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Finally Taking The Plunge
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So for the past almost 3 months we have had a mixed household. I'm gluten free, I cook mostly gluten free food and everyone else eats gluten. As my system gets more sensitive I am having more and more problems and of course there are the inevitable slip ups and accidents.

On Sunday night I helped my 5 year old unwrap his s'more, then I unwrapped a gluten free s'more for myself and ate it. As I was finishing it off I had that sinking feeling in my stomach. Did I touch his graham cracker by accident? Yup, I think I helped him squish the s'more without thinking about it. Sure enough the stomach rumbling started a couple hours later and now my typical back and neck pain is in full flare up.

That was the last straw for me and my husband is finally 100% on board with switching over the whole house.

So today I will completely de-gluten the upstairs kitchen. There isn't much gluten food up here. Some pasta, a couple boxes of crackers, cereal and all the contaminated jars of peanut butter, jelly and nutella. Probably some soy sauce and teriyaki in the fridge.

So, that brings me to the challenge. 1 person being gluten free is a bit expensive but no biggie. 7 people is a challenge. Our grocery bill is already $1600 a month and that cannot go up. It just can't. The two girls will be going back to Vietnam in a week and won't return until September 2 so I've got 2 months with just the 5 of us.

So obviously it's not going to be cost effective to feed us all Udi's bread and corn spaghetti and glutino crackers so we will have to avoid the gluten free convenience foods most of the time.

My little kids live on grilled cheese sandwiches, crackers and peanut butter, cereal, pancakes, muffins, fruit and yogurt. To say they are picky would be an understatement. I'm definitely feeling a bit stressed out about finding foods that they will eat without resorting to the convenience foods. I can make good muffins at least!

This morning they had honey nut rice chex and sliced banana and seemed happy although my 2 year old did whine for a bit when she realized she wasn't getting cheerios.

You know what I'm most excited about? Being able to kiss my kids and my husband without asking them what they've eaten. I was so sad last night when my 5 year old went to kiss me and I had to turn my face so he kissed my cheek. He asked me why I never let him kiss my lips anymore. :(

Okay, that was super rambly and long winded and I'm not sure if it makes any sense. I blame the gluten. :D

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My kids aren't too happy about the transition, but having the whole house gluten-free sure makes things SO much easier!!! It's just too hard to deal with crumbs and CC when you have younger children in the house! I know another family of 6 who all eat gluten-free at home even though only one of them has celiac. They don't eat as much bread as they used to and just learned to adapt their tastes. They've been at it for a long time, though.

Good luck in finding some new foods! My kids are also picky, so it's a challenge...

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sara

Being a gluten-free household will make less stress in your life for sure. Remember that meats, fish , veggies, & fruits wil be the same cost gluten-free or not..

Buy a bag or two of a good gluten-free flour blend ie: betterbatter, jules, meister's , tom sawyer, then you can make so many gluten-free goodies yourself without paying for the ready made pricey things...Those items should be a treat anyway.. I cook & bake for about 6- 10 daily & we all eat gluten-free...And watch for sales.. the big online place (like a river)has some great bargains on gluten-free... Buying by the case also cuts pricing... glutino has cheerios too!

I match all my kids lunches for school& make ice cream sandwiches, twinkies & so much more.. I watch when gluten-free pretzels go on sale & buy a case or two... at $9.00 a bag here I couldn't afford to buy them at reg price...when something is on sale buy several& soon your pantry will be filled & you will have extra cash for that special treat...

Also if you have pets & small kids watch out for that because many have found being sensitive that pouring out cat or dog feed from the bag makes them ill.. Plus small kids picking up the feed & then putting fingers in their mouths & you kissing them... We have put our pets on gluten-free too..better skin, energy, vitiality.....

Now days I only buy things that are on sale& I have a nice gluten-free supply & saved money....

If you belong to Costco they now have Rudi's gluten-free bread $6.99 for 2 loaves...

Here's my bargain I found !Evol has four gluten-free bowls. They sell for around $7.00 a piece. I got them for 99..cents..

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I wish you lots of luck Momma! I can't imagine spending $1600 a month to feed a family. I think you can do it gluten-free though if you stay away form the subs and order what few subs you do buy online in bulk.

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Thanks for the ideas and support. We are on a small island off the west coast of Canada (which explains our grocery costs) though so places like amazon aren't available to us and our small costco doesn't carry any gluten free bread, pasta or cereal. Milk here is $5 a gallon, eggs are $4-$6 a dozen and even regular wheat bread is $3-$6 a loaf. If I watch the sales and stock up I can get chicken on sale for $3-$5 a pound depending on which part of the chicken I want. Eating here is not cheap.

I just finished the upstairs kitchen cupboards and removed a rubbermaid tote full of food. Some is sealed and will go to the food bank, some is probably destined for the trash and some will go downstairs for my oldest son to eat while he awaits his celiac blood test in 9 days.

It would be nice if I could order flours online in bulk but the very few who ship to Canada want a ridiculous amount to do so. I am going to be in San Diego in August and have a friend down there who I can ship stuff to. I think I can bring back 25 kg of food and still be within my baggage allowance so I need to think carefully about what to order. I love the Namaste flour blend so I'll definitely be ordering 10kg of that to bring back.

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Thanks for the ideas and support. We are on a small island off the west coast of Canada (which explains our grocery costs) though so places like amazon aren't available to us and our small costco doesn't carry any gluten free bread, pasta or cereal. Milk here is $5 a gallon, eggs are $4-$6 a dozen and even regular wheat bread is $3-$6 a loaf. If I watch the sales and stock up I can get chicken on sale for $3-$5 a pound depending on which part of the chicken I want. Eating here is not cheap.

I just finished the upstairs kitchen cupboards and removed a rubbermaid tote full of food. Some is sealed and will go to the food bank, some is probably destined for the trash and some will go downstairs for my oldest son to eat while he awaits his celiac blood test in 9 days.

It would be nice if I could order flours online in bulk but the very few who ship to Canada want a ridiculous amount to do so. I am going to be in San Diego in August and have a friend down there who I can ship stuff to. I think I can bring back 25 kg of food and still be within my baggage allowance so I need to think carefully about what to order. I love the Namaste flour blend so I'll definitely be ordering 10kg of that to bring back.

Wow! I live in a high cost of living area but it's not that bad. Actually, your milk prices are probably about the same as mine actually when you take into account the conversion rate between US and Canadian money. Our milk prices hovered aroun $5 back in 2008 but they have been 4 something for the last few years. Not that I've noticed lately because I have to buy cocnut milk or almond milk at around $4 for half gallon. I can usually buy whole chickens (small 3-5 lb birds, non organic) for $3 on sale. I pick up a bunch when I see them. I do pay more to get organic boneless skinless chicken breasts--I buy a box of 7-9 breasts for $10. I buy eggs in 18 packs for $3.29, except around Easter when they go onsale and I can get them for aroudn $1 per dozen. I grow as much vegetables as I can living in an apartment. I have a container garden on my patio that thrives in the summer with tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers. This fall I'm going to try planting onions, cabbage and garlic. I guess your winters are longer there so you are probably more limited in what you can grow.

Have you considered opening up your own store of gluten-free specialty items? Since you are on an island and all...I don't know how many people live there or if you get a lot of tourism but it might be more cost effective to open a business. Then you might be able to get items shipped directly from the companies instead of having to order form a middleman like Amazon which will charge $$$$ for shipping. It would be a one of a kind business in your area it sounds like. There must be others that have to eat gluten-free on your island.

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It would be a one of a kind business in your area it sounds like. There must be others that have to eat gluten-free on your island.

We have a few health food stores around. They have okay selections of gluten-free products but they are all really expensive. There is one gluten free bakery in town as well but it's not phenomenal and it's a lousy place to take little kids because it's full of tiny breakable decorations and the service is ridiculously slow.

I guess I shouldn't say our island is super small. It would take you 6-7 hours to drive the length of it and there are 700,000+ people on it spread out over several cities. We live in the second largest city with 76,000 people. We have a costco, walmart, superstore and everything but we don't have nearly the selection of similar stores on the mainland. Kinnikinnick delivers here for a $10 flat rate but Bob's Red Mill and Amazon won't deliver here at all. Some of the other places I've wanted to order from have rates varying from $40-$70 to deliver a package to me. That more than outweighs any savings I'd get from ordering online.

Opening a strictly gluten free store would be super cool though!

I think we will buy a split side of beef and a side of pork this summer along with a couple dozen chickens from a local farm. Our own chickens should start laying in September or October and my garden would sure help if I could get the deer and the cabbage lopers to stop eating everything.

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I'd like all of us to go gluten free too as my daughter is celiac disease (poss me too) but it's so expensive (I'm in UK). Sounds like its expensive everywhere. Why????? We're lucky in that the person diagnosed with celiac disease get some foods on perscription, although some people may have to pay a perscription charge. But then its only a limited amount of foods. Through all my research there are a lot of foods we eat that already are gluten free, so hopefully the cross over to gluten free will be an easy one.

Its sad about the kissing and your son. Could he not brush his teeth at bed time then he'll be ok for kiss on lips? Or does the gluten stay in his mouth?

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Opening a strictly gluten free store would be super cool though!

I think we will buy a split side of beef and a side of pork this summer along with a couple dozen chickens from a local farm. Our own chickens should start laying in September or October and my garden would sure help if I could get the deer and the cabbage lopers to stop eating everything.

With your own store maybe you could sell your extra chicken eggs too! I have tried to buy a quarter of beef before but the farms near me all have waiting lists that fill up mid-winter. One of these years I'm going to remember to sign up before they sell out.

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Its sad about the kissing and your son. Could he not brush his teeth at bed time then he'll be ok for kiss on lips? Or does the gluten stay in his mouth?

Maybe that would work but I'm too nervous about getting sick. I am in pain right now because I touched a graham cracker with 1 finger without thinking about it and didn't wash my hands before eating my own food. I'm pretty sensitive and it doesn't take much to set me off. :(

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It's a bummer about how expensive it is, especially where you are! :(

I'm still getting use to buying things gluten-free, but here's what I do for milk (I hope your ok with alternative milks):

-Save all the coupons you find for any type of milk. (I'm a regular couponer so I save the whole circular)

-Once a month or so, the stores usually put the alternative milks on sale.

-Combine the sale with the coupon to make it a better deal.

The plus with this, if you don't mind the alternative milks, is that they have a later expiration date, so you can buy more than you usually would. I just bought 6 half gallons of Smart Balance milk (they even have a lactose free version) last week for $1.50 a peice and they don't expire till August. I would have bought more, but didn't have enough coupons. :P

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-Save all the coupons you find for any type of milk. (I'm a regular couponer so I save the whole circular)

we don't get really coupons in Canada

We can send away online for occasional coupons but they are usually 25 cents off cleaning products or gluten foods. Not useful. Stores will not combine or double coupons here either.

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Hi Sara,

Have you tried grinding your own rice flour? Just use brown rice and one of those large coffee grinders (sans coffee of course).

Growing your own or simply buying potatoes in bulk can help too. You can cook up a potato and mash it up later to put in your rice flour pancakes or other baked goods with eggs, agar or xanthum gum (or some combination thereof) as a binder. I personally am allergic to xanthum gum as well as all other things made from corn.

What I do is when I cook, I make a lot at a time. That way I don't always have to be slaving in the kitchen, plus it ends up costing less. I use leftover rice as an ingredient in a lot of baked goods as well as in pancakes. It makes them a lot less dry. I also cook more veggies at a time than we'll use for the same reason. Makes it easy if I want to whip up something fast to have already cooked rice and veggies and say chicken or whatever. Maybe make a dish with a bit of egg in as a binder for lunch or whatever, or a very quick stir fry or soup.

The only flour I seem to tolerate so far besides rice is sorghum flour. For me the potatoes have to be white and peeled -- this is the sensitivity to high to moderate salicylic acid talking.

Maybe if your family is supportive and helpfully participatory, you could have chickens and either a milk cow or goat.

Some people also have rabbits. Anyone there not squeamish about raising one's own meat??

A lot of work, but also very pleasant if you like that sort of thing. I haven't done the raising animals currently, but we did do so when I was a child. I wouldn't mind doing it again if I had the opportunity.

I do like having a garden, however, whenever possible. It just gives back so much good energy as well as good greens and squashes, and herbs even with my limited palate (i.e., the salicylic acid sensitivity). Being so far north, consider putting in a greenhouse--which would be better against the radiation too.

I think that's another subject of course; lately the continued radiation from Fukishima has been worrying me a lot since my original celiac developed when I was an infant exposed to radiation from Hanford nuclear power plant. I hear that from Santa Cruz to Seattle there has been a 38% increase in infant mortality since mid March... That is not talking about infants getting pneumonia and such--like what I also got after being healthy prior to. God only knows what the continuing radiation is doing to the health of the general populace, by now spread world wide.

Bea

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Have you thought about doing a giant Costco/mainland run every few months? I occasionally see people at Costco who have their SUV's packed with food (and toilet paper) as they prepare to head back to their houses in the middle of nowhere.

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we don't get really coupons in Canada

We can send away online for occasional coupons but they are usually 25 cents off cleaning products or gluten foods. Not useful. Stores will not combine or double coupons here either.

That is SO true! Couponing seems to be huge in the U.S. Here I am ecstatic to see the odd $1 coupon. And the U.S. Amazon has SOOOO much more available than the Canadian website. I'm a little jealous. <_<

We live three hours from most gluten-free goods so when we get to the city we really stock up like crazy. Udi's bread is $7.49, hamburger buns $8.49 for 4, etc. Thank goodness I love to bake! The gluten-free cereal I like (besides the new Chex) is $7.99 for a small box. I have quite a huge collection of flours which can be up to $13 for 1 lb!

I really commend you for taking this step and really hope you are able to find some good goods. :D

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Hi Sara,

Have you tried grinding your own rice flour? Just use brown rice and one of those large coffee grinders (sans coffee of course).

Growing your own or simply buying potatoes in bulk can help too. You can cook up a potato and mash it up later to put in your rice flour pancakes or other baked goods with eggs, agar or xanthum gum (or some combination thereof) as a binder. I personally am allergic to xanthum gum as well as all other things made from corn.

What I do is when I cook, I make a lot at a time. That way I don't always have to be slaving in the kitchen, plus it ends up costing less. I use leftover rice as an ingredient in a lot of baked goods as well as in pancakes. It makes them a lot less dry. I also cook more veggies at a time than we'll use for the same reason. Makes it easy if I want to whip up something fast to have already cooked rice and veggies and say chicken or whatever. Maybe make a dish with a bit of egg in as a binder for lunch or whatever, or a very quick stir fry or soup.

The only flour I seem to tolerate so far besides rice is sorghum flour. For me the potatoes have to be white and peeled -- this is the sensitivity to high to moderate salicylic acid talking.

Maybe if your family is supportive and helpfully participatory, you could have chickens and either a milk cow or goat.

Some people also have rabbits. Anyone there not squeamish about raising one's own meat??

A lot of work, but also very pleasant if you like that sort of thing. I haven't done the raising animals currently, but we did do so when I was a child. I wouldn't mind doing it again if I had the opportunity.

I do like having a garden, however, whenever possible. It just gives back so much good energy as well as good greens and squashes, and herbs even with my limited palate (i.e., the salicylic acid sensitivity). Being so far north, consider putting in a greenhouse--which would be better against the radiation too.

I think that's another subject of course; lately the continued radiation from Fukishima has been worrying me a lot since my original celiac developed when I was an infant exposed to radiation from Hanford nuclear power plant. I hear that from Santa Cruz to Seattle there has been a 38% increase in infant mortality since mid March... That is not talking about infants getting pneumonia and such--like what I also got after being healthy prior to. God only knows what the continuing radiation is doing to the health of the general populace, by now spread world wide.

Bea

I do grind my own rice flour (white and brown). My Mom has a vita mix so I go over there and grind up flour. Our city is fairly strict on anyone operating a "farm". We have 4 chickens and 65 square feet of raised bed gardens. Next year we will add 2 chickens to our flock (that will max out our city allowance) and put in a couple more raised beds. We aren't allowed goats or cows (and don't have room for a cow anyway) and aren't allowed to raise animals for meat consumption in city limits so no rabbits for us.

I have 16 square feet of potatoes in right now and the rest of my garden will hopefully start producing if we ever get nice weather. I discovered cabbage worms on my cauliflower today though so I'm debating whether to spray or just rip it all up and avoid that whole vegetable family. Whenever I try cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli I get worms. :angry:

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Wow, that's a major decision Sara... and well done you and your family for making it. It's hard to factor in the increased costs of some of the foods that you will need to change over, but keep at it. Your family will get used to the change in diet and soon those things that are so expensive to buy gluten free will be gone from your regular rotation and it will not be an issue at all. NZers are also not the couponers that those in the US seem to be... if we get a coupon it's for full priced items only and you can't combine it with specials or sales or use multiple coupons :(

Wishing you good luck in your ongoing quest for improved health.

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we don't get really coupons in Canada

We can send away online for occasional coupons but they are usually 25 cents off cleaning products or gluten foods. Not useful. Stores will not combine or double coupons here either.

Oh dear! :( I didn't think about that! :huh: Sorry.

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