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Miracle of God? … Maybe…

Yesterday I ate my first sandwich in a decade.
Yes, in a decade….
In early 1993, after 20 years of being throw up sick, having migraines, a seized back, I was diagnosed with a severe allergy to wheat, on top of my already known allergy to yeast (brewer’s and bakers). In the ten years since my diagnosis I have completely eliminated wheat from my diet and have had a complete relief from the symptoms.
No wheat = no bread, no crackers, no croutons, no breading or batter of any kind on fried food (thus no fried food); no bagels, no cake, no cookies, no thick soups, no beer, no vodka or any other liquor made with even a bit of wheat, etc etc etc. Most people that ask are surprised to find out that wheat = flour.
This also means no bread at communion unless I want to be sick for the rest of the day (wafers with wine at Catholic or Anglican services seem to be fine, are they made of potato starch??).
I very quickly evolved into a Rice-atarian. Rice pasta (Thank God for PastaRiso), lots of Asian food, rice crackers, homemade Irish soda bread made from rice and barley flours, and so forth.
Every so often, I wonder about all of the new “Wheat-Free” products I see at Whole Foods or Mother’s Markets. Given that I also get a bad reaction from rye, a mild reaction from barley and oats, I have been reluctant to try any product that adverstises “Wheat Free” but contains any of the above wheat botanical relatives or the new “spelt” an ancient precursor grain to wheat that is used in these products.
Two days ago, Tues. May 13th, in between my writing classes at UCLA I popped into the Westwood Whole Foods for a bit of a snack, when I spied a rack of bread products. If you go ten years without bread or sandwiches it is a bit tempting, in a good way, to at least go smell fresh bread.
On the far right side, down near the bottom of the bread rack was colorful little loaf of “Health Seed Wheat-Free Yeast-Free Bread“. Now one can find wheat-free, but not yeast free bread at most health stores or in the freezer section their is usually yeast free bread that is not wheat free. To have both in the same loaf?
I read the ingredients and spelt was the first thing listed. hmmm…. Yearn. Yearn. What would a turkey sandwich be like? Yearn. Yearn. Go to checkout counter. Buy little loaf for Health Seed.
Yesterday became Experiment Day. Following the rules for introducing a new food or previously allergic food into one’s diet, I made sure that everything that I had with the bread was a non-allergic or non-reactive food for me. I made two pieces of toast with Health Seed Bread in the morning with butter and fruit spread, and a turkey sandwich in the afternoon. Amazing! I was very excited.
The bread is very similiar to Orowheat’s Wheat Berry Bread, but thin and dense like European bread, slightly sour and with lots of seads in it (seasame, pumpkin, etc). In the morning, I had only a mild reaction to the bread, an inchy nose and mild tummy distress. After the afternoon, sandwich test phase, I had more reaction, mostly of the tummy variety. Then all night my tummy was unhappy, it is still unhappy now.
Conclusion, I will freeze the Health Seed bread in slices and maybe have one piece once a week. Maybe. Maybe as a sandwich the next time I am jealous that I can’t eat sandwiches. Obviously, while spelt does not give me as severe of a reaction as wheat & rye do, it is not as mild as barley or oats. Sad but true.
Thus ends the great Bread Experiment of 2003. I will go back to making loaves of rice flour whole oat soda bread.