Dear Gluten-Eating Friends and Family,
As a person who has realized that my health depends on eating gluten-free, I just want to ask the following simple courtesies from those of you who love me (even if you don’t quite understand what I’m doing):
- Please respect my dietary choices. I know it seems weird to you that I bring my own gluten-free sauces and refuse to eat the pasta dishes I used to devour, but this diet is working for me. My health matters to me, and, since you presumably love and/or care about me, it should matter to you, too. Thank you in advance for letting me make the dietary changes that help me feel my best.
- Please don’t tease me that I’m eating gluten-free just because it’s trendy to do so. All health trends begin as that — trends. Then, as more and more people catch on that the new trend actually works, they become mainstream. Already, as of May 2016, one in five Americans are eating gluten-free. There is a reason for this!
- Please believe me when I tell you something contains gluten. You may think you know everything about eating gluten-free because you’ve read an article or two, but gluten is hidden in all kinds of unusual places. I’ve done my research, and I need you to trust me (instead of debating with me) when I say “No, thank you” to something.
- Trust me that I’m not trying to make mealtimes difficult. Eating gluten-free is not easy. I didn’t decide to do this just because I wanted attention or wanted to argue with you. I’m eating gluten-free because I’m healthier when I do so.
- Not all of my dietary choices have to do with gluten! Gummi bears are gluten-free, but I might not eat them because they are full of sugar, and too much sugar is also bad for me. Please don’t challenge me when I choose not to eat something. Let’s agree just to respect each other’s dietary choices, cool?
Thank you, friends and family who have not yet gone gluten-free! If you respect my wishes now, I promise not to say “I told you so!” when you join me later on!
Your gluten-free friend/relative