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ysali

Gluten Free in Shared Households

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So I'm fairly new to being gluten free (3ish months) but I did an insane amount of research pre and post-diagnosis because I am exhausted of being sick and tired all of the time. Right after the diagnosis I ordered myself a 'baker's rack' and set it up with new pans, plates, bowls, utensils, toaster, etc. I keep most of my food there and wash everything separately with my own sponge (sometimes going as far as soaking it in bleach and boiling water to be sure) before putting it back on the proper shelf. I can't think of anything else to do on my part to keep myself away from gluten. I also share a kitchen with my parents and brother who for the most part are understanding that even a speck of gluten will make me sick. Despite this, they cannot give up gluten containing foods and I don't blame them - the food within the Hispanic culture is filled with gluten and I don't feel right demanding they make this huge lifestyle change for me. 

With that being said, I have been subjected to cross-contamination various times due to their carelessness (mainly my dad). For example, one seasoning used heavily in my house uses barley malt and I of course stay away from it but he'll use my spoon to serve himself then put it back so when I go to use it we all know what happens. I'm tired of having to explain this to him - everything I bought is literally red to symbolize STOP DO NOT USE THIS but that doesn't seem to work. He's seen me at my worst, curled up in bed from pain with a 104 fever and running to the bathroom every ten minutes and even that doesn't seem to make it click. 

I am frustrated and angry and honestly fed up because at the end of the day it's my health on the line. 

Does anyone have any suggestions for making it work in a shared household? 

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Seems like you have done well with your own cooking set up, try using your own area like in your room if you can with the rack and table, use a new rice cooker/crock pot/steamer/pressure cooker combo appliance, with liners for easy clean up. Get a counter top microwave and nordic ware egg, omelette, steam tray, gril plate. etc microwave cooking ware. and use freezer paper over prep surfaces for easy clean up and zero contamination issues, aslo get your own fridge.  I know how bad a shared house is.....my mother is Hispanic and I have a corn allergy on top of celiac....yeah family house was a HUGE pain to live in for me. And they would not give up gluten, I would poison myself by touching the microwave handle, fridge door, oping a drawer or cabinet and getting gluten residue form something they cooked and smeared in there.....yeah it was that bad I was in bed 2-3 days a week before I moved out. Even threatening to smear poison ivy all over the kitchen as way to compare did not get the issue across and I had to move out.

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A shared household works for many Celiacs.  But everyone has to want to be careful.  sounds like your father doesn't want to be careful.  

What does he say when he does this? What does your mother say or do?  You don't need to answer these to me, but I think that is important for you to know.  

Maybe it is time to move out and get your own place?  Until you can, you will need to guard your food from him. Don't leave any food out unless you are standing over it.   Fix your food and eat, after or before they do.  I would be careful of any open packages of food on your shelves.  If he is trying to sabotage you or is just mean, he might put flour or something in our other stuff when you have stopped him from doing it on the stove.

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