Now children, gather round, I’m going to tell you a deeply personal story. Once upon a time in grad school I started to get very, very sick. I had debilitating stomach pain. I was hospitalized several times. I had mysterious rashes, unexplained tiredness and nausea. I knew every bathroom within a 50 mile radius of my apartment. It was a miserable, unpleasant, and downright scary time. Sometimes the stomach pain would get so bad, I would think “ok, this is the end. I’m really lucky I didn’t decide to get a cat so he wouldn’t eat my face off when I die.” Really. I thought that.I saw so many doctors and the inside of more depressing waiting rooms than I care to remember. I had so many tests run and everything came out negative. Many doctors brushed me off. “You’re in your 20s, you are young, it’s just stress,” they’d say. I lived in fear of food and on the recommendation of one doctor, ate a very bland, low-acid diet of peanut butter crackers, bananas and chicken soup.
I was sick for years. YEARS. I lived a miserable dietary existence. I was ready to just accept my fate as a weak, sickly individual until I saw one last doctor. This particular doctor suggested cutting out certain foods to see if my pain stopped. I cut out gluten, dairy and nightshades. My pain disappeared. I had more energy than I had in my entire life. I actually enjoyed eating again.
I worked the nightshades back into my diet with no problem. Then I tried the dairy. Still very little problem as long as I didn’t overdue it. I was scared, but I also tried adding the gluten back into my diet. The stomach pain and nausea came back soon after.
I’ve now been gluten-free for a couple of years. And it’s been glorious. I don’t miss “real” bread, pasta or the pain they once caused me. I eat fresh, beautiful foods without abandon. And guess what?! I cook them all out of my Airstream!
So to make a long story short, I want to share those foods with you in a new column I’m calling “The Gluten-Free RV.” The title makes sense now, huh?!
Thanks for listening, ya’ll. I love you and I hope you’ll enjoy.