I recently read an excellent book on the topic of eating gluten free:
In Eating Gluten Free, Shreve Stockton, author of “The Daily Coyote” and a professional photographer, presents a unique blend of information and recipes, including helpful cooking and preparation hints. Stockton was diagnosed with gluten intolerance in 2003 and has devoted herself to sharing all that she has learned about living well, and eating well, with this prevalent condition.
From the book:
“The wheat-free/gluten-free diet is one of the fastest growing nutritional trends in this country. … Gluten intolerance causes an auto-immune reaction in the body, which means that the body basically attacks itself. … The resulting damage can be physical or neurological, and symptoms can range from gastrointestinal distress to depression, anxiety and fatigue. … In its most severe form, celiac disease, damage shows up in the small intestine. When even the smallest amount of gluten is ingested, it triggers the body to attack itself, a process that inflames the lining of the small intestine, which makes it impossible to absorb nutrients. … Gluten intolerance is frequently misdiagnosed and symptoms are often ascribed to numerous other conditions.”
“Many people who are not gluten intolerant are nevertheless discovering the health benefits of a wheat-free/gluten free diet. … Grains containing gluten are difficult to digest, they compromise the body’s ability to maintain maximum health, and they can even have an adverse effect on brain chemistry.”
While I’m not gluten intolerant, I found the book inspirational in general as far as healthy eating and making changes to one’s eating habits is concerned. I’m intrigued with the health benefits a diet lower in or free of wheat and other harmful grains and plan to investigate further. The book may even get me to start cooking, since the author makes getting started sound fairly manageable. As a confirmed non-cook (my stove currently serves as an extra desk ….), that’s saying something!
Many of the recipes sound absolutely delicious, from the hot cakes made with sorghum flour and applesauce to the buckwheat banana bread to the creamy cauliflower soup to the hippie bars (part cookie, part cake). A wide variety of smoothie recipes is already getting me out of my protein powder/banana smoothie rut.
Humans are not the only species who can have problems with digesting grains. Our pets also do better on grain-free diets. See my previous posts “Amber is on a diet” and “How to choose healthy foods for your pet” for more information about healthy and grain-free diets for your pets.