Saturday, October 12, 2013
GLUTEN FREE LESSONS
Nine months have passed since we launched an effort to provide a gluten free diet for David. He had a sore and swollen tongue, the apparent extension of a condition whose origins could be traced back to early childhood. When the tongue specialist (who knew there were tongue specialists?) suggested a gluten-free approach, I, frankly was disappointed. I had been hoping for drugs. Now it is one thing to hope for an improvement, and quite another to hope for that thing in the face of fear. Mention drugs, and I imagined early morning reminders to “take your drugs, Dear.” Mention gluten free and the future indeed seemed terrifying. Visions of life without fresh baked buns and Saturday visits to the Italian Bakery for iced chocolate doughnuts danced in my head. There would be no more Welsh Cakes. All our future restaurant meals would involve slippery salads consumed in precarious balance on high stools at health food bars. There would be no more pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, no stuffing at Christmas. Life with a gluten free husband would exceed the worst nightmares that a wheat farmer’s daughter could conjure. “Perhaps I will learn something,” I promised myself weakly. There is one sure sign that my hope is low. You see it when I start promising myself that I’ll resort to learning. Nine months have passed, and what have we learned? · There are more gluten free recipes than you’d think. The Internet is a-0buzz with them. As with all recipes, some turn out better than others. · There are other ways to make Welsh Cakes, waffles, birthday cakes, doughnuts, Rice Krispies Squares, pyrogies, lasagna and pretty much everything else you ever ate that had gluten in it. · There are a lot of things you used to eat that didn’t have gluten in them. · There are more gluten free options at restaurants than you would think. · There are even quite a few restaurants that carry gluten free bread and offer to serve it to you. · You can get more exercise on a gluten free holiday because you walk further when you make a point of deciding whether to stay by asking restaurants for gluten free options before you sit down. · You can lose a little weight on a gluten free diet. (author’s note: you can’t lose any weight eating gluten while your spouse goes gluten free.) · And, perhaps best of all, you can learn that you are loved, because your children, your siblings, your friends, and your colleagues will go out of their way to make inclusive changes. Come to think of it, you can learn a lot in nine months!