You no EAT-a no WHEAT-a?!?!

Posted on: July 14, 2010

No, I really don’t.  No bread, no beer, no pizza… nada.

It’s called Celiac’s and it means that you can’t eat gluten… meaning wheat, barley, rye or oats.  If you do, stomach problems ensue.  And for some reason, to some people, that means EVERYTHING.  Um, not so much. 

Issok, I make you sandwich!

I can eat rice.  And there is rice flour to substitute wheat in certain things… like pasta, bread (still haven’t found a good one), crackers and the like.  I can eat corn based products, like chips, cornmeal, etc.  And, of course, all of the veggies, fruits, and meats that I want.

Now, time to address the responses when I get when I’m forced to reveal to someone, “Sorry, I can’t eat anything with wheat in it.”

“So you can NEVER go out to dinner?”

Not the case, yo.  Luckily, there are plenty of area restaurants with several gluten free options.  My favorites are P.F. Changs, Outback, Sherry Lynn’s Gluten Free Bakery, Smokey Bones, Uno’s Pizza, and Quaker Steak and Lube wings.  If I don’t go there, I order something sans flour (usually a salad, or grilled chicken or steak meal of sorts) and tell the wait staff that I can’t have gluten.  They’re 99.9% of the time cool about it.

“Wow, you must have lost all kinds of weight from eating so healthy.”

Uh… not really.  There are many people who do lose weight from this kind of diet, just as a result of not eating as much take-out and cooking at home more.  Well, I was never really a take-out junkie.  I love to cook, and have always made a strong effort to eat plenty of fruits and veggies (thanks, Mom) and control portion size.  However, most gluten free substitutes are higher in fat (something’s gotta hold them together), which I learned the hard way.  And those gluten free frozen dinners are chock full o’ sodium just like the regular ones.  In other words, don’t just decide to go on a gluten free diet so you can lose weight.  Depending on what you eat, it is not necessarily healthy.  It don’t work like that, homie. 

“NO BEER?!?!?!?!”

Yeah, I thought my life was over, too.  But I’ve since begun to appreciate hard liquor (anything but Everclear as it is a grain alcohol… and no one should ever drink that anyways) and wine.  And now that Wolff’s Biergarten serves Green’s Gluten Free beer, I hit them up when I need a beer fix.

“So what CAN I cook for you?”

Almost anything!  Just be mindful of ingredients… read labels to ensure it doesn’t read “wheat, rye, barley, oats, or modified food starch.”  A lot of food companies have made it easier and it says at the bottom of the list “Contains milk/soy/wheat” products.  At cookouts, I eat burgers without buns and check the label on the BBQ sauce before I bathe my steak in it, and eat as many chips, veggies and fruit salad as I want.

All in all, it is not as bad as people think and it really isn’t a big deal.  I’m going to start sharing my favorite GF recipes every so often on this blog, so stay tuned.  If you or a family member or friend has Celiac’s and you’re stumped for dinner ideas… Google is your friend!  I use Google for recipes all the time, and I check out Suzanne Mangini’s Gluten Free blog on the TU  for the latest GF news.

In the meantime, cheers to Celiacs and being gluten free!  And stay tuned for recipe ideas!


3 Responses to "You no EAT-a no WHEAT-a?!?!"

very nice!!

while i am able to eat wheat, i can certainly identify with the incredulous responses you get.
(even now-a-days) i still get some weird responses when i identify as vegetarian.
the “what DO you eat?” question is the most eye-roll-triggering. ummm…everything EXCEPT meat!

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