Have you ever had that day where you heard on the news that drought was threatening wheat crops and thought to yourself, “who cares?” As uncharitable as it may be, I really think it would be fine with me if all the wheat crops just died. What would people do? First, they would stop putting wheat in every single thing! Not so bad? How about use some more rice for a change? We live in a world surrounded by gluten. Poison, poison, everywhere! Ah, the Celiac rant of one who has been “glutened”. My mother-in-law literally lives in the middle of a wheat field. I do not recommend that.
Have you ever been “glutened” and not known exactly how? Despite my best efforts, it still happens. It’s a body-draining-weakness that lingers for days, fatigue that lasts at least 3 weeks and stomach issues that last several days. There’s also this feeling that my brain has slowed down and can no longer concentrate. I’m incredibly unproductive at these times. We must always be vigilant when sharing kitchens with wheat-eaters. Try as you might, a product you buy might even be cross-contaminated. Sometimes I just don’t know how it happens. Sometimes it happens after I know there’s been real bread in the house, but I thought I was very careful.
Back to the positive: Just remember to do your best and avoid as much gluten as you possibly can. The more you avoid, the healthier you will be and the better you will feel. Use my gluten-free tips for a shared kitchen (copied below). Gluten-free eating has amazing rewards when you stop feeling the horrible sickness and move on with your life.
1. Get your own toaster (a new one) or a toaster oven with a tray you can wash. In my house, I use the rack for gluten-free bread and my husband uses the tray for wheat products.
2. Keep your counters clean. It’s always a good idea to wipe off your counters before you cook gluten-free.
3. Make sure you change out your kitchen towels regularly. Throw sponges in the dishwasher after you wash a pan that cooked gluten and wash anything you use to wipe off your counters.
4. If you are newly gluten-free, you may want to wash out your silverware drawer and ask the wheat-eaters to prepare food away from that drawer.
5. Never share utensils. Dip a spoon into a pot of wheat pasta and then into gluten-free pasta? NO!!
6. Get squeezable everything you can like mayo. Have separate containers of butter, jam, peanut butter, etc. Label it GF so everyone knows what can be used on wheat bread and you know what is safe for your rice bread. Yes, crumbs will make you sick!