I like to think that when there is something bad happening in my life, there there is still something in that situation that can be good if you let it. I went gluten free after my freshman year of college, and with that, there were aspects which were good about how my diet changed my life, and of course there was the bad too. It’s just a matter of how I decided to weigh each.
My Favorite Aspects of My Gluten Free Life
My Choices are Healthier
Not going to lie, one of the better feelings once I went gluten free was not feeling super bloated in the morning after a drunk night out with my friends who then ordered pizza at the 1 in the morning. Yeah I am missing out on the cheesy goodness of pizza in the moment but I always feel a lot better the next day. You’ll feel the difference, unless you are one of those people who just don’t bloat, and in that case please share you secret ways with me.
Ever since I went gluten free, I find myself eating a lot healthier because it makes me feel better throughout my day. Just because you’re gluten free, doesn’t mean there aren’t unhealthy choices for you, but the healthy ones become more fun to prepare and eat because for the most part, the healthier the dish, the easier it is to make it gluten free.
The New Adventures
Okay, so my next favorite thing about being gluten free is something that I actually just experienced. I just went to my first ever gluten free expo (yes it’s a thing and yes it is awesome). I have never realized not only how many other people are gluten free, but also how many companies and brands are emphasizing their gluten free products. And let me tell you, I sampled a ton of food, and it was all awesome. Even my boyfriend (who I dragged along with me), thought everything tasted great. I guess where I am going with this is you become a part of a community, and you continually learn and try new things that you might never of learned was gluten free before.
I’m Not Missing Out
Some of my favorite foods are already gluten free and thus I didn’t have to give them up. However, I have also found new favorite foods that are gluten free that I never knew previously existed. I continually learn and experiment with all the ways I can make my favorite foods. It’s not about what you are missing out on by going gluten free, because at least for me, I found something that I continually love to learn about -because it’s my new way of life- and I have chosen to embrace it.
The Bathroom Isn’t Scary Any More
You definitely won’t feel awkward in the public bathrooms in your dorms, because let’s talk personal for a second, you eat gluten and well that’s probably where you are going to end up the rest of the night as it hits you soon afterward. Before I went gluten free, I wasn’t sure why my stomach was so off all the time, and that uncomfortable bathroom trip was present a couple times freshman year. However, now I don’t have to worry about that anymore, I have become a pro at avoiding gluten at all costs.
The Bad, Unfortunately It’s There
Now, some of the bad of being gluten free in college, because personally, going gluten free shouldn’t be a diet choice, because there are things that you miss out on nutrition wise, but also socially.
The Social Aspect
For me, it’s the feeling when everyone tries to adjust his or her plans for you just so you can eat somewhere. Don’t get me wrong it’s super nice, but it makes me feel guilty nonetheless because I don’t want them to give up somewhere just for me- but yet I also feel grateful that I have friends willing to accommodate for me — so it’s a mixed feeling that I can’t put into words so much but if you’re like me, you know the feeling I’m trying to share to you. Just remember, nowadays most places serve gluten free beer, so worst comes to worst order a drink with your friends when they go out to eat and eat before or after.
The Limited Options
Being the one who stands out because of what I can’t eat, it feels weird sometimes, feel like I’m missing out when there are a ton of food trucks on my campus and I can’t eat from any of them. I know what it feels like when you aren’t sure what to do because you have no other options for food but your friends are happy and you want to be with them. However, don’t be afraid to cook for yourself beforehand. Eat first, then still go out and enjoy with them, who cares if you don’t eat with them, it’s being with them that matters.
Focus on The Good
I have struggled with the bad aspects of being gluten free and adjusting to it. However, I’ve realized the more my and I friends go out, no matter where we go, I can almost always at least get a salad. More places are getting better and know exactly what I mean when I say I have a gluten allergy. Plus, you can definitely still get drunk during a night out with the gang.
I know there is the good and bad, but the good has outweighed the bad in my experience, I have embraced being gluten free as a part of who I am and how I identify myself. For me, it has become something that I love because I have grown since first changing my eating habits, and I have experienced things (such as the gluten free expo with awesome food samples) that I never would of before. I know it might not feel like it when you are first told to cut out gluten, but just remember there is a community of us that is with you and in case that fails, remember that there are such things as gluten free brownies and they never fail to make you feel better.