Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wheat by Any Other Name

Matt and I went shopping one evening after the kids were tucked in bed. (This is a big benefit to living with the inlaws). We spent our date slowly making our way through the grocery aisles of Meijer, thoroughly reading the label of each item before it was added to our cart: Malt is not OK; Dextrin might not be OK, contact manufacturer to verify; but Maltodextrin is OK. I don't understand how it all works just yet. Once in awhile we hit the jackpot with the beautiful label "GLUTEN FREE" or simply "GF."

The amazing thing is the new way in which Celiac disease can make you view your old favorite foods. After ensuring that not one nanogram of gluten made it into our shopping cart, we were looking over the labels on some rice cakes when I glimpsed a label reading, "Mr. Wheat: Crispy snack wafers made with 99% whole grain wheat." Instantly I recoiled as if the label had read "made with 99% whole cyanide." Matt laughed too, "Might as well put one of those little green poison face stickers on that." Suddenly my mind saw Mr. Yuk just about everywhere: on the cereals, the bagels, the granola bars, the crackers, the breadsticks, and the frozen pizza I once loved. I had to make a break for the produce department before he stopped showing up on everything I saw. There was something especially refreshing about coming home to a pantry stocked with completely gluten-free items.

Matt and I had blood drawn today to test for antibodies to gluten so we're free to begin the gluten-free diet now. After Hannah's biopsy next week, we're purging the pantry of Mr. Yuk.

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