I’m not even confident on which end that came out of. –Melissa McCarthy as Megan in Bridesmaids
Hello! And welcome to the first post in a little series about gluten-free, vegan living. This is for everyone, and most especialiest vegans, going gluten-free for the first time and all those who could possibly benefit from reading about my experience of doing the same in the last three years.
I’ve learned from desperate private browsing sessions that there is verrry little information out there for people who might have celiac disease or, more amorphously, a gluten intolerance, or, even more amorphously, unexplained “stomach issues.” At the risk of sharing too much information with people who know me and read this blog, I will describe — in the least disgusting way possible! — my experience of discovering that gluten doesn’t agree with me (it’s a long story, actually! and interesting, I swear.), how I removed gluten from my already vegan diet, and what the consequences and rewards have been. Less in spite and more because of how embarrassing it is to talk about some of this stuff, I hope I can answer questions people only want to ask their very close friend, the internet.
Know that I’m using the Q-and-A format so that people can easily find this; I am not actually conducting sad, lonely interviews with myself.
How did you find out you have celiac disease?
Let me begin by saying I haven’t officially earned my celiac disease badge, and I’m just now sewing my gluten-intolerant patch on my vest (which is otherwise occupied by a great big vegan! patch). But more on the official status of my relationship to wheat later.
Early in the summer of 2009 — May, I think — I started to notice I was bloated, all the time, even when I woke up, having eaten a very early dinner the previous day. My high-waisted skirts suffocated me at the diaphragm, most of all after eating, when the bloating was quite visible, like a high-seated pregnancy in its fifth month. As proof, I wore a lot of tops from Anthropologie that summer. Following the bloating were other GI problems — food moving through my system at an uncomfortably slow pace, a constant feeling of fullness and hunger at the same time, frequent nausea — and general exhaustion (which could have been a result of feeling sick or more directly a result of the gluten itself). That Melissa McCarthy quote kind of sums up my GI state at the time at its worst. Continue Reading…