I'm Mister Travelette and I love food. Especially good food. But as Adina will tell you, I'm not exactly picky and I'm also fairly lazy. Before we got married I would survive on peanut butter sandwiches (yes, too lazy for jelly - plus it makes the bread all soggy) and chips (oh do I love chips, but that's a story for another day).
Anyway, when Adina went on an elimination diet and found gluten to be the main culprit (dairy and soy didn't play so nice either), I was admittedly apprehensive that it meant that we couldn't go out to eat and she wouldn't be cooking all the yummy foods I had grown accustomed to. At least, that's what I thought it meant. However, the one thing I can say with complete certainty about Adina is that she likes good food and there is not much that can hold her back from it.
To help her safely transition into a gluten free lifestyle, we decided to make our kitchen almost entirely gluten free (with the exception of beer). At first I thought this meant that I might starve, but after a few trips to the grocery store I had honed my skills at scanning for gluten containing ingredients and was surprised by three things;
- Lots of things that really should not contain gluten do.
- Lots of things we already bought were gluten free and some were even labled as such (making life incredibly easy).
- If, for example, the chips we normally bought were processed in a facility that also processed wheat or tother gluten containing ingredients, there were a number of options in the chip aisle that were not. This proved to be true for just about everything in our kitchen and suddenly life wasn't looking so rough.
After the initial push of finding gluten free versions of our basics and purchasing the fifty-bajillion (okay actually only about 20) different types of alternative flours, our meals started to get back to normal. Oh, and I didn't starve - I didn't even come close. Adina was determined to find ways to make all of her favorite foods and I was determined to be there to eat them. If something didn't come our quite right the first time, by attempt number two or three they were amazing. And not only that, but Adina is feeling much better and we are both happier.
We're a few years into the switch now and I can't be happier with how we've handled things. In fact, I've recently stopped buying gluten-full bread (which used to hang in a special bag away from all our other food) for my peanut butter sandwiches because Adina has been baking delicious gluten free bread at home.
We have friends who are gluten free but haven't gone gluten free in their kitchens. When we visit, I imagine what it would be like to have not gone entirely gluten free in our own kitchen. It seems like so much trouble to me now, always making two dishes, one gluten free and one not. Or worrying about properly cleaning the counter or a dish between uses so I can be sure Adina doesn't become a victim of cross contamination.
Outside of the house I'm not gluten free, I still eat with the same reckless abandon that I did before we found out Adina was gluten intolerant. The great thing is that when I'm home I can still do the same, but I rest easy in the knowledge that Adina can eat safely in our kitchen.
In the future, look for the occasional post from me about my adventures in brewing gluten free beer. I've got one batch under my belt so far and have grand plans for many more. Stay tuned!