Why gluten-free?

Gluten-free, you say?  Why?  Are you celiac?  Well, I’ll tell ya.  For starters, no, we are not celiac.  Though, there is a bit of family history for it.  We personally have made the decision for multiple reasons:  family history, an intolerance in our oldest child when he was younger, and overall health.  Step on in to Gluten-Free Deliciosity, see how good gf can really be and I’ll gladly bend your ear a little more!

Let’s lay a bit of foundation here…

While choosing to go gluten-free is not as unheard of as it used to be and gf options are more common than they were ten years ago, there is still not enough information and education, in this writer’s opinion, about the problems that ‘modern’ wheat and other related grains cause.  The wheat we use today has very little, besides its name, in common with wheat grown fifty years ago.  Those four-foot tall, ‘amber waves of grain’ we sing about are now a rare find.  What you find instead is a plant that has been engineered to grow closer together, faster, and withstand various growing conditions and complications, increasing harvesting and processing efficiency and yield.  Oh, and sprayed with a boat-load of chemicals.  There are a number of places where you can read up on it yourself (Wheat Belly Blog, Celiac.com, and Celiac Disease Foundation to name a few.)

To make a long-story short, what this means for you and I is that the wheat we find in most of our products at the grocery store is not processed by our bodies the way wheat of yesterday was by our grandparents.  Today’s wheat increases blood-sugar more than table sugar, contributing to the obesity epidemic our nation is now enjoying.  Dr. William Davis is one of a number of authors that gives a clear and thorough discussion of all this.  You’ll find the link for his book, Wheat Belly, above.  This genetically modified wheat also contains more genes for gluten proteins related to celiac disease than its forefather.  Celiac disease currently affects 1:133 people and 95% of those go undiagnosed.  (see Celiac Disease Foundation above)  It presents differently in different people and is difficult to diagnose.  Symptoms vary from bloating, GI issues, bone/joint pain and fatigue to failure to thrive (in infants), anemia, thyroid disease, IBS and eczema.  There are more but this should give you an idea.

If you want to learn more, start digging, reading and researching and make the decision you feel is best for you and your family.  There are many resources these days and while it can be challenging to avoid wheat, it is not impossible!  The options available now are greater and tastier than they were when our son was young.  Thank goodness!

My hope here is to share delicious gf recipes that we have either come across, replicated and loved or successfully tweaked to make gluten-free.  So, put on a pot of water, grab a bread pan, a fork or whatever floats your boat today and enjoy a little gluten-free deliciosity!