Giving Up Wheat for Lent

A friend of mine, who is a good and practicing Catholic, asked me what I was giving up for Lent. I am, sort of, not such a good and practicing Catholic. In fact, I’m what you would call a “C&E” Catholic. I used to think poorly of those Christmas & Easter Catholics, but what do you know…things change.

So, I responded to her that I was giving up wheat for Lent. She looked at me funny and said, “But, you can’t eat wheat…” Humor as a cover up (for my C&E status) was not working. EDITORIAL NOTE: I’m supposed to be giving up cussing for Lent. My kids are laughing like hyenas in the background right now.

Giving up bread, giving up pizza…when people talk to me about it they are always so horrified. “It must be so hard.” “You must be tempted to cheat.” I often use humor by saying that I’m on a permanent Atkins Diet. Or, I pretend to super diet woman and state that I am just not tempted by those “calories that don’t count.” Moms know what I mean here–the left over crusts from your kid’s grilled cheese that you eat while standing at the kitchen counter—those don’t count. But, in truth, something that made me sick as a dog does not tempt me. Giving it up was really not the end of the world.

My teenager is giving up Facebook for Lent…now THAT is a challenge.

I looked like a famine victim when I was at my worst. My bones jutted out, my cheeks were all sunken and I had these huge dark circles under my eyes and was incredibly pale. My stomach was distended and I felt horrible 24/7.

Giving up bread and giving up pizza, but getting my life back was a trade I willingly made. So I will continue to crack jokes or use humor to defuse a “gosh it must be so awful to be you” conversation. Maybe I should just carry around this particular photo of me during that time period. I was in this electric blue suit that I wore on Easter Sunday and I looked like a freakish, brightly attired skeleton. But why frighten people, I’ll just stick with humor.

  • I agree with you. After I gave up wheat I never once regretted it or felt sorry for myself for not being able to eat pizza. In fact, I felt sorry for my former self that didn’t know it was wheat that caused the symptoms! I felt so much better so quickly that I didn’t feel deprived at all. Thanks for making me laugh!

  • I can honestly say that I have never felt deprived on the gluten free diet. Today I made the Arabic lentil and rice pilaf from the current issue of GF Living and I was pleased with the results. Variety is the spice of life and I feel sorry for people who do not like to eat a variety of foods.

  • Amy

    Hi Lynn,
    So glad you tried the recipe and liked it. I think you’re right about variety being the spice of life. It’s especially true if you are following the gluten-free diet because you can easily get into a rut eating the same foods over and over. There are always new and healthy foods to try.

  • I’m like you. I don’t feel tempted because I can imagine how it would make me feel. Yuck.