I’m not really gluten free

I started the Blood Type Diet in 2003 – long before the gluten free craze began.  Wheat is one of the biggest Type O avoid foods.  I found that surprisingly hard to explain to people.  I remember a friend offering me a muffin.  I politely said no, adding that I didn’t eat wheat.  She smiled brightly and said, “It’s not wheat, it’s a muffin.”

It was just as hard at restaurants.  After asking about wheat, I’ve been served food and told, “You said no wheat, but this is breading.”  It helps to have a sense of humor on the BTD.

I was happy when gluten free became popular.  Not because I used the packaged gluten free foods – yikes have you read the ingredients on some of the commercial products?!?!?  Cornstarch and chemicals not to mention way too much sugar for anyone making a serious effort to eat healthy.

I was happy because suddenly everyone knew that wheat had gluten.  I could say to a friend who offered me a finger sandwich, “I’m gluten free,” and she understood I was not insulting her cooking.  I could ask for double vegetables and no pasta in an Italian restaurant – and not get an upcharge  – if I smiled and said, “I’m gluten free.”

Sometimes I almost forget that I am not really gluten free.

I am wheat free, and I eat very little grain.  But if you look at my food list, there is gluten in quite a few neutral foods.

This hit home last week, as I prepared a brunch for my book club.  Most of the women in the group are trying to eat healthy and stay physically active.  Only one or two follow the BTD to any degree, but probably half are gluten free.

I fixed fajita toothpick kabobs.  I had chicken and beef fajita meat.  I had chunks of onion, sweet pepper, and Portobello mushroom.  Each toothpick had a cube of meat and two of the three vegetables.  They were easy to make and gluten free.  They were well received by my friends.

I wanted to make two kinds of muffins.  I used the recipes for two cakes – my mother’s oatmeal cake, which I have posted before; and the Wacky Cake, which I copied off the BTD website but I didn’t write down who to credit, and now I can’t find it in the Recipe Database.  I apologize.  If you posted the recipe, please feel free to credit yourself in a facebook comment.

I needed the muffins to be truly gluten free, and I realized that some of the flours I use which are neutral for me contain gluten.  Spelt is one; kamut and rye as well.  If I was going to say these muffins were gluten free, then they needed to be really gluten free.  This became a bit of a challenge.

For the oatmeal muffins I used the amount of oatmeal that the recipe called for.  For the additional flour, I used half garbanzo flour and half tapioca flour.

For the Wacky muffins, I used buckwheat flour.  The stronger buckwheat flavor worked well with the chocolate.

I cut the sugar in half for both recipes.  I’m reading lots of links between cholesterol and sugar – so I’ve cut way back.  And my Honorable Husband is doing well on the BTD Diabetes diet – so he doesn’t need much sugar either.  I warned the ladies that the muffins weren’t sweet, but I put low sugar jelly and maple syrup on the table for anyone who wanted to add a little sweetening.

I find myself curious about the how gluten fits into the Type O diet.  I remember when I first read the label on Ezekiel bread and saw that there was gluten added.  It surprised me because Ezekiel bread was listed as a neutral food.  I know that my gluten free friends use lots of corn meal, and corn is as big an avoid for me as wheat.

I will continue to tell servers in restaurants and my friends that I am gluten free, because they understand and accept that term.

But I will continue to follow the BTD food lists – because they have kept me pain free for 15 years.


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