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  • Writer's pictureMarne Platt

Thanks but no thanks

3 Foods I don’t miss in my gluten-free life

Have you noticed all the posts in celiac and gluten-free support groups from people pining for their lost loves? Sandwiches, wraps, particular cakes or cookies — it’s like listening to your best friend crying over the boyfriend or girlfriend that got away.

My diagnosis was so long ago that I have recovered from loss – though it was a bit overwhelming at the time. I do distinctly remember my relief when I realized that I could still eat ice cream, just from a bowl and not a cone. In truth, that wasn’t a terrible sacrifice; I’m a notorious dribbler with a cone.

After almost 30 years of gluten-free living, it makes me wonder. What is there that I don’t miss?

Fast food

Photo By Eric Chan on Flickr

To be honest, I started moving away from fast food as soon as I started earning a salary. Big Macs, Whoppers, and fast food fries were just too greasy, and once they cooled off even a little, they tasted terrible. The only exception might have been Kentucky Fried Chicken, today’s KFC. I loved the extra-crispy version. But the fat really didn’t love me.

After the fast food shake exposés from years ago, when I learned that McDonald’s shakes might not qualify to be called milkshakes depending on local laws, I thought “why bother?” For treats, I stuck with my Carvel milkshakes and Friendly’s Fribbles® - made with real milk and ice cream. Miss fast food? Not at all!

Bad Chocolate Chip Cookies

I need to be clear here: I don’t mean the chewy, chocolatey, fresh-from-the-oven bakery kind of chocolate chip cookies. I make my own versions of those and always have (thanks Mom!). If you don't have my Easy, Tasty Gluten Free cookbook yet, get it now.

No, I’m talking about the crumbly, over-salted chocolate chip cookies that seem to make up part of every box lunch and snack break, from public school cafeterias to global professional conferences. The ones with cheap chocolate, too much salt, and enough chemicals to preserve a mammoth into the next ice age.

Chips Ahoy, Keebler, Pepperidge Farms: Turning them down is a piece of cake! (cookie?)

Frozen dinners and snacks

During my pre-diagnosis college and grad school days, I relied heavily on frozen pot pies, Lean Cuisines and other frozen dinners on weekdays. They balanced my donut breakfasts and pizza lunches (remember those?). Fast and reliable, if I ate them quickly enough they weren’t THAT terrible.

Giving them up may have been the best thing I did for myself besides getting the gluten out of my life. All those chemicals and additives!

Back in my early days of gluten-free living, when I would cheat every once in a while, I once cheated with a frozen beef pot pie. Yuck!! It was saltier and greasier than I remembered, and the tasteless veggies had the texture of a wet towel. I stopped missing them after that first bite.

Gluten free life is my home

They say you can’t go home again and for me, when it comes to some of my pre-gluten-free diet favorites, that’s fine. I can go years without even thinking about eating one. Walking past the Burger King on the corner or the Stouffer’s lasagna in the supermarket freezer is easy.

Gluten-free life is my home. Cozy and secure, like a comfy couch and a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter's day.

If you are just starting your gluten-free journey, take heart. Give it time. Many of the foods you miss now will fade from your life like the memory of an old love.

And yes, I do miss some old favorites. But that’s a story for another post.


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