Being gluten free can be a real struggle when it comes to eating out or even just grocery shopping; it involves scrutinizing labels, interviewing the server to death, and a general feeling of anxiety that comes along with being exposed to food and potential risks. Unfortunately, food is not really something we can avoid, and we have to deal with eating out or shopping for food almost daily. Here are some thoughts that I (and probably most every gluten free person has had at some point) while grocery shopping or eating at a restaurant.
1. If this label doesn’t say gluten free, should I still trust it?
This one can be hard to navigate, but if you are savvy at reading the ingredients, the answer is usually yes. As long as it doesn’t say in any of the ingredients that it contains gluten, you should be good to go. It would say at the end of the label “contains wheat” or “processed in the same facility as wheat”.
2. Why are there so many other gross ingredients in this food item?
When you start reading labels, you start to realize how much junk is in food even if it doesn’t contain gluten. This in turn usually makes gluten free people healthier, so maybe there is an upside to this diet!
3. Why is gluten free food always more expensive?
Gluten free bread is about six dollars for a loaf, and at restaurants they tack on a couple dollars to make something gluten free. Can’t we catch a break?
4. Can I trust this server to believe that my eating restriction is real, or does she think I’m just another person who jumped on the fad diet bandwagon?
This one is always frustrating and oftentimes the server really doesn’t believe that gluten free is a real problem (so be sure to repeatedly emphasize that you are Celiac or have an allergy- because apparently allergy is still considered more important than Celiac disease).
5. Why is it that if you say “gluten allergy” rather than “Celiac” or “gluten intolerant” you are taken more seriously?
6. Why haven’t restaurants come out with gluten free bread baskets yet?
I’m hungry too.
7. When will people start to treat this diet more seriously?
We can only hope.