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100 Days Without Gluten - Day #3: The Ice Cream Man

Posted Jun 23 2009 6:55pm
I really don't care for the whole organic fad. I figure the pesticides I put in my body on any given day can't be worse than a night out at Johnny's. But now I've got this weird disease to take care of so I figure if I shop at the specialty grocery stores, I'm more likely to find someone that could help me find the things I need to eat. This, in fact, is not the case. I decided to venture to Whole Foods today to get some staples: rice pasta, salad, cheese. I'm standing in the cheese garden, what I call the entire corner that is devoted to mostly cheeses that I have not only never heard of but never want to try. Just gimme a block of mozzarella and a Will & Grace DVD and I'm set for the evening.

I'm standing there reading my gluten propaganda email about cheese, aka Celiac.com's e-newsletter, on my Blackberry and the cheese guy comes over and asks me if I need help. I say, "sure thing" and then explain to him that I can only eat aged cheese. Now, I realize all cheese is technically aged but clearly there is a reason that THE newsletter for Celiacs used the words "aged cheese." He's baffled by this so I try to figure it out myself. "What's the oldest cheese you have here?" Maybe that's what it means. "Um, I'm not sure," he replies. "This one is pretty old." "How old?" I go on. "Well, it's says 5 years here on the label." At this point, I realize that I too am gifted with the ability to read labels and can proceed myself. Twenty two seconds later, I give up, grab a block of munster and pray for the best.

I'm now exhausted from the cheese situation, and trying to remember if rice or a rice/corn combo is the kind of gluten-free pasta that I like, so I decide to reward myself with some ice cream. I'm about to choose my fattie drug of choice when it clicks that all ice cream isn't gluten-free. I look into the eyes of the Indian guy at Baskin Robbins and know that he'll be no good for a gluten interrogation so I say, "Can I see the ingredients?" He's not happy and says he doesn't know what they are. I propose that they might be on the side of the container. He reluctantly pulls the huge container from it's spot in the case and plops in on the counter. It's made of sugar, sugar, sugar and cream so I'm good to go. I order the biggest size that they have hoping that will make up for the obvious major inconvenience I've caused this gentleman.

As I sit there with my $50 bag of Whole Foods groceries and eat my tub of ice cream, I think to myself, "You're that person." The person who has to ask ice cream guys to show you what's in the butter pecan, the person that has to call out the chef from the kitchen to interrogate him/her on the mystery gluten that might be lurking in the entrees, the person that has to spend the evening deciphering labels in the grocery store.

When I arrive home, I hunker down on the couch with a bottle of Pinot Grigio that I picked up on my excursion and thank the baby Jesus for Will & Grace on DVD.
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