Free Beer! and a gluten free journey

Nope. Sorry. I don’t actually have any free beer. I did try gluten free beer last night though!

I’m relatively new to gluten free, and  I did not know such a thing existed! Let me back up.

Last year, while training for the Chicago Half Marathon, I noticed that some runs were markedly better than others for no discernible reason. Like, I could eat the exact same amount of food with the same timing before my run, but after some runs I’d feel great (as great as you can feel after 12 miles) and after others I’d be sick, bloated and barely able to move. I started tracking my food intake the days of my runs and noticed that after  a carb heavy meal I’d feel super sick the next day. This was upsetting because runners are supposed to love carbs, right?? After talking to my mom, I learned that both her and my sister always felt bloated and kind of sick after eating lots of pasta or bread too. My mom was dealing with it by eliminating carbs from her diet, so I reluctantly tried the same. It was miserable. I know a low carb diet works for some runners, but it did not work for this one. I had zero energy on even my shortest runs. It was made harder by the fact that I already don’t eat red meat, pork or many dairy products. I ate a lot of eggs, chicken and nuts.  Not a very balanced diet.

Around that time, gluten free athletes were getting a lot of attention, so I found an article on Runner’s World about going gluten free, and I was already dying to get some carbs back in my life, so I went with it. Best decision ever. Now I can have the best of both worlds. I still get yummy carbs like rice, potatoes and corn based products as well as healthier carbs like fruits, but I don’t get the painful stomach aches associated with wheat pasta and bread.

When I first went gluten free, lots of people assumed I was just jumping on the bandwagon. Maybe I was. I mean I had never had any official test tell me I had a gluten sensitivity. So, after a few months of strictly avoiding wheat, I ate a huge Italian dinner of pasta and bread. Boy oh boy did I pay for that one. I don’t need a test to tell me to stay away from gluten. I have my own anecdotal results. Maybe I don’t have a specific intolerance (and I’m very lucky not to have Celiac’s), but every time I stray from my g-free diet, I regret it. Big time.

All of that was to say, I avoid gluten. I’m less strict about it when I’m not training for anything, but during half marathon seasons, I really work to avoid gluten. I don’t miss most things. I’ve found great bread and pasta alternatives, but mostly I get my needed carbs from rice and fruit. The one thing I really miss? Beer. Yep. I’ve heard varying opinions on whether or not the brewing process removes gluten, but I don’t feel convinced enough to make a decision, so I’ve been avoiding beer. Generally, it’s not so bad. I usually opt for wine or water at the bar, but every once in a while, you really just want a beer!

Last night was one of those nights. After work and a 2 mile run with Chris, we headed to the city to meet up with some friends for happy hour at The Ginger Man in midtown.

It was really dark. I felt it would have been very odd using the flash.


I’ve been there once before, so I knew they had a huge craft beer selection. I was more than a little bummed that I wouldn’t be able to partake. You can imagine my surprise when I saw this!

I was sort of prepared for it to taste nothing like beer. I mostly just wanted to  try it. It was awesome! Like, even if I could drink gluteny beer, I’d pick this one. It was that good. I was so pleased. It also had a pretty high alcohol content, so I stuck to one, but it was totally delicious.

After happy hour, we came back and had a quick dinner that was half leftovers and half food I prepared.

We had a bit of chicken, rice, roasted brussels spouts and a new to me fish called Swai. I found it frozen at Target, thawed it, roasted it in the oven with some Italian dressing and called it Good Friday Fish (even though we also had chicken). It was filling and pretty well rounded. The brussel sprouts came out wonderful too. I have no consistency with roasting veggies. Sometimes they are spot on, sometimes not so much. These were great.

This morning,  I woke up right around 8, and while Chris was sleeping, spent the morning searching for different image editing programs for the blog. I need to start resizing my photos because they’re taking up waaaay too much space. WordPress doesn’t give you a lot of options for in-house resizing, so I’ve been experimenting with Picturesque and Ecto. I didn’t really care for the interface on either of those, so I used ImageWell for these pictures. They’re a bit too pixelated for my liking in this post, but I think I can mess with them a little bit. If anyone has any blogging or image software they really like, please let me know!

Right now we’re enjoying some coffee and oatmeal before we head out on our 10 mile run. It’s our longest run to date, and it’s the second longest run we’ll do while training (next week is 11). The half marathon is so close, and I’m so excited!! I’m excited for today’s run too, but mostly I’m just looking forward to tomorrow’s Easter feast with Chris’ Family. I hope the Easter Bunny brings me some Cadbury Eggs tonight **hint hint Chris**

Have a wonderful Saturday!!



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2 thoughts on “Free Beer! and a gluten free journey

  1. Pingback: Weekly Prep- 4/9 « I Broke my Umbrella

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