My husband and I have a friend who has Celiac disease, and as a result, has to stick to a rigid gluten-free diet. His life isn’t anything like the semi-serious gluten-reduced fad that’s all the rage in American pop culture or a dietary fling that allows people to eat wheat when they want to and avoid it when they don’t, or when there’s no other choice. Having a confirmed diagnosis of this autoimmune disorder means that if he ingests any gluten at all, it can cause damage in his small intestine. As a result he’s very careful with his food choices and even jokes that he was gluten-free long before gluten-free was “cool”.
I asked him once if he missed eating all the flour-filled cakes, pastas and homemade breads that are the staples of just about every meal in the US, and I was surprised at his answer. Since eating something as small as a communion wafer makes him feel terrible, he said he doesn’t even crave the things that cause him so much pain. He said that where other people see pleasure and joy in those foods, he sees only discomfort and agony.