Home Baked Bread and Memories
Alas, my Grandmother's bread may have been the devil at the root of her diseases.
Both of my Grandmother's hands and fingers were horribly disfigured from arthritis. She and other family members led me to believe it was caused from years of knitting (and probably kneading the dough too..). Grandma Bentley also had diabetes that eventually caused her feet to lose circulation of blood and so afflicted that she could no longer walk. And worse, she ended up dying from stomach cancer. Hmmmm. It couldn't have been caused by the gluten from the amount of breads and pastries that my grandmother baked and consumed could it? It seems many people do not want to consider the growing evidence that gluten is the root of many autoimmune and other diseases. What I hear from most folks when I mention the "grain connection" and a Paleo diet is how grains are healthy and good for them. Unfortunately for my Grandmother, the evidence about gluten intolerance was not there. Although she, like many others, might not have wanted to give up her bread and pastries either.
My fond memories of growing up with the smell and taste of the best bread I have ever had in my life to this day is also why part of going Paleo is so hard. My favorite part of the meal at a restaurant has always been the bread served at the beginning of it. So I get why so many people are resistant to the idea of living without grains in their diet. With the research being done now and when so many autoimmune diseases can be linked to gluten I had to see the writing on the wall and cut out the bread and other gluten foods. I want to be healthy into my old age and not follow into my Grandmother's footsteps ending up with diabetes and an autoimmune disease, both of which my be put in check from giving up the grain.
If you are unsure what an autoimmune disease is here's a list of some of them: myasthenia gravis, Addison's, Lupus, polymyalgia rheumatica, scleroderma, vitiligo, ulcerative colitis, and Graves'. Other diseases and symptoms: alopecia, autoimmune thyroiditis, schizophrenia, depression, rheumatioid arthritis, fibromyagia, and something many would probably not even associate with anything other than what it is, recurrent urinary tract infection!
So do your research, read about gluten and disease and make your decision. I have my loving memories of my Grandmother and time spent with her baking bread and pies. That's the good part. Then I think about how she died and how it could have been different, how her end of life years could have been pleasant instead of riddled with pain.