Yes, this post is long overdue.  There is much to tell…

In my recent travels, I discovered that Boston Market is yet another “fast food” chain that has a list of their menu’s Gluten Free food offerings. I ordered their chicken and was delighted to discover that I could get chicken gravy to top my side of mashed potatoes. Tasty!

I have heard from some of you that you are giving the “elimination diet” a try to determine if Gluten might be the underlying cause of your physical ailments. I know it isn’t easy, but it is so worth it to give your body a chance to “heal”. The true test comes when you have been Gluten Free for a few weeks (I recommend at leastfull weeks with absolutely NO gluten). It is then that you can begin to eat Gluten again while watching for how your body reacts. Gluten may not be your only issue, but if you have been 100% Gluten Free for two weeks and you again eat Gluten, you will know if it doesn’t agree with you.
Only when you know how good your body can feel, and how bad Gluten makes you feel when you eat it, can you be seriously committed to staying staying the course for a lifetime of Gluten Free healthy living.

I recently met again with a committee made up of local retirement community residents and their management to discuss progress since our last meeting. Residents there can get meals prepared on site, and yet have had challenges making Gluten Free selections. The management has genuinely become more educated on the seriousness of  Gluten for those who are intolerant and have begun to educate all those who play a role in meal preparation.
One goal is that a symbol be placed on the weekly published “menus” to identify some daily selections as “Gluten Free” and that clearly marked Gluten Free choices and condiments be available throughout the dining facilities. In the mean time, the residents can daily call the dining room ahead of their arrival and make requests for their meals to be made Gluten Free. This does require initiative and persistence at a time when many would like not to have to worry quite so much about simple daily tasks.
If we are blessed to live long enough and to have accumulated the resources enough to reside in one of these independent retirement facilities ourselves… we must consider whether we will be able to make informed decisions there about what we eat and if the facility is able to provide daily Gluten Free meals for us.

Long before that day, we may find ourselves in a hospital or other care facility. The questions begs answering… “Will they be able to provide Gluten Free meals for us when we are not able to make our voice heard or even to make dietary decisions for ourselves?” I know that when I eat Gluten my body reacts violently and should I be in such a place in need of serious healing, even there I need to remain Gluten Free! Any Gluten eaten would be counter-productive to my body’s ability to heal.

I strongly believe we each need to be our own best health advocate, listening to our our body and getting/staying informed on pertinent information that impacts our overall health and general well being. But when we can’t, for whatever reason, I pray we have equipped someone to “stand in the gap” for us. Having been the personal care giver for a loved one failing in health I know how demanding, yet how important, that role can be, no matter the outcome.

Let me wrap up this post on a brighter note… yesterday, oh my!!! I delighted again in a fabulous Gluten Free meal and dessert at a nearby PF Changs. My loved ones treated me there for Mother’s Day. Yes, I know I am truly blessed that they both understand and care about my dietary restriction. I wish the same for each of you living G-Free and healthy!!!