Mindful Eating: Stop Minding (Gluten-Free Celiac Recovery)
“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
I learned to live life sans gluten quite happily and ably by doing it. Not by thinking about it, not by planning it even -- but by the grungy, sometimes exciting, sometimes confusing, often weird steps of cooking, talking, shopping, learning food. Part of what I learned was: I had never learned food.
Pre-Celiac-diagnosis, I hadn't the slightest idea of what food meant, or could mean. I rarely thought of its effects on my body, or its source. I grew up with gardens occasionally. I grew up with a mum who cooked. But I didn't grow up with a solid base in self-care.
...or in the sense that food was a natural, normal, and unearned right.
In the stress of the last few months, I have been re-learning it all over again. Because another fact I've learned about growing up, and adhering to a gluten-free food-plan (oy, diet is a dirty word) is that I learned from what I saw people do around me with food, not from what they said about food. So often food is treated like an enemy, or a substance to control.
You have to eat gluten-free. Isn't that hard? What CAN you eat?
What I've always liked eating, mostly.
What peeves the jeeves out of me is that gluten-free is linked up with diets. What peeves more jeeves out of me is that I can treat my life like a diet.
And diets are always about control. Learning never has to be self-conscious.
Don't diet, I told one of my students recently. She's a preschooler. Her mum went on a diet. She thought she should too.
We learn to do by doing.
Diets are self-conscious. Diets deny, and diets hurt, and diets are all about what you take out.
With Celiac Disease, I take out wheat. But I was inspired by (and extremely proud of) Sema, Celiac teen (Eat Without Gluten), as she presented at the recent Gluten Free Event in St Louis. Her theme? "It's what you can eat, not what you can't."
|What you CAN eat.. .EVERYTHING at PuraVegan
for Sema and me in St Louis: all gluten free!
Her story is rooted in two solid parents, and her mother -- whom I love -- made the first emphatic action after Sema's diagnosis a memorable one. On the phone with a fellow mum hosting a party, she fielded the question: "What can Sema NOT eat?"
CJ's story at TUMBLING GLUTEN FREE