Tuesday, January 22, 2013

in the land of gluten-free delights

I was eager to head to Little Rock this weekend, mostly to spend time with people we love to hang out with (and to meet a sharebro!), but also partly because I could check out the Dempsey Bakery. Specializing in gluten-free goodies (breads and baked goods of all kinds!), they also serve lunch.  We met up with some of the Dempseys while we were there, and we enjoyed sandwiches and samples of cookies and breads. We even got to take a little tour of the bakery.

It was fun. The sandwich I got (the Caprese) was delicious, and the bread was hearty and had a lovely texture. I've been avoiding most GF breads because a.) I feel uncomfortable eating something on a regular basis that's full of gums and starches and all other things, b.) I've found that tortillas are a good alternative, c.) it turns out that I do better eating fewer processed bread products, and d.) they are expensive.  And, oh yeah...picking up the loaves felt like picking up a stale hunk of stuff.

The Dempsey Bakery bread pretty well approximated a nice grainy wheat bread and had good flavor (disclosure: I haven't had a lot of GF bread, but the few times I've had it out, it's tasted a bit dry).  I brought a loaf home to keep in the freezer in case I get a hankering for some bread with some soup or something.

We tasted several flavors of cookies (lemon, snickerdoodle, chocolate, and chocolate chip) and cakes (chocolate chip pound cake, lemon blueberry, hot milk cake), and a bit of brownie and danish. All fabulous. We bought a chocolate espresso brownie to take home along with some cookies.  Yum.

At the end, though, I came to a realization: even though I delighted in the fact that I was freed from the horrible stomach ache and other reactions that come with eating wheat, I still can't have even gluten-free goodies in large doses. By the time we left the bakery, I'd had enough sweets and breads to leave me both groggy and flying high on sugar. I ended up taking a nap later that afternoon.

I've gotten used to eating relatively few processed carbs (tortillas here and there), and most of my carbohydrates have been from fruit and whole grains, so the starches and flours hit my system hard.  And I didn't enjoy the feeling too much.  As I continue to feel free from the cloud and various wheat reactions, I've been taking a lot of joy in a renewed ability to understand the way my body reacts to different things I eat, and it clearly does not appreciate being hit with all the sugar and starch and refined grains.

When I'm in Little Rock, I'll probably swing by the bakery to pick up a few treats, but I'll probably refrain from eating quite so many samples.  And I'll remember: even if it's gluten-free, it doesn't mean that I can eat more than a nibble.  However, if you're in Little Rock, you should check them out! Their stuff is among the best I've had so far in my gluten-free wanderings.

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