Thursday, August 29, 2013

I dreamt of doughnuts

I had a dream the other night. It was one of those really vivid dreams where you wake up, somewhat suddenly and wonder, did that actually happen? When did that happen? That couldn't of been a dream. 

Yet it was a dream.

In my dream I was eating doughnuts. Not just any doughnut, a chocolate doughnut with chocolate frosting and coconut shavings from Top Pot, a Seattle favorite that's quite big around here. Even the Prez (yes, that one) has been known to stop by when he's in town.

I should probably backup in case you're wondering why I'm having such vivid, mouthwatering dreams about doughnuts.

I've recently learned I have Celiac's Disease. And after some tests and many doctor's visits, I'm now on a strict gluten free lifestyle. (I've opted not to use the word diet since I don't believe in those. Plus diets end at some point where as Celiac's does not.).

I confess I haven't been feeling that great for a while now. I just kind of chalked it up to stress - having a toddler, full time stressful job, working mama life,
life in general, etc. - one can get away with things like that. But after awhile, one doctor said, you know let's try and test you for Celiac's. 

I laughed and said, no, it's not that. I think I'm lactose intolerant. (I've got quite the extensive M.D. background...thank you Internet.) She said, that could be, but what's one more test. 

Yes. What's one more test.

Well, thank God she's the M.D. and not me. (FYI...many people with CD are often misdiagnosed with Lactose Intolerance. And many CD peeps are often LI. Personally, I have to wait a few months before introducing dairy back into my diet to see if I really am. Or if it's just all that evil gluten, as I know refer to it.)

Now I'm venturing into this big new world of strict GF. I've cleaned out the cupboards of the usual suspects: various types of flour, oatmeal, pasta, cous cous and bread. But it's the sneakier ones that have me double checking labels and cross referencing with the Internet as there's lots of code words for Evil Gluten.

Various friends and the food bank have all received items that once were staples in my life.

Thankfully I live in a city that gets what it means to be on a strict GF lifestyle. There are restaurants, bakeries and farmers market stands that all cater to those of us just trying to avoid gluten and still have tasty treats.

I'll admit, I've gone a bit overboard with the GF vigilance perhaps, new blogs to read, books to check out, a whole new cookbook section to browse, but then again, this is my life and my health. And now I look at crumbs on the counter from one of Ruby's snacks in a whole new light. Just 1/8 of a teaspoon of gluten is enough to make a CD sufferer really suffer again.

Many people say learning about a diagnosis that makes you eliminate an huge food group that was a major part of your life causes one to go through a mourning and anger period. I didn't experience anger. More like relief. More like, oh thank God. I'm not dying, it's just that freakin' sandwich (and everything else I ate.)

But I do think I'm going through a mourning stage, hence the doughnut dream. And really, just a stage of trying to figure out what this all means. For example, why is gluten in salad dressing? I get why it's in chicken broth, but does it really need to be in my ketchup too? Apparently yes. 

For now, I just keep double checking ingredients, trying new products at the store and looking for the opportunity to try new recipes and get back to the baking that I love.

I purchased my first bag of Xanthan Gum (a staple in any GF kitchen I've learned) on my last shopping trip. I feel like that's my next step down this new path.


Sara K. said...

Megs - your response is so good. Shawn and I were just talking about the fact that I should test for CD because I never feel good after everything I eat. And, as gluten is in everything, it seems like it could be the culprit. Hope you are well as you adjust to the new lifestyle!

Jessica said...

Thankfully you know some of the most knowledgeable GF people in all of Seattle. Jeanne and Sasha can make anything delicious and GF. Glad you got to the bottom of what was making you feel sick. Hopefully you're feeling a lot better now.