Monday, February 27, 2012

My home is a haz-mat site

I was all set to post about a sugarless, flourless chocolate cake recipe Adrienne sent me for Valentine’s Day (Adrienne unwittingly gave me the perfect gift: an excuse to purchase a block of pure, bitter chocolate and have playtime in my kitchen).  And then she emailed me recent news articles discussing the evils of wheat.  I’m sending her positive peer pressure via Ethernet to induce her to post those links here and discuss her reaction to them.

My in-law’s are visiting me from out-of-town, and so I’ll get to today’s topic: wheat and sugar addiction.  My MIL has Celiac disease.  She thinks it’s just an iron issue, that the protein in wheat gluten prevents her digestive process’ iron absorption function.  So her physician gives her an iron shot (in the butt) periodically so she can continue eating toast and corn flakes and hamburger buns.

Screeeeeeeech!!! (my poor attempt at tires braking against pavement)  

Why isn’t my MIL sitting in my living room lecturing us all on how wheat is ravishing her body?  Why did we have to go to the grocery store and purchase the following ingredients to properly host them for the next week after my husband declared our house to be sugarless and flourless (and, therefore, fabulous):

·         A one-pound sack of white table sugar

·         The big box of Corn Flakes

·         A loaf of sliced white French bread – the kind that costs $1.49

·         One bunch bananas

·         One half-gallon non-organic skim milk

And why did MIL tell FIL that he couldn’t have eggs because his LDL is too high (he’s having Corn Flakes with sugar instead)?  And why, for the love of beautiful citrus fruit, is MIL putting sugar on her grapefruit.
While I understand it’s difficult to wrap one’s head around eating eggs containing animal fat when you’re on heart medication, I’m still muttering under my breath about eating cheap wheat when you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac.  I am not going to badger her anymore with data – I believe in living by example (and I've already badgered her).  I think she won't give up her drug of choice because modern strains of wheat, and certainly processed sugar, are so addictive that even people who have a medical condition cannot stay away from them.

And here’s the worst truth of all: I’M JONESING FOR A PIECE OF BUTTERED TOAST.

I stood in my kitchen last night looking sideways at the loaf of bread lying beside the toaster I hauled out from under the cabinets, and I can taste the toast: hot, buttery, crunchy.  Maybe some cinnamon, too.  Nah, just the Irish butter made from grass-fed cows who moo, “Top o’ the mornin’!  The toast, the toast…my kingdom for a piece of toast.

Don’t worry, I didn’t eat the bread.  But it reminded me how addictive these Franken-foods can be, even with just a visual reminder.  This morning I had to throw a kitchen towel over the loaf of bread so it wouldn’t look at me with its come-hither gaze.  MIL wants to know what I'll do with the leftover sugar.  I told her it would be dumped in the garbage (with everything else in the list above excepting the bananas).

Ooh, no, I could make a sugar scrub.

Are you a wheat-free evangelist? How are you handling the nay-sayers who live in the same house as you (even if just for a short time)?  Are you above temptation, or are there still tempting “foods” that you just can’t be around?



Adrienne Shubin said...

I have been thinking about this article I sent you for days. I know that wheat products do not do anything for my waistline and are highly addictive, but I didn't understand why - the science behind it all - until now. It all makes perfect sense: Frankenwheat.

Although I am on a low carb diet and I don't cheat on it, I do eat low carb breads on a regular basis. I am so focused on all that is low carb and sugar free, I plain forgot about the wheat flour lurking in low carb breads. I am quite reliant on my low carb toast in the morning - being an egg hater and all - that giving it up shall be difficult. But after reading this article and another one by the author of "Wheat Belly", I think it's the only wise thing to do!

I wish your MIL would just try a week without wheat and see how she feels. It might change her life! Any possibility you could convince her to try it for a short while?

Adrienne Shubin said...

And here is the "Wheat Belly" article link...

Jodie (aka mummaducka) said...

I'm really enjoying being wheat and sugar free. But have to say that I am such a sucker for fresh white bread with honey or jam and thick cream. I know that my tummy and weight loss thank me for persevering. I do have bread in the house for the children's lunches and I am not at all tempted. I am not sure what I could replace the bread for lunches with but am interested in trying. They don't have a canteen at the moment so a salad is off the menu. Many of the other items all have wheat flour. In Australia they are only interested in having low fat foods in the school canteens!!!!!!

Jodie (aka mummaducka) said...

I just read the wheat belly article. I live in a huge wheat and cotton growing area. I know that wheat is vastly different to that grown in Egypt thousands of years ago and all of the selective breeding of plants is to increase yields and therefore profits. I can see that this also helps to provide the grains for third world countries. I think I can personally pass on it. But there is a huge need to feed the world.

Anonymous said...

I made a beef stew - Barefoot Contessa recipe - wherein I substituted the wheat flour for coconut flour (not a 1:1 ratio), and surprised her with the revelation. She doesn't care. She wants things her way and is uninterested in changing. Sad, really, because with Celiac you are in direct danger of stomach, colon and rectal cancers.

Anonymous said...

Yep, the world is obsessed with artificially low-fat foods that are full of garbage. Much better to eat natural foods without any sugar - substitute or otherwise - and save the stevia and low-carb treats for special occasions. Believe me, I'm preaching to myself! I'm waiting for some clever clogs out there to create a bread recipe using cauliflower!

Elana's Pantry has WONDERFUL recipes; I just made her pumpkin bread that uses almond flour. It wasn't at all bad.

Anonymous said...

When I was in Africa I observed mostly millet, field peas, and whatever else grew in the ground as food sources for the villages. The real need to stave off famine is a tricky ethical issue (so is feeding the poor in our own countries): do you produce foods that can feed starving people efficiently, knowing that the food is adulterated nutritionally, or do you maintain pure, highly nutritional forms of food that because of scarcity cannot feed everyone? I'm not in a position to answer or comment. I do know that in the U.S. our indigent poor have some of the worst obesity and diabetes issues, and they are the prime consumers of Frankenfood. It is a very tricky and serious dilemma without an easy, straight-forward solution.