Entering in on the Conversation…a new look at Gluten-free

Adding another food blog to the blogosphere is a bit daunting, especially for me, an amateur cook who is hesitant to embrace technology and abandon the recipe card box. Yet, when my husband suggested it tonight, the idea sounded compelling. In fact, I feel obligated to share all of my mistakes and successes with other people who have had the same diagnosis: stay away from the chocolate croissants, cookies, hand-braided Zopfe bread at family gatherings, or about 80% of all foods at any potluck spread. I should let others into my psyche and share how I have overcome some of the challenges that people on a gluten-free diet can face every day.

But in addition to my duty to share (as a global citizen with six years under my belt living Gluten-free with only some mild cheating), I hope to start the conversation. That’s right, it is not all about me, my recipes and my photos. It is a conversation about how we interact with our food.

Jenn Cuisine’s blog includes a mantra that comes from Michael Pollan’s book, In Defense of Food: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants”. (http://jenncuisine.wordpress.com/2009/07/15/zucchini-bread/) Like his thought-provoking ideas about our relationship with food and the environment, I see a strong connection to my food and PLACE. Local food that is good for me and the environment (and that doesn’t envoke a nasty reaction). 

Living in the Pacific-Northwest, words like CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), Sustainable, Organic or Slow Food, simply flow off the tongue with ease. But many of my enlightened friends and family don’t quite know what to think about preparing a meal without gluten. So many of the websites I read (and cookbooks for that matter) illustrate this disconnect.

It recently hit me. Walking down the isle of the natural foods section of Fred Meyer I only saw food companies trying to re-create our comfort foods with different flours. Gluten-free Chicken Pot Pie, Gluten-Free Pretzels, Cookies, Pasta, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the food industry that provides me with these options when I crave a pasta dinner or fluffy white biscuits. But, maybe there are other reasons why more and more of us are subscribing to Living Without.

Industrialized food has led us down the wrong path. But getting diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis was the beginning of a new path for me. It forced me to find foods that are more ancient, traditional. I would have never discovered amaranth, coconut oil or quinoa!  I just finished reading Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck.  http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9781596913943-0

She also agrees. She urges us to stick to traditional and ancient foods (without feeling guilty when we eat foods our grandmothers knew was good for us like butter or whole milk).  So, I am opening up the conversation, and I hope to share some of my insights…sent to you across cyberspace from the great Northwest. The wild west, where new ideas and fresh starts don’t get funny looks.

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