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?”