amber waves of grain

Ah, Friends.

We have picked up the minions from my parents… all 5 of us are back under one roof, with Gus and Abby now sharing a room.

Let us pray.

I mentioned Thursday that I was making a few changes in order to be a better player on the home team here…

one of those is regularly seeing a counselor. We’ll talk about that, but not today.

Another is regularly seeing a friend, who is a chiropractor, professionally.

[Let me say here that this is not a post to debate the ethics or belief in chiropractic care. Do what you do. My first job in high school was working in a chiropractor’s office, and I have been a long-researched, well-read fan ever since. It works for me on many, many levels.]

So, my friend… my brilliant friend who is now gainfully employed and helping people lead a fuller, better-rounded life… my friend says to me on my first visit, “Ok. There are, like, a million things happening in your body right now. I’m not sure all of them are fantastic. We’re going to do this, this, and this. Here are the tools you need. Go forth and be strong. Come see me in one week.”


One of the ‘this’-es was to go gluten-free for 6 weeks.

I am now on Day 7.

You’re afraid- right now you’re afraid that I’m going to tell you it’s changed my life and I’ve never felt better and I never thought I could do it and here are all the reasons you should do it, too.

I might, later.

But not today.

Today I want to say that I miss bread. I miss ballpark hot dogs in buns that help hold the cheese on. I miss pancakes- easy, fast pancakes. And I miss Coke. I MISS COKE.

Do I feel better? Yes. Already? Yes. But, quite frankly, I miss being lazy.

I’m thinking this may have been exactly what the good doctor had in mind.

Ten-million dollars says I will be the one person in America who feels better on a gluten-free diet but returns to her old ways simply because she has no willpower. It’s shocking, really, that I’ve made it this far. I am a genetic cheater (I’m looking at you, Dad.). I cut corners. I don’t plan my days. A gluten-free diet, while making perfect sense to me, is maybe the exact opposite of me.

I’m here to say I’m doing it, I’m not happy about it, I already see the benefits*, and I dream about Coca-Cola at night.  during the day. all the bless-ed time.

I give you permission to steer me towards one EASY, simple, favorite gluten-free menu or website or recipe. I refuse to be converted, but I am willing to be enticed.

Word of encouragement are always acceptable.

* Gluten causes inflammation of cells in your gut. The symptoms of a gluten intolerance vary incredibly from person to person. Like most things in life, it’s a spectrum. Some people notice nothing. They are like those crazy caffeine people who can have coffee at 11pm and be asleep by 11:15pm. Some people are desperately allergic to gluten. And even more have some level of sensitivity to gluten that is affecting them daily but is easily managed… symptoms like focus or irritability or fatigue. They’d be better without gluten, but they manage to cope using methods other than eliminating gluten from their diet.

I do not suffer from Celiac Disease. Nor do I have an obvious allergy. But, it’s already clear gluten makes me foggy and tired. Thus, the 6-week trial. Five more weeks and then we’ll see if we need to take it to the next level: the family table. I need to get a handle on it myself before changing over the rest of the tribe.

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

14 responses to “amber waves of grain

  • elspethcordelia

    I feel like I may have pointed you toward this recipe before, but that’s maybe because I share it with everyone. It’s not really a great summer recipe, but it’s fantastic in the fall and winter. It’s a baked potato soup recipe that uses cream cheese as the thickener instead of flour, so it happens to be gluten free!

    I usually peel half of the potatoes, use diced freeze-dried garlic(lazy) and always blend the cream cheese with the 1/2 of the soup to incorporate it better. I’ve also done all the prep work the night before and then left it in the fridge to cook the next day. It freezes pretty well, but I usually make a half batch now and have none left to save.

  • Emily

    It’s a shame we didn’t talk more yesterday and I only blame myself, but of course it’s not likely that you’d tell me that you were going gluten free. “oh hey, let me tell you about my gut.” Anyway, a couple months back I did a 21 day “detox” where by the end I was having no meat, dairy or grains. I had never felt so good on a regular basis. Cutting those 3 out all together long term is not for me, but to give my body a chance to rest was really great. Give it a shot for a while. I found that when I re-introduced it, my stomach would be upset, but sometimes a tortilla is just really worth it….. ?
    Good luck!

  • Robin Tenace

    Let me be the first to say…GOOD JOB! It is hard go gluten free, especially when you are just starting out. My son Ryan is gluten free (Ryan was in Rylie’s Class).. Well, actually he is gluten free and casein free (GFCF). Casein is a protein found in milk. It is typically know as the Autism diet. Yes, Ryan is on the spectrum. He has asperger’s. He has been on the diet for about 3 months know and it has helped a lot! It has not been easy. We have had our struggles and meltdowns over a few food items (he really misses chex mix!) but we have found suitable substitutes for most things (except for coca-cola – sorry can’t help you on that one), My first piece of advice is do some research on the “other” names for gluten to find hidden gluten. Then READ the labels when you shop. Yes, it take more time (and it sucks), but it will be worth it in the end. My second piece of advice is to find a couple of gluten free cookbooks. It is so much cheaper to make your own stuff than to buy it a the store. I have checked out many books from my local library. Try Gluten Free on a Shoestring. She has a couple of books and a facebook page (or blog if you don’t facebook). I would love to help you any way I can. If you have ANY questions please do not hesitate to ask. You can e-mail me or find me on facebook: Robin La Croix Tenace. Good luck!

  • Amy L

    good luck my friend. Change is hard and sounds like you will have your challenges ahead. Sorry about the coke – I’m a coffee girl myself and having to give that up in my lovely morning routine would send shock waves through my life – I can only imagine your struggles. Congrats on one week and down and keep working on it!

  • texasnorth

    Sometimes a tortilla is just worth it! Yes! I find myself wanting to scope out everyone’s plate to see what they’re eating 🙂

  • Lucy

    You go, girl! Dietary changes are like giving up Christmas, but it will help smooth the road to sanity in the midst of chaos, uh, er, i mean, in the midst of family life! I have the perfect substitute for Coke. It’s a fizzy, fruity, refreshing drink called Tibicos or water kefir. Maggie makes it for us (she’s 12). It is full of energy-giving LIFE! (probiotics) All it takes is filtered water, sugar, a wee bit 0′ fruit, and 1/4 cup of water kefir grains. (of which we can give you a supply) I’ll see you at the Aggie chili palooza or sooner if you want to get into homemade, healthy soda production even sooner!

  • Maria D.

    I am so proud of you! Way to take care of yourself! GF is hard and I am seriously glad no one has asked me to do it. My son is GF because he gets an itchy rash when he eats too much. Something I thought of when I read this…GF freezer waffles might help that pancake craving. I know it’s more expensive to invest in non-wheat flours but there are some amazing GF recipes out there for bakes goods…as long as u r still on sugar. I have a great chocolate banana muffin if u r interested. Keep on keepin’ on mama! You Rock!

  • Kathy Westendorp

    Both Megan and I are starting out on gluten-free as of the last couple days. We are reading the book “Wheat Belly” together. She has PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome ) and so wheat is not going to be her friend when it comes to regulating blood sugar, not to mention possibly helping with her headaches and some minor skin issues too. We are amazed by what we are reading and learning! I am researching many things and talking to friends who have gone gluten-free and happy to share info with you– Meijer is a good place to start with some gluten-free products but we will be experimenting with Trader Joe and Whole Foods if we are able to. Also gluten-free products can also be high carb which Meg has to watch so that is a little tricky. Good luck and I hope you see a lot of good things come as a result!

  • Missy

    You can do it, yes you can;
    You can do it, you’re The (wo)man!
    This concludes my cheering. When we had to give up gluten for Sweetboy a few years back, Vans blueberry waffles were my favorite to replace the pancakes. You can do this thing. Oh yes, and I’ll be over here cheering for you!

  • Kim Aguilar

    Gluten free is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, hands down, as far as day to day living is concerned. (Lots of other hard things top the gluten thing, you know, like hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park and, you know, labor and delivery.) I’m like you. Lots of inflammation, but no allergy or Celiac. I did not make it for the long haul. I am now 3 weeks into incorporating essential oils into my life with—so far so good—pretty incredible results. Let me know if you are interested in doing some reading on Emotional Healing with Essential Oils. Rocked. My. World.

    So. Here’s my go-to, easiest gluten-free meal on the planet that everyone in the family can and will eat:

    Chicken sausages (They’re precooked, and usually come in a flavor, like “artichoke and mozzarella” or something, and they say gluten-free on them. I’ve eaten all different brands and flavors with success. One package of 4 sausages feeds my family of 3 with a few leftovers.) I take them out of the package and cut them up into pieces with my kitchen scissors. I heat up a little oil in a frying pan and add the sausage pieces and heat them through and get them nice and browned on all sides.

    Serve with either rice or baked potato and green beans or salad or both. Cantaloupe, Jello, or ice cream for dessert.

    BOOM. Done deal.

  • Kim Aguilar

    Got another meal for you. They just keep coming to me while I watch the Bachelorette. You think I’m kidding.

    Bean tostadas. It’s like having a taco, but crispy and delicious. We get the white corn tortillas (make sure they’re gluten-free, obviously.) and then fry them up in a hot pan of oil. (Doesn’t take very long if you are not chasing little people, so I like to put Jose in charge of the tostada making. Just make sure you don’t leave to pull a child out of the toilet or something and have hot oil on the stove. Ask me how I know…and I didn’t even have kids at the time.) I like to put them on a bed of paper towels to drip dry.

    Now for the kicker. Crockpot refried beans. My dear Hispanic friend doesn’t even soak hers. She just dumps a 1 lb. bag of pintos in her crockpot and covers the beans with water, plus a little more. Then she cuts up a whole 1 lb. thing of bacon with kitchen scissors into little pieces and fries it on the stove and adds it, drippings and all, to the beans in the crockpot. She adds more water if they need it toward the end. Mash them up and salt to taste at the end, too. Super delish. But let’s face it, I’ve only made them once and I usually just pop a can of Rosaritas.

    Schmear the beans on those tostadas and add your favorite toppings. I like cheese and tomato and avocado and green onion and bell pepper. And salsa! And sour cream! I could go on you know. Grilled shrimp. See, I told you. Oh geez. Cilantro.

    I never feel like I’m missing out on tacos if I’m having a bean tostada. They are special and very, very messy.

    Serve with horchata, to drink; we like the Kerns brand. Shake well!!

    For dessert, cut up some corn tortilla strips and fry them and then dredge them in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. With or without ice cream.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I just tried to find meals that were naturally gluten-free. Mexican and Asian foods are great in that they don’t usually have gluten (just check labels, especially with Asian sauces!). I didn’t want to be making separate meals for everyone and I didn’t like wheat substitute products, except I really liked the Great Grains gluten-free spaghetti. It’s pretty good. Don’t waste your time on penne, though. It’s tough and yucky when you warm it up the next day. I’m feeling for you, my friend!!

    Here are a couple of other quick meal ideas:

    Pork chops, green salad, sweet potatoes, watermelon.

    Grilled chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, pan-fried asparagus with olive oil and salt, fresh blackberries with whipped cream.

    Just because you are eating gluten-free does not mean you can’t eat WELL.

    About the almighty Coca-Cola. I kicked my caffeine habit (I was a Pepsi drinker and I haven’t gone back since) our junior year in high school when I got a job at Chick-Fil-A and started drinking fresh squeezed lemonade instead. …Just a thought.

    p.s. Thanks! I think I have my menu plan for the next week!

  • Kelly Schmidt

    Katie –

    some blogs/cookbooks that I have used for GF recipes & support:

    Gluten-free Goddess
    Gluten-free Girl & the Chef
    G-Free Foodie
    Go Dairy Free (some recipes are GF as well as DF)
    Cooking for Isaiah (mom used to cook for Rachael Ray’s show, her son had to go GFCF)

    Hang in there, girl. You can do this. Hugs!


  • Lizzy

    You can do it Mama!! I am somewhat gluten intolerant and we have the past few months made the decision to try gluten free (as opposed to gluten reduced) for the sake of our sweet Aspie child. I can imagine that at first it might be difficult but really there are plenty of alternatives out there. You will find them, and you will get used to them (believe it or not). You got this – God’s got you! Cheering you on from over the pond – Lizzy 🙂

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