eyes were heavy. My body ached as I climbed sleepily out of bed. Another chalk-it-up-to-the-epilepsy-meds situation. We’ll see if this changes over time, but over the last week I’ve woken up clear-headed and ready to go every day. Dear Gluten, is it possible that you’ve been this bad to me!?!?
  4. Most importantly, my GI issues are gone. Zero nausea. Zero loud gurgling sounds after dinner. Zero of all that bathroom stuff that is just TMI for this here blog. The small baby in my lower belly has not been making her nightly appearance any more and my tummy no longer feels full all the time.

Isn’t it awesome? If feeling better alone weren’t enough, as soon as the doctor called me back with my results I did what any logical, intelligent human being would do…

I got into the uber-swank PICKY CLUB.

I. am. so. excited. I was introduced to Picky Bars last year and they’ve made an appearance on EGLGFG before, but I never truly appreciated them for their gluten free goodness.  No, I ate them because they were downright tasty, better than any other “bar” that I’d had. They digested quickly if I wanted a snack before a run but didn’t have time (i.e. eat Picky Bar at 5:45, go for run after work at 6, no stomach issues.) and they were made with REAL FOOD. No “z-pro powder mixture this” or “soy soy and more soy that”. No, the ingredients were pronounceable and they were things that I enjoy eating by themselves, how could I not love them packaged into a little powerhouse of a bar?!?! Sometimes I ate them for breakfast, sometimes a mid-afternoon snack, and sometimes as post-run nourishment/recovery.

But now, now I appreciate the gluten-free-ness of them. ALOT.

There’s also something else that makes these bars desirable to me, something more important than taste or dietary needs.

{***warning*** EGLGFG Soap Box Speech Coming}

My blog posts may be all over the place subject-wise, but one thing I’ve tried to convey in this blog, and improve on in my own life, is how powerful the consumer is, and how important it is for us to choose who we give our money as carefully as we can. To support the farmer directly for his milk, meat, and produce. To buy products made in the USA, made by Americans. To support small businesses in your community that employ your neighbors. No one is perfect, and I certainly don’t do this all the time but I really believe we need to be cognizant of who we’re supporting with our purchases.

The people behind this company are the bomb. Yes, they are professional athletes, but they are so much more than that. They care about the environment and supporting the U.S. and us awesome American workers. They care about customer satisfaction and are proud of their product. When they changed their packaging they emailed out a thorough survey so they could use the opinions of us, the buyers, and factor that in to their decision. I thought that was the coolest thing, and it showed how much they valued their customers, wacky as we may be. And the writing of everything Picky is so refreshingly fun, as would be expected from a company who’s motto is “It’s freaking science, dude!”. I secretly and very selfishly hope they stay small, but I have a feeling that Picky Bars will be a household name like Luna and Clif in a very short time. In the meantime, I’ll be thoroughly enjoying my new status as a Picky Club member and flaunting my bars like a rockstar.

Photo courtesty of http://www.pickybars.com. Visit the site. Buy the bars. You won’t be disappointed. EGLGFG Promise.

And finally, some running goodness…

Is it possible that my running times improve with the absence of gluten? Today I attempted the “call-it-a-Tempo-if-you-will” 2 mile tempo run (1 mile warm up and cool down). I’m still working with the run-blind-and-base-effort-off-of-breathing method experiment of speed training, so I mapped out a 2 mile out and back route 1 mile from my house. There were some slight hills, but otherwise it was pretty flat.

Given my times from my last mile repeats (7:42, 7:54) I figured I should shoot for/be happy with 8:10’s. I donned my Oiselle Title Nine shirt because it’s soft and wonderful and makes me feel good and I set out. I judged “tempo” as being a pace where I had to breathe every two steps and couldn’t speak a full sentence. I felt good. But running blind is, well, running blind. You have no idea of pace until you hit that street marker at the one mile point.

I hit my first mile in 7:52. I was shocked. Did I measure it wrong? Did I go to the wrong street? Am I going to tank on the way back? Nope, nope, and nope. I flew, comfortably uncomfortable on the way back and came in at a nice and almost-the-same 7:58. Pretty respectable! And the best part was I felt like I could have kept going. Take that Tempo!

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