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05 May 2015 @ 05:45 pm
Unpopular Opinion, Episode 1: Let Them (not) Eat Gluten  
I've been trying out the Blood Type Diet. It was recommended to me by a friend who swears that it works for her like nothing else has. Since all it really requires is that I not eat certain things, I'm willing to give it a shot. The fact that my list of proscribed items contains most of my favorite ingredients is a pain, but I also look at it as a challenge. After all, I'm a cook. I can make ANYthing tasty and satisfying, right? If it works, groovy. If not, I can go back to making chicken fajitas with black beans.
My list of foods to avoid includes:
Most beans (black, garbanzo, pinto, kidney)
Corn and corn meal products, and corn syrups while I'm at it
Coconut and coconut oil
Most oils (I can do olive, almond and walnut oil)
Most grains (Oats, Rice, and Spelt are okay to eat)

Thank goodness I'm allowed wine, cheese and chocolate. I'd never have agreed to this, if those were off-limits. I can also eat basically any vegetable or fruit you can think of. As Mexican dishes are a staple at our house, you may notice that I'm pretty much SOL on those. Stir-fry is totally doable, though, as are your standard Midwest steak-and-potatoes dinners.

You may also have caught that wheat is a no-no. HA! This 'diet' has me going gluten-free. Well played, diet, you have me doing something I swore I would never do. This has taught me the wonder of Oat flour and Brown Rice flour, which have allowed me to continue the tradition of making pancakes and waffles for breakfasts a few days a week. (Frankly, I'm rather enjoying those new pancakes and waffles.) But I also have discovered that despite the gluten-free craze that has swept our nation's grocery store shelves, I can't eat 99% of those processed gluten-free items. Why? Because they contain Amaranth, or Barley, or Corn, or Sunflower oil, or Safflower oil, or Coconut, or garbanzo flour, or basically a half-dozen items that are also on my no-eat list. Also, for things that are supposedly "healthy," boy are they incredibly processed! *snort*

I'm not actually bothered so much, although I'm bummed that I can't enjoy a sandwich on any kind of bread, or cheese and crackers (cheese and meat and apple slices sure do go a long way, though). But that's just it: I'm not supposed to eat gluten, so I don't eat things that would generally need to contain gluten to be tasty. The pseudo-varieties are so highly processed that I can't even think of them as "real" food.

I can have rice or quinoa pastas (so long as they aren't made with corn flour, too, which many are)...those are things I could make myself, at home, if I had the time and inclination (just like I'm making my oat and rice flour pancakes). I can't make a satisfying gluten-free bread, so I don't try to fake it. If I couldn't eat dairy, I wouldn't go out there trying to fake it with soy cheese. My goodness, that stuff is horrid. I made a white-bean hummus (cannellini and navy beans are still okay for me to eat) that is actually tastier than the garbanzo variety I'm used to, so I'm not lamenting a lack of hummus. But I'm not out there trying to concoct some Frankensteinian monstrosity of pseudo-whatever to replace the guacamole that's off limits. If you can't eat it, don't eat it, especially if you're choosing not to eat it out of an aesthetic or morality-based standpoint. I sympathize with people who can't digest meat proteins and eat Vegan out of necessity, but people who choose Veganism because it's faddish, or because they love the animals...I'm sorry, you guys, but just stop with the "It's totally just like a hotdog only made of soy!" bullshit. If you're going gluten-free because Oprah told you to, stop trying to find a gluten-free bagel or a Mexican restaurant serving gluten-free tortillas (outside the traditional corn tortillas...I'm talking about those yahoos who want fake flour tortillas made with an ingredient list a mile long, because they're deathly afraid of "gmo wheat"). Suck it up and realize that your eating choices have limited your options.

If your body rejects gluten, I'm really sorry. Celiac disease is horrible, and I'm glad there are things like rice noodles and oat cereals, and gluten-free brownie mixes made with real ingredients, and that you can still eat many things that were once wheat-only items. But if it's a CHOICE, just suck it up already. I choose not to eat avocados, so no guacamole for me. If you choose not to eat wheat, figure out how to make what you want without the wheat flour, or just shut up about it. There are people who are deathly allergic to tomatoes, and guess what? They don't eat marinara sauce. It's not rocket science. You don't always get to have your (gluten-free) cake and eat it, too. At least, you won't get a cake that tastes as decadent and ooey-gooey moist and awesome as the stuff you used to eat back before the Wheat Boogeyman. It'll be crumbly and taste a little weird. So deal with the crumbly weird cake.