My Quest to End Food Superiority: Part 2

You can read part 1 of my quest to end food superiority here. Thanks for all the kind words so far, I appreciate it. For the person who said “this is a joke, right?” and reblogged this from a bodybuilding website, no – it’s not a joke. The “candy diet” comic is, however, a joke. Although I would eat that much chocolate if I could without puking.

NEXT up…

MY CELIAC IS NOT YOUR CELIAC and YOUR PATH TO HEALING IS NOT MY PATH TO HEALING and YOUR DIET IS NOT MY DIET

 

With autoimmune diseases, it’s like a bowl of Lucky Charms. One bowl could have a rainbow, horseshoe – and another could even have a pot of gold (or whatever the newest marshmallow is). What I have and what you have are probably different, seeing as how celiac has 300 symptoms and too many manifestations to be named. Much like Sassy Celiac said – my celiac is probably not your celiac. My path to healing with celiac is probably not yours either. What I have to go through in order to heal is probably not what you have to heal. For example, I didn’t feel better until 2 years into being gluten-free, and I still have numerous issues. Many of my symptoms didn’t go away, and they might never, and that’s something I just have to be okay with. However, if you tell me that I need to quit XYZ (grains, corn, soy, chocolate, coffee, dairy, music, fun, laughter, reality TV) in order to feel better, I’m going to go ahead and say “I’m happy that works for you” instead of saying “oh, is that what I’ve been doing wrong?” If you’ve gone paleo, primal, whole 30, whole 90, all-chocolate and cat farts diet, or 24/7 juicing , I’m happy for you. I’m impressed that you have the discipline for any diet that you pursue on top of being gluten-free. But please stop being a pusher – especially if you’re not a celiac or gluten sensitive person and you’re just telling me to be healthier. Sometimes I want a cookie. Sometimes I want five cookies. Sometimes I want five cookies and a glass of wine. Sometimes I want a bowl of GF mac and cheese and a romantic comedy. And I’m okay with that because I’m not eating only cookies and cake for every meal.

Believe me, I know of the obesity epidemic that’s happening in our society. It’s terrifying that our kids are facing a generation with a Β predicted life span less than their parents. I juice, I make kale chips, I watched Weight of the Nation and Food Inc., and I watch obesity documentaries and TV shows like they were my crack. I understand how important a well-balanced diet is, and I think the majority of us out there do, but so help me if I review a cookie, I want to talk about if it’s SAFE for us, not have a debate that this one cookie is the reason why people have to be lifted out of their house with cranes. Please afford people the right to have treats and indulgences within what they feel is right for themselves. I will never advocate for a diet lived off of only packaged food without going to farmer’s markets and eating real food, no one wants that for anyone. I think soda is awful – and if you read Salt Sugar Fat, you will too (if you didn’t already), but I will have a ginger ale every now and then without hating myself for it. But when it comes to convenience, I’ve been there – I’ve needed to consist off of boxed food – especially when traveling for business or when I’ve been late at the office (and I don’t even have to balance having a crazy life with kids)! Give them some leeway to make the choices they think are right for themselves.

I want to let you in on something deeply personal to me, and I’ve debated revealing it on the blog – but I know it’s something that’s incredibly common. I had disordered eating growing up, and I have never been comfortable around food. I’m not going to get into it here, maybe I will later, and maybe I won’t. Β Every day I am healing and every day I am proud of myself for being able to eat a wide variety of food every day, and being able to eat around family, friends, and the ability to eat in public. Because I am so sensitive to the topic of food (as I’m sure many of us are, even if we never had disordered eating), when someone criticizes me for the way I eat (especially when I think I eat very heathy), I feel hurt, injured and offended. I know, I probably need thicker skin as a blogger – but I have to let you know that it’s not just my thoughts. I’m here to speak for the people who don’t necessarily have a platform to talk about this subject. I’m here to speak for the people who have had disordered eating (or Hell, just have food issues) and are sensitive to the thoughts and words of others, because we’re still sensitive about how we feel about ourselves.

So, in my eyes, If you want to eat processed foods – eat them. God knows that I do. I believe in everything in moderation, and if you agree with that, right on. I will eat cupcakes. I will have chocolate. I will have wine. I will blog about the latest cereal, cookie, candy, or shelf-stable product. I drink a lot of coffee and will not be fear-bullied into stop drinking it. I eat well – I eat a myriad of fruits and vegetables a day. I may not blog about eating asparagus tonight because that’s not why you come to my blog. I think you come to my blog because I review the newest product in the gluten-free marketplace. Or maybe you’re here because I’m hilarious and awesome. Either way, I’m cool with that. That’s all I wanted to say about that. For now…

Comments: 18

  1. Emily March 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm Reply

    I’m here because you’re hilarious and awesome. And because i love poptarts and granola bars. and i’m in college and it’s impossible to cook a well-balanced meal 3x a day πŸ™‚

    We love you Erica!! You’re amazing πŸ™‚

  2. Amanda March 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm Reply

    Well said again! And thanks for sharing, about your disordered eating. I’ve actually written about that a few times. I’ve had those issues in the past and sometimes it feels like restricting my diet, even by being gluten free for medical reasons, is a big trigger for me. So i totally feel you when you say that it feels good to eat whatever without having to beat ourselves up over it. Now if only other people would stop beating people up for it, that’d be awesome.

  3. You are hilarious and awesome and I’m glad you’re one of the faces of our community!

  4. Michelle @ My Gluten-free Kitchen.com March 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm Reply

    Amen and Amen. Seriously, you’ve put into words exactly what has been on my mind lately. I totally have the mindset of moderation. Us celiacs already have HAD to give up gluten, no choice, no cheating. To come and tell us that we can’t enjoy a good gluten-free cupcake or cookie when we want – drives me crazy.
    I am a baker. I mostly blog desserts and treats. Do I eat those every day? Nope. I know moderation! I don’t claim anywhere on my blog that those items are “healthy” just because they are gluten-free. I chuckle when I see that someone pinned a cookie recipe to their “healthy” recipe board. They are a treat, and I think the majority of us have room in our diets to enjoy a treat now and then.
    Your perspective is refreshing. I’d recently been feeling like I was the only one that was feeling judged and looked down on because I enjoy baking and eating treats – with sugar, with butter, with chocolate, etc.
    I don’t know where you live, but I want to have you over for a fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookie! I think we’d hit it off! πŸ™‚

  5. Alison | a girl defloured March 28, 2013 at 3:56 pm Reply

    I *do* happen to blog about eating asparagus for dinner. πŸ˜‰ However, I totally applaud your post, Erica. Everything in moderation, even vegetables. We’re all adults here. So let’s eat our veggies, drink our wine, and eat our cookies too….and extend a little measure of grace to our fellow travelers on this gluten-free journey.

  6. G-Free Laura March 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm Reply

    THANK YOU! We definitely speak the same language. I agree with everything you said! & most importantly, let me have my wine, gosh darnit!

  7. lunna March 28, 2013 at 4:12 pm Reply

    Your really spot on with these. Another reason for me that I take issue with this behavior is that when I was diagnosed the severe diet change caused a huge bout of depression. I literally was in mourning for the things I was never going to eat again. And on someone guilt tripping me over my cookies or mac and cheese would send me into a blind rage. I think a GF diet is giving up more than enough. For me anyway. A persons relationship with food is and can be extremely emotional. Pointing out disordered eating is a prime example as well. To beat something like that and learn to have a good relationship with food only to have some of those food taken away for me was overly painful. Keep up the good work and keep telling us all about cookies and cereal and everything else safe because I know that really for me and the other GF people I know finding ways to eat the things we have lost safely is ultimately our goal. I’m a celiac not a food hipster!! ;-}

  8. Stephanie March 28, 2013 at 6:56 pm Reply

    Oh, Erica…I continue to be just as proud of you as I was when we worked together in Manzy. So well-written and TOTALLY on point. Yesterday in a kickboxing class a classmate said, “doesn’t eating a cookie just make you feel guilty?” Um…no. Keep up the good work!!

  9. Diana Padilla March 28, 2013 at 7:11 pm Reply

    Thanks for your courage in writing what’s on many of our minds! You’re hilarious and awesome and so many of us appreciate the info you put out there for us who don’t don’t have the choice of being gluten free. I’m going to go enjoy my glass of wine and a cookie or two now πŸ˜‰

  10. Sassy Celiac March 28, 2013 at 7:17 pm Reply

    I gluten-freeking LOVE you! You said it ALL! I, too, had to get over the whole “food-guilt”, “what-am-I-doing-wrong”, “it’s-all-my-fault” mentality, and I still struggle with it (as someone who ALSO has had food/body issues long before my Celiac diagnosis). I had a smile on my face and nodded enthusiastically throughout my entire reading of this post (and part 1). Good on you. πŸ™‚

  11. Molly (Sprue Story) March 29, 2013 at 5:05 am Reply

    I wrote about this the other day too without even having read your posts yet, so I feel like you read my mind! (Or I read yours, maybe, but I’m more willing to attribute the superpower to you.) I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated both of these posts, especially because I’ve been struggling with my own “food issues” that have resurfaced during my gluten-free transition. Thanks for the wise and balanced post.

  12. Jacqueline Raposo March 29, 2013 at 5:48 am Reply

    Amen to this, sister! One thing that I often find rattling in the gluten-free community is that many want to “one size fits all” about it. And we’re just not made that way. And no one person should choose for anyone but themselves. I deal with the same stream of advice having had chronic Lyme issues for almost 20 years now. While I want to scream “I’VE GOT A HANDLE ON IT!” I usually smile and nod and say, “thank you”, reminding myself that people have good intentions and can only offer what they know to be true.

    I’m finishing up something like this for my blog today, and am starting a weekly dialogue on living with Lyme because of close-minded discussions that rub me the wrong way and brave, beautiful posts like this one! Thanks!

  13. Angela March 29, 2013 at 11:37 pm Reply

    Erica, of course you are awesome and hilarious and a great advocate for all of us.

  14. GFKimAZ March 29, 2013 at 11:47 pm Reply

    I really like the earlier comment about “one size fits all”.” It certainly does NOT apply to the GF diet. Although I’ve been previously advocated for 5ppm instead of 20ppm, who knows if other celiacs/ gluten sensitive people have problems with more than 5ppms. I just know that I do.
    I’d never criticize someone about what they choose to eat.
    My kids get the GF/DF of a brown bag lunch sometimes with lots of cookies and other times with carrot sticks.
    It’s not up to me to tell them what makes them feel better. I know my body, not theirs πŸ™‚
    What would these people sat when I told them that veggies make me sick and so does most meat? Well, I don’t care πŸ™‚ GREAT POST!!! Thanks so much for all you do.
    Ps. Not that I want to advertise it to the world but I also suffered (and maybe still do) from disordered eating. I am not entirely sure what the entire psychology and science is behind it all.

  15. Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) April 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm Reply

    I am here because you are hilarious, awesome, often say what I am thinking and share awesome things! We all need to eat for us, I agree! Thank you for sharing your story and your thoughts πŸ™‚ You are great for our community πŸ™‚ xo

  16. Sarah || Celiac in the City April 2, 2013 at 9:21 am Reply

    A-to-the-men. For real. THANK YOU for this post. (and the first one) I talk about this all.the.time and often add into my posts, “do what makes you happy” or “make it your own” because we are all in this together, but we’re just taking different sidewalks to this party we call life! Kudos to YOU for sharing.

  17. kayce April 11, 2013 at 5:17 pm Reply

    I just found your blog. and I think I finally found the right place. It feels SO refreshing to hear this from another celiac. I know everything I know about celiac not only through experience but straight up research 24/7 when doctors could not find anything wrong with me. I have been to one million celiac blogs, celiac.com, gf dude and others where I immediately felt I did not belong. When asking for advice or revealing that I had internal symptoms from even touching gluten (in addition to some nasty rashes which have been confirmed that I do not have a wheat allergy) many celiacs told me to “stop making a big deal and blowing things out of proportion/it is impossible to have symptoms without ingesting gluten directly so you are wrong.” I not only feel like it’s me vs. the wheat world, but also that it’s me vs. my family, my friends, doctors, other celiacs, etc etc. It gets EXTREMELY frustrating, but if there is one thing I continually say when doctors/other celiacs are skeptical of my symptoms it is, “my celiac is not yours” so you hit the nail on the head. I love it. and I will be back for sure. THANK YOU SO MUCH-YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW ELATED I AM TO FEEL I HAVE A COMRADE IN THIS!!

  18. Lisa Jane April 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm Reply

    I just discovered this blog and I have to say……I think I love Erica! I have been GF for 8 years and came very close to dying from Celiac. I was down to 94 pounds at diagnosis and am still a thin Celiac. However, I go to the gym and work out hard to re-gain my muscle and bone that I lost and eat a stellar, healthy diet BUT I love cookies and wine. I am so sick of all these weirdo’s who trash gf goodies and try to perpetuate the idea that they are all so contaminated with gluten that no one will ever heal eating them. I am super sensitive to gluten yet I have found many products that I can eat without relapsing.
    And those Glutino GF Pop Tarts are just the best!

    Thank you for such a balanced blog and common sense. There isn’t anything wrong with passing a little junk down the pipes once in a while….or everyday, for that matter.
    Don’t even try taking my red wine away! ; )

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