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Can’t get my head around you

August 1, 2009

Early last year there was a snippet in Women’s Health magazine about the most overrated things in 2007.

Gluten-free items were one of them.

The author’s rationale was that the amount of products marked GF and the amount of shelf space at stores such as Whole Foods were not proportionate to the amount of people in this country with Celiac and therefore, it was influencing people that were not Celiacs to eat products that were less nutritious and often more caloric.

I happened to be at the gym on the treadmill when I read that article and the ensuing fury allowed me to pound out another 60 minutes before I felt like I could face the world again.

That was the first article I’d ever seen that indicated America should not allow the free market to determine which products are produced and that the rest of the country should actively campaign against supporting those of us that can’t eat most mass-produced products.

Until this week when I read this article on Slate.com.

Similarly to the airhead who wrote the Women’s Health article, Daniel Engber points out that the amount of gluten-free products offered these days are bloated if one considers the percentage of Americans that have been diagnosed with Celiac disease.  He also cites that according to Alessio Fasano, Director of the Center for Celiac Research, for every 1 person that tests positive for Celiac Disease, 9 or 10 more go GF even though they test negative.

He goes further to ponder the relationship between eating disorders and restrictive diets, such as a GF diet, and the ways being on a GF diet can inconvenience your friends and family and notes that all of the GF products now being offered are contributing to the country’s general anxiety about food.

All of this leaves an incredibly bad taste in my mouth.  Why is it 100% OK for manufacturers to produce a zillion sugar-free candies, cookies, etc. for diabetics?  After all, they only make up 8% of the population.

Private companies have the right to produce any product they wish (as long as it meets regulations, of course).  If the product doesn’t sell, companies (generally) do not continue to produce it.

It’s that simple.

The Valencia Orange Cake at Starbucks is a perfect example.  It didn’t sell and Starbucks isn’t going to continue to produce it.

So what about the rest of the products that Women’s Health and Mr. Engber are convinced are hoarding precious shelf space?  Apparently they are selling, or the manufacturers would pull them.

I am having a really hard time understanding why anyone would care what GF products were offered unless they were directly responsible for the demise of their favorite product, which I don’t believe has happened yet (or ever will).  While I do not see why anyone that was not a Celiac (or gluten-intolerant) would want to go on a strict GF diet, I don’t have any problem with them doing so.  It doesn’t cheapen my need for GF products and, if anything, heightens the likelihood that new products will be produced to meet the increased demand.

For the most part, I do not feel bitter about having Celiac.  I was sick for so many years with almost no hope of ever getting better.  Being diagnosed was one of the best things that could have happened to me because I now have control over how I feel.  In many ways, I feel like my diagnosis was a blessing.

Anyway, on to food for yesterday.

Coffee table coffee.  Note the cat toys on the floor.  Since we adopted the kittens in April, our living room has never been the same.  We’ve become the crazy cat people.

I took yesterday off, so this was enjoyed in my PJs, on the couch…. with my blackberry next to me in case an emergency crept up at work.  After the invention of the mobile phone, and especially after the invention of the blackberry, vacation days really are not the same.

I cooked steel-cut oats for breakfast since I had the time.  I’m iffy on steel-cut oats because they make about half the volume for the same calories as rolled oats and they take for.ev.er to cook.  But they have an awesome texture.

I added cottage cheese (of course), fresh blueberries, and walnuts.  This was really good and really filling.

And I made it to the gym for a really long, really sweaty workout.  The gym I belong to is in an area of town that makes its clientele mostly business people, so it’s always packed from 5:30 to 7:30 or 8.  So when I went at 12:30 yesterday, I had it almost to myself.  That was apparently a big motivator, because I did enough lunges that I’m having trouble walking today.  Oops.

I also took my car through the car wash.  I love the car wash for the fact that it is the only place you can sing in your car, with the exception of the garage, without other people looking at you strangely.  Rock on.

When I got back, I was hungry enough to inhale the entire fridge, but I settled for a snack.

Dark Chocolate Crack Dreams PB and jelly on Van’s GF waffles.

I’m now 100% certain that the PB is not safe for me to eat.  The 90% full jar is now sitting at the bottom of my trash can because I know that if it was still in my pantry, I would do what I did yesterday and convince myself when I wanted to eat it that it must have been something else I ate the last time I got sick because it couldn’t be that product that is hurting me.

Oh, the things we do to ourselves.

I also had some cherries…

My sister’s birthday was yesterday, so we went to my parent’s casa for pizza and cake.  (I say that like I was ever going to be involved in the pizza and cake deal).

The Fam, minus the husband, who was the picture-taker

Happy 20th to my little sister!

While everyone else had pizza and cake, I had this:

That used to be a plate full of watermelon

That used to be a plate full of watermelon

I should also note that the manly-looking hand holding the plate belongs to my husband, not me.

When we got back to our house, I was starving again.  I’d planned on having the same thing I’d eaten the last two nights, but thankfully my husband was trying to prevent you from dying of boredom and ate the rest of it for lunch without telling me.

So instead I pulled out another leftover.  Greens, carrot, yellow squash, and red pepper topped with BBQ chicken and some cheddar.

I also had a Valencia Orange Cake later on that I picked up at Starbucks when we were getting my sister’s birthday gift card.  Obviously we think alike. 🙂

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