Gluten-eaters often ask me, “Don’t you wish there was some ‘magic’ pill?”
This question arises when I have limited choices on a menu, or have to pass the basket of bread without indulging. My response usually includes a “Not really”, with some type of short explanation on why my life doesn’t suck because I’m gluten-free.
I can honestly say that I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I am happy with my diet. Just because I can’t choose a roll from the gluten-filled bread basket, doesn’t mean my life has crumbled into ruins.
So if there was a pill, would I take it? If I had the ability to indulge in gluten-filled food with the comfort of knowing the so-called ‘magic’ pill would alleviate my symptoms as well as prevent the damage to my intestines, would I be poppin’ it back on the regular?
I don’t think so.
I am happy with the food that I have available to me.
I eat healthy (most of the time), and fulfill all of my cravings with natural, gluten-freefood. I thoroughly enjoy biting into a ripe piece of fruit for my afternoon snack. I make delicious gluten-free sandwiches on the reg when I use my loaves of gluten-freebread. I also enjoy desserts (a little too much), and never feel like my taste-buds are missing out.
If I can say the above things without a bit of sarcasm, then why would I take some so-called ‘magic’ pill just to eat a slice of ‘regular’ pizza, or a piece of non-gluten-free cake?
Now, don’t get me wrong, there ARE times when I think to myself, I hope this is truly gluten-free. Or, occasions when my friend assures me that she checked all of the ingredients in the [insert food dish here] to be gluten-free, but I can’t help but wonder to myself, does she know everything to look out for?
When WOULD I choose to take the ‘magic’ pill?
If I had a magic pill available to me that took away my nasty symptoms, all of the horrible stomach pains, and the feeling I get knowing I would be causing damage to my intestines, these are the certain instances that I would take it:
- Potlucks – otherwise known as the gluten-free danger zone. You usually have an idea of what you can and cannot eat. But, what you don’t know is if the friend or family member that made the dish used separate utensils, or made sure there was no cross-contamination when switching between gluten-filled and gluten-freefood preparation.
- Dining at restaurants – It takes experience to know where to dine at, where you feel safe, and what kitchens truly know the extent to which gluten-free dishes need to be prepared. I would take the ‘magic’ pill before dining at a restaurant that I didn’t feel safe at. I would still order gluten-free food, and I would not indulge in the bread basket or other gluten-filled favorites. I would stay strict to my gluten-free diet, but I’m not going to lie, it would be nice having that peace of mind, knowing IF you were accidentally glutened, you had the pill to help you.
- Dinner Guest – we’ve all been there. Either a friend or family member invites you over to dinner. They ask what they can cook that’s gluten-free, or they research it themselves. They might have all the confidence in the world that they prepared the dish correctly, but you can’t help thinking What if…
- Traveling/Vacationing – you can research all you want, pack your own goodies, and notify all of the kitchen staff while on vacation, but you can never really be sure that your food is 100% gluten-free. Also, when traveling out of the country, you might not know exactly what questions to ask your waiter or the kitchen staff. The ‘magic’ pill would be a nice thing to have in your back pocket when on vacation because of the above worries. Also, getting sick on vacation is everyone’s worst nightmare. It would be nice to know you could prevent that.
So there ya go. I wouldn’t just throw my gluten-free diet out the window if there was a ‘magic’ pill. I would remain on the diet, but choose to take the pill in times of uncertainty or worry.
What would you do if there was a magic pill you could take? Would you remain on the gluten-free diet, or would you take the pill daily and eat whatever foods you wanted to eat?
Laura Hanley, known as G-Free Laura, has been gluten-free since 2009. She reviews gluten-free products, restaurants, posts simple recipes, and writes about gluten-free experiences onwww.gfreelaura.com. Laura also blogs for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery. You can follow Laura’s young, wild, and [gluten] free updates by finding her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.