I have entered into another discussion about gluten.  It is the FOOD FAD of this last few years.  We are to all be gluten free.  In order to be free of it one might need to know what “IT” actually is.

(1) Gluten  is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barleyrye, and spelt. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture. Gluten is used in cosmetics, hair products, and other dermatological preparations.[1]

Gluten is the composite of a gliadin and a glutenin, which is conjoined with starch in the endosperm of various grass-relatedgrains. The prolamin and glutelin from wheat (gliadin, which is alcohol-soluble, and glutenin, which is only soluble in dilute acids or alkalis) constitute about 80% of the protein contained in wheat fruit. Being insoluble in water, they can be purified by washing away the associated starch. Worldwide, gluten is a source of protein, both in foods prepared directly from sources containing it, and as an additive to foods otherwise low in protein.

The fruit of most flowering plants have endosperms with stored protein to nourish embryonic plants during germination. True gluten, with gliadin and glutenin, is limited to certain members of the grass family. The stored proteins of maize and rice are sometimes called glutens, but their proteins differ from true gluten.

About 1 in 133 people in developed nations have intolerance to gluten.[2] Gluten sensitivity is classified as intolerance, not an allergy.

Do you want to know more?  Look it up yourself.  I have provided the Wikipedia link below and I am certain all you have to do is google Gluten.  We are to be free of it these days to have a healthy diet.


I have had it with the THEY of this world telling us what is good or bad for us.  Here we go on a rant that may be pages long.  By the way I am not the only one to rant on this and I have provided other links.

We are sheep I tell you – we are sheep!  Whatever fad comes down the pike if we like it we jump on the train.  Me too – I am not writing this simply for exercise – I am writing this at the irritation in my own lack of will that I bought into some of these fads.

I grew up eating a fairly healthy diet.  We were not rich or impoverished allowing my parents to feed us as good as they could.  We did not have filet mignon; we had cube steak or hamburger.  We did not have escargot; we had haddock or scallops (sometimes).  Our menu (actually think I have written this before) was fairly regular and much the same with Monday meatloaf, a Wednesday Spaghetti and a Friday Fish despite the fact we were not Catholic.  Saturdays were baked beans and Sunday dinner was a roast chicken or meat and would provide leftovers for a dinner during the week.  We picnicked with pb and j’s and tuna and had store bought cookies like Hydrox or Peanut Butter Squares.   We did not starve and our meals were varied.

I was a trim active kid riding my bike everywhere then went through a chunky stage and still graduated with a fairly trim figure.  I always believed I was fat!  Psychologists today would probably blame the teasing I got when I was chunky on this thought. Regardless I lived this thought and it became a reality.  The fact is we are probably born with a genetic make-up that responds to the types of foods we consume.  The proof is someone like Harry (former co-worker of my husband’s) who could eat enough for three people and maintain his same weight all the time.  That man could eat and he never got fat.  The machine that was his body used the fuel he put into it efficiently.

That is the most important fact I believe.  Our bodies are machines.  They need fuel to function efficiently.  If we feed them well then our bodies will respond accordingly.  To deny our bodies the fuel it needs for cosmetic reasons seems a bit out of touch.  My car runs on gas.  When it is getting low a red light comes on (thank goodness) to let me know it needs more.  If I deny the fuel, the car denies me transportation.  It does not work.  It stops running.  If the oil, filters, carburetor and other dohickeys (that is a mechanical term) that are under the hood are not kept in tip top condition that vehicle is going to shimmy and shudder and cough and spout until I fix it or it dies.

Is it any wonder we do not know what is good for us?  We have gone through the government, the all knowing OZ,  telling us many
different things. We had the 7 Basic Food groups, the Four Basic Food Groups,  the Food Wheel, The Food Pyramid – twice and now we have the food plate.
basic7foodgroupsfour food groups

We have been told in recent decades to fondue for digestion, eat fat free, low fat, 2% fat and reduced fat.  No cholesterol, no foodwheelsodium,  no meat, all meat, low fiber, high fiber, no butter, yes butter and olive oil is good though other oil is not.  Saccharin, sugar free, NutraSweet, splenda, and oh sugar is okay…………is it a wonder why we have no idea what healthy eating really is???  No wonder why I am so skeptical about gluten today.

A couple of personal things that I am going to share.  While I am a fairly open book on this blog you, the reader, do not really know all about me!!!  A little mystery
never hurts.  Once you read the following you may wish there had been more left to the mystery part.

In the 90s there was a food fad.  PASTA is GOOD for you.  People were creating meals of pasta only.  New fast food restaurants were coming online that served pasta dishes.  It was no longer that neat little Italian place to go for spaghetti.  There were now Pasta restaurants popping up all over the place.  Fazoli’s started in 1988 and expanded throughout the 90s when Toyota bought it – it is an interesting story.(2)  While hamburger places were selling a few ounces of food,  for the price Fazoli’s was selling much more food.  Pasta a good buy for the family buck.  More pasta restaurant chains were to come Macaroni Grill Olive Garden and S’Barros.

foodpyramidfood pyramid2food plateI, for a long time have mentioned this craze and people fail to remember it.  I know as I can tell from the looks I get.  I found the proof today that I had been looking for all along.  I was surprised at the source though should not have been.  NPR did a great story on this and I have taken the liberty of taking some of it or you to read.


So, when Sen. McGovern, a Democrat from South Dakota, called his hearing, he summoned the likes of Nathan Pritikin, a longevity guru who believed you could reverse heart disease with diet changes. And he called as a witness a Harvard U(3)niversity professor who pointed to the harms of overconsumption of fat. The hearing led to the creation of the first set of dietary guidelines for Americans.

“The thinking of the day is that you wanted to reduce fat,” says science writer Gary Taubes, author of Why We Get Fat.  He adds that once fat was fingered as the villain, the thinking was that any way Americans could get fat out of their diets would be a good thing.

“And if we did it by merely replacing milk and cheese and fatty meat with carbohydrates, with pasta and potatoes and rice,” Taubes says, the theory was that we would live longer, and be thinner.

So, one of the top goals listed in the original dietary goals: eat more carbs.

“In retrospect, it’s kind of amazing, but this was the thinking at the time,” Taubes says.

Now, to be fair, the kinds of carbs the authors of the guidelines had in mind were whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

But this message was lost in translation. What did Americans hear? Fat is bad; carbs are good.

And the food industry saw the low-fat, high-carb mantra as an opportunity to create a whole new range of products. Fat-free frozen yogurt, fat-free muffins and cookies — the formula was: Take out the fat; add lots of sugar.

By the early ’90s, foods with little or no fat were flying off the shelves. Pretzels were good (no fat); nuts were bad (loaded with fat). Baked potatoes were OK, but hold the sour cream. And salads? Sure, greens are great, but no oily salad dressing.

Lots of you told us in our survey that you remember this fat-free mania well, and that it didn’t work out so well for you.  Taubes argues that it was not good for the country.

“Right around this time [when people started eating more refined grains and sugar] is when Americans starts getting fatter and fatter, and more diabetic,” Taubes says.

So, in trying to address one problem — heart disease — by cutting way back on fat, many experts we talked to agreed that the original dietary goals may have helped fuel other problems, like diabetes and obesity.

I suppose I could get in a little political point here by mentioning that this might simply be another Democrat Plot to control the country.  I will not and hope that it was simply a Senator trying to get us healthy.

The fact is it did not work.  The fact is that prescriptions for the diseases mentioned above went up and the pharmaceutical companies were happy.  The fact is that Americans were less healthy.

The personal part of this story is that I bought into it.  I love pasta and have some amazing recipes on sauces and ways to prepare it that we all did enjoy.  I think “Vicki’s Pasta and Brie” was may favorite.   I also along this time was drinking diet soda of course as we heard in the 80s that sugar was bad.  I was eating fewer eggs as the cholesterol  in them was bad.  Since we were having more pasta meals I was eating less meat too.  I was getting healthy.

My body began to expand.  How come.  All of this was good for us wasn’t it?  I began to have these horrid headaches that would get my eyes feel all floaty and dizzy.   I had bad cases of irritable bowels.  I was getting healthy by eating the right things!!

One day with a horrid headache that I could barely see though I called my eye doctor who was a friend of ours.  He asked if I could get to his office.  I made it ever so slowly down to Humphrey Boulevard in Memphis.  Rick examined y eyes and said all looked well and that I was having a classic ocular headache.  We chatted for a long time as the symptoms subsided.  It seems that the cause of these headaches could not be pinpointed necessarily.  No I did not have a brain tumor he did not think!!!  He suggested I look for something else as a trigger in my body.  He said maybe I am lacking some nutrient from my diet or some such.

It really did not take long to pinpoint that my body was crying out for protein.  Where did I get it ?  No meat.  Few eggs.  Few beans as they are not a favorite.  I stopped eating pasta as much and put these things meat, eggs and the green beans back in my diet.  It was almost like magic.  The less I ate pasta the better my body felt.  All I was left with was fat on my frame.  My blood pressure was great, my cholesterol numbers were good and I no longer panicked not being near a bathroom.  It was food.

This leave me being a skeptic.  There is no one size fits all.  I have said it enough that I could probably write a book about it.  Hmmmmmmmmmm………….

Everything is good for us.  I believe we can eat whatever we want to eat.  When I see big names like Bill O’Reilley touting gluten free as a necessity I want to smash the TV.  He is not a Dr.  Then again neither am I.  I believe we have to do what is best for us.  Share with others as they may choose to listen and occasionally say BALDEREDASH and rant.

I believe in eating everything.  I cannot imagine going through life not tasting all the good foods out there.   I believe it is all balance and clean.  We can eat anything that grows.  Now gluten is in grain yet how much do you actually have to eat to be intolerant of it?  A piece of toast or a pasta dish could not create that could it?  Wouldn’t it have to an overindulgence or too much?  Perhaps it is the processing that creates the problem.  I used to make all of the bread for our family and I am certain gluten was in the mix.  None of us had health issues.

The start of this blog is that I am convinced that someone somewhere is making money off the gluten free industry that has popped up over this latest food dilemma.  I do not like being a cynic.  When something flashes in my face it is hard not to say BALDERDASH!  It is all good if you use your head and close your mouth not your mind.







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