Bad Food Romance

Gluten-free fish tacos with a spicy cabbage slaw.

Right now, I’m in a bad relationship with food. It’s temporary, thankfully, but it’s all too reminiscent of those days before I realized gluten was my mortal enemy. I do not miss those days. Not one little bit.

The end result of this bad relationship is that I’m going to have to exercise even more caution when it comes to my diet. My gallbladder is the culprit, and its removal is the cure. According to all the literature, I can, theoretically, eat anything I want. That freedom comes with a huge caveat.

Mostly, this involves eating smaller, more frequent meals, something I’ve practiced since I started this current (and pretty darn successful!) weight loss program. I will also need to be cautious about the fats and other foods I ingest. Compared to a gluten-free diet, this feels incredibly doable.

Seriously, I think my training when it comes to taking care about what I eat has made a huge difference in my attitude about this new curveball life has thrown me. Before, I would have focused on deprivation. Now I think about possibilities!

I know it will take me a while to find balance in my new diet, and I fully expect some mishaps along the way. But if it turns out I, like a good friend of mine, can’t eat cashews, well, I can’t eat cashews (though I sincerely hope this is not the case; I do love cashews!). Since I started my gluten-free journey, I’ve discovered a huge world of great foods, and don’t see this new phase in my life as changing that.

Today I talked to a friend who has (non-physical, self-imposed) dietary restrictions. He sees his limitations as a bonus — no need to make the big decisions when it comes to food. I see them as the equivalent of crawling into a cave and wondering what the rest of the world is doing…when it’s so easy just to poke around and discover new things.

Food is a discovery, and if there’s an upside to celiac, it’s that I’ve learned to expand my palate in ways I may not have considered if this hadn’t happened. I’m looking forward to discovering where my stomach takes me next. And I’m looking forward to, well, life without my super-pesky gallbladder!

How have you handled dietary restrictions? What kind of curveballs have you faced? How have you handled them?

Tip of the Week

There is apparently a link between celiac disease and gallbladder problems. If you feel weird, unusual, or frequent pains in the upper right quadrant of your abdomen or back, talk to your doctor. My pains were, helpfully, nowhere close to my gallbladder (relatively speaking), but good questions from my doctor helped me get a diagnosis *before* I ended up in the emergency room!

Gluten-Free Meal of the Week

The first casualty of my pre-surgery diet has been mashed potatoes. Seriously, what kind of world do we live in where mashed potatoes are the enemy? Imagine my surprise when I was in agony after a (small, I swear!) second helping of mashed potatoes.

And apparently a bun-free cheeseburger with avocado and fried egg? Okay, not the smartest thing in the world, but with surgery a mere two days out, I took that risk. I was happy while consuming the meal, and cranky with myself after.

What has worked — in big, comforting way — has been tacos. It’s easy enough to cut back on the cheese, to add just a smidge of guacamole or avocado (small amounts seem fine), and to focus on relatively lean meats and fish. Plus, you know, there are a million ways to make a taco.

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