Gluten: a tenacious elastic protein substance, esp. of wheat flour that gives cohesiveness to dough.


Sounds pretty harmless, doesn’t it? But is it? After going through several weeks’ entries in my food diary, I’ve begun to focus on one clear culprit: Gluten. I’d been warned that it might cause problems, but for the first few months after my return from Texas I was so caught up in pain and its removal that I didn’t really have any time to pay attention to a little annoyance called gluten. Instead, I was busy rearranging my life by avoiding pork and sugar. Yes, we’d tried a gluten-free pancake mix (didn’t much like it when compared to the excellent homemade recipe Paul already used) and bought gluten-free flour (but haven’t used it yet because we need Xanthan gum to bake anything with it). Somehow, having to add something called “Xanthan gum” seems to defeat the object of using “all-natural” ingredients–it’s not even in my dictionary!


I think I’m going to get over that little hang-up real soon though, after I sat down and went back through my food diary, 21 days long today. To begin with I’d started by eliminating honey and decaf coffee; even though I was mostly drinking herbal tea, I did have an occasional cup of decaf and wondered if it could be causing problems. Total elimination of that didn’t seem to make any difference. Potatoes also seemed to cause problems, so I eliminated them too, but saw no improvement. Finally, I focused in on any kind of baked goods, but specifically breads because I’d pretty much given up all deserts and the like.


Bingo! In almost every instance my many bad days lately have had some sort of white flour products preceding them, and sometimes even several days of white flour goods. Even in some corn flour products, for instance, there has been some white flour involved, so my new focus, as of this morning, will be to see if I can eliminate all of that particular food and see what happens from here.


So, in answer to my title question about gluten, I have to say: Let’s take another three weeks and try to find out.

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