food

8 things only the gluten-intolerant will understand.

Abbott's Village Bakery
Thanks to our brand partner, Abbott's Village Bakery

Being gluten-free can be both a blessing and a curse. Because on the one hand, if you’ve been unknowingly suffering from an intolerance for years, going free can have a profound effect on your overall health. On the other hand, though, is the scrutiny and hardship that comes from making a life-changing decision in a food-obsessed culture.

So for all the people out there who love their tamari over their soy sauce, their rice crackers over their water thins and their side salads over their pastas, this one’s for you.

“Just this once” does not exist for the gluten-intolerant.

Unlike someone breaking a low-carb diet or having a weekend binge drink, eating gluten when you’re not supposed to has immediate ramifications. So if you do choose to use the “just this once” line, all we can say is, get to a bathroom and wear your most comfortable stretchy pants, stat.

Family get-togethers are a nightmare.

They love us and all, but explaining food intolerances to extended family members over a barbeque can be hard work. No, it’s not a lifestyle choice. Yes, I have consulted a doctor. No, I won’t try just one piece of cake and see how it turns out. WE KNOW HOW IT TURNS OUT.

Pretty much. Image: Gold Circle Films.

And so are office morning teas.

Unlike the contempt that arises from the older members of your family, people at the office understand and respect your gluten intolerance. But all I’m saying is, there’s definitely a limit to how many times you can eat hummus and rice crackers while others eat chocolate brownies before the novelty wears off.

Stumbling upon good gluten-free products is like stumbling upon the Garden of Eden.

Sure, sure, we get that in the eyes of our grandparents, we’re just a pack of “fussy eaters”. But fussy or food intolerant, we still have to eat. And as any gluten-freer will attest, finding a good alternative can be a painstaking process that involves more time and money than it ever should.

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But they are getting better.

Early converts to the gf lifestyle will remember that even as recently as five years ago, good substitutes to the mainstream were hard to find. But now supermarkets are dedicating entire aisle sections to our cause, labelling is a million times better, and restaurants are finally seeing us as more than just a pesky afterthought. 

"Supermarkets are dedicating entire aisle sections to our cause." Image: iStock.

Carbs aren’t everything.

Okay, that’s obviously a lie; carbs are absolutely everything.

But thankfully, many of them are gluten-free (Hi rice! Hi quinoa!) and totally delicious. Also, can we just give a round of applause to the gluten-free bread options of late? Finally, decent sandwiches that don’t crumble in your hands are coming back into our world.

Ultimately, it can be the best change you’ll ever make.

If your doctor has diagnosed you with gluten intolerance or coeliac disease, actually sticking to a gluten free diet will be an absolute game changer for you. You’ll feel like your old self again. And sure, we may have lost our right to dumplings and pastries, but we’ll always have corn chips, rice crackers, and our health.

What is your fav gluten free snack?