Monday, November 28, 2011
Deliberate Self Care: Going Gluten Free
Back in September I brought one of my kiddos to a holistic chiropractor who did the arm-thingy and concluded that my son has gluten sensitivities. The "arm-thingy" refers to applied kinesiology. I don't understand it. The chiropractor put a vial in my son's hand, had him hold his other arm out and resist. The chiropractor pushed it down easily, stated that it "blew weak" and said that that indicated gluten sensitivity. He suggested that we cut back on our gluten intake. Since my husband I tend to be skeptics about stuff like this and were relectant to change anybody's diet based on an arm trick, we went ahead and had a test run by a third party. Sure enough--two weeks later the results came in that my son IS gluten sensitive. The results also stated that gluten sensitivity is usually genetic and that family members should be tested as well.
We decided as a family that if one of us was going to suffer we were all going to suffer (1 Cor. 1:26). So our new diet began.
I won't lie. It's been hard. The beginning was difficult especially. There really is no decent gluten-free substitute for sandwich bread (not store bought anyway). Without the gluten the stretchy springy quality of the bread is gone. Most bread is OK if it's toasted, but one can only take so much toasted bread. For awhile there I was making bread using bread mixes, but a lot of the bread mixes contain bean flour which has a weird aftertaste. A lot of the recipes call for combinations of corn starch, tapioca starch, rice flour, sorghum starch, and so forth. After awhile I was slaving away making these less than stellar loaves thinking to myself, "who really needs this much starch anyway?" and I came to the realization that flour is basically wheat starch. Hmmmmm. That was the turning point for me. Now when I walk through the bread aisle at the store, bread is just not all that appealing to me anymore. I don't crave it like I used to.
What I do crave is the convenience of buying a package of muffins to eat on Saturday morning, or reaching for a box of mac and cheese, or not having to read labels all the time. I miss eating out at restaurants. I miss the ease of the pre-gluten-free life. On the other hand, I do like that I've been forced to stay away from the boxed and processed stuff (fake food). The gluten-free life has been wonderful in terms of making me slow down and take the time to plan ahead make my family home cooked meals and feed them whole foods and foods that don't irritate their (and my, as it turns out) sensitive gut lining. That's the kind of mom/wife I always wanted to be anyway.
By the way, even though I didn't get tested, I now know that gluten doesn't agree with me. After three weeks of being gluten-free we went off the diet for meal at KFC. Aside from how bland and colorless the food looked on my plate (chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes, gravy, and even the green beans were a varying shade of beige), about half an hour after the meal, it sat in my stomach like a rock and I felt grosser than gross. So, yeah, I'm done with gluten. (cue the music) " No turning back, no turning back...."