Monday, August 24, 2009

Give us this day our daily bread...only don't use wheat, please.

Yep. Pretty hard to imagine living without wheat. And I'm not just talking about bread. I'm talking about pancakes, waffles, toast, Subway sandwiches, hotdog buns, crackers, tortillas, corn dogs, pizza, bagels, cookies, cake, ice cream cones...even licorice has wheat as an ingrediant!

I've lived without sugar for a period of time (including fruit sugar). I've gone off dairy. I avoided peanut butter for years. And I've had a severe chocolate allergy for 18 months now. But when my doctor told me that I had a wheat allergy, I couldn't believe it. Nor did I dream that this would be the hardest food group of all to avoid.

My sister and I were both diagnosed with the allergy at the same time, and we both set to work to correct the emotional component of it. My sister was cleared several weeks before I was...but was told that she had a definete gluten intolerance (wheat is the main part of the gluten stuff to avoid, but rye and other grains are in there as well). While she could have gluten occasionally, she had to generally avoid it or it could cause serious problems later on.

This was rather scary.

You see, it's very hard to live without eating wheat. You can't simply go over to someone else's house and expect to find things. You have to talk to them ahead of time, or bring your own food along. It's not an easy way to live, but the consequences of rebellion (in my case, stomache and headaches) are crippling.

Last week we did the last work on clearing my allergy, but I was also informed that at this point in time I can only have gluten six times a week.

Most of us eat gluten 2-3 times a day - 14-21 times a week. Or more, if we're snacking.

So why am I saying all this?

No, it's not to make you all feel sorry for me or my sister. We don't need that. However I realized today that what we're going to be living with is something that many other Americans struggle with. I thought that in addition to everything else I blog about, I would occasionally put up a post about the gluten-free foods we find that actually taste good.

(Most gluten-free stuff is rather gross)

Skim over it if you aren't interested, but if you or someone you love find yourself struck with a gluten-allergy, you can always come back and catch up.

Gluten-free meal of today?
Feta Cheese - great taste, great protein
Honey - sweet, but organic honey from your area is good for you and can actually help with allergies.
Poached egg - filling, and HOT! :) I do mine without yokes, but if you leave the yoke in it is another source of protein.
A good fruit source for this meal would be apples - they're delicious with both feta cheese and honey.


Victoria Rose said...

Yikes, Elena! I'm so sorry about that. That is like gotta be one of the hardest foods to avoid, and you have such a good attitude about it! Frankly, I would die. Literally.

Elisabeth said...

I definitely understand...although I don't have allergies myself, my younger brother is severely allergic to all dairy, eggs, corn, peanuts, and wheat. Preparing food to bring along to parties is a way of life for us - and it basically means that we don't eat in restaurants except on very special occasions. It probably means that the rest of us eat healthier foods than we normally would, since we buy "all-natural" things to avoid preservatives that might contain allergens. That's the bright side. :)

Bethany said...

Ooh, that's tough. Yowps. That is just about my worst nightmare. I will watch your posts with interest, because I know eating large amounts of wheat/carbs is not awesome for general health....hope all goes well for you.

Lady Hannah said...

Awww gee. I'll be prayin' for ya Auntie. Thee must be rather strong. I, as Vicki would tell ya, would seriously die. ;)
Love ya!
Hannah or Liz

RoseRed said...

Aw, man, that stinks. But as my mom would say, this is a very good opportunity to sacrifice. I'll be praying for you and your sister.


Claire said...

Elena, I don't know too many others who have as many food sensitivities as I do, but you are sure up there! I have to avoid all nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers) because of scalp psoriasis, and am also sensitive to wheat, dairy, and somewhat to sugar. And the last time I ate peanut butter, I had a reaction.

I can usually eat things made with spelt flour (in moderate amounts), which helps; also, my younger sister is a pro at coming up with her own versions of recipes, taking out gluten, dairy, and sugar! (Quite an accomplishment). The alternative chocolate-zucchini cake she makes for me is actually rather good. :)

I suppose you already know of stevia and agave nectar? Both very helpful. We also eat raw honey around here, which is reported to have tons more nutrients even than "regular" honey.


Emily said...

Ahh.... stomach and headaches!!! I found that I had a wheat intolerance last summer and its crazy what you have to avoid!!! (I was dumbfounded when I found that wheat was the main ingredient in licorice!!!) As relieving as it was to find out what was causing those darn headaches, its annoying to keep on top of it!!!! Although I have definitely given up and eaten that piece of cake anyway, I must say that when I dont eat it, I DEFINITELY FEEL BETTER!!! Emotionally and physically... Haha, we definitely know how Prisca felt!!!


Allison said...

Ooh, i will definitely be following this! I am hypoglycemic, so I can't have gluten, dairy, or sugar. I am interested to see what gluten-free foods you find yummy!!

Adonnenniel said...

I'll definitely keep you in my prayers, Elena. That is so tough... :( My younger brother has nut allergies, which doesn't sound quite as bad, but I understand how hard it can be to avoid a food group.

God bless!
xoxo, Addie