What It’s Really Like to Be Gluten Free

August 21, 2015

What it's really like being

When I was 15, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

And contrary to what you might think, my world didn’t turn upside down nor did my life suddenly get remarkably better. It was just the start of a learning process.

The way I found out that I had Celiac was by getting a blood test because my mom was wondering why I was always tired. I then got an endoscopy that confirmed the diagnosis.

From then on, it just took a lot of label reading and research to figure out which gluten free pasta was the best and which breads didn’t resemble dry sponges. Being gluten free isn’t as difficult as it used to be, there are a lot of different foods now that stores can stock to make sure they are available to people like me, with gluten free food suppliers ready to fulfill those requirements.

Celiac disease is a disease in which the digestive system is hypersensitive to gluten, making the things that absorb nutrients in you intestine stick together; resulting in it being impossible to properly absorb nutrients and other life-essential stuff.

Celiac and gluten-intolerance (which is something different) manifest themselves in a bunch of different ways. It is understandable that some people may get these two confused, which is why it makes sense to get something like a gluten intolerance test done, for example, just so there is a clear idea of what can and cannot be eaten.

Some people get cramps or migraines. Others get dizzy or throw up. I consider myself lucky because I don’t get any instant reactions to accidentally ingesting gluten. I just become incapable of retaining energy for days…

Like, if I eat a doughnut, I can sleep for 15 hours and have no energy the next day. It’s weird I know.


Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley. Basically anything made with flour has gluten, although it hides in a bunch of other things too.

Fun fact: flour is the second ingredient in Twizzlers. Yeah. Craziness.

You might be thinking, but what about pizza?! Pasta?! Cake?!?

Fret not, there are a bunch of gluten free options. They’re usually corn or rice flour based. And most of them aren’t that bad (there are admittedly some horrendous ones out there though). Like I said, it’s all a learning process.

I personally don’t like gluten free substitutes. I find that they tend to be heavier than their gluten-filled counterparts but keep you full for less time. I’d much rather have a piece of meat and potatoes (how British of me, I know) than a bowl of heavy gluten-free pasta. But I do love my grilled cheese sandwiches and spaghetti carbonara once in a while too.

Also, I just want to say that if you’re gluten-free, there’s no need to scream it from the high heavens. I think everyone has that one friend who makes such a big deal about it that their Secret Santa present ends up being about gluten. I am not that person (at least I hope not?!). There’s no harm done in turning down someone’s cookies without making them feel bad about your gluten-free-ness.

Overall, going gluten free, whether it’s just for “fun” or because you actually have to, is really not that traumatic. You get used to saying no to pizza and just asking for things to be gluten free at restaurants.

Have you ever tried going gluten-less? Have any friends who are anti-gluten?

I’m just going to leave this here for your viewing pleasure (it’s literally how I feel sometimes).

* image from here

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  • missgetaway August 21, 2015 at 07:27

    I love that nowadays its getting so easy to access Gluten free stuff. I’m Lactose intolerant and even though it sometimes annoys me to no end that I always have to order extra stuff I find things have improved a lot over the past couple of years.

    Love, kerstin

    • Pia S August 22, 2015 at 13:28

      I completely agree! Thanks for reading Kerstin πŸ™‚

  • Miguel August 21, 2015 at 11:28

    I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease recently. I was relieved by it, because before that I just couldn’t understand what was wrong with me. My symptoms when I ingest gluten are similar to yours. In addition to not having any energy for a few days, it’s like I experience the things that happen to me through a filter that makes everything fuzzy and strange, like my brain is incapable of processing things and retaining details. I have had a fairly easy transition into a gluten-free diet, since I didn’t ingest that much gluten before. The only thing I miss is some good old gluten-filled bread, since there aren’t any alternatives that are worthy of that name. The fact that I’m feeling better and more energized day by day is worth it, though.

    • Pia S August 22, 2015 at 13:30

      I get that. My mood just gets so better when I don’t have gluten in my system. It crazy how one protein can change so much. Glad that you figured it out! And thanks for reading, Miguel.

  • Paola August 21, 2015 at 16:02

    Interesting post doll!
    xo Paola
    My Facebook

  • Kimmy (Beauty Isles) August 21, 2015 at 16:16

    I really enjoyed reading this post and your perspective. I could not imagine how I would be as this is not something that I’ve had to cope with but your take is really refreshing. I suspect that I have a slight Lactose Intolerance (as do many) but I’m weak and don’t want to give up stinky cheese! πŸ™‚

    Beauty Isles | An Island Girl’s Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

    • Pia S August 22, 2015 at 13:31

      Thank you so much Kimmy! I think I might also have a slight lactose intolerance but that’s a whooole other can of worms haha. xx

  • Elyse August 21, 2015 at 16:26

    I am not gluten-free but I know plenty of people who are. I’m glad that you didn’t struggle with it too much and there’s definitely plenty of options out there! πŸ™‚

    • Pia S August 22, 2015 at 13:32

      Yeah, it’s definitely manageable! Thanks for reading as always <3

  • Alis are u? August 22, 2015 at 07:14


    Alice Cerea,


  • Pia K August 22, 2015 at 09:16

    I had to reduce my gluten consumption due to a small intolerance and felt the same way, opened doors to a lot of new dishes! xx

    • Pia S August 22, 2015 at 13:32

      I totally agree! Who knew it could actually be a good thing. Also, WHOA, my name is Pia too!! haha

  • Angelina August 22, 2015 at 15:39

    I’m really glad to hear having Celiac Disease isn’t impacting you too badly! It’s great that you’re not letting it get you down.

    Are there health benefits to going gluten free, or is it mainly due to dietary restrictions? I know what you mean about being really into declaring your gluten free-ness to everyone, I knew someone who always made a huge point about getting everything gluten free! I think I learned everything I know about it from her random outbursts on the subject.

    Angelina Is | Bloglovin’

    • Pia S August 24, 2015 at 05:32

      Hahah, we all know that one person! I know a lot of people talk about going gluten free and feeling like they have more energy and such while others swear it’s not bad for it. I guess it the kind of thing you have to try for yourself. Thanks for reading Angelina!

  • Honeypot Blogs August 23, 2015 at 13:32

    I have recently discovered I have a wheat intolerance or at least that’s what I currently believe. But I’ve also found it to not have the worst impact on my life because I’m just learning about different foods and find it interesting what does and doesn’t contain wheat in, it’s just a learning curve as you suggested. Really great post!xx

    • Pia S August 24, 2015 at 05:33

      Exactly! You just adapt. Thanks for reading!

  • Nadiya Sloan August 23, 2015 at 15:42

    I have a good friend of mine living in Ukraine who was diagnosed with celiac disease. The problem is it’s not easy to find many gluten-free options in my home country. I post him stuff from the UK πŸ™‚
    You’re right, though, it’s just the matter of getting used to say no to certain foods & being able to find great alternatives πŸ™‚
    xox Nadia //

    • Pia S August 24, 2015 at 05:33

      Yeah, when I go home to Austria, its always a little hard to find good alternatives. (The UK has the best bread!!). Thanks for reading Nadia πŸ™‚

  • Kat Horrocks August 24, 2015 at 05:03

    OMG I am dying at that video!! SO funny!!!

    Thanks for sharing this. Love what you said about it not being a big deal as well πŸ™‚ I feel the same about any diet or lifestyle people choose. It’s amazing that we can find the best food for us as individuals, and I like having a conversation about it when asked, but sometimes people get too preachy about it and I’m just like STAHP!!

    Kat |

    • Pia S August 24, 2015 at 05:34

      Agreeeeeeed. I hate preachy people in general haha. So glad you liked the post Kat πŸ™‚

  • Jessica @ Styled Nutrition August 24, 2015 at 11:48

    Great article on celiac disease and the gluten free diet diet!

  • Gold Coast Girl August 26, 2015 at 12:41

    Such a great post and so informative! Thanks for sharing!

  • Gabrielle September 1, 2015 at 10:07

    Haha oh my gosh the ‘Gluten Free Duck’ video! Thanks for sharing an insider’s view of needing to be gluten free, as opposed to choosing to be. I love your positive attitude towards it πŸ™‚ Although I can’t relate to needing to be gluten-free, I developed serious allergies three years ago and although I’m still on a fair few tablets each day now, I still have to avoid one million and one foods/drinks!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

  • Jennifer Jayne September 5, 2015 at 17:54

    I’m intolerant to wheat and sugar so I can your pain! I eat a lot gluten free food – I’m so pleased that most Quorn products are gluten free now.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Jenn |

  • Ana Prodanovich October 19, 2015 at 21:59

    Thanks for sharing!

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