The one thing I really miss about gluten

People ask me all the time if it’s been hard to give up gluten, or what I miss, or how I do it. Even though I used to wonder the same thing about others back before I’d done it, now I find these questions so strange. It’s not hard, because I feel so much better. There’s no question of how I do it, because I feel so much better; willpower isn’t 20131022_204902necessary because there’s no temptation. There’s one thing I really miss, but it’s not what most people think.

I don’t miss the gluten-filled pastas or breads at all. I don’t miss the cookies or cakes, either. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these things. It’s just that the gluten-free versions are just as good, and I’ve realized that having them less often is fine. In fact, I now only have sweet desserts about once a month, and that’s plenty for me. I stopped eating pizza many years ago because it made me sick, so I don’t miss that. Gluten-free soy sauce is just as good for cooking as the gluten kind. Gluten-free chicken broth tastes as good to me as the gluten type. I know it’s not easy for everyone to find substitutes, and I’m glad that I have these options. I can’t substitute everything easily, of course, but for the most part I don’t care. Some things I have just stopped eating altogether, and I don’t mind. I don’t miss them. And there are plenty of foods that are naturally gluten-free, too. The truth is, my diet is better now, and I’m happy about that.

There’s one thing I miss a lot, though: convenience. I miss being able to leave my house without thinking about what I’ll be able to eat while I’m out and if I need to bring food. I miss being able to go to a friend’s house for dinner without having to bring my own meal. I miss running errands without packing snacks. I miss being out longer than I expected without worrying about what I’ll eat. I miss grabbing a cider donut with my friends while we’re apple picking. I hear that the gluten-free bakery has them but now, weeks later, it’s just not the same. I miss eating Chinese food in Chinatown; now I can only go to certain restaurants that have gluten-free items. Mostly, I miss not having to worry about it what, when, or where I’ll eat.

But I don’t miss feeling sick every single day and that makes the inconvenience completely worthwhile. I do not have any desire to “cheat” on my gluten-free diet and I doubt I ever will. The benefits are just too great to give it up for a bit of cookie.

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12 Responses to The one thing I really miss about gluten

  1. Interesting post. I discovered awhile back that I feel better if I don’t eat bread, so instead of a sandwich I just have the turkey and cheese. I’ve been tested and am not particularly sensitive to gluten but it seems like sometimes wheat products trigger my own health condition. I’ll be interested in seeing how you do in the long run, and I agree that if gluten free is working for you, a cookie or what cracker wouldn’t be worth the risk.

    • chronicrants says:

      Well, I’m not sure how to define “the long run” but I’ve been off gluten for over a year and a half and off of other foods that don’t agree with me for more than a year and so far, it’s totally worth it!

  2. Karen J says:

    Hear! Hear!
    I’m grateful that I don’t have anything I *must* be strict about, but since I’ve been paying a hella-lot more attention to what the Ingredients are (less highly-processed, less gluten, less gratuitously added sugar, little-to-no fake foodstuffs and more organic, especially), I’ve felt so-o-o much better!
    I totally hear you about missing convenience, though. Pretty much gone are the days of blindly following my nose or my taste-buds to the nearest chow whenever I’m hungry –

  3. samanthatimms1 says:

    Certainly getting more acceptable in society now .

  4. Karen J says:

    i just read this article about “healthier eating” in Natural Awakenings magazine: http://www.naturalawakeningsmag.com/Natural-Awakenings/October-2013/Ancestral-Diets/ –
    makes all kinds of sense to me!

  5. drunkitty2000 says:

    Again, I’m right there with you. I gave up gluten about two years ago and I feel SO MUCH better. I do still get tempted occasionally but it’s always easy to say no because I remember what it feels like after I eat the gluten. So don’t want that. I have found a couple of places locally that really awesome gluten-free pizza and I’ve found that eating pizza without cheese is still just as good. You are right about the convenience factor, as well. Although, even that is getting easier as more and more restaurants are getting on the GF bandwagon. Maybe one day we’ll even be able to eat while driving again.

    • chronicrants says:

      You’re right that more restaurants have gluten-free offerings, but when I question them, it turns out they don’t always know what they’re doing. Sometimes they don’t realize there’s gluten in a particular dressing or sauce or soup. There are a lot of places with gluten-free markings on the menu, but I only trust about half of them.

  6. joyfullnoise says:

    I am gluten/corn/dairy free. The corn free makes my diet the most complicated I think but it’s probably the most severe of my food allergies. (There’s more food allergies lol … The list has grown with age actually.)
    I try to keep to a paleo gluten free diet, and that’s what is working for me thankfully. I’ve figured out that we have several restaurants in our area with go options and which places are more go friendly. I still don’t eat out often though … We’ve finally seemed to have broken that habit though. 🙂
    People who don’t live it tend to don’t get it. We do this for our health, not to complicate our lives more or alienate ourselves more! If just one friend can get that … We’ve accomplished something! 🙂

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