Trendiness and Diets

Posted by Obake on Jul 8, 2011 in Ranting

In my previous post I covered how I felt about being a fat celiac, and now its time to cover more ground on the topic of celiac as a trendy “diet”. It has been the trend for people without sensitivities/allergies to wheat to go on a gluten free diet for the purpose of losing weight. Besides the fact that diets don’t work long term, and all that jazz, I kind of resent these people.

Sure, it means that gluten free options are more widely available, and more people are aware that it exists at all, and for that I am thankful. However, because it’s trendy, it means that even though we have increased visibility, it also means that we are taken less seriously. Because those people for whom it isn’t a dietary restriction, they can stop at any time, and a minute amount of gluten, say, from a contaminated grill, is unlikely to hurt them. It’s easy for the public to take this into stride that it is just another diet, and act accordingly, not knowing perhaps that it could hurt someone. And it WILL hurt someone. It is hard enough to navigate eating out without this added complication. It’s hard to explain to friends and family how important it is if they think of it as a “diet”. Diets can be dropped. This cannot be stopped, ever.

Eating gluten for me personally means a resurgence of symptoms and physical damage to my intestines. I will pay for it if someone makes the assumption that this is a diet, and not a very real dietary restriction. To me, this is serious. To all of us this is serious. It would be like saying to a diabetic that they should just have a piece of cherry pie, despite the fact that it could seriously hurt them in the form of increased blood sugar. It’s that kind of restriction. But its not treated like it.

Then there is the whole other matter of companies jumping on the gluten free bandwagon because….its trendy and will make them money. I feel like they take advantage of people by doing this. Especially since pretty much any gluten free processed food is already very expensive. But really where it hits home is Gluten Free Bisquick. I’ll be making a post about flour later, but what I want to point out here, and what Gl├╝gle pointed out is that it’s expensive compared to the alternative mixes per ounce.

Ever seen gluten free bread? Bagels? Any bakery item? Note how expensive these things are, and how little you get. And no, it isn’t because the flours are more expensive. It has everything to do with profit. Those things don’t taste as good as what they’re trying to mimic either, to add insult to injury. I am encountering a lot of this deliberate price gouging because a lot of these companies realize that we don’t have many choices to begin with, which means its more likely we’d be willing to pay their price for it. Especially because some of these foods are the only gluten free processed food available to some people and they have no choices. We are creatures of habit, and not all of us have the time to dedicate to cooking for ourselves, and like vultures they sink their claws into us for it.

So we are at an awkward crossroads between having more options than ever before, yet being taken less seriously as a result.

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Coming off of Hiatus and Celiac

Posted by Obake on Jul 6, 2011 in Ranting

Image by: Kimchaney

I am very sorry for the hiatus. I didn’t have a computer to myself for nearly a year. Then I lost interest in blogging for a while, and was a bit shy to continue this after such a long hiatus. Then something changed everything.

I got very sick with what I thought was food poisoning. And didn’t recover. For two months I suffered through constant gastrointestinal upset, gas, brain fog, and pelvic cramps. No matter what I ate it was the same thing, over and over with no relief. That may not seem like much, but I’d suspected Celiac or a wheat allergy for a long time, because I have a genetic predisposition for both. When I went to the doctor, she confirmed that my suspicion had weight to it. But, after tests, nothing came out abnormal enough to cause concern. Around that time, I developed extremely itchy hives and was miserable along with everything that had happened, with no answers to why. The next step was a gastroenterologist, and I couldn’t afford the expense of a biopsy on top of all the tests that were taken to come up with “normal” when I was very clearly sick. The itching was the last straw. I had intended to wait till I had reviewed the blood results, but I was driven beyond the edge of my tolerance.

So I went gluten free immediately. And within a week, everything that had plagued me for months (or years in the example of some symptoms) cleared. I was amazed by this. Then I was accidentally “glutened” and suffered for about a day straight, with guts that felt like I’d ingested acid. That was proof enough for me. Celiac or Wheat Allergy, the improvement was undeniable. If I didn’t have that proof, I would not at all have stuck with it. But it was very clear to me that wheat was making me sick, and I’ve never felt so good. Good in ways that are awkward and hard to describe, because I have no reference, good in ways I’ve never felt before.

I am not doing it because its trendy, or to lose weight, or because I want the holy grail of health, or the hundreds of things that we are pressured into wanting. This is not a diet. I am not doing this to be special, and honestly the whole thing is rather triggery for me for reasons I don’t really want to go into for this post. I am happy with the fact that it was this simple. I don’t need the doctor’s official diagnosis, and its not anyone’s business. I have read that over 90% of Celiac patients never get diagnosed. That’s huge. And it really said to me: Either you take the plunge and see if it helps you feel better, or you’ll continue to suffer while doctors fumble for an “official” diagnosis you may never get. I chose not to suffer. I figured, if it didn’t help me, then I would go back and let them poke me and prod me some more, but if it did, I had my answer. I was right. I trusted my body to give me the answer and got it.

Yes, I know that Celiac and Wheat Allergy are functionally different, but the end treatment is the the same: Stay off wheat. Ultimately, for me personally, its irrelevant. I will refer to myself using either term, because they’re interchangeable to me. The only people the difference really means something is a doctor. And even then, only in diagnosis. I don’t know that knowing for sure which it is would really change anything for me honestly.

I deleted all but my curry post, which is gluten free and I am starting over. I am keeping the name, because honestly making baked goods that are gluten free is a little bit like magic to me right now. Its baking alchemy. This will become my blog for talking out my journey, sharing my experiences, recipes, that sort of thing, where I rant about what annoys me about it. It will be everything I was afraid to do before, because I didn’t want to face it. So welcome back to Creating Magic Muffins!


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