Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Long Goodnight

Loves Food, Loves to Eat / My water color galaxy paintingsHi, hello! It’s me! I’ve been quiet on here for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that I gave up gluten last August. I just haven’t really found inspiration in my newly gluten-free kitchen, and I’ve been leaning heavily on recipes from experts who’ve been doing this gluten free life a lot longer than I have. 

The reasons I gave it up are mostly annoying to explain to people (I generally say “digestion reasons” when people ask, to avoid in-depth discussions about my lady parts), but here’s a little more detail: I started to realize that a bunch of random unrelated symptoms I’ve had for years might not be random or unrelated at all, and I also discovered that it’s maybe not normal to have debilitating pain and nausea that renders you unable to leave the bed once a month. So, the more I read, the more I became convinced I have endometriosis. This is strictly a self-diagnosis at this point. I haven’t been officially diagnosed, as that typically requires laparoscopic surgery and I haven’t gotten there yet. 

But I’ve been down the rabbit hole and back, and one of the greatest resources I’ve found on the topic is Jessica Murnane. This is where I first learned that eliminating certain inflammatory foods can help with endometriosis symptoms, as essentially those foods are inflaming an already painful inflammation. So I decided to give up gluten for a while, just to try it out (hormone related: I’ve also stopped consuming the other favorite love of my life, coffee. It’s been a real whirlwind!)

The results? I’ve felt, in general, way less fatigued. My frequent stomach discomfort and near-daily-2nd-trimester-style bloating quickly went away. I no longer worry that I won’t be able to fit in my jeans by the end of the day. But even more exciting (and trust me, no longer bouncing between 3 pant sizes on the daily is pretty exciting), In the last eight months, I haven’t spent one day of my period stuck in bed in the fetal position, unable to move, throwing up and writhing in pain. So, I don’t know for sure if endo is what ails me, but my quality of life has improved since going off the gluten, so I’m going to stick with it (just imagine how I’d feel if I went off dairy and sugar too! Just kidding. I’m not there…yet.).  

The downside of giving up gluten, is obviously, giving up gluten. I was team gluten my whole life, almost smugly so. We had pizza, donuts, and craft beer at our wedding, for crying out loud! I’ve learned I can get along pretty well without it, but a few things suck. My favorite pizza place doesn’t do a GF crust. It’s hard to order takeout when restaurants don’t list allergen info on their sites/menus. Seattle restaurants and bakeries, in general, seems behind on the “trend.” Bread products are dismal—buns and rolls and baguettes? Forget about it (omg what I wouldn’t give for a legit baguette). I miss ramen so much. My brewery hopping days feel like a sepia toned memory. I’m now that person who has to pepper restaurant servers with questions about allergens.

Sometimes it feels like a small, hardly noticeable shift. Other times it feels like it’s changed my entire life. So that, plus some other personal things, have kept me away. I haven’t developed a recipe, taken a food photo on my actual camera, or written down words for this space in half a year. Honestly, it feels liberating to just make dinner and not think about developing a recipe or writing things down. But I also don’t want to say goodbye to this little gem that’s been such a fun creative outlet to me (since 2009! I'm ancient in food blogging years), and a resource to a handful of you, my ever-faithful fans (ie my mom). I’m hoping kitchen inspiration strikes, but until it does, I’ve been following other creative pursuits. I’ve been doing a lot of fiction writing (currently trying to wrap my head around a causal loop time paradox - lol- for a story I'm writing... Evan is my time-paradox expert, but if you wanna help me plot doctor this, hit me up!), and I just picked up some watercolor paints this week, which I'm now obsessed with (see photo above!). 

Anyway, that’s all for now. Just wanted to pop in and say hi and I hope to come back with something for this space at some point (and I post on IG and IG stories all the time if you’re interested in my nonsense). 

As Gilbert Grape said “It's not goodbye. It's goodnight. Goodbye is for when you're going away." So for now: goodnight! 

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