We are all in this Together

3 years ago next month, our whole family took the gluten free plunge.  Aidin had been doing it alone for about 6 months, but when Randi and I both tested positive for gluten sensitivity, we knew we all had to jump in with both feet.  I still am a firm believer in everyone going gluten free in the family.  Here is why:
1.    I don’t think our bodies were meant to process gluten.
2.    It is not fair to the gluten intolerant body to sit and watch the rest of the family eat the pizza, bagels or challah they once ate.
3.    It is not fair to the cook in the family to have to prepare two separate meals.
4.    A family should be based on respect and support one another: not eating gluten accomplishes both.
5.    It prevents cross-contamination.
6.    The non-tested family members will surprisingly feel better too!
One of the points I really try to make with families that are just starting to look at their diets and the foods that they eat is that to be successful, you should all be doing the same thing!  I will be the first to admit that it is pretty darn hard to eat a wafer thin slice of gluten free pizza (not mine of course) when the family member sitting across the table is eating a big fat juicy piece from a fast food restaurant.  And don’t even get me started if the two people sitting at the table happen to be siblings!!!!   Talk about setting up some ‘sibling rivalry’ at home!  It is important to note that just because one family member is showing signs of gluten intolerance, and tests positive, does not mean that an asymptomatic sibling is not gluten intolerant as well.  Furthermore, if your spouse is going gluten free, and you are not willing to support them in their endeavor, than at least eat gluten when you are not in front of them, out of respect and courtesy.  The bottom line is that if there is gluten in your house, and you or one of your children is attempting a gluten free lifestyle, you are setting yourself up for failure and frustration.  I know it is expensive to eat gluten free.  I know it is more expensive to feed a family of four gluten free verses just feeding one family member.  I hope this year you have learned through my articles the importance of whole foods that are naturally gluten free and much cheaper than the packaged gluten free products out there, although they are fine for a treat once in a while!  So please read my articles, learn how to live gluten free in a gluten filled world by making YOUR home a safe place to eat.  Your whole family will benefit from a gluten free diet in the long run.
I can guarantee that if you make these yummy cookie bars for your family, they will never even know or care that they are gluten free.  I made these for my daughter’s birthday party.

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Bars
5T butter
2 T honey
½ cup organic sugar
1 ½ t vanilla
1 egg
1 ¾ cup gluten free flour
¾ t xanthan gum
1 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
½ cup carob chips
2 T water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix wet ingredients.
In a small bowl, whisk dry ingredients.
Blend dry ingredients slowly into wet.
Add the carob chips.
Press mixture down into a 9 X 11 baking dish.
Bake for 20 minutes.

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