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I Ate Gluten In Italy and was Totally FINE!

I ATE GLUTEN IN ITALY AND WAS TOTALLY FINE! :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: #iadorewhatilove

You know I have celiac, right? Well if you didn’t, now you do, and guess what? I am SUPER strict with how I eat everyday, making sure that I don’t consume any wheat, barley, or rye, the 3 ingredients that make up gluten. Partly because I know how it makes me feel – aka THE WORST – but also because I know it’s flat out not good for me.

You see, as a celiac, no matter if you have symptoms from eating gluten or not {some celiacs actually have no symptoms at all, isn’t that interesting?!}, it can damage your insides and lead to really horrible future diseases. Considering I want to be around for the long haul, I am very careful when it comes to what I eat and make sure that wherever I am, the food I consume is 100% gluten free with zero cross-contamination. And if it’s not? Well, I just won’t eat it, it’s as simple as that. You feel me??

I ATE GLUTEN IN ITALY AND WAS TOTALLY FINE! :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: #iadorewhatilove

With that said, my husband and I went to Italy in April {for the most gorgeous wedding I ever did see!!!! You can check out snippets from our entire trip via my Instagram highlights – watch Part 1 HERE and watch Part 2 HERE!!} and I ATE GLUTEN!!!!!! Well, I didn’t intend on it but before leaving, I had received tons of messages from you guys saying that gluten there is not the same as gluten here, and even if you have celiac, it’s okay to eat it. The first message someone sent me, I was like “Whaaaaaaaaat?? How could this be true??” and then I kept hearing the same thing numerous times over from others. MY MIND WAS BLOWN.

I ATE GLUTEN IN ITALY AND WAS TOTALLY FINE! :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: #iadorewhatilove

Many thanks to those of you who reached out telling me about your own personal experiences doing it, or relating to me that someone you knew who had celiac ate it in Italy and came back in one piece!! This was a crazy concept to me, and not going to lie, I still didn’t plan on eating it until I actually ate it! Haha.

I ATE GLUTEN IN ITALY AND WAS TOTALLY FINE! :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: #iadorewhatilove

For the first two days of our trip, I continued to order and eat gluten-free, and actually it was pretty easy!! Italy is surprisingly awesome about accommodating to celiacs. Almost every restaurant we went to had lots of options for me, including gluten-free breads, pizzas and pastas available. I was pleasantly surprised!!! But as I was documenting our every move via my Instagram and IG stories, I kept getting these DMs from people that I should at least try eating gluten!! I knew I didn’t want to test it out prior to the wedding, which was over the first weekend we were there, but I thought “maybe I’ll do it after????” I guess you can say that all those messages and stories from others got under my skin. How could they not, ya know?? I also knew that I wasn’t coming back to Italy any time soon, so as nervous as it made me, if I was thinking about possibly trying gluten at all, I had to rip off the band-aid at some point!! Butttttt I had some stipulations…

Before I talk about them, let’s discuss WHY it’s a known fact that eating gluten in Italy might not bother celiacs or those who have an intolerance to gluten. Since this was a new idea to me, of course I had to do my own research before ordering off a non-gluten free menu which, um, is pretty much the scariest thought EVER in any gluten-free eaters eyes. WELL, let’s begin with the fact that Italy has wayyy more restrictions on their flour-making process than the States does. There are regulations relating to it’s preservatives, coloring, and even flavor. It’s not enriched and there are no additives. What I came to learn was that these differences make a SERIOUS difference!

I ATE GLUTEN IN ITALY AND WAS TOTALLY FINE! :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: #iadorewhatilove

Soooo, if I was going to eat ANY gluten in Italy, it was going to be on my terms and I was still going to be VERY careful about it. I had two non-negotiables to my plan:

  1. To try it for the first time at night so if I did feel any symptoms, I could go immediately back to my hotel room and not have to miss a whole day of my epic Italy trip due to being sick. Makes sense, right?
  2. To try it at a restaurant that handmade all their glutinous menu items in-house. Because while everything in Italy is already crazy fresh, if I was going to eat it, I wanted to make sure it was SUPER DUPER RIDICULOUSLY fresh!
I ATE GLUTEN IN ITALY AND WAS TOTALLY FINE! :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: #iadorewhatilove

The end result? I WAS TOTALLY FINE. You guys, I didn’t feel like I was 5,000 pounds, I wasn’t running to the bathroom, I didn’t get nauseous or blurred vision, my acid reflux was under control, and I wasn’t bedridden and weak feeling. All symptoms that I would typically feel within minutes of eating gluten in the states. WHOA. Just WHOA. After the first experience, I went wild with the gluten in Italy. And I couldn’t stop talking about it with my husband the whole entire time. Heck, I am still freaking out about it!!! Haha {but seriously!}

I ATE GLUTEN IN ITALY AND WAS TOTALLY FINE! :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: #iadorewhatilove

With that, as I mentioned earlier, there are some people who have celiac that don’t feel symptoms when they eat gluten. Since being diagnosed 4 years ago, I have never been one of those people. In fact, the reason why I learned that I’d developed this disease is because I wasn’t feeling like myself AT ALL. And while in Italy, even though I felt 100% perfectly normal while eating gluten, who’s to say that it didn’t affect my insides the way it would here? Luckily, it was only in my system for a few days and once I came back to the states, I went back to my strict gluten-free way of life. I was actually happy to do so because the food here pretty much grossed me out for weeks after I was back. #justbeingreal Plus, I’d like to think it wasn’t hurting me because flour is truly made SO different there and even if you’re not gluten-free, you can taste the freshness in every bite of EVERYTHING you eat!!!! Yep, even the gelato {which I ate a whole lot of too, of course!!}

I ATE GLUTEN IN ITALY AND WAS TOTALLY FINE! :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: #iadorewhatilove

So for all of you who asked me to share more about how and why I was able to eat gluten in Italy, there ya go!! This blog post is truly for you – and requested more times than I could count!!

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My Name is Dana Ivy.

Hey hey! I’m a MOM of three, here to share and I’m so happy you found me!! As a Chicago lifer {currently settled in the North Shore ‘burbs}, self-admitted shopping addict, and foodie, at the core I’m really just a mom {and a wife, gotta give a shout-out to my hubby!} just trying to balance it all! My 3 kids are my whole entire world and while being their mom is the BEST thing ever, it ain’t always easy! I created this space for all the moms out there who are just trying to get by... WE are all in this together! Read More.

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