Top Ten Reasons To Go Gluten Free
This was written in the fall of 2012 as I reflected on the reasons, other than a diagnosis of Celiac Disease, that one might want to eat a gluten-free diet. We posted the list one item at a time, but I wanted it available in total since it makes an interesting case for a life change. Remember, if you aren’t battling Celiac Disease or severe gluten-intolerance, you can experiment for a day, a week, a month or a year. Variety is the spice of life. Have fun with this direction if it’s a path you choose to explore. And remember:
- Pots and Pans are easier to clean! You might not consider this a list topper, but I think of it every time I’m washing cake pans, skillets, or mixing bowls. GF batters and sauces rinse off much more easily than conventional flour does: Yes!
- Feel better! GF food is easier for everyone to digest. And, you might find that some other pesky symptoms ebb.
- Exposure to a variety of ethnic foods! Many foreign diets include little or no wheat: Thai, Persian, South American, Native American, Japanese …. Have fun expanding your culinary horizons!
- Learn about the variety of flours available and commonly used in the rest of the world! Garbanzo bean, quinoa, flax seed, mesquite, sorghum are only a few of the flours you can buy locally or on line.
- Lose weight! Many might put this closer to the top. As one eats less conventional bread by skipping rolls and butter before dinner, eating salad instead of a sandwich, or using steamed chard or spaghetti squash instead of pasta, the pounds come off quite easily.
- Support small business! A lot of the companies producing GF crackers, cookies, and flours are local independent entities.
- Develop Empathy! You discover what it feels like to be in the minority when you decline the restaurant rolls, birthday cupcakes, “Casual Friday” office pizza, game-day beer or doughnuts. It results in the determination to be inclusive in a variety of situations, not all relating to food.
- Everyone can come to dinner at your house! If about 1% of the population has Celiac Disease and a higher percentage has gluten intolerance or sensitivity, you can be proud and comfortable knowing that everyone will be accommodated at your dining room table. (Still check for lacto, ovo, vegan, and nut preferences/ allergies.)
- Savor the joy and satisfaction of preparing food from “Scratch!” The best GF muffins you eat will be warm out of your oven! We all eat too much pre-packaged commercially produced food. Go “whole” – you may find yourself also going “local” and “organic”, and that’d be good for the local economy and world ecology.
- Enjoy the satisfaction of learning and practicing something new! We forget that education is life-long. Because food is elemental to our daily lives, altering one’s diet has immediate consequences. Cooking and eating GF will be easier than learning the violin. And the results will taste better!