Gluten. Free?

August 5, 2005, Jersey Shore boardwalk. Last day of REAL pizza before I was forced to go gluten free and became that high-maintenance dinner guest waaaay before it was popular, chic or even understood.

Until today, that is. Since I haven’t had any of my weird rash symptoms that I get from the occasional, unintentional gluten infraction, my doctor signed me up for a simple blood test, and told me there was this one condition: I had to eat some {delicious!} gluten before the poke.

ON IT. I ordered Papa John’s pizza ASAP. I devoured an entire piece, piping hot, in the car, and then another TWO pieces at home. And sure enough, I had a severe reaction.

I almost died.

Of happiness.

Results aren’t in yet from the blood test, but a day later I don’t have the skin reaction I normally (or abnormally?) have had for over a decade. This is making me think: can I go back to my old way of life?

The thing is, everything we eat involves a decision. Do I sample that donut in the break room? Do I order a muffin with my latte? How about that brownie cheesecake to top off the meal?

Eating gluten free was hard. But it was also easy. Many options on the menu were crossed off for me. And there was never the debate about “I shouldn’t” because it was preempted by something much simpler.

“I can’t.”

If only that mental switch would happen as easily when it comes to other everyday choices I have to make: to be selfish, or critical, or negative, or gossipy, or worrisome. Sorry. Can’t do that, not an option.

Maybe I don’t want to go back.

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