5 of 12 steps?

My digestive system revolted last week in every possible way (yes, it was revolting then; it's much better now). In the aftermath I had to decide how best to begin reintroducing myself to food. Years had passed since the last time I hadn't been able to eat anything for more than 24 hours.

Cherry Jello in small slurps assisted in rehydrating and giving slight energy. Then, as in childhood after battling the tummy flu, I started thinking toast with butter sounded good. Memories arose of Mom bearing the lap tray to my room, propping an extra pillow behind my back as I sat up to receive the plate of toasted white triangles and cheery, melting bits of Parkay.

But this time I pondered information my daughter has recently imparted regarding the difficulty many people have digesting wheat gluten. Victoria figured out several months ago that she is gluten intolerant. I've done my share of mock groaning since then, whenever family has gathered for a meal. "Good grief, Uncle Dan's lactose intolerant, Grandpa's diabetic, and now Victoria can't have bread. Soon we just won't be able to eat!"

Victoria's culinary education must have sunk in somewhat with me, though, because last week I decided it might be best if I refrained from wheat products. It may be I've recalled our macaroni and cheese days, when my three-year-old girl would get cranky after lunch, while I felt my stomach behaving oddly and simply blamed it on the weird digestive track I was left with after a couple of surgeries. Or I finally listened to instincts saying, Less complex food'll do for now.

I took time to cook some rice. With a smidge of butter and salt it went down well. In fact, leaving out gluten from my recovery menus helped me feel a lot better, faster than maybe ever before.

When I really consider my eating habits, I've avoided abundant bready stuff for years. Tortilla chips are my snack of choice; Wheat Thins were never quite as yummy. Salad makes the best lunch or dinner. It never bothered me when I'd ask Victoria what sounded good, and she'd say, "A meat and cheese sandwich without the bread, please." Even pizza has become less appealing in recent months.

I never expected, though, to call a halt to Grape Nuts. I mean, breakfast for me is always a bowl of Grape Nuts, except on those mornings when I mix in some Life cereal with my Grape Nuts. The crunchy texture is my friend. Yet for a couple weeks, almost, I haven't eaten the old tastes-like-wild-hickory-nuts standby. Fruit and almonds or rice with milk and brown sugar have sufficed. And it's truly amazing. The world feels better.

I still don't wish to fanatasize this. Last night I told Victoria of my diet changes, making sure to say, "It's not that I want to start checking everything I eat for gluten." I could have added, "Like you do."

"But you should cut out gluten all the way, Mom," my daughter said. "You'll feel fantastic."

So, maybe, I'll borrow her recipe book and follow along when she shops the gluten-free aisle at Market of Choice. Just curious, mind you. Not committing to anything, yet.

Anyone need half a box of Grape Nuts?

(I don't eat this anymore, either.)


Cherie said…
I'll take the Grape-Nuts!!!


Squeeze Parkay - oh heavens! Never had it because it's always looked like poison in a bottle to me. Ha! Glad you have chucked it.

I hope you get to feeling better, D. It's not fun having a cranky digestive system - I recall, um, February when my entire family felt that way. Horrid.

Glad you are feeling better than you were. Get well soon, wheat or no.
Deanna said…
Okay, Cherie, I should bring over the cereal with your book that I still have. One of these days, really, I will...
Cecily said…
I have a friend who has caeliac disease and is gluten intolerant. She gave me a recipe book of gluten free meals. Yummy. But if you think you might be caeliac, maybe you should check it out medically, because gluten helps us absorb minerals better... so those on a gluten free diet need to ensure they are getting the minerals other ways.

Glad you're feeling heaps better though!
Deanna said…
Thanks, Cecily, that's good information. I do take lots of minerals, but I will keep the absorption thing in mind.