May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month, so your Newsfeed, Twitter feed, and every other social media outlet is likely flooded with gloom-and-doom reports reminding you that celiac Disease is underdiagnosed, overcomplicated, and just a downer in general. We’ll leave the scary statistics and call-to-actions up to the blogosphere. We’re just here to celebrate some of the underrated perks of being gluten-free. It’s not always fun and games, but we live for those small victories when being gluten-free is kind of the best thing ever. Let’s run down the list of our favorite moments.
1. You basically get entire dishes to yourself at potlucks and on holidays.
Nothing keeps your usually ravenous family away from a dish like labeling it gluten-free. Every so often, it works in your favor that your friends and family are uninformed about the gluten-free diet, assuming that every dish tastes like cardboard. Whether you whipped up something delicious yourself or your host generously provided a GF dish to share, chances are you’ll end up with a personal buffet for yourself, plus plenty of leftovers to take home. We’re not complaining.
2. You get a ton of sympathy from friends, family, and strangers when they find out about your “condition.”
We walk among you! Since celiac disease and gluten intolerance generally can’t be detected from someone’s physical appearance, we always have the task of dropping the bombshell ourselves. Time after time, you break out the theatrics, let a single teardrop roll down your cheek, and break the news. One of the few joys of being gluten-free is switching up your sob story every time you retell it, and really taking joy in the performance. If you’re going to live with this disease, you might as well milk it for what it’s worth. We’ll bring the Kleenex.
3. You have a built-in excuse anytime your weight fluctuates.
Whether you suddenly slim down, or more likely, suddenly gain a few pounds, you can always write it off to your gluten-free diet and dodge any uncomfortable questions. Blame it on bloat from your afflication or from unhealthy processed gluten-free products (which of course does not include our GFB Bars and Bites — either way, you’ve got a free pass. Go ahead and have that second gluten-free donut. You deserve it!
4. You have a built-in excuse when you want to bail on an event.
“Cough, cough. I’m sick.” Cue the stomach-holding and slightly queasy facial expression. Trust us, every single person will back slowly away and ask zero follow-up questions. As anyone with celiac (or gluten intolerance) knows, these symptoms are very much a reality of daily life. However, there are some days when your stomach is up for it but you are definitely not. Next time your aunt insists that you attend her Tupperware party, cash in on one of the very few benefits of having this disease: the free pass.
5. The agony of decision-making at restaurants is largely eliminated.
Here’s a familiar scene for you. You’re invited out with friends to a great new restaurant known for their stellar menu. You sit down, alert the waiter of your dietary restrictions, and she immediately swaps out your three-page menu for a paper print-out roughly the size of a Post-it. While we’re well aware of (and thankful for) restaurants who offer a dense, delicious gluten-free menu, your everyday restaurant is likely to offer you a stripped-down, flavorless rendition of their menu’s staples. When the waitress asks, “So will that be a salad, a patty without a bun and no french fries, or just nothing at all?” Take your time deciding, we’re happy to accommodate.
What are your favorite underrated perks of being gluten-free? Let’s celebrate Celiac Awareness Month by recognizing the unexpected benefits of the gluten-free lifestyle. Let us know your top picks in the comments below!