Primally Yours: Lipstick Stains, Dining Out, & Gluten

March 6, 2012

Photo by LauraLewis23

Some random thoughts that don’t warrant blog posts but are too long for twitter

Lipstick Stains

It seems that every glass I take out of the dishwasher at work has lipstick stains on it. I now inspect every glass before I pour water into it, and more often than not, just end up re-washing my own glass from the previous day after picking through a bunch of dirty ones. I learned to do this the hard way – I spotted lipstick on the glass I was using. I wasn’t wearing any lipstick. Yuck. It’s also happened at cafes. Apparently lipstick is incredibly hard to clean off, because it’s meant to stay on your lips all day. I’ve read that since lipsticks are often petroleum-based, you need a high-temperature wash. Which is concerning – shouldn’t that be the case at an office? Oftentimes the utensils have gunk on them, too. Anyway, eek #1 – is the kitchen /cafe stuff sanitary? And eek #2 – we know cosmetics are chock-full of chemicals, but think of the crap you must be ingesting when wearing lipstick that can’t get washed off..

The Joys of Dining Out

I recently had a fantastic dinner at a shmancy French restaurant.. One of the many reasons that I love eating out is that it becomes all about the food and the dining experience. I often watch TV or read while eating. At a restaurant, there are no distractions, and you are forced to slow down and enjoy the present moment. You can happily obsess about the nuances of the meal, deciding what you’d like to eat, contemplating ingredients and cooking technique, pondering how it compares to other renditions you’ve had, or how you would attempt to re-create the dish at home. There’s no work – no cooking, no cleaning up – you can just leisurely enjoy the ambiance, the conversation, and of course the meal.

Gluten: Allergy vs Preference

Speaking of eating out, amidst all my questions of whether various menu items contain gluten or grains, I invariably get asked whether I have a gluten allergy. Most times though, I beat them to the punch and point out that it’s not an allergy, just a preference. I do this for two reasons. First, it’s the truth. I’m allergic to gluten only as much as every other person on this planet is allergic to gluten. And since I don’t have Celiac disease, I don’t like to pretend that I’m “special” in some sort of way, making it seem like I can’t haven gluten, but everyone else can. I tell them that it’s a choice – I choose not to eat gluten and grains. In my opinion, this seems to create better awareness. It’s not like, oh, she has Celiac disease, that’s why she can’t eat gluten. Instead, it’s actually: she chooses not to eat gluten because it’s unhealthy. I feel this has more impact. Second, it doesn’t set off a mass panic in the kitchen. Since I really don’t have Celiac disease, I’ll avoid gluten best I can, but am not too concerned about potential cross-contamination and such. So I don’t feel that there’s a need to freak out the entire kitchen staff. I say freak out because of the look of seriousness that comes over the server’s face when they ask if I’m allergic. It’s very good that they take allergies seriously. It’s just that in my case, I’m not planning on needing an ambulance, nor will I be suing anyone today. I guess my point is that you don’t have to be classified as allergic to want to avoid gluten.

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