Saturday, 22 March 2014

Gluten Free San Francisco

I was right, there are gluten free options everywhere in San Francisco!  We visited both the De Young Museum and the California Academy of Science and both of their cafeterias were outstanding, offering gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and dairy free options!  We opted to eat at the Academy Café because it had more choices for me than the museum.  I decided on Mexican and had two corn tacos with chicken and shredded pork and it was amazing!  They also had desserts including creme brûlée and macaroons.  What's not to love!   Thank you San Francisco for all the G free yumminess!!  I think I will leave my heart here!


Thursday, 20 March 2014

Ghiradelli is Gluten Free

What's a trip to San Francisco without indulging in delicious Ghiradelli ice cream sundaes?  I found out that not only is Ghiradelli chocolate gluten free but so are their sundaes!  Not that that makes them in any way healthy or the least bit Paleo but who can resist!  I've been trying to stay away from refined sugar lately so this was an epic fail but so worth the calories.  I even convinced myself I burned them all off by walking up and down those picturesque but hilly San Francisco streets!

Too many choices!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Bubba Gump San Francisco

The last time I went to Bubba Gump, it was in Orlando and I had a salad which was pretty good but I wasn't in the mood for salad tonight so I asked our waiter for the gluten free menu.  I was surprised by how limited the menu was with only 5 offerings for gluten free guests.  Apart from the salads there was grilled fish or salmon, and shrimp and veggie skewers which is what I ordered with steamed broccoli.  It was tasty and Paleo actually, but I was hoping that their spicy cajun shrimp and grilled shrimp meals were gluten free.  They also had steamed jasmine rice as a side for any GF entrée but not the corn on the cob.  A lot of their food is deep fried so I'm assuming they don't want any cross contamination from the breading in the fryers but the corn should've been ok as it's boiled.

Pier 39 boardwalk

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Spring Break!

There's only one week left until Spring Break and I'm so excited because we'll be going to San Francisco for 6 days!  I'm certain that there will be lots of gluten free dining options as California is such a forward-thinking, health conscious state so I'm looking forward to trying new restaurants in the area.  I bought a new app that's terrific, called "Find Me GF" that locates restaurants with gluten free menus and can't wait to try it out.

I made it to 3000 page views and since I don't track my own visits, it's neat knowing that some people are actually reading my blog.  Hopefully, it plays a tiny role in someone else solving their own health puzzle like I did.   That would be so rewarding!

I was out with colleagues socializing yesterday and the conversation made it's way to health related topics and how aging leads to all kinds of pain and misery.  The solution for everyone at the table was chemical, whether it was migraines, painful joints, muscle aches, or mood swings, the answer was always meds.  I've never liked putting chemicals in my body, not even an aspirin, and instead preferred powering through a cold, headache or body pain.  If I would have listened to my doctors and not pushed for more answers and experimented on myself, I would still be living with pain and all kinds of annoying side effects of gluten exposure.  I'm proud of myself for not giving in to prescriptions; my body was trying to tell me something and although it took 3 years, I finally listened and never gave up!

San Francisco, here I come!  
(picture courtesy of

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Gluten Experiment

Naturally, I decided to experiment to prove to myself that it's not just the placebo effect because my results were so unsettling last week.  I also spoke to a friend's mom who's a doctor and she told me that my results were a false negative because I had cut gluten out for so long.  That made sense to me and was a huge relief!  I emailed my naturopath and she confirmed this suspicion so I recommend not wasting your money on food sensitivity testing unless you are eating the foods you would like to see results for.  Here are the results of my experiment:

Saturday (Feb. 1) - chicken burger with a wheat bun for dinner - NO side-effects

Sunday - Tempura (Japanese breaded vegetables) for lunch - NO side-effects

Monday - Wheat noodles for dinner - Sharp pain in my legs that lasted a few seconds

Tuesday - Pretzel bun for dinner - throbbing leg pain that lasted several minutes
                                                     - cramping
                                                     - upset stomach

Wednesday - Gluten free - cramps, upset stomach

Thursday - Gluten free - cramps, upset stomach

Friday - Gluten free - upset stomach

February 8th - present - Gluten free (mostly Paleo) - NO side effects!!!

What I learned: I have built up to a 48 hour tolerance period before I start feeling the effects of gluten that last four days until it is completely out of my system.  The leg pain luckily only lasted two days but that was the definitive proof for me.  Do I regret taking the test?  Not really because it led to second guessing myself and then proving that i should actually trust my gut (sorry, bad pun) and eat the way i have been for the past 9 months. 

No wheat for me!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Food Sensitivities Test

I'm back to share some highly confusing and humbling blood test results!  I finally bit the bullet and paid a fortune ($350, only some of which I'll get back through my medical coverage) for a food sensitivities test with my Naturopath.  I just got the results back today and was floored by what I learned!  Here is an email I sent a friend after my appointment:

I'm ok...confused as heck but ok....I went for a food sensitivities test at the naturopath two weeks ago and got the results today.  You'll never believe my level of sensitivity to gluten/wheat....ready?? 

ZERO!!!  Yup, you read that correctly....none.  Nada, nil, not even a low range score below 100.  To give you a comparison, eggs came back at 2300 with over 450 being a food to avoid!!!!!!  I'm so lost now I don't know what to think.

My naturopath thinks that I healed my gut by cutting out gluten for so long and that's why it came back as zero but there were other foods (like kidney beans) that I'm highly sensitive to in the AVOID range that I NEVER eat so I'm confused.  The three major things for me to avoid are eggs, whey and garlic.  Those 3 were really high.  All the grains were either 0 or really low (ie. oats was the highest at 38 with below 100 being in the low range)  

Help!!!!  Was it just placebo?  I'm so lost.  All I can say is I feel better eating this way.  Should I ease up and re-introduce wheat?  See what happens?  Use my leg pain as my thermometer?  Experiment on myself?

Final thoughts:  I'm going to eat in a way that makes me feel my best, which happens to be minimally processed, whole foods (mostly Paleo).  I'm going to avoid eggs, whey and garlic for a while to see if I notice any difference.  I will occasionally eat some wheat, guiltlessly (especially if we happen to be at my favourite brick oven pizza restaurant!!) and I will try to make good choices most of the time by eating a low ingredient, organic, plant rich diet.  I will also continue to be honest and transparent in this blog.  My journey continues... I'm still learning about myself and my health every day through trial and error.