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Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Grand Gluten-Free Life

A few years ago I had a blood transfusion - needed to replace about 150% of my entire blood volume. (A surgery went a bit haywire.)

Along with the gift of life, I got another gift - gluten intolerance. What it means is, simply, no wheat, oats, or barley. Period. Unless I enjoy the D&V.

Wow. For a guy who loved pizza, bagels, doughnuts, and beer, this was a pretty harsh sentence. So much of what I took for granted - an ice cream cone or chicken nuggets and McDonald's, pasta at Olive Garden, or an all-Foster's meal at Outback...totally out of reach.

But oddly enough, the transition was easy. It felt so GOOD not to feel bad, that I was never tempted to break the diet. Not once.

I did, however, break it unwittingly. Some foods get cross-contaminated with wheat, and even though reading product labels is now almost automatic, sometimes one slips up. A trip to puke city.

And there are an increasing number of foods - not cheap, but available - that are gluten-free versions of their 'normal' counterparts. Like Oreos! And there are some really nice baking mixes - a lot easier than baking from scratch as one needs to blend several different types of flour (potato, rice, etc) to get the right flavor and texture.

I would not have chosen this - but honestly, it's not half bad.

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