On the cusp of my book on Holy Breads coming out, it seems I have to make my family gluten-free.
I can’t get over the irony. Of course! I write a book about how bread has the power to connect, to heal and to transmit tradition – and I learn that it may be gluten that’s causing my little guy to have an obscene amount of cavities and my eldest to have insane allergies the likes of which I have never seen.
I have always believed that our emotions and our lifestyle drive our health – good or bad. When we are over-stressed, over-scheduled and eating crap, it’s no wonder that we get sick, break out in hives or otherwise respond. And I have long believed that what we put in our mouths does determine our day-to-day fate.
It’s a funny thing, food. For the 10 years I was Orthodox, I followed the edict that food would sanctify us, elevate us, connect us to community. And then I had a fateful conversation with a long-time friend over why, exactly, we kept kosher.
“Because God says we should,” she said.
“Oh,” I replied. “That’s not why I do it. I do it because it’s the expectation in this community and if I want people to eat in my house, I have to adhere to community standards.”
And now, in a different way, I’m letting the universe guide me. Call it God. Call it whatever you want. There is a message being screamed right in my ear and if I don’t listen to it, we will all suffer.
You can imagine my shock when the dental hygienist announced that my little guy has “huge amounts of tooth decay.” For a mom who’s never had a cavity, I just didn’t know what to do with that information.
You see, my little guy is a pint-sized gourmand. He eats a broad array of high-quality food. We drink raw milk. We shop at the farmers market weekly, all year-round. We eat more vegetables than anything else, and if I had to pick the kid who ate the most vegetables, it would be him.
Tooth decay? You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m not the candy mom. We don’t think fruit snacks qualify as fruit. So what the hell?
A second opinion offered the same information. My little guy has always had stomach issues, but we’d never isolated the reason. Now it was time.
The dentist rendered her opinion: try gluten-free and see if it improves.
We consulted my Ayurvedic practitioner: try gluten-free.
When we go for the 7-year checkup, I’m sure the doctor will agree that we should at least give it a go.
Ayurveda believes that good health is a result of balance in the body, and ill health is a result of imbalance, emotional and physical. And Ayurveda focuses on digestion as the root of all balance.
For my eldest son, with teary eyes and stuffed nose from seasonal allergies – although it gets worse inside!! – Ayurveda Dave said gluten could be the culprit as well as a bunch of other things he is eating and isn’t eating to result in a total imbalance.
As soon as we swiped some lavender essential oil, the eyes opened and stopped tearing. Imagine that.
The timing is perfect. On June 3rd, my book about bread’s holy capabilities launches nationwide. And tomorrow, we begin our gluten-free trial.
What’s the message? What is the universe trying to tell me with this unbelievable juxtaposition?