Life Without Wheat

About two years ago I stopped eating wheat. It was an experiment to see if the extreme awfulness I had been feeling 24/7 was at all related to gluten or if indeed I was slightly insane and making it all up in my head. Deep down I feared the latter was the case and so when after just eight hours of being gluten-free I was feeling like a new person, I decided to toss the cakes and pizza and embark on a new road.

I never saw a doctor during my search for why I felt so awful most of my waking moments. I have three children. The youngest requires frequent, thorough check-ups to monitor his heart which was surgically repaired at nine weeks of age, the middle child has kidney issues and the oldest is an extreme skier who occasionally ends up at the orthopedic doctor needing one repair or another. With my ever present stack of doctor bills I decided to chuck it all  and be my own Dr. Google. I figured if things got really crazy I could always schedule an appointment, but what I was doing was simple: I was eliminating a food, not taking snake extract oil or drinking tiger blood at every meal. I don’t condone using Google for all of one’s medical needs but in my case it came in handy. No muss no fuss.

During my journey to live gluten-free I’ve learned things about wheat I never considered in my pre-gluten-free-life (PGFL). Who knew Ben and Jerry’s uses wheat as a filler in my most favorite of ice creams, Dublin Mudslide? When a product mentions it is manufactured in a plant using equipment for processing wheat items? Listen the hell up and walk away, even if it is a favorite. As for all cosmetics containing wheat? Why? The ones without are so expensive and sometimes hard to find.

Which leads me to another aspect of living gluten-free, most of the time it’s not cheap. The alternative cake mixes, shampoos, pasta, cookies, they often tend to be pretty steep, many stores either have a limited selection or none at all. So far I’ve been blessed because I live with my mother, Mia, and she is the primary cook in the house. She was quick to jump on the gluten-free bandwagon and always prepares a pot or pan of GF foods when making something traditionally made with gluten products. However, I’m vaguely planning to cut the apron strings and actually move out of her house sometime in the next year or so and I need to learn how to make some of this stuff myself.

As a rule I am disorganized as all get up. Give  me a notebook and I’ll lose it. So I’m going to record my gluten-free endeavors here. Right now I’m loosely planning on having one GF recipe a week with pictures and a critique as to whether is was worth the effort and expense. Who knows, after ski season ends and I am done with seven day work weeks there could be an expansion. We’ll see.