Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Day 8 - Gluten-Freed

(Photo Credit: Chris Palladino or Greg Nyssen? Corn does not have gluten in it, maybe a poor choice, however, if you have gluten issues you have corn issues as well)

January 13, 2015
Day 8


What is gluten? This is a question I have been asked with eyebrows poised dripping with cynicism. How about this answer from the scientific journal, The New Yorker (work with me):


Gluten, one of the most heavily consumed proteins on earth, is created when two molecules, glutenin and gliadin, (that) come into contact and form a bond. When bakers knead dough, that bond creates an elastic membrane, which is what gives bread its chewy texture and permits pizza chefs to toss and twirl the dough into the air. Gluten also traps carbon dioxide, which, as it ferments, adds volume to the loaf.


My daughter, Kathryn, was constantly telling me not to do gluten. She knew she had issues with gluten and could tell I had them as well. I tuned her out for many years (guilty) and finally paid attention. However, I not only stopped gluten, I stopped refined sugar as well. It has made all the difference in the world.


All science aside, here is what I know from the last two years in an anecdotal kind of way. I simply do not feel any aches and pains which I have experienced for most of my life. These pains traveled randomly, their journey has ended. I have a problematic knee that will not be healed by the lack of gluten or sugar. However, this knee is no longer befriended by pain.


I covet not. I do not crave food. My man-appetite is more feminine. I go to events to see people not to eat food. Funny thing, I love food more today than ever. My palate has significantly changed.


I have energy until I go to bed. Sometimes I am awed by my wakefulness. I now have a "good feeling" baseline. There are days I am keenly aware of how good my stomach feels; free, easy, peaceful, not churning. I am likewise now aware of how food affects me. Rice and potatoes make me extremely tired, the resultant sugar from the starch puts me out, I mean out!


I now eat to live.  Food aids me, period. I will never go back and eat gluten or sugar. I do not sit and pine watching my friends eat chocolately desserts oozing with creamy, sugary sauce or lathered with whip cream. In fact I sit there and rejoice that my stomach will not feel bloated, full, stuffed or uneasy.


Hmmm... who knew? The full feeling that I always had after a gluten filled meal of spaghetti and french bread, was actually was not a good feeling. Now, the satisfied feeling minus the full feeling is peace and contentment.


However, I have a confession to make. I did not make this switch because of a mental determination of my will. I did not do this because of the coolest book with the best series of steps leading to health and well being. I did not make the change because my friend and I held each other accountable. At age 52 I am fully aware of my inability to self help myself. I am incapable of change. (calm down those of you motivated by yourselves, I know of what I speak)


Car rides are the best "come to Jesus" venues. I went cold turkey one day only after I did a scream out to God while en route to somewhere on Route 401. Take away this god I yelled. I pleaded, "I can not do this! Please a little help here. Can you not see my desire as well as my inability? Aren't you the One who sees all. WOULD YOU PLEASE HELP!!!!!"


I called, He answered. I was gluten-freed.  The transition from gluten filled, sugary food to gluten-freed, non sugary food was done. God did it. The temptation left.


Those of us who have been gluten-freed speak the same language. A new member, discovered from a Facebook post, has joined the group. Welcome, your life has just changed forever.

Pardon us for our evangelistic tendencies. But those of us gluten-freed have never felt better. We want to share the love.