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Tall Drink of Nerd: Bye Bye Wheat


a blogumn by Amy Robinson

I’ve attempted to quit a lot of things: TV, sugar, that love I found on Brokeback Mountain.  The TV, sugar and love iStock_000007218931XSmallremain, in healthy moderation. Now I’m giving up wheat. This is not to be cool, because believe me, it’s much cooler to be able to join in the cupcake party than to sit it out.  I quit wheat gluten because it was making me sick.

I haven’t been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  I just know that cutting out the wheat makes my joints move more smoothly, my sinuses clear up and keeps the farty bloat down to a minimum.  Celiac sufferers can’t process wheat or barley or rye.  It messes with your small intestine & immune system. That is all the detail I’m going into here, because I’ve already given you more info than you needed on my intestines.  Wikipedia and/or the Mayo Clinic can break it down for you better than I can.  I’m not saying I have CD, just saying I’m sensitive.

Wheat hasn’t been in our house, or my tummy for about 3 months now and I’m feeling fine.  It hasn’t been easy because I love beers, breads and baking.  The main problem with a GF diet (that’s Gluten Free folks) is that my wallet is suffering now.  Trying to replace breads and beers with GF products is pricey, especially during this experimental “what’s good and what’s lame” phase.  So far I’m only attached to 1 beer and 1 hydrox-type cookie.

Look, I’m a cheap, er, frugal shopper.  A trip to any store results in long pauses of peering at labels for ingredients, then bargains.  I’m proud of my skill at buying quality, healthy foods on a budget.  But with all these GF products, I’m relearning how to shop, which is where living in the Internet age comes in super handy.

There are about 10 iTouch Apps for GF restaurants and recipes.  There are about a gajillion blogs by chicks like me, or those with the Celiac diagnosis, who love cookies, pies, and breads but have found a work-around, sans wheat.  My favorite blog right now is Gluten Free Girl and The Chef.  I’ve read her book, which details her journey becoming a foodie, then as a foodie with CD.  Her blog is fun to read and has tons of useful, yummy and phenomenal recipes, but she has an income and expensive habits, which is where we differ.

As a newbie foodie, and bargain hunter, my mission is to go GF on the cheap.  This will probably involve going all Jack Lalanne with fruits/veggies.  But there has to be more.  I swear I’ll make a charming herbed chicken and veggie risotto with a ramen price tag.  Every gourmet success that comes out of my cheap kitchen, I will share with all my under-employed, bloated sisters and brothers.  As God is my witness, we’ll never be hungry, or gassy, again.