When I moved from Blogger to WordPress in 2010, it was a symbolic moment in my blogging — I’d written five hundred posts. My last post on the old blog was about an amazing party thrown for Gluten-Free Girl’s new cookbook. I’ll always remember that event because it was my first time meeting Shauna (and Danny and Lucy) in person, and I met a few more really amazing people that night for the first time. Then I migrated my whole blog over to WordPress and soon decided that a lot of my old posts sucked. I deleted a ton of content, maybe a hundred posts in all? I really don’t even know how many it was, but of course I began writing posts here on the new blog and counting back up to five hundred again. So this is it — big post #500, for the second time. And fitting for such an occasion, I’m breaking some news… I’ve gone gluten-free.
I know, it’s a little weird. All I write about are cookies and brownies. I was clearly addicted to pasta. If there is a new doughnut shop or noodle joint in town, I’ve tried it. So what happened? I got to thinking about a few nagging health issues, mostly digestive ones. (Plus, maybe hanging around with Shauna rubbed off on me a bit.) I finally thought, what if gluten is to blame? I didn’t get a blood test or talk with my doctor first, but about a month ago I stopped having gluten completely. I went cold turkey. Within 24 hours I felt good, but I thought it could be a fluke. Within 3 days I could hardly believe how much better I felt. I don’t want to go into details, but things just feel right. Really right. And in the past few weeks, I’ve been noticing some other positive changes I never expected. Well, I guess it’s a process of discovery. No more gluten for me. I have a few questions though:
1. Is it normal to feel a little like an idiot for ignoring symptoms for so long?
2. Why does anyone bother making gluten-free bagels, because they’re kind of gross?
3. Jovial clearly makes the best gluten-free pasta, so why does only one store in my area sell it, and why does that store only carry the spaghetti?
4. Gluten-free pasta is so expensive and it’s mostly sold in small 8-ounce or 12-ounce packages. How do you get over the notion that companies making gluten-free foods are totally screwing us over because they know we have no choice but to buy their products?
5. Will I get over this nagging feeling that if my body can’t take wheat, the same is probably true for everybody else in the world and they just can’t admit it?
6. What’s up with mall food (or fast food in general)? Okay, so I don’t eat in malls very often, but I literally couldn’t find one gluten-free thing to eat a mall food court if my life depended on it. If it’s not a sandwich, burger, pizza, wrap, cookie, pretzel, or cinnamon bun, then it’s fried food coated in something bready.
7. How much fun is it going through your favorite cookbooks with an all-new eye, searching for the gluten-free recipes? Seriously, I’m cooking more than ever and loving it.
8. I’m trying not to be obsessed with the things I can’t eat anymore, but I’d be really excited someone made yummy gluten-free pretzels. Wait, that wasn’t a question. Okay, is there any such thing as yummy gluten-free pretzels?
9. Soy sauce… sigh. Do any of you carry gluten-free soy sauce with you, like in your bag. I was thinking about maybe a flask or something?
10. Why don’t I crave sandwiches at all? Seriously, I used to think I could never go gluten-free because I love sandwiches way too much, and it’s totally not the case.
11. Why do I not feel so hungry? Okay wait, Shauna tried to explain it to me, but I feel like it’s partly psychological. I used to be a little obsessed with food. I was hungry all the time. Now I’m gluten-free, and I skipped lunch a couple times recently. The other day I forgot to eat dinner. For me, that’s just freaky.
12. What do I tell my KitchenAid mixer? Yes, I’m sure I’ll eventually get into gluten-free baking, but for now my mixer isn’t getting any use. I just moved her from the kitchen counter (prime retail space) to the bottom shelf (the boonies).
13. Do you eventually feel so good being gluten-free that you think, eh, I feel fine now and I can start having bread again? I’m not there yet because I’m still in the honeymoon period, but I’m curious if that happens. Okay, scratch that. Between the time I wrote this and posted it, I started thinking that was a dumb question because I like feeling this good, and I don’t want to mess with it.
14. Last time I was in Seattle, it seemed like there were gluten-free signs everywhere I went. Now I’m realizing how lame New York City is by comparison. Two questions — why is Seattle so awesome, and should I just move there already?
15. What’s up with how expensive granola is and how some brands that have no wheat listed in the ingredients aren’t promoting themselves as gluten-free? I kind of get it, but I kind of don’t. Some oats are gluten-free and some are not? I used to eat cereal every day for breakfast, so I’ve got to figure out the granola thing because I need something yummy like that to get me going in the morning.
16. Most packaged gluten-free cookies are a little gross. No question.
17. Can a whole bunch of my coolest foodie friends go gluten-free too so we can do some awesome food crawls together? Please!
18. From a gluten-free perspective, how awesome is Vietnamese food? Indian food is looking good too.
19. Is it true that some people who are lactose intolerant who then eliminate gluten from their diets can eventually go back to eating dairy, because I’ve been unable to have more than a taste of ice cream or cheese for the past few years without feeling pretty sick. And forget about milk, milk shakes, hot cocoa, etc. — those kill me. I used to love cheese and ice cream, so I’d be totally cool having them back in my life.
20. How often do you have to explain to people that rice and potatoes don’t have gluten in them?