This post is not about bread, but right this very minute I’m eating a paleo English Muffin. Do you know how good real English Muffins are? When I stopped eating gluten ten years ago, I thought it would be a short-lived thing my doctor was having me try on a whim. It wasn’t.
Gluten + me = No.
Every so often a new faux English Muffin graces the shelves of any of our many grocers. I know it’s not going to be an English Muffin. All of me, certain of the suckiness about to ensue, cannot stop my right hand from opening the freezer door. My left hand grasps the package. It tumbles into the cart and then my car, my toaster oven and eventually my mouth.
Four of them for almost 7 damn dollars later, I’m so disappointed that I can’t even let myself feel the disappointment, because it’s a predictable conundrum and I’m a sensible grown up.
This paleo version is reminiscent of the time my daughter and I tried baking scones with coconut flour, about 5 years ago. She was six. I was thirty six. We laughed so hard after we were done choking on those scones. We called them Suck Scones. She reveled in the permission to say Suck with impish delight. Sadly, we couldn’t rescue the wasted berries, relegating them to the compost pile.
Here: Let’s spare you a lengthy ramble on the enigma of xanthan and other gums, whether we should be eating them (in almost everything we consume now), and the high glycemic index of many of the ingredients in gluten free alternatives.
In the end, I’m always eating a mediocre rendition of something that is fundamentally awesome, with less nutritional integrity. (Think cover band.) We try to eat a lot of vegetables instead, and that feels like a win.
Hey cover bands, ignore me. I’m rambling about gross bread and somehow now you’ve been thrown under the bus, too. (#bloggersarejerks)
The point is that I, just like you, can consume whatever I want to. I can eat gluten, even though it disagrees with me. I choose not to. I also choose not to eat sucky alternatives to delicious gluten foods, but sometimes one ends up in my mouth anyway.
Here’s the thing: That’s just courageous adventure in disguise as delusional optimism. And we are all riding that tension in our lives, on some level.
We can read, eat, date, scroll over, and listen to all the contents of Pandora’s box. We can sample the peddled wares of the whole wide world, and a lot of what we take in will not carry beneficial potential.
It was my right hand and then my left hand that said Yes, Yes to the Suck Muffins. It was my innate curiosity and optimism, paired with the ten year old memory of a buttery, sacred crunch.
Forty two year old me, from behind my smudged spectacles, said, Gross. No. Really. Again?
Update: I’ve layered on peanut butter and even a little bit of jam now, trying to salvage this situation. My six year old son says, “Epic fail, Mom.” Indeed, son.
It’s simple, really. There will be times when we consume the thing that sucks. We ought not beat ourselves up. Sometimes it’s the third or fourth time that we find our way out. Sometimes it’s the fourteenth. This is our humanity.
People will tell you it’s a problem. They will also be quick to insinuate you are the problem. They will sell you a solution, or attempt to.
This is a free alternative. When you consume the thing that sucks, don’t waste time further beating yourself up. Drink a little water and remind yourself why you don’t consume things that suck. Remembering is ok. Sometimes we forget.
Whether it’s bad Netflix shows, sucky Muffins, ill fitting mail order clothes, or something entirely more grave, please acknowledge that you’re learning. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter if this isn’t your first rodeo, forty nine dollars deep in lousy bread.
It doesn’t matter what anyone other than you presumes to know. It doesn’t, and here’s why: We all take turns in the role of know it all, despite our humblest efforts. Don’t let me tell you your cover band isn’t amazing.
It is you walking through every day of your own life, and guess what? The experts peering into your life from the perimeter; they might just be buying ugly shoes at the store one block over. Human is human. With grace, compassion, and boundaries, we’ll figure it out.
See actual English Muffins, from http://pinchmysalt.com/homemade-english-muffins/:
Today Tanya’s bio reads: I’ve been reading Mother Teresa’s book, No Greater Love. I can tell you she’s always whispered in my ear, straight into that sacred place it’s hard for us to talk about. Now, my life is half over, and I’m buckling into things that feel real. Today, it feels real to say that we could all stand to be a little more tolerant. Happy holiday season, and thank you for reading.