Gluten-Free People Actually Have No Idea What Gluten Is

DISCLAIMER: I have many friends who have chosen the gluten-free approach to eating and I fully support their choices and understand their needs. I am not trying to be offensive… but this is hilarious.

I love this video about the gluten-free trend sweeping our nation. Don’t get me wrong – I do realize that some people have sensitivities to foods containing gluten – but I also feel like it has become one of those yuppie-white-person fads that is more about climbing on the bandwagon rather than being unique or responding to your own body, kind of like wearing hipster glasses or doing hot yoga or drinking juice cleanses.

I think it’s great that people pursue what makes them happy and healthy, but what bothers me is that many gluten-free folks are quite preachy about their new way of life, and insist upon shoving all the evils of gluten down my throat (never mind that I have no issues eating wheat products of any kind… it’s meat and veggies that make this girl gassy.)I don’t mind hearing your schpiel, but you’ve also got to trust that I know my body better than yours and maybe I don’t need to make such changes. What works for you may not work for me. Right?

Mr. Kimmel sums it up quite well: “A lot of people here don’t eat gluten because someone in their yoga class told them not to… Here in LA, [eating gluten] is comparable to Satanism.”

LOL. Seriously, I don’t know how gluten became so evil, especially since humans have subsisted on wheat and bread for thousands of years… What’s even more ironic, however, is my average conversation with a recent gluten-free convert:

“I feel so much better now that I’ve gone gluten-free. I used to eat donuts, and potato chips, and I drank beer, but I would always just feel so sick. I miss that stuff and sometimes I’m hungry, but I just can’t do that to my body anymore.”

Or:

“I caved after a long day of work and had 5 slices of pizza and played flip-cup. The gluten is TEARING me up inside!”

Hmmm… maybe it’s not the gluten in your diet, but all the processed junk food that’s making you sick? Maybe it’s breads and pastas too, but that’s not what people are sharing, in my experience. Who would have thought that donuts, beer, and pizza would make you feel sick? I mean, do we really need gluten-free cracker bits for Communion in our churches? Oy vey.

American Bloat

While I was in France, I ate whatever I wanted. French food is heavy on all the currently “taboo” food groups in this country (depending on who you’re talking to these days), to include dairy, grains, meat, fats, and everything in between. And I have to tell ya – my digestive system never felt better while I was over there!

I returned to the U.S., and while I surely love American food in all its glory, I am back to being bloated, irregular, and less energized. It’s not because I eat bread… or because cheese is wrecking my digestive system…or because I enjoy red meat. I ate all those things in Europe. I know this is no secret, but it really is the fact that food in this country is SO overly processed. Even the packaged foods in Europe had smaller lists of ingredients, most of which I could actually pronounce. Everything is fresh and mostly local there. I ate raw eggs and beef for crying out loud (and lived to tell the tale.)

I’m not one to judge the U.S. based on what other countries are doing. I’ve never thought it’s a fair comparison – we are so much bigger and more diverse than most European countries. However, I do wish we could take at least SOMEWHAT of a hint from their dietary practices. Natural ingredients. A reduced reliance on corn. Cleaner, more humane livestock care. And perhaps the elimination of preservatives, dyes, and other miscellaneous ingredients that are banned everywhere else in the developed world except here! Of course, Americans could take a little personal responsibility and work on portion control, too…

I hate to be that Northern Virginia snobby white girl, and I probably won’t have this opportunity on a military base in Okinawa, but I may have to start shopping organic (it’s a start!)