I went to see the movie “Slumdog Millionaire” roughly 24 hours before the Academy Awards show began on Sunday night. This engrossing move ran away with almost every award for which it had been nominated. In the movie, and against all odds, a young man from the slums of Mumbai wins the top prize on the Indian version of the television show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” The experiences that resulted in his knowing all the answers form the framework around which the boy’s story is told. The bottom line is that the young “slumdog” is resilient. He manages to rise above all the awful things that happened to him.
Resilience is an intriguing characteristic. How is it that some people rise above their challenges and tragedies and others are done in by things that happen to them? Resilience has applications for the gluten-free life. Some people jump right in and deal; others struggle every day to meet the demands of gluten-free living. With 16 years of following the gluten-free life and more than 10 years of publishing Gluten-Free Living, here are a few personal thoughts that might help make the gluten-free challenge easier to accept, at least from my weathered perspective.
Eat to live, don’t live to eat. Some people, and I’m one of them, view eating as one of many jobs humans face over the course of a day. Sure, I like a good meal but I spend little time thinking about food until hunger reminds me that I really have to eat. Somewhat perversely, this lifelong attitude makes the GF life a lot easier.
Do not enjoy cooking. I stay out of the kitchen as much as I can. I get no pleasure from putting a meal together. This approach, too, is a gift of sorts that I did nothing to deserve. But it makes my GF life a bit easier than it might otherwise be – not necessarily richer in terms of enjoying a meal but easier.
Keep gluten free in perspective. I work very hard at not letting the demands of gluten-free living rule my life. I travel and eat out and try to enjoy whatever comes along. Sure, I have to be cautious and occasionally give something up. But life could be a whole lot worse than a long list of dietary restrictions. Some of the children in Mumbai did not have parents or homes or kitchens in which to worry about food. I know that doesn’t necessarily make it easier to cope. But it is something I thought about after I left the theater.
Get good information about the GF diet. The internet and everything on it means we all have access to endless information – good, bad and indifferent. That’s especially evident when it comes to the gluten-free diet. You can read something is safe on one site, switch to another site and read that it’s dangerous. This leads to a certain amount anxiety about eating and means you need to find a source you can rely on. We do a lot of research so naturally I recommend relying on Gluten-Free Living. But you can check us out with more objective sources. I will guarantee that what we publish is the best, most reliable information we can find.