And so begins 14 days without gluten… or advice.

on April 9, 2012 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 44 comments by

This blog post comes in three parts. You’re welcome for the warning.

. . . . .

Part 1. Happy Easter.

I hope yesterday was really awesome for you. I get to attend Cross Point twice each Sunday [once in the morning with friends and once in the evening to serve] and I am so glad. The service was amazing- Pete was spot on in his preaching and the staff serves like crazy from start to finish. I my church.

Part 2. Gluten-Free.

You guys. Get this. So I think you know, but I get pretty severe migraines. They sometimes go away for months, but then will come back with a vengeance. I have a couple of triggers- one weird one being if I run late in the mornings and have to hustle and bustle to get ready, I’m guaranteed a visit from the migraine fairy around 3pm. So bizarro.

I also have some food triggers- I can’t eat dark chocolate or pork [whah. I love bacon and ham!] and I can’t drink caffeine or red wine. Most recently I have heard a LOT of folks telling me that gluten is a migraine trigger for some. Because I would m.u.c.h. rather control my headaches naturally than taking pills, my chiropractor has me doing two weeks gluten free.

[Some websites say go 1-2 months without gluten and I’m all, “Don’t go there” and then I’m all, “WHAT KIND OF WORLD IS THIS WHEN WHEAT BRINGS ME PAIN?!?”]

Any of you guys out there gluten-free? Help me! Tell me what you know. Share your wisdom. If this dietary change can knock these migraines out, I will sadly wave goodbye to my favorite food group [CARBS!] for the promise of a headache free future.

Speaking of telling me what you know….

Part 3. Advice free.

I am such a people pleaser. When I find myself in situations that I don’t necessarily know RIGHT AWAY the best thing to do, I ask for advice. That’s a good thing until you are taking in SO MUCH advice that you no longer trust yourself and you are trying to make the decisions your friends tell you to because you want to make them happy. Like this graph explains:

[You’d be embarrassed for me if I told you how long that took me to make.]

In a few situations lately, I’ve felt very immature and incapable of doing the right thing. But I think it is because of the chart – I have told myself that I cannot trust my own heart, I can only trust the knowledge of others.

Not true.

God lives in me. Wisdom and Godly counsel are REALLY good things, but when wisdom from others supersedes your desire to listen to Jesus in you, tis a problem.

I have a problem.

So I’ve warned the 10ish people that I look to for advice that I’m taking a fourteen day break.

I’m just going to live. Pray. Talk to God. And do the best I can– I may make mistakes, I may make decisions that other people won’t agree with [it makes me feel nervous just to type that], and I may cry a lot because I feel alone and scared and like I am going to screw up my life [I am not]. But I have to learn to trust the Holy Spirit in me more than I trust the friends that God has given to me.

. . . . .

So pretty much what I’m saying is that for the next fourteen days, I have to live without two of my favorite things: carbs and other people’s approval. My friend Allison says I may be in for a bit of an emotional rollercoaster – losing the comfort of carbs while also choosing to walk some paths alone – with God, but without the other voices.

Sounds like a great time. [sarcasm]

I’m scared.

In the words of Carrie Underwood, Jesus take the wheat.

[PS- seriously. Still give me gluten-free advice. That does NOT fit in the “no advice” category- it’s different. I promise.]


  1. Patricia
    posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 4:24 AM  |  reply

    There’s a growing variety of gluten-free products available–breads, cookies, cake mixes, flour, cereal bars, waffles…I think there are even chicken nuggets in gluten-free coating. (The breads tend to be in the frozen aisle rather than the bread aisle.) I know Whole Foods carries a wide variety of such products. Trader Joe’s probably does, too, though I can’t say for sure. And, as growing numbers of people with celiac disease and kids with autism go on such diets, gluten-free foods seem to be more commonly available in mainstream markets, too–check especially (though not only) with the organic products.
    Hope this helps. 🙂 Good luck! Migraines are AWFUL–I get them, too.

  2. Mama Downs
    posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 5:34 AM  |  reply

    Udi’s gluten-free bread from Trader Joe’s. Kimberly Chalk told me about it and it is really good.

    • posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 11:38 AM  |  reply

      You can get it other places, too!

  3. posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 5:39 AM  |  reply is a great source of online recipes. Also, if you google gluten-free you’ll find a bunch of websites with lists of what ingredients to avoid. You know, those big long chemical names… I actually followed my chiropractors advice and went 3 mo without gluten. It was a long hard road but totally worth it. 3 months, I am told, is the magic number in that it gives your body time to heal. In fact, some can sloooowwwwllly introduce gluten (or whatever allergy) back into their diet and will have “grown out of” the allergy/sensitivity. Right now, my son was told to stay away from corn for 3 mo b/c of migraines. He is almost 15 and that is like telling him not to drink water. Corn (syrup and a ton of corn-products) are in everything. So, we totally feel your pain.

  4. posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 6:15 AM  |  reply

    No advice, just prayers to the Father on your behalf right now.

  5. lil_lyndie
    posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 7:54 AM  |  reply

    No gluten free advice here, just wanted to say… I sat down to read your book on Saturday and finisehd it quite soon there after. And not because it was an easy read, my heart was quite convicted 🙂 So thank you for at least trusting in your heart long enough to write that book. It is awesome.

  6. Rebecca
    posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:04 AM  |  reply

    I am gluten-free (5 years now). It’s not so bad…. but you need to read every single label. Bummer, I know. Rudi’s and Udi’s sliced bread (usually in the organic/natural freezer section) is good, very good if you make a grilled cheese sandwich with it!! Also, Wendy’s chili is gluten free and Chick-fil-A’s grilled salads are GF. CFA also has grilled nuggets now, although you will need to tell them they need to be GF (they will likely make fresh since cross contamination may be an issue). Feel free to email me if you need more info. PS – There is nothing I have wanted that I haven’t been able to create GF! Prayers for you.

  7. posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:30 AM  |  reply

    Here’s what I know about gluten-free. Mary’s Gone Crackers are DELICIOUS and I eat them even though I have no issues with the gluten.

    Also, Haribo gummi bears are gluten-free.

    • posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 11:40 AM  |  reply

      Very true! AND! Nut-Thins are good too!
      And Popchips! (But most potato and corn chips are gluten free)

  8. Megan
    posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:45 AM  |  reply

    I’m praying for you, Annie.

  9. posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 8:50 AM  |  reply

    Walmart has a gluten free section too.
    Which can help with the cost of being gluten free.

    And keep in mind that it may not be gluten either, I’m having to get off sugar…other than the natural type do to stomach issues. And I had some this weekend…totally could tell right away that I had eaten something I should not have eaten. 🙁

    It can be rough but I think you can do it!!

  10. Sarah
    posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 9:12 AM  |  reply

    I totally understand the motivation for going GF! My weird migraine trigger is if I sleep in too long in the morning, I will get a migraine that night. It’s terrible!
    I’d never thought of going GF for migraines, now I might try it though. I’m interested to see if it works for you. I’ve tried going preservative-free and eating fresh food, which I think helps.

  11. posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 9:27 AM  |  reply

    Annie, I read the title to this post and my reaction was: SHUT UP! Just last week, I conceded on needing to try a 14 day GF diet to see if it will help with my lifelong eczema (it could help with my sleep issues, too.) I have resisted this for 2 years, though I am familiar with GF because my best friend’s husband has celiac and ulcerative colitis. I haven’t decided which day to start GF but it’ll be sometime in the next week. I need to go to Whole Foods and buy all the alternate items. The good thing is I already know the brands that Joel prefers so it makes shopping that much easier. If you want to go to Whole Foods together sometime this week, let me know.

  12. Mallory
    posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 9:31 AM  |  reply

    Look what I read the other day:
    “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.” 1 John 2:27
    You can do this!

    When I lived in Africa, we lived with a girl who was gluten free. They didn’t have already made stuff to buy in the store. So we had to cook everything from scratch and find so many ways around it. Needless to say it was TOUGH.

    So you can go to the store here and easily find things that are gluten free. Everything is clearly labeled with or without gluten. So yes it will be hard, but it could be harder! So thank God for easily accessible groceries in America!

  13. Alexandra
    posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 9:35 AM  |  reply

    Wow, you’re brave! Two big challenges at once, and I’m sure that you’ll handle them well.
    My advice about the gluten is stock up on food that you CAN eat, and that you already know you enjoy (like bananas 🙂 and make these 2 weeks an adventure. Look for fun stuff in the gluten free sections and try something new every day or every other day. If you make it fun, you’re more likely to stick to it. Also… stay away from any place that has fresh bread smells!!!! They will drive you nuts!!!!
    About the not asking for advice… here’s my advice… :D…
    Just kidding, I pray that these two weeks will be a time of renewing your dependance on God and the authority he has given you over your own life.

  14. posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 10:38 AM  |  reply

    You can already guess my one piece of gluten-free advice: LARABARs.

    Seriously. Send me your address, and I’ll stock you up.

  15. ~VA~
    posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 11:21 AM  |  reply

    gluten free: skittles (one of the things I will do almost anything for)…

    not gluten free: many brands of lip gloss, some medications

    good luck!

  16. posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 11:28 AM  |  reply

    I’ve been gluten free for the past few months- and I feel like a different person. I am loving everything about it.
    My big tips for shopping are:
    -Kroger has the best prices
    -Whole Foods is most clearly labeled
    -Trader Joes has some stuff, but it’s not all labeled clearly.

    I LOVE LaraBars. Great for a take with you snack.

    Good restaurants:
    -any Mexican (especially Chipotle)
    -Jimmy Johns
    -PF Changs

    I hope it goes well! AND! I hope that you feel better!!

  17. justanotherabbigail
    posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 2:12 PM  |  reply

    A big one to watch out for: modified food starch contains gluten. Modified corn starch is okay, and food starch is okay, but NOT modified food starch. And its in a lot of things you wouldn’t think about (soda, canned veggies, etc.)and most LIGHT or LOWFAT products (creepy, huh?). In addition to the wheat and grains, don’t eat modified food starch. Also, beer brats (beer is made from wheat!) have gluten, and make sure not to eat any food prepared on a surface that also processes gluten (grill that toasts buns, fryers that fry flour tortilla chips, etc.). McDonald’s is the easiest place to eat out (sadly) because they have nationwide standards for cross-contamination in fryers. Prayers are with you!

  18. posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 3:31 PM  |  reply

    Best gluten free advice I can give….Read every label. I’ve been gluten free for 8 years. I adore corn spaghetti. You can get it at Trader Joes and health food stores. Cooks pretty much like regular pasta and you can’t tell a taste difference. The other thing I can’t live without is Udi’s Plain Gluten free bagels. They taste just like regular bagels and I can’t live without them. 🙂 As for the taking others advice?? I look forward to hearing how you’re doing with it. Praying for you to hear clearly from God.

  19. posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 3:52 PM  |  reply

    Read labels!
    I’m dairy free, it’s hard but it is doable.
    One of my favorite dairy free sites has a TON of gf recipes

    There is also an online magazine called “living without”

    Good luck!

  20. Jo
    posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 5:21 PM  |  reply

    SO many people would benefit from being GF!! It isn’t even so much that people are gluten intolerant, but that wheat is so genetically modified these days that it is horrific for your system!!! I *try* to be GF and (refined) sugar free as much as I can. It’s hard though. Everything that is good has sugar or wheat in it!!! I too suffer from migraines and going GF was a huge help for me!!!

  21. Libby
    posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 5:40 PM  |  reply

    Sometimes being gluten free is the worst thing ever but there are SO many more good products out there than there used to be, whole foods has a great selection-I love bread and Udi’s Millet Chia ancient grains gluten free bread is the best gluten free option I’ve found. Also if you’re a crackers person Glutino table crackers are delicious. If you get gluten free pasta make sure you let it cook longer than you would normal pasta or it doesn’t get soft enough. Annie’s gluten free rice mac and cheese is the best if you need to feel like you can eat normal food. Honey nut chex are great AND cheap if you like cereal and if you feel like getting creative you can make chicken with it- SO GOOD. good luck being gluten free, I promise once you get used to it it’s not that bad 🙂

  22. merideth
    posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 6:28 PM  |  reply

    If you are friends with Laura Kirkland on facebook you should message her. She and her family have changed their eating a lot, and I think they are glutan free.
    I hear you on the people pleasing and advice thing. Would love to know how you do with that. Might help me. Praying for you these couple of weeks.

  23. Sarah
    posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 6:47 PM  |  reply

    Just to make you feel not so alone, know that other people are having to give up foods they love also. Probably about a month and a half ago, I had to give up all things tomato cause it was making me feel sick to my stomach all the time. That means no salsa, which was practically my life blood, no ketchup, not bbq sauce, no tomatos, no spaghetti, no creole seasoning.
    Yeah. Ouch.
    So when you start feeling bad, know that you aren’t the only one! And I don’t know about Nashville, but at Kroger here there is like an entire SECTION with gluten free and a HUGE selection of LaraBars. THEY. ARE. AWESOME.
    Good luck Annie! May God woo you in this time you are searching for more of Him!!!

  24. gmh
    posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 9:27 PM  |  reply

    I hope you find relief from your migraines. You might want to get a second opinion from a doctor. It’s easy to blame gluten (the current “evil” food), but what if you just need to reduce your salt intake?
    I’m not saying that is the case, I am not a doctor. I’m just saying to be careful which bandwagon you jump on.
    Ok, no more advice- just prayers!

  25. posted on Apr 09, 2012 at 10:04 PM  |  reply

    You can do it!

  26. cathy
    posted on Apr 10, 2012 at 5:11 AM  |  reply

    hope you are okay now.You can do it.Keep on praying.

  27. posted on Apr 10, 2012 at 10:23 AM  |  reply

    jesus take the wheat…LOL…LOL…LOL good one.

  28. posted on Apr 10, 2012 at 1:19 PM  |  reply

    Hi Annie, My friend has had some similar health issues and is blogging about it (and some yummy recipes also!) Check her out at I’ll be praying!

  29. Amy
    posted on Apr 10, 2012 at 2:20 PM  |  reply

    Your words continue to impact me, dear Annie. I have recently made the tough decision to leave England & come back to the States, and pursue something that I believe God is telling me to do. My parents don’t agree, even though they are believers, which has been tough. So, what you said about learning to trust the Holy Spirit IN ME really encouraged me!

  30. jennifer
    posted on Apr 10, 2012 at 3:17 PM  |  reply

    Annie, this is a sight I have found some good info on as well as some good products to try. I am not gluten free but I have tried to greatly reduce my additional sugar intake and I just like opening myself up to different foods. The big thing for me is eating as clean as possible ( without preservatives or as few as possible…and eating foods whose ingredients I can pronounce) as well as drinking lots of water. This site has helped with that. Best to you. I get migraines too occasionally and this has helped.

  31. emily
    posted on Apr 10, 2012 at 8:25 PM  |  reply

    I just went gluten free last july. I use to get sinus infections every 20-30 days living in Nashville. I haven’t had one since going gluten free. it was very overwhelming at first to go to the grocery store. whole foods is great, but you can get better prices for the same items at kroger & walmart. add jello instant pudding to any cake mix and it will make it the best gluten free cake you’ve ever had. all duncan hines frosting is gluten free. gluten free bisquick is great for chicken strips and pancakes. the more naturally gluten free food you eat the cheaper it will be for you. i.e. veggies, meat no breading, fruits, dairy. lots of restaurants in nashville have gluten free menus. I had the chef at opry backstage grill (near oprymills) come and talk to me how specifically they were gluten free. it was fantastic. mellow mushroom & brixx pizza have gluten free crust. the first month or so was very frustrating, but long term I have felt so much better. it is worth it if works for you.

  32. posted on Apr 10, 2012 at 9:15 PM  |  reply

    Annie if I win this book, I promise to read it, then share it with my entire family of about 300. I will read it then pass it on!

  33. posted on Apr 10, 2012 at 9:17 PM  |  reply

    This is the link to my poetry site.

  34. posted on Apr 11, 2012 at 8:51 PM  |  reply

    Jesus, take the wheat… You kill me! Two things: One, my amazing real life friend Becky has a pretty crazy awesome gluten free blog called that is jam packed with mouth-watering recipes. So, that. And second, that whole thing about being a people pleasing extrovert and all that, that has been such a journey, and is still. Praying for so much peace and quiet confidence in the quieter places these two weeks.

  35. Heidi
    posted on Apr 11, 2012 at 9:40 PM  |  reply

    Annie! I love reading your blog! You are funny, insightful, and encouraging. About gluten free….you don’t have to be carb free to be gluten free. Yippee!! 🙂 There are lots of alternatives. Perhaps they take some getting used to (after all, they’re not good old flour 🙁 ) …. But some aren’t bad. I just discovered the brand “Purely Elizabeth.” yum!! Sugar free and gluten free and delicious! I found her stuff at my local Whole Foods, but found you can order her products on amazon. I have a sister and nephew who both have celiac disease so we’re always on the hunt for g-free food! Hope you find a natural cure for your migraines. – thanks for the blog! If I’m ever is Nashville I want to meet you! :).

  36. Stephanie
    posted on Apr 12, 2012 at 10:04 AM  |  reply

    Wow – that is tough going without advice. I think I understand what you mean, though. It can almost become addicting, for some reason.

    Hope going advice and gluten free goes well for you! I can’t wait to hear your “report” on how things go for you.

  37. Melissa
    posted on Apr 13, 2012 at 8:04 AM  |  reply

    Gluten free is not fun, but others are right – you can find alternatives so much easier now. My absolute favorite bun is Whole Foods hamburger buns. In a freezer near the bakery. Udi’s bagels are good. Glutino products are pretty good. Mostly, you can’t eat in the car, except maybe larabars, so tthat is a good thing for me – no drive-thru. Good luck, and I hope it helps. Migraines are NO fun.

  38. posted on Apr 13, 2012 at 10:15 AM  |  reply

    Hi Annie, I sent you an email about this post because I’m soon to be doing the same thing — gluten wise. I forgot to include a book in the email. It’s by a guy named Doug Kaufman, who apparently is a natural-health guru. I read this book and was pleased because he didn’t consider his advice end all, be all. He recommended still consulting your doctor on any dietary changes. I think it’s more than simply gluten that affects us, but you can read this to learn more. I’m a huge skeptic of non-modern medicine, but what I’ve read here and other places seems to make sense. He has a chapter on headaches, too. I’ve been praying over this dietary change and some other things for a while. There are so many “experts” out there, sometimes it can be hard to discern what’s true and right for you. Good luck!

  39. posted on Apr 15, 2012 at 7:35 PM  |  reply

    I highly recommend this website:

    She has awesome recipes, and she’s allergic to gluten, so most of them are gluten-free. Good luck! 🙂

  40. Kate
    posted on Apr 22, 2012 at 5:07 AM  |  reply

    How did you go with GF? I went GF about 2 years ago….reluctantly!!! I was feeling better within a couple of days and now I wouldn’t go back. I didn’t realize how tired &sluggish I was (not to mention my constantly sore tummy) until I gave it up. My best advice is….focus on eating fresh food and lots of veggies. It’s tempting to load up on GF bread etc, but it’s not that good for you. Don’t get me wrong – I still have a “safe carbs stash” in the pantry but I try to keep it as a small part of my diet. Good luck!! PS – try the gluten free granola on “elana’s pantry” (quoted above)- its Devine!!!

  41. posted on Apr 26, 2012 at 4:08 PM  |  reply

    I’m gluten free and it made a HUGE difference in my health. It’s tempting at first to get all the ‘substitute’ foods, like gluten free cakes and cookies, and those are great! But, remember, a lot of foods are naturally gluten-free to begin with. Fruits, veggies, nuts, meat, etc.
    I will say this: Udi’s Gluten Free bread is the only bread that even remotely tastes like real bread-if you’re not going to bake your own, I highly recommend this.

  42. Melissa
    posted on Apr 26, 2012 at 9:06 PM  |  reply

    Hi Annie,
    Just found your blog today and so appreciate reading thoughts from a fellow single Christian! I stopped eating gluten and dairy this past November in hopes that cutting those out would help with my horrible migraines. The good news is that it did…tremendously! I hope you’re getting some relief. You may have researched this already, but some doctors will also test for food intolerances. (it’s new and a bit controversial) I was very skeptical, but finally did the testing because I was miserable with migraines. The testing was very, very helpful and confirmed my gluten and dairy sensitivities. My migraines are far fewer and much less intense now thankfully! I hope your new diet is working and you’re feeling much better!

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