Not, perhaps, as thrilling as the journey of Mr. Bilbo Baggins, to be sure, but unexpected just the same. Life seems to be full of unexpected journeys: we plan to go there, intend to do that, only to find ourselves here and doing this instead. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball that spins our life in a new direction. Other times, we realize that our priorities have changed and so we adjust accordingly.
However, that is enough philosophizing for one blog post. I wanted to write a little bit about food today. Not surprising, since it is my job to feed and nourish a family of eight on a single income! I spend an enormous amount of time planning, purchasing, and preparing food. While I’m trying to figure out how to get the most food for our dollar, I’m also trying to figure out how to get the best nutrition from our food. The more I read, the more I am convinced that nutrition is still very much a developing science. Further, there are so many individual variables: allergies, sensitivities, and more. One food may be a valuable source of nutrients to one person, but cause unpleasant reactions for another person.
Ah. Yes, now we’re coming to the unexpected part. You may recall that a little over a year ago we did a 30 day grain free challenge that has let to ongoing changes in our eating habits. The original motivation was to find some answers/relief for various health issues for Larry. That’s still a bit inconclusive as he tends to eat what I serve at home, but not necessarily think about what he is eating elsewhere. However, last fall I finally realized that whatever issues are in the family, I have a problem with gluten.
I was so not wanting to go there! I was happy thinking that I could occasionally have “normal” baked goods so long as they weren’t a staple of my diet. Well, I guess I could. . .but it’s not worth waking up the next morning feeling twice my age. Sometimes it’s joint pain; sometimes it’s a foggy can’t-think headache; usually it’s both. It blows my whole day, and it’s happening Every. Single. Time. I eat wheat. Yes, even that one little cookie that my kid baked.
The changes we had already made in becoming less dependent on grains have made this a little easier. But there are still changes to make, questions to answer: do I need to avoid even trace amounts of gluten (such as are in most oats, soy sauce, and a zillion other items)? how do I feed the rest of the family, who may or may not have an undetected gluten problem? how to navigate eating out or potlucks? And so the journey continues. . .