"Gluten: It makes you gassy... or something..."
A line from a tongue-in-cheek series of quick radio spots on 93.3 FM Denver. The clip, one of radio personality Nerf's "LOLs at 505", basically sums up my feelings about people crusading against gluten (or just bread, or just pasta as the case may be) and blaming it for scads of physical, emotional and societal ills.
And yes, I know full well that many people, some close friends of mine, suffer the severe effects of Celiac disease and gluten intolerance. I don't mean to downplay the severity of those conditions – but, to be honest, I'm glad it's not me.
Despite my feelings about gluten (My stance is that for healthy weight control it's best to not eat egregious amounts of non-vegetable carbohydrates, and that one should eat whole grains whenever possible), here I am on the verge of going completely gluten free for at least a week, probably a month if my husband doesn't freak out too much.
My sister – who grew up eating mostly the same foods as I did in a health-conscious household that promoted whole, homemade foods – has gone gluten free. Her reasons for it weren't what I expected, and they're the reason for this (masochistic?) challenge.
In addition to physically feeling better, she tells me her emotions are more steady and she's all around calmer. Hm, I thought. Hm. In the interest of this blog, I thought I'd try it, just to see if I notice a difference in any way. You might say I'll be batt(er)ing for the other team for a while. (Sorry, bad puns run in my family. It's genetic.)
"I hope, for your sake, that you don't," was my sister's response, referring to the intense gastrointestinal distress gluten now causes. Let's hope that a gluten intolerance is not an unintended consequence of this experiment.
In preparation for the gluten free month, I went shopping today and bought gluten-free replacements for foods we usually buy: bread, pasta and snacks. The first consideration for those thinking about going gluten free (unless you're having diarrhea on the reg) is price. Pasta is usually a cheap option: 10 for $10 at King Soopers. Gluten-free pasta was at least $3.50 per package. Bread, which we usually buy from the day-old section, cost $4 instead of $1.75. Yikes. All in the name of science, I guess. For snacks, I picked up some rice cakes. Realized: we don't eat that much gluten to begin with.
Also in the name of science, I'll recording my starting stats so as to have something to measure any changes against.
Name: Maggie Tharp (don't expect this to change)
Weight: A lady never tells.
Emotional state: Fairly good, fluctuates depending on birth control and levels of job-related stress.
Health: Above average. I do experience a little joint discomfort in wrists and knees from time to time, but nothing at all disabling.
Tummy health: Not bad, not amazing, not going into details. I do drink Metamucil. Judge all you want, it works.
Complexion/hair: Dry from the Colorado climate. Skin, not as nice as when I was 19, but what should I expect? Hair, not as curly or thick as when I was 19 either.
Like any legitimate dietary change, this one's starting tomorrow... or the day after.
Or as soon as I finish this cookie brownie.
The simple story of a girl looking for beauty and inspiration through her combined love of food and writing.
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