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Ideas For A Celiac Living In A Non-gluten-free Home?
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Hi, my name is Rebecca and I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2005. I have been coping well and have learned how to live with it on my own just fine. Recently, however, I moved in with my long-term boyfriend (who is amazing about my intolerance and is always searching for new things I can try), and I am looking for some guidance on how to make it easier to live with someone who is not gluten-free. He tries some of my food but typically prefers his regular food to mine (who could blame him!). I am concerned about the possibility of accidentally being glutened because it is not a 100% gluten-free environment. Aside from being diligent about cleaning, can anyone offer some suggestions on what has worked for you?

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I can't offer advice really, I think I haven't worried too heavily about CC yet. Maybe I am waiting to see if I get sick to see how dilligent I need to be? I don't know. We share a toaster oven. I usually just wipe the rack off with a wet paper towel and then dry it before putting my bread or whatever on it, or I use a tray that only I use if I want to bake something in it. I do have my own colander for my pasta and veggies or whatever. I have my own cutting board. I have a shelf in a cabinet that is only for my things, up at the top of the cabinet so I am sure my kids wouldn't accidentally put anything up there. We don't have a dishwasher and I don't let my kids wash the dishes because they are still young and when they try, I end up having to re-wash everything anyway. I always have tons of paper towels on hand, and clean kitchen towels to wipe down counters, and wipe off pots and pans.

My sis in law has celiac disease too and she is really really dilligent, to the point she won't even make her kids a sandwich on regular bread or ever touch gluten. I will. I will make the kids pilsbury dinner rolls, I will bread their chicken with breadcrumbs, I will make them toast, sandwiches, etc. I simply wash my hands well afterwards. No big deal. There is only ONE thing I will not do...and that is touch flour. I don't know what it is. I will bake cakes with boxed cake mix..but I won't touch all purpose flour. It scares me for some reason, I don't even like having it in the house lol. But dh likes it for when he batters chicken wings he makes in his deep fryer. That is kept in a cabinet where there is nothing I eat in there at all, and I refuse to make him anything with it. But he knows that.

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I'm in the "make most of the shared stuff gluten free". My husband has his granola bars, Fruit Loops, and wheat-based buns. But all the meals I cook, and we eat together are gluten free. (Outside of those buns on hamburgers, of course.) Chicken soup, beef stew, lots of stir-fries, bbq'ed meat and veggies, roasted veggies, salads... We just eat foods that are naturally gluten free. (Ok, I do use Tinkyada if I'm making pasta salad, and wheat-free tamari.)

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I share a kitchen not only with my gluten eating husband who eats with me but with in-laws who are not gluten free and haven't a clue what CC is, how it works or... well they're clueless. I have about 2 dozen dishcloths which I use to clean the counter every time I prepare food. Because I am super paranoid I clean it twice. These cloths then go immediately into a "contaminated" bin for washing. I also clean the knobs on the stove, the microwave handle/buttons, the oven handle if I will be using it and the refrigerator and freezer handles before I begin cooking or preparing food. I do this because normal practices here involve getting butter while making toast, microwaving all sorts of gluteny things, baking cinnamon toast, and other such things. I have completely separate dishes and pots and pans, because I can't rely on the in-laws not to do things like grab a plate while making toast. I also have a completely separate section of counter just for me where I can keep my grill, toaster and mixer.

When I cook, most of our meals are naturally gluten free now. Meat, potatoes, vegetables are all great things. For bread I often make arepas or Brazilian cheese bread, both of which are South American things and are naturally gluten free also. We also simply use gluten free pasta because it is good and the risk of CC when dealing with pasta is too high to mess with imo. When he does have bread, we simply keep it in a separate area, or a different counter while preparing our food. I also have my own section in the pantry and fridge, my own things that get double dipped in, all that stuff too. I have been free of CC since something like Sept or Oct, I would have to check for sure but it has been many months.

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Here's a good topic to read. It's about how we keep gluten-free when living with a WE ( Wheat Eater).

I have red as the gluten-free color. I have a red toaster, red colander, red spatulas, etc. What I couldn't get red, I put a piece of red duct tape on it or keep it in a separate counter from the gluteny ones - my gluten-free cookie sheets are not red, so I keep them in a different place. I can't get red dish sponges so I get pink or purple ones and the regular blue for everyone else. I rotate 2 & put them in the dishwasher every night and get the fresh one out.

Most food is gluten-free. Get San J Tamari soy sauce. Stir frys, BBQ chicken, steak, mashed potatoes, soups, stews, chilis, eggs, etc are all easy to make gluten-free and it doesn't effect the taste.

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Thank you for the suggestions. I am super sensitive to gluten so combining lives in a non-gluten free home is proving to be more difficult than I imagined. For instance, if he makes a sandwich and doesn't wash the counter afterward, I feel like I have to wipe down the counter before I place anything on it for myself. And when you're already adjusting to the normal things that come with learning how to live with each other, it just seems to complicate things even more. I've pretty much lived on my own since I was diagnosed, so this part of the lifestyle is totally new to me (and to him).

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Thank you for the suggestions. I am super sensitive to gluten so combining lives in a non-gluten free home is proving to be more difficult than I imagined. For instance, if he makes a sandwich and doesn't wash the counter afterward, I feel like I have to wipe down the counter before I place anything on it for myself. And when you're already adjusting to the normal things that come with learning how to live with each other, it just seems to complicate things even more. I've pretty much lived on my own since I was diagnosed, so this part of the lifestyle is totally new to me (and to him).

NEVER. Place your food on the counter! Always use a plate or bowl! Get into that habit and your life will be easier. Get him to do that, too.

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Probably not helpful, but have him be gluten free too. At least in your shared home. Too hard otherwise.

If you're super sensitive you have to make sure he cleans his mouth before kissing you, doesn't use gluteny products during intimate times if, um, well, I'm sure you get it (and that includes things like soap that can have gluten), and if he does choose to eat gluten, HE has to be just as diligent as you are with cleaning and changing towels/clothes, etc.

I wouldn't be able to abide the finickiness to live in a shared house. No way no how, I'm far too messy. My BF went gluten free at first just because he couldn't bring himself to be eating yummy food I couldn't eat around me. Because he lost so much weight doing that though, he's stuck to it. On occasion (birthday, bachelor party, etc) he will indulge, but he never, ever brings in food (knowingly) that has gluten. He's absolutely amazing for doing this, I know, but honestly, it would be such a pain in the ass any other way, and I suspect I'd screw up too much for me to ever get fully better.

Also, making 2 meals instead of 1 is just stupid in terms of time and money.

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On the beginning we were a zero gluten house except beer. Fine, since its in a bottle.

Then I added gluteny hamburger buns/hot dog buns since they really disliked the gluten-free ones.

That caused quite a bit of contention because we all had to be very careful...no crumbs, dipping into jars, I had to be served first and I couldn't have seconds.... It was so bad hubs just said forget it. He'll have no bun at all. Now, ironically, neither one prefers burgers with buns. But my son still likes hot dog buns.

Both had to learn to be careful about cc. Don't touch things, eat it on a paper towel, wash hands, etc. It took a year to start allowing a few things in, and I almost always have those as prepared foods in a wrapper that can just be tossed out. I did allow cinnamon rolls from a tube, once, but only when hubs was here to run interference with them and I lined the pan in foil and they ate them all at once :).

So, it's a process. You'll figure out what works for you. Do warn him that you'll treat him like a turd on the floor though...something that must be cleaned up and dealt with. I think that look puts them off a bit, even when you try to hide it.

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We are a mixed house. I did keep getting glutened until I told DH that the whole house would have to go gluten-free if it kept happening, as we couldn't afford to have him off work to look after the kids if I got glutened.

6 weeks and so far so good :)

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Well I do know that getting him to go completely gluten-free is out of the question. He will try a bite of my gluten-free food, but considering the price of it, he leaves it all for me to eat. Most of the meals we have together are naturally gluten-free, but his basics aren't (bread,rolls, snacks, etc). We use squeeze bottles for mayo and those kinds of things so we don't have to buy doubles. But, like last night for example, he came home with fast food and of course it left crumbs on the counter and then I worried about everything he touched afterward. I guess I just need to make him clean up a bit more...!

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"But, like last night for example, he came home with fast food and of course it left crumbs on the counter and then I worried about everything he touched afterward. I guess I just need to make him clean up a bit more...!"

Awww, that really sucks. You have to nail it into him that this is your health you're talking about, that being lax about it isn't optional. It's a complete fail on his part if he didn't even wash his hands after eating. At least if you wash your hands before you eat anything you don't need to worry about doorknobs and stuff. But it's NOT ok to dump a gluten filled bag and then spread crumbs around the house, especially in the kitchen where you make your gluten free food. Totally inacceptable.

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On the beginning we were a zero gluten house except beer. Fine, since its in a bottle.

Then I added gluteny hamburger buns/hot dog buns since they really disliked the gluten-free ones.

That caused quite a bit of contention because we all had to be very careful...no crumbs, dipping into jars, I had to be served first and I couldn't have seconds.... It was so bad hubs just said forget it. He'll have no bun at all. Now, ironically, neither one prefers burgers with buns. But my son still likes hot dog buns.

Both had to learn to be careful about cc. Don't touch things, eat it on a paper towel, wash hands, etc. It took a year to start allowing a few things in, and I almost always have those as prepared foods in a wrapper that can just be tossed out. I did allow cinnamon rolls from a tube, once, but only when hubs was here to run interference with them and I lined the pan in foil and they ate them all at once :).

So, it's a process. You'll figure out what works for you. Do warn him that you'll treat him like a turd on the floor though...something that must be cleaned up and dealt with. I think that look puts them off a bit, even when you try to hide it.

Prickly, have you tried parchment paper? It's sooooo much easier to deal with than aluminum foil. And OP, parchment paper is great to cover your food that you cook in a shared microwave.

My household went from shared to totally gluten-free, then shared again. Squeeze bottle condiments are good, too. I live with Dennis the Menace, but I caved. He can't even get it that he should put his stuff on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator vs. the top, but he likes to pile meat on top of meat in the refrigerator, and doesn't know the difference between an artichoke and an avacado.

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Prickly, have you tried parchment paper? It's sooooo much easier to deal with than aluminum foil. And OP, parchment paper is great to cover your food that you cook in a shared microwave.

My household went from shared to totally gluten-free, then shared again. Squeeze bottle condiments are good, too. I live with Dennis the Menace, but I caved. He can't even get it that he should put his stuff on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator vs. the top, but he likes to pile meat on top of meat in the refrigerator, and doesn't know the difference between an artichoke and an avacado.

I use parchment paper for most baking but this needed to mold to the deep dish so I used foil.

I haven't gotten to the point of allowing gluten (except prepacked sushi) in the fridge. I do have one bag of gluteny hot dog buns in the freezer and double Ziplocked them.

Founds my son eating gluteny valentine candy then sticking his finger in my gluten-free chocolate mocha pecan torte....scraped the frosting off where he stuck his grubby finger and threatened his life.

That's another problem. He's so used to being able to do stuff like that because the house is 98% gluten-free. It just doesn't occur to him he may have gluten on his hands - he's so accustomed to it not being an issue at home. When we do have it (generally) it's a huge to-do and he knows to be careful.

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