Thursday, January 15, 2015

gluten-free is not challenge-free

Someone asked me recently what the most difficult part of being gluten-free. Resisting Bertucci's pizza? Cookies? Birthday cake?

Honestly none of the above. The biggest challenge I face being gluten-free is getting other people to respect my choice. Gluten is currently trendy which is a both a blessing an a small curse as the public loves to scoff at trendy. I have heard on a number of occasions "just have a little, it can't be that big a deal!" Or my favorite - "ah gluten-free it must be taste-free, too!"

One problem I have heard, and experienced, is servers in restaurants not taking the need to keep gluten-free food separated from the other gluten-full food. This problem is exacerbated if you are liable to sneak bites from other plates of food besides your own. If you aren't taking your intolerance seriously, they won't either. This goes to eating everywhere. If you'll use the butter with crumbs in it, others won't take the care to avoid dropping crumbs.

It is hard to make others understand that you aren't stiffing them, or insulting them by not eating what they made or brought, and you certainly aren't superior for passing over the donuts in the faculty room. I hope that as gluten-free, celiac, and non-celiac gluten intolerance's are more prevalent and accepted within society we won't have to face these challenges.

But until then, if you are considering going gluten-free I would advise you to take it seriously and be assertive about your choices so other will understand that it isn't just a fad. Don't be rude and in-their-face, but stand up for your choices. It's your health after all.

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