I am one of the luckiest people on the planet. I have an amazing family, two beautiful children, and I crave healthy food. The way some people long for a soda, I long for water. Late night pizza cravings? I’m desperate for a salad with grilled salmon. I wasn’t always this way, but through years of tweaking my diet and lifestyle, transitioning to gluten free, and getting hooked on feeling good, my cravings shifted to foods that make me feel better. What I learned recently is that sometimes, the only food that can make me feel better is toast.
I caught a bug, and although it didn’t hit me nearly as hard as it hit other members of my household, I was unable to stomach (or even think about) my usual food favorites for days. (Seriously, the thought of a salad made me want to punch someone.) But you know who was there for me when I was down? Toast. Rudi’s Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin toast, to be precise. During the worst days, I nibbled at it. As my hunger returned, I enjoyed it slathered with coconut oil. It saved me, and made it possible for me to continue producing milk for my nursling. The toast was magic. The toast saved the day.
But illness is not the only time that toast can be magical. It has also been the saving grace of many people’s transitions to the gluten- free diet. When my first daughter was born eight years ago, there wasn’t much on the market in the way of gluten-free transition foods. When we learned that gluten was enemy number one, we dropped it fast. I stumbled through the first few years, and we sure ate a lot of rice pasta. We simply didn’t eat toast, or sandwiches, or anything fun and delicious like that. When high quality gluten free breads began to enter the market, I mostly avoided them; I had learned to live without bread, and I didn’t see the point in making room for it again.
That is, until my second daughter was born. Edith (my baby) isn’t really a picky eater, but boy does she love toast! It was an easy first snack food for her because it was delicious, gluten-free, and fairly dissolvable. Her method of consumption was to shove half a piece of toast into her mouth and just sort of suck on it until it disappeared. Obviously the kid is a genius and knows that starch digestion happen primarily in the mouth (thanks amylase!) but whatever her reasoning, she was happy. I was happy because I didn’t have to buy special “baby crackers,”and the rest of the family was happy to have tasty, gluten-free bread in the house too.
We will all go through numerous important transitions in our live. Whether it’s giving up gluten, learning how to eat solid food for the first time, or regaining digestive strength after an illness, having delicious transition foods is a powerful thing. Toast is that tool for me; it helps our family smooth out the bumps in our hectic, toddler trampled, gluten-free life. My transition to the gluten-free diet was intense, and it took me years to really get comfortable with it. Now, when a friend tells me they just got handed a celiac diagnosis, I tell them that they are one of the luckiest people on the planet. Their body is about to go on a journey towards learning how to eat to make itself feel better. Also, they have toast.