The 11 emotional stages of giving up gluten.

Latina ™ Fresh Gluten Free Pasta Range
Thanks to our brand partner, Latina ™ Fresh Gluten Free Pasta Range

It starts like any other day. And it ends with your doctor telling you that you need to break up with all of the foods that you love…

To my glorious gluten-phobic sisters and brothers: You are not alone. We know your pain.

And while you may have your own struggles, there are some universal things that only the gluten-intolerant comrades understand:

1. Everyone thinks you’ve drunk the celebrity Kool-Aid.

No, I’m not gluten-free because a celebrity chef suggested it. I haven’t just returned from a health retreat. I’m not on a cleanse. I’m not starting my own religion. Certain foods make me feel sick, so I don’t eat them.

2.  It’s expensive. But completely and utterly worth it.

$10? For a loaf of bread? Was the flour ground between the bosoms of vestal virgins on the top of a mountain in Patagonia? Was it delivered by unicorn? Will it also give me legal advice and vacuum the carpet? It’s hard to find good, tasty GF food – and when you do, you can bet it’s not always going to come cheap.

The worst thing is: When you finally find that glorious $10 GF bagel, you know that it’s completely and utterly worth it. For just a few minutes you are completely normal and it is wonderful.

3. You carry food everywhere.

There’s my handbag, and then there’s my food sack. I look like I’m perpetually running away from home. I just don’t want to be caught out, so I BYO. Airports are especially bad.

4. The unfairness of a surprise gut attack.

Everything is cool. You’ve been really strict with what you’ve eaten. Birds are singing, deer are frolicking, dogs and cats are friends. And then out of nowhere: an apolcapyse. You’ll be tied to the bathroom all night screaming: WHY! WHHHHHYYYYY!

5. Being gluten-free doesn’t make you thin.

It also doesn’t make you better looking, smarter or a better lover. You will feel better, but only if you felt bad before. The absence of feeling bad is an excellent feeling. I guess that might actually make you a better lover. Fingers crossed.

6. You have to draw attention to yourself. Every. Damn. Time.

“Who has any food intolerances?” Me. I’m sorry. I know. It’s inconvenient. I don’t love being a pain in your ass. I just don’t want a… OK, you get it.

7. People try to catch you out.

“But I saw you eating a wrap last week.” “You used to eat pizza.” “Aren’t you going to ask me whether this has gluten in it?”


Anyone who judges you, doubts you or tries to trick you is not your friend. Your friends take care of you and bring you delicious GF treats (do you hear that friends?).

8. There is a short feedback loop on mistakes.

In life, it’s rare to know so quickly when you’ve made a terrible mistake. With the Gluten Mistake you’re not going to find out next week.

You’re not going to find out about your mistake when your mum calls. Or at the reading of a Will. Or in court. Or on Media Watch. You’re about to find out you’ve made a mistake in 5…4….3…

9. Someone else ate all the GF stuff.

“Sorry, we did have catering for you, but everyone else ate it.” You spend the rest of the event eyeballing every other person trying to work out which of these jerks has rice crumbs on their chin.

That was MY mini-quiche. I might not have paid for it, or made it, or arrived in time for it, but I RSVPd for it, dammit. IT WAS MINE!

10. Sometimes you just really want a sandwich.

With fresh, soft white bread with a golden crust. Maybe it’s a chicken schnitzel sandwich, with mayonnaise. And in this magical sandwich dream, you can buy it at a regular bakery, where you didn’t have to point at things and ask questions. I miss you, Dream Sandwich.

11. You can’t eat the super cool trendy foods that everyone is raving about.

Remember cronuts? Remember how tasty they looked? I used to stand outside a local bakery like I was in Breakfast at Tiffanys. Except the diamonds were sweet, sweet bakery treats enjoyed by everyone else on the planet except me. Recently, some genius made a milkshake that you drink through a doughnut. I pretended to not be interested, but secretly: If I had to choose a last meal? That would be it.

What’s your experience of going gluten-free? 

Because we get you, really get you, here are some of the best gluten-free memes:

Want more? How about:

A nun complains of stomach pains. It was not gluten intolerance.

The truth about going gluten-free.