Friday, July 4, 2014

And So It Begins…

We’d been told not to make any dietary changes until we knew for sure, so I’m not sure why I thought I was ready.

I thought it would go like this…
“Mr. and Mrs. Rath, it looks like your daughter has celiac disease. We’ll have the lab results in a few days. You should start thinking about going gluten free.”

So, while we ate one of her favorite gluten filled meals for dinner that night, we happily talked about what that meant.

Yeah, that’s not what happened. (You knew that, right?)

It went more like this…
“Your daughter has celiac disease. There is visible evidence and we’ll have the lab results to confirm in a few days. You need to go gluten free today.”

Today. As in immediately.

I scrounged together something she could eat for lunch, and then it became very real.

We went grocery shopping.

For two hours.

Yes, two hours—because the aisles we perused with interest a week ago now looked intimidating and overwhelming. The shelves towered over me making me feel very small and unequipped. We went armed with an abbreviated list of ingredients to stay away from, but I soon learned just how short and abbreviated that list was.

We strolled.

We examined.

We read labels.

And then we read more labels.

At some point, I bought a Pepsi to get her (and me) through the second hour. Don’t judge. The nurse had given her some earlier, so it was the one label I didn’t need to scrutinize. And she was a happy camper because I let her have pop in the middle of the day, and it wasn’t a special occasion.

Well, unless you celebrate the first day of the rest of your gluten free life, then it’s special.

We weren’t celebrating.

But…we weren’t in despair either.

I don’t remember everything we bought in that maiden gluten free shopping trip, but I know she ate dinner that night…and every night since then.

We also learned a lesson in that first shopping experience—everything has to be checked, regardless if it’s in the gluten free section.

And even if it says Gluten Free.

We learned this with a small container of chocolate ice cream…from the gluten free freezer section…with the words Gluten Free on the front.

But a day later, we read this on the back: This product has been processed on equipment that also processes nuts, wheat, eggs, soy and milk.

Meaning…possible cross-contamination.

By then, I’d learned that most Breyer’s ice cream flavors are gluten free. And for that I celebrated because my favorite ice cream was safe to have in the house…oh, and she likes it too.

So, we dumped the chocolate (which no one in my family would classify as ice cream anyway) and counted it as our first lesson learned.

(To read more about the beginning of our gluten free journey, read: Letting Go of Normal)

In Christ,


  1. Laura, You are handling this change with grace and love. We've had to adjust our diet several times for health reasons. Some were temporary some permanent. It's a challenge to not only learn what to buy, but what and how to cook it. Add other family members who may not be thrilled with the changes . . . anyway, like I began, you are handling the changes grace and love. Blessings!

    1. Thank you Deb. It certainly is challenging, but it hasn't been as awful as I feared. I can see where God walked before us and prepared the way by changing attitudes and resistance to the change. And that has made a huge difference.

  2. Oh, not fun news! I've finally started going gluten free just to see if my body responds. I think my thyroid was greatly affected by stress overload. Best wishes to you, your daughter and your family. My sister deals with anaphalactic (sp?) responses in her daughter who is allergic to gluten. It can be very scary. She blogs at and bakes a lot. :) I look forward to reading more about your journey and how your family adjusts!

    1. Thank you for the link Jolene. I've been baking and finding out what can be substituted and what's better by finding a GF recipe. Funny you mentioned about reading more...when I posted today I wondered if it was too much of my GF adventure. lol Thanks for your encouragement. :)

  3. Oh boy, Laura- that is a lot to have to do ...IMMEDIATELY. But as Deb said, you are handling it beautifully. Even the tone of this post is laced with grace. Thank you and glad you are keeping a sense of humor and a light heart despite a fairly serious lifestyle change. I love the quote by Elisabeth Elliot which says that we should not lose our peace over anything. I like it, but living it is another thing! All the best to you as you continue on this journey. Hugs, Dawn

  4. Oh friend, I cannot imagine. I tried to go GF once, just to see if I felt any different. I lasted 3 days. God certainly does pour out the grace and strength for us to get through the challenging times. And like Deb said, you are handling this with grace and love. Praying He continues to give you wisdom for the journey.

  5. It will get easier. I don't know what I would have done if I had to do it IMMEDIATELY bc it's been a process over the last year for me. Doing lots of research and trying out new recipes. and are two of my favorite go-to websites that are grain free and the recipes are amazing. I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto's after suspecting I had it for years, the doctors weren't testing for it correctly, and I knew that going gluten free would help. Praying for you as you walk this journey, it's not easy, but I know it will be worth it!!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!