Thursday, July 9, 2009

Gluten Free Goodness

We have been gluten free around here for almost eight years, since Josiah was diagnosed with Celiac Disease as a toddler. There are now four of us who have to avoid gluten, but the other three of us were just diagnosed about a year ago, so although we're excited about cold cereal, none of us is more excited than Josiah.
Cold cereal would not make an appearance at my house any more often even if we could eat gluten, because of its lack of nutrition (might as well just eat half a dozen cookies to break the fast ) and exorbitant price, but we're thrilled to have more choices for an occasional easy, quick breakfast (so we can then fry up some eggs about an hour later because we're starving due to the lack of protein at breakfast, therefore extending our breakfast hour almost up until lunchtime).
I had to snap this picture showing Josiah's excitement, although I've always chosen not to make a big deal out of the dietary differences. Years ago I was asked by the specialist in Anchorage to start a gluten free support group here in the Valley. I declined. I inwardly cringe when people refer to Josiah's food as "special", as in, "No, Johnny, you can't have any of those cookies. Those are Josiah's special cookies. Here, have some of these [not-so-special] cookies." Last time I checked, cookies are special just for being cookies! In an effort to make a gluten free kid not feel unusual, well meaning people make him feel "special" instead. Just like those "special" Olympians. Food is food! There is a magazine out there which is filled with great information, but I absolutely refuse to subscribe because of the victim-like mindset obvious in the title, Living Without. We don't "live without", we live with! The amount of creativity and new grains introduced to our family's meals after Josiah's diagnosis has been nothing but a joy! (Okay, sometimes it's not so joyful, as I've been through frustrating times with baking. But my baking skills sure have been challenged and refined.)
Don't get me wrong; I don't advocate being in denial. I have always tried to validate frustration (either within my kiddos or myself). But after we've had a few minutes feeling sorry for ourselves, we take the Pollyanna approach and remember that if we have to have a disease, this is definitely is the one to have. And if they still feel bummed, I can remind them that it could be worse. They could be without gluten and dairy, like their mother...;-)

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