We started going to a personal trainer at the end of the summer, and it’s been really good–building strength, getting healthier. But the one thing that she badgered me about was bread.
“You have to stop eating bread! Gluten is terrible for you. It’s what’s making your knees hurt. It’s causing inflammation in your finger joints.”
On and on. So I thought, fine. Just to shut her up, I will stop eating bread for a couple days.
My knees stopped hurting. So did my fingers.
Well, that’s just coincidence, I thought. Then Thanksgiving came along, and getting up from the table I grumbled that my knees hurt.
“You’ve been eating bread,” Ferrett observed.
So I dropped gluten again, and my knees stopped hurting. Then Christmas Eve came, and we stopped at a pie shop that had gorgeous quiches and “the best chocolate chip cookie in the world.” I thought, Okay, my knees will hurt a little for a couple days, but it will be worth it.” So I ate a few bites of cookie and a slice of quiche.
What I got instead of sore knees was itching and a rash. No respiratory reaction, fortunately, but I went through a lot of benadryl in the next 24 hours. Because when you ingest an allergen, it has to work its way through your whole digestive tract before you stop reacting to it.
So, I’m off wheat. Which irritates and infuriates me. The avid bread baker can no longer eat bread. At Boxing Day, I was the person asking, “is this gluten-free?” When Ferrett ordered burgers, we paid extra for the gluten-free bun. I’ve gone from the person who rolled her eyes at the gluten rage to the person who is embarrassed by the casual privilege she used to flaunt.
It’s a good thing I’m not allergic to crow, because I’m eating a lot of it.
And relearning to cook many, many things. And I’m ever so grateful for those who came before, the pioneers of gluten-free living. Every time I think of something that I will probably never eat again, a quick internet search shows that someone has come up with a substitute. The gluten-free hamburger bun was so light and fluffy that I feared at first that it couldn’t possibly be gluten-free. There are pastas, and cake mixes. I’ve found recipes for naan and crepes and cookies and even bagels. All the people who’ve dealt with irritated restaurateurs have smoothed my path and granted me menus in many places that indicate what items are available gluten-free.
I haven’t experimented much yet. But I’ve been gathering ingredients–substitute flours, special dough conditioners–to start my foray into this new adventure in life. I’ll try to report on what works, and amuse you with what doesn’t. Because it’s always better to laugh at these things.