I recently read an article on signs you have a gluten intolerance. I basically had every single one, all of which could quite possibly be explained by some other cause, but I thought, eh. Might as well give this whole gluten-free thingymagigy a try, and see if it helps anything.
I don't like telling people I'm trying to go gluten-free, though. Because they get really judgey. But not from the side I was expecting. See, THIS is what I was expecting:
ME: Yeah, I'm giving this "gluten-free" thingy a whirl to see if it helps my digestion system/terrible acne.
WHOEVER ELSE: UGHHH, WHY DOES EVERYONE SUDDENLY GIVE A CRAP ABOUT GLUTEN? YOU, MY FRIEND, ARE A HIPPY, AND SHOULD DROWN YOURSELF.
This is the reaction I expected because it's more or less what I think when I hear anyone is doing anything weird, food-wise. Paleo, juicing, all that stuff, I basically get judgey and feel superior. And I'm sorry about that. I'm not a great person.
But terrible people like me must be in the minority, or maybe we're just better at hiding our disdain than I thought, because they're not the judgey ones I've encountered. Since I live in Oregon, here's a basic compilation of the reactions I've had:
ME: Yeah, I'm trying to go gluten-free for a while.
WHOEVER ELSE: Oh, me, too! It's so much better for you. And they have some great foods out there! There's this one cereal, it's super healthy for you, called Tastes Like Tree Bark [not actual name], and it's not bad! [NOTE: 'not bad' is the phrase used to describe something inedible made slightly more edible. Have you ever heard someone describe tofu as 'good'? No, the best that can be said of tofu is 'not bad'. End of rant.]
ME: Yeah, also Frosted Flakes! You know, since it's corn-based and all.
And then whoever I'm talking to looks at me like I said I stabbed a baby seal. With a steak. A non-organic steak.
See, here's where the mix-up is: I didn't say I was dieting. I didn't say I was going sugar-free, or even trying to eat healthy. I said I'm trying to give up gluten for a while. Because it would be nice to live my life without feeling perpetually tired, or having brain fog, or maybe (FINGERS CROSSED!) get rid of the acne my mother assured me would disappear after the puberty thing ended (my mother is a liar, but I love her anyway).
So let me eat my friggin' Frosted Flakes in peace. Because they're gluten-free, and I like them. And you know what? I do feel a bit better. Even hopped up on sugar. I made gluten-free chocolate chip cookies last week, and they were the best cookies I've ever made. And I ate almost every single one.
UNRELATED P.S. Reached 100 pages in my new book! Remember how I wrote that book last year? It was crap. And I hated it. I made the mistake of never, ever editing it as I wrote, which made it one big, hot mess when I went to read over the 340+ pages I slaved over. And I realized I just wasn't crazy enough over the story I'd written to work for another year tearing it apart. So I decided to chalk it up to a learning experience and write another book, which I edit every weekend. I think that, if I were to come across the book I'm writing now in a bookstore, it is the kind of book I'd like to read. Which makes me very, very happy.