15 Reasons Why I Hate Gluten

A couple of things happened that prompted me to write this post tonight. Part of it probably due to the fact that I just haven’t felt good this week. A big part of it is that I need to find a doctor who will adequately treat my hypothyroidism, but I haven’t had any luck in finding a new one. It seems most want to prescribe synthetic thyroid hormones, and they don’t help me much.

Another reason is because when I don’t feel good, I crave comfort foods that I’ve loved for most of my life. But thanks to the fact that gluten makes me so sick, I can only come up with foods that are like shadows of former favorites.

Imagine wanting your morning coffee and being served a cup filled with a clear, brownish colored liquid. It’s coffee all right, but there’s barely any in there. If you concentrate hard, you can taste it, but mostly it’s just water.

That’s kind of what it’s like with gluten-free substitutes. Sure, some things come very close to what I used to make, but many others do not.

So why do I hate gluten?

1. Because I love gluten. I love everything about it – except for the fact that it gives me digestive problems, makes me feel exhausted, swells me up like a balloon, and makes it feel like the Incredible Hulk is squeezing my lungs for a few days.

2. Because I love going to restaurants. It used to be one of my favorite things to do. Now eating out is nothing but a reminder that I’m different, that I have to question the waitstaff and manager like I’m from the DHS to see if there’s anything safe for me to eat. And if there is, it’s a sure bet it won’t be as good as what everyone else will be ordering. I’ve only eaten at a restaurant three times since last May. Given the risk involved, and the fact that I can’t have what I want anyway, what’s the point?

3. Because I have to read every freaking label on every freaking item I buy that doesn’t specifically say ‘gluten-free.’ For a person who would rather scrub toilets than set foot inside a store, it’s turned shopping into a nightmare.

4. Because in most cases, anything gluten-free costs at least three times as much as its gluten-laden counterpart…and it usually doesn’t taste as good either.

5. Because I hate having to cook everything I eat from scratch. Except for a couple of brands of chicken nuggets/tenders, and two varieties of soup, there are no quick meals for me – except eggs. And I’m really tired of eggs.

6. Because the food part of family get-togethers sucks now. When I go, I have to make something I can eat because the odds of anything else on the pot luck table being safe is slim to none. So while I won’t go hungry, I have to pass up my aunt’s cheesy potatoes with the crushed corn flake topping, my uncles chicken and biscuits, and my sisters chicken and noodles. And let’s not even get into the desserts. Thank God for Jello, right?

7. Because I hate always having to be the one to ask, “What ingredients did you use in that?”

8. Because I just want to be like everyone again. I want to not have to think twice about grabbing a burger or a taco on the run. I want to go enjoy a meatloaf dinner at Country Kitchen on a Friday night. I want to stop feeling like the misfit.

~~~

9. Because after about ten years of driving forty-five minutes – one way – to get my favorite pizza, they finally built one less than fifteen minutes from my house. I got to enjoy it for about a year before I had to give up gluten.

10. Because I hate having to make do with stuffing, pie crust, and bread products that don’t taste even close to the real things. That, or I do without them entirely because my taste buds have not yet accepted the fact that some of the food I’m stuck with now is always going to taste like crap.

11. Because sometimes I just want a soft, chewy, yummy jelly doughnut.

12. Because my bread machine, which I always used a lot in the winter, now mostly collects dust. The main reason I used it is because I love homemade bread. Trust me, gluten-free bread isn’t worth the trouble.

13. Because I hate having most of the people in my life think I’m paranoid. But then I suppose that I have gotten very paranoid, mostly because I enjoy breathing though.

14. Because I hate having to be afraid of food.

15. And because I really hate that there are so many people who think that Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity are jokes instead of the real food allergies or health issues that they are. Everyone takes peanut, dairy, and shellfish allergies seriously, but gluten? Yeah, not. Seriously, I don’t know many of us who would choose to do this diet for fun. At least I know I wouldn’t.

And there you have my list. I try not to focus on these reasons, and most of the time now, I accept my lot in life. It doesn’t mean I hate these things any less, it just means I’m learning to live with what can’t be changed. Short of a miracle anyway.

I know there are a few people who read this blog who live with the same dietary limitations I do in regard to gluten. But do any of the rest of you find yourselves in similar situations with other issues? If so, what do you do to make your life easier? Do you ever get used to it?

 

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9 Responses to 15 Reasons Why I Hate Gluten

  1. Kristy, you have my deepest sympathy. I cannot imagine what steps you have to take in order to protect your health. And then, maybe I do. As you know, or may not know, I live with a severe allergy to all things fragrant because they are made from petroleum and neurotoxins. I can shake like I have Parkinson’s and feel like I have the flu. So because of this, I don’t go to the movies or restaurants unless they are outdoors. That would also include malls. Twenty years ago, I had a doctor tell me to stay away from wheat because they were spraying, or doing something to it. And am I ever glad. I rarely eat wheat unless it’s organic. My mainstay is rice. I eat rice cakes, rice bread. No gluten. I do not want what you and so many have. Hang in there my friend. Even though you’d like to eat out, the quality of food in the restaurants suck. So you may be better off. Have a gluten free pizza instead. They’re not bad. I like them. Take care and thanks for sharing your feelings. {{Hugs!}}

    • Kristy K. James says:

      I have read about your allergy, Karen. Something about you and your husband having to stay in a hotel while something was done in or near your home…and the staff screwed up somehow. (I haven’t had much sleep this week, lol). I’d like to say I can’t imagine what you have to deal with, but I know how offensive it is to my nose to pass someone in a store who bathed in cologne. Or just walking down the laundry aisle. The smells alone are enough to make me hold my breath. It would be awful for them to make you sick, too.

      I know what you mean about restaurant quality food, but I had a couple of favorite places, though I’ve learned to replicate a few things at home so I don’t feel totally deprived. Hugs to you, too. 🙂

  2. All the reasons you listed are all the reasons my stepdad freaks at the idea of leaving the comfort of their home to go out to eat. He hates going to restaurants he’s unfamiliar with because he hates having to question their staff about the food. It embarrasses him that he has to explain to people why he is so “picky” or what gluten is.

    He’s lucky, though, in that he’s got a family who has figured out ways to make sure he doesn’t miss out on all the fun stuff just because he has an allergy to something in practically every food product ever.

    • Kristy K. James says:

      Your step-dad is a very lucky man. Not everyone is prepared to go to any lengths to make life easier for someone with a food allergy, though I have a couple of family members who do that for me.

      But I’m right with him as far as the embarrassment goes. I really miss the days when all I had to worry about at a restaurant was having to choose just one of the many delicious options on the menu.

      And you are SO right about wheat being in pretty much everything. I just had to buy a new no-stick cooking spray the other day because for the first time in two years, I noticed the one I always use says, “May contain traces of wheat.” In cooking spray??? Why?

      LOL…it’s a very frustrating allergy. Especially when companies that label their foods gluten-free are likely to be cross-contaminated (this pizza, for example http://glutendude.com/gluten/is-amys-pizza-really-gluten-free/ )

      • I’m betting that the “may contain traces” means they make the stuff in a warehouse where they also make gluten products. They’re at least honest enough to warn you that there’s an outside chance of cross contamination…unlike the company you mentioned in your second paragraph.

        • Kristy K. James says:

          I just found two comments from you (this is one), and one from MJ in my spam folder? WordPress really annoys me sometimes. :/

          Anyway, I recently learned that the ‘may contain traces’ of is because of the ventilation systems in factories that produce both kinds of food (those with gluten and those without). But yes, I do appreciate the warnings. Even a little can make life hard for a while.

  3. I would hate to go gluten-free though sometimes I do wonder if it would help. I seem to have gathered up a nice little stomach problem after having my gall bladder taken out and it seems like everything I eat tears up my tummy. 🙁

    I am not sure if I could live gluten-free just from your fifteen reasons why you hate gluten. 🙁

    • Kristy K. James says:

      Stormi…how awful about your stomach. I don’t remember why my doctor prescribed something called Questran for me once, but apparently it was originally made to help absorb stomach bile for people who had their gall bladders removed. No offense to whoever invented it, but it kind sucks. It’s like drinking powdered chalk, so I only took it like twice. But I’d bet it would work in tomato or vegetable juice. It’s worth a shot to see if it helps.

      But yes, gluten can cause serious digestive issues for some people. My most serious side effects are the swelling and edema (which might mean it’s more of a wheat allergy), but I do experience digestive issues, too.

      I didn’t think I could go gluten-free either. LOL…some days I’m still not sure, but when the after effects of eating something with gluten actually scares you, it’s easier than you might think. And there are a lot of decent alternatives. It’s just there are some things that will never be the same – a jelly doughnut and a slice of fresh out the oven homemade bread for example. It’s when I’m really craving things like that (like last night) when I hate gluten the most. 🙂

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