We’ve all heard them before, for some reason, people have a hard time understanding how a gluten-free person lives. While it’s not your job to act as a representative for celiacs everywhere, you might want to be ready with answers to the following questions.
“So what can you eat?”
I’m a pretty patient person, but it’s hard not to roll your eyes when you hear this for the umpteenth time. The best way to respond is with a gluten-free recipe or product that you feel good about.
Suggested response: “As it turns out, there’s a lot I can eat. In addition to the wealth of gluten-free substitutes, there are also many foods that are naturally and deliciously gluten-free. Just this weekend I tried a [insert delicious gluten-free recipe here]. It was incredible! I could make it for you if you like.”
“Can’t you just try a little? It’s not going to kill you.”
That’s a dangerous misconception. You don’t want to be morbid, but make sure you’re assertive when you reply that – yes, in fact – a little bit can kill you. You won’t likely drop dead immediately, but the damage to your lower intestine can cause serious problems later on.
Suggested response: “I know it may not seem like a big deal, but even a tiny amount of gluten can make me feel really sick and cause more serious health problems down the line. I don’t mean to inconvenience you, but I really must insist on eating gluten-free.”
“Don’t you miss…?”
This is a tough one, especially when your response is “Heck yes I miss cheese danishes! I would literally kill for a cheese danish right now! The best you can do is be honest about your cravings, but positive about the gluten-free lifestyle.
Suggested response: “You know, sometimes I do miss it. But I’ve been feeling so much better since I eliminated gluten from my diet that I don’t worry too much about it. Besides, whenever I feel like indulging in X, I can usually find a gluten-free substitute that hits the spot.”
“Isn’t gluten-free a fad diet?”
This is the red button topic that gets bloggers and individuals alike in a tizzy – and rightfully so! When celebrities and dieters jump on the gluten-free bandwagon to try and shed some extra pounds, it can lead others to disconnect the gluten-free lifestyle from the serious health problems that drives most people to eliminate gluten from their diet. Try not to roll your eyes when your friend’s reference Kim Kardashian’s recent switch, and stay positive.
Suggested response: “You know, I can’t speak for anyone else’s choice to go gluten-free. I eat this way because I’ll get really sick if I don’t.”
Whatever other ridiculous questions have you answered? How did your response go over? Let us know in the comments!
(Image Source: Zhouxuan’s Flickr)