Sorry for the delay folks. We’ve been in polar vortex hell. The last ice storm knocked out power out for 5 days. It got to 38 degrees INSIDE the Dude Ranch. Grateful for friends and family for the hot food, cold beer and warm shelter.
So last February, I published a series of Gluten-Free Love Stories that were shared by the wonderful folks in our little gluten-free corner of the world. It was really amazing to read how these couples came together through the adversity that celiac disease can sometimes present.
The fact is, it’s not always easy.
Celiac disease is 24 hours a day, 12 months a year. There’s hardly a moment that can go by when you’re NOT thinking about it.
So you need a strong relationship and a patient partner. A very patient partner.
But what happens when the support is there but the two of you are in a funk that you cannot escape from?
That’s the topic of today’s Dear Gluten Dude…
This isn’t really an inquiry or anything, mostly I’m just looking for support. What does the Celiac community have to offer, advice-wise, to the spouse or partner of a person with Celiac?
My fiancée has Celiac and is also pre-diabetic. We only learned about both of these conditions since after we started dating and the resulting changes in lifestyle (we’ve got a completely gluten-free kitchen and I eat gluten-free when we’re out and about) have left us alternating between machine-like bouts of food-prepping efficiency and depression/anxiety.
It’s only been a little over six months since we’ve made the switch to gluten-free and low-carb. My fiancée’s blood sugar levels are back to the normal range (diet and exercise really do make a huge difference) and her stomach has been feeling great consistently for over a month.
Now should be a time for celebration! But it’s not!
We feel like we’re both at the lowest point we’ve been the whole time! I’m anxious and stressed out worrying about her and trying to shoulder way too much of the burden and she’s incredibly depressed at the prospect of a diet this restrictive for the rest of her life.
We’ve decided to reach out to the gluten-free community because we’ve practically been the only supports for each other in this endeavor for the past year and a half. We’re full-time teachers from the US, living and working in Korea. There’s little knowledge of dietary restrictions in Korea, there are too few English-speaking people who eat gluten-free in Korea to create a locally-based community, and our family and friends don’t really get the hardship and health risks of Celiac and the gluten-free lifestyle.
We’re both active, in-shape people, and we both thought we enjoyed cooking. However, we can’t really read labels in Korean (or trust the labeling all the time), have very limited access to pre-prepared gluten-free and low-carb foods, and lack an oven/dishwasher combo. We’re very, very busy cooking and washing dishes. At times we feel like we’ve got it under control, but one or both of us, after a few weeks, will crash. Most of the time we’re like machines; cooking, prepping, shopping, talking about food, planning about food, and worrying about food. It’s putting a huge strain on our relationship.
Any comments or help would be greatly appreciated!
This is a tough one. You’ve got the gluten-free adjustment, which can overwhelm the best of us in the beginning, but you’ve got the overseas issues to boot.
I’ll say this to your future Mrs…once you get the hang of it, the gluten-free diet doesn’t feel restrictive anymore. It feels…dare I say…normal. Give yourself the needed time to mourn the loss of your old lifestyle. It’s ok to do so. We’ve all been there. Then try to focus on the positives…your health…your husband-to-be…your health! Without your health…man…we got nothing.
And to you I say hang in there. I promise you…it gets easier for everybody. Read the Love Stories and see how others have overcome this. Find a support group where you can talk about your concerns with others in a similar situation.
And here’s a biggie piece of advice to both of you: Don’t let celiac control your life. When you’re out on a date, you don’t have to talk about it. When you’re lying in bed, you don’t have to talk about it. If you let it dominate your life, pretty soon you’ll realize there’s nothing left to talk about.
And that’s when the trouble really begins.
27 thoughts on “Dear Gluten Dude: My Fiancée has Celiac Disease and We're Both So Damned Depressed”
Hi there, I just wanted to reach out to you guys and tell you that my boyfriend and I also live in Korea. I was diagnosed with celiac in August, and have since been dealing with living a gluten free lifestyle in Korea. You’re right, it’s TOUGH. You’re WAY more restricted here than you would be in the U.S. or anywhere in the west, really. I’m glad to hear that you’ve gotten some of the issues under control through shifts in diet and exercise. If you would like to get in touch with me, I would be so happy to share some of the things that I’ve learned here with you! I do stress at times, and I’ve made a few mistakes, but I feel like I’ve got the diet pretty under control these days. If you’d like to, you can get in touch with me: firstname.lastname@example.org. If we’re in the same area, maybe we can get a gluten free dinner night going!
I think it’s incredible that you have reached out to the gluten free community for help with this issue. As the person with celiac in my relationship, I sometimes feel that I can be such a burden to my boyfriend. I worry that he is tired of following the rules, that he is tired of me feeling sick, tired of me feeling “out of it,” tired, tired, tired, and I worry, worry, worry. But then he will do something incredibly sweet and thoughtful (like order me an entire shipment of gluten free cookies and then surprise me with them at work), and it makes me remember that I’m not a burden, and he is choosing to be with me, despite the challenges of having a celiac partner. Your fiancée is lucky to have someone who cares enough to reach out for help with this issue. Please remember that it DOES get easier. Everyone says that, but it’s really true. A little bit at a time, things become more and more normal.
As you’re from the U.S. I’m assuming you don’t plan to live in Korea forever. Keeping that in mind helps too. I spend a LOT of my time cooking here. And it’s a huge responsibility. But I have reconciled myself to the fact that while living in Korea, things are going to be a little bit more tough than they would be living back home, because the access to more convenient food just isn’t possible. It helps me get through difficult times when I’m feeling exhausted or am too busy and don’t feel like cooking. 🙂
I wonder if there are any foods that you can eat that require little to no cooking and dishes, for at least some nights of the week? I don’t know the situation in Korea, but when I first got diagnosed with celiac I ate potatoes (baked in the microwave), canned beans, and spinach or frozen vegetables pretty much every night for several weeks in a row because I just felt too overwhelmed by the idea of getting my kitchen fully in order and buying lots of new ingredients I’d have to check.
On the one hand, that sounds pretty depressing; on the other hand, it freed up my time to do and think about other things. Maybe you can try eating very simple meals for a while that still suit the gluten-free and pre-diabetic dietary requirements, so you can focus more on the important stuff. Eventually I’m sure you’ll get back into a more “normal” cooking groove. Good luck!
I don’t know how much access you would have to this in Korea, but maybe you could order some of your food from Amazon? I go there for the things I can’t find in my local grocery stores and to get a couple things in bulk. It’s been a big help in filling in those gaps and giving me some variety in my diet. Again, not sure how that would work in Korea, but it might give you a few more options. 🙂
Your fiancé is very lucky to have you. I don’t know what I would do without my husband. Many days he is the only support I have and I feel guilty that I lean on him so much. Luckily he has a very curious mind and is actually interested in hearing about it (most of the time!). As your fiancé continues to feel better, hopefully it won’t be as consuming as it is right now. My only other advice would be maybe to trade off on food prep duties so one or both of you aren’t doing it all the time and find as many quick/simple meals as you can. It does get easier – with me these rough patches seem to ebb and flow. I have times when I feel like I can conquer the world and others where I hate the thought of being saddled with this diet for the rest of my life. Just keep trying to see the positive – you do have each other! Good luck to you both. 🙂
Musicmidget suggested ordering from Amazon. I’m not sure if they ship to Korea or not, but iherb.com definitely does, and I buy TONS of stuff there. Bread mixes, pasta, cookies, bouillon, cake mix, etc. It does’t have as wide of a variety as a grocery store in the U.S., but it has enough that if you are a little creative you can break the monotony of the Korean diet.
I think this is a very difficult thing to deal with (at least initially) in the best of times. And you’ve got extra stuff layered on top of that to deal with. Its going to take time to adjust. I’m 4 years in and sometimes I still feel frustrated, sad, overwhelmed..and I have a very supportive boyfriend who has been there through all of it. (He usually eats gluten free at home, but eats whatever when he’s out and about). I noticed the first couple of years, it got so all I talked about was food. I was obsessed..I thought about it constantly, planned it, craved things I couldn’t have and talked about it incessantly. My boyfriend was kind and patient, but after a while, it started to really wear on him..and I know it wasn’t doing me any favors either by being so consumed with it. I had to make the choice to stop thinking about it all day and even more to stop voicing every little thing I thought. After a while it got easier to stop having it consume my every thought..but it took time! The key for me was to find foods that nurtured my body and mind and to stop trying to replace the foods I had to give up. I did the typical ‘gluten free’ diet for about 6-8 months (lots of processed/packaged gluten free replacements), got even sicker eventually because most of that stuff is junk and that is when I turned to real, whole foods. And when I started relying more on fruit, nuts, meat, etc..no packaged stuff at all, that is when my mind found it easier to relax and stop thinking so much about food! It can be depressing to think of the restrictions of how we need to eat..but really, its forced me to learn what real food is and how to nurture my body with it. If you are overwhelmed with preparing foods (I know how that is..I do more dishes daily now than I used to do all week!), I would recommend relying on easy to prepare, fresh, whole foods. Lots of fruit and veggies and easy to prepare meats and eggs. Keep it simple and keep it real!
For support, I’ve found it helpful to sort of connect and read about folks online who are going through the same thing. I don’t have anyone close by where I am other than my boyfriend for support, so I’ve turned to trying to find that support online. It has helped me tremendously.
First off, that is so amazing that you guys are making it work in a foreign country with a different language. Kudos!
Okay, so the easy thing – it does get better. There are phases similar to the grieving process that you have to work through, and this panic/machine cooking phase is one of them. Your area might have a few more challenges than normal, but eventually, the feelings become part of the routine, and you figure out how to juggle them amongst the other issues.
The next part is the trick. Part of it is going to be working on your mental state. You’re going to have to constantly work to remind yourself that this is an adventure. Yes, there are fears around every corner, and yes, you will fail sometimes, but the overall thing about food is that eating shouldn’t just be for sustenance, it should be enjoyable!
I don’t know where you are exactly in Korea, but we eat a lot of Korean food around here, and there are some great options that you can have if you can talk to your local restaurant owner. Some foods I eat regularly are gom tang, sul long tang, gam ja tang, etc. Our local restaurant makes its own dwenjang/doenjang (soy bean paste) so I can eat their Guk Gan Jang soy sauce as well (since its just a fermented liquid of the dwenjang paste of soy beans and brine). But a commercially made guk gan jang sauce is likely to have wheat in it. Sundubu-jjigae is something I get a lot as well. Yes, there’s going to be cross contamination issues, but the more you get to know your local restaurant owner, the more you can explain and work on their practices (gluten free eating is supposed to be on the hot trends for 2014 in Korea, so take advantage!).
The diabetes thing can also throw folks for another loop, but you’ll eventually learn to mix the occasional high carb meal in and be okay. If she hasn’t already, have her keep a food log and test her blood sugar so she gets an idea of what kinds of foods affect her more than others.
Make it a habit to at least one night a week to do something where neither of you talk about food. Go enjoy some peanuts at the cinema. Take a walk in the park and enjoy the sights. Go into one of those tech stores and discuss the merits of one phone over another. Don’t think about food, don’t talk about food, and don’t make it a food centered activity if you can. After awhile, you’ll start to relax in the rest of your life about it, but right now, you’re going to have to focus on not focusing, if that makes any sense. Eventually, the food thing becomes part of her identity, and not her only identity (or yours as a couple).
Last, my former boss used to work in Korea, and he said “ppeong twigi” should also be something gluten free that’s fun that you can have as street food (its basically puffed rice cakes that kind of resemble pringles). And that usually dried fish on the street is usually plain because they’re expecting you to dip it in sauce. And dakkochi is usually okay because they’re expecting you to tell them what sauce to put on it, and its legit to say no sauce (its like kebabs, with chicken and veggies).
The thing glaring at me in this is there is no discussion of vitamins, in particular B complex. I’ve been celiac likely most of my life & have been diagnosed 3 going on 4 years. I was doing well the first year adapting without a lot of processed food but discovered (the hard way of coarse) that not taking a vitamin pill & specifically supplimenting the B type vitamins/folic acid still had issues with severe depression & fatigue. B12 helps with energy, B3 depression, folic acid not only pregnancy but hormone balance to avoid some of the psycho ups/downs that tend to go with this disease.
Reaching out to the american embassay if you aren’t a military family might also be helpful. Base PX groceries have the ability to bring in processed GF foods & mixes. While you may get stuck puchasing an entire case of GF mix it might allow some flexibility.
I had to lose a relationship or two to figure this out: you are not responsible for what she needs to eat. I do all the grocery shopping, and all the cooking–and in return, if that means we’re having crock pot turkey legs and hot dogs four nights a week, my boyfriend is o.k. with that; he never has to worry about what I have to eat, though. The only compromise is that, sometimes, he may not like what I’m cooking.
(Which is not to say that he has to eat things he doesn’t like. If I accidentally cook something he hates, it gets permanently removed from the menu.)
You’ll feel much better if you both realize that her food needs are not your responsibility.
It might also help if you looked up Codependents Anonymous. Being in a relationship with a celiac is a little like being with an alcoholic; they’re both diseases that are beyond our control.
Agreed. Studying codependency has helped me stay clear of caregiving traps and other MOs. Reverend Katherine Revoir from California does a multi-week online class through Google+Hangouts that is very, very good.
Im going to agree with thetxgirl. Talk to your doctor about some supplements. When u are celiac your body doesnt do well absorbing fat soluble vitamins such as D & omegas as well as some others due to the damage to your small intestines. If u are deficient in vitamins ……you will feel tired,depressed &very anxious. When i went gluten free i was probably a little depressed for the 1st 3 months &my anxiety was through the roof the last 3 months when i moved to Germany. Mostly because i am not taking any vitamins. For me with celiac i get anxiety is bad. I get real bad &emotiinal if i accidentally eat gluten …this is something many women experience. My sister was actually prescribed anti anxiety pills to help her heal at her initial diagnosis. Your intestines can actually get worse due to stress. ….Try not to stress out. Everything you are feeling is normal. It does get way better & way easier. Once you find foods that are safe &that u like it will b a breeze. Hang in there.
Agreed and I have the same. Your anxiety will get less and less over the next couple months. Cross contamination may keep it going a bit. I like to use the UCSD Mindfulness audio a couple times a day when I feel like poo. At least it helps me be with what is – knowing the emotions are real but not true and transient helps.
My weekly plan is thus, and maybe you could each take on specific parts? This also helps me to keep my budget under SOME control
Every Sunday Planning Grid:
Columns – B’fast, Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Calendar, Notes
Rows – days of the week
I then go look at my pantry. What’s in need of creative use?
I then plan my dinners first and then lunches based on my days. Busy day = easy dinner!
I construct a grocery list based on what I need and go shopping,
I come home and prep (mis en place) all the items I can – carrots, onions, etc. so that I can use them quickly during the week. I make all my lunches using reusable or compostable to-go containers.
When I plan and prep, he shops. When I cook, my roomie cleans the dishes. It gives us all some space and pause.
I keep a stash of emergency items like Applegate nuggets and Kind bars in the freezer, JIK.
Go-to stupid easy and tasty: brown rice pasta (or mung bean “glass” noodles?) tossed with the juice and zest from one lemon, a bit of salt, a ton of pepper, and either olive oil or goat butter. I will frequently use truffle salt just to amp up the tasty. You can add some sauteed veggies and meat that were made in the same pot. If you can find Italian herbs, that works, too.
Celiac in Korea-
Loved the comments above, SB has some really good suggestions, great ideas about planning ahead. Maybe you could start a blog page about being celiac in Korea? Might be way more of us in other countries than we realize. If you have the money get some stuff shipped to you from home, might lighten the depression just a bit. Wonder if they could ship you some gluten free Twinkies (sorry GD)…
Best from Jersey-
It’s hard adjusting to a gluten free lifestyle so I do understand it’s going to be difficult for our partners who aren’t affected. But for me, my husband up until recently he has been totally unsupportive about it. His attitude is, why should I suffer because you do. He has however, made a few minor attempts to ‘show’ support by buying me my very own toaster for Christmas! and avoiding using my butter, but he isn’t keen on going totally gluten free in the home. He also doesn’t appreciate that I get quite depressed and anxious and loses his patience with me over that. I never feel 100% healthy and he feels I’m just a hypochondriac. even though, 9 times out of 10 whenever I complain about feeling ill it usually results in something, not least this illness. I had been complaining for awhile about feeling ill and wasn’t taken seriously only to be diagnosed with Coeliac disease!
Anyway, not sure how much this helps you two, but it does sound as though your fiancé is very supportive of you and I can say that the diet becomes easier especially as time goes on when more and more companies/people are realising just how many of us are affected and they are accommodating us more in grocery stores/restaurants.
Hi Amanda, Arg. I know this story from friends of mine, and it sounds rough. One peev I have is calling this a ‘lifestyle.’ A beach shack or urban studio are lifestyle *choices.*
I hope that you have lots of support from your extended community including us!
This is so neat that you are getting advice from celiacs in Korea and people familiar with Korean food.I am imagining a GF dinner party with the other GF couple! I will not seriously compare living in rural central Illinois two decades ago to living in Korea but I felt the same way. To some degree we all do at first. I was so obsessed worrying about what I could eat it overwhelmed me, and it is a HUGE amount of work. You can pick and choose from these suggestions people are making. Buying GF food from the US would be expensive and actually not great for pre-diabetes. Making a menu and prepping things your whole weekend might add to the stress. What I ended up doing was giving up for about 6 months. I ate GF, but I ate pork chops, chicken breast, baked potato, rice, beans,eggs,popcorn, nuts, fruit and veggies. I stopped worrying about replacements and what was for dinner and kept those foods in the house. I moved on to other things in life and I was surprised that I eventually started feeling really good and actually enjoyed experimenting with GF cooking. Maybe you need to give yourself a break. PS the pre-diabetes thing might be more depressing. I have had it for 11 years and the Dr had told me that I would have diabetes in a year or two and I worried all the time. Well, I still don’t have it and it is something you can fight. Good luck!
You might want to try a support group on Facebook. I have seen people from Africa and India there. As for food, I would stick to fresh fruit, vegetables, fresh meat, brown rice. I know that there are sites that have recipes for gluten free foods. It may mean making everything fresh and just eating at home for awhile. Don’t obsess. Go with the flow. Rant, stomp your feet, and then start walking forward. It sounds simplistic, but that’s how I roll.
First off, you’ve got my sympathies! Adjusting to a restrictive diet is tough, and doing it on multiple fronts is even more difficult. I’m hoping that there are folks like Bellevie you can connect to!
Mostly, I agree with the advice above, especially having fun things to do that are unrelated to food (new hikes, getting a massage, movies, etc.), and not taking on too much of your fiancée’s burden. Being supportive is *awesome,* but there is a point at which you have to step back, too – I know that you acknowledged this in your letter, but it’s hard, so keep working at it! And I’d also encourage you to eat some gluteney or sugary foods outside of the house – if it can help you avoid feeling burned-out, you can then be more supportive of her in the ways that she needs.
I’d also encourage you to try and find food-related treats that can work within your restrictions at home. Maybe it’s splurging for really awesome coffee, or going to the market that has really great fruit, or indulging in really good chocolate every so often. When food *just* feels like a slog, it’s harder to keep going, and there are some options that’ll work, even if they’re not the same as what she’s had to give up.
It will get better. I promise. Gluten Dude mentioned that you must allow yourself a mourning period. He’s right. Mine lasted for the better part of a year. It probaby would have been shorter if my husband had been more supportive. He wasn’t mean about it, but I don’t think he totally believed that gluten was a real problem at first. He does now. So you are ahead of the game by having both of you on board. I would just caution you that you can take on too much as a spouse or partner. Support is awesome. Helping cook a meal is even better. Being willing to eat gluten-free with your partner is such a relief for the other person. Just don’t make yourself her “monitor.” Maybe you can be the distraction, the one who wants to go for a walk, or watch a movie, or anything that shifts the focus away from food. You can be the “fun” one for awhile until she (and you) have fully come to terms with the new way of eating. Maybe you will be able to ship in some of the GF foods that others mentioned above to help you make the transition. For myself, after a year of eating “gluten-free” products such as breads and cookies, I still had way too many health problems to justify eating that kind of food that often. I gave up trying to “replace” everything I used to eat. I now eat mainly whole foods (with the occasional gluten-free treat) and I feel so much better (and eat some great food too)! You’ll get there too. Time spent planning and cooking did overwhelm me as well at first. But over time you come up with some go-to recipes for fast dinner/lunch and on Sundays I try to make a couple of large meals that I can package up and freeze for future meals. Soups are my favorite. I really don’t eat out very often anymore, more by choice than by necessity. Real food makes me feel better. Restaurant food (even in America) is iffy. Although I do have a few “safe” places to eat where I know that they make all their own dishes and I can pronounce the actual ingredients that they use! I too switched to low carb and it does feel more restrictive at first, but again I have finally come to a point in my life where my health is more important. Food is fuel and can be very enjoyable, but it does not have to be the center of my world anymore. This adjustment happened over time…again allow yourself time to accept and then embrace the cards you have been dealt. You (both) will come out on the other side healthier (and smarter). I wish you the best of luck no matter what country you reside in.
I’ve only been totally gluten-free (except for occasional accidental exposure) since last May, and I completely understand your feelings. It’s a grieving period, and I admit I was really angry about it for a while. But once I made up my mind that this was the way it was going to be, it was easier.
I don’t know if you order much from Amazon, but you can get some really good products there. If your girlfriend has to be low-carb, too, then they won’t help her, but you could order a few things and keep a little stash somewhere.
You could also check out sites like Low Carb Friends. They have some really great side dish ideas. When I did that diet (by choice), I found their ‘faux-tatoes’ and cauliflower casserole recipes to be lifesavers. You wouldn’t think so, but the fake mashed potatoes (using cauliflower) taste very close to real potatoes, and the casserole is wonderful. There’s also a french toast pancake recipe that sounds totally disgusting, but with butter flavored with maple extract and a sweetener, it’s quite good.
It probably seems overwhelming at this point, but just finding a few things that taste good to you, that feel a little normal, can make a huge difference in how you feel. It doesn’t alter the fact that it’s still a pain, and it’s far from fair, but food plays a huge role in our lives, and it’s important.
I wish much luck and happiness to you and your fiance.
I’m sorry you’re both are having a hard time. It may go without saying but if it brings comfort in knowing that you’re not alone, many of us share similar experiences and emotions. After 6 years of having celiac disease and being gluten-free, I will be completely honest; these early years are very difficult. Not to mention, living overseas is a challenge all in its own and something few relate to…Personally, the first year of diagnosis saw little improvement and required rebuilding my life from scratch. At times, it may seem like it gets worse before anything gets better. It WILL get better.
My advice to anyone in a relationship facing difficulty with celiac disease or with a new diagnosis is to take it as easy as possible. By that, I mean take a step back, acquire realistic expectations, and prioritize healing. Do not be overwhelmed with deadlines and life’s so called “plan”. Focus on the here and now rather than build up anxiety over the future even if that means making sacrifices. It is so much more depressing to let years go by and regret not taking on the disease and these emotions in the beginning.
With that said, I certainly advocate working hard, pushing through obstacles, and reaching goals. It is of UPMOST importance to fend off these hardships from consuming your lives. Do this by finding meaning in your own lives and as a couple that is focused outside of the disease.
While that is easier said than done when things are so depressing, remember these are issues and periods that WILL pass. Feeling very sad about the circumstance is a normal response to a life altering and stressful occurrence such as celiac disease. The struggle is proof that you’re working towards resolve in a situation needing change. As humans we need to mourn, we need to process, we need these raw emotions to hit us head on so we can overcome them rather than repress them and they sneak up on us years later. Even worse, have them gnaw at us and slowly erode our marriages and relationships. So be sad, stomp your feet, throw a few things, cry, and cry some more. Accept it, understand that it’s part process, and then keep moving forward.
To the fiancé without Celiac Disease: You can’t help but feel down when you’re fiancé is struggling…The restrictions, the food prep, the cleanup, the stress, the worry, the bad days, the tears, it will come. Anticipate this but don’t allow it to eat you alive (that goes for both of you). Remember to rejoice in the little things; the strides made, that her blood sugar is back to normal, that you have each other. There will be times when she needs you to pick up the slack and that’s okay but remember it is not your duty to “fix” and resolve her issues. You are there to guide her, to walk along side, and to see that she doesn’t have to go through this alone.
As for her: if she is anything like me, the guilt of subjecting loved ones to my suffering kept my needs quiet. Hindsight taught me that much of my hardship endured had a lot to do with lack of support. It certainly didn’t help that my significant other at the time withdrew or became angry when difficulty arose from the disease. Simply having a significant other that doesn’t shut down during the hard times is like medicine for this illness. Allow the people who love you to help while maintaining your independence. Combat apprehension and insecurity with positivity and perseverance. Collaborate with your companion, appreciate one another, and be each other’s support system on this journey towards healing.
I wish you both a happy and healthy life together.
Lauren – I agree with almost everything you state ! After a while, it actually felt better to have my boyfriend eat some gluten here and there when we were out to dinner so that i didnt feel like my needs were impeeding on his life. That being said i still felt better that he was willing to give up gluten at home. I felt like somehow it was silent support or something ? I have been GF now for almost 2 years and TOTALLY get the sick of machine like cooking and dishes that the person was talking about ! i’m so sick of cooking everything i eat and coming up with a meal plan each week. Sometimes…i think what i miss most is convenience and spontinaity (spelling ?). i miss just stopping in a restaurant and eating whatever i wanted ! I would tell the fiance to understand its not his responsibility and to treat himself to some gluten here and there outside the home without his fiance so that he doesnt get resentful towards her. Understand that one day she will have a good day and one day a bad day. For me, we talk about it ahead of time. I say “today i’m ok with going to such adn such place and watching you eat my old favorite meal”. but the next day i might not be ! Be honest with one another. Come up with other activities to do together outside of food. Stay active, take your vitamins, try to find a community of people. Try to simplify meals when you can and eat basic. a gluten free grilled cheese for dinner sometimes is the best you can do. I can so relate and i feel your pain. I cannot imagine doing this in a foreign nation ! Its ok to be sad about it from time to time. Its just part of the whole process. I feel like i will never be ok with being celiac completely. I’ll never have it all figured out. Its a journey not a destination !
Keren banget nih
Thanks everyone! We both reached out to the GF community and the flood of advice and support has been wonderful!
Probably the biggest piece of advice has been to hear that its okay to drop everything and to focus on healing and connecting.
We’ve made a real effort this weekend to not make any effort, haha, beyond relaxing and having together time. No talk about food or work or anything but thankfulness and being content.
It’s made a huge difference hearing from you all that we don’t need to feel guilty or shameful about how difficult it is to make the transition to a GF life.
It’s AMAZING to hear that others have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes and have managed to maintain their normal blood sugar levels. Our diet is very whole foods oriented and we both exercise regularly so hearing that we’re on the right path is incredibly appreciated!
We’re headed back to the USA this year and we’re really, really, really looking forward to it! Hopefully we’ll connect with some of you all in person at some point down the road!
Best of luck to everyone and thank you so much!
All the advice is great, one other tip for easier food preparation is a crock pot, especially if your space and equipment are limited, as it sounds like they are. I love coming home to something ready to eat after a long day, and there are a lot of super-easy recipes. Try http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ for recipes, the author is gluten-free and notes the items (like broth) that you have to double-check for gluten. good luck!
I am in Korea at the moment (as a tourist). I haven’t had a day without poisoning so far :(. Bibimbap without sause, see weed ‘triangles’, or whatever they called (tuna mayo, suppose to be the safest ones), Korean barbeque- nope, not good! Tasty lol but. . .pain, pain, pain (I have got unusual coeliac symptoms, that’s why it took nearly a year doctors to diagnose me :(, as soon as I eat something with gluten or contaminated, I have got sharp pain :(. Whoever lives in Korea, speaks Korean, please help coeliac- travellers in Korea by sending useful information.
For example, Google translation wasn’t much help when I was trying to explain about my food requirements, so please provide some useful links, phrases travellers can use.
Thank you ahead :).