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Reference Link: Gluten Free Food
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Related Comic: Celiac Disease
After speaking with a couple of real people with celiac disease my experience was much closer to a gluten intolerance.
For those not aware celiac disease is an inability to properly absorb gluten when consumed. This is pretty new to me, as I had never even heard of this condition ten years ago. Now I know a number of people who are gluten intolerant and have to live a stricter dietary lifestyle. The symptoms are broad, it ranges from itchy skin, to stomach problems, to dying and being reborn as a creature of the night.
It's been told to me by sources I trust (i.e. my imagination) that you contract celiac disease through one of the following ways: genetics, cooties, and selling your soul to the devil.
A couple of people I work with have celiac disease, and this last week I decided (like so many decisions) arbitrary to give up gluten for a week. I've never met an obese celiac, so I thought it might be an interesting experiment. It sounded easy enough, just stop eating breakfast cereals and sandwiches and I would be fine. If only it were that easy.
Avoid products containing gluten, which is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related species, including barley and rye.
It turns out that gluten is found everywhere. Say goodbye to bread, all desserts including most ice cream, pretty much any sauce that is put on anything, and tap water. What you are left with is fistfuls of gravel and soy milk. I kid people; no one would ever drink the soy milk. If you Google Images the word gluten you can see many pictures of foods that are not available to you.
It was a discouraging thing to go to the deli in my building and see it was one of the special days they sell carrot cake, and instead of that having to buy a little container of vegetables. One evening I was musing to myself how a Subway sandwich would be really tasty, until I remembered there is nothing for me at Subway now. The first night when I got home I realized I had essentially nothing that was edible. I ultimately decided to have steamed broccoli and white rice, two of the three things I had that could almost be called a meal.
My friend Justin (of such fame as Justin's guest comics) won't even eat most vegetables, as he doesn't care for them. I see him eating the same rice concoction day in and day out, it is a wonder he hasn't succumbed to madness. He also eats a lot of potatoes and red meat. Looking back on my experience it appears he has no choice, either eat those same things or starve.
I ultimately ate much less this week in general than I normally would, simply because of the hassle of finding something gluten free. I did buy some mixed unsalted nuts to snack on. Those become pretty unappealing as the only snack available to you.
In the end it was an interesting experience, and I think I will try this with other things in the weeks to come.
PostScript: Although this marked the beginning of my "different diet a week" system I wasn't at this time paying close attention to my weight. While I have an idea of my original weight was I do not know the exact number. It wasn't until I went into Calorie Counter that I was beginning to weigh myself on a daily basis.