For starters, I think it’s safe to assume that some of you are wondering what a Celiac is.
The Short Story
An exclusive group of individuals don’t eat bread.
The Long Story
A celiac is an individual that suffers from Celiac Disease.
If you are unfamiliar with Celiac Disease, check out some of my earlier blog posts. Most specifically, “Questions For A Celiac Part One” has a pretty detailed explanation. For today, we’re carrying on with the worst/most entertaining statements made pertaining to celiac disease
Here’s The Thing with Celiac Disease: It seems simple. If you don’t eat gluten, you can carry on with normal life as you would have it. Right? In theory, the answer is yes.
…..But then then you come across a very fascinating group of people. For my purposes, I will call them the generic non-celiacs. This morning, they had pancakes for breakfast. And they weren’t gluten-free. They are the individuals staring wide-eyed at me as they mouth the words “But how do you survive without gluten?” At this point in the conversation, I imagine their life has flashed before their eyes.
and potentially offensive man or woman, I dedicate this post to you. Here’s to hoping that, one day, you and I will live in peace.
A Continuation of “Questions For A Celiac”:
“You can at least have the decency to taste it”
Every follower with celiac is shaking their head right now. I know, guys. Soldier on. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease. No matter how much gluten I consume, I will have a full-blown, 100%, all systems->GO reaction. If you touch a sandwich and then touch food that I am about to eat, you will find me vomiting ten minutes later. No, we refuse to have the decency to taste your poisonous treat.
“Yeah, nobody can digest wheat. Some people just tolerate it better.”
If I had a dollar for every person that has tried to sell me some kind of special diet or supplement to help me tolerate wheat, I would only have like four dollars… but, still, come on guys. Celiac disease has nothing to do with our ability to digest wheat. If we didn’t have immune systems, we would digest wheat just fine. The issue is that consuming gluten triggers our immune systems to kill our small intestines. Also, targeting a population of individuals that have any kind of disease to market your product is kind of a cheap shot but, ya know, live your life.
“I would just eat it anyway.”
Pause. The last time someone said this to me, I had to excuse myself from the conversation. Celiac Disease is brutal. I was 18 when I was diagnosed and, in the two months leading up to diagnosis, my health degraded beyond belief. I could not walk to my classes, I could barely get out of bed, I had a baseline fever of 102. All because of how my immune system was reacting to gluten. When you say that you would just continue eating gluten regardless, you are telling me that you value eating your pancakes over your survival and that concerns me.
“This is gluten-free so you must like it.”
I really do hate to be the bearer of bad news here. But even celiacs are allowed to dislike some gluten-free products. I know this idea is pretty much revolutionary. I cannot count the number of times that someone with really, truly great intentions has approached me and expected me to eat something simply because it is gluten-free. And, I promise, I get it. Rice checks and rice cakes are lovely. They’re simple, gluten free, and very versatile. You can dress them up in such a way that they’re appropriate for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
However, friends. I do not belong to the United Rice Cake Church. I cannot eat seven rice cakes a day. In fact, I won’t eat them at any time of day, much in the same way that you refuse to eat your Mom’s brussels sprouts. And if you’ve ever eaten a bowl of rice checks, you know that they differ only slightly in taste from eating hard cardboard with milk. Please, friends, set your rice cake down.
Until next time,