But then, I am also a different religion from my forebears, and I am vegan (and recently, pretty highly "raw" vegan) with a brother who runs 700 head of beef cattle. I vote differently (I think) from my father and sometimes from my husband (yes, I know that's silly).
So, really, I guess, after all, it isn't such a leap that I would also be exploring the idea of "getting rid of wheat" in my diet. But how did that happen?
Well, before I thought too much about the idea of becoming "gluten-fee", I had heard about people with Celiac disease and sprue. They have always been around. In my younger years I probably got them mixed up-- the diseases I mean-- with cystic fibrosis. Both of our children had some food allergies, and it was subsequently found that my husband and I did as well (surprise surprise). But I didn't really consider giving up wheat because....
I ATE THE GOOD WHEAT STUFF... WHOLE WHEAT... WHEAT GERM... WHOLE GRAINS... etc.
I didn't eat white Wonderbread, rarely ate any kind of white processed stuff, never really got into wheaty cereals, and had sworn off donuts and the like after a career of their turning up heavily frosted and days-old in the group sessions I faciliated as a social worker (they came in in those hamper-type trunks once a week, pure cholesterol injections by the ton).
When I retired I thought I would have time and interest in getting really really well and energetic again. To facilitate this happening, we moved from the cold prairies where you really did need to eat a lot of cholesterol (apparently) to keep warm in the winter-- to Vancouver Island North where there are more, or at least as many, health sages and "modalities" and alternatives as conventional health providers.
But I didn't really get a whole lot better. I didn't lose weight. I didn't gain energy and re-gain my old vim and vitality.
A couple of years ago a long-time friend (actually, we were pushed around in baby carriages together-- even our grandmothers were friends) casually mentioned how she had stopped eating gluten and lost 30 pounds in six months! Wow, that was impressive.
Then a fellow in my Toast Masters' group (yes, brings up the idea of bread again, doesn't it?) told me that if he ate just a teeny-tiny little-weenie piece of birthday cake even, he would have to shoot out of the meeting and head for the heads. I later heard how very restrictive his diet was. He had a huge "gluten sensitivity".
So, I did some very very superficial research, but I kept hearing about people who were "wheat sensitive", "gluten intolerant" and the like. But it really wasn't until I heard a very clear-spoken naturopath talk about digestive issues and disorders like "leaky gut syndrome"-- and link them to gluten (and other high allergens)-- that I truly began to consider the advantages for me to give up eating foods with gluten content. This wonderful naturopath is Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo -- I'll be referring to her quite a lot throughout these blogs.
So this is the start of my gluten-free journey... you're welcome to come along. Please include your experiences and comments here... I would appreciate that very much!
(And hey, I promised jokes didn't I? Go here for some corny gluten-free jokes)