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  • Tye Lewis

Gluten Free & Me

Growing up eating all things gluten filled without consequences came to a sudden halt several years ago. With the gluten free crazy at its height in the United States and picking up in other nations it wasn't hard to locate "gluten free processed products" in my local supermarket. I did think that my unconscious had been listening to much "gluten free this and gluten free that" so I decided not to pay much attention to my stomach screaming for attention. It was only when several friends prompted me to try a gluten free diet after answering endless questions and commenting on my gastrointestinal issues.

Begrudgingly, I began to eliminate gluten products from my diet and my symptoms eased and finally subsided when all gluten foods were cut. I'm not going to say that it was easy to say no to my favorite go to dessert, carrot cake or to the a crisp ciabatta dipped in olive oil accompanied with a glass of wine. What I lose was the extreme fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and constant battle with the uglier sides of gastrointestinal issues. Additionally, I gained a wider understanding of thousands of dishes which were unknown to me as a gluten eater; okay ignored would be a better choice of words.

Who knew that cassava, millet, quinoa, and various other gluten ancient grains could be used to create unbelievable delicious dishes. With a little research and incorporating flours and foods new to me, I opened the door another world. Like many people who have food allergies or cannot digest certain foods, I used to think why me? Why has my body decided that my favorite foods are no longer welcome guests? Or, thinking which new food will be deleted from my limited diet? Instead I began to think of all the foods that I had overlooked and ignored since I was used to my tried and true dishes.

So when I am demonstrating food for clients or for convention attendees I focus on what can be enjoyed without every mentioning the word limit or limitations. I focus on redirecting to what can be enjoyed, sampled, and delightful to eat instead of the cannots. So, the moral of today's story = I get to begin tasting more of the world and loving it.

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