I took a tiny piece of pepperoni from the top of Scot's slice of pizza. I forgot how long it had been until that moment. It's been about two years since I've had pizza.
Pizza used to be my absolute favorite food. I could eat it every day if I could. Breakfast. Lunch. And dinner. I could never tire of pizza. Ever.
But since going gluten free, I gave it up. I tried alternatives--pizza with gluten free crust. I wasn't impressed. Plus, I can no longer eat cheese. And what's pizza without a good crust and no cheese?
The pepperoni tasted sooo good. It reminded me of how much I loved pizza. But honestly, I don't miss pizza. Not anymore. Ok, I did just for just that moment. While I was chewing on the pepperoni, I did. And every time Scot took a bite and let out a "hmmm," I did. But once the pepperoni taste left my taste buds, and once Scot finished his slice, and the aroma of pizza disappeared, I moved on.
I was going home to eat my dinner - brown rice and lentils with chopped fresh tomato on top, sprinkled with olive oil and sea salt. I was looking forward to it. Seriously, I was.
Two years ago, I didn't even know what a lentil was. My idea of eating healthy before was small portions, not so much what I ate. Except I did try to eat low fat. Sugar doesn't contain fat so I ate a lot of that (crazy I know). I can't eat much of that anymore either. As I've "matured in age" it now causes tummy weight gain and hot flashes (yes, hot flashes!).
I have UN-intentionally turned into a healthier eater. I'm not a health nut though. We went out with a couple once who couldn't stop talking about how unhealthy certain foods were-- the exact foods Scot and I had ordered from the menu. I'm not like that. And I'm not actually healthy all the time. I still eat sugar, and just yesterday bought a bag of gluten free chocolate chip cookies and ate practically the entire bag. It wasn't a huge bag, but definitely a bag meant for more than one person. Scot had a few and came home from work the next day asking, "any cookies left?" Followed by my "nope, all gone." Followed by his facetious "where'd they go?"
I used to have sugar everyday, in some form. And I don't mean fruit. I was addicted to it. Seriously. And I probably still am. That's why when I just have a little I want more. When Scot and I first married, he brought home a box of Hostess HoHo's (remember those? ). I couldn't believe it. It was like he commited a deadly sin. I told him he could never bring boxes of anything with sugar home. Ever. Or I'd eat the whole thing. He thought I was crazy.
When I was single it was only me and I could control what food I kept at home, and when I wanted sugar I would go to Seven-Eleven and buy just one sweet thing, not a whole box. That's how I kept my weight down. A whole box of Hostess Hoho's? It was easy for Scot. He could eat just one, and the sweets would be around for a while. Not me. I keep eating it until it's all gone, thinking it's better to get it out of here fast so I don't eat anymore.
It's really better for me to stay away from sugar altogether. But that's not realistic. So I do have something sweet one or two times a week. It can still be a problem though, if I buy a multi-serving bag of something (like the cookies I mentioned above) I want all of it. I figured the bag of cookies the other day was okay since I don't eat sweets as much. When Scot brings sweets home now I'm not bothered because if it's not gluten free I won't touch it. I can actually go a whole week without the junk sugar as long as I eat fruit as a replacement.
Going gluten free and eating drastically less sugar, I have lost 20 pounds and it came off fast without even trying or exercising. (I gained a total of about forty over the past few years...shhh don't tell anyone.) But I didn't decrease sugar or go gluten free to lose weight. Both were having negative affects on my health.
I started noticing that when I ate a lot of sugar, I would get hot flashes. I googled it and sure enough there were other women who experienced the same thing with sugar. If you're perimenopausal or menopausal and you're getting hot flashes, pay attention to what you're eating to see if any particular food is promoting it. It also happens if I eat a lot of potatoes or white rice because those convert to sugar once digested. So I stay away from those too.
It took a while to realize that gluten was the culprit behind a lot of other symptoms I was having for a long time. It seemed like my body was rejecting a lot of foods I'd eaten for a long time without any problems. But looking back I think gluten has been a problem for years but in the last couple of years it's gotten worse. I'm seeing all of this as God telling me to take extra good care of my body and the life He's given me.
In all this I also realize that there is life after pizza. I would never have thought I'd be living a pizza free life.