My partner was diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2010 after a long, frighteningly severe illness that left several doctors and specialists baffled. Ten years ago, the gluten-free fad had not yet reached the general population, and the young rheumatology resident at University of Michigan’s medical center only threw it out in passing after he had exhausted every other possibility and his supervisor had given up on us. It was the first we had heard of the problem, but the results of going gluten-free for my partner were immediate and unmistakable.
For me, it was a welcome diagnosis (non-lethal, easily treatable), but a difficult adjustment. He is much more gluten sensitive than average, and it takes very small traces to make him very sick. This means that I put him at risk every time I eat something with gluten, even if the gluten doesn’t adversely affect me. This was rough, because I’ve often joked that I could live entirely on bread and good cheese. Food preferences don’t go just go away because someone else can’t tolerate them.
Because I believe in intuitive eating, I set out to find gluten-free alternatives to the foods I craved, and create a healthy, varied diet for us both. Along the way, I have picked up a lot of tricks to minimize gluten exposure while we live, work, and play.