Cutting back on gluten

As if it isn’t hard enough to eat well in our overly ‘convenient,’ ‘sweet,’ ‘pre-fab’ culture, it looks like my husband has a problem with gluten.  After eliminating several early diagnoses of diverticulitis and intestinal adhesions, some research on our part, and a change in our diet is leading us to believe that he is indeed sensitive to gluten.  This is not the same thing as celiac disease which is an auto-immune disorder whereby gluten causes damage to the lining of the intestine, blocking absorption of nutrients and, as you might guess, also causes a myriad of symptoms that accompany malnutrition.  Although Celiac disease is thought to be a much more serious health problem, there are experts who claim that while gluten sensitivity is a lesser reaction to gluten, it is nevertheless one that may cause a host of discomforts as well as chronic illness.

So back to the difficulties of eating the way you want in our culture… there is gluten in many, many processed foods (often masqueraded with names like emulsifier, hydrolyzed plant protein, natural flavorings, stabilizers and starches).  Yet another reason to avoid products that have vague or unrecognizable ingredients.  It also turns out that wheat has been bred / hybridized to increase gluten content as we Americans like springy, spongy bread that you can roll into balls and throw at your classmates (oops sorry a memory interjected itself there). This increase has been followed with an increase in celiac disease!

All this to say that this morning I altered my usual pancake recipe by substituting buckwheat flour for whole wheat flour.  The recipe is:
1 cup oats
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp – 1 Tbsp cinnamon (optional)
2 small eggs or 1 jumbo egg
2 Tbsp oil (or melted butter)
1 3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
Mix dry, mix wet, mix together and following my little sis’ advice, cook on an evenly hot surface that is only mildly oiled, if at all (see her post “Cast Iron Pancake Chef“).  I usually do 1.5 or 2 times this recipe so I can freeze leftovers for future breakfasts.

And remember, that no matter what nutritional advice, warning, fad, new info, latest thang you follow, nothing is ever better than eating fresh, whole foods.

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5 responses

  1. Hi Lisa, I myself was just diagnosed as gluten sensitive. I suffer from really bad migraines and I am praying that cutting out gluten will relieve those. I am almost x2 weeks gluten free, it is a huge learning curve and haven’t seen a huge difference yet but not sure how long it takes to remove from system. Praying I may finally have found a cause of H/A’s !!

  2. Hey Janice! I am sorry to hear that you have migraines, but hopeful that this is the answer. We will have to compare notes as we work through this learning curve : ) We love the grain quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), which is high in protein and free of gluten. It is available at the Costco in Franklin in very large bags (the best deal in town), and also in the health food section of kroger. It is very tasty – one of Cole’s favorites, and of course there is brown rice. Part of the difficulty is the processed foods that have it in them.

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