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thepeach80

New Here, I Think I'm Doing It Wrong

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I was not really diagnosed a year ago, but I have recently seen my lab results from my tTG and paired with my scope results I'm ok diagnosing myself as Celiac despite being told I'm negative. I've been gluten-free for a year now, but there are 6 other people in my house not on a gluten-free diet. So....how much cross contamination am I getting? I tell when I get big doses on accident, normall when I eat out of the house, but at home I don't usually notice it. I make my own vanilla but I think my vodka has gluten in it. We're almost out though. I don't have any gluten flour in the house, but I allow pasta, premade pizza dough, and bread etc. for everyone else. I will be talking to the kids' ped soon about screening them. We all use the same pots and pans. I feel a ton better but could it be better?

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If  there  are  not  ground rules  at  home  I  would be inclined  to  say  to  are  getting  CC.....And  if  your  vodka  contains  gluten  then  of  course you  would be  getting  gluten.... Not  to be  rude  but  it  sounds like  you  are  gluten-free  to a  degree  but not  totally  gluten-free. Is  that  because  you  don't  have a formal  dx's?  many  times  that  is the  case. People  just  can't  accept  to be  totally  gluten-free  without  the  gold standard  piece  of  paper  ...

My two cents  is  if  you  can't, don't  want  to be  gluten-free  24/7 , 365  days  a  year then you are  wasting  your  hard  earned  buck  ... I  never  seen  where  a  half-time gluten-free  diet  helped  anyone....

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I have 5 kids age 2-11 and a gluten eating hubby. I make food for everyone and budget constraints don't allow for a 100% gluten-free household. Now if one or more of the kids screenings are + it might be a necessity and we'll figure it out, but it won't be easy. This is not about not wanting to so please don't imply I'm doing this half-ass. I work very hard at keeping myself gluten-free free, hence my question on cc and how bad it is. This has been a big step for me this past year and  feel a lot better but I wonder if it could be better. I'm seeking help and seeing what other people do in their house to cut down on cc when there are more gluten eating people than gluten-free. Maybe you misunderstood my post and what I was asking.

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I managed a mixed kitchen for over a decade. It is possible -- you just have to be extra careful. I think you can do a search and get lots of tips on this forum.

Cross contamination is a major and real concern. For years, I handled it by being the only person to prepare food in my kitchen. I only have one kid who can eat gluten, but my husband can not. By the time I was diagnosed last year, she was 12 and needed some normal kitchen training. That is when we went 95% gluten free. She gets prepackaged gluten items to take to school or eat outside. In the past, eating was only done in the kitchen and while sitting down with lots of hand washing too. I do have one dedicated pot and colander for her, but I oversee the cooking of the gluten-containing noodles. She cooks her own eggs, makes salads and bakes, but that stuff is all gluten-free. No one bring gluten into my house or car even during parties. No one has ever complained because frankly, I am a great cook!

We have been gluten light for a long time prior to my dx. I just switched the bread for potatoes or rice at dinners when my husband was home. Saved bread for lunch. Squeeze bottle or labeled jars for condiments.

I live at my parents house for 7 weeks out of the year. It is a mixed household and we have never been glutened. I do keep a bin of my gluten-free stuff (colander, toaster, etc.) there. But it is nice to feel really safe at home.

Jebby, a physician who has celiac disease and posts, does keep a gluten-free house. She found that her little ones kept glutening her. I guess you just have to find your own way.

Good luck!

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I really have no way to say all of this without someone taking some part of it as I am being hmm, let's say cantankerous, I prefer the word blunt.

 

From what I understand from your posts you have had an endoscopy that has shown damage consistent with celiac but your blood results were just barely over the upper limit of normal so you don't have an official celiac diagnosis but you are treating yourself as such?  You stated in one of your posts that if some of your children happen to come up as positive it will become a necessity to have a gluten free house.  Why isn't it a necessity now with you?  Does your husband not understand or won't understand the need for you to be 100% gluten free? What kind of follow up care are you receiving without the official diagnosis?  Are you having your health closely monitored? I would be worried about what all that cross contamination would be doing to my body, but then again I am still sicker than a dog and after 37 years of misdiagnosis it's probably going to take a while to completely heal if I can ever even get to 100%.

 

About the cross contamination, I don't know what it's like to share a household with gluten.  There are four people that live in my household, two of us celiac.  In this house, everyone is gluten free. I told my boyfriend at the beginning that he wouldn't have to go that route, he declined and said I am much safer here 100% gluten free and so is my daughter.  I can't imagine going back and having him change his mind.  Once my son and my boyfriend walk out the door, all bets are off.  There is also a rule that if you have eaten out of the home, you brush your teeth the minute you walk through the door.

 

I don't understand people that have shared households just as they don't understand me.  My daughter and I are the only ones that get ill from someone else's mistake.  It is hard to be that diligent in cooking and cleaning unless you are the only one doing it all the time and I mean you are the only person allowed in your kitchen especially with the ages of your children.  I would have panic attacks worrying about where the crap could be hiding, spending too much time decontaminating before I could even cook. Talk about a case of OCD. I don't feel I am being selfish by asking this.  I think it is more selfish for loved ones not to give up that gluten at home and don't mind putting their loved ones at risk over food.  That is my opinion and am entitled to it and there is no way I am going to get upset on a public forum for someone stating theirs in turn. In my opinion it would be harder to keep a shared gluten house.

 

I know some of the gluten free foods that we have to buy ( breads, pastas, cooking mixes, pizza crusts, flours) are a lot more expensive, but I have been learning to make all that stuff from scratch and buying my flours in bulk and making my own mix.  I am also on a limited budget, my boyfriend has been laid off for 6 months and unemployment doesn't stretch nearly as far as a paycheck and I haven't worked since February.  I am getting no financial help from anywhere, no food share, nothing.  I am just relearning.  Most foods that we bought before are just naturally gluten free - fruit, veggies, meats, fish/seafood.  The only processed foods I have bought that are gluten free lately are ketchup, salad dressings, things like that, and that is just until I figure out making these things on my own. Honestly, not buying all the fast food and processed foods has evened out with the expenses. I know with 5 kids it would be hard to miss out on the convenience factor but you have to ask yourself " is your health worth it"?  Is their health worth it?  All that processed food is so unhealthy. If my family and friends didn't know that I had to be gluten free, they wouldn't be able to tell the difference in my food. I made homemade pasta tonight and the kids thought it was the best pasta meal I have made. I have been preplanning my meals, trying to do pre-prep on weekends if I can.  I clean all fruits and veggies before I put them away so they are there and ready to go for meal time. Making extra things to have in the freezer that either bake well frozen or thaw well ( soups, hot dishes, pasta dishes).  Pre-patty hamburger so it's easier to make burgers.  Get a food sealer to help foods keep longer. Get a food dehydrator and make your own fruit snacks and salty veggie snacks. They are actually quite good. Make the crock pot your new best friend. You might be thinking it's easier for me, I don't have 5 kids under the age of 11 or I don't have a job.  I also have no energy what so ever right now and  have spent more time in the hospital/clinic/emergency room than I have at home the last few months so feel grateful that you have that time with them now, because not going 100% gluten free is going to make you sick down the road.

 

To help with the cross contamination..

 

* Get your own pots, pans, utensils, plates, forks, knives, spoons,,, Don't share. They are yours for your food and that alone. Strainers are a  no share item. Have your own toaster. Get different colors of things so family members know which is which.

* Make sure anything that could some how end up in your mouth is gluten free.  Who doesn't get their kid's hair in their mouth from time to time?  Who doesn't kiss their kid?  Are all your beauty products gluten free?  Shampoos, lip glosses, makeup, toothpastes, etc.

* You have to be super diligent with cleaning.  I use Dawn dish soap and vinegar.

* Watch pet food.  They are full of gluten.  My cat has drank out of my water glass and glutened me.

* Keep your food in shelves above all others, crumbs travel down.

I believe there is a good thread on here about cc and how to help with it.  I have brain fog and that is all I can think of.

 

Honestly look in your house and just see how much gluten is still there. You are the only one right now that is going to have an impact on your health. You can't be celiac and eat gluten and stay healthy.  The longer you are still getting even small amounts, it's harming you.  You might not always feel it or see it but is that a chance you want to take? With your posts' topic of " new here, I think I'm doing something wrong", you know you aren't 100% gluten free and shouldn't fault others for thinking the same way. We are honestly trying to help. And yes, without all the cross contamination you could feel even better.  Maybe a whole new better you have never experienced before.

 

I am not trying to talk down to you, I understand it's hard.  I had a breakdown the other day because I didn't have what was needed at home to make dinner and I can't drive since I just had surgery.  Before I would have called and ordered take out.  Can't do it anymore.  The kids just ended up with breakfast for dinner which they didn't mind a bit.  Your children are young and will have a easy time adapting.  I am more than happy to share recipes if you would like, I love to cook.

 

I hope some of this was helpful and you didn't take offense and good luck with your saga.

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As for cross contamination in the house, don't ask me. I live alone, so it's all my place and nobody has the chance to mess anything up.

But as for the cost of gluten free items, the non-processed foods (fruits, veggies, meat/seafood, etc that Beth listed) are a good price. If you want pasta, breads, flour, etc, (I have not checked this too much myself yet, but have had several people say it to me, and from a glance it looks pretty true) check out amazon. They have a "prime" subscription ($79/year) that has free 2 day shipping on all orders through the US Postal Service (no other choices for shopping, it's an exclusive contract with USPS and Amazon) WITH Sunday delivery being added in new markets every couple of months (Atlanta starts this month). But I would recommend looking at that. You can buy in bulk (especially non-perishables like the pasta) and save quite a bit compared to your grocery store prices, and have the convenience of your groceries being brought to your door.

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Stupid computer, grrrrr. Anyways, long story short. Thank you, especially Beth, I need blunt and to the point most times. It's chaotic here between jobs and kids and school. Hopefully when I graduate in a few years I will go gown to one job and it'll be a little less crazy here. The kids see their Dr on the 17th for their regular check up anyways so hopefully we can start the screening process for them. I will poke around here for more help. I've already read lots of posts about the kiddos so I'll keep looking. Thanks.

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I'm  sorry  if  I read  your  post  wrong.... but  again  you mention your  vodka  as  having gluten?  Why  are  you drinking  it  then? I  guess  I'm  confused  with  your  post....Beth's  post  was  a  great  post  as  she  is  fairly new &  much  younger  than  I....I'm  an old time  celiac  so  my  thoughts  are different but  Beth  stated  it  very well....

I do  believe  kids   can learn at  any  age   so  I  guess  training  the  whole  family  is a  start... I  had a  mixed household   for  many years, two years  ago  I  gutted  the kitchen  &  now  we  are  a total gluten-free household.. yes, I know  everyone  can't  do that....While  a  mixed  house  everyone  knew  the  ground  rules.... to  protect  me  from getting  gluten, no  double dipping,  no  crumbs  on  counters, no  using  gluten-free  utensils  for  gluten stuff....We  should of  bought  stock in  paper towels....but  it  works...... now  I feed  roughly  6-8  nightly  only four  are gluten-free  but  everyone  eats  gluten-free  with  NO  Complaints ever.....  so in  reality  we  could  have  all been  doing  that  all along...

Changing  our  food  life  is  a  challenge  .....I  think the  hardest  part  is  the  mind-set.....once  we  get it  in our  heads  it  will & does  work...

Maybe  a slow  transition  introducing  the  taste  of gluten-free  to your  family  would help....Make  some  brownies, cookies  rice  krispie  treats  for  everyone that  are gluten-free.....no one  ever  died  from  not  eating  gluten... once  they see/taste  that  they  are  good  it  will become  easier  to slowly  trasition to gluten-free...

Pamela's  has  a  baking  mix  for  waffles/ pancakes  most  everyone  likes  them , pick up  a  bag  &  try  it  out....you  can  also  make  bakery  things  as well.... It's  an  easy find   & not  very  expensive.... Look  for  Sam Mills  , they have  a  cheaper gluten-free  line  of  boxed  items...

 If  you  have  an  Aldi's  Store  near  you  they  too  have  a gluten-free  line  called gluten-free.....once  you have  foods  you  like  then look into  bulk  buying  from  an online  place. Make  cheaper  that  way....

If  you  are  looking  to  bake  check out  www.betterbatter.org        Nicole  Hunn  Gluten Free on a shoestring....

Some  of the better  flour  blends are : better batter, Jules, authentic classic  blend,  Tom Sawyer plus  many more.

check out  the recipe  site  on here.. Great  bakers  right here.

Kids  & pets  are  great  sources  of  getting  CC...  as  much as  we  love  kisses  from both  pets & kids it  can be  a  problem  for us.... As  Beth  mentioned  : You  eat  gluten  , you brush your teeth:  many have  changed  pet  food  to  gluten-free  because  of the  CC....

Wishing  you the  best....

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I will try and get together some recipes for you, it might take me a few days. I actually have plans today and feel well enough to keep them lol. This celiac is so difficult.  I can't imagine having five kids a few jobs and going to school.  You are my hero!  Like people have said though once you get everything down pat it will be second nature. I will get some recipes to you in the next few days!

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The only gluten allowed in my house is prepackaged stuff.  Some bread and wraps for my husband and boy, who are not celiac.

Our pantry has been thoroughly cleaned out, and there is one bottom shelf devoted to anything with gluten.  There are plastic bins, and bags of chips, granola bars, a loaf of gluten bread, and some mac 'n' cheese bowls are in there.

 

Any pasta is gluten-free, and anything cooked in a traditional method on my stove or in my pots and pans is gluten-free.

I actually have to ration some of the gluten-free cookies, because the 12 year old is in love with some of them, and he'd eat the whole $4 pack in one sitting.  ;-)

 

The 12 year old and DH and I have worked out their system for making a sandwich on gluten bread:

 

They get out the bread, open it and put the bread on a plate. The bread is then closed and put back in the pantry immediately.

They put whatever they want on their sandwich. We have condiments marked "gluten" and "gluten free".  They use their condiments on their sandwiches.  Any utensils are rinsed and put in the dishwasher.  Once their sandwich is made, they take a wet paper towel and wipe the area.

We have two toasters, one for their bread and one for mine.

When they finish their sandwich, their plate goes right in the dishwasher. If the dishwasher is full, the put their plates in the sink face down, just to remind us that there was gluten on the plate. Gluten containing foods are only eaten at the table or outside.

 

So, a "system" that works in your house will help with any contamination issues.

 

Microwaved items containing gluten are covered with a paper towel or plastic wrap.  We don't use any plastic dishes for anything containing gluten.

 

I'm grateful that the boys are more than willing to go completely gluten free if it means I'll be healthy and not get sick again.

My grandson has had some odd symptoms since going "mostly" gluten free.

If he eats school lunch, he'll come home and have diarrhea.  So, we are going to have him tested as soon as we can arrange it with our physician.

 

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