Saturday, July 14, 2012

New Leaf

It's been a couple weeks now, folks, but my silence has been for a good reason.

For a variety of reasons, cutting gluten out of my diet was a much-needed change.  I cannot begin to explain how much better I feel and look -inside and out.  I didn't know I could feel so GOOD.  No idea that I could have so much energy and feel pleasantly sated after eating.  All full and happy tummy, clearer skin, and bright shiny eyes over here :)  And so much ENERGY!  ENERGY!  ENERGY!  Did I mention that?

That said, it's been -and will continue to be -a big change.  After returning from a vegan diet almost two years ago, I thought I was done forever with reading labels and adapting recipes.  I loved going to restaurants and ordering whatever I wanted without asking "does this contain ______?"  Going back through that is going to be hard and time-consuming, and not always delicious.  As I slowly give away my bags of wheat and spelt flour and soup mixes I'm also trying to wrap my head around a life without pizza or Annie's Mac and Cheese or countless other things.  From pasta to sauces to 90% of prepared foods to staples like oreos and my beloved Ezekiel Bread, gluten is everywhere.  

Worst of all, leaving my beloved breads and cakes and cookies and favorite recipes behind is jarring.  Those special foods that I grew up making and eating with my mom are out now.  The things I was looking forward to when I came home, foods at family barbecues, Thanksgiving feasts, Christmas cookies, everything, are suddenly off limits.  The enormity of this is just a little crazy.

There's going to be a lot less baking going on in the coming weeks.  No sense stocking a gluten-free pantry for what is functionally two weeks left of baking time (the last week will be spent vacationing!).  When I get back to the US, though, you better believe I will be taking this challenge on.

Get ready for words like "teff," "sweet rice flour," and "corn starch" coming your way this fall.  It's going to be a pretty crazy ride.  I won't sacrifice this feeling for a wheaty stack of pancakes, but you better believe I will make the right pancakes for me ;)

For now, enjoy some pictures of the (gluten-free) goodies I've been eating in the past weeks:

One thing is certain: this will not be a life without flavor ;)

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