Adventures in Gluten (and Sugar) Freedom from a southern blogger chick!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

7 days that could make one weak...

I promised an update, and bless those of you who've emailed, called, even sent me cards and notes! It has been a surreal 10 days.

First, I wanted to post the food list I found for diabetics with gastroparesis, but I can't find the link any more. I turned the list into a PDF, though, and if you're fighting diabetic gastroparesis and you want me to email this to you, leave me an email in my comments. This sitehas given me a lot of information. So have the wonderful members of the Yahoo Gastroparesis Group

I figured out several key things:
•I can do this.
•I'm not alone.
•It could be way worse!

So in the past week, I've purged my pantry (Thanks, Macon and Heather, Angela, and Steve) and gotten most of the foods I can't have out of my house. I did this when I became GF, and I'll finish when Randy heads home Monday with a bag of goodies for him (he's taking some cooked steaks, for instance.) I got rid of all the beans, all the hard to digest stuff. Some of it was even GF food -- but I just couldn't

And, I tried a couple of foods just to see. Popcorn is out, even in very small portions. Nuts, unless in a small portion and chewed to smithereens, are out. But soft veggies, even GF organic baby food, works fine for some of this. And I don't really mind as long as I'm eating by myself. (The other day, a student caught me eating organic junior baby food oatmeal in my office. I find I don't react to it, it has a little bit of fiber, and it's good and filling at 100 calories...)

So what have I done? Many of you have asked. I'm averaging about 1000 - 1200 calories a day (sometimes a little more) and I'm mostly eating three small meals at mealtime and one morning snack. I try not to eat after 8 p.m. at night, and I sit up for at least an hour and a half after I eat my last meal of the day. I have cut back on diet sodas to about 1.5 of them a day, and I've added a couple of bottles of filtered water a day. (And yeah, I am losing weight really fast right now. But I need to, so I'm OK with it.)

For breakfast all week, I've made a sugar-free Carnation Instant Breakfast latte with soy creamer (GF). It has sustained me for several hours each morning. I also bought some EAS Advantage shakes (also gluten free) and I find them satisfying. I'm trying to consumer about 20 grams of protein each morning and about 220 calories. As I teach from 9:30 to 12:15, I might or might not have a snack on Tuesday and Thursday. But I could...

For lunch, I've thought small and fast. Live Active cottage cheese with sugar free mandarin oranges (very soft), YoBaby GF yogurt (one small container). One day I had 2 tablespoons of peanut butter; another day, I had some soup made with rice noodles. I still eat occasional helpings of GF pretzels, bread, and crackers, but I try to limit those to two servings a day. Next week I'm going to have a pouch of tuna fish. I don't want to end up like Jeremy Piven, though, so I will limit this to a couple of times a week.

I don't usually eat again til dinner time. Some days I have a midmorning snack, other days, I don't. One day I had a cup of Rice Chex with almond milk and a banana. Good stuff.

My dinners have been small - about 1 to 1.5 cups of food. Last night I had a cup of chicken salad and some cooked-to-mush carrots. I try to include a little margarine or fat (about a total of a tablespoon) for my skin and hair. Tonight I had leftover homemade GF Ground Beef Strogonoff (recipe follows!) and more veggies.

Tomorrow I'm making some chicken and pasta soup with mushy vegetables. And tomorrow night we're eating out, and I'll have a small bowl of rice and maybe some soup.

Reading the gastroparesis forum has been most enlightening. I am lucky -- I can still eat soft foods and a low-fiber diet. A lot of people younger than me have a feeding tube. I'm blessed that hasn't happened, and I hope to continue to heal myself so that doesn't ever happen. One person -- an engineer -- made me think in portion sizes instead of number of meals, and another had me think about energy levels needed. I need more protein on Tuesday and Thursday morning, and I need more protein at lunch on Monday and Wednesday (for those class days).

Most of all, I have tried to remain optimistic about it all. And you know what? I'm surprised by this, but I really don't miss the food. It's like not missing wheat products when I went GF -- I know how much it can hurt me, so suddenly, it doesn't matter that I can't have it.

Mostly, I had to channel YODA who reminds us:
There is no try, only do.

I promised you a GP-friendly GF recipe --

Ground Beef Strognoff

1/2 small onion, one clove garlic, three knobs of baby carrot and three small celery sticks (not whole carrots or celery stalks)
chopped extra fine and sauteed with 1 T. olive oil
One pound of 4 -5 percent ground beef
One can mushrooms (or a pack or sliced)
One can Progresso Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup sour cream
4 dashes GF worcestershire sauce
1 dash of dry sherry (optiona)

Mince finely the veggies (there will be about a cup) and saute them in the olive oil. Add the fresh or canned mushrooms, cooking them until fairly limp. Add the ground beef and saute until browned and very crumbly. Mixture will be very crumbly. Salt and pepper to taste when browned.

Add the soup and heat until warmed through. Take off the heat and add sour cream (or yogurt) and worcestershire. Add the sherry if you have it for a little flavor.

I served over GF pasta (1/4 cup per 1 cup of stroganoff. Reheats beautifully. Makes about five one-cup servings.

I'll be back with new discoveries when I can. Thanks for your love and patience.

Much love, and thank you for reading!


a kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Addison's Mommy said...

Kudos to you for doing your reasearch and finding ways to sustain your food intake!!! And some of that baby food is quite tasty; if I do say so myself : )

Question: is all YoBaby yogurt GF? I know that regular Yoplait is GF...I've just never thought about it before. What is it about YoBaby that you can have that's different than others? Just curious...

Gluti Girl said...

Ginger, I keep praying for you! You have a very good plan of action and sounds like it's working well. I love that recipe too! I used to make it in my gluten days with Campbell Soups! So yummy. Hope you are noticing a difference and beginning to feel better!

Gluten free Kay said...

Hi Ginger,

Glad to see your attitude remains positive!
Have your heard about PB2? It's a peanut butter powder you mix with water. It's got about a fourth of the calories of regular peanut butter because they remove the peanut oil. So if you're cutting fat, it might be a good option. I googled PB2 and found their website.

Gluten Free Steve said...


Karen said...

Man, and I thought it was difficult to learn to eat gluten free. I am also a type II diabetic, but have never heard of gastroparesis. I am going to go read about it right now.

keep your positive attitude for sure! You sound like you are doing just fine so far.

Raven said...

Ging, it sounds like you're well on your way to getting control of this--figuring out what you have to do, realizing it's not so bad, and staying positive. AND losing weight to boot. You're going to be feeling much better soon, I'm sure.
Hang in there,