Honestly, I love the questions. It means I'm doing something right - at least to the extent that people are thinking or having their previous conceptions challenged. But there a few questions that no celiac wants to hear - or to answer. Five common ones in my experience, anyway.
|Some common reactions...|
How do I usually reply? Something, depending on the audience, like: Hell yeah! I miss my post-soccer-practice brownie and ice cream sundaes, my peanut butter (no jelly) sandwiches and family dinners from a greasy take-out container. But being reminded of what I miss ain't helping nobody. It just makes focusing on what I can eat - granola, stuffed potatoes, mug cakes and more - even harder.
2. What can you even eat?
This is a related question, but even more common. When people hear the words "gluten free," they usually don't know what that entails. Vegan? A bowl of rice (or does that have gluten, too)? A sad plate of wilted veggies and lettuce leaves? (All of which, most thankfully, are not true!)
|People don't usually think of these...|
3. At least it keeps you skinny, right?
This happens more than you'd think. Maybe it's because, at first glance, I fit the stereotypical Cali girl model: skinny and white on a "special" diet. Or maybe it's because when most college girls were fretting about gaining the Freshman 15, I worried about losing it. I specifically remember a gorgeous blonde telling me freshman year: "I wish I had celiac so I could be skinny like you."
|Skinny doesn't equal healthy or happy!|
4. You going to make your boyfriend/husband give up gluten too?
Society and the media tends to paint people who follow certain diets (for medial or personal reasons) as vultures trying to "convert" others into the cult of *insert the name of fad diet here*. It's true that, if someone is experiencing health issues and asked me whether going gluten free could help, I would probably reply that they should discuss it with their doctor. It helped me (and my gluten-intolerant Mom), and it could help someone else with fibromyalgia, gut problems, celiac (obviously), etc.
|People view us something like this...|
(Just brush your teeth before kissing me!)
5. Can I have some of that?
Now this last question depends a lot on the context. If the person asking is a friend or family member who understands how much effort and time I put into my food, then I'm flattered that they're curious and don't mind giving them a taste of the gluten free life. If it's a random stranger, acquaintance or someone who has a perfectly decent (gluten-filled) sandwich already sitting on their plate?
|That non dairy ice cream is alllll mine!|
When I instead feel pressured to say, "Sure" even though my meal's GF ingredients are expensive or I'm short on time to cook, the questions leaves - at the very least - quite the bittersweet aftertaste.
Whether they're about my blog or my celiac, I never mind answering questions. Some questions, though, can feel just as harmful to a celiac as gluten. My biggest advice: think about how it would feel walking in a celiac's shoes (to the fridge or pantry) before you start asking questions.
|Granola is also acceptable...|
Have you ever been asked these questions? What is the one celiac question that bothers you? Comment below!