PNA Village volunteer helping a member with her computer
Ever think about how things will be when you get to retirement age and beyond? If you are like many, you’ll want to stay in your home as long as you can. But there comes a time when it just becomes harder and harder to do the little things: laundry, vacuuming, changing lightbulbs in high ceilings, grocery shopping. What if you can no longer drive but still need to get to your doctor’s appointments, and want to have a social life outside your own home?
Nationally, there’s a movement toward “Villages,” a volunteer organization geared toward helping folks “Age in Place.” To find out if there’s a village near you (or your parents or grandparents), click the map at the Village To Village Network site.
In my neighborhood, we have the PNA Village, a program run by the Phinney Neighborhood Association. I’ve been volunteering since its inception in 2012. One of the things I do is layout the printed newsletter for members and volunteers. I also write articles, and work in the office as a volunteer. We’re always looking for new volunteers, so this sort of thing resonates with you, please check it out!
A couple of years ago I found that taking wheat (and generally, all gluten grains) out of my diet caused me to be less hungry, less tired, and to have a sense of clear-headedness I had not felt in a long time, if ever. Over the summer I experimented by eating a burger with a regular bun, and felt too tired and foggy-headed to function normally for a 20 hour period afterward.
Always ready to throw my own assumptions into the fire, I have kept an open mind, and this article caught my attention. It says that the real reason so many people are having health problems from wheat is simply because of pesticides.
So I thought I’d experiment on myself and eat some organic wheat to see what would happen.
I really don’t miss anything about wheat except the convenience of being able to find something to eat anywhere I go in the USA. I’ve already found a gluten-free pizza crust that is superior to any wheat crust (and several people who eat wheat regularly agree that it is the best), and at least one pasta that tastes just as good as any wheat pasta and has good texture. So I struggled to think of a wheat food that I’d actually want to eat so much that I’d be willing to risk being useless for the better part of a day. Then I found some Rising Moon La Famiglia Organic Pierogies and remembered how they were one of the few foods I actually kind of missed and had not found a good gluten-free substitute for.
I did a total of two tests on myself, a couple weeks apart, consuming 8 pierogies each time. They were boiled and then fried up in a little butter and consumed around dinner time with no other foods. The first time I fell asleep in the recliner chair for five minutes about fifteen minutes after eating them, which was weird, but at least I felt fine afterward. The second time, I did not fall asleep and didn’t get foggy headed either.
For all you science types, I realize this story is anecdotal and a sample size of one doesn’t really prove anything. And being able to eat an organic wheat product without turning into a zombie for a day doesn’t exactly help me when I go to a festival and am faced with a posse of food trucks. But still, I’m optimistic about this. For myself, and for everyone who struggles with wheat intolerance of some kind or another.
- My opinions as a reader have been solicited by Troglodad.
- Someone gave my book a five-star review on Amazon.
- Pieces of Home is for sale at local bookstore Couth Buzzard.
- My back is seriously out of whack, and has been for years, but for a couple of bright shining days last week, my left shoulder blade managed to detach itself from whatever muscles/tendons/ligaments it has been stuck to for years, and I felt the joy of being able to move my left arm back freely. If anyone has experience with stuck shoulder blades, bones being stuck to things they aren’t supposed to stick to, a rib popped out of place, or a twisted rib cage, feel free to get in touch and we can compare horror/healing stories.