co-habitating with gluten.
while this is not ideal, it is possible. i would highly recommend freeing your whole house from gluten to support your, or your family member's, need for gluten free. however, there are a few reasons why you may choose to go the route of co-habitating- if there is only one person in the household who is gluten free, finances, and/or a family member who isn't dealing well with gluten free. or, you might find yourself in a situation i haven't mentioned, which i respect. so here are some tips for keeping those of who react to gluten, safe.
- 1. always wash your hands before eating, or touching food. this is your greatest way to stay safe as you are ensuring that anytime you touch your food, you are not contaminating it. be your own advocate.
- 2. wash gluten free dishes first, and gluten-containing dishes last, putting them in the dishwasher as often as possible. put your dishcloth in the laundry after each time you've used it to wash a dish that touched gluten. once the dish rag has been contaminated, it needs to be washed very well. avoid sponges at all cost. they live up to their name, and absorb and hold onto everything, including gluten, like a sponge.
- 3. separate toasters. store them in separate places so there is no confusion, and no sharing of crumbs.
- 4. jam, butter, & other spreads. the rule for the entire household needs to be that any utensil only goes into the jar/container once. scoop out what you'll need, and then spread it on your toast, or wherever you're spreading it. if you have family members who are too young to abide by this rule 100%, then you'll need to buy doubles of each of these products and label them well. one for gluten-eating folks, and one for gluten free.
- 5. cook only gluten free pasta. this will contaminate your pots and pans, as well as your colander. either stock a separate pot and wooden spoon and colander for these situations, or keep gluten from touching your pots and pans. gluten containing soup? heat it in a bowl in the microwave.
- 6. one area of counter for gluten food prep, one area gf. keep this consistent, as it won't only affect you and our family in the moment that you're preparing the food, but the crumbs and remnants are quite likely to stick around in that area. ie. falling into the drawers below, hiding in the corners. make sure all family members are aware of these areas and be strict about it.
- 7. cutlery drawer under the gluten free area. have you ever noticed how quickly your cutlery drawer seems to become littered with crumbs? make sure those are only gluten free crumbs, otherwise all of your cutlery will be contaminated, all of the time. this drawer should be below the gf food prep area, and no where near the gluten toaster.
- 8. store gluten containing food below gluten free food, so crumbs can't fall and contaminate. this is referring mostly to your pantry, and is pretty straight forward. gluten free on the top shelves, gluten on the bottom shelves. let's work together with gravity ;)
- 9. bathroom products. continue to use gluten free products for those who need it, for sure. hand soap, cosmetics, shampoo, the works. if a bathtub is being shared by both parties, keep the tub gf and every product that goes into it.
- 10. kissing. here's the rule: in order to kiss your spouse, or your date, they need to be gluten free in that moment - ie. if you've gone out for dinner, and he/she has eaten something with gluten in it, there needs to be some serious teeth brushing before anybody is going to kiss. in the same regard, if she has put lipstick/gloss on that may contain gluten, kissing is also out of the question. this can be a little tricky on a first date, but once some ground rules are established you'll be smooth sailing.
- 11. laundry soap, dish soap, etc. these need to remain gluten free in order to be safe. there are enough options out there that the members of your family who can have gluten likely won't even notice that their laundry is gluten free ;)
- 12. nose picking & nail biting. these need to stop asap. if there is gluten roaming around the house, these are too risky and are habits that need to be broken asap.