image via Mr. Clean website
So about three weeks ago, my GF blogger buddy Shirl of Gluten Free Easily! and I were having a discussion about healing and gluten-free prepared items. We were on Twitter, and we went back and forth about the use of prepared gluten-free products in the diet.
Since I went gluten-free, my policy has been that the moderate use of gluten-free products can enhance one's diet -- and the key, of course, is moderation. Moderation, my friends who know me know, is not something we're especially good out around the Casa del Whack.
But Shirl, who is one of the converts of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution (something I admire) noted that a diet with minimal processed GF foods is much better than one laden with them.
We agreed to disagree. My reason, of course, is embedded in who I am as a gluten-free blogger. I enjoy reviewing and trying new products and sharing them, especially on Twitter. I like to think that I'm a credible source among the product lines AND the gluten-free community. Goodness know, I try to be. It is a role I've adapted to over the years. It is, frankly, a role I adore. I have made great gluten-free friends this way, and though many of us haven't met, I love and admire them so very much.
I say that about these friends, because many of them were the people I turned to a few weeks ago when I first got sick.
Yes. I am sick. I have been sick since March 29 when I developed a debilitating, vascular migraine headache for a solid week. On Easter weekend, I lost the vision in the lower half of my right eye. And weeks of tests and MRIs and bloodwork ending tomorrow with a biopsy, and we are closing in on a diagnosis. I don't want to go too far, but it is an autoimmune disorder -- another one, to add to the other four I have already. Not cancer. Ruled out lupus and MS. But I've had FOUR MRIs and 29 blood tests....And finally I ended up with a rheumatologist.
First part? Take 100 mg of Prednisone every day. For a while. (Immune system? What immune system?)
Ah Shirl. Deja Vu all over again. I am now part of the solution -- the revolution, not part of the problem.
I'm trying to laugh, but I am in mourning the loss of....food: After trying to find a gluten-free bread I loved, I discover Udi's -- and now it's off the menu. Sandwich Petals? Nope. My much loved Starfish GF Battered Fish? Nope. I didn't even get my shrimp sample yet! And my Glow Gluten-Free Ginger Snaps? Snickerdoodles? ick. Betty Crocker Brownies? GF Bisquick? Pamela's wonderful items? Shelley Ritchie's fabulous brownies and cheesecake.
No. Nope. Nada. FML
I don't think I am that strong. My gf friends, they think I'm that strong -- they keep telling me that -- but I don't know. But I remind myself by the minute that the results could be more devastating than the loss of a taste treat. It could mean the loss of...well, of my livlihood. My vision. Even my life. I'm not ready for that yet.
And so today was day one of Coming Clean: Actually, I came clean yesterday, throwing out the packaged processed foods in the fridge and replacing it with better choices. But there are a MILLION GF items in my house. I can't save them for a rainy day any more.
It's already pouring.
I've wanted to seed a GF Food Bank in Milledgeville, so I am in talks with a former student who can make that happen. I don't want stuff to go to waste -- so I am also sending it to the ROCK camp in Fort Yargo on Monday or Tuesday. I'm sure they can make use with more than pretzels.
But a pantry purge of gluten-free products? I never dreamed it would happen. I wouldn't do it if I didn't have to. But I'm not, so I don't...wait, that's Janet Jackson.
I'm eating CLEAN. Lori is my CLEAN buddy. Coming Clean, part one, is on.
Now, here's the initial blog game plan: I have about five product reviews I "owe" some wonderful companies, but sadly, I got some products I'm not going to get to try. So I'm going over the next few weeks get those done, as best I can, and then I'll share the products they sent me that I can't eat with a gluten-free friend who can -- and will -- blog or tweet about them.
And let me throw out there, there's something I've always known in my three years gluten-free, about the community -- it is a bonded community that cares. And I'm thankful to all of you for that.
As my dear BGFF Jennifer Harris says, this is Dr. Ginga's wild ride. Hang on, people. I don't know where this is headed. But at least we're in Georgia. Finally. And I promise, it won't be boring.
Much love, GF and all
PS Specific Prayer Request, if that's your thing: If not, good thoughts. Biopsy tomorrow at 11 a.m. EST. We want answers, people. Don't make it clean. Make it PROVE something.