Saturday, December 07, 2013

Wheat Awareness ...

I embarked on my eliminating-wheat journey on November 20th.

I was feeling good. I looked thinner from not being so bloated. Clothes were fitting better. I could be hungry without being shaky or ravenous. I was beginning to understand the "clear-headed"-ness that folks keep talking about. I wasn't falling asleep when I'd try to read a book.

And then Thanksgiving arrived.

And with Thanksgiving comes stuffing. My Mom's stuffing. The best stuffing in the history of stuffing. Model stuffing. The gold standard of stuffing. The stuffing ideal. The stuff of stuffing legends.

There was no way I was going to skip her stuffing.

Also, every year, I bake bread for Thanksgiving, which isn't really necessary given the presence of stuffing, but it's my thing to bake and take, so I bake it and I take it. And folks like to make toast from it the next morning. It makes really great toast.

So Thanksgiving day, as I was letting loaves rise and bake, I tried a bite of bread that I had in the fridge that had come with the salad I bought the night before. I had told them to skip the bread, but they didn't, so I had put it in the fridge. And I thought I should try a bite to see if anything adverse happened, lest I be surprised after a forkful or two of stuffing.

Nope, nothing immediately awful. OK, then. Good to know.

So I went to Thanksgiving dinner and had some stuffing (not Mom's stuffing; I'll get to that in a moment) and had some bread and later, had a bit of pie.

And that evening, I felt uncomfortable, as if my body was saying, "Why'd you go and do that? We were finally getting rid of all that gunk. Why'd you add more? Now we have to start all over again."

But I decided that I would give in to the wheat for the extended weekend.

Because on Saturday, Mom and I make Thanksgiving Dinner, The Sequel, as we don't have any leftovers on Thursday, as we go to one of my brother's homes.

Also, as I mentioned: Mom's stuffing. My sister-in-law makes perfectly tasty stuffing, but it is not the stuffing of my youth, and you know how much memories are tied up in the tastes of foods.

So we roast a small turkey and Mom makes a panful of stuffing (which is really dressing, if it's outside of the bird, but we add a little to the bird, too) and I make really great mushroom gravy and we have mashed potatoes and a salad and that's it. Just the basics.

And then, later, of course, pie.

And Mom packs up leftovers for me and my other brother, who has to work on Thanksgiving so he comes to The Sequel, and the next day, I have turkey dinner for breakfast. And lunch.

Monday, though, I returned to my wheat-free ways.

And my body was able to recover from the wheaty interruption and all was on its way to being well again.

And then yesterday, out and about running errands and having not eaten all day, I, out of habit, zipped through the drive-thru at Wendy's to get a Jr. Cheeseburger, just to get something in my stomach. And I ordered and I paid and I got back on my way and I unwrapped and I bit and I said, with my mouth full: "Crap! I'm not eating wheat!"

And then I laughed at myself, for actually saying that out loud to myself.

And then I thought, "Beth, you have to eat something. One crappy white bun isn't going to kill you."

So I ate my wee cheeseburger and I kept running errands and yup, sure enough, I felt a more than a bit "Blech" as the day wore on.

So now I'm back back to avoiding wheat. And cutting myself some slack for yesterday's lapse, as it was inadvertent and rather fascinating, really, in its habitualness.

But I'm mostly mindful of avoiding it and I know that I'll get better about that as time wears on.

Of course, I'm staring down the gauntlet of holiday baking.

But just because I bake it doesn't mean I have to eat it.

And while it feels a bit strange to bake for others and share something I'm no longer willing to eat myself, I don't want to become anyone's food police. So long as folks enjoy it, that's what counts. That's why I do it.

Also, I've discovered flourless peanut butter cookies, and hot damn, they're yummy!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you for not beating yourself up and accepting that sometimes you slip up and don't eat as well as you would like. I'm looking forward to trying the flourless peanut butter cookies. They may be dessert for tonight as schools are closed due to icy roads here in Tennessee.


10:03 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Yup, it might take some effort to shift more than forty years of eating habits. But it's been fascinating to bake this week and not have any desire to eat the stuff, aside from tasting a bite of each cookie to make sure the textures are right and such.

If you tried the peanut butter cookies, I hope you enjoyed them.

5:54 PM  

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