Skip to Content

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.

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

Being a kindergarten teacher has its perks. One of them is making cinnamon applesauce ornaments every December. Many students in our school have limited experiences with holiday traditions such as baking or cooking. I like to spend an afternoon with my students making “gingerbread” men that they can put on their tree for years to …

Read More about Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

Cottage Pie

Down here, when the temperatures dip below 90*, we think fall sweaters and hot cocoa are just around the corner so it must be time to turn the ovens back on. During the humidity of June-August, I rarely turn on the oven. But I have missed hot roasted meals and vegetables. I’m also enjoying as …

Read More about Cottage Pie

Citrus Tea Punch

With summer in full swing and vacation plans finalized, all that is left to do is enjoy the last days of school and sip some tea on the back porch. But I didn’t want ordinary iced tea. What I was really craving was icy punch like what we serve at showers, parties, and weddings. In …

Read More about Citrus Tea Punch

Bistro Dinner Salad

We just got back from a great week in Austin and I wanted something quick and easy for dinner. I opened up Cooking Light and this recipe came up when I searched for eggs. I didn’t want the usual “breakfast for dinner” that I sometimes do in a pinch so this looked interesting. This is …

Read More about Bistro Dinner Salad

Ginger-Lime Shrimp

I love shrimp all year long even in the middle of the most brutal April winter. Yes, it is still showing signs of winter here in Alabama. Instead of beautiful pictures of tender green shoots and leaves across richly fertilized farm soil, we have this. And I’m in extreme denial that I’m still wearing a …

Read More about Ginger-Lime Shrimp