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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Breaking Bread No More

no bread for cruising provisioning
Bye-bye Wayne’s favorite food ever.
“My life is over!” bemoaned Wayne. 

According to his dermatologist, turns out those nasty itchy red bumps driving him crazy were a byproduct of celiac’s disease, or the inability to process gluten.  Gluten, a grain protein, is ubiquitous in most of our diets. It’s in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut and tritacle.  Nothing with traditional flour is okay for Wayne to eat ever again.  No bread (much less baguettes).  No pizza.  No bagels.  No beer.  No (gasp!) ramen (click here to read about our love affair with ramen) No…. well, you get the idea. 

wheat belly cookbook
Best-selling “Wheat Belly” by
William Davis.  90% why, 9%
how  >1% recipes.  His pizza
and his flaxseed wrap recipes
are good.
Wayne loves starchy, white foods.  At least he can still eat grits and potatoes.  And corn chips.  C’mon, gotta have some junk food!

Still, once it was clear Wayne wasn’t truly afflicted with a fatal disease, I hinted he was perhaps over-dramatizing. 

Fairly, he retorted, “How would react if you were told ‘You can never eat garlic, onions or spicy food again’?” He knows the answer.  After all, he’s the guy who challenged me to cook without onions and garlic for a change.  I refused the challenge, peevishly insisting the onion and garlic-free meal he lovingly prepared (rare – there’s a reason I’m the Galley Wench!) would’ve been better if both were added.

gluten free celiac's disease provisioning for cruising
Journey’s GF cupboard:  alternative flours,
xanathan gum, crackers and other GF snacks.
More sympathetically, I concurred, “Guess given how much you love wheat, you’ve already eaten your life’s supply of gluten.”

Fortunately, getting gluten-free (GF) stuff is definitely easier than ever.  These days a little less than 1% of the American population is gluten intolerant, and thanks to books like “Wheat Belly (click here for William Davis' Wheat Belly's blog),” more folks are becoming gluten-free by choice. In fact, before Wayne’s diagnosis, disgusted with the way cruising broadened my waistline along with my horizons (click here to read about it in Lies, Half-truths and Alternative Universes), I cut alcohol and focused on eating more veggies, lean proteins, yogurt and nuts.

gluten free celiac's disease provisioning for cruising
Good source for how to make
gluten flour substitutions.
Going gluten-free makes provisioning harder.  If we want bread or pancakes in the middle of nowhere, that means cooking with wheat flour alternatives, which I do not expect to be widely or affordably available in our planned international cruising areas (heck – $9 for a 5-pound bag of quinoa flour is not my idea of affordable either).  That takes some getting used to, and a bit of experimentation before stocking up.

Wayne’s become a surprisingly good sport about it. We even were able to satisfy our pizza craving with a mashed cauliflower crust, which even I had misgivings about making.  The “pizza”’s a definite “make again!” (and it never felt so deliciously virtuous pigging out on pizza before).

gluten free celiac's disease provisioning for cruising
One of the odder GF dishes dared so far… cauliflower crust pizza.
The corn-based pastas are decent, too, for pasta arrabiata and for post-Thanksgiving Day turkey-noodle soup.

The gluten-free hit at the Ortega Marina Landing potluck crowd and my top “new GF recipe pick” so far is coconut-flour based brownies.  They taste like chocolate macaroons, a childhood favorite.

gluten free celiac's disease provisioning for cruising
Wayne took in 3 belt notches so far thanks to going gluten free.
It also doesn’t hurt that I’ve repeatedly let Wayne know how much more awesome he looks since taking in 3 belt notches as a result of his new diet.  I too am now able to once again slip into my old favorite clothes.


gluten free celiac's disease provisioning for cruising
Mom’s GF care package.  Enjoy Life’s
“Happy Apple” and more.  How can you
not like that?  (Thanks, Mom!) 
Interested in gluten-free recipes?  Are you or is someone you know gluten-free?  What are their favorites?  Happy to share (and learn!) if the interest is there!