At the start of the school year, I decided to eliminate gluten from my diet once again. I had tried being gluten-free before I went to France — but, in the land of food, baguettes and patisseries seemed indispensable to my cultural immersion experience.
After coming back to the U.S., I realized that wheat was having some seriously negative effects on me, like chronic stomach pain and rashy hands. I also learned that I have an auto-immune disorder called Hashimoto’s Disease, which causes the thyroid to underproduce and slows down my metabolism, among other things. Research into the disorder led me to an interesting discovery: apparently, this disease is often cured, or helped, by the gluten free diet, because gluten and the thyroid have similar tissue. If I eat gluten, my body creates antibodies to gluten that also attack my thyroid because they think it’s gluten.
This was all very interesting, and it gave me a real reason to give up the wheaty treats I love so much. It’s been easier than I thought — both because I live in Seattle, where trendy diet accommodations abound, and because once I stopped eating gluten, I stopped craving it.
It has also made me cook a lot. Making things at home is the easiest way to avoid things I can’t eat. Now, cooking has become my way to unwind after a long day. It’s fun to make something that I can savor just afterward, or share with friends. Here are some of my endeavors, all GF of course:
I’m definitely learning a lot about cooking as I go. Now I sometimes don’t even need a recipe! It’s fun to be creative, although I still have trouble using everything I have in my cupboards and fridge. So much food, so little time.