Oftentimes, I hear from people who have recently adopted a gluten-free lifestyle and a common complaint seems to be that they feel hungry. I too felt this way at first and I realized that until we learn to manage what we eat and replace those filling gluten filled foods with alternative gluten-free, healthy choices, this feeling will persist. It is all about “adjusting.”
I recently ran across an article published by fellow blogger, Pam Jordan, who tackles this issue and offers some sound advise. Please take a look and hopefully you will be able to glean some useful information from it.
Eating Gluten Free is not always easy or fun. For example, when you have to pass up tasty food at family events, work events (http://mylifewithfoodallergies.com/index/survive-dreaded-work-lunch-meeting-food-allergies/), or when eating out. Often times you can get the feeling of being left out.
Last week I went to a work event at a local brewery; yes I know the location wasn’t ideal. The tables were filled with piles of fresh soft pretzels, nachos, quesadillas and fried pickles. None of this was safe to eat for this Gluten Free girl. I ordered my glass of red wine, chatted with people and tried to hide my sadness of missing all the yummy food. The tour of the brewery was another rough spot as I just stood in the back and forced a smile. While everyone enjoyed their dinners of cheeseburgers and fish tacos, I quietly searched my phone for local Gluten Free restaurants that I could hit on my way home.
During these times it is hard to be Gluten Free, it is hard to be different, it is hard to say no, and it is hard to go without. These are the days where I eat more calories after 9pm then I did all day long.
You see, during the day I plan well and bring healthy food to work. I limit my snacking to veggies, cheese, nuts, yogurt and other healthy options. Lunch is normally dinner leftovers or salads. I create balanced dinners for our family (http://mylifewithfoodallergies.com/index/gluten-free-menu-planning/). So before 9pm I normally am well behaved and eat healthy Gluten Free food.
But… on days where I had to say no to tasty looking pretzels, pizza, cupcakes, onion rings, or many other gluten-filled options I devour food after 9pm. The house is quiet with the kids in bed, hubby is doing hubby stuff, and so I’m left with social media and snacks. Some evenings I can resist the urge of the junk food calling my name but more often than not I fail miserably. I even went six weeks without buying any potato chips since they are a huge weakness for me.
Turns out I’m not alone in this struggle. I have chatted with a number of Gluten Free people in the past few weeks who also struggle with this late night eating. One lady said that she just feels so left out when she sees her family eating food she can’t have that when she gets home she just loads up on Gluten Free carbs. Another said she eats like a teenager at night and eats a bunch of junk food.
o say I am excelling in this area and having restraint is a huge understatement. There are many nights where food is my comfort for going without during the day. But there are days where I overcome my junk food eating urges and make good choices. So I offer some tips below that we can all follow and encourage each other with.
Here are some tips to help you not inhale 1,000 calories after 9pm:
– Brush your teeth at 8:50pm, that way you are “done” eating
– Have chopped veggies and a dip like hummus ready, no one wants to chop veggies at 9pm
– Make pre-portioned snack bags of dried fruits and nuts
– Get low-calorie mini-bags of popcorn
– Eat a small bowl of cereal
– Snack on apple slices with a nut butter or seed butter
For me I take this struggle day by day. Some days I go to bed with a belly full of chips and dip while others I claim victory.
So often we ignore the emotional aspect of living Gluten Free or avoiding other food items (link to article http://mylifewithfoodallergies.com/index/the-ups-and-downs-of-celiac-disease/ ). No matter what age you are there are still sad times. Even our three year olds notice that their cupcake doesn’t look the same as everyone else’s at a party. We as a community need to encourage one another during our bad days and cheer each other when we have good days. The only way we can live without is if we live together.
It is now 9pm and I’m going to brush my teeth!
About Pam Jordan
“I’m a Celiac” is a blog about living Gluten Free with Celiac Disease. In January 2011 Pam Jordan was diagnosed and shortly after began to write about her journey of living Gluten Free. As a working mom, she struggled to make good, healthy, Gluten Free meals every day. ImaCeliac.com is where she posts recipes, restaurant, travel and product reviews and the occasional giveaway. Her goal and hope is that people will read about her journey and find a story, recipe or review that will encourage them to keep living Gluten Free. Visit her blog at www.imaceliac.com