In honor of National Nutrition Month, TNP co-founder Laura Kosann takes you through her experience on a “popular potato” on the health scene. At the end, check out where the fad falls on our new five-potato rating system. This week it’s all about going gluten-free.
I was thinking that in this day and age, gluten is to our population what liquor was to people in 1920’s prohibition. We haven’t necessarily banned it legally yet (though sometimes posts from Gwyneth Paltrow make us feel otherwise) but it’s no secret there’s a joint attempt by all of us in urban communities to expel it from our lifestyles completely (usually unsuccessfully).
While the prohibition-era population read newspapers and government issued documents, we read sites like goop and Well and Good that make us ask questions like ‘Where do I get chocolate cake sans gluten?’ or ‘Technically, French fries don’t have gluten right?’ or maybe even the infamous ‘Is butter a carb?’ asked by Regina George in Mean Girls. Well ladies, we have two things to share; gluten free is not for the faint of heart, and butter (though technically not one) may as well be a carb. But you knew that.
So yes, drumroll, I tried going gluten free for two weeks (give or take a few slip-ups). I mean after all, our site is named after an ingredient that (in its basest form) is gluten free (what can we say, spuds will be spuds). Here are five tips that I’ll pass on to those of you trying to do it yourselves…
Have the server leave the breadbasket OFF the table. Otherwise your fellow diners will morph into unrecognizable shapes, their voices will sound like the parents on Peanuts gang, and all that will exist is a two-hour face-off between you and a sliced baguette…
Rice can be the enemy. Yes, you heard your health-conscious friend correctly. Rice (if the right kind) doesn’t necessarily contain gluten, but that doesn’t mean your new staple food should be of the pork fried, takeout persuasion. It’s tempting, I know.
You will order pasta. Don’t try to convince yourself that when you go to a quintessential Italian spot like Osteria Morini or Morandi you’ll just order the Chicken Paillard. You’re going to order the pasta, especially in your first stages as a gluten-free newbie. Don’t kid yourself, and consider Italian joints no-fly zones for the first few weeks.
You’re a newborn. You know in Twilight how newborns (those that have just become vampires) have a dangerously high thirst for blood in those first few days? Well, when you’re newly gluten-free you have tendencies to dive into non-gluten filling stuff like meats and cheeses with the aggression of a real housewife at a charity event. Bear this in mind, and try to still stay balanced with what you’re eating.
If you’re not allergic, it may not be worth it. Feel free to agree or disagree, but if you don’t have an issue with celiac, cutting something like gluten out completely is never the policy we’d necessarily preach. As our Mom always says, everything in moderation.
– Laura Kosann