A note to a gluten-free friend

Several dear friends, including my mum, have embarked on this quasi-Paleo low[er] carbohydrate way of eating over the past two months. We're each encountering various benefits--lost weight, reduced joint pain, diminished asthma, improved energy, all kinds of compliments from others. And we're all having some difficulties in negotiating cravings.

I have continued to abstain from all grains and to eat meat at least every few days, but I had a two glasses of fresh pressed vegetable juices last week and ate at Cafe Gratitude where I suspect a fair amount agave nectar is lurking in even the savory dishes.

Another thing I've noticed is resistance to thinking about what to eat so much of the time. I was habituated to the level of awareness required to remain successfully gluten-free, but now I'm half-assedly tracking carbohydrate intake. This week I became preoccupied with omega fatty acid ratios and suddenly nuts became potentially problematic.

This is getting crazy I decided.

And it is boring.

I decided to stop reading and just eat for a bit.

A Joyful Celiac I almost photographed yesterday's three egg omelet with shiitakes, chevré, shallots and tomato, with rainbow chard and garlic sauteed in bacon fat on the side for A Joyful Celiac but nutritious as it all was, I just wasn't excited enough about it.

Here are my notes to A.B. after we commiserated yesterday. 'I just want to eat popcorn!' I complained, 'And I'm never making another coconut flour pancake. They just wind up being egg-y and not like pancakes.'

A.B., 'I just want gluten-free toast. But that's grain.'


Home made coconut flour chicken nuggets.

I seem not drawn to bring birds home--too technical, too many bones and moving parts--but maybe on our dream date we could make this.


I'm going to trying to use more spices and added flavors. I bought pesto at Rainbow today (made with only olive oil--not padded with damaging cheap safflower or sunflower or corn oils sneaking in and more ever--I only just realized that most of my favorite restaurant food--Dosa, for example--is made probably with bad PUFA--sad.). I usually make my own Za'atar though it never tastes as good as store-bought for some reason. Today I found a mix that's from a Palestinian women's collective in Gaza--so that seemed like a good idea. I wonder if it would work as steak rub. Usually I just mix it in olive oil and spread it thickly on toast. But that was back in the years of gluten-free toast. Now maybe I put it on steak as sauce, or on seed crackers.


As long as I'm not so drawn to meat I'm going to try to eat smoked salmon, like lox, almost daily. This has been my (expensive) vision for being energetic through Rohatsu when I'll want a fierce protein source I can eat easily and without cooking. Also The Fatted Calf just opened a Hayes Valley store and they have home-made non-glutened beef jerky from grass-fed Marin Sun Ranch cow-people. (Sadly Prather Ranch puts wheaty soy sauce in theirs so I am so happy that the Fatted Calf is here now.)


Lots of vegetables--yummy ones. With mushrooms. Yum. Using egg in soup like hot and sour soup where it's kind of disguised and functions like noodles. Kelp, too.


Going to try to dial back my carb intake. I think that it has been creeping up and that might be contributing to my cravings. I went back to cow yogurt because Rainbow was out of goat's milk yogurt for a week. Work has been rough sometimes and I was tired and I was eating more then a medicinal level of chocolate too. I suspect that hormones are also playing a large role in this.


Going to finally buy Nourishing Traditions for inspiration, and reread key chapters in Good Calories Bad Calories to remind myself why I am doing this at all. When all else fails and the hand is reaching for the maple syrup, popcorn, toast, or the mind is imagining Gracias Madre's gorgeous starch-laden, blood-sugar escalating rice and beans with mushrooms and greens, I recite to myself, 'Glycation! Glycation! Glycation! Dementia, arthritis, depression, diabetes. Do you want to walk happily to your grave on your birth-knees or wind up with expensive after-market joints at the risk of infection? (And worse, Johnson&Johnson just recalled a bunch of artificial hips! And they'll only pay for the surgery to replace them--not the actual total cost in case of complications or addition hospitalization as a result!) Glycation! Inflammation. Nothing tastes as good as being ambulatory and cognitively intact when you're ninety. Here, go eat some butter.' Sometimes reading people's stories on the internet helps.


When/if the oven is fixed, it'll be easier for me. Roasted mushrooms with bacon, kale chips, roasted cauliflower, coconut flour biscuits.