“After I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I said yes to food, with great enthusiasm….I vowed to taste everything I could eat, rather than focusing on what I could not.”-Shauna James Ahern
I can’t tolerate gluten. I swell up like I”m about to give birth to twins in 45 seconds. My joints get knobby and stiff for a couple days after each exposure. My depression flares and I want to flip life the bird and I would if my hands had any dexterity, but they generally just curl up into little half fists.
At first, this was a horrible shock . Wait a minute…no pizza, no spaghetti, no calzones???? (There was clearly an early period of Italian food mourning.) Then, hold UP…no cupcakes, no caramel brownies, NO CHOCOLATE CREME PIE!!! This is NOT fair. (“Life isn’t fair, honey.” in my mother’s voice kept answering me.)
So, I dropped all the foods that were making me sick. And (stop me if you’ve heard this), I got less sick. A lot less sick. My carpal tunnel cleared. My chronic body pain wasn’t. My foggy depressive logic was replaced by actual logic.
I got really healthy. This all happened before being gluten-free was a choice couched in trendiness, so if I wasn’t going to eat a well gluten-stocked brownie, I simply wasn’t going to have one at all. A couple years in, gluten-free is everywhere. I can get a pizza, I can get brownies, I can get pasta…sitting here right now, the cafe owner where I regular brought over a sample of a gluten-free “dream roll”. Yes, it was very tasty. And, it was tasty because it was sweet.
So, now, I can eat again the foods that I had to give up because of my gluten intolerance. They sneak in pretty regularly. I’m not at the top of my game anymore. Although a glutenous brownie will make me sick immediately, a gluten-free one takes a little longer. These food products that are now on the market are even less food like than the ones they’ve replaced. Just removing the gluten does not make a brownie a great healthy choice. Weston A Price called these kinds of foods “displacing” ones. A salad with oil or a hunk of steak in butter or a red bell pepper dipped in guacamole? Those are foods, naturally gluten free and nutrition packed. When I choose to eat a “fraudulent” food, I have removed the space for nutrition, for nourishment.
We are an interesting species, I suppose. We want what we want. But, shun delusion. Eating gluten-free (or any other food thing that disagrees with you) doesn’t give you an automatic jump in health, other than the obvious. It is all in what you are really eating. Sugar and vegetable oil and soy flour and “chocolate flavor” will make you a serviceable cake, but it will not nourish you. It displaces the nourishment.
So, a list of things that are gluten-free:
Hmmmm….that happens to be the same list for getting the best nourishment anyway. Cool how that works, huh?