We all know that being celiac isn’t easy but honestly, most days I’m fine. I’m not excited about the limitations being gluten free places on my eating life but in general I know what I can and what I can’t eat and if I’m not sure about something I know what to do to find out. In saying that, every now and again I find myself having a ‘being celiac really sucks’ day and it’s not very nice at all. Everything will be going fine and then suddenly something happens which makes me realise all over again how limited I am when it comes to what I can eat. I’m pretty sure you get this too.For example, a couple of weeks ago I was working in John’s office and I fancied nibbling on something sweet. They always have a tonne of snacks in the kitchen area so I decided to go see what I could find. With at least ten different things, surely I’d be able to find one that’s safe…sadly I was wrong.
This whole bunch of stuff was there and yet none of it was safe for me!
– 5.5 pounds of Vines red licorice. Contains wheat flour
– Crackers. A pretty obvious no
– Peanut Butter filled pretzels. I think this speaks for itself
– Yoghurt covered raisins from Trader Joe’s. The packaging said ‘No Gluten Ingredients’ so I got excited until I noticed the ‘Made on equipment shared with wheat’
– Granola Bars. Made with regular oats so a big nope right there
– Mixed Nuts. ‘Processed on equipment that packages products that may contain wheat.’
– Jelly Belly Beans. I’ve seen bags of these labelled as gf but on this huge container it said ‘packaged on equipment that also packages products which contain wheat’ 🙁
– Hershey’s kisses and peanut butter cups. The safe list I was given by Hershey’s does not include these products so I wasn’t going to risk it.
I couldn’t eat any of these things.
In my experience the world of office snacking tends to be a very gluten filled one and as celiacs it is of course always best to come prepared for the inevitable. This isn’t to say that it doesn’t still break our hearts to discover yet another snack which is are unsafe and to have to always rely on whatever bar we brought from home this morning, just in case.
Two years of being gluten free and numerous situations like this means that I’m never surprised when there is nothing safe for me and it means that I always come prepared with my favourite gluten free snack. It doesn’t however mean that I’m never phased by it. Most of the time I can push it aside with a laugh and a comment about it being ‘evil gluten’ but sometimes it really gets me down. I know there are lots and lots of gluten free products out there but on a ‘being celiac really sucks’ day I just can’t see that. Sometimes I wish I could buy whatever I’d like in the supermarket; sometimes I’d love to be able to walk into a restaurant and order anything I please; sometimes I just want to take a handful of something without reading the label first. On my wedding day I will get my wish. Everything will be gluten free and I will be free to eat whatever I please. I can’t wait for that!