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Me + Non Gluten Free Family= How?

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How do I go totally Gluten free when my family isn't? It is too expensive to switch us all and I don't have enough space or money to have doubles of all the kitchen items? What am I suppost to do???

FYI ... I am a mother of two young children 14 months and 4 years. Plus my husband.

Also how do you function at potlucks??? Just bring your own stuff and don't LOOK at the other stuff? I really miss certain things:(

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Hugs to you! I am speaking from the other side, but I can empathize a bit- my son is Celiac. When he was diagnosed, everyone else was eating regular food. It will be a bit harder for you in some areas as you are preparing the food for the whole family, but pick and choose the things you are willing to change for everyone or not. We have a 'clean' area of the kitchen- the far side of the stove. NOTHING gluten may be put there- not a spoon, not a packaged cookie- NOTHING. The majority of our suppers are gluten-free- rice, potatoes are naturally gluten-free. So are all vegetables and meats in their natural state. Pick and choose your seasonings and sauces and really, the changes there are minor. The gluten-free pastas are not that bad- we have made the total switch and I don't mind them at all.

Breakfasts may be a bit tougher, but they can have their cereal and bread and you have yours. You do need your own toaster, or I have heard of toaster bags.

We have one pot, that is for the Gluten food- it is black, the rest are stainless steel. We have one drawer/holder for the hard to wash utensils that are gluten-free i.e.) whisk, strainer, etc. We do not have second sets of everything. Others will differ with us, but we haven't found it to be necessary. Utensils- fine in the dishwasher, most cooking utensils, fine. We do have clearly labeled separate margarine containers. All other containers it is well known to all that you scoop out with a clean spoon, then spread on your gluttony bread.

I would suggest not baking with regular flour- it is impossible to make sure you don't get sick and cross contaminate your whole kitchen.

Pot Lucks suck. Bring your own meal. Things like fruit and veggie trays should be fine- but try to serve yourself before anyone else gets there.

Since my first son was Dx in May of 2010, my second son has been Dx in August of this year and now my blood work is positive. I am choosing to do the endoscopy and will have that in less than 2 weeks. It appears that exactly 50% of our family is Celiac right now.

Good luck to you- this is completely overwhelming in the beginning, but honestly, it does get better and easier and you will find your groove. We re-organized and arranged our kitchen 3 or 4 times before finding what works for us. You will figure it out as well.

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I have a teen at home and am married, neither of them are gluten-free. We had some adjusting to do mostly to keep the kitchen safe. Everyone needs to learn how to glob drop jelly, mustard, mayo.....that means no knife goes in the jar, it is simply dropped as a glob OR they have to use the rule that once the knife is used there is no double dipping.....you cannot take the chance on crumbs. Another one is cheese. Their hands have to be clean, slice the cheese before they handle the bread and only cut it on a plate, not on the counter tops.....too much chance for cheese to pick up crumbs. I have scrubbable pans for my stuff that I cook. My daughter has different pot she can cook their own pasta in. They use the toaster, I do not. They use the pasta strainer, I do not. The wooden sppons are for their stuff, the plastic ones are for mine. If they make gluten cookies, they clean up the kitchen so I don't come in contact with it. I no longer cook anything with regualr gluten flour. All of our baked goods are with gluten-free products and my whole fmaily likes it. If I cook pastsa for dinner it will be gluten free and there has been no complaints. Another thing I did, was I replaced my wooden butcher block that I used to cut and chop everything on and I bought one with a granite top. I have found it works.

When I go to other people's homes, it is normally friends. All my close friends know I have celiac and several have been out to dinner with me and know I have to order special so I just talk with them. I eat nothing that I feel could have come in contact with flour or could have gluten in it. We have been invited to a friend's house for Thanksgiving dinner and because the foods are so stuffed with gluten my thought was to take my own little meal and maybe a gluten-free dessert. I know there will be other get-togethers throughout the holiday season and I will do the same.

I had someone recently make me a loaf of gluten-free bread, knowing that I could not eat gluten. Unfortunately, I do not know how her litchen is kept. I have no clue what her pans look like and if I could ahve been CCed by eating that bread. I feel I can take no chance. I thanked her for it, it was very thoughtful but I had to throw it out. Keep everything clean and don't take chances.

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I live alone but I can tell you what I do for pot lucks. You bring a dish you're happy to eat for dinner, and set your plateful aside BEFORE you set it on the table. There are often veggies, cheese, or fruit, and I pounce fast and get a little before it gets CC'd. My friends are great at making sure I get a little of whatever comes into the party that's gluten-free before it goes out on the table with the bread and crackers.

I wouldn't recommend you keep flour in the kitchen. The stuff gets everywhere. When family visit, I buy them regular bread, frozen waffles, and cookies but if we bake it's gluten-free. I have a toaster oven so it's really easy to clean any crumbs off of the rack. I have one cutting board I let people use for gluten breads. Family know to get a fresh knife or spoon for condiments and I try to have squeeze bottles around as much as possible. I usually have to keep a separate stick of butter and I discard the crumb-covered stick when they go home. Peanut butter would be a problem, but the kids like the sugary stuff and I only eat natural so I just get them their own jar and give away whatever they don't finish. We eat gluten-free pasta becasue I don't want the regular stuff in my colander. It's too hard to clean colanders. Trader Joe's has inexpensive, decent rice pasta.

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Yeah when you start is is very overwhelming.

I live in a townhouse on campus with 5 other girls and I'm the only one gluten free. Since I didn't know most of these girls before I moved in, it was hard to teach them everything. I label EVERYTHING. I have my own toaster that says Gluten Free on it. All my butter, peanut butter,jelly, sour cream, basicly anything that can be spread, labeled, gluten-free. Because I don't have a dishwasher, I have a sponge That Eveybody in my house knows is gluten free. They have have used it on accident and I have had to remind them not to. They always feel bad, but one thing I have found is that, I have to be very up front with it and not worry about making other feel bad.

I also use chlorox whips before I do anything on the counter because I know they whip the counter off with the same rag that often comes in contact with gluten.

Because I don't have a dishwasher, I have to wash everything before I use it, even though it is clean, mostly because they use they gluten sponge to clean everything.

I often tell people that to me, gluten is like dirt. You don't want dirt on your food because it is unsanitary and will make you sick. I don't want any gluten on my food because it will make me sick. That helps them undestand it better.

If you clearly spell out all the rules and remind often, you will be happier and those who live with you will be happier.

Even those who were suspicious of it at first, have brought up how my personal apperance has changed and how much healthlier AND happier (My additude has changed, not grumpy anymore..thats what they tell me anyways lol) I look now that I'm on this diet. And this is from people that didn't believe me.

Just give it time.

They will come around (hopefully :-) )

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Ditto what Skylark said. I've been gluten free now for over a year and while it's a challenge to have 3 of us that are gluten-free (me and our two kids) and my husband not gluten-free, it can be done. I also suggest that you do not keep regular flour in your kitchen. It does get everywhere. When my husband wants baked goods, we buy them. I only bake gluten-free in our kitchen.

Your own pot or two and a toaster is necessary. We have our own butter dishes too. One gluten-free, one not. "Globbing" the jelly, mayo, etc. which was suggested is what works for us. No dipping.

Potlucks aren't as bad as you might think. This way of eating just requires some planning. I bring a tasty gluten-free dish to potlucks and if I don't think I can get other sides like fruits or a salad, I bring my own. I also bring my own bread just about everywhere.

Just give yourself a break and realize there is an adjustment period, emotionally, when you go gluten-free. As my body was coming down off the gluten, I even had some psychological affects (very temporarily) where I would break out into crying jags because shopping was so stressful or my husband went through all the trouble of scraping the grill, using separate utensils etc only to put our meats in the same plate with juices mixing (so his gluteny sauce was now all over the bottom of my steak. :) Seems like a million years ago now. But I had a few meltdowns in the early weeks of gluten-free.

I just want to encourage you that it DOES definitely get better. Once you have the shopping down, once you ferret out all the places you can eat out and what you can eat, once you get your groove going with potlucks and friends have adjusted to your health issues...it starts to feel less oppressive.

Even if you are a cook-from-scratch type like I was, I highly recommend you locate foods that are pre-baked, pre-cooked, etc in your area and gluten free. You'll get caught off-guard, busy, or sick and it's a great comfort to say, "Grab that soup mix out of the pantry - all I have to do is add water and it'll be ready in 15 minutes." Shelf stable rolls you can throw in the oven, along with as salad, and you've got a meal. (BTW I just did this yesterday. Our daughter was down with the flu and I'm half-sick myself).

Best of success to you,

FooGirlsMom

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Thank You everyone!!! I live in Canada...Could you let me know what resturants are safe?

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Our house is now completely gluten free but before that when half of us were gluten free and half of us weren't I found that the easiest thing to do was to make all the dinners gluten free which isn't that expensive or hard to do because so many things are already naturally gluten free (chicken, potato, vegetables, rice etc.) Breakfasts were easy, gluten free cereal for celiac members of the family and regular cereal for non-celiac members of the family. Then for lunch half of us had gluten free lunch and the other half had gluten. I bought labels that could go in the dishwasher and microwave and labelled everything that was for gluten free meals (cooking utensils and food) We had a counter that was designated as an area to prepare gluten free food only. It is a lot easier and less stressful now that the whole house is gluten free (the only person in the house that doesn't have Celiac is my husband.) Websites that you can look at for gluten free restaurants in Canada are www.theceliacscene.com (which shows all of Canada) and www.glutenfreeontario.ca even if you aren't in on Ontario it also lists restaurant chains with gluten free options.

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Our house is 95% gluten free. Except when I am gone on a business trip, then they go on a gluten free for all, lol. We all had grilled cheese sandwiches yesterday and we as usual broke out a pan for the wheat bread and a pan for my bread. After you get used to it, the whole famaily makes changes. When we go to family dinners or gathering, they all have something that I can eat with them. It's been a year and a half now and we all still work well at it. If you were down here, I'd know what restaurants to suggest, but since I have not been to Canada in quite some time, I cannot help there, sorry.

Later,

Ray

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It's tough at first but you'll get the hang of it... then you'll feel better and that will make it all worth it!

For the household, we decided to make everything gluten-free. Especially with really little kids, in order to keep yourself safe it's a good idea to not have them carting gluten around the house! If you MUST feed them gluten, do it at the table/high chair, with paper towels underneath, and wash them up with a two phase approach - first one cloth directly into the trash or wash, then a second time with another clean cloth, directly into the wash. Don't forget to wash yourself up carefully as well!

As for the expense of gluten-free food... we just don't buy it. Most of it is highly processed crap no-one should really be eating regularly anyway. It can be nice to have stuff like that around in a pinch, but we've basically just changed the way we eat to be mostly whole foods, and not to rely on bread at all.

We discovered http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ before going gluten-free, but it got us into crock pot cooking. All the recipes are gluten-free since the woman's daughter has celiac disease. It might give you some good ideas on how to feed the whole family without putting yourself at risk.

As for potlucks - we bring enough that we can eat and be full. Bring something you genuinely like to eat, that is safe for you. I also like to eat before going, just so that I don't feel as hungry or worried about my own meal being enough at the event. We serve ourselves first (or hold out our own plate and put our main dish on the table), and then don't eat anything we didn't bring, unless we know our host is also on the same diet and we're able to serve up before things can get contaminated.

It can be hard to see what others have, but that's something we just have to get used to. It can help if you can visualize the damage that food will do to you (and, as you'll start to notice, them as well). It's less appetizing that way. I also am helped stick to things if people know about my diet. I don't want them to see me cheating, and I want them to take me seriously when I say we are gluten-free, so that helps me stick to it.

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