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Convincing Family To Go Gluten Free And Cost


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#1 naiiad

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 12:34 PM

I have a question for those who live with non-gluten free family members.

I have a rather sensitive case of celiacs and I seem to be becoming more and more sensitive as time goes on. Its getting to the point where unless I eat food directly from a sealed container where theres no possibility of contamination, I get a reaction. I am very careful, I have my own kitchen area, fridge and hotstove, but its still happening and I'm tired getting sick all the time.

I live with my family (parents and sister) as well as four pets, all of whom eat gluten. My house is rather small and theres pet food, dishes, and food everywhere. My cats are little rascals and practically roll around in their food and then walk around the house spreading traces of gluten everywhere (including on my kitchen counters while everyone's in bed). I suspect that its largely for this reason that I keep on getting sick due to cross-contamination.

My family has been very supportive of me but has shaken off any of my attempts at making our house gluten-free. Gluten-free food is too expensive, and gluten-free pet food is unheard of. They've done their best to accommodate me by giving me my own cooking space, but its not enough.

Does anyone have any tips (specifically money-saving tips) as to how I can convince my family to go gluten-free? Does anyone know of any gluten-free pet food?

Luckily I'm moving out with my boyfriend by September, hopefully he'll be easier to convince!

Anyway, thanks!
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#2 paige350z

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 03:08 PM

I have a question for those who live with non-gluten free family members.

I have a rather sensitive case of celiacs and I seem to be becoming more and more sensitive as time goes on. Its getting to the point where unless I eat food directly from a sealed container where theres no possibility of contamination, I get a reaction. I am very careful, I have my own kitchen area, fridge and hotstove, but its still happening and I'm tired getting sick all the time.

I live with my family (parents and sister) as well as four pets, all of whom eat gluten. My house is rather small and theres pet food, dishes, and food everywhere. My cats are little rascals and practically roll around in their food and then walk around the house spreading traces of gluten everywhere (including on my kitchen counters while everyone's in bed). I suspect that its largely for this reason that I keep on getting sick due to cross-contamination.

My family has been very supportive of me but has shaken off any of my attempts at making our house gluten-free. Gluten-free food is too expensive, and gluten-free pet food is unheard of. They've done their best to accommodate me by giving me my own cooking space, but its not enough.

Does anyone have any tips (specifically money-saving tips) as to how I can convince my family to go gluten-free? Does anyone know of any gluten-free pet food?

Luckily I'm moving out with my boyfriend by September, hopefully he'll be easier to convince!

Anyway, thanks!


Hi There,

While I am kindof in the same situation family wise, I do have something to say about the pets. I am a dog groomer, and believe it or not, I know alot of dog nutrition. Before I was diagnosed, I learned that dogs, amoung other domesticated animals, are not made to digest grains. Many have allergies, or cannot tolerate them, and the ones that can, often struggle more with severe health issues down the road with age, if not while on the food. Some, are amazing and can tolerate it and suffer no consiquences (wish I was that way with gluten! LOL). But, my point is, It would be a smart move for you, and for your pets to get them off of grains. There are lots of great grain free foods out there, that aren't too hard on your wallet! I feed Taste of the Wild to my dog. He loves it! Others can be Wellness (sold at Petsmarts!), Candidae, Evo (this one gets pricer..), and Holistic Select by Eaglepack. When I was diagnosed with Celiac I realized how smart of a move it was to get my dog off grains, and tell everyone else about it, too! Pets in your home will track around crumbs all over couches, carpets, even on their fur! CC can be everywhere!! So, my suggestion would be to switch their diet. You can go on the brand websites, and find where they sell their products near you, if you decide to do so. I really think it would help!!
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Dairy Free since Jan 2004.
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#3 Takala

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 07:12 PM

On the above brands, some of the labels I read in the past, during a search for a new brand of dog food, after my old brand of dog food started adding oatmeal that must have been cc'd because my allergic dog got sick, indicated it may not be gluten free, inspite of being labeled as such on the front - always read your labels on the bag. Manufacturers may have the ingredients on their websites, but then can change them without notice. You can research the brand's websites first, google gluten free name of xxx, then find retailers and call and see if they actually carry the type you are searching for.

I saw this again last week in Petsmart, some variety of "new and improved" common brand was touting itself as a "now grain free food" but it was not gluten free when I studied it, but I wasn't there for the dog food so I didn't bother to memorize it, I just thought, meh :huh: .

We ended up using Natural Balance because it is consistently available at the farm feed stores (in northern CA, farm stores that cater to small farms are actually better shopping that pet food stores for some items). They have a rice/lamb and a potato/fish formula which work.

I've also cooked for allergic dogs, a week at a time, using rice as the base and adding ground cooked turkey or chicken and cottage cheese, based on if I can eat the ingredients, then the dog's okay. This is STILL cheaper than both of us getting sick.

The cats get either Natural Balance (I think it's funny they like something labeled "Duck and Pea," but what do I know) or this supermarket organic- healthy brand that oddly enough, has no wheat or barley, but is chicken and fish based. With the higher quality cat foods they eat much less, behave much better, have better haircoats, don't puke up hairballs, and the litter pans are easy to clean and don't smell - this is a win - win - win - win situation and I wish I had known about this positive aspect of wheatless cat foods years earlier ! They look so much better, we put the older barn cats on it, too. My cats drink out of the dog's water dishes, and the water buckets, and I didn't realize at first how the one dog was getting cross contaminated by the saliva - and this dog really reacts poorly, so we are highly motivated here to avoid vet bills.

Perhaps you could just find and bring home a bag of the cat food, for starters. Also, I would volunteer to shop more and research how you could stock up on gluten free staples that make cooking gluten free meals easy, whether it's by driving to a big grocery with a good gluten free aisle, a farmer's market, or by mail order. You could then start by making one or two evening meals a week the The Gluten Free Meal that you prepare for all, and make sure it's a knock -out. This could be as simple as spaghetti sauce made with canned tomato products (cheaper) with good olive oil and fresh herbs, and a bit of hamburger over rice pasta, with chebe garlic bread sticks. But don't forget simple rice casseroles, pilafs, and meat - and - potato meals are also easy gluten free. Soups are another easy one. Soups can be thickened with mashed potato, canned pumpkin, or almost any gluten free flour. Gravies are easy to make with cornstarch. The cheapest bread crumb replacement I know of is to just crumble gluten free rice cake up into something. Rice, potato, and beans are all sources of inexpensive carbohydrates.

The easiest thing to do for baking is to make up your own basic gluten free mixes in a zip lock bag, and store them in the refrigerator. Some people try to make this complicated, when you can just take a same sized bag of gluten free x, y, and z and dump them in a ziplock, and mix them up well, and it works.

Most people can't imagine that they would have to give up regular breads and cereals, so those are the two biggies, and you may have to develop baking skills to get them motivated.

I would also get in the habit of wiping down the counter first thing in the am, and then laying down a fresh piece of paper towel for a work surface any time you're doing something - we have beautiful but ancient tile counters, and there's no way the grout can be ever really cleaned, and this is just easier.
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#4 Hawthorn

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 02:15 AM

I am in the same position as you at the moment, except I'm the mum and will not be moving out :lol:

I've been reading like a loon these last few days looking for ways around the problem with cc. It is so huuuge that it's mind boggling.

Do your family use the same computer? I've introduced a new rule that nobody eats near the computer, and when they are finished eating they wash their hands immediately.
It's going to take time for my family to adjust too. Being the mum I guess I could say that's it, no more gluten in the house, since I do the shopping, but budget wise that is not going to be possible.

One major issue that I have to solve myself, I'm one of those people that sucks on the tip of my thumb when I'm concentrating, or chews a nail absent mindedly. I must stop this....do you have any habits like that too?
My thought there is that I maybe can't stop all cross contamination of surfaces, but I can stop introducing it into my body in such ways.

Meals I am endeavouring to make gluten free. That's not so hard as I thought it would be actually, it just involves substituting some of the ingredients, and I am working on gluten free baking (that's harder than I thought it would be :lol: ) My dumplings for the vegetable stew last night were like cannonballs :o
As far as the cooking goes, I have not had one complaint yet. I would go so far as to say they have not even noticed. Baking...different story but I'm working on it.
For now all non gluten free flour has been removed and I buy premade for the family until I can get the baking to a decent standard.

I'm gradually replacing pots/pans etc, but I make sure to wash my hands directly before preparing any food or eating/drinking anything just in case.
Obsessive maybe, but I use a cloth to turn the tap/faucet on and off too, given that everyone uses that.

Anyway, I'm going to stop rambling now, but I wish you the best of luck and hope that at least a tiny bit of this post has been helpful.
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#5 ciavyn

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 04:24 AM

I ran into a family of 11 (you read that right) this past weekend, and they are all gluten-free. We were discussing cost. Some thoughts from that conversation:

What are the costs we are referring to? Boxed mixes? Breads? Pastas? Now here's the bigger question -- do we need these things? I know, I know, we like them, but really, are processed foods good for us? Regardless of gluten free status, we should be eating whole foods, good sources of protein and fiber. These things are a bit more expensive than boxed foods, but since it is what we should be doing, does it matter that gluten-free costs more? Eating well and protecting your body costs a little more than a box of macaroni and cheese. And I don't mean to be flippant -- just, well, it's something to think about.

Second: If you eat out less, which we usually do when gluten free, it should ease up some cash in the budget, and buying bulk when you can also makes it easier. If you eat good foods, you also will eat less, and be full faster and longer. These things will shrink your budget as well. I'm single, and I don't make a lot of money. But I'm able to eat a good whole-food diet by utilizing specials, coupons, and sales. I also buy bulk with a friend and then we split it.

Just some ideas. Sometimes, we make the arguments that it is more expensive, but forget to look what we are arguing for: Hamburger Helper? Mac and cheese? Pre-made, chemical-laden dishes that we know we shouldn't eat anyway, but we do because, in theory, it's cheaper. But in the long run, with high sodium and sugar spikes rampant in our system, I don't think it works out to be cheaper.
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#6 T.H.

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 08:39 AM

One major issue that I have to solve myself, I'm one of those people that sucks on the tip of my thumb when I'm concentrating, or chews a nail absent mindedly. I must stop this....do you have any habits like that too?
My thought there is that I maybe can't stop all cross contamination of surfaces, but I can stop introducing it into my body in such ways.



Yes! This was very much me. I'm someone who would rub my lips when I was thinking, or I also tend to put things in my mouth to hold. I sew, and hold the sewing needle in my mouth so I don't lose it when I'm tying a knot, or lick a drop of sauce of my finger when I'm cooking or...list goes on.

And that was REALLY hard for me to stop doing. I still catch myself screwing up every once in a while now, and it's been well over a year. I was lucky, I suppose, in that I started having breathing trouble (whole 'nother issue) and it was within seconds of something coming into contact with my mouth.

Nothing like a good scare to help you focus! ;)
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T.H.

Gluten free since August 10, 2009.
21 years with undiagnosed Celiac Disease

23 years with undiagnosed sulfite sensitivity

25 years with undiagnosed mast cell activation disorder (MCAD) 

 

Daughter: celiac and MCAD positive

Son: gluten intolerant
Father, brother: celiac positive


#7 Hawthorn

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 03:48 PM

Hey Ciavyn :)

I use no premade mixes at all.

I prefer to use dried beans in favour of the canned variety...in fact we consume very little in the way of processed foods as a family I guess.

The big thing in our house is bread. I haven't found a way to make nice gluten free bread yet at all. My attempts turn out like housebricks :P

I have four children.

I live in the uk. Just a quick comparison for you, a normal loaf, 800 grams, as a family we use four a week of these. I usually buy these on offer and it will cost about 4

Gluten free bread (a tasty variety as opposed to cardboard sheets) I purchase one tiny loaf a week, and that alone costs around the 3 mark.

To feed the family with bread, I would be looking at minimum of 9 of these loaves a week. I say minimum because two of the children are teenage boys that are fast approaching six feet, and eat a LOT to sustain this growth, and the gluten free bread has tiny slices in comparison.
So, my bread budget would go from 7 a week, up to at least 27 a week. Now when you consider that my grocery budget is only 60 a week, that's a pretty steep increase.

They like to eat say, a ham and salad sandwich for supper, or a slice of toast when they get home from school.

I'm really not sure how to cut out the bread factor completely tbh.

I buy the best quality food I can with what I have, we have lots of fruit and veg, and now the weather is getting warmer we are starting to grow our own again.
We don't eat out. Far too expensive to do that.
I pad ground beef out with lentils, and little is wasted.

We do have the occasional 'junk food' item in the freezer, but it's rare that we buy and use those, since the family prefer my cooking anyway :)
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#8 dilettantesteph

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 04:02 AM

To make it cost effective you need to rethink the way that you eat and go for a whole foods cook from scratch diet rather than using a lot of convenience foods. That is healthier and less expensive. You can cook up a batch of pancakes and then reheat for breakfast rather than frozen waffles, for instance. Instead of a cereal bar, eat a piece of fruit, or fruit and yogurt. Instead of pizza, try roasted veggies on rice. I've got a bunch of stuff in the fridge that the kids can heat up in the microwave when they are hungry so that I'm not chained to the stove.
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#9 kitINstLOUIS

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 10:05 AM

[quote name='naiiad' timestamp='1301603640' post='688519']
I have a question for those who live with non-gluten free family members.

I have a rather sensitive case of celiacs and I seem to be becoming more and more sensitive as time goes on. Its getting to the point where unless I eat food directly from a sealed container where there's no possibility of contamination, I get a reaction. I am very careful, I have my own kitchen area, fridge and hot stove, but its still happening and I'm tired getting sick all the time.

Naiiad,

First of all, let me say that I feel for your situation. It's very aggravating and disappointing to realize that family members don't understand how they can be unintentionally damaging your health to such an extent. Perhaps they don't realize the long-term consequences on your body and immune system of being bombarded with poison. Perhaps there is some reading material that you can find that will illustrate this for them.

I hope that they can come to be more sensitive to your problem. It's not your fault that you are sick, and this can make you feel further victimized. There is nothing that you are giving up that is essential to their health, but you must give it up in order to survive. Families have been ripped apart by this sort of thing; every celiac person I know IRL has had major problems with people in their family who are not willing to sacrifice having food in the home that they can eat outside anytime they feel like it. I hope you are able to work it out.
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#10 Evangeline

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 01:05 PM

Search for "Dogtor J" -- he is a vet that has found that a grain-free diet for pets stops seizures and other diseases. Basically, grains are killing our pets just as it is killing most Celiacs. The Irish Setter has now been found to actually be Celiac (gluten intolerant) and they believe many more breeds and species are as well. Obviously, cats and dogs were never meant to eat grain and they eventually pay for it with their lives via all sorts of diseases. After reading through all his research, it is obvious that we should NOT be feeding our pets these grains. Feeding them grains and junky cat food every day is like lazily deciding to feed our kids McDonalds every day. It kills them in the end.

We buy grain-free cat food at a store near here. One of my cat's personalities has changed since going grain-free. She is actually a lot less irritable. She was one of those hard-to-please cats who growled, whined and complained over everything when touched. Now she actually comes and puts her head on my arm and lays next to me. She is much more calm and pleasant to be around. I had to call around and ask local pet food stores if they carried foods that were "organic" and "grain-free." Finally several of them gave me the name of a petshop that caters just to that criteria. If you can't find a store near there, they sell it online. It is almost the same price as normal cat food. Just search the internet for "Grain-free cat food."
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#11 Evangeline

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 01:43 PM

As for your family: Presently, the medical associations say that another family member having Celiac disease is a 1 in 22(?) chance. This is CERTAINLY NOT THE CASE FOR MY FAMILY. Within a year of discovering I had the disease, I started putting together patterns in my family. Now we know for sure that my aunt has the disease, my sibling, my parent and my now-deceased grandparent. When I meet other Celiacs who have been gluten-free for nearly 20 years, they often tell me that EVERYONE in their family has the disease too. One woman had 6 Celiac children. Another woman said everyone on her husband's side of the family had tested positive for Celiac Disease in Europe - a whopping 26 individuals.

I suggest getting the other members in your family tested for gluten sensitivity via EnteroLab. It is EASY, fast and reasonably priced ($130). Their website is: http://www.EnteroLab.com -- Go there, order the stool test. In 10 days they'll tell you which of your family members have Celiac Disease too.

After you get them tested, you need to have them watch videos about Celiac Disease and all the problems it causes. Send them news articles about the disease via email, have them watch YouTube clips. Eventually you may get through to them. :) Basically, ***education*** is the best route.
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#12 naiiad

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 03:09 PM

Thanks for all the great pieces of advice. I showed my mom the responses and we're working together to find solutions for this.

My family is transitioning to going gluten free, and the pets have already made the switch. It isn't so hard for them because they're already used to eating fresh, whole foods, but cutting the bread completely will be tough. We've also decided on baking our own gluten free bread. Its not the best tasting but its cheap and my family isn't overly picky (thank god!). I'm scrubbing the house down too so its a sterile environment.

I'm lucky they're willing to make these sacrifices for me. Hopefully things will start looking up ^.^
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#13 naiiad

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 03:10 PM

@evangeline I've told them this numerous times! My father complains constantly about stomach cramps but hes as stubborn as a mule. Who knows, the diet might even be good for them =p
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