Give the man a medal – what it’s like living with coeliacs 

Banished to the gluten corner

In our house, as you probably know by now, there are three coeliacs – me and my two daughters.

When my youngest, Amalie, had to become strictly gluten-free, I decided to banish most gluten from our house. My husband, Martin, offered to just eat gluten-free food, but due to the price and the standard of some products, I turned him down. I thought we could cope with the cross-contamination issue if he only ate staple gluten products, such as cereal, pasta and bread.

Whenever I cook meals, I only use GF flour, gravy granules, sauces and stock so that is not a problem. And to be honest, once you have cracked recipes, it really does not taste any different at all. And some stuff is far tastier – GF sausages actually have a higher meat content because they have removed the filler, which is often wheat flour.

But bless Martin… he has been banished to the smallest work surface in the kitchen. It took a few years, but eventually he also got his own cupboard, where all his gluten products are kept. So lucky!! Seriously, though, this means that there is no risk of confusion if anyone else stays at the house or looks after the kids. It reduces the risk of human error.

We went to our first festival of the year a few weeks ago and Martin was just eating the same as us so there was no risk of cross-contamination. His mate asked him if he still ate bread and he replied: “What is bread?”

His friend said: “Aw, mate, we’ve lost you. First you get banished to this tiny little space in the kitchen and then you actually forget what bread is. Come back to us.”

It’s not very often that I think of the other side of our situation as I need to be so focused on gluten-free to ensure the kids are safe. But Martin really is very good.

He tries not to eat anything the kids would desperately want in front of them and is happy to have gluten-free things when it is easier for us. I know, though, that the second I say I am out for the evening and am not having tea, the cogs start turning and a plan is hatched about what gluten-rich takeaway he can get. And five minutes after I leave, a gigantic meat feast pizza is delivered. (Busted, Martin! I always find the evidence in the recycling bin.)

By Karen Woodford – coeliac wife to a very patient husband


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