When Gluten Attacks

Living the Fae Life,  kind, green and crunchy, is an investment in the earth, and my individual body.  Being kind to my body is just as important as being kind to my home planet.  Whole food, plant based (WFPB).  I don’t always do 100%, but I give it a good try. Usually.  Sometimes. My body decided I should do better.

Five months ago, over the Christmas holidays, my body decided to communicate to me, in no uncertain terms, that is would no longer tolerate gluten.  I broke out in nasty head to toe hives.  Even my hives had hives! (not kidding!) Through an elimination diet process I discovered the culprit was wheat/gluten.  Beer, christmas cookies, stuffing, gluten laden appetizers, all conspired over the course of a few weeks to make my body rebel.  As soon as I eliminated wheat and gluten my body healed.  Simple as that.  Ok maybe not simple.  Gluten is pretty much in everything!

My large family is no stranger to dietary restrictions.  Vegan, vegitarian, pescatarian, lactose intolerance, and recently, two diagnosed with Celiacs.  I am so lucky, they are very supportive of individual dietary choice.  I have friends and aquantences who are not as lucky, so the struggle to eat *clean* is made even more difficult for them.

I haven’t consumed meat or milk in years, but cutting out gluten proved to be much more challenging than eliminating meat had been. (Have I mentioned that  gluten is seriously in everything!)  It is in the majority of vegan products.  Seitan, delicious meat substitute that it is, is as far from gluten-free as you can get.  It’s MADE from gluten!  A lot of main stream veggie burgers are gluten based. Always a label reader, now I feel more like a Private Investigator!

Pinterest has been a great resource for gluten free inspiration, but I have found that so many gluten free recipes are very dairy and egg heavy.  I eliminated the little bit of dairy left in my diet (the occasional butter and cheese) when I went gluten free and feel a lot better for it.  (Both from a health aspect and crueltyfree aspect.)  Since I decided to eat both vegan and gluten free it’s become even more important to me to eat WFPB and eliminate most pre-packaged foods.  More control over ingredients equals better health for me since I’m not unknowingly ingesting allergens.  (Of course, after a long day at work when I lack inspiration, that often means a simple salad.)

Beyond all this is the fact that “gluten-free” has become such a fad that now I come across as a pretentious hipster when I tell people I don’t eat wheat .  10 out of every 100 people in the United States has some sort of problem with gluten. That’s a number to pay attention to.  Maintaining my wellness is more important to me than someone else’s opinion, and so, label me if you feel the need to.  Keeping my digestive system healthy and my body free of hives wins over anyone’s judgmental views.

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