My day today was pretty uneventful. Ate a Pamela’s Whenever Bar for breakfast, took my fiancée out to lunch for her birthday, had normal BMs again (stomach has been iffy all last week), and had dinner at my future mother-in-law’s prior to a trampoline dodgeball game. Sounds exciting, right?
Since I don’t really have anything to talk about, and that it’s late, my fiancée offered to be a guest writer today. Here’s her perspective on the start of my gluten-free journey, and what it means for her.If you had asked me a few years ago what I thought “gluten-free” was, I would have guessed that it was the latest fad diet for people who thought bread was evil. Needless to say, I didn’t quite know what the deal was with “gluten-free.”
When Brian first started a gluten-free diet in hopes of putting an end to his tummy troubles, I was optimistic that it might “cure” him, or at least help significantly. I mean, at this point, his “lactose intolerance” seemed to have ridiculous superpowers, upsetting his stomach while he ate dairy-free rainbow sherbet on a plain cone, so I figured anything was possible.
Once Brian started feeling a lot better on his gluten-free regimen, I was so happy for him. It had been hard seeing him in pain and in the bathroom nearly every day, so it was nice to see him catch a break for once.
So the next question was – does he have a gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease? If Brian had a gluten intolerance, then I figured handling it would be totally doable. He could try to avoid gluten, but if he accidentally (or “accidentally”) ate some, he’d get a tummy ache, but no big deal – he could handle it and it wouldn’t be the end of the world. But if it was Celiac Disease, we’d be talking intestine damage, which had me really concerned. Being someone who pretty much always expects the worst case scenario, I assumed that Brian had Celiac Disease, so I started to think about what that would mean for him, me, and our future family. Is he going to be OK changing his diet forever and going completely gluten-free? Do I need to be gluten-free too? What if we have kids that have Celiac Disease?
When Brian found out he did in fact have the Celiac gene, it was official (or at least official enough for us). Brian needed to be 100% gluten-free from here on out. Of course it was not what we wanted to hear, but at the end of the day, I knew that we’d be able to figure this out. By that point Brian had kept up his gluten-freeness and we had already learned a lot about which foods tended to have gluten, which didn’t, and the ever challenging aspect of cross contamination.
Now, I absolutely love bread and all of its friends – cookies, cake, pastries, you name it. Going gluten-free was not something I had intended to do, at least not right away. That being said, Brian and I have taken meals/foods case by case, based on cost and need as we figure out who’s eating what.
Do I need to eat Brian’s gluten-free Udi’s bread from Sprouts? No, I can eat my more cost-effective bread from the Hostess store. Will I eat the gluten-free brownies he baked or the gluten-free bread he made in our new bread maker? Yeah buddy! Will I go to gluten-free pop-ups and try new gluten-free cupcakes with him? Heck yes!
I thought Brian’s new gluten-free lifestyle would drastically change the way we had to eat, and to my pleasant surprise, it really hasn’t. I still eat my normal breakfast of cereal and milk. I still eat my gluten-filled sandwiches for lunch. And I still have rice or potatoes, vegetables, and some sort of meat for dinner. Yeah, the soy sauce we now use is gluten-free, but am I a hardcore foodie who can tell the difference? No way!
I want to do everything I can to be there for Brian as he navigates this new gluten-free lifestyle. Whatever comes our way, we’ll figure it out as we always do. Ideally, I think a Paleo-guided diet would be best for us both since it reduces the amount processed foods we eat (which I think is just healthier for you no matter what diet restrictions you have) and is naturally gluten-free. Now I say Paleo-GUIDED since I don’t think either of us should have to quit (gluten-free) cookies forever. That’s just crazy talk!