Adapting to the Gluten-Free Lifestyle

Changing the way you eat is a complete lifestyle change in many ways.  If you’re on a gluten-free diet, you know what I mean.  The question is how will we handle this change?

My mom tells me what a good job I’ve done adapting.  She seems amazed at how well I have handled it.  She shouldn’t be surprised.  She is my example and has been for many years.

sheep-and-lambphoto credit

Though Mom didn’t have to make dietary changes, she did have to adapt to physical limitations.  When I was only a year old and the youngest of three children, Mom became legally blind.  She was in her early thirties and wouldn’t be able to drive for the rest of her life.

She could still function.  Legally blind is not completely blind, though she was almost completely blind in one eye.  When I was older, she was able to get a job typing reports and transcribing from audio, and when she met a challenge, she was determined to face it the best way possible. But imagine raising three young kids without driving!

Sure, our lifestyle was probably less hectic than most are these days, but we were involved in sports and other activities.  We rode our bikes a mile to the swimming pool in the summer, and when I was too young to ride, I sat in a seat on my mom’s bike.

family-cyclingphoto credit

We got rides with other people, and my dad did a lot of chauffeuring.  Honestly, my dad has been a great example too.  He didn’t like shopping, but he would drive us to the mall and then sit in the car and listen to a ball game.  He never complained.

In my twenties, I spoke with a woman who was older than my mom and who knew her  at the time her vision changed.  She told me and my sister how amazing Mom was.  How she adapted without complaining.  How she didn’t let it get her down.  I was inspired.

Then I had my own three kids and was even more inspired.  I understood better how difficult the change in lifestyle must have been for Mom and our family.

But that’s not the only lifestyle change my mom has made.   At age 70 she had a stroke which left her with partial paralysis of the left side.  She has trouble typing and doing the sewing and craft projects that she once did.

It’s not surprising that she adapted and is determined to do her best at whatever she can do. And once again, my dad adapted too.  Through helping my mom, he learned that he enjoys sewing.  He has even made tied quilts for his nine grandkids!

Mom & Dad 09

As the saying goes, when life hands you lemons, make lemon curd…. I mean lemonade.

Yes, going gluten free is a challenge.  It’s a different lifestyle.  But it can be done, and it can be done well.  Be an example to others by taking what life gives you and turning it into something good.

Read more information about gluten-free living.

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  1. says

    Oh, Linda, this is a beautiful post! Such a tribute to your mom, and your dad. I just love it. Makes me teary. And when we think of adapting to living gluten free, it can be viewed as a lifestyle change that is no more challenging than what many others go through. I am sure that your mom is right though … you have done a wonderful job adapting to living gf (and later df)! :-)

    Thanks for sharing with us!

    • says

      Thank you, Shirley. This was one of those posts that just “came to me” recently and I quickly sat down to the computer and wrote it up. Of course, I sent it to Mom and Dad first for approval and a few edits from Mom.

  2. JillW says

    Beautiful story, Linda! And a wonderful reminder of our role in the lives or our own children, too. Thanks so much for sharing! Blessings on your family!

    • says

      Thank you, Jill. You’re right about it being a reminder for us as parents. Especially since so many kids are facing food restrictions. We need to be examples for them.

    • says

      Thank you, Jen. Mom wasn’t thrilled about the picture, but told her that the smile on her face is what everyone would see. I passed all the comments along to my parents.

  3. Lee Barrilleaux says

    Thanks, Linda. Your parents sound amazing and isn’t it great when they not only adapt to change, but still enjoy life. My Mom is 79, still healthy and lives in a retirement apartment complex. She’s one of the few who still drives and she chauffeurs all of the ladies to their doctor’s appointments and the store. It gives her something to do and to look forward to.
    As for adapting to the gluten free diet, it was annoying at first, but now after a year, it’s my life. I’ve learned to enjoy cooking again, and adapting recipes, and I feel so much better,and I have the energy to shop for and cook gluten free foods. Considering what some people are contending with in their lives, being gluten free is a piece of cake, gf of course.;)

    • says

      Yes, it is good to see older people enjoying life, especially as I realize how quickly that will sneak up on me. Thanks for sharing a little about your mom. I can see how being the chauffeur would keep her occupied and be fulfilling.

      I’m glad you have adapted to the gluten-free diet, and are able to enjoy the changes it has brought.

  4. Betsy says

    What a great post. My folk are very similar and I just love the “life lesson” that it teaches my kids, and really all who know them, about making the best of a tough situation.

    • says

      You’re welcome, Pat. I meant to mention that I had my parent’s permission to share this, but I guess people figured that. Thanks for your kind words. I passed all the comments along to my parents.

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