I lived a happy life as a “grab a bite”, road warrior and was often behind a steering wheel of a car, in an airplane seat, or checking into a hotel. My husband was completely cool with my job, and since he hates to cook also, we loved eating out at restaurants when we were together. Life was a highway, and it was pretty great.
Then I got diagnosed with Celiac Disease in October 2014. All I could think of was, “what the hell just happened to me?” While I was grateful that I wasn’t terminally ill or anything, an incurable lifelong autoimmune disease that makes your life undeniably inconvenient, paranoid, socially awkward and excluded was not something that I was taking gracefully.
After a lot of shock (I loved all things glutenous with every fiber of my soul), a little denial, and a few tears (OK, maybe lots of tears; even now when I smell Auntie Annie’s pretzels in the malls and airports), plus hours of Googling, I decided that this stupid disease was not going to get the best of me.
The challenge? It seemed that all the online Celiac bloggers just looooved to cook at home. There they were, right in front of my eyes…creating the most amazing recipes, crafted with lots of special ingredients, tricks, and techniques, presented in gorgeous, food-porn photography. Truly, these clever people had created a gluten-free recipe version for just about everything that I’d previously loved! The only issue?
I had no interest or patience to make any of them. They looked so worky and time-consuming. What was up with the all those ingredients, sub-recipes, and steps? When I’m home, I really don’t want to be tied to a stove. And when I’m not home, I’d rather just drive-thru somewhere and have someone hand me a paper sack full of tasty food, ready for me to eat immediately (preferably in my car)!
Of course, as a Celiac, even if you are consciously not eating gluten, the cross-contamination monster is lurking at every turn, so a lot of Celiacs didn’t eat out much–or at all–because of this. One person even commented online that “the only way to survive this disease is to learn how to cook.”
So I looked for workarounds. Where could I eat, and what could I eat there? Can I cook stuff fast that I’d actually want to eat? Will anyone ever want to go out for lunch with me again? Will I starve to death during my long hours driving? Since I’m a pescaterian (vegetarian + seafood), I don’t eat land animals. This adds an extra consideration, but one that I’m happy to accommodate.
So buckle up and join me in my new life, as a Celiac Girl On The Go. I’m glad that you’re here!