Lately it seems like everyone knows someone who is gluten free. Everyone’s an expert in the topic. With more and more people becoming aware of the gluten free life style, you would think that would make it easier for those of us who need to be gluten free. I wish that were the case.
I never imagined gluten would become such a controversial subject. There are people who will tell you it’s evil and just as many people will tell you its necessary in a human diet. Whatever you’re opinion on gluten is, there is still the fact that many people cannot consume it.
The constant debate about gluten makes it extremely hard for gluten free people to feel comfortable with many aspects of daily life. I avoid telling people I can’t eat gluten because of the reaction. These reactions range from people telling me it’s psychosomatic to people telling me if they were me they would kill themselves. Well, believe it or not, I have plenty of other things to live for and my boyfriend can tell you the trips to the bathroom I have to make after being glutened are not in my head.
However, not telling people you’re gluten free can also land you in uncomfortable situations. Going to someone’s house for dinner and having to politely decline everything because you didn’t know it would be lasagna and Caesar salad with croutons. Ordering something in a restaurant that you thought for sure would be gluten free to find out there was a small bit of soy sauce in the marinade.
I prefer to eat most of my meals at home, where I can know 100% what’s in my food. Working in a restaurant I can not even tell you the amount of cooks I’ve met who don’t believe in gluten allergies or sensitives. I’ve seen spoons go from a pasta dish to gluten free entree too many times to be able to relax when I’m not in control of my food. That’s not to say there aren’t many cooks and restaurants who are great with allergies, but I’ve heard cooks say “Well it’s not going to kill them” too many times to take the gamble in finding the good ones.
I know I am not alone in having to deal with the daily struggles of the gluten free lifestyle. This is why I’m so excited to be attending the Gluten-Free for Life Expo in St. Pete on March 26th. I have never been to such an event, but am very excited to meet new people who I already have so much in common with. I am much more comfortable telling my stories and sharing my recipes on this site, an expo is definitely taking me out of my comfort zone. However, I think joining a strong gluten free community is definitely worth stepping outside my comfort zone.