Sometimes I just gotta shake my head.
Maybe you folks can help me out with this one.
I received the following email from a fellow celiac:
I have celiac disease. I have followed a very strict gluten free diet for over a decade throughout my childhood and adolescent years. To date, I have not once cheated on it.
I notice that when I do accidentally consume small amounts of gluten, I don’t seem to have a problem at all.
The other day, I was served croutons and was told they were gluten free. I wasn’t so sure as they tasted a little different but I kept eating away. I noticed I had slightly more flatulence that evening and some extremely ‘slight’ symptoms but I was in no way unwell.
As I avoid gluten like the plague for a vast majority of the time, however, I have forgotten what a nice and normal slice of cake tastes like in comparison to gluten free slices of cake. I can often tell whether a cake is gluten free or not just by looking at the texture of it when it’s cut.
Within the next month, I will be going to a wedding. The event is going to be at a beautiful venue on the river. I’ve seen pictures of the wedding cake they’ve ordered and it looks absolutely beautiful. It won’t be gluten free though and they’ll be using flour frosting for the icing. Hmmm… :P
Since I have been vigilantly avoiding gluten (and my gut is in very good shape) what would be the impact of taking a slice of the wedding cake for myself and eating it? I believe it would only take 3 weeks for my bowel to heal and seeing as though I’m quite asymptomatic that should be ok just this once shouldn’t it?
(BTW if I do cheat it will only be this one-off time. I’ll be back on my strict gluten free diet straight away afterwards. Period)
Let me know your thoughts on this! Thanks.
So do you have my permission? Here’s my answer:
[Dude note: If you can’t see the above video, click here.]
So here’s the deal. You want to eat the cake? No, you don’t have my permission but something tells me you cheat often anyway. I mean, why did you eat the croutons when you weren’t sure?
You say you “avoid gluten like the plague for a vast majority of the time.” Here’s a piece of health advice for you, on the house. You need to avoid gluten like the plague ALL OF THE TIME. It is the ONLY way your body will heal.
I can’t tell you what to do. You want to eat the cake…seriously go ahead and eat the cake. If you’re looking to clear your conscience about it, you’ve come to the wrong place.
But if you decide to eat it, there are repercussions to your actions.
First, your body will attack itself. You say you may only feel sick for a bit. But how you FEEL does not necessarily correlate with the DAMAGE being done to your body. You understand you have an autoimmune disease, correct? This is not an allergy. You are doing physical damage to your body which can take months to repair itself. And you’re telling me a piece of cake is worth it? How can anything be worth that? I simply do not understand.
Secondly, you are hurting the celiac community and that’s what really bugs me. I assume all of your friends at the wedding know you’re a celiac. And then they will see you eating that cake. What does that say to them? It says that celiacs can cheat. And those friends of yours may be in charge of making our food one day. And they may figure…heck…a little gluten won’t hurt them.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again til I’m blue in the face. We are a community. An awesome celiac community. And I believe we each have a responsibility to treat celiac the way it needs to be treated. With a 100% gluten-free diet. No cheating…ever.
It’s not just about you. It’s about us. When you cheat…you are hurting not only yourself, but all of us.
Still want the cake??