Honesty & Twizzlers

We’ve been avoiding eating gluten for about a year.

You’d think we would have the hang of it by now. When encountering a food, we continue to ask ourselves, “Is this gluten-free?”

…Well, at least Kris still asks this question.

Recently, I found a Twizzler at a party, neatly displayed with the other food. I took a candy rope and tore it in half to share with Kris.

Simultaneously, I ate my entire half of the Twizzler while Kris asked, “Are Twizzlers gluten-free?”

I thought they probably were. Twizzlers were one of the delights of my childhood! Food with beautiful memories, that doesn’t look like bread, should totally be gluten-free.

Kris googled it. The second ingredient in Twizzlers is wheat flour. Oops.

My stomach understood this information better in about an hour.

Of course there are gluten-free alternatives to Twizzlers. People even blog about it. 

But that doesn’t change the in-the-moment, sometimes emotional, food decisions we have to make on a regular basis.

Avoiding gluten has made me step back and keep myself in check about eating. Before, I really just ate whatever I wanted. Now, what I eat and prepare is more intentional. I’m recreating eating and living as an investment rather than an emotional response to my surroundings. This transition is still a process.

I’ve read two books in the last five years or so about the philosophy of eating that I would recommend. The first was a thoughtful workbook from 1989 that I found on Amazon and the second was Made to Crave. *

“God made us capable of craving so we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone. Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only one capable of satisfying them.” – Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave

I’m starting to look at being gluten-free as a way to hold me accountable in this area – using food to sustain my body instead of to satisfy my emotions, and looking to God to sustain my spirit.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
    and with my song I praise him.”

Psalm 28:7

And..I will continue to be gluten-free because after a year my body reacts when I eat Twizzlers.**

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*I’ve also read the YA version of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, but I read it with my students, so it was a different way to read it. The conclusion I got from that book is that you should eat from a locally sustainable food chain. This is a wonderful idea, but our grocery bill is still adjusting to being gluten-free, and I really can only do so many things at one time.

**We are just getting a glimpse of an understanding into the world of serious food allergies, because truly, if Kris or I eat wheat, rye, or barley,*** it isn’t fatal for us. Our situation could be a whole lot more serious. Being gluten- free has also given me a greater compassion for people with food allergies. They are legit.

***We are also trying to avoid lactose now too – more on that in a later post.

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Featured image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/jronaldlee/4946486043

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