giving up the wheat

by Sandra

I decided a couple of weeks ago to give up refined sugars while Michelle is gone.  I thought it would be really hard, but now that I’ve been at it for a week, it almost seems easy.  Though I’m finding that many, many things contain sugar—ketchup, shricha sauce, some soy sauces, salad dressing—so not only may I have already slipped up, it also means that a lot of processed foods are out.

What will exacerbate this even more is that I decided to try and give up gluten as well.  No, I’m not gluten intolerant, but I’m kinda intrigued by these little experiments I put myself through to see (a) how I handle it and (b) how my body will react.  I’d be a good candidate for market research, I can tell you that right now.

But gluten, as you may imagine, is in everything.  And I already messed up on this, big time, when I made homemade chocolate granola yesterday.  On a side-note, I even found raw, unsweetened “cocoa mass” after trolling through Whole Food for a half-hour so I didn’t have to use traditional chocolate.  And no, it is certainly not as pleasant as biting into a Scharfenberger or another of similar ilk.  Eating it plain was an experience I could really only classify as “unpleasant,” like recreating the childhood experience of gnawing down on mom’s unsweetened baking chocolate expecting Cadbury’s but wanting to puke instead.  Taking a piece of that cocoa mass into my mouth was nearly intense—it’s a much more concentrated caffeine delivery system than your average morning cuppa.

But anyway, back to the granola.  As it was baking in the oven yesterday, I sat down to review a list of foods to avoid to keep a gluten-free diet.  Now, I had assumed that only wheat-based products had gluten in them, but duh—oat-based products do, too.  And what was the first ingredient of that granola that I was proud of for being sugar-free?  Three cups of rolled oats! (Slaps forehead)

Being on non-speaking terms with sugar is difficult enough.  Avoiding gluten at the same time means that there is even less I can eat.  And even though the sugar part has been easy, I’m thinking that the gluten thing will take a little more time to ease into.  But the more I research, the more I’m considering making that a more permanent eating habit.  Jeez, why did I chose to do this in the year that I was going to concentrate on baking?

Speaking of baking, I’m still at it.  More to come on that front.  The chocolate granola and some chocolate crackle cookies I made for Laura before heading for Dallas.  More to come, children, more to come.