Tuesday, March 22, 2011

bikerides and nut thins

i have the privilege of being a mother of a sparkly little girl.  i exercise this privilege as a single parent. i am really good at a lot of things.  multitasking, cleaning, cooking, hosting play dates, entertaining, soothing, holding, helping, encouraging.  i can even do some of these things simultaneously.  and for the most part i do these things alone. 
i don’t need someone to take my trash out - that’s why i have legs.  
i certainly don’t need anyone to pay my rent or my heating bills - i’ve worked that out in my budget.  and i also don’t need help raising my daughter.  or at least that’s what i tell myself every day.  
but then things like tuesday happen.  the idea of a bike ride was brought up by my love and a little girl squealed with delight and immediately ran into her bedroom to don the appropriate “costume” for a bike ride.  
and suddenly, something inside of me settled.  my anxiety about finding something to make for dinner, cleaning our gross floors and parenting suddenly lifted.  someone was going to share this burden with me today.  if only for 20 minutes i didn’t need to hold her up alone.  
and i was reminded that i don’t have to do it alone all the time.  

celiac disease does the same thing to me.  i have to do it alone.  i hold this lifestyle alone.  parties, restaurants and even communion all remind me that i am “different” and that i don’t need help - i can do this gluten free thing.  it fluffs my feathers a bit and i hold my gluten-free banner high.  in this world - i have this figured out.  
i have gluten free by the neck.
but in reality its been 15 years and i still do not want to do this alone.  
as much as i have it down - it still is hard to not eat a hamburger on a bun.  but guess what.  i am a part of this amazing community and they showed up.  do you want to know how? my friend sara had nut thins at her house (AND I DID NOT BRING THEM!).  pecan nut thins.  i went to a dinner party and had crackers and cheese just like the cool kids.  
now, i can take care of myself.  i can bring nut thins to a party.  but now i don’t have to because ALL my friends have them FOR me.  and they cook gluten free meals FOR me.  i don’t ask and they don’t feel obligated - they just do it.  just like the 20 minute bike ride troy took with lillian, they share the celiac disease burden with me every time we share a meal together.  
and if for just that meal - i don’t need to hold myself up alone. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Gluten Free Love

The words gluten-free and love rarely go together.  In fact - when I was diagnosed with Celiac disease fifteen years ago I was sure those two words could not even be in the same solar system.   "Your significant weight loss is due to gluten" blandly reported my doctor.  

Gluten, a natural protein found in wheat, rye and barley is in everything.  What specifically you ask?  Cakes, cookies, pretzels, bread, cheeses, gum and even hair products include wheat.  In fact in the early days - the I had coined the phrase "The ENTIRE WORLD is made of gluten".   

Battered but not broken I dusted myself off and decided that if that was to be my fate - than my elaborate and dramatic (yet *ahem “unaired”) nightly cooking shows with my mother would now be gluten free.  Spectacular dinner and cocktail parties?  Well gluten-free of course!  You see, gluten-free is not just a way of eating, it is truly a lifestyle.  

I did not begin this diet for enjoyment, but I now am consumed with a fiery passion for the food and the gluten intolerant.  Fluffy rice bread with cream cheese and lox have become a mid-morning staple. The ever elusive spectacular tasting Indian curry dishes roll off my wooden spoon with the ease of a professional chef.  I now love everything about food; the taste, texture and the feel.  

Gluten-free, which used to be cruel and angry adjectives, have now grown soft, tender and graceful words I say with respect and reverence. I speak lovingly about the food that nourishes my body and soul with, and therefore every bite has become something to think about, relish, enjoy and share.  

And that my friends, is true gluten-free love.