To a Celiac, Sealed with Love

You know you’re a celiac when your phone is filled with photos of food products and grocery aisles, or at least that’s how the common celiac joke goes. But in my case, my mom’s phone might have twice as many photos. My former next door neighbor emails me about where to find the vegan mayo I asked about in a blog post. And, my cousin recently sent me a pin of a GF & vegan cookie dough ice pop. While digital, each note feels like a letter sealed with love.

Original Image from Rainbow Stamp Club
Original Image from Rainbow Stamp Club

You see, a little while back, I was wild, crazy, and probably a handful, but not in the kitchen and not when it came to the basics of survival. Not being able to have food that even comes into contact with gluten can be much harder than you might expect. Plus, finding a packaged gluten free cookie that doesn’t use tapioca flour is, well, near impossible.

Sometimes we forget to step back and appreciate all the things our family and friends do for us, and that’s why this post recognizes some of the RIDICULOUS things my family and friends have done to keep me alive and kicking. I’m so thankful to have such an amazing support network, so without further ado, let’s see some craziness.

Three CRAZY Things People Did Because They Love a Celiac

#1: The Shared Salad Dressing! 

My mom makes an amazing homemade salad dressing. (I’ll share it with y’all someday). But recently, my non-celiac sister wanted to eat the salad dressing too. She probably has a greater right to homemade dressing because she just came home from college for the summer!

Now, while the photographed meal looks gluten free, she actually had a flour tortilla in front of her. (We were having fajitas). So instead of washing her hands, I brought her a paper towel to use as she scooped the salad dressing out of the container. You might not know this, but red, means gluten free in our house, which meant, she was touching a GF serving utensil.

IMG_0133
We color code gluten free items red in our house. (Note: the red spoon). Yes, you could share a cleaned metal spoon on a gluten free dish, but it’s so much easier to keep track of who can have what, and we never get confused! Plus, we go for zero gluten contact in our house. I actually prep and cook in a separate part of the house.

#2: The Questioning Bride.

So, you’re planning your wedding. That’s a lot to handle, right? Fortunately, I’m not planning one anytime soon, but my cousin’s wedding is right around the corner!

While I typically bring my own food to weddings, she has learned a lot about celiac and food allergies. She even knows that I don’t feel comfortable eating cut up fruit when I don’t know where the knife has been. So first, she inquired not only with her caterer, but the restaurant at the hotel, etc. (And, she knows what questions to ask). Then, she gave me the caterer’s information AND told me that she completely understood if I still wanted to bring my own food.

Honestly, her thoughtfulness and deep level of understanding during such a busy time is amazing. She also sent me the pin of the cookie dough ice pops! I’ll blog about them later, but here’s a sneak peak.

Original Recipe From Tasty Yummies
Original Recipe From Tasty Yummies

#3: The Hand Washer Extraordinaire.

Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 9.57.17 PM
Courtesy of Discovery Education

If you follow me, you know that I just got back from an AMAZING ROAD TRIP, which was made possible by careful food planning and a very supportive road trip partner- MELISSA! You see Melissa doesn’t have celiac disease or any food allergies, but we kept a gluten free car for the whole trip. (This meant we could share snacks too!)

How’d we do it? While the easy way would be to kindly request that Melissa be GF too, but then I would have missed Rockabilly’s Burger Shop in Graceland (and a bunch of other local restaurants)! From the old record player to the pink walls, Rockabilly’s was a place I certainly didn’t want to miss.

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Instead, Melissa washed her hands EVERY time before she entered the car. She would always be on her way to the restroom before I even had the chance to say anything, and that’s true friendship. 

 And One Crazy Thing For the Love of A GF Blogger…

My mom helps me out a ton. Trust me, you wouldn’t let me within a thousand feet of your kitchen a year ago. Without her there would be more fire alarms going off and tell tale signs of disaster on my blog.  BUT, this summer, I’m away in Colorado. Since she doesn’t want me to fall flat on my face, I sometimes receive texts like this one:

IMG_9750followed up by an email with a recipe too!

So, while I may be far away, I still receive many texts, tweets, emails, letters, that are sealed with some celiac love. How do your family and friends support you in your celiac or food allergy adventures?

16 thoughts on “To a Celiac, Sealed with Love

  1. What an incredible post … I just had my guest posts at Lauras about our Paleo journey, which came about as a suggestion from my wife’s allergist. She is allergic to apples and nuts, and intolerant of many things including tree fruits, dairy and gluten. Nothing like what you have to deal with, but still it is incredibly challenging – especially for a woman who doesn’t like to make a fuss.

    Thanks for sharing. I do everything I can for my wife and so do our boys, and so I find it moving and amazing how much your family does for you.

    1. I just read your guest post on Laura’s blog! It’s awesome how you took the time to figure out what works for you and your family. I know without celiac disease and food allergies, it would have taken me awhile to realize just how much our diet effects our overall health. And, I’m sure your wife appreciates all the effort y’all put in as well! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. Friends and family truly are lifesavers aren’t they?! It’s a running joke between us now but I remember how cute my BF was about washing his mouth thoroughly after eating/drinking anything that wasn’t GF. It could have put a lot of strain on a new relationship but his attitude was so great 🙂 People don’t always realize it but it can be so important to have a quality support system when coping with Celiac and food allergies in general.

    1. Most certainly, and your BF sounds amazing! While some of my friends don’t fully understand celiac and/or food allergies, they have some level of trust that I know what’s going on and are supportive anyway. And, that’s what makes all the difference. 🙂

    1. I probably don’t thank them often enough! I wanted to color code green at first (for celiac awareness), but so many cookware items come in red that it was the best choice. Fortunately, we had this idea from day 1 and I didn’t have cookware before, so it wasn’t too much of an inconvenience either. 🙂

  3. I absolutely LOVE this post!! It is amazing when I see how accomodating my friends and family are about celiac disease – to me, nothing shows true love like saying no to bread for a night. 😉

  4. What an incredible support system you have! And the color coding silverware is a great idea, I need to remember that for the future! My most recent trip home, my parents le ME serve them the food if they had gluten on their plates so I felt safe they weren’t poisoning the sauce/chicken/etc. !

    1. Your parents are awesome! It’s the best feeling when you know your food is safe. 🙂 When I used to be home less often, my family would do a major house & kitchen cleaning before my arrival. It might be easier (on some strange level) now that I’m home more often and keeping it GF myself.

  5. You have a very supportive family! My husband is great but we wash utensils rather than haven color coded. He doesn’t eat much that contains gluten except muesli.

    1. Very cool! I actually had to go look up muesli, but it sounds delicious! That’s so nice that most of his foods are GF too. He sounds like a very accommodating person and supportive husband! 🙂

      When we were moving earlier this year with the mild amount of chaos that accompanies it, we kept the house GF. It was funny because my mom would go out to buy pasta and sauce. Now that we’re settled again with a separate prep area, we’re back to a mixed household. I actually use a portable stovetop, so we just share an oven.

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