I’m not going to lie, having Coeliac Disease and sticking rigidly to a gluten free diet can quite literally be a pain in the backside a lot of the time.
Having a limited diet, studying the ingredients of everything you eat and living in constant fear of being ‘glutened’ isn’t exactly fun.
But it’s not all bad! So I thought I’d share my five great things about having Coeliac Disease.
1, We get our own plate of food at parties
With Christmas on the horizon it’s nearly the time of year for being invited to Christmas parties where there’ll be buffets of food we can’t eat. Thankfully, if you’ve got understanding family and friends like mine they’ll usually go out of their way to make sure you’re catered for, meaning you often get a whole plate of treats to yourself!
If they’re not clued up on gluten free then they’ll inevitably ask you what to buy which means you essentially get to choose whatever you want to eat. So it’s win-win all round!
2, It’s a constant conversation topic
Ever been on an awkward date, desperately searching for something to talk about? Ever had to think of an ‘interesting fact’ about yourself in a cringey group exercise? Well guess what, having Coeliac Disease just became your new go-to topic of conversation!
Our non-Coeliac friends seem to be fascinated by the subject, meaning you’ll definitely be quizzed on what you can and can’t eat on a regular basis. While it can be slightly irritating to be asked if potatoes contain gluten for the 523rd time (they don’t, by the way) in general it’s pretty cool that people take an interest. As awareness of Coeliac Disease becomes more and more widespread, people want to talk about it more, meaning you’ll become a gluten free guru in no time!
3, That feeling when a new gluten free product comes out
Our non-Coeliac friends will just never understand the excitement we feel when a banging new gluten free product hits the shelves. Thanks to having Coeliac Disease since I was a baby, whenever something brand new to the gluten free market comes out it’s often the first time I’ve ever been able to try it.
Chocolate eclairs (above, they’re amazing in case you’re wondering), profiteroles, scampi and cheesecake are just a few of the products I’ve eaten for the very first time in the past few months. For those of you more recently diagnosed chances are you’ll have been missing something, so the moment a gluten free version arrives you will know what an epic moment this is!
4, There’s never been a better time to be Coeliac
Trust me. I’ve had Coeliac Disease for over 25 years and right now us Coeliacs have never had it so good. I remember a time when if you asked in a restaurant if something was gluten free you’d be met with the same sort of look as if you’d just asked if it contained essence of muppet farts. I remember a time when you couldn’t simply stroll into a supermarket to buy a loaf of gluten free bread.
Thankfully these days are over. There are now tonnes of restaurants that are accredited by Coeliac UK, meaning you can eat there with peace of mind that they’re fully clued up on gluten free and cross contamination. We also often get a whole aisle of Free From products in the big supermarkets. It’s surely only a matter of time before we get a whole supermarket to ourselves! Also, because there’s so many of us now there’s a great online community of Coeliacs, meaning you never feel like you’re fighting the gluten free battle alone.
5, It promotes a healthy lifestyle
Fancy popping to the chippy on the way home? Well, unless you’re lucky enough to live near somewhere that caters for gluten free, you can’t. A sneaky post-pub kebab? No chance. While these may not exactly sound like positives the fact is that a lot of the food we can’t eat is pretty bad for you anyway! The good news is that all fruits, vegetables and salad are naturally gluten free, meaning we can eat as much as we want without fear of being glutened.
Having Coeliac Disease also means you have to be super conscious of what’s in the food we eat. It forces us to be more mindful of what we’re eating, which inevitably leads to making better choices. Go us!