Why I won't take the GF Challenge

I’m the only one in the office exempt from participating in the “Gluten Free Challenge”. No, it’s not because I insisted “It’s just not possible” or “It’s too expensive!” or “I’m travelling” or “I really, really like bread”. It’s because I have Celiac disease, so I already eat gluten free every day. Watching everyone else go through their gluten free weeks and seeing their challenges reminded me of how I felt when I was first diagnosed about five years ago. I remember going to the grocery store and feeling so overwhelmed and having no idea what to buy. I may or may not have broken into tears in the middle of the cereal aisle as I read all of the labels and realized I couldn't eat any of it. Thank goodness for Celiac.com and Gluten Free Girl since my doctor wasn't much help! Even worse than grocery shopping was the social aspect. I had to ask so many questions at parties and holidays that I felt like a pain and had a hard time just relaxing and enjoying myself. Going to a restaurant became a horrible stressful chore. Fast forward to now, and I honestly don’t even think about it much. This is just the way I eat now. It is possible, it doesn't have to be expensive, I can find things to eat when I travel and I don’t miss bread. There are some decent gluten free versions these days if I do want some. The best part? I eat healthier now. When you are forced to read labels, you start to notice all the junk in processed foods. I actually travel a lot for gluten free and fitness events, so during a recent trip (for the Des Moines GFAF Expo) I decided to track what I ate along the way. Hopefully this “day in the life of a gluten-free traveler” will help some of you who have been newly diagnosed. I promise it does get easier!

Airport Breakfast: Smartwater, McDonald’s coffee, hard-boiled eggs and a banana.


Plane Snack: Tomato juice and Peanuts (check peanuts label – many nuts are manufactured in a facility that also processes wheat. These peanuts were safe)

Hotel Room Service Lunch: Cobb Salad (no croutons, no bread, balsamic dressing)


GFAF Expo Set-up Snack: Coconut Cashew Truebar ;-)

Dinner with Friends: Pork tenderloin with mashed potatoes and asparagus (oops, I was hungry

and started eating before I remembered to take a picture!)

We went to Americana in downtown Des Moines – and they had a gluten free menu, score! http://americanadsm.com/wp-content/uploads/x-GF-Dinner-April-13.pdf Happily Gluten Free, Sara