via jules' GF
the biggest challenges of eating GF are getting people to 1) believe me and 2) understand what eating this way means. being home earlier this month really highlighted how challenging this can be, even though people who love me really want to do the right thing. so for those of you who know people with foods they can't eat, be it gluten, dairy, whatever, i propose the following guidelines to make the whole food interaction a bit easier for everyone.
1. never, ever say "oh, it's all in your head." (if possible, don't think that either.) i get horribly sick if i eat even a crumb of gluten. a crumb people.
2. don't ask me to "cheat" by suggesting i try just a bite of your incredibly delicious dessert/bread/beer. i can't have it and i am already mourning that loss, so don't add guilt into the mix. and try not to get your feelings hurt if i can't eat what you so lovingly made.
3. this is not some "health kick" or "fad diet" i am trying out. unless some miracle drug comes out, and maybe not even then, i will be eating GF for the rest of my life.
4. going to restaurants is tricky business. please try to be mindful. i know we all get a little hangry and it can be hard to be considerate of other people's food needs when you just-need-to-eat-right-now, but i likely have the same uncomfortably grumbling hungry stomach and i have to comb through the menu quickly to determine if there is anything i can safely ingest. if i get the nerve to speak up and say i don't think i can eat at a specific place, please don't make me feel like a kill-joy for asking us to try elsewhere. i want to enjoy your company over a nice meal, not ruin both of our nights by eating something that is going to take me out of commission for the next 24 hours.
5. i apologize in advance if i "go elsewhere" mentally when we are first handed our menus while eating out. i also apologize for pulling out my phone at the table to consult the interwebs for tips on what to order at said restaurant. and i apologize if i embarrass you by imposing an all-out inquisition on the waitstaff about the possibility of cross-contamination of their mayonnaise. i promise i will resume normal activity once i can rest assured that i won't get glutened.
6. save packages so i can check the ingredient list. there are a lot of things that are actually glutenous that may seem innocuous to the untrained eye, but i have been diligently honing my GF-detection system.
7. if you can, make the GF things first. for instance, if you are whipping up a bunch of sandwiches for a group, get out all of the ingredients and make the GF version first so you don't have to wash your hands in between. set the completed GF sandwich aside and then launch into making the others.
8. if you are eating something around me that i can't have, please don't try to play down how much you are enjoying it. i don't want or need people to deny themselves in order for me to be ok. i enjoy my food; please don't hesitate to do the same around me.
this list isn't to point fingers or suggest that anyone has done anything wrong, it is just a working list of things that can make loving people who can't eat gluten a little easier.
on a side note, since eating GF, i have seen substantial improvements in my coordination. for instance, my reflex time has improved demonstrably and i can now actually catch things. this may seem asinine, but this small change has vastly improved my life. whenever i catch something brandon tosses to me or quickly react to a collapsing pile of laundry, i yell out "gluten free forever!" (which is part of why i loved the poster above, from galloway's).