Doing TED: Why I Hate Gluten-Free Anything


Do you ever just want to punch people when they say they’re gluten-free?

Yeah, me, too.

Turns out, I’m wanting to punch the chick in the mirror because, while I’m thoroughly annoyed with myself about not eating gluten, the simple fact of the matter is, I’m a better person without out it. But I will make no bones about the fact that I would much rather eat wheat than not. So here it is, Internets:

I miss gluten.

I miss croissants.  I miss cake. (Especially on my birthday…which is today.)  I miss crusty artisan bread and fluffy, buttery biscuits.  I miss gluten-laden foods and get irrationally angsty about my inability to eat waffles with my friends at brunch or a even a bite of birthday pie at a party.  I want to shout it from the rooftops.  I MISS YOU, GORGEOUS GLUTEN!

I’m on a Total Elimination Diet (TED), which should also be called Eating in Purgatory because it is one step away from hell.  Okay. Maybe I’m being a tad dramatic, but gluten hasn’t passed these lips in almost a year and I’m sad.  Gluten-sad. Which is the saddest food-sad of all.

I’m not doing TED for my own benefit, even though I’m a LOT nicer in a general sense when I abstain from glutenous goodness.  I’m doing this for my son who has a severe reaction to gluten in my breast milk.  And oats.  And chicken eggs.  And peanuts.  And….the list goes on.  It’s okay.  I won’t bore you with it.  But suffice it to say, I’m really anticipating digging into a plate of Eggs Benedict and a jar of Justin’s peanut butter with a spoon for dessert when my son is fully weaned.  Which will be sometime before college, or so I’m told.

As people stuck in Purgatory are prone to do, I’ve bargained.  I’ve tasted and tried and pushed the limits.  I’ve regretted the very few times I’ve strayed, mostly because it sets my son back in his health journey.  And if I’m being transparent here, gluten kind of makes me testy.  I get irritable.  Irritable isn’t the right word.  Horrendously Bitchy is a better description. Approximately 30 minutes after I consume gluten, I start to feel weepy and angry and crazy.  My head might actually start to spin. Gluten and I don’t really get along, and before I know it, I’m not getting along with anyone else, either.  My husband (who is also sensitive to gluten) and I start to pick and snip and snap at each other, and then we both need a nap to recover from the gluten indulgence. Except we are too busy to nap, so then we just melt down. Crazy, right? Turns out, TED is good for everyone in my family at the moment. Dammit.

So, as long as I’m doing TED (that phrase makes me giggle every time because I’m really 14), I’m committed to making food that makes me nice-ish, and making it well. Because if I’m going to get in the kitchen and go through all the effort to prep, cook, eat, and (eventually) clean up, then it’s gotta be a total food win.  I need to feel like I’m not damned to food purgatory.

Here are some of my favorite recipes that TED has inspired me to make.  And thanks, TED.  My baby, my husband, and my soul are eternally grateful for lighting a fire and moving us one step closer to gluten-free heaven.

Sunbutter Brownies made with a few ingredients and easily adaptable for low-sugar diets. You can also use other kinds of nut or seed butters if you’re feeling adventurous.

Who needs fried chicken when you have crispy skin and robust flavor?  This is my all-time favorite chicken recipe, and it’s so simple.

I have a secret love affair with cereal, but I can’t find any that agree with TED.  So, I came up with this grain-free granola recipe and I like it way better than real cereal.

BREAD.  I don’t think I need to sell you on this one.

And Hummingbird Cake for my birthday.  Because every birthday needs cake.

Finally, when I’m feeling fancy and energetic (which happens about once a year on the same day) I go for this Brown Butter Crumble recipe.  Because butter.

What are your favorite gluten-free recipes?
Yours in Gluten-Free Purgatory,






  1. […] I had to give up grains entirely when my baby was small because many foods seemed to upset his stomach.  Almonds were always a pass, and so was chocolate.  THANK GOD.  Because honestly, I don’t know what I would have done to keep my milk supply up and my sanity intact. Dark chocolate made the busy days of exclusive pumping and caring for a baby while working 30+ hours a week mentally possible, and almonds made it physically possible. In fact, if I could give awards to food, almonds and chocolate would win the Food Oscar every time. […]

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