Tuesday, March 3, 2015

brown bag lunch: a gluten free necessity

I work VERY hard to keep a totally 100% gluten free diet.  (It's funny that I just used to word "diet".  My grandma drives me NUTS when she calls my "gluten free lifestyle" a "diet".  LOL.  none the less.)  I have the privilege (/ curse) of having lunch provided at work on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Which seems awesome but truly it blows...

I know I sound like a control freak (and a jerk) BUT it's really important for me to know ahead of time what's on the menu so I know if I need to pack my own lunch or not.  Sounds easy enough.  However, sometimes even if I think I can eat with the group I still get sick.

All the time I find myself saying things like, "No, I can't eat that.  It's ok.", "Don't worry about me.  I'll bring my own lunch.", "No, thank you.  I don't want any cake."  It's like people feel compelled to offer you food.  I don't want your food.  And I find myself constantly fielding, "Well, can't you eat that?!", "Well, why can't you just pick off the croutons?" and "Would you like some?"  I know people think it's polite, but it also drives me nuts.

It is certainly NOT like I asked for this.

This is the best way I can express how being (not just eating) gluten free makes me feel sometimes:

  "Dear Friends, Family, and acquaintances:
  • I am not eating gluten free as part of a fad, or because the latest celebrity has decided to jump on the G-free bandwagon.
  • I am not eating gluten free to annoy you, inconvenience you or to make things difficult when we go out to eat.
  • I am not eating gluten free to be the center of attention or to put a damper on your party.
  • I am not eating gluten free to pay outrageous prices for a single cookie, cupcake, or a tiny little pizza.
  • I am not eating gluten free to pay a lot more for a little bag of gluten free flour.
  • I am not eating gluten free to worry about what I can eat when I go out to eat.
  • I am not eating gluten free because I love to analyze every ingredient on every item I pick up to purchase.
  • am eating gluten free because that little protein that you cannot see in your muffin, cookie, cake, pie, beer, pizza, soup, and yes, even your soy sauce makes me ill.
  • am eating gluten free because that little protein hurts my stomach, my joints, my muscles and yes, even my brain.
  • am eating gluten free because I have a disease.
Any questions?"
I say all time that I'm going to just bring my own lunch.  It sounds easy and it probably is but I can manage to make it hard somehow.  It is especially hard when a room full of people don't understand why you need a special salad.  Or they think you don't want to have what they're having.  (Like I'm too good to eat the lunch provided.  Yup, I'm too good all right.  LOL.  At least I can laugh about it.)  
Well.  Today, I put my big girl pants on and I bought my own lunch from home.  YAH!  I've been doing research (on Pinterest, of course!) and settled on the idea of making my own "Bento Box" style lunch.  (See, I make it hard.  Instead of just packing a simple lunch; I had to do research first.)  
{slaps own forehead}  
Yes, I ate ALL of that and it was spectacular.  It was good; I'm going to make another one for tomorrow's lunch.  :)
Do you have any tips, tricks, suggestions, or go to's for packing a healthy, gluten free lunch to take to work?