Otherwise known as gluten free junk food. The first three things I Googled when my doctor's nurse called me with the "high-probability of celiac disease" (what did she just say? Silly-ac? Ceiling-Act?) results from my blood test were these:
- Gluten-free candy
- Is Dr. Pepper gluten free
- IS CHIPOTLE GLUTEN FREE?
Luckily for me after those three searches I was .10% less anxious about my potential new life. I can still eat Chipotle (after ten thousand requests to the staff) while gulping down a DP rounded out by an entire bag of Skittles! It's times like these when you find out who you really are.
Anyway, when you're first diagnosed there is one thing everyone tells you: Don't focus on what you can't have. Focus on what you can! But, do you know how annoying that is to someone who has no idea what Pringles are made of? Or ice cream? Or whiskey? It's the equivalent to telling a single person "you'll find him once you just stop looking!" Now that you've said not to do that it is all I want to do.
Let's set aside the fact that now that I'm a (barely) seasoned celiac, I wholeheartedly agree with that nutritionist-inspired sentiment. We can eat so many things! Most people use that phrase to encourage those newly diagnosed, horribly malnourished, sad, sad, literally-broken-on-the-inside people to replenish their bodies with some leafy greens or maybe a sweet potato or two.
But not me folks. You will learn to love your veggies eventually, but let's get on to the important stuff!
What can I eat that won't make me feel like a freak!?
Behold this brief and hopefully encouraging, non-comprehensive list of some of my favorite gluten free junk foods:
Taste the rainbow. Don't taste any gluten.
Candy is one of the great equalizers in the GF dietary world. Besides some of those pesky cookie-based chocolate bars, we luck out majorly in this department. This nifty list of gluten free candy has gotten me through some tough times (and Halloweens).
Oh yeah. Lick off alllllllll the artificial orange love you can get from this disgustingly amazeballs snack. You will never leave another vending machine hungry.
Chips like Doritos and Fritos and Tostitos - basically anything ending with -itos - are surprisingly fine most of the time. A lot of chips are corn or potato based, you just need to be sure to watch out for the seasonings or added fillers or some nonsense. This list of gluten free chips might help too.
Chips and Salsa
I think I've been most surprised at the number of people who have been blown away by the fact that I can eat chips and salsa. But honestly, I'm not surprised. It's my desert island food. The good Lord would not take this away from me (THANK YOU).
Read your labels before you viva la vida loca, and don't eat the chips at Mexican restaurants. 99.9% of the time they are fried in a fryer that fries wheat flour (say that five times fast). Other than that, olé!
Buuuuuut, there is this annoying thing about wine that's almost impossible to figure out. Sometimes the wine barrels can be coated in a wheat paste (completely ridiculous, I know) and that can contaminate the entire barrel. I've spent a solid 30 minutes at a liquor store just Googling different wine brands to see if they're the annoying kind. This struggle is, well, a struggle, and anymore I usually just risk it. I don't advise this, as one time the odds were not ever in my favor and I spent the evening crying and pooping after one glass of red.
My advice? Find a few wines that are good to you and just keep buying them. Maybe two bottles a week. Maybe more. Your call.
This awesome gluten free alcohol app can also help when you really want to be sure.
Processed cheese dip
Mmhmm. You still don't have a good enough reason to convince your self control to not eat this. Always check the label (always), but I think you'll be hard-pressed to find a processed cheese dip that's not safe.
Oh hell yes. Don't get them from Sonic or other places that use contaminated fryers!
But the ones in the frozen food isle are almost always going to be the Pedro to your Napoleon Dynamite. (Check your labels. Always.)
Soda, Pop and Coke
Literally, almost all of your favorite pops (or however you call soda) are likely fine. Check this list and maybe even the manufacturer to be completely sure. Your DP addiction thanks you.
Or more importantly, puppy chow. Yep, those saints at Chex have made all, I repeat, ALL of their cereals GF. Which meanssssss you can still make puppy chow and people won't even know or care or ask if it's GF. But it will be. And you will love it.
All right, so you can't get crazy with the candy pieces or cookie dough - my personal vendetta to avenge - but if you buy the right kind, you can scream for ice cream with everyone else! Or eat it with your head in the carton like this hero. If you're not used to reading labels yet, once again I'd suggest checking out a Jane Anderson article first to find the right gluten free ice cream for you - another hero.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Take heart, my newly diagnosed celiac friends! There is so much junk food out there that awaits us! The chip aisle will always be your oasis of saturated fats and excessive sodium, and you will never get through the checkout line without snagging some M&Ms or Tootsie Rolls. Because you can. Always, always check those labels, but other than that - life is good.