Your dietary restrictions don't make you special

It's not that big of a deal if you can't eat gluten, or nuts, or dairy.

So the other day I made the realization that I rarely eat gluten or dairy and that I occasionally like making vegan foods. Now by body is perfectly capable of digesting gluten and dairy, I won't die if I eat those things, but coincidentally I just don't eat those things, my cookbook is, and probably will remain for the foreseeable future, gluten and dairy free. I am also not a vegan, I have no shame in eating meat and I am fully against the idea of self-prescribed long-term dietary restrictions that don't allow perfectly healthy food (especially when junk food is still allowed), but I occasionally end up cooking and eating vegan food. None of this is on purpose.

Now I'm not bringing this up to brag about how healthy my diet is (there were old M&Ms were on clearance at the grocery store the other day and I ate way to many) or how politically correct it is (I eat meat daily, although I do shop local), I bring this up because I see so many young people who legitimately can't eat gluten or dairy tend to make a huge deal about it. Sure if you can't eat gluten you're going to be blocked off from over half of the MacDonald's menu, but nobody with any care for their health or wallet should be eating there anyways. You can live without eating bread, I've been doing it for months on accident, you can also live without milk and cheese, the only dairy I eat is pizza and ice cream, two things I shouldn't be eating anyways and things that would be easy to cut out of my diet if I had to. It is not hard to go without these things.

Now I guess my advice to people who do have legitimately have these dietary restrictions would be not to look for replacement food, look for different food. If you can't eat gluten, gluten free bread will cost you over twice as much as regular bread and it will taste much worse, but who said you had to have bread in the first place? You can survive without eating a sandwich. If you can't eat dairy you could spend a good chunk of money on almond mild to put in your cereal, but why do you think you need to eat cereal? There are plenty of other great things to have for breakfast. Discover the foods of different cultures, ones who traditionally don't eat the stuff you can't, learn to love and cook what they cook. Do not think of a dietary restriction as something blocking you from eating one thing, look at it as an opportunity to eat other things. There is no reason that you can't eat good food with these sorts of restrictions, and there is no reason that you should have to complain about having them thousands of others do, just don't go to MacDonald's.