The only cure for this disease is a gluten free diet. He read the taco seasoning label and said, "I can't have this." I said no problem-- I'll make it from scratch. I browned more meat and was mixing my spices when out of the corner of my eye I saw him reading more labels. I cringed as he said, "I can't have this either." I began to panic. What could I make that he could eat??
Suddenly "gluten free" felt overwhelming, and suddenly I had 2lbs of taco meat to eat by myself!
The next day we emptied the pantry and created a pile of food to give away. We scrubbed down the shelves and starting doing our research. We contacted every company that didn't write "gluten free" on the product, because foods can be processed in a contaminated facility, or they may not disclose gluten on the label. Once we got the pantry restocked it felt like a fresh start and I started Googling recipes.
The grieving process took me by surprise. I was shocked to find out it only takes 20 parts per million (smaller than a crumb) to contaminate a Celiac. We couldn't go to our favorite restaurants, or grab convenient food on the run. The first time I tried to kiss his lips he quickly turned and gave me his cheek... and I found even my lips can be contaminated. All these things caught me off guard emotionally and sent me to tears.
During this time he went on an elimination diet in order to heal his body from the intestinal damage, which cut out almost every ingredient in my kitchen comfort zone. I was angry at my husband for making my life harder. I threw myself pity parties everyday because I had babies crying at my feet for attention while I was altering recipes and trying to make food that would be appetizing. Unfortunately for everyone, that took a LONG time! Through my husband's illness God revealed some of my character flaws that weren't pretty, but we have the hope of change because of what Christ did for us on the cross.
As I began changing my attitude towards our situation I realized I couldn't do this on my own. Finding the local gluten free support group was a very helpful resource. No matter what your struggle, finding people that have been down the same path will provide comfort and guidance. So if you're just starting your gluten free journey take a deep breath. Start your gluten free kitchen, be aware of the grieving process and find people who've been living with food allergies who can help. Then just Try, Try and Try Again! It can be done, and with God's help it can be done well!
Every kitchen has it's own issues... whether it's dealing with a picky eater, a family member with a food allergy, or cooking healthy meals on a budget. Whatever your struggle, realize that by supporting your family you're reflecting God's love and that is your highest goal!
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