Top 5 Things I’ve Learned by Going Gluten-free

gluten free

I never wanted to be one of THOSE people who had to tell everyone, from family members to strangers at Walmart, about their gluten intolerance. I didn’t want to be one of THOSE people who read all the food ingredients, interrogated waiters at restaurants until they cried, and then babbled on and on and on about their sensitivity to gluten.

I thought I would continue with my bread-eating, donut-binging, cookie-making life, with no thought to how gluten would one day affect me.

Until.

A few months ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that has pissed me off to no end. After years of doctor appointments and blood tests, I was told “You’re just old. Deal with it.” And I thought, “WTF? This is it? I’m going to feel shitty for the rest of my life?”

But finally, I was given a diagnosis and was told going gluten-free would make a huge difference in how I feel. Riiiight. . .

So, I upended my life adapting to this new gluten-free prison, turning down birthday cake and bagels, whilst munching on raw veggies. (Not necessarily a good trade.) But it isn’t too bad. I can still enjoy many of my favorite foods. Like water.glutenfreeHere are the Top 5 Things I’ve Learned By Going Gluten-Free.

  1. Gluten is in freakin’ everything. It’s not just in bread and baking products that contain wheat, oats or other grains. It’s in soy sauce (!), licorice (!!) and even beauty products (!!!) Why can’t gluten be in kale? Or Lima beans?
  2.  Lots of other things are gluten free, including:
    • Libraries
    • Pedicures
    • Grandchildren (usually)
    • Massages
    • Shoe shopping
    • Sunrises
    • The beach
    • Hiking
    • Yoga
    • Margaritas
    • Puppies
    • Sex (usually)
    • Binge-watching TV shows
  3.  There are lots of recipes using alternative flours. Granted, most of those recipes taste like shit. But there are a few that actually taste like chocolate chip cookies. Or brownies. Or waffles. My search continues to find a flour mixture (that doesn’t cost the equivalent of a Tesla) that will allow me to return to my baking habits.brownies
  4. I don’t need to tell everyone I meet I can’t eat gluten. Yes, I understand the hypocrisy of that statement as I post a blog that is read by at least four people. But I can politely refuse baked goods without going off about how gluten has basically ruined my immune system and I’ll probably die a horrible death that involves a dingy motel room and a loaf of sourdough bread.
  5. I feel so much better. After years of daily headaches, overwhelming exhaustion, brutal cramps, unexplained bloating and overall depression, I think this gluten-free thing might be a real solution. It might just catch on.

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Things Driving Me Crazy in San Francisco

I recently went to San Francisco with hubby, and we packed every minute with activities, food and fun. Now I’m exhausted. Along with exhaustion, here are a few things that drove me crazy in San Francisco.

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(I’m not sure about my heart, but I definitely left most of my income in San Fran.)

Scalded Mouth: I ordered peppermint tea without realizing they used a nuclear detonation to heat the damn thing. I let it steep for several minutes, blew on it, carefully took a sip–and completely welded my tongue to the roof of my mouth. Blisters formed, and I spent the rest of the day using my tongue to pop the blisters, pulling shredded skin from the top of my mouth. (Note: Don’t do this at dinner. It tends to disgust your marital partner.)

Line jumpers: We stood in line at the Santa Cruz beach, waiting ever so patiently for our turn on the Sky Glider (the ride that carries you gently across the boardwalk), when an entire freakin’ family pushed past nearly 100 people to go to the front of the line. We were all too shocked to say anything. But we all secretly hoped they fell off the ride halfway across the boardwalk.

This: (Silver Robot Man)

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(Is this still a thing?)

Sourdough Bread: I love sourdough bread. Let me clarify, I love the soft, fluffy inside of sourdough bread. The crust? Not so much. Especially when my mouth is scorched from drinking scalding tea. The problem with sourdough bread is that each bite must be completely smothered in butter. Soft, delicious butter. (It’s a law. Look it up.) So, now my a** looks like a loaf of sourdough bread.

Wind: Here’s how I looked most of the time in San Francisco:

San Fran Day 2 (30) - Copy(And the wind wasn’t even blowing in this picture.)

People! People! People!: What you see in an aerial view of the San Francisco Bay: Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. What you don’t see: the hordes of people standing on top of each other to see these tourist attractions. (This also includes traffic. There are more cars in San Fran than in the entire continent of Asia. Proven fact–but don’t check.)

The SF Giants: Really, Giants? We traveled from Salt Lake to watch you play in your super-duper AT&T stadium, and you couldn’t even score ONE run. Really? Did you have other things to do that night?

San Fran

(Ah der. . . . Yep. I’m a pitcher. I get paid millions of dollars. Ah der.)