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Dear bread: you are awesome in any form. We will miss you.

The countdown to 2012 wasn’t just about anticipating a new year.

Bryan and I counted down to an important fork in the road.

We counted down every piece of bread, every plate of pasta and every holiday cookie as if they were our last. Or at least, the last as we knew it.

No, I’m not talking about some lame diet where we eliminate cookies to start the new year. A life—even a skinny life—without cookies is not a life worth living.

To start off 2012, Bryan and I are eating gluten free.

Four months ago, I ate my pasta and bread without a second thought. Now, I’m scouring the Internet for gluten free recipes and checking every little ingredient to see what contains flour and what doesn’t.

My husband has ankylosing spondylitis, which is inflammation of the joints between the spinal bones. Essentially, he has arthritis of the spine.

Bryan does all he can to stop the disease from progressing; which at this point amounts to lower back pain with occasional flare ups that force him to take it easy for about week. But after it seemed the flareups were cropping up a little more often,  we wanted to see if Bryan could be doing anything else to help alleviate the symptoms.

After reading up on how eliminating gluten has helped many people with joint issues, we chatted with a doctor friend of ours to see if he thought it would help. We got a resounding yes.

His suggestion was to cut gluten out for two months, then try it a little again and see how Bryan feels. I’m on the wagon for solidarity and honestly, because it’s pure straight mean to order a huge plate of lasagna and remind Bryan he shouldn’t have any.

Even in the short time of learning about what the benefits of going gluten free might be for Bryan, I’ve heard several stories from friends and family about how this one change has made all the difference for someone they know.

It’s amazing how much of our health—and just how we feel everyday—can largely be tied to what we eat. Or, what we don’t eat. I think many of us ignore that simple fact.

We’ll see if it makes a difference.  I’m going to try and write about that journey and toss in a recipe or two along the way. Let’s do this.