33 annoying things people have said to me since eating gluten free
"Yes, the chicken is 100% gluten free, as stated on the menu. However, just to let you know, it is fried in the same fryer as all of our gluten containing dishes, we share all utensils in the kitchen, we store the chicken in the same container as our wheat flour and it comes served to you on a bed of fresh barley, but it’s gluten free..."
Here’s a list of some frustrating and downright strange things I’ve heard since being diagnosed with coeliac disease and having to eat gluten free.
1. Go on try some, a little bit won’t kill you!
Well, no, I won’t drop dead on the spot, but even a crumb of gluten could absolutely floor me for a week and cause some pretty serious damage to my intestine so if it’s okay with you, I’ll play it safe.
2. What happens if you eat gluten?
Question: Do you want the PG rated answer, which is ‘just a bit of stomach ache’, or do you want the real X-rated answer, which will make you wish you’d never asked?
3. Have you even tried to not be coeliac?
I can’t…what does that even mean?
4. So you’re diabetic then if you have an issue with gluten?
Wrong G word, you’re thinking of glucose.
5. Of course there’s a cure! I know about this and all you need to do is cut gluten out of your diet completely but then ease back into it having a little bit at a time until your body is used to it. Simple!
No ‘Mr I read an article on food intolerances and now think I know everything about every possible food allergy’ that’s not how it works. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease and completely different to food intolerances. Fancy going telling that snippet of advice to someone with a nut allergy?
6. Come on, can you not try some, I made it specially for you!
You may well have spent your entire week making it for me but if it contains gluten you’re wasting your time trying.
7. So, you can’t have potatoes?
No, I can have potatoes (🙏🏼), just because it’s a carb doesn’t mean it contains gluten.
8. All gluten free food is disgusting.
Aww how lovely of you to say, thank you for your uneducated opinion. Is that a jacket potato with beans, cheese and a side salad you’re enjoying for lunch there? Disgusting.
9. What is there left for you to eat?
Plenty. Yes, gluten is an ingredient in a lot of products, but there’s a lot of food! The majority of my food shop consists of naturally gluten free food like fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, rice and depending on the flavourings or added ingredients, tinned food, chocolate, crisps, sauces etc are also GF. Then I’ll pick up some gluten free bread, pasta, flour, oats and a few sweet treats from the free from aisle. What the hell have you been eating your whole life?
10. Could you not just eat around the bread?
Yeah it doesn’t work like that I’m afraid. Little thing called cross-contamination.
11. Just scrape the sauce off you’ll be fine?
Again, absolutely not.
12. Oh please don’t complain it’s so cringe.
Oh, I’m so sorry, I never considered your feelings! Tell you what, to save your embarrassment I won’t say anything and I’ll just pick the wheat croutons off my salad and cancel my plans for the next week because, let’s face it, I’ll be too sick to leave the house whilst my own body attacks itself. Said no one. Ever.
13. So you can’t have vegetables?
14. I could never give up gluten, I don’t know how you’ve done it?
I think you’d find it quite easy upon understanding that, as a coeliac, gluten is ultimately killing your insides, causing your own body to malfunction and attack it’s own tissue meaning your gut can’t properly take in nutrients leaving you malnourished and at an increased risk of developing some cancers in the future. Not to mention the horrendous side effects. Is that a good enough answer?
15. My friend went on a gluten free diet and she lost so much weight!
Did she really though or did your friend go carb free? Did she check the label on everything she ate? Did she stop eating soy sauce? Oats? Certain dressings?
16. Oh it’s such a snowflake trend.
17. So you can’t drink wine?
Wine fine, beer bad.
18. I bet you lost so much weight going gluten free?
Slap in the face but I actually put weight on. My body recovered and started absorbing all the nutrients so I was healthy again. 💪🏼
19. Oh my gosh no way, I’m also coeliac!
I don’t think you’re a smart one if you are? I’ve just seen you eat a whole pulled pork baguette from that butty van over there AND you have a pint of carling in your hand.
20. Do you not think you’re being a bit dramatic?
Do you not think you’re being a bit of an arsehole?
21. You must save so much money from not buying any gluten products?
Oh how wrong you are. I’ve actually had to take out a second mortgage to enable me to buy gluten free basics like bread, flour and the occasional hobnob.
21. So, you just have to cut out bread and pasta?
I wish it was that easy. Gluten is a sneaky ingredient in a lot of food products like stock cubes or seasonings for example. My own mother has accidentally glutened me with an OXO cube and I’ve poisoned myself with a new brand of BBQ sauce I didn’t think to check. It’s a learning curve.
22. Don’t you miss bread?
Duh! I love bread! Everyone loves bread! I’ve already told my friends and family that my death bed meal (or death row meal, depending on how life goes) will be a platter of fresh bread. But, in the meantime, I will strive to find or make the best gluten free bread and there are some good contenders in the running!
23. You’ve eaten gluten before though so why now?
A short story for you.
Constantly ill ➡️ finally consults doctor ➡️ has tests done ➡️ has more tests done ➡️ gets results ➡️ diagnosed with coeliac disease ➡️ no cure but to eat gluten free ➡️ will forever eat gluten free.
24. Coeliac is a made up illness.
Damn, you got me!
25. Here is our vegan menu.
26. We can’t confirm that there won’t be any cross-contamination in our kitchen.
Is this a genuine disclaimer explaining that although you have gluten present in the same kitchen, you do have strict procedures in place to ensure that cross-contamination risks are avoided wherever possible. OR, is this a get out clause and a way of saying that it’s likely you’ll end up with a bit of gluten because no one cares. Big difference!
27. For dessert, we can offer you vanilla ice cream or some fruit.
Oh lucky me! I just can’t contain my excitement!
28. Yes the gluten free cod is made with our gluten free batter but it is cooked in the same fryer as all of our other gluten containing dishes.
Then. It’s. Not. Gluten. Free.
29. So, we do have a dedicated gluten free fryer but I can’t be 100% sure that it’s not been used for our gluten containing products.
What’s even the point of it then?
30. Who ordered the pasta? Is it gluten free? Erm, let’s say yes.
Erm, let’s go and double check that one with the kitchen please.
31. We can do the Sunday roast for you just without the potatoes, yorkshire pudding, pigs in blankets, stuffing, cauliflower cheese or gravy.
That’s not a roast. That’s not even a meal!
32. We don’t offer gluten free bases for our pizza but all of our pizza toppings are gluten free!
How wonderful! I shall order a bowl of tomato sauce with cheese, ham and mushrooms please.
33. Here is your gluten free ice cream, presented to you in a cone!
I am very aware that on some occasions people ask these questions to be polite and caring and ultimately, it just comes from a lack of understanding about coeliac disease and gluten, something that I wasn’t that clued up on prior to being diagnosed. Please don’t feel offended, it’s just a light-hearted blog hoping to make those in a similar situation laugh at the mutual things we’ve heard.
Unless you’ve ever said number 20, then you can go to hell…