The Happy Conclusion of the Gluten Experiments
I undertook my last and most ambitious gluten experiment last week: a full seven days of daily gluten consumption. And we’re not talking a few cheddar bunnies here, this was some serious gluten consumption.
I’m a big fan of Indian food, so my experiment started with four samosas. I took in other cuisines of the world as the week went on. Pizza and pasta, burritos, and of course a good old all-American hot dog with a melt-in-your-mouth genuine hot dog bun.
I had a lot of fun with this experiment. All of my other adventures in gluten were tinged with fear. What was this going to do to me? Why was I eating this food that was essentially a poison?
But the days of regular gluten consumption wore away the fear. I kept on eating it…and I kept on feeling fine. With nothing bad happening, I began to relax and enjoy foods I hadn’t eaten in five years. (Burritos are now my new favorite food!)
So did I suffer any ill effects from my extended gluten binge? Is my allergy truly gone?
There was one night when I did feel a couple of twinges in my left arm. It happened after a day when I had eaten gluten three times: toast, a hot dog bun, and then a burrito for dinner. But the next day when I ate gluten just once, the twinges disappeared. And so…
The Happy Conclusion
Obviously, my allergy is not 100% gone. But it’s 99% cleared up, and that is not only grounds for celebration, it’s grounds to ease up on the gluten restrictions.
Here’s what I’m going to do. I will continue to eat a strictly gluten free diet at home, just like I’ve always done. But if I eat at someone else’s home, or go out to a restaurant, I can eat whatever I like, even if it contains gluten.
This may not seem like a big change, but the implications are actually huge. This is going to make my life about a hundred times easier. Let me count the ways:
I won’t have to educate friends on how to run a gluten-free kitchen if they want to invite me over for dinner.
I won’t have to do enormous amounts of research before I travel. No more looking up hotel restaurants, nearby restaurants that may have gluten free dishes, and supermarkets that hopefully stock rice cakes and popcorn because actual gluten free bread is too much to hope for.
No more bringing food on the plane.
In fact, I won’t have to always carry a snack.
Now I’ll be able to eat in Chinatown.
And I’ll be able to consider vacationing in non-English-speaking countries without worrying I’ll be accidentally glutened at every meal.
I’ll be able to eat the food served to me at weddings an other special functions.
And that’s just the start of it. Eating out is going to be so easy now. No need to have a special conversation with the server every time. I’ll just be able to…order food.