Gluten-y is a sin!

May 2, 2014 

By Bill Filer

COURTESY PHOTO

My wife left the Oreos on the counter. An innocent oversight, you ask? No. See, this was a test. Shes no doubt counted them. There may even be a video camera trained on them. The siren call of the Oreo is hard to resist for most mortals. Put an Oreo in front of a man who is dieting, however, and its like trying to hold back the ocean with a broom. My wife was just trying to help, I’m sure. Yes, lets go with that. She should know, however, I will not give in, and I will not cave, for I am committed. Maybe I need to be committed, who knows. Long story short, I’m on a diet, and diet is most definitely a four letter word.

For the choosey dieter, the good news is that there is no shortage of diets to choose from. You have brand name diets like Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers. Some diets are named for their creators, as in the Stillman and Atkins diets. The South Beach diet is named after a city in which 90 percent of the population could diet for years and still not fit into the bikinis they wear there. You have the paleolithic diet which sounds sort of something like dinosaurs would enjoy. There are also diets that sound somewhat violent, such as the master cleanse. No thanks.

On the advice of a physician, and under significant protest, I won’t be using a brand name diet, eating like the dinos, nor cleansing anything. I’ll be joining the ever swelling ranks of those swearing off gluten.

In the course of the last few years, if I had a nickel for every time someone told me they have gone gluten free, I’d have enough to money to fill my house with warm, crusty dinner rolls. As an unapologetic serial abuser of cereal grains, a gluten-free diet sounded about as enjoyable as teaching my father how to send text messages on his flip phone. (No, once again, its three times for F, pop. For Gods sake, press it three times, buy a smart phone, or just call me!) I am really not looking forward to this.

A gluten-free diet is easy. If it tastes good, spit it out, is what my doctor told me. Well, maybe not exactly what she said, but close. I guess. It was hard to think straight when confronted with the thought of having to do without the wonders of Wonder bread. Gluten is a protein found in foods that contain wheat, barley, and rye. For some reason, people can develop an intolerance to it over time. Sort of like how I feel about 90s rap. Beyond the obvious, I was also warned to stay clear of beer, soy sauce, some seasoning mixes, and catsup.

Breads, pasta, and baked goods will be hard enough to avoid. While we’re on the subject, beer will be tough to forgo as well, but no catsup? Lets get something straight, I love catsup. I require catsup on my catsup. The doctor could see the look of horror on face, but was unmoved. She made it clear that I will now have to read labels on all the food I buy at the store, and be the fun-smothering, wet blanket that bothers the wait staff at restaurants for gluten-free options.

My birthday can’t come fast enough. Forty-three has given rise to gray hairs, reading glasses, and now this. Given rise, like a big, yeasty piece of fresh baked bread, hot from the oven. Seriously, why couldn’t it have been lactose intolerance?

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