My sister sent me this article the other day and I thought it worth sharing. It is called What Really Causes Celiac Disease? and it has a different message than I have seen before. It basically (and I’m giving a very small synopsis of this) says that traditional thought on Celiac disease is that some people have the gene for it, and of those people, some of them have the disease triggered by something. In other words, not everyone with the gene has the disease, so: gene + the trigger = Celiac. They are now thinking there is more to it than that, in fact billions more. “Billions?” you may ask, but yes, when discussing probiotics we get into big numbers. Unfortunately, the modern diet and the modern obsession with antibiotics and antibacterial everything means those big numbers are dangerously low. (Probiotics are things like acidofilus and bifidus which create yogurt and other foods.) This article singles out bifidus as an important player in keeping our digestive systems healthy and allergy/intolerant free. They are still learning about the connections between probiotics and dietary issues, but in the meantime I am going to take in as much as I can, and certainly make sure my kids do too. So far they do not seem to be gluten intolerant like I am, but I’m going to take any step I can that might help keep it that way.
A couple of days ago I was sitting in a doctor’s office when I spotted a Whole Living magazine which was a welcome diversion. I don’t often see those lying around so I was happily surprised, yet far more surprised by what I actually read. There was an article about a baker making sourdough bread with regular wheat that apparently gluten intolerant people can eat. The story goes on to explain about the starter and yeast and other things, but the gist of it was that at least one Santa Monica baker has a technique that has gluten intolerant people lining up for miles around, and it also talks about ancient wheat varieties versus the modern ones. Here’s the article so you can read it too, and join me in my plan to move to Santa Monica, or at least find out more about this technique. It sounds like at least a lot more people are thinking about this epidemic in gluten intolerance and trying to do something about it. (Yay!) The bummer for me though is the fact I was not tested for Celiac Disease when diagnosed with gluten intolerance. I just asked the doctor (whose office I was in reading the above article) about getting tested now and she said I would have to go on a gluten diet again before being able to get an accurate answer. That bites! I didn’t even ask how long I’d have to eat gluten (and feel rotten) because my immediate thought was about the feeling rotten part. She said as long as I don’t know I just have to stay off gluten entirely and forever~ which makes these ancient wheats and sourdough starter prospects bittersweet. It makes me wish I’d demanded to be tested way back when the first GI doctor I saw told me it didn’t matter because whether I was a celiac or just gluten intolerant all I could do either way was stay away from wheat, and that I didn’t look like a celiac b/c they are normally blonde and pale. (That still cracks me up.) At the time I wanted to know for certain because I thought it important for my kids since it is a hereditary disease, but I let him talk me out of sticking a long scope down my throat into my small intestine. Honestly, it didn’t take long for him to convince me that was unnecessary. Oh well. I guess I can always try these new things and see how I feel which sounds a lot easier than eating a bunch of gluten just in order to take a test. Looks like the Santa Monica farmer’s market is now on my “must go to” list now.
So I’ve been hearing about this ancient wheat possibly being digestible for us gluten challenged people and have found one company that is making pastas from one of the strands, and selling the flour. It is called Einkorn wheat and the company I have stumbled upon is Jovial. I have liked their gluten free pastas for a while now, and really enjoy their blog and recipes but up until now I have kind of ignored the whole ‘ancient wheat’ thing thinking it wasn’t for gluten intolerant people. Now I’m starting to hear mumblings that perhaps it is. Obviously, a celiac needs to take extra precaution, but for all those people who don’t eat wheat just because it makes them feel awful in one way or another, this just might be a way to enjoy it again. I don’t know~ I haven’t tried it yet myself. Funny how I used to eat wheat nonstop and now I’m stalling about trying this new development of an ancient grain, but I really don’t like feeling sick. (Shocking, I know.) And really I’d like some more evidence before eating it and possibly feeling sick and causing damage to myself. But, if anything is going to lure me in it will be the possibility of a hearty European style loaf of bread to eat. I could eat alternative grains for pasta, pastries, crackers, and just about anything else quite happily for the rest of my life, but a good old fashioned hunk of crusty bread just can’t be made without wheat. Or at least it doesn’t taste nearly as good, in my humble opinion. Of course, that also means I need to learn how to make a good old fashioned European crusty loaf myself, and apparently Einkorn is tricky to work with (which is exactly why it has gone out of fashion while the higher yield, higher gluten wheats have flourished.) As soon as I drum of the nerve to tackle the baking, and the eating, it’ll be documented here first.