Dear Gluten…


We have selected a random winner for our Dear Gluten contest.

And the winner is…Marisa Tomei for My Cousin Vinny.

Sorry…my bad…that couldn’t possibly happen.

The real winner is…drum roll…Patricia.

Congrats Patricia. I will email you instructions on how to download the $100 PF Chang’s Gift Card. Enjoy!

A sincere thanks to everyone for participating and especially for your creativity. We had poems, song-parodies and so many other clever letters.

As a matter of fact, they were so superb that I thought I’d announce more winners in various completely made-up categories.

Granted, there is no monetary reward, but damn, it just feels good to be recognized, doesn’t it?

Most Clever Play on Words

Dear Gluten,

I do not knead you anymore

Love Theresa

Most Succinct

Dear Gluten,

I hate you. The end.

Hatefully yours,

Most Likely to Go to Court

Cease and Desist Order

Dear Gluten,

It has come to my attention that you have made an unauthorized entrance to my system and have thus negatively affected my health. I have reserved all rights to my body and choice of nourishment and I have registered the copyright.

Your work entitled wheat flour pizza crust, and which appears in stores all over, is essentially identical to the gluten free pizza crust and clearly used the gluten free crust as its basis.

You neither asked for nor received permission to enter my system nor to affect my health. Therefore, I believe you have willfully infringed my rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $150,000 as set forth in Section 504(c)(2) therein.
I demand that you immediately cease the entrance of my system and that and that you desist from this or any other infringement of my rights of health in the future.

If I have not received an affirmative response from you by July 31st 2012 indicating that you have fully complied with these requirements, I shall consider taking any and all legal remedies available to rectify this situation.


Most Poetic

Dear Gluten,

I wanted to write you a little poem to let you know how I feel about you. I hope you understand that, while I miss you sometimes, I’m so much better off without you.

(Based on “Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost)

Whose food this is I think I know
Their house is full of flour, though
They will not see me eating here
To shake with pain and dizzy so

My friends and family think it queer
To walk away when bread is near
Between the doughnuts and the cake
On every evening of the year

I give my tired head a shake
And wish that there was some mistake
But there is none; I cannot sweep
The thought away of pain and ache

The tastes are lovely, sweet and deep
But I’ve a life I want to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
So much to do before I sleep

Best regards…

Most Over It

Dear Gluten,

I already told you, it’s over. I don’t know why you have to show up everywhere I go. I go to a birthday party, there you are in the cake, as if that is supposed to tempt me. You show up in breads delivered in the restaurant. You should know better-that is far too obvious. Sometimes you try to sneak into bean dip, even, but I am watching you.

At our company banquet you thought you’d sneak by my lips through omission of information about the menu. Fat chance, I anticipated your move and skipped out. I wasn’t about to let you embarrass me. I would have been sick for weeks if I had let that happen.

It’s not going to work. I’ve got rice and tapioca and corn now, and they treat me so much better. They can hide in cake too, and they make it pretty delicious and they make me feel so good. Even my other friends want them. You should be jealous because pretty soon no one is going to want you and your fake genes. Everybody knows by now that a big part of you has been enhanced. Genetic modification is never the answer.

It’s over-get over it. I’m not coming back. EVER.


Most Thankful, Yet Still Pissed

Dear Gluten,

You have made me embrace the part of childhood I didn’t like – packing a cooler for road trips. You have made me save money due to this.
However, dear Gluten, you have wrecked havoc on my ability to go to my favorite places–mom and pop restaurants and even the fabulous State Fair (of the musical fame), as it’s hard to enjoy being able to walk around the fair and see all there is to see without being able to dine on the gigantic tenderloins. Then again, I have come to despise the smell of anything deep fried (and my thighs thank you for that).

Gluten, you make me sick to my stomach (and small colon); so sick that I want to barf. But you also make me appreciate the loved ones in my life who watch out for me when I am tired or just so frigging hungry due to having to have a salad. . . again (and I forget to ask for no croutons). Who needs them anyway.

On the plus side, I eat much better now than I did for much of my 20s. . . I eat like I’m a farm kid again – great food, naturally gluten free!

Gluten, you and your pal MSG, can go hang out at the FDA’s building. . . we know you’re best pals anyway, as both of you have managed to get away with the least strict labeling.


Most Liquored-Up

Dear Gluten,
I am 21, and never had a real beer. I will always get drunk faster than my friends because I can only drink hard liquor. I will never play beer pong or flip cup. I will never do a keg stand. I will always be broke because my drinks cost way more than a $5 pitcher.

No more late night Waffle House runs. No more ordering pizza at 5am. No more living off Ramen noodles and Pop Tarts.
Thank you, Gluten, for making my college experience utterly unique.

The Healthiest College Student Ever.

Most Happy Without You

Dear Gluten,

I don’t know why I’m writing you. Its like you’re the ex- that never goes away, the one that you have to see and awkwardly say “hey” to in the street but are secretly screaming “run, run away!” inside.

Life is great without you. Heck, aside from being tired, I can’t complain. You’ve made me rethink my diet o’crap and make it healthy again. So in the end, I got a great haircut, met some nice new grains, and moved on.

You should do. Stop trying to sneak your way back into my life. I don’t want you nor need you.

And just so you know, I’m telling all my friends about your dirty tricks. You can’t cheat on them anymore, either. My restaurant worker friends are making their food healthier without you. My overweight friends are losing it, thanks to giving you the kiss off. My sports friends are doing better (one’s even in line to potentially go to the Olympics!) without you.

Just leave. No one cares about you anymore.


Most Optimistic

Dear Gluten,

You do not define me.

It’s been a roller coaster of emotions since you packed your bags and left my intestines 9 years ago. You thought you were cool and all that..partying it up…reeking havoc on my villi. It was good to rid of you…but I do digress from time to time with the sweet memories of convenience that you provided me. It’s ok. I’m ok. I’m actually better than ok. Since you’ve been gone, my life has changed for the better. It’s true, you did a lot of damage for 33 years and I suffer from that. But I choose the bright side. My glass is half full and you can’t take that from me, Mister. I am happy to have my feet firmly planted on the earth instead of beyond. Because a gluten free life can be a really good life. Your absence has allowed me to meet new people and explore different possibilities. That part is awesome. I know you miss me and lurk around every corner. It’s sly of you to try and slip back in once in awhile. Such is life.

You do not define me, gluten. “I” define me.

Most Confused

Dear Gluten,

I would usually have something witty to say, but you’ve stolen my wit with your brain fog.

I’ve got nothing.

And now I have to answer a math question. Wish me luck.

Most George Costanza-ish

Dear Gluten,

It’s not you, it’s me. Oh wait, that’s wrong. It actually is you. You make me ill. I am done with you. I am mucher stronger without you.

Most Justin Bieber-ish

Dear Gluten,

It’s been a long run – this I know. You’ve been with me for 27 years, so I understand how intertwined both of our lives are. But, unfortunately, I think we’ve just grown apart. I know I know, it’s hard to hear something like that. Especially coming from someone whom you’ve clearly grown so fond of. However, I need to focus on me right now – and being with you, well…it’s just not a healthy relationship anymore. We’ve been through so much together. You’ve watched me grow and blossom to be a real adult – a proud and strong career woman. We shared special moments together like high school prom, college graduation, and even many many many dates. Listen, I’m having a really hard time processing this myself. Don’t make me out to be the bad guy here – someone heartless who just wants to throw all of our time away. I think we both are to blame for this one. I mean, without my genetics, we wouldn’t be in this situation today. Okay, stop tearing up. I know these words are hard to hear. Well – maybe we should just sing about it. Yes, I did already write a song, because I knew that my words would be hard to stomach (much like you). Let me just get my guitar, and I’d like to sing you how I feel – acoustically, in the song stylings of Justin Beiber’s “Baby”…

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
I know you’re in bread
I know you’re rye
Just shout free cupcakes
And Id be there
You were pa-sta
You were my heart
And we would never ever ever be apart

Di-ag-nosed Celiac?
Girl quit playin’
No wheat for lifetimes?
What are you sayin’
Said this is more than just food sen-si-ti-vi-ty
My first disease broke my gut for the first time
And I was like glu-ten glu-ten glu-ten oh
like glu-ten glu-ten glu-ten oh
I thought you’d always be mine mine

Oh oh
For you, I would have done whatever
And I just can’t believe I’m cooking quinoa
But I wanna be safe and cool
And I’m losin’ you
Thanks to an en-dos-co-py
And genetic test-ing
Cause I’m in pieces
Glu-ten fix me
And just shake me till you wake me from this bad dream
I’m goin’ free free free free
And I just can’t believe my loaf of bread won’t be around

And I was like glu-ten glu-ten glu-ten oh
like glu-ten glu-ten glu-ten oh
I thought you’d always be mine mine

Well, thank you for hearing me out. I know that everything is easier to take when said through song. I’m sorry, but it has to be this way. Goodbye, gluten. I know we’ll probably see each other every day, but it’s best that we don’t touch. In fact, I would prefer not to even be around you. Please respect my feelings.


Most John Lennon-ish

Dear Gluten,

Thanks for letting us play! Peace, Love and Lennon

Dear Gluten (Sung to the tune of Dear Prudence)

Dear Gluten, won’t you get out my way?

Dear Gluten, out of my life you’ll stay
I’ve wizened up, I’m through with you
Barley, Malt and Rye grains too
Dear Gluten, won’t you get out my way?

Dear Gluten, I finally realized
Dear Gluten, fog lifted from my eyes
My rash is gone, my joints now spring
You muddled up most everything
Dear Gluten, I finally realized
Doctors give run a round

(Round, round, round, round ,round
Round, round, round, round, round)


Dear Gluten, you’re going in the trash pile
Dear Gluten, by you I’m not beguiled
My energy I will regain
So in my house you can’t remain

Dear Gluten, you’re going into the trash pile

Dear Gluten, out of my life you’ll stay
Dear Gluten it’s a brand new way
I’ve wizened up, I’m through with you
Barley, Malt and Rye grains too

Dear Gluten, won’t you get out my way?

Most Shakespearean

Dear Gluten,

Shall i compare thee to a tempting thing
thou art more sneaky and more damaging
Rough days do taunt me with your tempting smell,
And restaurant’s hath all too small a choice
Sometime too much the tears stream from my face
And often is your good dimm’d by the pain
And every bread and treat will lose their awe,
Whole Foods will make the troubles fade away
But my fear of you grows with every day
And just a speck of crumb on my fresh plate
Will leave me with a pain t’wont go away
When in the past i ate you everyday
I now eat free from your long lasting ways
So long live I and this gives hate to thee.

(a parody of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18)


Most Nostalgic

Dear Gluten,

Oh, how I loved you so!
My first taste of you was in a Zwieback cookie as a babe.
I drooled over you.
And then, you were in my Cheerios and Frosted Flakes.
My childhood is filled with happy moments with you.

Girl Scout cookies. S’mores around a campfire.
After school, butter spread on graham squares.
Cinnamon/sugar on buttered toast with tea shared with my Mommy.
Peanut butter and jelly sammies on Sunbeam bread for lunch (or about 4 years straight.)
and when I was sick? what else? Toast to soothe my tummy.
Oreos and a big glass of cold milk with Daddy while we read story books.

My Gramma’s lamejun and rice pilaf and baklava.
Oh, I was hooked. I craved your company!
My Mom’s to- die- for apple pie that was always my birthday “cake”.
That just made me swoon.

I was born on Thanksgiving and that holiday was ALL about you!
I shared that whole day with you –as I shared everyday—and I made you the center of the universe.
Stuffing, pie, rolls, gravy.
And you were even better on the second day! ooh la la

Bagels and quiche on Sundays with the NY Times.

I learned to cook and bake and I made you the star!

Lasagna, calzone, muffins, brioche, and THE perfect pizza dough.
A squishy French loaf or artisinal bread or crostini with tapenade that would make people beg for more.

Ah, we were quite a pair!!
I was so loyal.

But you? You turned on me.
And I never saw it coming.
You struck me down and tried to make me go mad.
You even tried to kill me.

Shame on you!
Truth is, I miss you like any ex- lover.
It was fun while it lasted, and I have no regrets, but
you are a sneaky, rotten cad and I
bad mouth you every chance I get.

You’re dead to me.

Most Rhythmic

Dear Gluten,

Its been a long time since I had you
Your elasticity gives bread a great chew
But whenever we meet
I’m sick and so weak
For years I hadn’t a clue

My stomach has almost recovered
From the pain and the symptoms you bring
When I feel I might cheat
I know that the wheat
Will make me just cling to the loo

So for years, now, my gluten free diet
Has left you behind in the store
I’m unwilling to try
The gluten in pie
Or in anything else at your core.

No longer love,

Most Dazed

Dear Gluten,

I’ve been told I’m funny, witty and sometimes really goofy. Half the the time I have no clue because I’m in the fog. Wait a second, what exactly are we supposed to be writing about? I’m confused you took my brain away!!

Most Graphic

Dear Gluten,

As you can see from the pantry, I’m kicking you out. Look if you must, but there are no more cookies, cupcakes, bread or flour. The pasta is in the shopping bag and the Oreos are in the bottom of the suitcase. The bottom, you ask? Did I have to be so bitter about it? Yes, in fact, I had to. They are Double Stuff, after all.

Our relationship started out so well. There was that Saturday afternoon peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and the late night cookie binge. Sunday mornings were always reserved for donuts. Oh, the memories will stay with me forever. But the memories weren’t always good, were they?

You have to take responsibility for the diarrhea. While you taught me a valuable lesson about the availability of restrooms along the 91, 10, 60 and 210 Freeways, you also taught me never to trust a fart. Because of you, I’ll never trust one again. Are you proud of yourself? And what about the heartburn that kept me up nights asking why, oh why would you treat me this way? Especially when we had such great times together! The worst part, of course, was the anemia. Four blood transfusions, gluten. FOUR.

I’ve had it with you. You’re never going to change and I can’t accept you for who you are.

Leave the key. You won’t be needing it again.


Most Direct

Dear Gluten,

You are such a jerk! You have ruined some of my favorite foods! You have to stop crashing my parties and dinners you stalker! Every time you show up, the “silly ass disease” comes with you! I have had to make new friends and try new things. Not everything works out but I keep trying and trying. Not everyone understands why I have to be so careful about you popping up but they try to be understanding. So goodbye Gluten, be a stranger and don’t let the door hit you in the silly ass on your way out!


P.S. Since I left you, I have been able to quit smoking and not gain a pound!

Most Protective

Dear Gluten,

We spent 25 beautiful years together – but as you know, we had to part ways 10 years ago. You know why, you were making me ridiculously sick and were hiding from the doctors. You even allowed the doctors to think I was the crazy one, but nope – I was finally able to catch you red-handed.

Yes, I do miss you from time to time…I may even grieve our separation, but don’t keep trying to make your way back into my life. I see you stalking me every time I look over my shoulder. I know you’re there hiding in the most discreet places. But, I’m on to you now. I also have lots of new friends that help me to locate you and advise me of your ill intentions (no pun intended!)

I thought we could part amicably, but it’s been a rough transition. I am even more angry with you now that you have decided to invade my cousin’s life as well. I thought I was the only one in my family you felt you needed to screw with, but now I see you’re moving on to new pastures. Ok, you got her…but, now she’s wise to you as well and is going to stay as far away as possible. I have told her all about you – don’t try to be sneaky with her…she’s too smart for you. Yes, there is no denying that she will mourn you as well – but more than anything…. don’t you dare attack her children. This is between you, me & my cousin – let’s leave it at that.

I’m watching you. Ok…I miss you. But, never again will we be together. Fool me once, shame on you…. fool me twice – nope, ain’t gonna happen.

Hasta la vista, Gluten.

Most Moved On

Dear Gluten,

You thought you’d defeat me, but I proved you wrong. You thought if you would keep coming at me eventually I’d give in, but it isn’t happening. I’m learning every day to live better and healthier without you. I’m learning to make better decisions than I made when you were in my life. I’m learning how to create discipline and self-awareness and you can’t be a part of that. You give me nothing but try to take so much. At first it really hurt the way you disrupted my life, but now, I forget when you’re not even there. I don’t notice what I’m missing as each day goes by. Time heals all wounds and time without you will heal any wounds you gave me. Time without you makes it only easier to move on. I’m glad you left my life and no matter how often you may make those “surprise” visits it only reminds me how much better off I am without you. Thank you, Gluten, for showing me what was wrong in my life and how leaving you made it better than it ever was before.

Good riddance,

Most Like an Ex-Boyfriend

Dear Gluten,

You followed the pattern of every bad relationship I’ve ever had. It started out good, we got along well and enjoyed each other’s company. I think it’s love.

But then you start treating me badly. I ignore it, because I love you and can’t imagine our life apart. You realize this and start to become more brazen. You hurt me to the point that I can’t go on anymore in this unhealthy relationship.

All my loved ones tell me to stay away from you. I try my best, but I do have little slip-ups at first. One little time won’t hurt, right?? But inevitably, you resort to your usual ways and hurt me again.

Now that I’ve been away from you for years, I realize I don’t need you. You are toxic and I’m SO OVER toxic relationships.


Most Animal-Friendly

Dear Gluten,

I wouldn’t even feed you to my dog!

Most Better Off

Dear Gluten,

There was a time when I thought I could never live without you. But now, when I play hard to get, it’s because I am.

I don’t get nauseous every time I eat anymore.. I can fuel up and work out. I can do push ups now. I finished a Tough Mudder in May, and am training for a half marathon. All without you. I’m even co-founding a start-up because no one else should have to deal with the pain, sacrifices, and confusion you put me through for 12 long years.

And you know what? You may have gotten dairy and soy to take your side, but in the end I win. I have never felt better, I have never been happier, and life has never been so enjoyable. So go tease someone else — I don’t want you. I’m not really sure why I ever did. I don’t care how well you’ve been hybridized, or how much ‘protein’ you have. Let the scientists have their fun. I’m over it.

Most Clever Use of Two Letters

Dear Gluten,

You are bread to me.


Most Dear John-ish

Dear Gluten,

I’m sorry, but we cannot be friends anymore. I love you, but I can tell that you do not feel the same way about me. This one-way relationship just isn’t working out anymore. I cannot stand feeling this way.

We must part ways. I will miss you.


Most Thankful

Dear Gluten,

Yes, the irony is not lost on me. I spent many, many hours of my life working to make your bonds stronger to make my bread tastier, better, more perfect. And now I spend equal amounts of time trying to avoid you. That’s some hold you have on my life.

You have given me a gift. My desire for you and my passion to make you the best you could be helped me make a name for myself as a first class baker in my various circles. And my need to avoid you gave me a challenge like I’d never before had. How do I uphold that status without inviting you to the party? And, moreover, my need to avoid you has helped me learn to stand up for myself.

“No, I am not selfish because I refuse to bake cinnamon rolls for you.” “No, this is not simply a personal choice, and you should think about that opinion before you lose a friend.” “Yes, I will be bringing my own food.” “Yes, I do need to know EVERY ingredient.” It may be a hassle. It may lead to ill feelings. But it is teaching me, a situation at a time, to take ownership of my health and to put it before the feelings of inconsiderate people.

Yes, given the choice to have you pain-free, I’d still choose you over this. But we can’t control everything, and I’m determined to make my life without you even more fulfilling and wonderful than life with you. So back off. You’re still not invited to the party.


Most Likely to Turn Lemons Into Lemonade

Dear gluten (you get a small “g”)

I’m finally giving you some recognition in my life. Normally I ignore things that are aggressive, unpleasant and just downright unnecessary.

Today I thank you. You motivated me to take more control of my health. To read labels on food better. To not just stuff anything in my mouth.

Throughout my life, I ate so many things between two pieces of bleached tasteless white bread I’m ashamed to admit it. I believed that nothing topped “the next best thing to sliced white bread” You hit me like a ton of bricks in my head one day. It took over a year to figure out that you had invaded my body so completely that the only way to survive daily would be to let you go.

You motivated me to be a small business owner. To give the young and old a place to come without fear of you or your allergy cousins. Now I feel good everyday about what I make and those that I serve will too. Thanks for the swift kick that led to a better life.

Most Likely to Fall Over

Dear gluten,
You make me weak in my knees…and every other part of me.

Most Perfect

Dear gluten,

You are an A-hole…..that’s all.


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7 thoughts on “Dear Gluten…”

  1. Congrats to Patricia! I’m sure that many can relate to these letters. Just getting those feelings out can be the key to many folks moving on from John … I mean gluten. 😉


  2. G–Dude
    You attract some very clever people to your blog.
    These were great!

    And you’re so clever yourself, even making the “categories” fun.
    Thanks! For the giggles and for always giving us something to think about.

    Congrats, Patricia!! ENJOY!!

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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