Being told you have a disease is never something you want to hear when you go to the doctor. However more and more people today are being diagnosed with Celiacs Disease. Celiacs is a digestive disease which blocks your small intestine from absorbing nutrients and acts as a food allergy.
The catalyst behind this allergy is gluten. Gluten is a wheat protein that can be found in wheat, rye or barley. So just think how many of the foods you eat everyday that include some form of wheat or grain in them? That means no more bagel and cream cheese when you wake up or no more blueberry muffin for breakfast. Bye bye Club Sandwiches and French Dips for lunch. Don’t even think about having that chicken Alfredo for dinner, well you can have the chicken, as long as it’s grilled.
Which leads me to one of the hardest things about living with Celiacs Disease. No more fried food, I am from the south and have grown up eating fried chicken, chicken fried steak, fried just about everything. At family functions a majority of the food present has been fried in some form or fashion so this presents quite a quandary for me and others who have been diagnosed with this food allergy.
This can be very troubling because as an incoming freshman at Auburn University you are required to have a meal plan which includes only the on-campus restaurants and these establishments are not exactly gluten friendly. A majority of processed food and food served at fast-food restaurants are not gluten free which decreases your choices when trying to find something to eat.
With the rate of this disease rising and 9 out of 10 people with Celiacs being unaware of the allergy they have, it would be nice to see Auburn take some steps towards offering more options of food for people who have food allergies.
Most major restaurants have recognized this increase and have begun to offer separate gluten free menus for people with the allergy and are more aware with their cooking and preparation habits with food as to not contaminate them. For example Outback Steakhouse has a complete menu available upon request which contains meal suggestions that are completely gluten free and Mellow Mushroom Pizza offers a special pizza crust that is gluten free for those who still crave pizza.
Having already established food habits and then being told that you must change them because you cannot stay healthy continuing them can be very overwhelming and scary. But as this allergy seems to cause a huge distraction to your eating rituals it can be overcome.