PERSPECTIVE: Gluten-free lifestyle easier than I thought it would be

Paleo. Gluten-free. Vegan.

These days, health fads are everywhere.

But why do people subject themselves to these diets instead of eating Oreos and chips?

Waking up from the anesthetic given to me during an endoscopy this summer, I remember thinking, ‘I hope this is worth it.’ Turns out, it was.

The next week the doctor called to tell me I had swelling of the stomach lining.

This can usually be caused by stress, caffeine or other various eating habits.

I was told to go easy on certain foods and to stay away from gluten.

From past experience, I knew that anything gluten-free tasted about as good as cardboard, so when I was told to lay off the amount of gluten I ate, I was a little worried.

Being a college student, I have the option of a meal plan, but going to the Coburn Dining Hall and the Lex would no longer be easy.

Almost everything I wanted to eat had gluten in it.

Trips to the health section in Kroger became frequent, and I have learned to adjust.

Most of my newly discovered gluten-free products taste less like cardboard and more like actual food.

Barefoots Joe even introduced Earnest Bars, a new vegan, gluten-free snack.

Staff members saw the need for an alternative snack and decided to provide this nutritional option based on the increasing number of health allergies on campus.

“We wanted to have some kind of food to offer when our pastries weren’t there, and we didn’t want to do Clif bars or something that you could get at Kroger,” said Kathleen Hartsfield, senior public relations major and Barefoots Joe barista supervisor.

“We wanted something healthy and delicious. They’re gluten-free and vegan, which we wanted to offer for people with restrictions.”

“They’ve been moderately popular, but pastries usually win when people are deciding between, say, a scone or a food bar. They have oats, almond butter, cane syrup and other ingredients depending on the kind of bar. They’re ‘food bars,’ which means they’re a good additive to a meal or a good snack to get you through classes until you can have a meal.”

If I didn’t have a health risk, I probably would not be voluntarily forgoing gluten.

But it seems as if many people have ditched delicious treats and are taking a more health-conscious approach to eating.

I even have added a “healthy” board on my Pinterest account dedicated to the latest and greatest healthy-eating tips and tricks.

The keywords “organic” and “all-natural” are gaining popularity, and it seems that even Walmart is now stocking its shelves with healthier options.

I agree that good eating is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but I am not ready to hand in my treats just yet. It looks like it is about time for me to find some gluten-free Oreos.

About Mckenzie Masters 15 Articles
Mckenzie Masters is editor in chief of the Cardinal & Cream and intern for in.Mode, a marketing firm in Louisville, Ky. She will graduate in May 2014 with a degree in Public Relations. Masters enjoys baking, reading a good book and her sorority, Chi Omega.