I cannot tell you how much I truly love bread – and anything like unto bread: pizza crusts, rolls, bagels, cookies, doughnuts, funnel cake. MMMMmmmmm! Makes me happy just thinking about it.
But then reality hits and I remember: I can’t eat bread. Or wheat. Or anything with gluten for that matter.
I really want to eat it. I long for the day when my body will be magically healed and I can eat whatever I want. But until then I’ll tell you what wheat does to me: it makes me sad. In days past, I did not get stomach pains or bowel issues or cramping or any of those things. I just got really… overwhelmingly… sad.
Some people call it depression. And for the most part, they’re right. But the word “sad” sums things up quite nicely so that’s my go-to word.
Wheat also makes me overwhelmed, irritable, scattered, and not a little cranky to be around. It took me years to figure out the cause of many of my health issues because I had no signs at the source of the problem – just really weird side-effects. I explain this whole ordeal in detail in Broken Vessel Restored, but here I’ll just say: wheat doesn’t like me. So I broke up with wheat and pretended I didn’t care anymore. I was a strong, independent woman who did not need wheat in my life. I could do the gluten-free thing. No problem.
But the truth was that because I loved wheat so much I really, really wanted to find a loophole in this whole mess. So I researched all about ancient grains and how they have a lower gluten content than our current-day hybridized high-gluten wheat options. One of these ancient grains specifically stuck out to me: einkorn.
Einkorn is the most ancient of wheat grains. It has 14 chromosomes and hasn’t been altered in a lab. And lucky for me, I found some at www.growseed.org. I happily ordered my 10 lb bag and anxiously awaited it’s arrival. I then soaked the wheat berries for 3 days; lovingly changing out the water as instructed by the interweb (in order to allow the enzyme and nutritional content to increase and the gluten content to decrease). Next, I dehydrated the whole lot in a low temp dehydrator as to not damage the enzymes. Finally I ground the wheat berries into flour and made blueberry pancakes.
Oh yes, I did have 3 huge servings of those pancakes – all smothered in butter and other delicious things. I was so, so happy. That night my stomach didn’t hurt or give me any indication of a pending depression flare-up. I just KNEW that I had beaten this thing and I would be one of the lucky ones. One of those who could eat this special, ancient version of wheat and, therefore, be the intelligent finder of my most-favorite loophole of all time.
I was wrong.
A mere 36 hours later I lay on the couch in the worst shape of my life. I had already experienced a bloody stool by that time (sorry for the TMI, there’s no nicer way to say it) and intestinal cramping and extreme brain fog and the feeling like I would much rather be dead. It took 2 days on the couch to overcome these little “complications.” I don’t know if I did it wrong or if my body has just completely jumped the wheat-shark (tv reference – who knows it?), but my experiment totally failed.
So, now wheat and I have officially broken up. This time for good. There will be no more reconciliations, call-backs, or late-night texts. We. Are. Done. And I’m kinda over it. I hope that you and wheat get along just fine because it’s in everything (seriously – it seems like everything has wheat in it). But as for me and my house, we will serve the Gluten-free version. Amen.