This week we decided, at work, to start rotating and each Friday we take a little “brunch break” at work. Not only does this give us a little break in the morning but each one of us gets to make something and share the recipe with the rest of the bunch. One of my co workers was searching recipes and kept asking “can you have this?” and “can you have that?” Of course when it comes to biscuits, pancakes and so many other breakfast foods, they are off limits for me. The poor girl was trying so hard and I kept having to say no.
She then said “I don’t know how you do it, I would starve.” Interestingly enough, when I asked friends what things they heard the most when you’ve explained your gluten free diet, the most common were “how do you do it?” and “you can’t eat anything.”
I will start with the question. You do it because you have to. Believe me, this isn’t something that I’d choose. I do miss eating pancakes at a restaurant, biscuits and gravy on a buffet and egg rolls. Oh, how I miss egg rolls. But it’s something that is necessary for me to live. To not live in pain. To remain healthy. You read labels, all of them, because wheat is hidden in so much.
Then to “you can’t eat anything.” Well, if you mean you can’t get a Big Mac from McDonald’s, then yes. Not that I’d eat that if I could…nasty. You can eat, you just have to do research and, yes, it does take time and effort. But I eat, I eat a lot. You just learn what you can and can’t have. You learn to shop around the outside of the grocery store, which is typically the healthiest choice anyway. I eat lots of brown rice, quinoa, veggies and chicken. I get creative. And yet, I don’t look all skin and bones.
I feel bad for my co workers and anyone else that tries to cook for me. Some of my friends have become experts in reading labels, in asking and, when all else fails, in sending me pictures of the labels of foods I may eat at their homes. It isn’t the easiest thing in the world but it’s done because it’s needed. And that’s how I do it…the short version!