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New Here: Tiny Home, Husband Eats Gluten, Etc.

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This is my first time posting, and, while I've been gluten free for almost a year, I still feel rather new to all of this and really wonder about a few things. I've been on the autoimmune paleo diet to help for about a year, which requires a lot of cooking, but I have seen some improvements and feel like I've learned so much. Anyway, thank you so much in advance for your help! It is greatly appreciated!

1.) I live in a rented very tiny home, so small it could be part of the tiny homes movement. The kitchen is very very small. There is almost no counter space at all. I have to use the stovetop as a counter. The main counter space is kind of like a mini bar that connects to the living room--serving as a dining table too. How do you make such small kitchen areas gluten free? I mean surely people with celiac living in other small areas like in shared college dormitories or shared tiny studio apartments find a way to stay safe.

2.) My husband eats gluten. Even so, he keeps his nonperishable snacks out of the kitchen (except for the lower part of the fridge and freezer) and stays out of the kitchen except to go the fridge, which is on the outer edge of the kitchen. He keeps these nonperishable gluten foods about 6 feet from the kitchen. He eats outside of the home a whole lot in order to keep more gluten out of our home, but this is really hard on him, and me too as we rarely eat together, which saddens us!

Not being able to eat together takes away from us spending time together and him spending time with our very young toddler. I think it's terrible for his blood sugar too, but the kitchen is so small that if he was to put his food in there, there would almost definitely be contamination, right?

I keep my food on the top shelves in the refrigerator and freezer. His food is on the bottom. I'm the only one who uses the microwave, because it is one of those microwaves above the stovetop--and the stovetop is where I do all my cooking.

As the home is rented, I don't even use the oven, because I figure I can't get it clean. I wonder if I've ever really cleaned everything thoroughly enough particularly the cabinets.

There's no place for a kitchen table either, so we eat on a couch, him on one side with a TV tray, me on another, which makes me think how is this keeping gluten off the floor? What if our very young toddler gets the crumbs? I think my gluten issues were started with leaky gut, so our child may fair better, but autoimmune issues run strongly on both sides. I think my husband probably has a strong gluten issue too, but he feels he can't eat as restricted as I do. I'm too ill to cook big elaborate meals for him too. I'm doing good as a nursing mother to cook enough food for myself.

This is becoming common: He just stormed out of the house. He ordered gluten food, and I just barely mentioned that I was nervous about the food, and he, I guess being so sick of this whole issue (as am I), and his blood sugar being low stormed out of the house on his own to eat in the car. This saddens me, but how can we make these two different diets work in our teeny tiny home? With a young toddler too? He doesn't want the food that I cook, or, like I said, I'm not able to have enough energy to cook enough for all of us.

3.) How do I keep the kitchen sink gluten free? I don't have a dishwasher. How do I wash dishes in the sink, but also wash my hands, wash off fruits and vegetables, or dishes that I've taken outside of the house since I pack my own food everywhere.

4.) Do you wash between steps in the kitchen? Do you use the kitchen sink to do this?

5.) How do you have people over when you live in such a small space and deal with serious gluten problems? We've got one bathroom. Due to the severity of my illness, we've gotten all of our cleaning and personal hygiene products to be gluten free. There was one point when my immune system was so fragile that the scents from people's detergents, fragrances, perfumes, etc. would give me a terrible reaction. I almost died a few years ago! Anyway, I don't see how I can keep my separate bathroom towel in my extra small bathroom gluten free if people covered in gluten come over and are in the vicinity, or how I can keep my home or couch fragrance free either. Or that open bar mini-kitchen! I really want to have a normal life though!

6.) How in the world do you kiss and have peace of mind? I'm not just sensitive to gluten, I'm sensitive to dairy and soy and nightshades and a whole host of other things. Does brushing really work? Doesn't that just spread around the gluten? I just brush my teeth with baking soda, because peppermint and other chemicals don't work well for me. Could my husband brush with baking soda and that be enough? I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this.

7.) I use washrags to wash our new glass dishes, glass pyrex storage dishes, and stainless steel dishes. Are washrags safe to clean dishes? Are the washrags glutened in the washer? We use a gluten free laundry detergent, but we use a washer and dryer that came with the home though. I've tried to use sponges, but they get gross so quickly. My husband works around gluten and other food allergens constantly at his work. He drops his clothes at the foyer and throws his clothes into the wash himself, although sometimes I'm the one who puts the detergent in and actually starts the wash.

It's been a hellish ride. We'd both love to get some of the above issues solved to bring some normalcy to out lives. Thank you for your help! Please help us figure some of these things out. Thank you!

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sometimes  we  need  to  take a step  back  &  once  again  look  at  the  situation.....I guess in    rare  cases  one must  live  in a  bubble  with  celiac  but  for most  we   can live normal lives...&  still be  healthy.For  a  few  years  I  had to have  a  shared  house  with gluten. We  were very careful   &  it  all worked  out......But  I did  at  one time  cook  2  separate  meals. I slowly  started  making things  like  meatloaf, meatballs,  fish, chicken  that  we all  could  eat, spaghetti  sauce (  separate  pasta)  the I  quietly started  to  just  make  gluten-free  pasta, no one  ever  knew... I love  BiAglut  pasta... it is the real deal...veggies   & fruits  are  all gluten-free  in  the natural  state....

Since  your  house  is  small  you  may  want  to buy toasta  bags  for  the toaster  since  you may not  have room for two  .....If  you  pots  & pans  are  stainless  you  should be  safe to use  &  wash  well after  wheat  or gluten ... It is  when  kitchen  utensils  get   scratched  &  marred deeply that  we  need  to replace.. I've  always  owned  good  stainless & never  got  gluten  from  re-using  them... wooden  & plastics  are  things  that  may need to be  separate...

Getting  sick  from perfume , nightshades & such  are allergies.. I too  am  allergic  to  almost  everything, smells  can put  me into hives  & migraines  for  days...can you get  tested  for the allergy things? I  think you  are  lumping  allergies  &  celiac  together....

We  eat  , sleep  & live as a couple  , teeth brushing  is a must...my  spouse  is not  gluten-free  but  eats  gluten-free  everyday ... He  sees  no problem  eating gluten-free.... he  isn't  crazy  about  the bread  but  does  eat  it... When he  is  away from  the home  he  eats  whatever  he likes....I  don't  force  or  push  gluten-free  on him....I  just  make  dinners  that  we  both  can eat.....

gluten is  not  like a bacteria  so  a  normal  cleaning  on  counters  should be  enough,  washing  laundry  is  enough  for  clothes.... scrubbing  the  sinks   again  fine...

That  is  considerate  that  your  hubby  takes  clothes off  & puts  in washer...It  appears  he  gets  it  but  maybe  the  restrictions or  fears  you have  is  overkill  to him...

Sometimes  a  year  is not  enough  healing  time....

When company  comes  to  visit  they  have  been told  no  gluten  in  the house , smoking is  done  outdoors...If  we  are  having  food  it  is food  I prepared  or  a  trustworthy  friend  that  understands  strict gluten-free... I  have  a  couple  that  I can  trust,, other  guests  I  just  say  come   & please  don't  bring  anything  , we  got  it  covered....

I  do  use  tons of paper  towels  &  my family said  I  should  own stock in those  companies, nothing  goes  directly on  the  counters.....

hth

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I don't see why you and your husband can't eat together. Is it that you can't both prepare food at the same time? Gluten on the plate of the person next to you is not going to jump over and harm you.

Unless there is flour all over the inside of the oven it shouldn't be a problem. A thorough wipedown should take care of it. You could always cover the food in the oven if it worries you.

I think dishrags shared between gluten and nongluten dishes could be a problem. I use dish brushes and have two, different styles, for easy identification, one for my husband's dishes and one for mine (I don't have a dishwasher either). I wash dishes right away so there are not gluten dishes in the sink when I'm washing my dishes. Gluten is easy to scrub off of smooth surfaces like a sink. If the sink has been scrubbed, looks clean and feels smooth I wouldn't worry about it.

People aren't "covered in gluten" unless they work in a bakery! I think you're worrying a little too much. I hope you can find a different (lower) level of concern that keeps you healthy and your family happy.

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My goodness, you've put a lot of pressure on your home life!  It took me more than a year to feel better also, and I didn't feel that bad before diagnosis.  Like most newly diagnosed celiacs, I think we worry about everything.  My husband decided we would have a gluten free home - I wasn't going to put him through that, but it has worked out well.  He eats all the gluten he wants outside the home as this is not a cross contact issue for me.  On occasion, he will bring home fried chicken, and that is not a problem either if we are cautious and make sure it doesn't directly touch something I will be eating.  Gluten will not fly over and adhere to your food.  Like you, I was disappointed when I didn't heal as quickly as I had hoped.  I was sure I was doing something wrong, so we went overboard for awhile wiping off all doorknobs, light switches, etc.  When the doctor called to tell me my most recent test results were very good, I realized that I was going and what I really needed was more time to heal.  My sister has celiac, also.  Her home is not gluten free, and she has no problem staying gluten-free with a husband and teens.  She is even more lax than I am about staying gluten-free, and she has not been contaminated at home.  I agree with an earlier poster that told you that some of your issues are not celiac, but allergies.  I think you need to be allergy tested to find out what's going on.  As an aside, we own a small condo in a vacation area and have several friends we allow to use it.  They are not gluten free, but I have a small box containing plastic storage containers, utensils, etc. and a note informing them to use items in the box - not in the kitchen bc of me.  I have never been contaminated in my condo.  Relax a bit and eat dinner with your family.  Please allow your husband to order what he likes and eat in his own home.  It will not affect you.  Read the newbies 101 thread on this forum to guide you.

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i started out cooking 2 meals when i was first dx'd but soon found that i was wasting my time - there are plenty of things that can be made for meals that are completely and naturally gluten free.  (mamaw - i did the same thing you did, just didn't tell them, lolz!)  most of the time the only thing you can reallly not fake is the bread.  (as in, i make my husband's sandwiches for work out of gluten bread - it's now become a game "get over here and touch gluten for me!" he wields the knife for spreading condiments or whatever and cuts them in half, i have clean hands and i throw the sandwich meat at the bread.  he sort of straightens it out and pretends to yell at me for not caring about his sandwich, lolz)  i hafta admit, though, when we first learned all the changes (kitchen-wise and eating-wise) i would have to make, he was like "you've GOT to be kidding??!!"  NOPE, not kidding.  but he still keeps gluteny stuff in the house - and it's all piled together in the pantry with my gluten-free stuff - yup, i run with scissors haha - and i've never been glutened from the packages touching.  honest injun.  now, that being said, i am the Ziplok Queen, 40 different sized and everything is ziploked and double ziploked.  as long as you all keep things wiped down and vacuumed, crumbs shouldn't be a problem.  clean your oven out, you'll be fine.  oven rule:  gluten-free open pan (not covered with a lid or foil, etc) always goes on top shelf.  a gluten-free pan that's covered can go on a lower shelf, and an uncovered gluten pan can go on a lower shelf, but not open gluten-free pan <because i cook pizza directly on the rack for the gluteny grandkids.  now, if your racks are super clean and you don't put gluten directly on the rack............  nah........  lolz, just use the top rack for open gluten-free pans..   <_<

 

kissing - unless you are allergic to something in toothpaste, is fine so long as he brushes his teeth well.  (yes, i thought this was a myth, too)  but since he's been careful to be sure to brush first, kissing is fine.  brushing is not that hard!  surely he can do that.

 

my hubs loves the chinese take out food, so when i want to cook something he hates, i send him on to yum yum number 8 and he is happy as a clam.  he eats it in the house, we just make sure he wipes up really well <but we were going to do that anyway, celiac or no, everybody wipes their counters/tables :)

 

when we have people over, they can bring anything they want, they just hafta put it in the Gluten Quarrantine Zone, where poisonous food is banished to (it's just another table or area haha)  sometimes i give instructions on how they will move about the serving tables - fresh plate EVERY TIME <yes, tons of paper products lololz)  they need to hit the gluten-free stuff first and the gluten food last.  they may not move backward, they can just get another plate and begin again.  NO FINGERS!!  if you cannot follow these rules, you may starve to death but you're not eating at my house (yeah, i only have, like, 2 friends hahaha, j/k)

 

we have mixed laundry, i have a fragrance allergy so i use tide free.  if i do dishes, i wash everything painstakingly and then put it through the dishwasher.  if husband does dishes, he half-ass rinses them BUT he will brillo/sos the stainless steel.  they come out of the dishwasher just the same as if i scrub them, so, i quit b%$@#ing about the way he does the dishes <that was an ongoing fight!!   :angry:  everything you have that is non porous (stainless steel or glass for example) can be washed/brilloed and used for gluten-free and gluten, so long as you wash them well.  (or, don't look hahaha :P )

 

don't feel alone, we've all been through this to one degree or another.  you'll learn a trick or two on this forum, i'm sure.  i've loosened my grip on my paranoia about a number of things.  

 

(((((((HUGS))))))))))  he didn't marry you for your Gluten Tolerating Qualities.  hang in there, kiddo!  welcome to the forum  ;)


arlene

misdiagnosed for 25 years!
just as i was getting my affairs in order to die of malnutrition...
gluten free 7/2010
blood test negative
celiac confirmed by endoscopy 9/2010

 

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have a nice day :)

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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I guess I am wondering why your husband feels the need to have gluten in your home.  And why can't he eat the same things as you at home?  A nice healthy gluten free meal that would suit a guy as well could be baked chicken with a mustard sauce (no gluten there!), some roasted sweet potato and a veggie.  Most spaghetti sauces are gluten free and he probably won't notice if you made gluten free pasta, not by the time all that sauce is dumped on top!   Seriously, this is not something that is going to heal/go away.  You have this disease all your life and if affects both of you!  

 

I have had a mixed kitchen, although it was huge which made it much easier.  Time has a way of healing and changing things.  I have been doing this for five years and all of the changes over to a 100% gluten free home did not happen over night.  Friends and family rolled their eyes at me in the beginning.  Gluten in the home flew around like wild fire and I was constantly stressed over it.  Take a deep breath, ask him how he feels about joinging you on this new meal plan and slowly make the changes!

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I don't believe our significant other should have to go gluten free also.  The Gluten Free diet is a medical diet, not a choice.  It is completely doable to have both gluten free food and gluten filled food in the same kitchen.  By taking all the necessary precautions, it is easily accomplished.  For example, in my kitchen I use separate silicon hot pads, a gluten free kitchen would not have to.  It is not a reflection if someone loves or cares about someone 'enough'.  It's a matter of making it work.

 

Colleen


HAVE A SUPER SHINY DAY

 

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Comments/views/opinions expressed on the site are my own and are not representative of Forum Admin/Owner

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I do agree with your statements Colleen. However, I am sitting here thinking this down. If my partner was diabetic I would support that by not bringing stuff into the house and get my fix elsewhere which it does sound like the posters husband does to some degree. What bothers me is that she indicates that the home is extremely small which makes it doubly difficult to cook, let alone keep g.f. After living in an r.v. for 8 (loooong!) months I can totally understand. Keeping a small space "safe" is so difficult, especially when you are newly diagnosed. And I really stress the especially in the beginning part. Also the husband is eating away from home a great deal and they have a young child. The little one is missing out on the whole family meal time experience. Possibly husband could compromise some, eat at home with the family and then gluten fix his lunches out. Idk. Just my thoughts and each household has to work out what best works for them. Gluten free and shared are both very doable, I just look at the stress levels for the new diagnosed.

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