Monday, October 22, 2007

Gluten-Free Pair

A few years ago, Mike did an elimination diet to identify what was causing him some gastrointestinal distress, and pinpointed wheat as the culprit. He also saw a naturopath, who confirmed that he does indeed have a "wheat sensitivity," not to be confused with a wheat allergy. He now buys spelt bread and avoids eating wheat whenever he can, and his stomach is much happier now.

I've looked at this curious development with pity, as the kids and I have been able to continue on our merry wheat-eating ways. We buy brown rice pasta and rice or spelt tortillas for Mike, and at the Farmer's Market we buy him rice puddings or other goodies while we eat muffins, etc.

Well, suddenly at the age of 43, I have been struck with the dreaded "wheat sensitivity" myself. I started having vague stomach pains at bedtime, and although Mike urged me to go to the doctor (I'm due for a physical anyway), I wanted to see if I could identify a food culprit first. After much experimenting in the past couple of weeks, off wheat and back on again, I'm afraid that I've succumbed to the condition as well.

Where Mike and I differ is that I've gone into research mode...locating wheat-free and gluten-free cookbooks and resources on the Web, and identifying a place (New Seasons) that sells bulk spelt and rice flour. I am determined to find a way to make this work without having to eschew the wonderful typically wheaty items that I love (baked goods, desserts, bread).

One such timely resource is Gluten-Free Girl, a Web site and now a book by a lively writer named Shauna James Ahern.

Mike, in his typical fake curmodgeonly way, has expressed dismay that going wheat-free is apparently now "in." He had overheard a conversation the other day between two women who were talking about their need to follow a wheat-free lifestyle. I pointed out that the more people who can't eat wheat, the more demand there will be for goods that make eating wheat free easier for all of us. He pooh-poohed my Pollyanna comments! He probably thinks I'm a copycat wheat-freer!

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