What a surprising couple of weeks it has been. After realizing that Claire was sensitive to something in her diet, I gradually started eliminating foods, first dairy, then gluten, until I felt confident I could pinpoint what was bothering her. The offender? Gluten.
More late nights in front of the laptop led me to discover that gluten intolerance tends to run in families. Some of the symptoms sounded eerily familiar, so our whole family went gluten free for a week. Now it looks like the only one who can eat gluten without consequence is Bea.
As someone who has had a love affair with bread and baked goods my whole life, going as far as working in a health-food restaurant as a baker while I was pregnant with Bea, making my own sourdough starter from grapes and flour and water, etc, etc, well… it’s a bit of a shock. I have two full bins of beautiful, brand new organic wheat flour that I don’t know what to do with. I should give them away, but it all feels so, well, final. I’m not totally sure of this new gluten-free identity of mine.
But the bright side is that Claire is feeling better. I feel better. I’m grateful for that spark of intuition and the knowledge and empowerment that comes from being able to look up symptoms and resources and recipes on the internet at any hour of the day or night. I’m so glad we have been able to go gluten free early on in Claire’s life. She won’t have gluten allergies simmering away silently in the background for years and years. Now we know, and we can do something about it.
Some Helpful Gluten-Free Resources
A list of typical symptoms (but keep in mind that there are over 300 symptoms of gluten intolerance, and some cases are “silent”)
My favourite ethnic cookbook, World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey. Turns out that most of the world lives day to day on rice and beans, or rice and lentils. Cooked in a multitude of delicious styles. I can eat that!
Have you ever gone gluten-free or made a major change in your diet? How did it go for you?