Celiac Awareness – think before you roll your eyes

Since today is celiac awareness day, I thought I would enlighten people on what it means to be gluten free.  It’s really annoying.  Why?

  1. People roll their eyes and sigh heavily when you order gluten free.  “Oh god, here we go again” is my favorite comment I hear muttered behind my back.  Adding the loud sigh meant to be overheard is icing on the cake.
  2. They assume you’re being a pain in the ass or that you’re entitled to better food than other people.
  3. They assume you’re too sensitive, or have to have things your own way.  I’ve heard “When Harry Met Sally” muttered behind me several times.
  4. Know it all’s who believe they’re losing so much weight and becoming so much healthier because they’re on the gluten free diet.  My favorite part is when they tell me about a disease I have and how they’re giving up gluten is so much harder because they don’t have to, but they choose to.
  5. It’s become a shaming tactic and a joke in movies.

I think the last part is the thing that bugs me the most.  Do you have ANY idea what I would give to have a sausage, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel?  Do you know when the last time I had a decent piece of NY pizza?  Do you have ANY idea what it takes for a carb junkie like me to give up all of this crap?  Think about a guy who used to eat a sleeve of Chips Ahoy or Double Stuff Oreos.  They do have GF alternatives, but they aren’t even close.

So why do it?  Why eat gluten free?  Well, I don’t like throwing up very much, because that’s usually what happens when I eat more than a few crumbs.  Oh yeah, the stomach cramps are fun.  Daggers stabbing you from the inside – dude, try it, it’s so much fun.  And I forgot the best part!!! If all of that wasn’t enough, the hours in the bathroom?  Yeah, I’ll stop there.

Do me a favor.  I know there are ‘those’ people out there who think that they are being so healthy, or trendy, or just think they’re better than everyone else.  I don’t mind them or even bother worrying, you know why?  When my daughter was diagnosed in 2007, there were little to no alternatives for her.  Everything was made with cornmeal and tasted like dirt.  Now, because of the trendiness of the thing, everything is labeled, we can go to restaurants, we can be included.

So before you make fun, or roll your eyes, or do anything to shame someone for having to order differently – think of what it was like for my 8 year old to go out to dinner and have to eat partially cold mac and cheese, or soggy chicken fingers that we had to bring while everyone else at the table was eating fresh, hot food.