You Know You’re a Coeliac When…
If you suffer from an intolerance or allergy, then you’ll know what I’m on about. There are certain things that happen that help you to recognise when you’re a coeliac…
1. You’ve heard one of these phrases before:
- Oh, I’ve got a friend/family member/dog who’s a celeriac.
- Is that, like, a religion? [yes it’s a religion that stops you eating cake]
- So what happens if you eat just a little bit?
- Ooh, I couldn’t live without pasta. I don’t know how you do it.
2. You’re given a completely indecipherable menu when you go out to eat
If you say “I’m a coeliac” in any restaurant, you will quickly find a ringbinder hastily thrust in your hands, with pages and pages of laminated paper. This is a breakdown of the menu, just for you. Generally, this involves some complex code of colours or crosses that, if you can decipher it, you’re allowed to eat.
3. You spend twenty minutes standing at the food-to-go aisle and then pick up a dodgy looking fruit salad
I’ve yet to find a supermarket that supplies reliable gluten-free options in their food-to-go aisle. You’re generally faced with sandwiches, wraps, pasta salads and the odd cous cous dish (yes, cous cous has gluten). In fact, when I discovered the Marks & Spencer hot smoked salmon salad which IS gluten free, I ate it every day for three weeks for the pure joy of being able to.
4. There are moments when you get three mouthfuls in to eating, and have a moment of doubt
No matter how many times you check, how certain you are that there is nothing in there that will make you embarrassingly and agonisingly ill, there will always be that moment when you wonder. It’s usually when you’ve discovered something new that is on the OK list, and you’re enjoying it so much, you convince yourself that it’s too good to be true, and you have to rummage through the bin to double check the wrapper. Just in case.
5. You (legitimately) rant for ten minutes straight about the price of bread
Seriously. Have you SEEN the price of gluten-free bread!? It’s obscene.
No. It’s worse than obscene.
I have paid £2 for 10 (small) slices of bread before. For 10 (small) slices of stiff, dry bread that goes rock solid after three days.
How is that even normal?