This post was probably the hardest for me to write in this series, not because there are no gluten-free restaurants out there but because I have had the most trouble going truly gluten-free in this area! It is also probably the longest of the posts. Remember, there is no such thing as being gluten-free 99% of the time! You have to be gluten-free 100% of the time. One itsy bitsy exposure, can set off an autoimmune response that could take up to 6 months to heal! I’ll give you the good news later in the post but for now, let me explain why this post is so heavy on my heart. I want to drive this point “home” so you don’t have to suffer like I did before I figured all this out. Make sure you read til the end because I am covering all kinds of situations and the good news is towards the end of the post. For me, this post was intense to write and may be intense to read but please do take the time to read the whole thing. It might save you from months (or longer) of troubleshooting your continuing symptoms.
Having the right tools for special treats when on a restricted diet is very helpful. My GAPS Diet has significantly improved the severe symptoms I was having from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I say “special treats” only because when you are on a restricted diet like that of GAPS, SCD, Paleo-type diet, etc, your whole viewpoint of treats is switched from the sweet goodies of the past, like muffins, cookies, candies, etc., to other foods that are as convenient to grab but much better for you! Of course, they will be only convenient to grab, if you have made them in advance. That’s just the way it is when you have to make almost everything from scratch. So today I am going to describe how I have been helped tremendously by dehydrating food and snacks for myself while traveling as well as keeping myself emotionally satisfied with my diet. I have to admit, getting creative has been a by-product of a healthy diet. There may be people who will not be able to eat the same foods as what I might be showing here, however, in some cases, I have earned these foods back by the GAPS Diet. What was indigestible 18 months or so ago, I have been able to add back in, which makes these treats much more of a “treat” for me.
As most of you know, I have been attempting to help my Hashimotos Thyroiditis by following the GAPS Diet protocol. I’ve been on the GAPS Diet for over a year now and the hardest stretch for me was a few months ago when I had to stay away from my gluten free kitchen and spend days on end at the hospital during my Mom’s serious battle with pneumonia which she unfortunately lost at the end of February this year. For about 3 months, I was unable to do my “regular routine” of broth, supplements, and other habits I had been implementing over the months prior. I thought this post would consist of how I successfully stuck to the diet even while being away from my kitchen while having to eat most days at the hospital. On top of the logistical problems, there was the great amount of stress not knowing if she was going to live day by day. I had a very close relationship with my Mother so this was a devastating time for me. One thing that motivated me the most was how I knew beyond a doubt that I would not be able to function without eating right during this time. I felt I needed to do this for myself as well as for my Mom. If I would have gotten gluten even ONCE, I would have been severely sick for close to a week and may not have been able to make it to the hospital to be by my Mom’s side. So my motivation was to be healthy for her and be there as much as possible. A year ago, I was so sick before starting the GAPS Diet, I would have never been able to pull this schedule off, let alone be “healthy” during this time!