No more bread? Ever? (Eating Well with Celiac)
This morning I'm enjoying a bowl of protein-packed popped amaranth for breakfast. Maybe you've never heard of amaranth...well now you have, and you should definitely try it! Along with quinoa (which is slowly gaining a reputation beyond being a hippie-dippie substitute for rice), millet, teff, sorghum, buckwheat (which has nothing to do with wheat), and over 30 other "alternative" seeds, grains and flours.
What do they all have in common? They don't contain wheat or, more importantly for me, gluten. Gluten intolerance and gluten allergy (celiac disease) are becoming more and more common around the world. Some people estimate that 10% of North Americans might have celiac; most just aren't diagnosed.
I've been eating a strict gluten-free diet for almost a year, and I feel great. No more getting sick after having a sandwich or a piece of pizza. Cutting out all of the coffee shop scones and muffins also helped me lose almost 20 pounds! Plus, I've learned about grains from around the world. Did you know that Ethiopian teff, the smallest grain in the world, is now grown in Idaho, or that Aztec amaranth almost went extinct when it was forbidden by the Spanish?
I think the switch has been relatively easy on me, since I enjoy cooking and prefer to cook from scratch anyway. That way, I control the ingredients that go into my food, and I'm not afraid to experiment. For someone who relies heavily on convenience and processed foods, it would be a much harder change due to all of the hidden gluten in packaged products.
Anyone else out there in the community living with celiac? Maybe you know someone who is? I'd love to hear your experiences or recipes!
Or do you have questions for me about gluten-free ingredients or recipes? I've learned a lot and I'm happy to share what I know! Ask away!