Sunday, 15 May 2011

Testing the waters

I've spoken before about my denial of having any reaction to gluten, despite the obvious and I think even when I found out that I was a coeliac I didn't really think that there would be that much of a difference in my overall health. Thankfully I was really wrong! It's funny how you get so used to feeling run down, tired and you get used to the puffer fish that it just becomes your normal.

I was keen to start the diet straight away and headed to the supermarket to stock up on as many gluten free products as I could. Not that there was that many! My first choice of cereal was gluten free cornflakes with berries (blaah!! rather tasteless!), I later resorted to GF coco bombs, not the healthiest alternative but they had some flavour.

I stuck to the diet, starting cooking with GF flours and started to feel better. It wasn't as hard to pull up my jeans and I could go out without the fear of the puffer fish emerging! People started commenting on how good I looked and the bags under my eyes started to disappear!

It was a few weeks into the diet when I decided I would test the waters and see how much of an effect gluten had on me, I ate 1 chicken nugget.  Within 30 minutes the puffer fish emerged, the pains and wind started and I felt like crap! I forgot what it was like to be so bloated, it feels like you need to relieve the pressure in your stomach by poking it with some pins (please don't try this!). My husband and I had planned to go on a date night and see a movie, put I couldn't fit into my pants and even with the old pull up style pants I looked 4 months pregnant and was just feeling too crap to go out. So I put the tracky (sweater for USA readers) pants on and we stayed in a watched a DVD!

Theory well and truly proven, I definitely had a massive reaction to gluten. Before I started the diet I could have eaten a nugget and had not nearly the effect on me that it did after the diet. I guess the build up of gluten in my system just meant that I was so used to it. I'm sure that it would have been affecting me and doing some damage though.

Diet works, and no intentionally eating gluten for me! I'm amazed when I hear that people occasionally will eat a McDonalds cheeseburger and deal with consequences of eating gluten! Of all the things that you could possibly eat with gluten in it, a McDonald's cheeseburger! Seriously WTF!

Morale of the story folks stick to the gluten free diet, it's not worth the consequences.

Recipe of the Day
Creamy Chicken Pasta

Serves 4 adults
2 Chicken breasts, chopped
150g diced bacon
6 mushrooms (medium sized), sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup chopped butter
1 cup cream
3/4 cup shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese

Coat the bottom of a large saucepan with olive oil, heat, add garlic and bacon on medium/high heat for a few minutes. Add chopped chicken, oregano, rosemary, thyme (add more herbs according to your taste) and pepper to the pan and put lid on saucepan. Add mushrooms to pan and reduce heat to low.

Sauce: Melt better in a saucepan, add cream and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add Parmesan cheese and stir in well, ensuring cheese melts. Add pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary (season to taste, adding more pepper and rosemary if you like).

Drain the oil from the chicken, return to stove top and add extra herbs and pepper to taste. Add the sauce to the chicken dish and mix through on low heat.

Serve with rice noodles or gluten free pasta. I made this dish for my husband, sister and brother in law, I cooked them normal pasta and myself rice noodles. Cook rice noodles or pasta as per instructions on packet, rice noodles are best if soaked in boiling water for at least 5 minutes.

Place pasta or noodles in pasta bowls and top with creamy chicken.