Sparkly & Slimming….a Weight Loss Blog

Samantha's journey to slim down, while remaining sparkly!

Biscuit Face (or adventures in gluten)

on December 17, 2012

2 weeks without blogging make me a sad panda! Sorry guys, I had a ton to say – but I never found a half hour to sit and write it all down. Ironically I’m wide awake @ 3am on Sunday morning this jotting all this down on my Blackberry. Eh, such is life! 😉

Right before I left for 2 weeks in LA I started reading up on gluten-allergies. I don’t think I have celiac disease – but I do think I may have a sensitivity to gluten. All the things I’ve ignored for years (stomach aches, bloating, cramps) can be attributed to gluten! Who knew?! I started chatting with friends and friends of friends (Judy!)  and time after time the book “Wheat Belly” was mentioned. So here I am in LA realizing just how much gluten I eat (oatmeal, sandwiches, crackers, pita chips, baguettes w/ soup…) – the list was INSANE. One of my LA co-workers and friends, Darren is gluten-free. I bombard him with questions for days (poor guy). Then I’m at a dinner party he and his gf are hosting and I stop in the hall to chat with someone – staring at me from a bookcase is a copy of “Wheat Belly”! So I borrow it – and man is it ENLIGHTENING! I highly recommend it. Speaking of – I need to mail that back. LOL!


The author jokes that as a society we are obsessed with wheat. So much so that he could have called the book wheat belly or biscuit face or pretzel butt. Biscuit face me me giggle.

Rather than try to go 100% GF in Los Angeles, I decided to try tracking my food in regards to what I ate with gluten and how I felt after. Indian without the naan? No stomach ache! (Side note: I always thought it was the spices in Indian that made me feel yucky – now I wonder!).  Mexican w/ tortillas + chips? Stomach ache. London broil with parsnip/cauliflower puree and asparagus? No stomach ache. Flatbread pizza with garlic, pesto + pine nuts? Cramps, stomach pain + horrible bloat the next day. In fact the pizza (from 800 degrees) was phenomenal tasting but I actually woke up in the middle of the night feeling like I might die. So the meals with gluten gave me the sicky feeling?   Hmmmm I might be on to something here!!

Like I mentioned, I’ve always had these yucky stomach feelings but I’ve ignored them – or chalked them up to something else (sensitive stomach, waiting too long to eat, hung over from the night before). Now I’m thinking I actually was suffering from a wheat hangover! My go-to foods are always carbs – bagels w/ cream cheese, crackers and cheese, cake (and cupcakes), pasta with sauces and garlic bread. I am *addicted* to wheat! And honestly, I think most of America is!!

So how did I do with the rest of my challenges in LA? Good I think. You guys know dessert is my weakness – well I only indulged 3 times in 13 days! Once I split a brownie and twice I had crème brûlée. Not bad. I even avoided a delicious looking piece of coconut layer cake and a mocha fudge cupcake! I did indulge in wine – but at 125 calories a glass its a far better caloric choice than coconut layer cake at 600 calories a slice! :o) Exercise? Yeaaa well I did OK. I walked my ass off. I got 10,000 plus steps EVERY day – win! I only got 2 gym workouts and 2 barre workouts in – not my best effort.  I stuck to my calories nearly everyday but I sucked at getting my water in – shocking given that’s usually the easiest thing for me! I definitely felt the effects of that all weekend. I was retaining water terribly and felt like the marshmallow man. Awful. I’m happy to say today I’m back to 100% (and looking forward to a barre ASS KICKING from Jess tonight in legs – yeah!)

I am sad to say I fell off on elf4health – a few of the challenges while I was away were near impossible. Clean out your fridge? I’m in a hotel – no fridge. Planning meals? Eh not really plausible when you’re at a customer’s facility at their mercy for meals. 🙂  But, no excuses! Onward – upward!

This weeks challenges are:

Monday, December 17  Do a circuit workout today!

Tuesday, December 18  Treat yourself to something you’ve been craving!

Wednesday, December 19   Bake cookies! Find a healthier recipe to try or make some healthy swaps to an old favorite

Thursday, December 20  Winter is the perfect time for casseroles! Make a casserole for dinner tonight. Add extra veggies and go easy on the cheese and sauce.

Friday, December 21  Pay it forward! Do something nice for someone else.

Saturday, December 22  Going to a holiday party? Eat a snack before you go, choose water and split dessert

Today’s circuit may be this one:


Saturday is Derek’s birthday dinner – I think we’re doing a family thing at a nice steakhouse so I know dessert will be tempting! That challenge falls perfectly. 🙂

Oh and I have a new elf for last week and this week!  She is an American living in Kuwait! Check out her blog here: Jessie Loves to Run

Shout-out to my previous elf, Christy whom I’ve kept emailing. So cool to meet people from other walks of life!  Seattle scientist mom of 2? Not someone I’d normally encounter ~ now I’m glad I did! 🙂

So, now that I’ve read “Wheat Belly” and survived 2 weeks of travel what’s next? How can successfully avoid gluten in the coming weeks during holiday chaos? Compromise. I know I shouldn’t eat potatoes – but I *really* shouldn’t eat garlic bread. I can keep within my number + still feel satisfied without all the carbs – I know I can! It’s going to take some thought – because carbs are my default food. But, I think I’ve got this. I’ll be interested to compare how I feel (and what I weigh) a month from now!

Have any gluten-free recipes/foods you love? Please send them my way! I’d love to hear about new foods (or new combos) I need to try. Have a “Is there gluten in this food?” Android app? Please let me know! 😉


7 responses to “Biscuit Face (or adventures in gluten)

  1. D.James says:

    Saturday IS my birthday…that was my favorite part of the article hahahaha…Your doing great dude seriously

  2. It took me years to realize I had a gluten issue. One day I was talking with a friend about Atkins vs. weight watchers and said something about feeling great when I do Atkins and i couldn’t figure out what the difference is, and my friend mentioned gluten. I have the stomach problems and the added lovely bonus of water retention when I eat gluten. I can tell a huge difference when I’m being good. Thanks for the book suggestion, I’m going to check it out. I have also fallen off of Elf4Health somewhat (the challenges,not the emailing), but I really want to get back in the swing of things this week! I love the aspect of meeting new people too. Good luck with the challenges this week!

  3. Curt says:

    I’m interested in what you see for results in cutting gluten, I have a friend who is convinced that gluten is evil. I like to point out that gluten has basically made life possible for 2000+ years, loads of people basically survive on bread. That said I know carbs are a big part of the problem for many of us. I gots no answers and I’m reasonably sure that anybody who says they do have answers is mostly full of it.

  4. Jolene says:

    Wow, so interesting about gluten! Keep it up and see if it’s your culprit! that was probably so enlightening! I’ll wave on my way out from subbing Julianna’s classes tonight as you hit up legs! Welcome home!

  5. Jess Sutera says:

    Totally agree with my sis on this one (shocker) — stick with it, it really does sound like gluten is NOT your bff, and honestly could result in some really healthy food swaps in your day-to-day eats. This could be the shake-up you need to keep making progress AND to feel better overall, you know? So interesting! PS brace yourself: legs will hurt tonight. 😉

  6. Heather says:

    OMG, I wish I would’ve read your blog post before I emailed you! We definitely have that in common! I was diagnosed with a wheat allergy as a kid and just “assuemd” I outgrew it. Um, yeah, not so much. After dealing with the stomach pain, cramps, bloating and feeling sluggish I tried going gluten free but I’m such a wheat addict. That’s when a friend got me going low carb….which basically cut out the wheat. I feel SO much better. It’s amazing. Like I said in my email….my skin has cleared up as well. Since that point I’ve founda few articles that link the wheat allergy/bad skin issue. I’ve never felt better than I do right now! I have a recipe for a kickass almond flour pizza crust if you’re interested! 🙂

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