Weekend Wrap #64: Celiac Disease Edition

news_wrap.jpgI know what you are thinking. Why on earth would you name this week’s link dump after a disease? Well, the reason being is that I just found out that I have it. Before you start rushing out to the Hallmark store and buying me a card, it is non-life- threatening. Celiac Disease is commonly misdiagnosed as a wheat allergy but in reality it is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system starts attacking normal tissue. For people with Celiac Disease this condition is brought on by the consumption of gluten which is commonly found in wheat, rye and barley. Although there is no known cure for Celiac Disease the good news is that it can be controlled by adhering to a lifelong gluten-free diet. That means cutting out starchy type foods made with wheat like breads, pasta, cereals, pizza, crackers, pancakes……. and BEER. Beer?!? Oh man, you’ve got to be kidding me? (But there is good news on that front as well.)

Although I have been living with Celiac Disease for almost all of my adult life, I have been treating it unknowingly by subscribing to a low-carb lifestyle. When I was looking for a weight loss option a few years ago, 2001 to be exact, I read Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution book. I was traveling quite a bit with my job and subscribing to a low-carb diet was easier to stick to and maintain while traveling and eating out at restaurants frequently. “Accidentally” I was treating my Celiac Disease because most carbohydrate foods have high levels of gluten as well. Unfortunately for me I was mistaking carbohydrates as the cause of my symptoms when really it was gluten. So I was avoiding high carbohydrate foods like bananas, peaches, apples, watermellon unneccessarily. I would still drink beer while tailgating but I chose low-carb beers like Miller Lite or Budweiser Select not knowing they contain gluten. Upon learning I have Celiac Disease I immediately went to the internet and looked to see if they make gluten-free beer. Thankfully they do and I tried Anheuser-Busch’s Redbridge Beer which is an American Amber/Red Lager brewed from sorghum. Surprisingly it was quite good so my fear of having to go beerless while tailgating was put to rest.

So why am I sharing all of this rather personal information with the world via a tailgating blog? I am still not 100% sure but I will admit it has been rather cathartic to finally get a true understanding of why I have been feeling the way I have been feeling. I am now relieved that I now have a game plan and can reintroduce foods that I have missed for a long time and didn’t need to avoid. Will I miss things like toast or pizza? Sure I will. But in all honesty I had eliminated those foods out of my diet while doing a low-carb lifestyle already. The bottom line is that by avoiding gluten foods I will feel better. If it comes down to the choice of what tastes good compared to feeling poorly as the price tag I will have to pay, I’ll choose to pass on the breads. So I guess what I am saying is that because of this diagnosis I will be doing more research on Celiac Disease and learning more about the “G-Free Diet”. So don’t be surprised if you see upcoming posts dedicated to tailgating while eliminating gluten from the menu. Don’t worry, I’ll still include plenty of exposure about regular beers and other stuff that “normal” people enjoy while tailgating.

Now on with this week’s links.

Cover Your Bass