That smell of fresh bread, wafting gently from the back of my house in Glasgow, all the way into my bedroom. My nose in overdrive, letting me know it was now 6 am and time to rise for another day at school. My grandmother, Rose, beavering away in the kitchen for the past two hours, baking fresh delights for me, and my sisters, a loving memory and a real treat, so much better than a loaf of Mother’s Pride, the supermarket equivalent chemical filled crap, available on every shelf. And then there was the best bread of all. Kleinberg’s bakery in Edinburgh. Yellow egg loaf, or challah, as it’s often called today, baked in real ovens, with real ingredients, served fresh, warm and without any compromise to natural quality. All, now sadly gone. Vanishing into the winds of time, leaving us mere mortals with just thoughts of how it used to be. And these fresh delights were accompanied by my favorite Scottish Pride butter, salted of course and running deliciously into every nook and cranny those breads had to offer. In winter time, the smell from our kitchen warmed our hearts and played havoc with our minds and certainly our weight! Rose was gifted, granted by God, an ability to render us, three of her 15 or so grandchildren, speechless each day as we stuffed our faces full of her hand crafted miracles. All prepared from scratch and delivered, not only with ease, but with a smile, before we wandered off to school each morning, content. Nothing was more fulfilling than fresh bread and butter or indeed a sandwich, filled with so many different ideas. Makes me salivate just thinking back!
And then there were all the bakeries, and Scottish treats, all discussed in previous blogs, sitting in shop windows with that huge invisible sign, reading EAT ME NOW! And boy, did I eat!
A few of months ago, and in some pain, sick to death with inadequate diagnoses received from my GP, I was escorted to a Homeopath, one who came highly recommended, in an effort to find out why,
A) My kidney stones would not go away.
B) Why I had a continual pain in my left flank, and if this was related to the kidney stones
C) What was creating an increasingly difficult bowel situation. (TMI I know, but no more detail required here, trust me)
I was offered a plethora of different observations and tests, all chemical free I might add, and all seemingly very logical in my efforts to find out the exact cause of my discomforts. I chose to donate poop for testing. Stick with me folks, this gets really interesting and it goes beyond what any doctor had attempted to do in order to offer a diagnosis that was accurate. After two weeks, and of course the unfortunate episode I encountered of trying to actually scoop the poop from the toilet bowl and send it for testing, something that took more effort than fishing in a lake devoid of any fish, the results came back. Armed and dangerous and now fully cleaned up from my pooping scooping exploits, I went back to see the homeopath, expecting more of the same as I’d had from my GP. “There’s nothing wrong with you Zoltie. Kidney stones come and go, so suffer Dude!’ Boy was I wrong.
“You are gluten intolerant” She uttered, as she looked through the results she had before her.
“WTF is that?” I asked.
“No more wheat for you, no bread, no cakes, no barley, no…..” And as she continued to motor through the ‘no’s’ my mind went into overdrive, thinking all at once, ‘How will I survive?’
That was in August of 2012. Since that day, I have cut wheat out completely from my diet and have lived a pain-free life. It’s been amazing, and frustrating all at the same time. If you look around, everything we eat contains wheat. Well perhaps not everything, but a huge chunk of our every day diets. Yes, there are many gluten-free options provided in several good supermarkets, and on-line too, but wheat is everywhere, and very hard to avoid. I also noticed that when and if I lapsed, due to foreign travel, and inability to find food that contained no wheat for many other reasons, the day after consumption led to all the original pain that had sent me to the homeopath in the first place. It was all coming home to roost, all the gluten abuse I’d given my body over the past 50 years, and it was all happening with a vengeance Some people I know laughed, others were sympathetic, but the facts were there. No wheat equalled good health, and the opposite equalled nothing but issues. So, my friends, for months now, my direction has been one of gluten-free and pain free living. I found that life without bread is easier than I ever believed, unless the memories of Kleinberg’s or my grandmother begin to overwhelm. In general there are many good options, and when there are none? Well, suffering is the only way to go! Thank goodness that’s no too often.
I love the smell of lemons and fresh cut grass too! Here’s hoping that either do nothing to disturb my new found inner equilibrium!