I was recently sent a large box of spelt products from someone at Vita-Spelt who knows my dad. He claims that spelt is ok for Celiacs to consume. I have read that it is an ancient grain and that the wheat that is currently eaten was genetically altered in the mid 50’s and since then, well, the levels of gluten intolerance have grown immensely. My box came with no literature to convince me, just the word of a guy who wants to create a locally made product that gluten intolerant and wheat allergic people can eat. Here is what they say about spelt and celiac.
I was sent spelt sourdough organic pretzels, two bags of non sourdough pretzels, 2 bags of penne noodles, some elbow macroni, 2 boxes of spaghetti noodles, 2 boxes of whole grain spelt spag noodles and a bag of sesame spelt snacks.
I have been staring at this box for 3 weeks. It keeps staring back. My dad called and asked if I had tried any of the products yet. I said “no, but I plan to, probably tonight”. That was yesterday morn.
When this guy approached my dad, I sent my dad a flurry of cut and pasted websites that said Spelt is a no-no and told my dad to forward them to the guy. The box of spelt still appeared. Then yesterday I read a post on Eat Wheat Free… site where she mentioned eating spelt. I asked if she was gluten intolerant and she said yes and that she has no problems with spelt. It was a timely post as I probably would have waited at least another week to make a new excuse to give to my dad. Truth be known, I am scared to try it.
One, the reaction that I may have. I have had some cross contamination issues – every 3 weeks or so and it is not so bad (I am on the road for work a lot), just pretty uncomfortable. So to eat something that is by law, required to label it (wheat) after spelt, is a bit intimidating, as I assume that if I react, I will react badly.
Two, if I react, I will be tempted to go for the gusto and after a year of not any gluten, start shoving delish crusty breads down my repaired esophagus (thanks to Nexium). This in part because, while I was eating gluten, the last year and a half, I lost weight (as most do), but I was already overweight to begin with – so I thought it was great. Yes, I had my share of digestive issues, but I could deal with them. I stopped eating gluten and the weight came back….plus an extra 15 pounds. Not fair! All I did was take gluten out and feel like I am being punished. For 7 years I ate what ever I wanted and didn’t gain weight. So now I need to be gluten free and diet? Well, you can already guess how I feel about that. Now comes the really bad part, the part that is no different than anorexia really. If I eat gluten, it makes what ever I eat that day essentially calorie free. Everything is expedited out of my system before it has a chance to digest, and does damage in the process. So I am afraid that if I react to the spelt, that it will send me on a gluten bender so to speak and I will just be purging my body in a different way. Yes, this is sick, but I think about it.
So, let’s hope I don’t react. Let’s really, really hope cause I might just be strong enough not to purposefully damage my intestinal tract – probably – but it is in my head. Let’s really hope because if we could eat spelt – we can make bread the old fashioned way again in our kitchens. When traveling I might buy a spelt loaf to take with me to make sandwiches. It won’t change the dining out process, but the home life would be tastier.
I could make normal beer again and we could all gather in my backyard and drink a keg of it while eating spelt bruscetta with tomatoes and basil from my garden.
Here’s to hope, experimentation and strength to do the right thing! I now have eaten three of the sourdough spelt pretzels to test it out. Stay tuned for the results.