Well it’s been 6 months since I found out I have celiac disease. It’s been a hard adjustment to say the least. Giving up gluten is hard. It’s in everything that I like. Okay, that is a bit dramatic but it is in a lot of things. A lot of things you wouldn’t expect and that has made things hard.
Eating out at restaurants is hard. We can’t just drive around and be like “oh, we’re hungry, let’s grab some grub.” No, I have to look up the menu, see if there are gluten free options. I can’t eat McDonald’s with my kids anymore. I love egg mcmuffins and since you can get them all day now, it’s terrible. Now, when we’re out and about and need to grab the kids a quick meal, they get a happy meal and I get a soda. Maybe a salad if I’m the passenger. I keep gluten free snack bars in the car now for just such occasions.
Gluten Free vs Gluten Sensitive
You know how the gluten free thing is a trend? Yeah, I thought this would make restaurants easier. Not so. A lot of places have “gluten sensitive” menus which means that while an item may be made with gluten free ingredients it is still cooked right next to gluten containing foods. Most places do not have a dedicated “gluten free prep zone,” unless the menu states that they are celiac certified (like CPK) you can count on cross-contamination. And cross-contamination can make for an unpleasant time. A lot of waiters are also ignorant of celiac disease. Often I am asked “how bad my reaction is” or if I can “handle a little gluten.” No. No I cannot. Would you give peanut dust to a someone with a peanut allergy? While celiac disease isn’t an allergy, restaurants need to do a better job of understanding.
Cooking at Home
It’s not all gloom and doom though. Getting celiac friendly supplies at grocery stores is easy enough. Many companies have created gluten free products on dedicated lines and processing plants and have not upset me in the least while eating. Hubs has also taken up the torch and has been cooking and creating meals that are yummy for the family to eat without me having to sacrifice. He’s made an effort to make my favorite meals gluten friendly. We’ve had a few misses but more successes and that’s what counts.
I still get insanely jealous of doughnut commercials and smelling my kid’s french fries is sometimes torture but I’m making it work. I also think the longer this goes on, the easier it’ll be. It doesn’t hurt that Colorado has a 100% gluten free bakery 10 minutes away. 😉