Who am I? Well, I am not a chef or a baker, and I am most certainly not a doctor. I’m just a girl, taking on the gluten-free world who thought there should be a place to record all of these trials and tribulations with food. There is something comical that happens to every day life after such a dietary restriction.
Oh. I can’t eat gluten? What the frick is gluten anyway? In short, gluten is a sticky protein found in wheat, rye and barley. It is found in breads, sauces, cereals, many processed foods and other creepy places like in my chocolate and ice cream. Why would anyone put wheat in my precious chocolate bar?? It can hide in almost anything under many different names and can be difficult to avoid.
Celiac Disease (and gluten intolerance) happens, and it’s becoming more and more prevalent. About 1% of the population is diagnosed with Celiac Disease and even more are self-diagnosed or gluten intolerant for one reason or another. I was diagnosed in 2008 after a long battle with doctors, hospitals, and myself. I loathed food. No one knew what was wrong, but every single time I ate, I got sick. I had arthritis, chronic infections, dark circles under my eyes, a non-functioning digestive tract, and absolutely ZERO energy. Any time that was not spent in the doctor’s office or hospital, was spent in bed. Finally, I went to the doctor one more time. I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t work. All of the dumb blonde jokes just weren’t that funny anymore because I truly could not remember where I parked my car or why I had walked into a room. My doctor said “whatever it is, it has affected your brain, and it’s only going to get worse”. That was incredibly scary. At that same visit, as he handed me my paperwork for the lab, he suggested I stop eating gluten. I wasn’t really sure how to do that, but at this point, I would try anything.
That night I made chicken and rice for dinner and I didn’t get sick. I tested positive for Celiac and never looked back. Over the next few months, the transformation was amazing! I even threw away my cabinet full of medication that previously had been necessary to function on a daily basis. I bought gluten free cookbooks, did research on the internet and asked around for advice. This is it?? This whole time I was sick, all I had to do was stop eating gluten?? That sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
Now is the time to go a step further. I wanted to take on a project. I wanted more out of my meals. It has become so easy to fall back on potato chips and string cheese, and there is so much more out there. I hope with this blog, I will get more ideas, experiment often, and educate the masses (or at least my friends and family). I am, by no means, a professional, but I am determined to conquer the (gluten free) world one recipe at a time!