I’ve been on this gluten-free diet for almost three weeks now, and several people have asked me how it’s been going. It’s a whole new world, I’ll tell you–a world of complete and utter deprivation! Imagine what it would be like to eat at a New Mexican restaurant…and not only not be able to eat anything with flour tortillas but worse, not be able to wash it all down with a soft, warm, freshly-deep-fried, gooey-with-honey sopaipilla! Consider what it would be like to watch your children not finish their entire meal at a restaurant–whether mac ‘n cheese or fettucine alfredo or chicken tenders or even a piece of pizza–and not be able to make your meal out of their leftovers!! Imagine–horror of all horrors, having to order your own meal so that you can make sure it’s gluten-free! How would it feel if your breakfast of choice–a lovely piece of well-toasted (i.e., close to burned!) toast slathered with crunchy peanut butter–were no longer an option? and if even your #2 choice–a nice bowl of cold cereal with milk–were severely limited (some of the Chex cereals are gluten-free, but there really aren’t too many! At least not in our cupboard…)? And as for snacks to nibble on throughout the day–gone are the Wheat Thins and Triscuits, gone are the goldfish crackers, and no more stealing a cookie while helping to get lunches ready in the morning. No toasted sesame seed bagels with my mid-morning coffee with a friend, no coffee cake at my Friday morning Bible study, no leftover Starbucks scones from the soup kitchen. Not even a good old turkey sandwich when it’s time for lunch! And what about supper options? My repertoire has become quite limited! No more homemade chicken pot pie (or frozen, for that matter!), no quiche, no lasagna or spaghetti pie or any other kind of pasta. It shouldn’t be called the gluten-free diet. It should be called the Deprivation Diet!
(But yes, God is still Good…. 🙂 )
So what have I been eating? Well, I’ve been eating a fair amount of oatmeal for breakfast…which is actually pretty good…. I make it on the stovetop, with raisins and walnuts, and I’ve even started adding a little flax seed, since I’ve heard that’s good for you. Add a sprinkle of brown sugar and a splash of milk–yum! It is darn good! And I suppose it’s not a bad thing that I’ve stopped nibbling on cookies at breakfast time…. As for those urges to snack, well, I find that a handful, or two, of peanuts and raisins, and maybe even some almonds, tide me over pretty well until lunchtime, or sometimes even until after my afternoon nap. Or maybe I’ll eat an apple or an orange, or slice a few pieces of cheese and wrap them up in a couple of slices of turkey. Hmm, not too bad, really…. As for supper, well, this “deprivation diet” has given me a fabulous opportunity to try out some new recipes!! Which, as my family will attest to, I really enjoy doing, and now have a legitimate reason to do! 🙂 I have been a recipe clipper for years, saving any recipe, that I find in any magazine, that looks like anything I might want to try sometime. And boy, has the collection grown over the years! Occasionally I actually do try one, and sometimes it’s a keeper, sometimes not. Regardless of the ratio of clipped to tried, however, or even, of tried to kept, my enthusiasm for always being on the lookout for a good new recipe to try never lags.
SO, after beginning my new dietary regime, I decided to look through my stack of recipes to see if there were any there that happened to be gluten-free. Certainly I had not saved any specifically for being gluten-free, since I had no reason to be concerned about that before. BUT as it turned out, quite a few were gluten-free! So I made a sub-stack. 🙂 And I have already made several of them! Perhaps not all of them are keepers (“Taco Pie,” for example, sounded much better on the page than it turned out to be in the pan…!), but it really has been fun trying them out! And it turns out I can cook gluten-free meals without too much trouble! Who would’ve guessed?? 🙂
Okay, so it really isn’t a “deprivation diet.” I do have to be more aware, and think a little more before just popping something into my mouth. But really–fewer kids’ leftovers, fewer crackers, more oatmeal, more fruits and nuts and veggies, and lots of trying out of new recipes–what is there to complain about?? Once again, a gift in an “ugly” disguise. 🙂 Yes, indeed, God is Good.
The real bummer is that going gluten-free has not seemed to do anything at all for my energy level….No noticeable increase. 😦 But yes, still, God is Good. 🙂