Tuesday, September 7, 2010

gotta break a few eggs

I've had to learn the same lessons over and over in the past few weeks. First, there was You Can't Make the Flu Go Away Faster By Willing It Away. (I tried.) And then there was Grains Are Not Particularly Good for Me and (perhaps the most controversial one) Neither Are Gluten-Free Baked Goods.

When I was battling the flu I wasn't too hungry, but I sure was cranky. Not really in the mood to cook things from scratch. Plus, the thought of some foods I normally liked made me queasy. So between the time that I was coming down with whatever I had, being under the weather, and gradually emerging from the whole thing, I managed to try a variety of interesting food products (even though I knew better!).
     Overall, I've tried two kinds of gluten-free crackers, two kinds of gluten-free chocolate cookies (one grain-free, one not), chocolate-chip cookies made with almond flour (definitely never eating those again), lemon gluten-free muffins (same). Two kinds of coconut-milk ice cream, too, just out of curiosity, and a gluten-free pizza crust. Actually, the pizza crust wasn't bad, and the ginger snaps I got addicted to and decided to stop buying were darn tasty. But everything else - and I say this knowing that some folks might vehemently disagree with me - was not delicious. And all of it - even those tasty little ginger snaps - sparked cravings, which I'm starting to understand is not actually a good sign. The sugar or carbohydrate content was often exceptionally high.  Plus, none of this is paleo! For a reason!

     I've learned a few things through this process:
  • Adapting a primarily paleo diet (minus exceptions above) has changed my palate. I'm much more selective! I think this is because real homemade food tastes so incredibly good. So if something doesn't taste good, I'm less likely to mindlessly eat it anyway.
  • Just because it works for someone else doesn't mean it works for me. I absolutely love the gluten-free baking websites I've visited. They are beautiful, warm, and welcoming. The photography is often gorgeous. I have a beautiful book about gluten-free baking. The authors of these sites and books look vibrant and healthy in their pictures. Clearly, eating gluten-free baked goods agrees with them. But these foods don't leave me feeling as good as the other foods I eat. For me, if I can't have the wheat-filled original, I'd rather skip it altogether.
  • The best gluten-free food (for me) is the kind that's not labeled gluten-free, because you can't print words on an apple. (Okay, technically you could. Like on a sticker. Or with a stencil. But you know what I mean!)
So I'm going to keep buying local eggs two cartons at a time (omelets are a staple these days). Going to keep Hagen Dazs Five vanilla ice cream on the short list for splurges (so good!). Going to finish the ground grass-fed beef I cooked up with a homemade spice mix tonight.
     And I'm probably going to keep trying gluten-free products, because it's hard to shake a habit of wanting to find the exception to the rule! But I think I'm starting to learn how this works for me: Every time I make a mistake and experience the consequences that result, I understand all of this a little better.

19 comments:

Chandelle said...

I have to agree about packaged GF foods. I never went crazy on them because they're usually out of my budget, but the few that I've tried have been disappointing, and I didn't feel well after eating them. In my own cooking I tend to focus on things that are naturally gluten-free without trying to mimic glutenous foods. Many of the ingredients used in GF recipes don't even qualify as food, in my opinion.

Anne said...

One of my new dietary rules is "No Processed Foods.", which knocks all of those pre-packaged monstrosities right out of my diet. The thing is, I have a GF friend who LOVES to bake...and loves to share when I stop by her house every Friday night. Though it's homemade (and always yummy), I've come to realize my body does not appreciate the almond and rice flours used to make those GF baked goods - I feel listless and tired after eating even a little bit. They're a nice treat for every once in a while but really, my body and taste buds would be happier with a simple dish of "peaches and cream" or an apple smeared with peanut butter. Yeah, I'm spoiled. ;-)

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