Did you see this article in The Wall Street Journal today?!
[to be read in soft sports commentator voice]
Now you know me, I’m not exactly the type of girl that follows sports. In fact, I even went to a few cheerleader sign up meetings in high school just to get a free donut. I know, pathetic.
BUT, I am excited to see this article today. I know it says he “is allergic to the protein” and briefly explains how that differs from celiac disease. So, why am I excited?
One reason is because I’m thinking about all of the men that will possibly read it and become more familiar with the terms “gluten allergy” and “celiac disease”.
We all know how most of our boys don’t like to go to the doctor or fess up to not feeling well.
(I should probably explain here that thanks to Laura Rigby I will often refer to men as boys, it’s just a manner of speech and it is not meant to be an insult.)
So, evidently, this D-jok-ovic guy is a really big deal and on top of his game right now, so I’m hoping it will make it easier for men to feel manly while looking out for their health when it comes to gluten issues. Maybe some will even get tested to see if they have celiac disease. And imagine how macho it will now sound at the sports bar when declining non-gluten-free food, “No thanks, man, I’m on the Djokovic Diet.”
Another thing I liked about the article was the quote from David Levitsky, a professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell University, “…a gluten-free diet might have benefits for those with mild allergies, or even no allergy at all.” Then he went on to discuss positive psychological implications and the article further mused about this as the possible reason Djokovic seems unstoppable right now.
Why did I like that quote so much? Because I’m so sick of reading sensationalized headlines or quotes from dietitians about how a gluten-free diet could be potentially “dangerous”! Really?! People actually can get all of their fiber and vitamins from fortified Wonder Bread and then fall apart when that is taken away from them? I think their whole diet may have needed an overhaul more than a gluten-free diet being “dangerous”, but I digress and this is probably fodder for another blog post.
I can hear a few of you resisting, “Yikes! But if people without celiac disease start making a gluten-free diet popular then no one will take us and our needs seriously!! And besides, this diet isn’t a choice for me! I would never choose this!”
I want you to know that I totally respect your viewpoint.
I just see things a different way. The gluten-free diet has forced me to learn about food, ingredients and various cuisines and I’m grateful for that. Yeah, it’s not convenient, and it has been super awkward at times, but I believe that if I didn’t have to do this diet for my health when I was really sick I would now be like almost every other American and still eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese because it is 4 for a $1.00. My relationship with food has changed. I now see it as fuel and medicine for my body and my brain. At times it is used strictly for entertainment, but not entirely.
I also think that we really don’t know the whole story with gluten yet. Remember how happy we all were when the medical community was able to announce that studies had proven gluten sensitivity to be real and just as serious as celiac diesease? Think of all of the people that previously were turned away from well meaning doctors because they didn’t fit a profile for actual celiac disease. I know a lot of them are glad that they listened to their bodies and stayed on a gluten-free diet anyway.
This is another reason why I’m glad our new friend Novak Djokovic and his gluten-free diet are in the spotlight right now. It’s perfect timing, really. Just in time for Celiac Disease Awareness Month, which indirectly branches out and also helps many others with health issues that are affected by gluten.
Oh, one last thing…the photos of Nadal and Federer photoshopped as steaks were a little corny. I think it would have been more amusing to see them pictured as gluten-free cupcakes!
So, what did you think of the article? I’d love to hear your opinion! Especially any gluten-free fellas out there!