After three months of a gluten-free diet, I can safely say that I am tired of this brave new salad-riddled world and want to go home, my fluffy pastry home with the doughnut doorknob.
Initially, I was more than happy to give up gluten if it meant feeling good again. There is no question that even my bad days now are better than my best days were back then. I won’t go back to how it was before, no matter how bleak it seems right now.
And right now it seems very bleak.
I suppose this is merely a slump, an expected one since I jumped into a gluten-free life without real consideration to how my eating habits — ALL of my eating habits — would have to change. Today I am mourning the ability to be the effortless dining companion I once was. Some cuisines are easier for me than others because of the variety of options their menus provide. Other cuisines daunt and depress me. When once I would order anything (aside from squid) depending on my whim, now I have to scour and study each menu item, ask servers endless, nitpicking questions, and ruin my friends’ good time because I can’t eat most dishes that people like to share.
It’s not that I miss any particular food; I love so many different foods, plus there are viable gluten-free options for many things now. I miss my easy-going glutenated self. I miss being able to say “whatever, whenever” to food with friends. I miss being able to focus on the company rather than the components. When I have to mention my dietary restrictions to anyone, I feel high-maintenance and lame. Food used to be such a vast pleasure for me, but now I am constantly self-conscious about it. I do not like the dynamic of requesting special treatment, but the alternative is a plethora of horrible side-effects.
I know it has only been three months. It has been a long three months.