This theme just keeps coming up for me. First, I mentioned in Emptying My Cup, that I realized the more I thought I knew, the more I didn’t really know. I needed to keep emptying my cup to keep learning. Then, last week my doctor tells me when I move and look for a new doctor to find one that never stopped learning. Now, if that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is. And it all started with reading Living Gluten-Free for Dummies by Danna Korn.
I know some of you who started following me before I went gluten-free are probably wishing I’d get off this gluten-free kick. Sorry to say, I can’t because it’s not a kick. It’s the diet I have to follow to stay healthy. I will try to get back on the track of whole health, but realize that gluten-free living is always going to be a part of my blog now.
That said, I have to recommend that any of you reading this and are following a gluten-free diet, have a loved one following a gluten-diet, or are pondering following a gluten-free diet should read Living Gluten-Free for Dummies. Even if you think you know everything you need to know, you just might learn something you didn’t know. I certainly did.
Danna does a good job of laying out what gluten is, what it does to our bodies, how it affects people with Celiac and gluten intolerance, and the major symptoms of Celiac. Did you know there are 250 symptoms of Celiac? Yes, that 0 is not a typo. It is one of the reasons why so many people are misdiagnosed for so long. Then she discusses how Celiac and gluten intolerance cause other illnesses. Look at me. I took out gluten and I was finally able to get my iron, TSH, and T4 levels stable without medication.
She goes over what you can and can’t have on a fairly basic level and points you to the detailed lists on Celiac.com. They are long lists which is why she doesn’t go over every little item. But, you get the idea. No wheat, rye, barley, oats (unless the oats are certified gluten-free) or their derivatives unless they are distilled (the distilling process removes the protein). She covers the nutrition of a gluten-free diet. I love how she’s of my mind that simply replacing our gluten-filled favorites with the now widely available gluten-free versions isn’t really healthy. I’m talking bread, cookies, cakes, brownies, pizza, etc. Yes, I may at times pine for those goodies when I hear other people talking about them, but I’m not going out to get a gluten-free version either because I know the refined and processed foods in it will mess my body up just as much as gluten will. I didn’t pine for these same things I gave up last December because I chose to give them up. Discovering that I can’t have them again is a different story. It gets easier.
There is advice on how to check with manufacturers and restaurants if the foods they produce and serve, respectively, are truly gluten-free. How to share a kitchen with gluten and gluten-free foods. How to attend social events and still be gluten-free even if the host has only gluten-filled foods. How to raise kids that need to be gluten-free (without being a control freak). How to work through emotional issues related to being gluten-free. Let’s face it. Anyone who is diagnosed with something or is told they have to restrict their diet feels crappy. “I have to do what?” Yeah, I went through my own little moment of, THIS SUCKS! I got through it, especially once I was able to feel healthier.
She also has recipes in there and she adamantly reminds readers that she is not a cookbook author. I’m glad I’m not the only one! She cooks like I do. Experiments and throws things together. When I got to the recipes I had to stop reading it before bed because it was making me hungry. I tried out the Asian Pork Wraps over the weekend. They were rather tasty. I still had some leftover Monday and had some for lunch. I must have gotten distracted because I went back to the kitchen and saw what was leftover still on the counter. I forgot to put it back in the fridge. Sadly, I had to toss what was left. It wasn’t much, but it was still good enough to be sad over tossing it out.
Again, check this book out if you eat gluten-free, have a loved one who does, or you’re pondering a gluten-free diet. A big thanks to Shirley at gfe – gluten-free easily for posting someone else’s review of the book on Facebook to clue me in. I learned more than I realized there was to know about living gluten-free, but I know there is still more to learn out there!