Gluten Free Food: The Double Standard
|Through the years...|
Everyone with access to a newspaper, computer or a "hip" friend has seen the influx in gluten free fad diets. Gluten is the devil! Gluten free is healthier. Avoiding gluten will make that extra weight just fall off. (Even the gluten free cookies and cakes, obviously!) During my freshman year of college (which intersected with my struggle to gain weight and heal from celiac damage), many of my new dorm mates would say was, "Wow! I was I had celiac disease so I was skinny like you!" or "At least you have a disease that forces you to eat healthy!"
The fact is, my diet has transformed for the better since my diagnosis. Gone is the girl who struggled making a baked potato - instead, I often make three meals and several snacks a day. More veggies and fruits, less processed food, and better qualities of meat. That's what the gluten free diet looks like for me. But, I could just as easily gorge on gluten free brownies, chocolate mug cakes, french fries from a contamination-safe fryer and pizza. It's all free of gluten (the "bad" stuff), right?
|Gluten free = delicious, but not necessarily healthy!|
On the flip side of gluten free food is the "gross" stereotype. The societal mindset that makes me embarrassed to bring gluten free desserts to a school event or, when I do bring them, apologize with a mild shrug. This double standard emerges mainly out of ignorance - people fear (or, in this case, at least stick their tongue out at) what they don't know. And I sure didn't have a clue how a gluten free chicken pot pie really tasted until a year after my diagnosis.
|The typical "gluten free" faces!|
The truth is, I don't need a reminder of how much I'm "missing out" on that soft, crunchy loaf of French bread. I don't need a reminder of how "weird" my new normal food may be. What people do need a reminder of? Not to judge a book - or a gluten free burger - by its cover...err, bun. When I first began to eat my veggie-packed smoothie bowls, my dad often asked, "How is your...concoction today?"
|The Nutribullet has a new beloved!|
Gluten free foods, most often, don't taste like their gluten-filled alternatives. If they did, I'd be concerned actually. But they're the only options for my plate. And if my Instagram is good for anything, it's to prove that gluten free isn't a synonym for gross. My gluten-loving family and boyfriend can attest to that.
The little girl who ate everything in sight and the celiac teenager whipping up gluten free grub have experienced a lot of changes - not only in diet, but also in perspective towards food. For the first time, I can relate to feeling self conscious about my plate. To having my diet generalized to a "healthy" fad to worrying whether what I'm eating is normal enough.
|Fueling up for a fun life!|
*Also found at RunningwithSpoon's Link Party!*
Do you ever feel judged because of your gluten free food? What other gluten free stereotypes do you notice? Comment below!