I have a love-hate relationship with being gluten free and dairy free. I have lived this life for over two years now, and there are days when I wake up ready to eat my gluten free toast and days when I want a real cream in my tea.
In the interest of positive thinking, I will start my why I love list:
- I have learned how to bake and make savory dishes from scratch
- I am constantly amazed by the new and really delicious gluten and dairy free products that are emerging
- I am writing this blog, and in doing so, I am helping others who are struggling
- I get emails from all over the world asking for my help
- I have grown as a person
- I have connected with companies and have been able to sample a lot of great gluten free products
- I have learned how to convert recipes and can eat just about anything I want
- I have over 200 loyal followers (and growing)
- I have learned how to read labels and how to find hidden gluten and dairy
- I have learned to love dairy free cheese
- Labeling laws have made it easier to find hidden allergens
I am proud to be able to share my experiences with all of you. I am amazed at how far I have come in the past couple of years, not only with my gluten free knowledge, but in becoming a better blogger, and a better person.
I never dreamed that I would be able to bake, cook, and convert gluten and dairy free recipes with a really high success rate.
I do not really feel deprived. Of course, there are days when I really miss something that I can’t replicate. But they are few.
Ok, now for the hate part:
- I have to mail-order a lot of gluten and dairy free products because no-one carries them in my area
- Gluten and dairy free items are expensive, especially when you add shipping costs
- Dry ice is a pain to deal with
- Dining out holds no pleasure for me anymore
- I am tired of ignorant restaurant staff
- I avoid social situations involving food
- I can’t find a decent gluten free pizza crust (I have come close)
- I miss Chinese food
- I can’t make a decent biscuit
- I miss real milk, cream cheese, and sour cream
I am a bit disappointed with the availability of gluten and dairy free products in stores. It is exorbitantly expensive to mail-order gluten and dairy free foods.
I am upset that I can’t go out to eat without having to have a degree in food science and having to search to find allergen-free menus. Although I have to say that I do see an upward swing in online availability. However, they don’t often have these menus available on site. So how do the waitstaff and kitchen staff know what you are talking about?
I once had a server ask me if there is dairy in butter. I once found wheat berries in rice pilaf. There is wheat in foods where it doesn’t even belong. Canned chicken? Potato salad?
There are things that just can’t be replicated. Sometimes I am not okay with that.
All in all, I have to say that I am more and more comfortable with this lifestyle. I can’t say I completely love it, but I am learning to live with it. And that, my friends, is key.