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My reaction to my diagnosis was strange…

January 12, 2012

even to me.  I mean, the two things I’m most passionate about are food and music.  I remember in 7th grade my school had a “50’s days”.  It was 1976 and Happy Days was the big sitcom, so all the guys dressed up as “the Fonz”.  And I had no idea who that was.  I never watched TV, spending all my time in my room listening to music.  It’s funny how even at 13 I had no use for TV and pop culture.

My passion for food developed later, though I was always a big eater.  And I always hated not liking something, feeling like I was missing out.  I remember in college seeing a girl eat a cup of yogurt before one of my classes.  She made it look so good…so creamy and delicious.  At the time I’d never had yogurt.  I went out right after class and bought a cup.  It was nasty.  I still am not crazy about yogurt, but I eat it and continue to try to see what it is I’m missing.

So when they told me I couldn’t eat wheat…maybe I was just relieved that someone knew what was wrong with me.  Maybe I just didn’t appreciate how much of a change it would represent.  But at that moment I remember thinking “I can still have steak and potatoes.  And rice”.

Now, I like rice.  My wife would tell you that is quite an understatement.  Uncle Ben’s converted white rice.  Salt and butter.  I can eat a plate of it all by itself and have many times.  And I never tire of it.  If my condition had taken that from me my reaction might have been different.

But as it was, I took it totally in stride.  I never spent any time thinking of what I couldn’t have, but instead focused on the many things I could.  And using it as an opportunity to try things I had never.  There are still many things on that list.

I have always found it strange that many people who have a gluten intolerance and certainly most people who hear that you do, immediately focus on all the “gluten-free” choices that are available.  I have never thought that way, and, in fact, buy very few “g-free” products.  My way of thinking is that yes, the gluten free section of the grocery store is quite large, it’s called the produce and meat counters.

I could never figure out why people would focus on gluten-free pasta and cupcakes that are, ahem….not as good as their wheat-based counterparts, when you could substitute polenta or rice or potatoes for that starch and eat cheesecake instead of the cupcakes.  There are so many food choices that are naturally gluten-free I don’t see the need for all the specialty stuff.

The special diet never caused me much pain…as my weight (and my wife’s…shhhhh) can attest.  We eat well, we eat fresh, and we eat delicious.  Unfortunately, we don’t necessarily eat healthy.  I’m working on that.

Maybe that’s why I felt the need to write this blog, to share my philosophy and attitude on being gluten-free and what it has, and has not, meant to me.  I don’t know yet.  But I will keep writing and see where my meandering leads.

God bless.

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