Accepting The Gluten-Free Challenge Could Help You Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity
Posted by nepeht on October 27, 2008
12. Accepting The Gluten-Free Challenge Could Help you Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity.
Please NOTE: There are others who write about a “challenge” and “Gluten”, but let me be clear that this article is about the challenge going and staying Gluten-Free and about how “accepting” that as a “challenge” can help bring “simplicity” to their “Gluten-Free” life. With all due respect, this article has nothing to do with the following article, http://www.celiac.com/articles/979/1/Challenging-the-Gluten-Challenge—By-Dr-Ron-Hoggan-EdD/Page1.html.
If anyone ever tells you it easy and takes no effort to go and be Gluten-Free, please get their contact information and send it to me. I want to know what their secret is.
In my case, it has not been easy. Many times, just when I think I got it licked (no pun intended), I find that either I have ingested gluten accidentally/unknowingly, or that I have a craving mounting that I just cannot defeat. As this article shows, it can fool even the most educated among us: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/sports/othersports/10celiac.html?_r=1&ref=fitnessandnutrition&oref=slogin.
I am not saying it is impossible to avoid gluten.
I am just saying that it is a “challenge”. Are you up to it? Am I? Bless those who are because it is obviously not easy for everyone. For example, in a recent article at: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/health/article/0,2777,DRMN_23956_5250397,00.html. it was written:
Question: I have celiac disease, and I need some suggestions about things I can eat at restaurants to avoid gluten. It’s really discouraging to find one of the only things I can eat at most fast-food places is something like the catsup in the packet – sometimes not even that.
And then it seems that not everyone really — like as in TOTALLY — knows (or should I say “FEELS”) the frustration in this, as was demonstrated by the response to the above question:
Answer: It’s a challenge to go gluten-free at a restaurant, but it definitely can be done. Prudence Athearn Levy, a dietitian at Cherry Creek Nutrition, says plan ahead: Call the restaurant to speak with the chef, explain your dietary restrictions and discuss the menu and ingredients.
Certainly, the response is compassionate and positive and even helpful, but if it was always that easy I wouldn’t be writing this blog. In my personal experience, and I am just guessing here, based on memory, I have found that in maybe 2-out-of-10 (20%) of the times that I ask a restaurant person about “gluten” in a dish, do I find that they have any sort of idea about what it is I am asking.
And this is not to mention how important it is to me. I have have a number of episodes where I have told a person that I was allergic to the wheat in the bread, and so they gave me “white” bread, claiming that it should be ok because it was not “wheat” bread.
So… don’t get me wrong. It is great that authors such as that above have taking on this “challenge”, but there remains a valid question as to whether or not they really understand the “challenge” of which I speak here.
So what I am really saying here? We must rise above it. We got to look into the distant fog of war and bravely assess, with good accurace, the challenges that we will face every day, at almost every meal from here on out.
The good part about this is that as time goes on, and we learn what the enemy’s firepower looks like and we also learn how NOT to let ourselves be targets, we tend to make it simpler on ourselves.
Finally, the real point here is that I have found in this as well as other parts of life, if I face the difficulties with a realistic perspective, instead of over-self-confidence, I tend to do much better.
What’s that the folks say, “Never underestimate your opponent!”
And make no mistake about it.. going and staying Gluten-Free is a Challenge, and the “Opponent” comes in all shapes and sizes, and without warning. Quite frequently, one doesn’t even know they were in a battle, until after they have lost a battle.
So go on out and eat and enjoy it!…. but watch the land mines.