Last night as we were eating dinner, Brad and Kacie had flour tortillas while I was eating corn tortillas. Our dinner is one I grew up with - chicken mole (most likely some American bastardized version). But instead of the typical white flour to thicken the sauce, I used a brown rice flour.
These are the small changes I have to make at home. Truly, not that big of a deal.
I love flour tortillas, so as I rip into the bland corn one I make a fake smile and an overzealous 'Mmmmmm' sound.
Brad asks, "So, what do you miss the most?"
Without hesitation I reply, "Grilled cheese." It's always been a favorite. The gooey cheese pressed between two slices of crisp bread covered in a thin layer of butter. It's the best. (probably why Savannah's son wanted one so bad!)
For the past month, I haven't had any bread. No flour. No cookies. No gluten.
And while nobody died, I watched myself go though the stages of grief.
The Friday that Brad went to Dallas last month, Kacie and I were on our own. I had lunch that day with Kerri and she loaned me her book, The G Free Diet. I ate lunch under her recommendations. She guided me away from the breaded items and toward a salad. I gambled on a soup that could have been thickened with flour.
That night, in frustration, I made the chicken mole, regular flour and all. And, for good measure, I had an alcoholic beverage, made with grain.
I am a baker! This is not cool. 'I'm going to have to stop baking,' I think. I mean, what kind of baker can't even taste her food to make sure it's good? This is stupid. And frustrating. And crappy. Talk about your first world problem.
Amazingly, I've whizzed right through all of them.
I accept that I will never be able to walk into a restaurant and order anything I want. I accept that I will now worry my head off about things like 'cross-contamination.' I accept that when I go to parties, I'm either going to have to grill the hostess about her cooking or I'm going to have to bring my own snack. I accept that fast food is no longer a luxury that I can partake in (outside of Wendy's chili with fries) because everything is served on a bun, or the chicken coated in flour and fried.
I'm becoming a lot healthier.
I guess that's not a bad thing.
After our discussion about grilled cheese, I was reminded of a quote that got Kate Moss into a lot of trouble, she said something like, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."
And while I kind of disagree with that, it makes me think, "Nothing tastes as good as no pain feels." And while I might hate corn tortillas and the cookies made with soy flour might be a bit strange, it is far better than the doubled-over pain that woke me at 1:30 a.m. many, many times.
If you're wondering, gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye. Often, people with a gluten intolerance (or Celiac's Disease also do not eat oats because of the high likeliness of cross-contamination, although oats themselves do not cause problems. Gluten is used in many, many products as a binder or thickener- like salad dressings, gravies and soups. It's also obviously used in bread and breading. And many canned products will have some gluten, you have to read lots and lots of labels. AND, if that's not difficult enough, there is the potential for cross-contamination. While many chips are gluten-free, they might be produced in a facility that produces a gluten containing product.
Individuals who can not tolerate gluten have a problem with their small intestine. You can read all the details here.
I have not been formally diagnosed with Celiac's Disease or a gluten intolerance, but plan on discussing it with my doctor in the future.