There was once a time when you’d start the day with Vegemite on toast, have a chicken schnitzel sandwich for lunch, and spaghetti bolognese for dinner.
Let’s call that time BGF (Before Gluten Free).
In this golden era of BGF, you could load your gut with all the carby, bready, wheaty goodness it could handle from that part of the food pyramid.
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Until one day, you couldn’t. You bloated. You got the runs or got constipated or cramped or just felt downright tired every time you ate anything with gluten.
This was the beginning of your GF era. I know because I’ve been in the thick of it for a few good years now.
After numerous tests to get to the bottom of what was going on with my body, my doctor said I was showing signs of gluten intolerance and should try a gluten-free diet.
It was like having a finger chopped off, at first. You have to retrain your brain to do things differently. To like different foods. To be that fussy eater you used to roll your eyes at.
And then you notice a few things only gluten intolerance or sensitivity can teach you.
(Note: this list will also ring true for a lot of Coeliacs. Of course, living with Coeliac disease is a whole topic on its own because contamination is THE WORST and can make you seriously sick. So, this is not to discount those experiences. It’s just a big fat whinge so us gluten-free warriors all feel a little more seen).
Here are 20 things you’ll no doubt relate to if you’re living the gluten free life.
- A takeaway menu that says they do GF options but only has GF next to olives and a green salad IS NOT. GOOD. ENOUGH.
- Love retrieving GF toast from a toaster made for giant normal-sized bread.
- Burger joints that offer a “burger without a bun” is the biggest cop-out when we’ll literally pay you more just to stock GF buns for us. Lettuce is not a bun substitute.
- Office deliveries of cakes, doughnuts and pizzas make you wistful for your glory days of gluten.
- Just because I’m gluten-free doesn’t mean I want dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegan, basically flavour-free products.
- You’ll take a chance on anything that says ‘May contain traces of gluten-containing cereals’ on the wrapper.
- Food courts are not your friend.
- The mark of a good GF cake is how “moist” it is.
- The “gluten bloat” has absolutely ruined your date night.
- Finding a GF bread that doesn’t taste like cardboard is like striking gold.
- Very, very kind friends will get you a GF birthday cake and they’ll have your friendship forever.
- Why the F do jelly babies have gluten?!
- You yearn for a chicken schnitzel exactly 127 times a week.
- “Grilled” becomes your default choice of fish (but deep down you’re desperate for “beer-battered”).
- GF on a brand label does not equal healthy (I didn’t ask for more sugar?!).
- Will sell your car for good GF naan bread, Lebanese bread or Challah.
- If you can make GF pizza dough or pasta from scratch, you deserve all the medals.
- Fast food chains just don’t get you, and never really will.
- You’ll forgo your gluten intolerance for hot chips.
- You didn’t choose this life, it chose you ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Feature image: Getty.