And gluten is an inflammation trigger.
So I was told to go gluten free.
Mind you, I don't have celiac disease, or anything like that. Gluten doesn't give me any immediate, catastrophic trouble. But I worked on going gluten free.
We have no bread in our house. Just ask my husband. He misses toast.
I have not made any financial investment in eating gluten free. I just try to avoid gluten, and really, it isn't that hard.
For breakfast I can have oatmeal. Since I don't have celiac disease, I don't worry about whether my oats are milled in a gluten free factory. I eat oatmeal, often with bananas, walnuts and maple syrup... or golden raisins, craisins and brown sugar. I also eat eggs. And smoothies. I drink orange juice and tea with cream, or sometimes coffee. This is no hardship. If I want to get fancy, I cook up a tasty vegetable frittata with cheese.
Lunch is not my favorite, but then, it never has been. I don't particularly like sandwiches. When I lunch at home, I usually have a banana with almond butter (or sunbutter) and some yogurt. Then I pick at apples and almonds and -- if I'm lucky and have them -- Beanitos chips. If I go out, I get a salad with chicken on it, or a bowl of soup without noodles, like the harvest squash soup at Panera right now.
Dinner is actually very easy. We eat meat, potatoes and vegetables. Or we eat meat with rice and vegetables. What is hard about that? Dairy free, that would kill me. But gluten free is not so bad. I can even thicken gravy with cornstarch.
So I was trucking along, not eating gluten, generally just being really good, faithfully picking the croutons off my salads.
And then Tuesday. Oh my. I went to Bible study in the morning. It's kind of an early morning for me, so I only had a smoothie for breakfast, along with my tea. I left Bible study early for an 11:30 doctor appointment.
At the doctor appointment, it was decided that I should have a certain surgical procedure taken care of, and because of our insurance situation, they were kind enough to try to hurry the process along to be finished before year end. They were terrifically good to me, and I am not complaining, but in the end I was there until 3:30 getting the details wrapped up.
At about 2:30, a kind nurse noticed that I was fading (and she probably heard the very loud rumbles of my very empty stomach), so she offered me crackers.
Crackers are not gluten free.
But. There are certain times when you know that lack of food is going to hurt you far more than lack of gluten will help you. I consumed 280 calories worth of crackers on the spot (that's two packages of grahams and two packages of saltines). I had one more pack of saltines in hand, but I hit the end of my water bottle and stopped.
Since then, I've been simply packing away the gluten. I went to lunch at Panera yesterday and got the squash soup (good for me!), and a whole grain bagel, toasted with butter (oooops). I came home, and when Shawn returned from his Chicago business trip at 8 p.m., I cooked up a bunch of spaghetti (super pasta with whole grains, omega 3s and extra protein, but not gluten-free).
I don't feel particularly different.
I wonder if there is any point to all of this.
My Favorite Ugly Smoothie Recipe
(If you try making this, be prepared for ugly.
Don't worry, it tastes much better than it looks.)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice
2 oz. (approximately, or 1/3 of a 5 oz. clamshell container) raw baby spinach
4 frozen strawberries
Blend together in blender until smooth. Enjoy.
If you want it to be truly decadently delicious,
substitute sweetened vanilla yogurt for the Greek yogurt.
But really, I find that it is plenty sweet and tasty as is.