About two years ago, my wife switched to a gluten-free diet because she would often feel uncomfortable after eating bread. The change has helped considerably and her overall health has improved since cutting the gluten. Because we live in the same house and share food, I am also, for the most part, gluten-free.
I don’t mind living in a gluten-free home. I’m happy to support my wife in her effort to feel good at all times. Once you know which foods to avoid, eating around gluten is easy. It’s a small sacrifice to make for the woman I love.
Of course, if I encounter gluten outside of the home, it’s fair game. We don’t have some sort of contractual grudge against gluten. Gluten has never treated me bad. If I’m at work and a slice of pizza or donut filled with rich and delicious gluten goodness should find its way into my gullet, there’s no harm.
My wife and I have an open relationship. If she’s at work and I have time to kill on the weekend and there’s a stack of waffles in front of me and the only instrument I have to remove them is a fork, then I’d be a fool not to clear the plate before throwing it in the dishwasher. Three giant gluteny waffles covered in gluteny syrup would really clog up your dishwasher. I’m really just practicing good dishwasher maintenance by eating waffles.
Should the fine men and women who work hard down at the gluten factory suffer because a certain percentage of people have trouble processing their product? When I stuff my face with a chocolate chip cookie the size of Arkansas, I’m really just thinking about the children whose parents depend on gluten eaters to provide a good home. Those kids need me to eat chocolate chip cookies. They’re depending on me.
And let’s just say I encounter some slow moving traffic on my way home from work and I happen to steer my car toward a building with a drive-thru window. Can I be blamed for efficiency? I’m not getting home any time soon. Besides, eating an entire bag of tacos while steering the car with my knees is completely acceptable. It’s not like I’m texting while driving.
Gluten pit stops are my constitutional right. The hard part about indulging in gluteny gluttony is returning home to the wonderful, nutritious, gluten-free meal waiting on the table. It’s not easy to pretend like I still have an appetite.
I have to display my best poker face and say things like, “Mmm, honey, I couldn’t possibly eat another quinoa cube, you go ahead and take the last one. I’m still finishing up this rosemary sprig. I love the recipe for this kale leaf, the way you just ripped it out of the ground and threw it on a plate and garnished it with…nothing. That really hit the spot.”
I didn’t know what gluten was before we experienced this lifestyle change, but I’ve learned a thing or two. It turns out that gluten is flavor...the part of the food that makes it taste like something.