Sunday, March 10, 2013

Gluten Free Month?

At yesterday’s team meeting, Sifu Brinker mentioned food blogging and a possible challenge to go vegetarian.  I have another suggestion, this time let the food challenge be “Gluten Free” for a month.
There are many reasons for this, from understanding what a Celiac sufferer goes through trying to find lunch, to the effects that Gluten has on your own (and families) bodies. Gluten sensitivity is not a binary, yes I am, no I’m not situation. It is a grey scale, with one end being no I’m not (call this level zero) and full blown life threatening Celiac disease at ten. I have a sensitivity, probably about a two on that scale. What this means is when I went off of gluten to see if it was affecting my lungs, the “arthritis” that I had in my hands, fingers and knees on each weather change went away. Now I had ascribed those pains to “getting old”, not food, so it was not the placebo effect on this one. My wife found that her migraines, already reduced in severity by green smoothies and extra magnesium, were almost eliminated by the removal of gluten. Now it takes a severe weather change, hormonal changes and dehydration together to trigger a migraine, where before any one of those was enough to trigger one.
In fact, the symptoms of gluten sensitivity  vary all over the map, and affect different people in different ways. One of our team members has found that the behavior problems of his son are directly linked to gluten. So instead of the recommended dose of additional ADHD drugs (with their own side effects) the removal of gluten alleviates the problem condition. Chemical addiction to bread and craving for McDonalds? Maybe it’s gluten, not will power that’s the problem. Studies show that gluten sensitive people will eat 400 more calories a day if gluten is in the diet then they naturally want when gluten free. Sore joints? Maybe it’s not only the push-ups , or getting old.
The easiest way to discover if you are gluten sensitive is to go off it for a month, and see if you feel better, or if there is no change.  No change, no problem, you learned a bit about what allergy sufferers go through, and can have some empathy. If however, you feel better, you are now at choice on staying off of something self destructive or going back to your old ways.
We have some advantages if this is done as a group, in that Mrs Donohue has spent time researching recipes, and the ability to group buy on some of the specialty flours required, as well as the support  of a group effort.

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