How did I enter the gluten-free zone? So, about one year ago this week, I embarked upon a three-week cleanse. I was NOT looking forward to it. I would be eliminating all dairy, wheat, caffeine, sugar, alcohol and basically anything else that provided comfort and satiation. I hemmed and hawed. I looked for excuses not to do it. I fantasized about cancelling. I had no secret ambition to become gluten free. But, then bolstered by the fact that my friend, Lori, would be suffering alongside me, and not wanting to hedge from my commitment with nutritionist, Sheila Wagner, I attended the first group meeting. There were two dozen of us meeting in San Rafael, all hoping for different results. I was there to curb my sugar cravings and lose weight, but some wished to get their diabetes under control or just have a better sense of well being. Would we cut the muster? seemed to be the unspoken words in the room. Could we really do this? Three weeks is an awfully long time. We gathered up our supplements and our Detox Companion Kits and dispersed. Inside, we would find supplements, a dry brush, tongue cleaner, drainage drops, an assortment of Yogi herbal teas (to replace our usual caffeine drink of choice), and a lovely packet of Epsom salts with fresh rosemary to detox while we bathed.
Week one brought only a minor, dull headache for around 24 hours, accompanied by fantasies of devouring foods that weren’t on the “approved list” and an occasional sense of overwhelm. I found that I had plenty to eat was consuming more vegetables in one day than I had during the previous two months combined. Then, my body began to signal some changes. I noticed that some of my body aches (i.e., constant bursitis pain in right hip) began to subside. Starting in Week 2, I had more energy, my eyesight seemed better and I looked less “puffy.” At the conclusion of the cleanse, I was buzzing – no longer chained by my chronic sweet tooth and not seeming to care if I ever heard the word “sugar” again.
Post-cleanse, something astonishing happened. I noticed that when I started to add pasta or bread back into my diet, my tummy didn’t like it. I became tired and sluggish and bloated after a piece of pizza. “Yes,” my nutritionist Sheila Wagner confirmed, “I think you’re gluten-intolerant.” I didn’t need to take the formal blood test like my husband did and who discovered as a result that he has Celiac disease because my body was telling me that Gluten was no longer my friend. This revelation would be life changing. Immediately, I began a year-long foray into the gluten free zone. In a phrase, I became a Gluten Freek. I began substituting brown rice pasta dishes, searches for birthday cakes that were not “too dry and cardboard tasting” and conversations with grocers and staff of Trader Joes’s to get their list of gluten free (GF) products. Imagine my delight at discovering Mariposa Bakery – a bakery specializing in all things GF.
Yes, sure it’s best to avoid things like chocolate chip cookies, dinner rolls, pizza, and pumpkin pie, but life goes on and sometimes you really, truly need these things. For example, when our friends Tahd & Theresa recently had a baby, we absolutely had to get a cake for their shower, so of course we went to Mariposa for one of their scrumptious black and white layer cakes. It’s moist, uses a hybrid of rice flour and some other special ingrediets that is their signature, and their creamy frosting is sweet and delicious.
We’ve subsequently enjoyed their GF quiche, chocolate chip cookies, penguinos, croutons, graham crackers, cupcakes and other delectable goodness.
All this is to say that if you were like me and were exercising, trying to eat right (most of the time) and still were having trouble shedding unwanted pounds, you might want to try a little experiment. Give up gluten (i.e., wheat, barley, rye) for a couple of weeks and then slowly add it back into your diet. Or, try one of the cleanses offered by Sheila Wagner throughout the year. She is – bar none – the best nutritional expert on gluten-intolerance that I personally know of. After eating a gluten-free diet for over one year now, I can honestly say that I feel better, I’ve lost 7 pounds and I truly don’t miss the pastas and breads and cookies and cakes. And, that’s because of Mariposa Bakery. Like their motto says, “When you’re in love, you get Mariposas in your belly.”
I get butterflies in my belly just thinking about the place. If you’re in the Bay Area, be sure to check them out in Oakland or San Francisco.
And, if you’re interested in finding out more about Sheila Wagner’s Cleanse Your Body, Change Your Life Program, watch Sheila discuss it below:
Mariposa Bakery 5427 Telegraph Avenue, #D3 Oakland, CA (510) 595-0955 Mariposa Bakery 1 Ferry Building San Francisco, CA (510) 595-0955 Sheila Wagner, Nutritionist Finally Fix Your Health!
5 Bon Air Rd., D-219
Larkspur, CA 94939 415-924-1700