It’s been almost three years since I ate my last piece of wheat bread. You couldn’t force me to eat another. It’s so clear to me that my body’s dramatic improvement in several areas is a direct result of cleaning gluten out of my system. I’ve read that 30 to 40% of Americans have a gluten sensitivity (i.e. would be significantly more healthy without) but very few of us know it.

For me, it began with a dental infection that all the right moves couldn’t seem to eradicate. We’re talking years of attentive home care and dentistry. A failed root canal followed by ineffective antibiotics sent me to the acupuncturist for help. She asked me to get some blood work done, to clarify the problem and give more info to work with. Among other things, the gluten issue came up loud and clear. I stopped eating it immediately and in the first week I think I lost 4 pounds and my energy increased. Within two months, when I went back to see the dentist, he couldn’t believe the improvement…he now calls me his miracle-worker patient, and is baffled at my continuing healthy mouth, with no extra dental care. I had been diagnosed as needing roughly $9000 worth of invasive dental work. Now I just get my teeth cleaned every 4 months.

The other very obvious issue for me is that of sugar imbalance. In my glutinous days, I frequently experienced that low-blood sugar rush, where the body demanded nourishment NOW. I needed to eat something every couple hours to keep myself afloat. Pre-diabetic, a doctor would probably tell me if I asked, diabetes being one of the results of gluten allergy, by the way, and present in both sides of my family gene pool. These days, I very rarely feel this imbalance and can go longer periods of time between meals if I must, though I know it is best for me to eat frequently. I no longer see insulin shots as part of my possible future.

My joints feel better, my previously-chronically bothersome lower back is now easy for me to adjust myself by stretching, and rarely a problem. The help of a skilled chiropractor has set the stage, and I believe maintenance is supported by my gluten-free diet.

Gluten intolerance sets up an auto-immune condition, where the body is endlessly fighting itself, stimulated by that sticky protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Inflamation results, and that is the precise culprit in so much of what ails America. I feel like I’m finally digesting my food. Though I’ve never been a fat person, the lumps and ridges have shrunken considerably. Now, at 64, I shamelessly put on a bikini. It feels more like an essential body that I live in, I can feel my bones and muscles, and my belly isn’t bloated. Love it!

And by the way, it’s not that hard. There are delicious breads, crackers, cookies, cereals, and baking mixes of all kinds available. Even Betty Crocker is on the band wagon. I am not deprived. I do save myself a lot of calories by saying no thank you to many treats that are offered, and I rarely feel sorry for myself as I observe what my friends are asking their bodies to digest. Some restaurants have become educated on the subject of gluten, and may even offer specific G.F. Options. It is important to ask and be very clear about your needs. Fast foods are mostly out. Reading labels becomes essential, and you will be shocked and perhaps horrified at some of what you see there. You will discover that wheat has been raped and plundered, mistreated, broken into pieces, and added to many prepared foods in a variety of forms. Perhaps this is why many people are overly-sensitive, as our national diet has been permeated by wheat parts to an absurd degree. In any case, without it, I feel cleaner, lighter, healthier, with more vitality and enthusiasm for life. So grateful for the knowledge.

Just Another Miracle


We’re expecting two new babies in our family.

Baby Kellan is here!The British son of my cousin, who transplanted from London to sunny Santa Cruz, and his lovely wife are due to bring forth their first child in less than two weeks. In other words, any day now!

My son and wonderful daughter-in-law are expecting their little boy around Nov. 2. They are becoming first-time parents in their late 30’s. I smile inside, knowing how this little one will rock their comfortable world.

We haven’t had a family baby in well over 6 years, and it’s deliciously exciting to anticipate. The other 5 grandchildren are excited, especially Skyler, who hopes his cousin will arrive on his own birthday, Nov.1. His mom went into labor as she was trick-or-treating with her daughter, but that’s another story.

My cousin Peg and her husband Eric will arrive soon, hoping to get here before the birth…or not, as the child dictates. We are all reminded that it will be perfect either way. Flexibility is the key word , as we prepare to host the new grandparents here at any moment the kids decide they want privacy. We love sharing our home with the cousins from abroad, and they are comfortable here in our forest house.

The great thing about birth is that it is unpredictable. No matter how much we plan and prepare, become educated and decide how we want it to be, the possibilities are vast. Giving birth and parenting represent a leap of faith, a jump into the unknown with a willing heart.

Modern prenatal testing has certainly lessened the surprises, however. I never knew the sex of my babies until that final push, and it was a magical moment. I am a bit sad that today’s parents rarely experience that. I even remember when the birth of twins came as a surprise. Why, there’s another baby in there! OMG we’re taking home TWO!

Nevertheless, today’s parents face the great unknown…who is this child? What will he or she be like? How will I respond to the needs of an infant? Can I breastfeed? Is he OK? And on and on until perhaps the end of our parental lives. Regardless of how many classes we take, books we read, or opinions and decisions we come to, our child is going to humble us in her/his profound innocence and tremendous presence. Our lives will never be the same. My young cousin and his bride will never be the same. My beloved son and his wife are going to be permanently transformed. This is the true beauty of life, reality at it’s most raw and magnificent. It is our human purpose and opportunity. Bring it on!

Salle Webber