I feel the need to say this several times a day sometimes: I’m not crazy, just gluten free! I imagine being gluten free even just a few years ago was harder than it is now, but I still get some crazy looks! Especially when I start talking about cross contamination…
No gluten for me means none. At all. Like not even a crumb of it can be on my food. That would mean it’s cross contaminated. I was so happy to hear that Red Robin has a gluten free menu, and they dedicate a grill and fryer to gluten free food. That means that my chicken is not cooked on the same grill as anything that may contain gluten. And that means I can have sweet potato fries, which I LOVE! And they have this dressing…oh it’s delicious!
You probably think I’m nuts, but the last time I ate chicken off my own grill, I got sick. I didn’t think about cleaning my grill, I just grabbed the chicken my husband cooked and ate it. And then got sick. So I’m not crazy.
I so wish I could grab some fries from a random fast food drive through, but I can’t. They fry the tater tots or hash browns in that same fryer, and those have gluten. It sucks sometimes. But it still doesn’t make me crazy!
I went to the movies with my sister and I asked the guy if the popcorn was really gluten free. I had done some research online and it said it was, but that cross contamination could occur since they serve hot dog buns. So when he said he believed it was, I asked what was the chance of someone handling those hot dog buns, and then the popcorn. He said it was very unlikely.
Me: If you knew you could get sick if it was contaminated, would you try it?
Him: Well, I love popcorn, so I probably would
Me: Ok then, thanks!
I did eat a bit of her popcorn and I was fine. I have a friend that told me they eat it all the time and have Celiac.
I went into an ice cream shop one day:
Me: what flavors are gluten free?
Them: The only ones with gluten are the obvious ones
Me: That’s helpful
I know people think I’m crazy. But if they felt the way I do when they ingested gluten, they would understand. Have you ever had heart burn so bad you thought your chest was literally on fire? Have you been nauseous 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Those are just some of the symptoms I experience. I’ve had hiccups for years, eye twitches, leg cramps….so many things you wouldn’t think are associated, but they were!
I was in the airport, stuck (I will blog about that experience soon, when I’m more calm about it) because of so many odd factors at once. And I ingested some kind of gluten. I’m pretty sure it was in the coffee I bought to try to calm myself down…
Me: Are your drinks gluten free?
Them: We have soy milk
Me: That’s exactly what I was asking…
I don’t expect everyone in the world to know what gluten is, but at least ask me “what does that mean?”
I am finding more and more gluten free foods, and more and more restaurants that have special menus….but there is still a long way to go before I can feel more safe when out in public and ordering food.
So if you are with me, and you hear me having a nice long conversation with the person preparing my food or taking my order, don’t look at me like I’m crazy. Because if I didn’t ask, and I got glutoned, I would be sick all over you.