Here is Laurie’s personal story via answers to my list of gluten free questions for the Mary’s Gone Crackers contest.
What are your favorite restaurants? Are these different than before you followed the diet?
We tend to eat at the same independent neighborhood eateries. I have avoided chains like the plague, but I am encouraged by the thought of GF menus in more “big name” places.
Are food industry workers knowledgeable about Celiac disease?
No. Nope, and just plain “not even close”. The staff at any restaurant turns over too fast for there to be any lasting impact on training. Lanuguage barriers are most often the problem.
Do you trust that the food you receive from restaurants/friends/family members is gluten free?
Not really, given that I have told them that I can’t have anything with “wheat” and they sub “spelt” noodles (which are wheat), or think by giving me white bread, it is then transformed from “wheat bread” … it’s all very disheartening. Making the gravy with “flour” doesn’t make it less of a wheat product for me.. it’s still just as toxic.
What were some things you believed about Celiac disease that have proven false?
That I can live day to day without gluten.
What precautions do you take when eating at family and friends’ houses?
Absolutely bring and prepare separate food. No question. Do not trust that they even begin to understand cross contact. Make or bring your own food. It’s not worth being sick just to be polite.
What is the biggest difficulty with having Celiac Disease?
Systemic reactions to wheat, rye, barley, oats or sorghum or any other grain product that was ever stored in the same grain bin as wheat or grown in rotation the year after wheat was grown in that field, or hauled in the same truck. It goes way beyond intolerance to wheat.
20PPM is still too much for me.
What are the foods you missed the most?
I have found my way to GF versions of everything.
Does your significant other/friends eat gluten free with you?
No. He insists on his daily ration of gluten. Why, I have no idea other than he thinks he is entitled to it in some way.
If you initially did not follow the gluten free diet. What made you change your mind?
Initially I was told to eat “wheat free”… but not gluten free. I was sicker than ever.
Serious health consequences resulting from doctor lack of advice, knowledge, guidence in anything “gluten free”. They continue to tell me they know nothing about how to live gluten free… even prescribing medications that have wheat as an ingredient. They are clueless.
Has Celiac Disease affected aspects of your life other than your diet and health?