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Time equals food February 17, 2015

Posted by mareserinitatis in food/cooking.
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One of the most frustrating aspects of having Celiac disease is the amount of time it takes away from…everything.  It shouldn’t be that bad…I just have to stay away from gluten.  However, it seems that I’m basically stuck making everything from scratch now.

It’s amazing how many things contain gluten.  I can’t even buy many types of frozen vegetable mixes (!) without running into gluten.  (They use it to thicken the sauces.)  It’s a bit nerve-wracking buying anything that doesn’t have a ‘certified gluten-free’ symbol on it, and even then you have to be careful.  (It turns out that there are limits to the test, and I’ve found I react to anything that has gluten-ingredients, even if it is certified gluten free.  Apparently it’s just too hard to get rid of all of those nasty epitopes in things like vinegar.)

Of course, there are boxed alternatives to most foods that are gluten-free, but you’re paying 2 to 3 times the price for those items.  When we switched over to a gluten-free diet, our eating out expenses pretty much dried up, but the grocery bill jumped enough to make up for it and then some…and I don’t even buy that much processed food.

There is the option of taking a tax deduction at the end of the year to feed into your medical deduction. In order to do this, you have to keep every receipt, denote the items that are gluten-free, find a comparable item that contains wheat, determine the difference, and keep track of the differences.  The problem is that if you don’t hit the minimum on your medical deduction, you can’t use all this anyway.  We seriously considered doing this until we realized that we probably would not exceed the necessary amount to do anything but the standard deduction, and it would take a LOT of time and research to begin with.  Therefore, it seemed like a big waste of time.

Now I’m down to trying to make most things from scratch to keep expenses down, but this is certainly not helping with the time issue.  One example is (decent) bread.  If you buy gluten-free bread, it generally tastes unpleasant, though some brands are more tolerable than others, and you’re easily paying twice the amount of money for a loaf that is a 1/3 to 1/4 the size of your average wheat loaf.  At least.  I used to buy the fancy artisan bread from the local baker and it was probably the same amount as the gluten-free stuff, but it had a LOT more bread.  If you’re used to the grocery store stuff, it’s even more dramatic.  And the choices are pretty limited, too.  If I want a loaf of sourdough, I have to make it myself because there just simply isn’t any premade available.  (And seriously…who doesn’t love fresh sourdough bread?!)  This is not a quick and easy process.

This whole issue wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t enjoy food so much.  As much as not needing to eat would be convenient, I don’t think it’s in the cards.

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