Do You Want Easy Gluten-Free Living? You Need Support!

Diane from The W.H.O.L.E. Gang is doing a special series for Celiac Awareness Month (May). It is call 30 Days to Easy Gluten-Free Living. So far, there have been some amazing posts about everything from foods to keep stocked in your pantry to how to get your kids to eat whole foods to inspiration for growing your own garden. And so much more. (Please refer to the list at the end of this post. It links to all of the posts for the month. I will update it as the posts are available.)

All of these fabulous bloggers are talking about how easy it really is to be gluten-free. Well, I am here to tell you something. It’s not.

At least, not at first. Let me explain.

Here’s the thing. Newton was on to something with that whole inertia idea. (Sir Isaac Newton, not Fig Newton. That’s another blog post.)

I’m talking about his First Law of Motion, the Law of Inertia, to be precise. It basically says that anything at rest stays at rest unless a force is acted upon it. And anything in motion will stay at that particular motion unless a force is acted upon it. And that law applies to pretty much everything. Rocks, plants, cats, dogs, cars, keyboards (this blog ain’t typing itself) and PEOPLE.

That’s right! US! We will stay doing whatever we have always been doing unless there is a force acted upon us. That force can be from the outside, or the inside. But there needs to be a force.

Now, you may think that force is your diagnosis (or your family member’s diagnosis). Or your realization that you can’t eat gluten anymore and be healthy. But, surprisingly, that force usually isn’t strong enough. And, I mean strong enough to break that motion that you have of living your life the way you have lived it for the last ump-teen years.

Think about it. We all know that smoking is bad for our health. Lung cancer! We know that working out on a regular basis is good for our health. Better muscle, bones and live longer. We all know that eating fast food is bad for our health. We all know that more veggies and fruit are good for our health.

But, how many of us can say we do what we should do 100% of the time? Huh? Not me. I do my best, but I don’t do it 100%.

The thing is, with Celiac Disease/Gluten Intolerance, it HAS to be 100%. So, how do we make that EASY? How do we break that inertia?

Well, the big-brained scientists figured this one out a while ago. And, they figured out with this, we can make it through and do what we need to do 100%.

The secret? (No, not that secret.)

Support

SUPPORT!

We are social beings. Mother Nature made us that way. We don’t’ do well alone. And we do much, much better with support.

No don’t get me wrong. We can live alone. Drive alone, etc. But when it comes to making lasting change that we know we need to make, we need support to help us do it. To help us get over, around, through that inertia.

Now, I am one of the lucky ones. The Big Man was/is all about support. (One of the millions of reasons I married him.) When I found out I was gluten intolerant, he helped me get it (gluten) out of the house. He would even apologize the few and far between times he would eat anything gluten in front of me, such as when we were at a restaurant. He would make sure that I wouldn’t get any gluten in my food. Always looking out for cross contamination.

But, the biggest thing he did for me was to make sure I didn’t feel alone. When I went gluten-free, I didn’t know anyone else who had even heard of gluten. So, we figured out this whole thing together, even though he didn’t need to be gluten-free.

Not everyone is as lucky as I am. I have had readers tell me that their marriage broke up because their spouse was that un-supportive. Or family members would purposefully feed them gluten because it had to be all in their head. How could you possibly not be able to eat something humans have eaten for centuries?

Now, I am not advocating giving up a marriage or a family. But, what I am advocating is finding people to support you. If you have to go outside to get that support, then by all means, do it. Find a support group and attend the meetings. (Check out Celiac Disease Foundation and Gluten Intolerance Group.) Send kids to a gluten-free summer camp. Find friends/acquaintances that need to be gluten-free and form your own support group. Get to know some of the fabulous gluten-free bloggers and read and comment. (You can start with the list below. Most of these fabulous people became another part of my support and have helped me flourish on my journey to good health.) Find people on facebook and/or twitter.

(The beautiful Shirley from gfe-gluten-free easily pointed out in the comments below that you can also try googling gluten-free support group in your area. The ones on the links above with Celiac Disease Foundation and Gluten Intolerance Group are the ones through their organizations. But they may be others out on their own. Shirley had to do that fro her area. And hers is still the only support group around her. Oh, how I wish I lived around hers. She always has great food at her meetings. So I have heard.)

So, that is my advice on how to make gluten-free living easy. Get support. (OK, I have typed the word support so many times; all I can think of are bras and pantyhose. Sheesh.) With the right support, it can be easy. When you have someone in your corner rooting for you, it is so much easier to succeed. (And break that inertia.)

And, don’t forget to check out the list below. There are some great ideas on how to do other things that will make being gluten-free easy.

The Entire Schedule:

Monday May 2nd    me ,  The WHOLE Gang sharing Easy Gluten Free Grocery Shopping Tips

Tuesday May 3rd  Iris from The Daily Dietribe sharing on How to Start a Gluten Free Diet.

Wednesday May 4th  Heather from Gluten-Free Cat sharing Smoothing the GF Transition with Smoothies

Thursday May 5th  Alta from Tasty Eats at Home sharing Make Your Own Convenience Foods

Friday May 6th  Elana from Elana’s Pantry sharing Quick and Easy Gluten Free Cherry Vanilla Power Bars

Saturday May 7th  Cheryl from Gluten Free Goodness sharing Easy Meals GF Style

Sunday May 8th  Megan from Food Sensitivity Journal sharing Gluten Free Baking Undone:  Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Monday May 9th  Amy from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free sharing Magic Cookie Power Bars.

Tuesday May 10th  Ricki from Diet, Dessert and Dogs sharing Gluten Free Baking Tips

Wednesday May 11th      Ellen from Gluten-Free Diva sharing Gluten Free Travel Tips

Thursday May 12th     Kim from Cook It Allergy Free sharing Eating from your Garden for Easy Gluten-Free Living

Friday May 13th     Melissa from Gluten Free For Good sharing Gluten-Free Food Rules (recipes included)

Saturday May 14th  Brittany from Real Sustenance sharing Healthy Allergy-Free Quick Bread with easy flavor variations.

Sunday May 15th  Nicola from g-free Mom sharing Kids Lunch Boxes

Monday May 16th     Wendy from Celiacs in the House sharing Fast Food for Gluten Free Teens

Tuesday May 17th     Shirley from gluten free easily sharing Your Pantry is the Key to Living gfe

Wednesday May 18th     Nancy from  The Sensitive Pantry sharing Tips for BBQ and Picnics

Thursday May 19th    Heidi from Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom sharing Tips for Getting Kids to Embrace Whole Foods

Friday May 20th  Silvana from Silvana’s Kitchen sharing Everything I’ve Learned So Far about Gluten-Free plus my Dairy-Free Nutella Knockoff recipe!

Saturday May 21st  Maggie from She Let Them Eat Cake sharing Easy Gluten-Free Living With Preschoolers and a Vanilla Cupcake recipe!

Sunday May 22nd  Sea from Book of Yum sharing Easy Gluten Free Vegetarian Soy Free Breakfast Burritos

Monday May 23rd     Tia from Glugle Gluten-Free sharing The Value of Support

Tuesday May 24th    Alisa from Alisa Cooks and Go Dairy Free sharing Wrap it Up-Thinking Outside the Bun

Wednesday May 25th  Hallie from Daily Bites sharing Cooking by Color

Thursday May 26th     Carol from Simply…Gluten-Free sharing tips on Entertaining

Friday May 27th   AndreaAnna from Life as a Plate sharing Tips on Traveling on Day Trips with Kids

Saturday May 28th  Zoe from Z’s Cup of Tea sharing Feasting With Their Eyes:  Food Packaging and Presentation For Kids

Sunday May 29th  Kelly from The Spunky Coconut sharing Buying in bulk to save money, Cooking in bulk to save time.

Monday May 30th  Rella from Penny Pinching Epicure sharing Gluten Free on a Budget

Tuesday May 31st  Naomi from Straight into Bed, Cakefree and Dried sharing how to prepare grains so they are more nutritious & digestible and create fluffier wholegrain baked goods!

 

 

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31 Responses to “Do You Want Easy Gluten-Free Living? You Need Support!”

  1. Cindy

    Great post! Thanks for the honesty because the reality is it’s not that easy – especially in the beginning.

    • Glugle Gluten-Free

      Hi Cindy,

      That is exactly what I was thinking. That’s why I wrote this. I figured if I had so many problems with all of the support I had, how in the world did people make it without the support?

      xo – Tia

  2. Great psot and you are right, in the beginning it is not so easy. It is second nature to me now but I did not go quietly into the world of gluten free eating, I was dragged kicking and screaming, because it was hard! It is easier now than it was 20 years ago but still, it is a big change.

    • Glugle Gluten-Free

      Hi Carol,

      I can’t even imagine 20 years ago. It’s only been 6 years for me and that was hard enough. I figured it out right as this whole GF movement was just really starting, so I at least had a lot of options at Whole Foods. At least we have things like your wonderful cookbook to get us through, now. ;)

      xo – Tia

  3. Terrific post, Tia! It does seem overwhelming at first and we feel very alone, but if we reach out to others we find out there are many of us and yes, we can support each other. It’s a wonderful feeling to have and give support and soon enough, this gluten-free living thing can be easy. :-) I love that you suggested that folks could form their own support groups. As you know I did that with a friend (who moved on to other things after a year or so). If I’d waited for a group to form in my area, I’d still be waiting. Forming your own support group can be as simple as meeting for lunch somewhere quarterly. I’d like to suggest also that folks just google for support groups in their area. The major sites are great, but they often will only list groups that are part of their organization. There may well be an independent support group (like mine is) in one’s area, so I’d like to urge folks to look for those, too.

    xo,
    Shirley

    • Glugle Gluten-Free

      Hi Shirley,

      Great suggestion about googling. I added it above. I didn’t think about that. I can’t even remember how I found the one that I went to in Marin. Now, I need to find one here. Or start one. ;) It’s just so nice being around a bunch of other people that “get it.”

      xo – Tia

  4. It’s NOT easy in the beginning to make ANY dietary change – this is why people fail at “diets.” This is a HUGE life change and it’s so important to have people willing to learn and understand to help.

    I, personally, have no definitive medical reason to be GF, although I feel better without it. However, the minute that my husband and children were diagnosed, I went GF with them and we became a totally GF house and family. I did it because I love them, their health, and my own – but I find this makes everyone’s life easier.

    • Glugle Gluten-Free

      Hi AndreAnna,

      I can tell by your CAPS that you are a passionate person. Gotta meet you in person one of these days.

      It’s so wonderful that you went GF for your family. You sound like my husband. He went GF for me, but now he just doesn’t like how he feels if he eats gluten. So, he pretty much sticks with it all of the time, now.

      xo – Tia

  5. Thanks for this, Tia! Support is so crucial to success, in anything. And I am always in shock when I hear of people who deliberately feed glutenous foods (or any “banned” foods, depending on one’s diet) to people because “it’s all in their heads.” How messed up is that? The people closest to you, of all people, should be the ones to support you. Thanks for the great advice and ideas. :)

    • Glugle Gluten-Free

      Hi Ricki,

      I know! It’s so crazy that people would hurt instead of help members of their family. But, I guess they think they are helping them. In some weird way. Sneak it to them to prove that they really can eat it.

      xo – Tia

  6. If I were near you right now, I’d give you a big ol’ kiss on the cheek, I LOVE this post Tia!!! Support (Spanx and Bras included) is absolutely vital in this lifestyle. When I was dx’d, I spent 3 years depressed and cheating because I lacked support and the isolation was too much for me to bare. After my son was diagnosed a few years later and I consequently started my blog and Facebook page…everything changed for the better. I don’t know what I’d do without all my gluten-free friends to lean on. Even when I’m navigating a social situation today, and I’m the lone GF peep there…I’m not alone, because all I have to do is think of the wonderful people (like you), in our GF community and I am suddenly filled with the strength, courage and peace to overcome any situation I find myself in. :-D

    xo,
    Heidi

    • Glugle Gluten-Free

      Hi Heidi,

      Maybe it’s a good thing we don’t live near each other. Sounds like we would always be kissing and hugging each other. We would never get anything done. And people would talk. ;)

      I’m so sorry you didn’t have the support you needed early on, but it is so great that we have it in spades, now. I just wish everyone could have the support that we do. It feels like we can accomplish anything.

      xo – Tia

  7. My husband was exactly the same as yours! Never brings gluten into the house for fear of cross contamination. He eats gluten free at home but orders what he wants when we eat out. He brags to others about how well I’ve learned to cook and bake(take a bow all of you that blog for us!) Changing our ways of eating has meant a big decrease in his cholesterol too. No more using mixes with who knows what in them. I can’t believe that I ever ate some of that stuff when I read the ingredients now. There are things that are still hard but way more of them that are good! I’m learning to bake by weight and without refined sugar as well. If I had 4 little ones running around this house, I’m not sure I’d be in the same state as now. I salute those of you that do it all especially those of you who have celiac children.

    • Glugle Gluten-Free

      Hi Barb,

      I’m so glad you have a supportive husband. It really makes a big difference. And, to tell you the truth, I really like the baked goods and other alternatives that we eat now so much better than the “old” stuff. I can’t believe I ever ate some of it and liked it.

      And, I agree about those with Celiac kids. I just have to worry about myself, but if I had to worry about the Little Man all of the time, I would freak out. those are some pretty amazing moms.

      xo – Tia

  8. This is an incredible post. And you’re right – support is how we can make this change and how we start a NEW bit of inertia. I’m unique in that I went gluten-free after my dad, brother and sister did, so I had close family support, but there are still MANY situations with friends and family, or in your professional life, that you feel alone, weird, and different. That isolation can be so difficult. I am thankful that my husband is supportive (just last night, after picking up some dinner for me, he told me about the lady helping him. He made her re-make my salad because she kept carrying her hand full of cheese – I’m dairy-intolerant too – across my salad, dropping some in it, after he explained that I couldn’t have dairy and to please not do that. I beamed inside knowing I had his support and that he was willing to police my food even in my absence.), and it breaks my heart knowing others don’t have that support. That’s where forming groups is essential! It helps to have someplace where people understand what you go through and can share stories, ideas, offer help, and just be there for one another.

    • Glugle Gluten-Free

      Hi Alta,

      I’m glad it came across right. I was afraid it wasn’t sounding the way I wanted it to. I didn’t want to be preachy.

      Sounds like you have a great husband, there. That’s so wonderful that he was watching out for you. I think that is what family/spouses are supposed to do, right? I understand what you mean about it breaking your heart that others don’t. I wanted to cry when that one reader told about how her marriage broke up because her husband wouldn’t support her. Just baffling to me.

      xo – Tia

  9. Excellent post! We are only a month into this and 3 of our family of six have been diagnosed with celiac disease and one is allergic to wheat! Needless to say my oldest daughter and I just revamped the kitchen and it is now officially gluten free! I know it will make my life easier in the long run but getting that first step out of the way was super hard. The financial aspect was only one part of it. I am finding that the time involved in learning all about the disease, finding what you can and can’t eat, reading every label, offering emotional support to the three kids and husband who have to remain 100% gluten free(especially to the ones who really didn’t feel “that bad”), finding out what stores carry what and at a the best price……I was already feeling a little time stressed with it being grad year :) Thankfully my family has already been used to eating a mostly whole food diet but somehow with this new diagnosis it seems they want to know that they really can have a brownie or a piece of bread still :) The whole point of that long rant though was to say that I am so THANKFUL for everyone who posts/blogs about this and it truly does help to know we are not alone!

    • Glugle Gluten-Free

      Hi Dawn,

      Congratulations on your change over in your kitchen. That is a truly amazing feat. Ah, time. If only we all had an extra 24 hours in the day to get done what we NEED to do. It is hard at the beginning, but it does get easier. And, soon, most stuff will be second nature to you. And, there are some great recipes out there for gluten-free brownies and bread. It’s nice to know they are available if needed/wanted. It’s a bummer that they can’t just get one anywhere, but for me, it has kept me from eating those things I shouldn’t when I am out and about, you know.

      Good luck! And thank you for your kind words. I don’t know what I would do if it weren’t for my blogging friends. They help me everyday, even if it’s just to know that they are there.

      xo – Tia

  10. Yes yes yes! Support is so important, and it can be found in a variety of places, from the blogs to support groups to (hopefully) friends and family. So glad your husband has been so supportive for you!

    • Glugle Gluten-Free

      Hi Iris,

      Wow! It has taken me a long time to reply to you. Sorry about that. You are right. It is amazing what a difference support can make. I just feel so bad for those that can’t get it, especially from family and friends.

      xo – Tia

  11. Seriously, I couldn’t agree more. I’m not sure if she will keep it in the video, but Lillian interviewed me and I went off on the importance of “doing it together” and having a strong support system. People forget that it is so important to be there for friends and family when it really matters.

    • Glugle Gluten-Free

      Hi Alisa,

      Just to let you know, I have been so out of touch that I had no idea that was in her video. I did not steal it, I swear. I need to catch up on everyone’s blog. Yikes!

      Yeah, I am baffled by those that don’t support their family and friends. Just weird. So I need to go support my friends, I guess.

      xo – Tia

  12. This is such a great (and unique) post! Having the support you need it key to success no matter what you do! I’m so glad you took this topic on. We see so much about recipes and alternative flours, etc. — but having people in your corner to help you make the transition is SO important. Plus, this is a lifelong change, so we need each other to help us along the path. And to make it fun!

    • Glugle Gluten-Free

      You are so cool. Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back. Guess I am working on that support thing when it comes to replying to comments. It was just what I kept thinking about when Diane broached this topic. Glad people liked it.

      xo – Tia

  13. Umm…totally laughing at your comment exchange with Heidi! Out of context, that could sound really weird!

    You wrote this post so well! It could not be more true. I felt the same way in the beginning. I went down the same path as everyone else, but we just began to embrace it and have fun with it. And now? Man, I feel like we have never eaten better! Plus, of course, it put me on the path to have all of you in my life, which has been one of the best parts of all!

    Loved the post, missy! You did an awesome job! xo

    • Glugle Gluten-Free

      Thanks, Kim! Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you.

      BTW, your sentence about Hedi and me. Really? This is coming from the woman that half of our conversations talk about how we slept together the first night we met in person. I mean, come on. Really? ;)

      xo – Tia