|Gotta love the dress, huh? I think the rubber band in my hairdo was too tight.|
Fast forward to 2003/4. A bad bout of the flu a year earlier left me with bruises all over my body, pretty close to bedridden. Every time I ate a bagel I would almost collapse and be unable to move. Doctors wondered if I had leukemia or severe diabetes. Yikes!
Fortunately, in the loosest form of the word, blood tests and biopsies revealed my body wasn't processing vitamin B-12 and I was allergic to wheat and corn. A celiac disease blood test turned up negative. Trips to the nutritionist got me on the road to "clean" living with no bread (whaaaaa!) and no processed food since most contain corn.
For ten years I've done pretty well, but still deal with osteoporosis, anemia and other absorption issues. With our medical fun this year, turns out it's a good year to have anything done that I've been putting off (nothing like reaching your out of pocket medical expenses by April). My doc and I decided it would be best for to re-visit my wheat allergies since those celiac tests of a decade ago and even allergy panels were notoriously inaccurate.
Guess what? For a month, I got to relive my modified childhood dream. I got to eat things like this every day:
I didn't go overboard. After all, it wasn't just celiac we were looking at but how allergic I was. A cracker one day, a roll in San Antonio, a pancake at the local breakfast place. Why, you ask? Well, gluten in wheat affects the small intestine villi that absorb nutrients. Doing a biopsy is the only way to tell if you have celiac since the blood test can go false negative. As much as I eat carefully, if I do have celiac, then I need to go extreme on the clean eating, the whole separate pans for cooking, no cheating on eating route.
I didn't notice much, except bloating, when I started. By the end of the month, I couldn't move. Deja vu all over again! Did you know a sign of a food allergy can be extreme fatigue? I was never so happy to have my last meal of a croissant and bacon scone from the local french bakery. An aside: One of the employees told me they discovered he had a gluten sensitivity after he developed pneumonia from working in the back with the flour.
I'm still waiting for the biopsy results but whether I turn out to have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity in addition to a wheat allergy, I'm sticking with my diet of extremely "clean," no-processed foods unless they are wheat and gluten free. So I will eat things like this:
As you see, living wheat, corn and gluten-free could be a lot worse. Looking forward to exploring gluten-free fall recipes with you in the coming weeks.
So, if you could eat anything you wanted for breakfast, lunch and dinner, what would it be? Have you ever had to give up one of your favorite foods for health reasons?