Since September 13 is Celiac Awareness Day it wouldn’t be right to not post today, despite it being our final day on vacation. In the past, I’ve written about 25 things I learned from having celiac disease and Aaron offered to write a post today about the top things he’s learned in the last almost 2 years of my diagnosis.
7 Practical Things I Learned About Celiac’s Disease in 2013
- Good, gluten friendly and educated restaurants are hard to find. When you find a good one, you become regulars very quickly. Rebecca bounces between them regularly, so my experience is that I try to find at least 2-3 things I like on menu, and not stay with the same thing. I did that at Noodles and I started to hate even the smell of that place. Also, we found that chain restaurants vary widely based on location. Just because they were knowledge on one, does not mean that is true of any of the others. We have also found that restaurants where the owner or owners relatives have Celiac’s, the more diligent their staff are about it. It almost becomes part of their culture. It became apparent when we went to a restaurant, and they brought over an un-opened ketchup bottle..un-prompted.. it’s about as close to a red carpet treatment as I have seen for Celiac’s.
- Once you give up gluten, you continue to find other things that make your stomach icky. Rebecca and I have played the game, “what made me sick this time?” many times after she eats. The derivative of this is that I know play the same game on myself. I am pretty sure more than trace amounts of dairy (not butter) makes me feel sick…
- A solid poop is a happy poop. I really don’t have much to say about that one, but I know it would make Rebecca giggle, so I had to write it.
- People have strange ideas of what gluten is. Restaurants in particular, since it’s their job to know what is in the food. I also find that some restaurants have a liberal use of the word ‘chef’.. This one has to be frustrating for those who have to explain it over and over again when people don’t know and especially when your extremely hungry the server needs to ask the ‘chef’ if the seasonings in the home fries are gluten-free.
- Gluten Free shopping can be expensive and time-consuming. Packaging is not friendly and G-Free products are stashed away odd and multiple places. It’s almost a sadistic game of hide and seek. I have personally seen products at the end of the hair care section, ironically I shave my head and I was not with Rebecca. When Rebecca and I go to the grocery store, I usually prep up some emails or articles on my phone to bid the time in the frozen food aisle. She has become an expert and reading food labels. She could put multi-lingual on her resume. Gluten is in so many things, I’m now surprised when it’s NOT in something.
- Gluten free food options have improved in the past 2 years, but not everywhere. Also, we’re finding new products that are being manufactured as G-Free that we not previously available. I remember the first time Rebecca saw Gluten Free Soft Pretzels . Her eyes about popped out of her head. The other thing I know is that expectations of Gluten Free food need to be established. They say they are soft pretzels, but that’s not what they taste like.
- There is so much information out there on Celiac and living a Gluten Free life (it’s not all accurate, so be careful). We have found contradictory statements on the same website. Find resources that you know and trust.
He’s a man of few words but these hit the nail on the head. Coming from someone who doesn’t have to live gluten-free, it’s nice to see his perspective on things. I almost dropped over the other day when he said he felt better eating gluten-free with me and decided to cut way back on his gluten intake. Totally took me by surprise!
I know he just loves wearing this “Married to Celiac” T-Shirt I bought him. (wink, wink – Smile)