I'm not one to complain. Well, not that much. But it's pretty difficult to get normal people to understand what eating's like when you're Coeliac. Unless you're given a banana to peel or an unopened can of coke, there's often a lingering worry in the back of your mind you might get glutened.
Yes, the G word. Glutened. The horror all Coeliacs face on a daily basis if they choose to eat:
(a) at a café or restaurant;
(b) at a friend's; and
(c) (worst of all) in their own kitchen if the rest of the family eat gluten.
Even if you decide to live as a hermit there are still problems. Remember the scare when supposedly gluten-free foods were cross-contaminated and above the 20ppm safety levels?
I know of Coeliacs who refuse to eat out. Like, ever. I couldn't be one of them and I'm pretty sure most other Coeliacs couldn't, either. Can you imagine being at a friend's wedding and fishing into your handbag for a safe gluten-free sandwich? Or going to the pub with your own gluten-free beer? It doesn't exactly say 'socialite'.
So what's to be done?
Well, spreading gluten-free awareness, for one, hence my little diagram above. I'm hoping a touch of humour will help educate people in a way that a lengthy blog post or a photograph can't - not that there's anything wrong with either of those, just that we live such busy lives these days the more brief the information, the better (it would seem).
It'll certainly help me stop playing the gluten-free detective all the time. You know, when your tummy makes a funny sound and you can't help wondering if you've eaten some gluten, which immediately makes me blame the last thing I consumed. Unless, of course, it's a banana or a can of coke.
How do you cope with food as a Coeliac? Do share your experience below!