I know I talk about gluten free stuff…a lot…and people probably get sick of hearing about it over and over again. But it’s kind of a necessity to be obsessed with all things gluten free. It’s not like I’m one of those healthy types that’s just doing the gluten free thing because it’s a new trendy Hollywood diet. Lord knows I’d be way skinner if that were the case. Eating this way is purely for survival. Okay, okay, survival with a lot of gluten free treats mixed in along the way.
We live in such a food-centric culture that I am forced to think about what I’m going to eat at least 3 times a day, almost 1100 times per year. “Hey, it’s a birthday/anniversary/going away party – let’s eat! Hey, it’s Friday, let’s do happy hour! Hey, it’s lunch time, let’s do lunch!” The simple decision of what food I should put in my mouth all of a sudden becomes a major source of anxiety.
Do I stick to something safe like plain lettuce leaves and keep it quiet, or do I meticulously comb through the menu and grill the waitress about what each dish is made of and how it’s cooked? Sometimes it’s just not worth the embarrassment. There have been a few notable occasions that wait staff have given me the hairy eyeball when I start asking a bunch of questions and one time I was even told that the manager had to verbally give me a legal disclaimer before he could place my order. No joke.
I’ve been very lucky that my community of people around me has really been forgiving of my gluten free obsession – most of them even downright generous with sharing new products they come across or news stories they hear about. I think once people understand that I’m not just talking about “that one time at band camp” over and over because I’m totally socially inept, but because this is a real issue that impacts my day-to-day life it’s easier to hear it over and over again. Having Celiac is not the end of the world by any means, but is certainly the source of great frustration from time to time.