In that time, I went from gazing longingly at food courts filled with sandwiches, pizzas, wraps and chicken schnitzels to becoming that annoying gluten-free person in the office.
The person that gets more excited over a refined sugar-free protein ball than a box of donuts with chocolate chunks and syringes of gooey stuff literally attacking the icing.
This is my life now, I get on with it.
Restaurants and cafes have come a long way too. Many have “GF” marked on their menus. Many go out of their way to substitute – whether it be gluten-free bread, a different sauce, or a salad instead. This, I have no trouble navigating.
But there is one thing that is the single most infuriating thing that happens at restaurants for a gluten-free person. I’m going to call it the “Pay The Same Price For Less Food” rule.
You see, some places still like to make us irritating gluten buzzkills feel like the second-class foodie citizens that we apparently are.
It’s the moment when you order a breakfast and ask if they have gluten-free bread to substitute and the waiter says, “No sorry, but we can do it without bread”.
Like, you’d get poached eggs and a lump of sad smashed avocado on a plate.
It's the moment you order a burger and the restaurant says the gluten-free option is a meat pattie with a few lettuce leaves and sauce. Sounds…real appetising huh? And for the same price too. Ah, the generosity.
On the weekend, I experienced this phenomenon at, of all places where fussy foodies might feel safe, the Sydney Good Food & Wine Show.
At one restaurant pop-up (representing a restaurant in Sydney's Glebe, which has two My Kitchen Rules stars as its chefs), I ordered the "12-hour wood smoked brisket with pickled cucumber and jalapeno cream".