hi. i’m caroline. and i’ve been gluten free for three years.
no, i don’t have celiac. and no, i won’t die or start vomming or even get all that immediately sick if I have gluten (just ask any of my friends who have seen me cave for a cupcake or give in to a bite of bagel).
but before i was GF… once i went almost a month without, uh, ya know – using the bathroom in that way. going number two. takin’ a dump. having a BM. dropping a duece. you get it.
so – once i did finally birth the food baby (6 lbs, 9 ounces, 21 inches long) that had been causing record-setting constipation, i knew i had to find a way to never experience that can’t-see-your-feet-in-the-shower stomach bloat again.
so after lots of research, trial and error, and a colonoscopy over spring break in college #SBK12, i decided to hop on the bandwagon and go gluten free.
and my life has changed forever. seriously.
it was annoying at first, though – being gluten intolerant/sensitive/timid but not actually being diagnosed with anything medical sounding. any time i’d make an order and request a wheat-free substitution (bread, pasta, soy sauce, ANYTHING), i’d be met with the annoying, intrusive, nosy question…
“is it an allergy? or…just…like, a preference?”
once, i made the mistake of choosing door number 1, and all hell broke lose. “WE’VE GOT AN ALLERGY COMING IN! ALLERGY!” the panera cashier yelled over her shoulder. “GLOVE CHANGE, STAT! WIPE THE STATIONS! CLEAR THE COUNTERS!” they were about to pull out the hazmat suits when i had to stop them and tell them to forget it – i’d just take the croutons off myself. ugh.
but luckily, lots of places are starting to add standard GF items to their menu. thank god.
here are three of my favorite ATL joints:
true food – rumor has it this is where drake likes to eat when he comes to town, so that’s really all the convinving you should need. almost everything on this fresh, healthy menu is either naturally gf or can be made with gluten substitutes. the best? the chicken sausage pizza with gf crust or the ahi tuna salad. YUM.
mediterranea – this charming, local restaurant just opened in grant park a few months ago and it is the bomb.com. every single thing is gluten free. from their delicious baked goods to their nasne brunch, it’s a gluten free zone. but don’t worry, even glutenous savages will dig it (especially if you take them to the rooftop patio).
varsanos – ok this place is like a magnet for families so not the ideal place for a romantic friday night date (lesson learned) but the gf pizza is so dope it doesn’t matter if the kid in the highchair one table over is screaming his head off. six slices deep you’re so comfortably comatose it doesn’t even matter.
(note: in the time since writing this post, i’ve actually seen a legit allergy doc – i am 100% allergic to wheat. and oranges, dust, ferrets… the usual. SO THERE, PANERA!)