Quote Originally Posted by PHaselow View Post
Why does going gluten free assume you need to have to eat breads, cereals, bars, cakes at all?

It sure is true that there is a trap of substituting crappy gluten free goods for our traditional fare (especially when you buy it and don't make it yourself). I see it with Paleo, too. A rush to find Paleo friendly desserts to the point of it becoming the focus. I sure fell into that trap with Paleo, and had to opt for a radical Whole30 experiment to reboot my habits and tastebuds.
What sort of people are you referring to?

Of course, the standard CW progression for a person diagnosed with celiac is to eliminate known sources of gluten, substitute foods that do not contain gluten for the foods they no longer can eat, then look for other sources of gluten and other intolerances until they get healthy. While this model has room for either gluten-free SAD or non-SAD substitutions (like rice instead of baked goods), the fact is that people who are told to eat a gluten-free diet are also told they can keep eating the way they have always been eating. They don't have to make radical changes. They can buy imitation foods to replace everything they can no longer eat. They can lead a normal life.

Most people who are diagnosed with celiac have been seeking answers about their declining health for a decade, some much longer. They're tired of being the family invalid. They're sick of being sick and want to lead a normal life.

While there are those who, like me, just eliminated unsafe foods and filled up the gaps with what was left, most people don't look past advertising and the CW advice they are getting from doctors and/or nutritionists. Heck, there are lots of stories about doctors telling celiac sufferers that it's too hard to successfully give up gluten, and they'd have to lead such an unnatural life that they may as well just take drugs to treat the symptoms. And I've never heard about a nutritionist recommending substituting meat and vegetables for gluten products. A lot of people find the nutritionist they were referred to has no clue about how to lead a gluten-free life. They have to go on the internet to figure it out for themselves.

I used to hang out on celiac forums. Most of them, like most Americans in general, can't imagine life without bread, bagels, pizza, and pasta. I don't hold them to a higher standard or expect them to figure it out for themselves. The information they need is not right there in front of them.

I think most people in general are irrationally attached to their diet to the point that they can't question anything about it. They feel threatened in some way by those of us who do.

I think a good way to introduce the idea that it doesn't have to be that way is to get them at their weakest point, which is when they are complaining about how expensive it is to eat a "gluten-free diet" that strictly substitutes gluten-free processed products for everything eliminated, and how bad the stuff tastes. It costs 2-3 times as much to eat that way! I used to say that my food bill went down when I started substituting rice and potatoes for artisan bread, fancy desserts, fresh pasta, etc.

Don't forget there is a component of addiction in gluten consumption. Eating it makes you feel good and you want more, even if it also makes you feel bad. Remembering that good feeling is powerful.

But if you're asking why some primal people keep trying to eat gluten products and gluten-free substitute products, as well as making their own gluten-free treats, I think it is a combination of psychological attachment to the diet they are accustomed to eating, addiction to gluten that they may be nursing along rather than kicking cold turkey, and the memory of good times with family and friends over traditional meals.

I don't blame people for being this way. It seems overwhelmingly to be the rule, rather than the exception.

For me, I might want to cook and eat a gluten-free recipe of some sort of treat a few times a year. Some recipes are crap. But if I eat almonds, sweetener, and eggs, I see no moral imperative not to also eat them baked into cookies.