Wait…What? Wheat?!

Song Dedication: Love Gone Wrong by You+Me

If you’ve been keeping up with my posts, you may remember when I had my intolerances tested by my Naturopath (if not, check out Forgiveness Friday: My War, My Peace).  That was back at the beginning of June.  It, now being the beginning of September, signals the beginning of another year, because I have been an elementary school teacher for 12 years, September always feels like the big hurrah of new beginnings.  However, this is my first teaching new year’s eve in 12 years, that isn’t that at all.  I have chosen to take a personal leave to continue working on me, loving me, understanding me and allowing my family to love me as I am.  And in this work, I am still apparently navigating my various food intolerances.

For example, I was not remotely surprised to learn I am intolerant to cane sugar…I mean I was well on my way to diabetes in this relationship Sugar and I had developed over my lifetime.  I was addicted, no word of a lie…I used to stash that shit everywhere.  I knew it was bad for me (without an intolerance test to confirm) and so I would eat it in secret, after I would go on secret easter egg hunts, finding the sweet treats I had hidden on myself (or others, and really it was to hide it from other’s judgement and possible ingestion).  Because addicts hide their vices and don’t like to share with others.  It was a love gone wrong and we were singing this duet to each other:

me: Baby baby, don’t you come my way no more, I don’t want you knocking at my door sugar’s response: Baby baby, think you got this story wrong, You have misunderstood me and my loving all along

Maybe so Sugar, but when the Carroll Test came back it was the final push in what was needed to cut our ties completely. I had to break up with her and she was just so damn nice and comforting, distracting and prize-winning, always there when I needed her. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments when I walk down the baking isle in the grocery store and breathe deeply to take in a fraction of what once was, oh sweet delicate bag of marshmallowy goodness.  Or walk into our local bakery and wonder if they’d ban me for life or just a few months if I licked the display case?  But I digress (and terribly so).

I knew I needed to go deeper to figure out why I needed her though.  And so I did.  I dropped her like the bad habit she was and continued exploring what was so difficult for me to just be.  To sit and read, or watch TV or unwind at the end of a long day without her assistance. I continue to work through this and believe my dietary changes along with some other major adaptations have allowed me to reach Day 39 migraine free. (I decided to bold, underline and highlight that statement in my favourite colour btw.)

That was just ONE of the many things on my list, which I won’t bore you with.  However, at the other end of my list sat wheat, another intolerance I thought I understood fairly well.  I wasn’t surprised to see this culprit pop-up, as our family was already eating mostly gluten-free because my husband had been diagnosed with Celiac disease 8 years ago, and through trial and error I noticed I felt better when I avoided gluten.  When our son came along and he too seemed to have digestion troubles and stomach pains, we decided he too could try a GF diet, eating mostly sandwiches upon entry to Kindergarten (and just being a 5-year-old).  Some of his tummy issues improved, just like his Mom and Dad.

Being gluten-free meant finding alternatives, which aren’t too hard to find, but healthy alternatives can be tricky.  When you take out the gluten, they have to find another way to bind products together, so you see additives like Xanthum or Guar Gum (both of which I am also intolerant to!) For my husband beer was a major loss.  Over the years, he has successfully found GF beers he likes or drinks cider or wine instead.  For me, I enjoy a beer from time to time, but also dropped it from my list of ingestables just to be safe.  I found I was more likely to cheat when we went to our local brewery (Barkerville Brewing), when in Rome right?!  I do love the casual ambiance, the light conversation of grown-ups after a long week of work, kids and dogs hanging around too – its all good vibes and having a glass of beer in hand just makes it feel like the weekend.

So at this point you may have put together where I am going with this, yet my brain, IS STILL kinda catching up.  I’ve been so use to depriving myself of my intolerances, it seems completely overindulgent to say this, but here it goes: I CAN DRINK BEER! Something I have only just come to grips with during a fairly convoluted conversation with my GF husband at the Brewery last Friday.

We sat at the communal live edge wood table, him drinking his Big Dry Cider and I with my modest glass of Prospector’s Pilsner as my “cheat” for the night.  I was reading over the chalk board menu mounted on the wall and asked him if he thought the Rye Beer was made with just Rye Grain…because I knew I could have Rye, JUST NOT WHEAT.  You see, the “Gluten Free” file in my brain had still not yet merged with my new intolerance knowledge.  My husband was the one who needed to synthesize this new idea for me saying, “Well Sarah, most beers use barley not wheat anyway, so you CAN drink beer.”  Well holy shit, my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets.  I considered this happiness beer bomb and promptly went and ordered another, but a big-girl-pants pint this time.

So that’s it.  I’ve had some tough break-ups over the past few months with some of my favourite foods but when one door closes, a window sometimes opens and this one has a lovely view of my favourite Friday hangout, Barkerville Brewing Company.  No more negotiating cheats, this I can have guilt-free.  It feels like a prize and I stake that claim.

(As I re-read what I have wrote today, I realize I have gone from talking about wellness, 40yovtaking a leave from work and 39 migraine free days to “…and now I will drink more beer…much more beer…guilt-free”.  Yes I see what I did there.  But I think it’s all a step in the right direction, however unexpected it happens to read.  Mindfulness, takes some weird turns sometimes…and that effer, came out of nowhere!)

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