Ben hacked this post. His comment are like this!
That is what we were. Gluten Dabblers. "No, I won't buy bread, pastries, or cookies! (And, frankly I'm offended that you think I'm that kind of Paleo person.) But, YES to that beer, croissant, and cake because I'm at a party! And we came to eat." That was our thing. No gluten products in the house, but no concept of "holding back" when out and about.
As mentioned in It's the Jam, we live in downtown Oakland. "Uptown" Oakland if you want to get specific. Near Telegraph's bar scene if you want to stalk. (Please don't. In a scary way at least.) When we moved to the area (coming up on 2 years) the neighborhood was a fun watering hole for Oakland's young and after work boozers. Not much has changed, but 3 fantastic brew bars have sprung up. Changed-the-game!
So we started to drink beer. Often. Too damn often. And like spring flowers, red rashes began to appear. On my forehead, on my upper arm, and on the side of my nose. Despite lathering a heaping slab of Calendula on my face and arms every night, the rashes were unfazed. I had recently done a "cycle" of Prednisone, but this time its effects weren't lasting. Previously when I had done a "cycle" (I like to sound bad ass like I'm on the 'roids) (she ain't about that GAINZ life), I felt frickin fantastic for half a year. This time, I felt great for maybe 2 weeks.
Then December 2014 happened. A girlfriend had mentioned the podcast Serial a few times, and one day while looking at real world gore (I worked for a criminal defense attorney), I decided to give it a go. Fast forward to 48 hours later, and I had finished all 12 episodes. Not only did I feel totally accomplished, I longed for another voice in my ear and excuse to never take out my ear buds. Enter Balanced Bites podcast.
So, Diane and Liz -- I can first name them because we've been through 193 episodes together (kinda like me with Kelly Starrett aka K-Star and Carl Paoli - just cooler). And yes, that's a shit ton of hours cooking and cleaning. So us girls talk a lot about nutrition, body image, wellness, Weston A. Price, kombucha, fermented cod liver oil butter blend, hippie dippy fairy products, 'poo, and poop! (I mostly listen and wait for Ben to come home so I can regurgitate everything they've just told me.) I mean, Diane Sanfilippo's Practical Paleo was one of the major reasons we started to seriously consider Paleo (She refuses to remember that she was late to the Paleo train that I was already riding!). That, and the fact that he started CrossFit in Santa Cruz, but it's neither here nor there, and he's usually up for my banter. I think. He is. He definitely is. He loves it.
So I began with episode #1 of the Balanced Bites podcast, and early on I sensed their disdain for all things laced with gluten. Not only do they not consume it, I began to see that Diane had little tolerance for people who had an autoimmune disease and still ate it. Episode after episode "get gluten out" was the song being sung. So I was like, "Yes, Diane." It was January anyhow, so I was particularly into doing new things. New year, new me! (I love when people say that.) (I hate when people say that.)
Before telling you about the miracles that soon followed, I would like to mention that this wasn't our first GF (gluten free) rodeo. Back in April 2014 we did a strict 30+ days of no gluten with little/ no tangible results. During that time, I was physically at my worst. I woke each morning with my hands in fists, and not because Ben deserved a punch to the jugular for snoring so loud. I literally could not open them without slowly moving or running my hands under warm water. It was like they were swollen shut each night. It was a weird, awful feeling seeing my body attack itself and not know how to handle it. And so, I took Prednisone and went back to having proper use of my hands and body. I also must note that the Berkeley rheumatologist who prescribed me that there Pred' told me, and I quote, "No, we haven't seen that nutrition makes much difference. Stay out of the sun." So much for all Berkeleyans being hippies!
So I went GF the second week of January, and a life void of gluten is surprisingly still worth living ;) Within weeks, those unsightly rashes had faded into oblivion and I stopped waking up with the tingly, sore, plump fingers!!! And of course, the "wheat belly" flattened, but now I just consume too much sugar. I'm a work in progress, yo! No, I can't drink amazing Belgium beer anymore (Speak for yourself! Oh, you said I...), no I can't grub at my love-at-first-bite Temescal Korean BBQ joint (only GF item is a bean cake?!), and no, I don't want your damn birthday cake. I'll bring homemade gluten free cupcakes, thank you very much. But I'll bring enough to share.
GS & BF
P.S. Sorry to breweries we have abandoned (RIP), and snaps to the ones who've catered to our needs and have gotten into craft ciders. Gluten free for me!
P.S.S. I love wine too. Amen.