As I type this blog I am sitting next to a slice of toasted sprouted grain bread slathered in butter (fancy organic butter!) and I'm about to take a bite. Most people might not really think it's a big deal, but I have not eaten gluten for about 4-5 months now and I'm a teeny bit scared to try it again after so many months without it. When I went off of gluten, it wasn't because I was diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it was something I decided to try in an attempt to figure out what was causing patches of itchy eczema under both my knees. Well, they have not disappeared, although I will say they have gone down quite a bit. They still flare up especially, I've found, at "a certain time of the month" and I also think they tend to flare more when I eat lots of sugary things, but who knows. I've also cleaned up my diet considerably since the summer (focusing on non-packaged foods), so that could have something to do with it not flaring quite as much. So anyway, I have had this loaf of Ezekiel sprouted grain bread in my freezer for awhile now (I got it for when my grandma and parents were visiting) and just decided I'm going to eat some and find out if I react to it. I'm going to start by eating one slice today, but no other gluten for the next few days to see if I react. If I don't react, I think I am going to try plain old bread to see if that does anything to me. The thing is, I really don't like giving up gluten completely. I am very glad I did decide to give it up, however! I didn't think it would be easy, but it turned out to be one of the easiest things I've ever given up. I like that now I don't rely on gluten filled meals or the need for a side of bread. Jed doesn't really like bread anyway (I never could understand that)! But it's Christmas time and I miss baking cookies and things like that. And gluten free flours are so expensive. I think if I find I don't react, I'll still keep bread to a minimum and probably rarely order it when eating out. Perhaps just keep it for more special occasions. I also want to try making sourdough bread, but decided to wait on a starter until after Christmas. I'd hate to start it and then leave it for weeks while we are away on vacation!
I've experimented with several different "diets" or eating habits since the summer. From Paleo to Primal to "Real Food." And through all that, I have found there is no special "diet" or way of life that is superior to the other. Some people do wonderfully on those diets while others don't notice much change. I also think worrying too much about food is a recipe for disaster. I am so guilty of this! I think that there must be one way of eating that will make me look amazing and then I won't ever have to worry about eating or counting calories again. But it just makes you worry more, because you have even more restrictions to follow and you have to worry what to eat when you go on vacation or to someone's house. If you can't tolerate a certain food, that is one thing, but to be told not to eat certain foods because apparently some caveman didn't eat it is ridiculous! I DO think, however, that eating "real food" as apposed to packaged foods is ideal. But I don't think it's necessary to go crazy with this. I get so sick and tired of people using scare tactics to get people to eat or not to eat a certain way and that is just not a good way to live! I read an article about Donna Reed once where she was telling her "secrets" about her diet and lifestyle and she mentioned that she really believed that you shouldn't deprive yourself of things you love, but to keep it in moderation. Everything in moderation, I still believe that is key!
Anyway, I'll let you know how it turns out! Are you gluten free or have you considered cutting out gluten from your diet? Do you think what I'm doing is crazy? If you are curious how my experiment goes, check back here in this space. I'll write an update on this post if anything happens!
Update 12/16/13: Well, it's been about 3 days since I posted about eating gluten. So far, I don't really feel any bad symptoms of eating the sprouted grain bread. And I went even further yesterday night...I had a pastry. Yes! I know, not the most healthy decision to make whether or not I can eat gluten. But I had one and nothing has happened thus far. I'm not going to make a habit of this, but if I can eat it once in awhile, it's nice to know I won't blow up like a balloon and break out in hives! I'm planning to make Christmas cookies with Jed this week. I may or may not partake. But I probably will...!!!