Monday, October 19, 2015

Four Tips on Surviving a Glutening

It happens. Months of being vigilant, careful and cross contamination free disappears thanks to an accidental kiss or a dirty counter top. Let's just say that the celiac and gluten reunion doesn't feel so good (insert music here).

Not my kind of reunion...

After a week of walking around as a zombified, foggy-brained, heavy-limbed version of my usual self, this celiac is back in business. In particular, in the business of sharing the top four tricks I've learned about how to bounce back from a glutening.

First, know your medicines. Besides keeping up my usual probiotics and vitamins (particularly calcium and zinc, as prescribed by my doctor), two extra medicines join my regiment post-glutening. First, activated charcoal. These tablets don't look or sound like much, but when taken, they bind to toxins in the body. Although not exactly a "gluten-be-gone," many other gluten free bloggers take charcoal after a suspected glutening.

Available from Amazon, Walmart or Vitacost!
In order to up my body's vitamins and antioxidants, I also take Airborne (make sure you check that your tablets are certified gluten free!). I usually use Airborne when I'm sick with a cold, but (whether through a medical or placebo effect), I've found that it helps increase my energy post-glutening too. As always, check with your doctor before trying any new medications!

Next, keep it simple in the kitchen - in terms of needed prep and ingredients. When my stomach feels upset and I don't have much energy, the last thing I want to do is cook. So, this last week I stuck to the basics with meals. My favorites? A baked potato stuffed with whatever leftovers I had on hand. Crock pot stews that do all the cookin' while I'm busy in class. And Earth balance's new GF and vegan Mac and cheese, which cooked in a snap.

A few dinners this last week...
In my glutening research (cause what's a better use of time when your lying in bed glutened than googling quick fixes?), most celiacs suggest a high nutrient, low processed diet the week after accidentally ingesting gluten. I totally agree - but if you're craving some major comfort food (gluten free pizza, anyone?), try to compromise. 

In my case, I followed my usual pretty-healthy diet while embracing comfort foods (like homemade granola and Mac and cheese) by sneaking in some extra nutrients (such as turmeric powder, spinach or chopped veggies) to the base recipe.

Spinach in granola? Trust me, it's delicious!
The hardest tip for me to follow? Respect how (or even if!) your body wants to move. My main gluten symptom is extreme fatigue, so I try to give my body lots of rest. At the same time, I also know that I'll often feel better once I get moving. 

As such, I usually compromise with some yoga, light stretching (especially helpful for an upset tummy!), and slow stationary bike sessions (mostly motivated last week by my upcoming Politics Midterm!). Everyone's glutened experience is different - and their activity levels should reflect that.

Not this kind of yoga...
Finally, keep you friends and family in the loop - and let them help however they can. While I try not to whine about my celiac problems (I got 99 problems and gluten makes up 98 of them...), I've learned that sharing is caring. Partly because then my roomies and boyfriend won't take it personally if I snap at them or fall asleep while they're talking. Mostly because I know they care about me and want to help. 

What does that help look like? No one (that I've met at least!) knows how to totally vanquish gluten problems, but friends can help to distract and comfort. Cuddle sessions on the couch, Netflix marathons or adorable get-well cards (like the one my mom sent) are all highly recommended! And while I was wary about telling my boss, it let her understand why I was slower (and more spaced out) at work than usual. 

Some of my favorite comforts...
Surviving being glutened is never easy. The longer I've been gluten free, though, the more recovery tips I've picked up. And one guarantee? By the time I return to "normal," I'm even more grateful for my diagnosis and access to a gluten free diet. 

Because gluten and me? That's more of a Hollywood horror story than a romance!



What are some of your tips to recover from being glutened? Comment below!  



  

4 comments:

  1. I still never tried activated charcoal (haven't had to, thank god!), but I am so curious about it!

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    1. It's great for when you're gassy or glutened. Definitely always like to have it on hand now!

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  2. I am so glad to have found a resource for what to take after a "glutening" ha! I loved this post. Xx Sara, SaraMagnolia.com

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    1. Glad to help! Better safe than sorry, right? :)

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