It's not easy being coeliac.
Not only do we have to abstain from some of our favourite foods and drinks, but we're also constantly accused of being food faddists, hopping on a bandwagon for no other purpose than making life difficult for chefs and restaurant staff.
So we decided to pull together a few points that we really need the world to know about this 'lifestyle' (ahem) that we lead.
We, the coeliacs of the world, hereby decree the following:
1. That we shall not be judged for wanting to order gluten-free items that are fried in the same oil as gluten-infected foods
2. That it is insensitive to bring a bread bowl to the table that we cannot consume. If you do, expect death stares and stink eye
Yes, they're two different things.
3. That hangovers are nigh-on impossible when everyone around us orders pizza and Chinese
Compassion is expected.
4. That if we ask you to check with the chef if something contains gluten, you must check – and not just assume we're on some stupid fad diet
5. That we are not fussy eaters – a lot of times avoidance is better, and that's why most of our meals just consist of protein and veg
6. That eating pasta in front of us is unacceptable
Gluten-free pasta sounds great on paper, but it's near impossible to cook and usually ends up being a big gloopy mess so we will resent you for eating pasta in our presence.
Cous cous and bulgar are out to get us, and they will always somehow sneak into our box – so don't you dare roll your eyes at us.
8. That 90% of gluten free baked goods taste dreadful, but every once in a while we'll be pleasantly surprised
So please, just have to put up with our oohs and aahs of joy.
9. That you need to put up with the fact that we're awkward visitors, and accept that it's completely beyond our control
We're not fatties for carrying snacks, we're just well prepared. You're welcome.
10. That cereal for dinner is not fun when your only option is buckwheat flakes
Illustrations by BreeAnna Perry.