Take My Gluten, Please: Living a Gluten-Free Life in New England
Ten years of being gluten-free, and I still get the stink eye in a restaurant.
Not every time, but most times when I am at a restaurant and ask if my order can be made "gluten-free", I get a server who says snidely, "Is that an allergy or a sensitivity?"
It's not that they ask me, it's how they ask me. It's like a "sensitivity" is a fake gluten-free diet, while if I said I had Celiac Disease, I would be taken more seriously.
What if I said I will pass out if I have any gluten? Would that make it a more serious dietary issue?
Once, a waiter asked me if "it's JUST a sensitivity or a REAL allergy." What does that even mean? I looked at his young face and while I wanted to be enraged at his lack of empathy, I asked him to research gluten intestinal issues. He then backed away, red-faced.
I am a nice, compassionate person, at least I am told that. When I run into judgmental, uninformed people, it drives me crazy.
The point is that I've lost 10 pounds and had a normal gut ever since I went gluten-free, but I don't feel the need to share that information with my server, nor the person taking my phone order, in order to justify being gluten-free.
Following a bloated stomach and other gastrointestinal issues, I tried cutting out gluten from my diet. It definitely helped. I finally went to a gastroenterologist who told me, "if you feel better, then eliminate gluten." I paid $425 for information I already knew. Now, who's the "stupido", as my Italian grandmother would say (loose translation is "chump")?
The problem is that most every food item in America has gluten in it. Gluten isn't the issue, as much as wheat. Some people blame the increase on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, which modify basic wheat. Others say it's "hybridization", which, according to verywellhealth.com, says it's modifying "modern wheat, which is shorter, browner, and far higher-yielding than wheat crops were 100 years ago."
Many people have digestive issues due to the changes in wheat over the years.
So now, when I go out to dinner with my spouse, I tell the server right before ordering, "My husband will take all of my gluten." Then we have a laugh, and all is well.