Yarrr… It’s a phrase, a condition and a lifestyle I never thought I’d be getting used to. In fact, a few years back when I heard it mentioned, I kinda scoffed, the way you might at someone who is deliberately trying to be difficult.
Well, karma is a bitch, and indeed it’s now my day-to-day. I went through all the classic stages of denial, and after many (MANY) slip-ups, mistakes, and deliberate rule breakings, I am settling into a routine that is familiar and not all too painful. Scratch that- only somewhat painful. The first month of the diet was a novelty, and my eyes were opened to the myriad of new energy bars and pasta substitutes available. My family sent me care packages and my mom tried many new gluten-free cookies recipes, some more successful than others. Really nice to get the support. The most shocking was walking through a grocery store and realizing that literally 70% of things were now off-limits. All the cereal I once enjoyed as a kid-gone. Pretzels, cookies, flour tortillas- adios. Most asian sauces and stir fry ingredients- tainted by wheat filler or something similar. And then stupid things. Postage stamps? Not lickable anymore. Soy sauce? wheaty. This is not counting the big No-Nos. Like BEER. And BREAD. And PIE. The beer one was a stinger for many reasons, but most of all because Portland kicks ass at making beer, and now I had to become that guy. That guy that either sheepishly or defensively asks if there is anything else to drink.
But things have improved since those first few months. I’ve done a lot of reading, and know that the gluten not only makes me feel like crap, but knowingly eating it now makes me 50 times more likely to get intestinal cancer. Ouch. And the choices for folks like me are expanding daily. And also, there is a LOT of food that is Duh-! Naturally gluten-free. I was a born rice-eater, and my intake has increased. Potatoes are still deliciously edible. Not only that, but my dietician told me I can eat an extra 1000 calories a day and maintain my same weight. And GF foods are absurdly expensive- and I can write off the extra cost on my taxes…
So, I’m adjusting pretty well. Had a really tasty brownie from Sweet Pea bakery the other day….and workin on a website for the Gluten-Free in the Portland area- www.glutenfreepdx.com. All in all, it’s a pain. But I’m no longer denying any of it. Bring it on.