Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Gluten-free Wedding?

Social situations are probably one of the biggest reasons my clients have trouble losing weight (second only to mid-afternoon and nighttime snacking, I would guess). And it's not just because they want to eat what they see others eating. Sometimes they truly want to stick to their healthy eating plan, but they don't want to offend anyone or bring attention to themselves. It can be an uncomfortable situation to be ordering a salad at a restaurant when everyone else is getting burgers and fries. And for women, it can be especially tough because, let's face it, we pay attention to what other women are eating. If your girlfriend orders a decadent chocolate dessert, you feel as if it gives you permission to do so as well. On the other hand, if she orders a fruit cup, you either have to do the same or feel guilty the whole time you're eating your chocolate dessert. It's a silly competitive thing we do with each other, but I've learned from one client after another that their friends will try really hard to get them to eat (and drink) things that they don't really want to.

And in terms of not wanting to offend anyone, I imagine we've all been in a situation where we're served something we don't normally eat. Any vegetarian out there has probably been in that situation many times.

Trying to eat gluten-free takes it to a completely different level. There's the obvious gluten filled food that's easy to avoid. I stayed away from the bread at the wedding this weekend.

And the cake was beautiful but easy to avoid.

But what about the less obvious culprits? At the rehearsal dinner, I was a bit uncomfortable bringing attention to myself, but I asked the waitress to find out what was gluten-free on the menu. When she said that all of the salads were fine, I was relieved and ordered a delicious tuna steak salad. To my surprise, it came with croutons. Gluten-free huh? I picked out the croutons and ate the salad anyway, but I knew that that wasn't quite the best thing to do.

At the wedding, I figured I'd already unintentionally eaten some gluten; I might as well not worry too much at that point. So I added some delicious almonds to my appetizer plate, regardless of what might have been on them.

And I thoroughly enjoyed the steak, not knowing what it was marinated in.

But I had to ask myself when I woke up the next day achy and with a headache, was it the gluten? Or the wine? Or was I just dehydrated from not drinking enough water while traveling? I've questioned all along how strict I want to be in eating gluten-free. My IBS symptoms haven't cleared up, but I feel a lot happier. Whether coincidence or gluten-related, I have to admit I have no interest in going back to my gluten-filled diet. Since depression is a symptom of Celiac disease, Shauna, urged me to get tested to find out for sure. She reminded me that left unchecked, Celiac Disease could lead to bigger health problems.

So I guess my question isn't how strict do I want to be; it's how strict do I need to be. Best case scenario: I don't have a gluten intolerance and I can continue to eat gluten-free as I have been, but not stress about social situations. Worst case scenario: I am gluten-intolerant, and I need to learn to be more cautious in social situations. Either way, I would have an answer to my question. And I figure that peace of mind is worth a visit to the doctor.


Gena (Choosing Raw) said...

Hi Iris! Thank you for your kind note on my blog. I love hearing from those who have taken their counseling journey a step further than mine, and I love your blog. I can't wait to keep reading.


LucindaSarina said...

Thanks Gena!


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