First You Cry

31days.2The day I learned I had an allergy to wheat I found the nearest Whole Foods store and headed there after a full day of teachers’ workshops. I wandered the aisles looking for products I could eat. I thought about my morning cereal and crackers. The more I looked and saw the high prices, the more depressed I became. Before I realized it tears were filling my eyes, spilling down my cheeks! What was wrong with me?

I headed to the car and just had a good cry. This whole thing was overwhelming. I suddenly had to eliminate a huge portion of my diet. I’d already given up pizza and anything made with cheese. My mind was building up with obstacles, not possibilities.

Finally, I dried my tears and went back into the store. I headed to the book section and found several cookbooks featuring recipes for food allergies. I picked two that looked promising but don’t remember if I bought anything else.

I took my first step in my education for alternatives for two of the most common food groups in America. I learned to read cookbooks like a textbook.

When someone learns I have a wheat allergy they frequently nod and say, “Oh, you are gluten intolerant.” Gluten has developed into a code word signifying a person with celiac disease. Celiac disease is caused by a gluten-intolerance, and in the past four years many products are now available with the label “gluten-free”. Gluten is a term for a group of proteins in wheat; however, I’m allergic to the other proteins in wheat. The good news is products that are gluten-free are safe for me to eat.

I’ve learned that I cannot eat ANYTHING with wheat or milk in the ingredients. Food labeling is so much better than even four or five years ago. I can usually skip to the bottom of a list and find in bold print the most common food allergies labeled.IMG_0580IMG_0581

Another clarification — it is easier to say “dairy-free” than “milk-free” because any product with milk – cheese, yogurt, cream, butter, margarine, cream cheese, even non-dairy creamer have the milk protein, casein. Eggs are usually placed in the dairy category, but thankfully, I am not allergic to eggs!

Now, with all those details out of the way, let’s move on to the helpful stuff — tomorrow!

I count food labels as a true blessing.

I am also thankful that information has spread to food products and restaurants regarding food intolerance and food allergies.



4 thoughts on “First You Cry

  1. Pingback: 31 Days Living Dairy-Free and Wheat-Free | Counting Joy Blog

  2. Luke

    My family and I felt like crying we discovered our son had a dairy allergy, and allergies to eggs and nuts. Now…we are thankful because we have learned how to cook in different ways and are much healthier.

    1. JoyMartell Post author

      Bless you. It truly requires rethinking what you have always eaten — and it is the whole family who is affected. Being thankful for even the smallest understanding is the only way to find joy! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Pingback: Apple Nachos: My New Favorite Snack | Counting Joy Blog

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