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July 27, 2012 I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and immediately switched to a Gluten-Free diet. Are you aware of these surprising signs of gluten intolerance? 

What is Gluten?
It's the stuff found in wheat that is activated or extracted when the plant is processed. And it is in MANY items other than bread, pasta, and "multi-grain" cereals.

It is in ice cream, soy sauce, most SEASONING packets, not individual spices, play doh, shredded cheese, crackers, pretzels, and the list goes on.

What is a Gluten-Free diet?
A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes foods containing gluten.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, malts and triticale.

It is used as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent, often as "dextrin". A gluten-free diet is the only medically accepted treatment for celiac disease and wheat allergy. (wiki)

What is Celiac Disease?
The disease occurs when the body’s natural defense system reacts to gluten by attacking the lining of the small intestine.

Without a healthy intestinal lining, the body cannot absorb the nutrients it needs. Nutrient deficiencies can result and may lead to conditions such as anemia and osteoporosis.

Other serious health problems may include diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and intestinal cancers.

Some people don’t get immediate symptoms, but when they do, they are typically gastrointestinal-related, such as abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.

And some people do not have any symptoms at allbut still may have intestinal damage and risk for long-term complications.

It is important for individuals with celiac disease, who may vary in their sensitivity to gluten, to discuss their dietary needs with their health care professional.

Thanks to changing food labelling regulations, finding foods that work with my body is getting easier. But even without the help from the FDA (Not the USDA....they do not have the same labelling regulations so beware with meat and dairy!), I know that the cleaner and closer I eat to the source, the less chances of getting a gluten contamination.

So how did all this start and how did I know it was gluten?

First Diagnosis

Progress Report

It's definitely a work in progress. I had to learn to cook favorite recipes with new ingredients and at times, I really miss some "old" foods I enjoyed like take-out pizza and seasonal cupcakes.

But I clearly remember the last few days of a 10 month battle with digestive issues. I actually consider myself fortunate in that my body CLEARLY lets me know that I've been contaminated and I have always been able to figure out the source and cross it (usually a restaurant food) off my list.

Depending on the severity of the gluten, my symptoms may last for just a couple of hours the next morning or they may be so bad, it would require me to take a sick day from work. I think I can live without pizza and cupcakes and be satisfied with gluten-free versions ;-)

Beginning with fall of 2012, ALL of my recipes are Gluten-Free. I cannot test any recipe with gluten. Posts prior to fall of 2012 contain foods with gluten. I am currently updating those recipes with a Gluten-Free version.

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Taming the Tuesday

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Make it real Monday

Over the past few years, the term “real food” has been tossed around the blog-o-sphere and social media. With websites like 100 Days of Real Food, healthy eating is no longer reserved for those dining at the Four Seasons or the local day spa, paying a load of money for a plate like this. However, …

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Stop the hate on Gluten-free

Huffington Post, I’m looking at you. I’ll be the bitter one of the group. I have no problems whining about having serious anxiety whenever I go out to eat or other peoples’ homes. Or asking my family to be super vigilant about utensils and pans, potholders, cheese cutters/graters, etc. touching gluten-loaded foods. Or never dipping …

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I sense a theme with me lately. Maybe it’s the holidays. This is a crazy time of year. And while I love the lights, the movies, the happy kids singing at school, the baking, the just being “in the spirit”, the season also has demands. No, I don’t HAVE to send Christmas cards or bake …

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Bring on the Pizza!

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