I never wanted to be one of THOSE people who had to tell everyone, from family members to strangers at Walmart, about their gluten intolerance. I didn’t want to be one of THOSE people who read all the food ingredients, interrogated waiters at restaurants until they cried, and then babbled on and on and on about their sensitivity to gluten.
I thought I would continue with my bread-eating, donut-binging, cookie-making life, with no thought to how gluten would one day affect me.
A few months ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that has pissed me off to no end. After years of doctor appointments and blood tests, I was told “You’re just old. Deal with it.” And I thought, “WTF? This is it? I’m going to feel shitty for the rest of my life?”
But finally, I was given a diagnosis and was told going gluten-free would make a huge difference in how I feel. Riiiight. . .
So, I upended my life adapting to this new gluten-free prison, turning down birthday cake and bagels, whilst munching on raw veggies. (Not necessarily a good trade.) But it isn’t too bad. I can still enjoy many of my favorite foods. Like water.Here are the Top 5 Things I’ve Learned By Going Gluten-Free.
- Gluten is in freakin’ everything. It’s not just in bread and baking products that contain wheat, oats or other grains. It’s in soy sauce (!), licorice (!!) and even beauty products (!!!) Why can’t gluten be in kale? Or Lima beans?
- Lots of other things are gluten free, including:
- Grandchildren (usually)
- Shoe shopping
- The beach
- Sex (usually)
- Binge-watching TV shows
- There are lots of recipes using alternative flours. Granted, most of those recipes taste like shit. But there are a few that actually taste like chocolate chip cookies. Or brownies. Or waffles. My search continues to find a flour mixture (that doesn’t cost the equivalent of a Tesla) that will allow me to return to my baking habits.
- I don’t need to tell everyone I meet I can’t eat gluten. Yes, I understand the hypocrisy of that statement as I post a blog that is read by at least four people. But I can politely refuse baked goods without going off about how gluten has basically ruined my immune system and I’ll probably die a horrible death that involves a dingy motel room and a loaf of sourdough bread.
- I feel so much better. After years of daily headaches, overwhelming exhaustion, brutal cramps, unexplained bloating and overall depression, I think this gluten-free thing might be a real solution. It might just catch on.