… and my biscuits and my pancakes and my baguettes.
I’m so bummed.
Almost exactly a year ago, on July 13th, I told you about my sister’s discovery that when she eats wheat, her knees hurt her more. I felt really sad for her that she could no longer enjoy bread without pain. Then I ate a sandwich. Well, harumph! Guess what I discovered this week after just four days of eating clean. Yep, my knees don’t hurt nearly as badly and I haven’t eaten wheat since Monday.
Obviously, different people react to different foods in different ways (is that like using a double negative? did I cancel out a couple of those ‘different’s?). It’s chemistry. However, for many, wheat ingestion causes inflammation. As of when I woke today, I’m thinking that I am one of the many and I’m not at all happy about it.
On the up side, knowing the cause is most of the battle, right? If I know that wheat consumption makes my joints swell, then it’s like the old Henny Youngman joke:
- Patient: Doctor, it hurts when I do that.
- Doctor: Then don’t do that.
As anyone who has gone gluten-free or tried to go gluten-free can tell you, that stuff is just everywhere! It’s hidden in all kinds of prepared foods. Probably the easiest way to avoid it is to shop on the outside aisles of the grocery store, except the one that runs by the bakery, that doesn’t count. But, if you stay on the outside aisles, you stay near the perishables and away from the non-perishables. And, let’s just think about that for a minute. I really have to think twice about consuming something that claims to be non-perishable. With some notable exceptions like honey, the idea of food that doesn’t spoil is just horrifying.
I nixed baked goods from my diet this week, not because I had any suspicion that they caused me discomfort, but because most baked goods also contain sugar and are calorie dense. I knew that I needed to focus on eating plenty of vegetables and fruit this week. At this point, my suspicion that wheat omission has made my joints less creaky is just that: a suspicion. In a couple of weeks, I will test my theory; but, for now, I’m operating on the assumption that my theory is correct. Even so, just like I do with the milk products I’m allergic to, when the cost is worth it, I’ll indulge in a cookie, pancakes or something. I will just have to want it badly enough to put up with the pain the treat brings.
Isn’t that kind of a common theme for most of our discussions on food choices? We have to focus on eating those things that provide our bodies with the clean fuel it needs to operate and with the supplies it needs for repairing itself. And from time to time, only occasionally, when we really, really want it, we have to allow ourselves to grab our buns.