Originally I set out to post a blog on the best deals and ways to save money while still trying to buy things that make little ones happy. But as of a week ago, my whole world shifted and now has a new focus...one that I would like to share here.
About five or so days ago we found out that my 2-year-old daughter, Abbey, has celiac disease, which means that she is entirely unable to process the protein gluten in her system. We also discovered that my 3-year-old son, Aaron, has a form of sensitivity to it as well. So, rather than make my children feel weird or alienated, I decided it best that we, as a household, go gluten-free. That way the kids are still young enough that this new style of eating would seem normal and routine to them. And of course, in my head this seemed easy.
Then reality hit. Gluten is in pretty much...EVERYTHING. Breads, pastas, crackers, snacks, cereals: you name it and I can find you a version with gluten in it. I started cleaning out our pantries and as the list of things I had to get rid of started massively overtaking the things I could keep, I started to get a little worried. I have spent the last few days connecting with others who have had these experiances and doing a lot of reading and research. I have learned so much in the last week, I was amazed. I never realized that one thing could have so many different ( and scientific!!) names. My highschool chem teacher would be proud. I'd have to tell her that I take back all those times that I said this material would never come in handy!
I have gone through a whirlwind of emotions this week and have sifted through even more information. The biggest thing I have learned is this is not just a diet change. This is a complete lifestyle change. And you need to find a rock, someone who has been through this before, to help you out. For those of you with young kids, don't worry about them, the adjustment is barely noticeable. But for those of us who grew up eating wheat laden products, its almost a shock to your system and you are going to need that support. That's what I would like to be for anyone that is also going through this. I want to help you and guide you in any way that I can.
I'm still learning and growing and adapting to this new lifestyle too, but its always good to know you aren't going through it alone. You are going to make some mistakes and that's OK. I've already made a few — ones that I should have known better about — but in the end it has all worked out OK.
If there is anyone out there that has any questions about starting a gluten-free lifestyle, whether for health reasons or not, please contact me and I will answer them to the best of my ability.
In the meantime, I plan on keeping you all updated with how we are progressing — with the good days and the ugly mistakes, with favorite products and recipes and foods to always avoid. I want this to be an in-depth look at one family's change, and all of the emotions that come with it.
It's been a rough ride so far, but the improvements we are already seeing makes it all worth it.