Gluten Free

My Celiac Story

I fell in love with the art of baking at the age of 20. I had just bought my first home when my amazing grandma (my Nini) called me up, asking if she could come over to teach me to bake bread. (Um, of Course you can!)
When it came to baking bread, I was instantly hooked! (I found kneading very therapeutic!)  From that delicious classic, I expanded to cinnamon swirl raisin breads, pumpkin breads, cupcakes, and so forth. It was my happy pleasure to bake delicious and inventive treats for my friends and family.

In early 2011, I began a friendship with a woman named Kathy.  We met for tea and a chat and I offered to bring something baked and wonderful along. She politely said that as much as she would love that, she did’t think there was any thing I could make that was safe enough for her to eat…. (Huh?)
To me that seemed a bit extreme but I said ok.
As we talked, she shared with me what gluten is and how Celiac had effected the last decade of her life.  She described some of her symptoms to me, my wheels started turning. 

Before this point, I tried not to consider myself a hypochondriac. But I had all of these seemingly unrelated issues- strange peeling skin- particularly in my eyebrows, migraines that would take me out for 3 days, tummy troubles, anemia, and other things. Because of these issues (especially the skin and tummy stuff), I thought that perhaps I had a food allergy. I had started tracking what I ate and how it effected me with a food diary. But I had no insight yet. I didn’t realize that something like Gluten could be in so many different things! Kathy had planted the idea in my head and encouraged me to be tested.In April of 2011, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

Although there is no cure for this disease, the solution to effectively treat it, is to follow a strict Gluten Free Diet. So on May 1, I began a completely gluten free diet. I found out quickly that there were Many things in my current diet that I could no longer eat. But I suddenly began to see things labeled “gluten free” at nearly every grocery store I shopped!  These items, though typically a bit more expensive, gave me hope. The more research I did, I discovered that you can create or purchase a gluten free version of just about anything!

What’s more, in just one short month of eating carefully, I felt like a brand new person! It was a long time until I had another headache. My skin cleared up, my tummy was happy, and my other symptoms remedied themselves. It is incredible how soon my body bounced back. After all, I wasn’t born with the full-blown disease. It lay dormant in me for years until I had a stressful situation to wake it up. In my case, it was dental surgery: having my wisdom teeth removed. For some people, it takes physical stress, maybe a pregnancy or emotional trauma, or extreme weight loss or gain to wake it up; everyone’s different. 

But now that I’m here, now that I know how to fix it, I do whatever it takes. 

I have an incredible husband.  We were still dating when I was diagnosed. Without his support and encouragement, without his willingness to taste test my trial and error creations, I highly doubt I could have made it this far. Eventually, he went gluten free as well and since then, things have been even easier!

May 1st of 2018 I will have been successfully Gluten Free for seven years. I don’t cheat. But I do eat! Everything I put in my body is delicious (for real). These days, there are so many tremendous options, sans gluten! I cannot wait to share my tasty knowledge with you! And if you are discouraged, or new to this lifestyle, I hope to encourage you along the way!
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