We all know one of those people. They’re super paranoid about what they eat. Was the chicken cage-free? Was the feed free of antibiotics? What exactly is in that dish? What brands of ingredients were used?
I was never going to be one of those people. Ugh!
And yet, I am.
When I first went gluten-free, I avoided bread, pasta, and other obvious foods. Over time, I started eliminating more and more. Then I paid attention to non-food items, like toothpaste and floss. I was doing a lot better, but I was still sick.
I made phone calls. I checked on hand lotion and sunscreen. I washed my hands before I put anything in my mouth – even a Tic Tac!
I learned about surprising places gluten hides, like lemon juice and cooking spray and got rid of those.
Still, I was getting sick.
Then I found out about kissing. Damn it! If I kiss someone who has been eating or drinking gluten, I’ll get sick. Well, that makes dating a lot more awkward! So I’ve been careful about that, too.
Still, I was getting sick. It was a lot less often, but it still happened. What was going on?
Then I spent 6 weeks at home recovering from foot surgery. I barely left. I ate only food that I’d prepared or carefully checked. And I didn’t get sick once. Hmm…
It felt amazing to not get sick at all!!! I wanted to keep that up! But how? I started being super careful about everything. Ok, I was a bit paranoid. I didn’t eat anything unless I was absolutely positively certain that it was safe. If a friend said something was gluten-free I quizzed them carefully, and then I probably still didn’t eat it. But it was worth it. I remained ok!
Last weekend I went to a family sedar. My mother hosted and was her super wonderful, considerate self – except for the matzah and matzah ball soup, the entire meal was gluten-free. Still, when she and my aunt went into the kitchen to get the food, I asked them to wash their hands because they’d touched the matzah, which has gluten in it.
I’d become one of those people. I hate it. But you know what? It’s a hell of a lot better than being in so much pain. So I’ll keep on being one of those people. So be it.