On a completely unrelated subject of poetry- nutrition. And a rant about it, for that matter. Something just as important to my well-being as writing is.
There are all of these articles and blog entries out there about how being gluten free is just a fad. The allergy or intolerance or sensitivity is not real. Or even if it is real, you don’t have it. And guess what. . . I’M SICK OF HEARING IT!!
The truth is this:
Some of us feel terrible when we eat gluten. We get headaches, we get itchy, we can’t poop, our stomach twists with pain, we get moody, and more. AND these symptoms last for a LONG TIME. Not just a day or two or even a week. Sometimes we have to deal with these things for TWO WHOLE WEEKS.
When our friends and family order crab rangoons or pizza or BEER or bake you fucking cookies and we have to look at it with longing or push it away with a sad hand as they explain how good it is and how you have to try it. . . well, it sucks.
And when you go out to a restaurant and you have to be very specific with your order and ask a variety of questions about the ingredients of what you are wanting to eat and the people you’re with roll their eyes at you or you can see the server holding their breath with annoyance- it’s not fun for us.
We don’t like having to spend more money on gluten free bread or gluten free soy sauce or gluten free salad dressings or whatever else we may be wanting without gluten.
We don’t like feeling guilt when telling someone we can’t eat the meal they made because it has gluten in it. ESPECIALLY when they tried really hard to cook us a gluten-free meal, but didn’t realize that the chicken broth had flour in it as a thickening agent or forgot about the soy sauce or the oats. We also don’t like feeling like an inconvenience and having people go out of their ways for us.
But the truth is also this:
We feel better when we don’t eat gluten. So much better, in fact, that it is worth enduring the truths listed above.
Every time someone rolls their eyes at us or makes fun of our allergy or intolerance or sensitivity and says it’s just a fad- we like you less. Your lack of respect for us makes us respect you less, too.
In many of the articles posted in speaking of non-gluten diets as a joke, there are comments on the idea that “of course you feel better when you’re not eating a bunch of junk food and eat salads for meals instead”. YES! This is true! But eating salad. . . or soups or salmon or roasted vegetables. . . isn’t what makes my headache go away or cause my itching to stop. Not eating gluten is what does this.
It’s an amazing feeling to be healthy and to be good to ourselves. Don’t be an asshole when we are doing what is right for us. That just means more pizza and beer and cookies for you.