A couple of weeks ago, the title of an old Connells album popped into my head: Weird Food and Devastation. I’d just been diagnosed with celiac, and that title couldn’t have been more apt to my state of mind in the immediate aftermath. What would I even be able to eat now? What the hell is amaranth? How would I survive without pasta…and bagels…and BEER?!
Food-related allergies are a new ballgame for me. Until I started having off and on intestinal problems about a year ago, I’d always prided myself on possessing a stomach of steel (except for that time I decided beefy chili with a hot cocoa chaser was a good idea–hey, I was 10). Now, at 33, I find that my armor has unexpected cracks, and it’s a blow. I live to eat. Though I’ve been made to feel bad about that at various times in my life, I’ve never apologized for it. Good food is everything to me: love and comfort, challenging and complex, an escape and an embrace. Ridding my cupboards and my life of all the wheat-filled things I can no longer have has brought up a lot of memories and reminded me how much my life revolves around eating.
I know what you’re thinking: Another gluten-free blog? That was my first thought, too. It does seem like everyone is g-free these days, and they’re all blogging about it. What can I add to the already crowded conversation? Well, I can tell you that it’s not going to be recipes because, while I have discovered in the past year or so a heretofore untapped enjoyment of cooking, I am definitely more gourmand than gourmet. When it comes to meal prep, I’ve never met a shortcut I didn’t take. (Oh, hi, conveniently prechopped red onion!) No, what I’m more interested in is charting my course as I try to adapt my gluttonous leanings to the wacky world of gluten-free. Will gf snacks be my salvation or my undoing? Is there a gf bagel out there that’s even half as good as the doughy discs of perfection to which I long ago pledged my undying devotion? How will my new limitations affect my tendency toward dining out? My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to change my eating habits without having to change my lifestyle too much. Whether I can do it remains to be seen. Join me, won’t you?