For some reason ordering a burger without the bun, or asking for a lettuce wrap feels like the ultimate in LA wellness culture. It can be borderline annoying, and I have been teased many times for doing so. Evening ordering "just a salad" can have the same negative feedback. Why? Either you're not ordering heartily enough or you're being too picky for your fellow diners. For the purpose of this article I'm going to call it "lettuce shaming".
But why is it so annoying? No one is more bothered by picky eaters than myself. I could literally write an entire post on this subject alone - but I won't.
I'm here to suggest why ordering the lettuce is really the smarter choice, and for the purpose of skin health - it's absolutely the best choice.
For many years, I ate a very clean and healthy diet. I also ate my share of bread. Good quality bread. I was happy about it and didn't see anything wrong with it. Cut to my mid / late twenties and suddenly suffering from eczema and extreme dry scalp. After a ton of research I figured out that the bread might be the culprit - and sure enough, when the bread (or gluten) went, so did my eczema.
I don't have celiac, I'm not a doctor, and I'm not telling you that removing gluten will cure your eczema. What I am telling you is that it helped me, and it might also help you. It doesn't have to be an all or nothing thing. You might find that after a long period of elimination you can have gluten here and there and be totally fine. That is where I am with it. And fortunately, the quality of gluten free bread is off the charts right now. It's a far cry from the pasty white processed original versions.
When asked recently what foods I recommend for skin health, my answer was that removing certain foods is actually the bigger deal. I also don't promote thinking that all foods might be cause for removal, but certainly if you are eating a lot of the processed kind - there is a fair chance your skin will notice. Especially if you suffer from eczema or psoriasis.
But enough about bread! What I'm really here to say is that lettuce is SUPER FUN.
Lettuce wraps, lettuce buns, collard leaves, salads, all of it is absolutely wonderful. I'm not exaggerating. The abundance, and variety is inspiring. We are already at the tail end of summer and spring is another year away, but growing your own lettuce is easy and cheap. Try some winter varieties. Support local farmers during this unique time. Lettuce doesn't last forever so if you contact them directly you might be able to find some really good bulk deals. Skip the supermarket clamshells and go for the loose kind. And even if iceberg lettuce is all you can find - thats OK. Iceberg (or crisphead) gets a bad rap for being boring, but really it can be totally delicious, very hydrating, and good for you!
Use a lettuce wrap wherever you'd use a bun. It's great with burgers, veggie burgers, rice and veggies, hummus wraps - I mean... the list goes on. And don't be afraid to ask! Most restaurants do a great job with a lettuce wrap substitution.
Most of all - enjoy lettuce frequently and abundantly!