They think it's all over. It is now.
Well, okay, technically not for another two and a half hours or so but keeping gluten out of my evening snack shouldn't prove a problem.
Today provided an issue I hadn't even considered (and nearly didn't until the last minute).
Sunday means going to church and at my church that usually involves communion.
It was only when the bread was on its way round the room and I was preparing to take some I realised I mustn't.
It's a good job I was sitting at the back; in the front two rows I'd have eaten it before my brain kicked in.
It just goes to show how much we can take for granted our day-to-day reliance on staple foods like bread until we find we can't eat them any more.
So it was communion juice on its own for me today but it's okay because I've checked and the bread of life doesn't contain gluten so it's safe for all. ;)
Another challenge today was being invited to a friend's house for lunch after church.
She said it would probably be bread and soup, so I explained I was doing the challenge and it would probably be a hassle for her to try to find me something.
So she invited me to bring my gluten-free lunch round and join the rest of the group to eat it if I wanted.
What a good plan.
I zipped off home, cooked some gluten-free spaghetti, ham, mixed in some nuts, dried fruit, baby plum tomatoes and feta cheese, grabbed a snack pot of cherries and headed off out again.
When I arrived everyone else was just finishing off their savouries and moving on to dessert - apple pie, trifle and a banoffee cheesecake type thing.
As I was trying to be good (after dinner out on Friday and party food yesterday my nutrition plan needed bringing back into line) but after a while I did begin eyeing up the banoffee treat.
Well, there was some left over and I wouldn't want to see it wasted (unlike the house brick/car sponge loaf, which I have long since given up on).
But then I looked at it, realised it would have gluten in it and felt a bit sad that, even though I didn't initially want and shouldn't really eat the tasty pudding, now I knew I actually couldn't.
I think I heard my waistline giving a sigh of relief, though (or was it my stomach rumbling in anticipation, thinking banoffee might be on its way?).
It's certainly been an interesting week.
I've learned that some gluten-free foods are quite tasty and some should be banished from the face of the earth never to be seen again.
Most of all, though, I come to realise better than ever how it feels to live as a coeliac.
I have no experience of the physical effects suffered by those who accidentally consume gluten - perhaps even a minute breadcrumb or grain of flour.
I do, however, have some idea of the emotional or psychological side of living with the condition: the limitations placed on what you can eat, either by the ingredients themselves or by a lack of awareness or clarity from the catering industry; the feeling of being a difficult customer when you question catering staff in precise detail because you really do need to know if there's the slightest trace of gluten in this meal or that pudding; the sense of being the odd one out as all around you tuck merrily into party food or yummy desserts and you pull out your lunchbox to reveal something tasty but not quite as tempting as what's spread out on the table next to you.
Tomorrow I will go back to an unrestricted diet, able to pick a meal of a menu and order it or grab a snack from a shop and buy it without having to closely examine the ingredients first.
I'll be able to tuck into a wholewheat loaf again (in truth, the breadmaker is already set and I'll be enjoying freshly baked walnut and seed bread at breakfast.
In a way I feel a bit guilty about it.
Next time I have pasta I can opt for wholewheat if I want (I swapped white pasta for GF weeks ago because of the difference in the carbs).
I rarely eat biscuits now but if I want one I can and I can have a packed of digestives that costs about 40p if I want rather than having to spend more than £1 on them (and get smaller ones).
At the same time, hundreds of coeliacs in Cumbria, and many more beyond, will still be checking ingredients listings with military precision, paying hugely elevated prices for safe equivalents of the staple foods most of us take for granted and taking packed lunches to parties because they're not sure whether there'll be anything suitable for them to eat.
Coeliacs, if I was wearing a hat I'd take it off to you.
To everyone else, spare a thought for people with this condition.
If you're planning a party or inviting someone round to eat, take a moment to consider whether they might have any dietary needs and how you can accommodate them in a way that won't leave them feeling like the odd one out.
And, if you want to get a better understanding of what it's like to live as a coeliac, why don't you have a go a going gluten free yourself.
You don't have to do a whole week - maybe just a day or two.
It could really open your eyes.
I'll miss these daily dietry updates and in a way I hope you will too but you can always come back to visit and find out about my latest exercise stories and how the half-marathon training is going.
Today's planned trip to the gym was cancelled in favour of an afternoon of swingball in the sun but I'll be back pounding that treadmill soon - well, tomorrow hopefully.
Published: May 20, 2012
Have your say
A million thankyou's from all Coeliacs for helping us raise awareness this last week & I take my hat off to you for sticking it out all week-this blog has been wonderful to read every day & thanks for highlighting our plight but we learn to "live with it" & there is life after diagnosis!
Make your comment
- It's too hot for working out
- Gluten-free challenge - day seven (1 comment)
- Gluten-free challenge - day six
- Gluten-free challenge - day five
- Gluten-free challenge - day four (1 comment)
- Gluten-free challenge - day three (1 comment)
- Gluten-free challenge - day two
- Gluten-free challenge - day one
- Challenges all round
- I've only gone and joined the gym
- Up for a foodie challenge