{Why I am gluten-free}

I've been eating and cooking gluten-free for the last twenty months. And I love it. 

It started out as an experiment. My mum and sister were, at the time, both gluten-intolerant, and my self kept knocking me with the idea that the intolerance could be genetic. For almost a year I let the idea knock around, until I committed to try it the month of the Christmas holidays. Yes. Christmas. I figured if I could survive that time of year gluten-free, I could do it anytime. 

So. I tried it. The first two weeks were awful. I loathed my quinoa and vegetables. I missed my bread and pasta. But week three got easier. And by week four, I was starting to enjoy it. By the end, I realized I felt better. Physically and mentally better. I wasn't feeling as groggy and having as many stomach aches as I was used to having. Hey, there was something to this, I thought. 

But, in the coming months, I went back to gluten. And then, each time, as the stomach aches racked, I regretted it. Over time I began listening to my body (yes, I think my body was talking to me, giving myself those knocks to try gluten-free), and am now gluten-free full-time, with a few tiny exceptions now and again. Every couple of months I might have a bite of wheat bread or a few bites of wheat pasta. But being gluten-free has pushed me to listen to my body, pinpoint my cravings, and figure out what food nourishes my body. I feel I'm developing a better relationship with myself. 

There are people who appear bewildered and amazed when I tell them I eat and cook (and bake) gluten-free. They tell me how "amazing" I am, which is something I actually hate hearing. Will power to try the new and unfamiliar is a possibility for anyone. I merely, slowly, substituted the new for the familiar, until the new became the familiar. Change takes time. And so – like many other persuits – does cooking. It's an exploration into the richness and vastness of food. Styles, techniques, ingredients – there's so much out there. But it's definitely a journey.