Monday, December 7, 2009


Mostly I don't mind being hungry. It is just an aspect of being a celiac. Sometimes people feel bad when they are eating pasta salad or sandwiches around me and they ask me if it is tempting to eat what they are having. Honestly, it isn't. No one would feel bad to skip a meal if they knew it would give them food poisoning and that is basically the effect that wheat has on me. So I don't mind, mostly.

On Friday, I had salad in San Jose combined with interesting discussions about Soviet and Chinese politics. It was good. I was still a little hungry at the end of dinner, but by volume I had eaten the most by far and at some point it just gets embarrassing to keep eating.

The next day, I was chair in a scientific session at Berkeley and perhaps the strictness I felt as I skipped the bagel breakfast trickled though to the session I chaired because I didn't let one speaker go over by a second. I didn't even have to say anything. I think the look in my eye combined with my red painted fingernails as I gave the three minute signal struck terror into the hearts of the speakers.

Lunch followed and there wasn't much that looked safe to eat so I went in search of a salad which ended up being ridiculously hard to acquire. I felt like a hunter gatherer and was grateful for surprisingly intelligent directions and advice I received from students who looked like they had just rolled out of bed and weren't yet quite awake. I was annoyingly late to the business meeting that was put on hold until my arrival. I didn't feel a bit bad about it as I was eating an overpriced salad that barely took the edge off of my being hungry.

After nine hours of scientific talks, I was done. I tried to keep a cheerful and interested demeanor, but there were probably cracks in the fa├žade because none of the students wanted to meet with me over dinner. Honestly, I was grateful. I couldn't have handled any more salad that day. I went home and by the time I got there, it was too late to eat much, so I had a rice flour roll with some almond butter, took a hot bath and went to bed.

I spent all day Sunday baking. Before church, I made oatmeal cookies that turned out pretty well. After church and tithing settlement, I whipped up some almond meal/sorghum flour/ millet flour muffins that were sweet and flavorful without any added sugar, and I took them to a friend whose dietary restrictions are more stringent than mine. Then I made some millet flour bread which was pretty similar to regular bread. All of the recipes are my own and while I was experimenting with them, my house felt like an engine of creation. When I was all done, I called Scott Rowan, a 16 yr old celiac in my Sunday school class who is usually much hungrier than I am. He picked up half of the baked goods I had made and had a huge smile on his face. So did I. My house was warm and the burned scent from hashbrowns that I had charred a week earlier had been replaced by the sweet warm smell of fresh baked goods.

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