About Me

I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1977. I have been living a Gluten Free life for a while now. I was not officially diagnosed until I was about three by my Pediatrician in Houston, Texas. I was born with severe skin condition what is now called Dermatitis Herpetiformis. The top layer of my skin would peel off in sheets according to accounts by my parents. We now know this is a clear symptom of Celiac Disease at infancy.

I had been fine while on dairy based formula and rice cereal as a infant and baby with the exception of the mysterious skin condition at the time, but once my Mom started me on solids did the issues really rear their ugly head. My Pediatrician in Indiana thought I was basically allergic to anything synthetic including pesticides and food coloring. This took a bit of trial and error to figure out though. The pediatrician had me on basically jello water for a good length of time until she figured out that chemicals and synthetics where partially to blame. Anything I ate gave me diarrhea and what would later cause my growth to be stunted, brain and developmental damage to my short term memory, language and speech disabilities.

So I was put on a 100% Organic and chemical free diet and life in general. This was no small feet in the 1970's and in Indiana for my parents. I had to use glass, stainless steel or natural rubber for anything that touched or went into my mouth. Also anything that touched my skin had to be free of dies and perfumes. My diet consisted of wild quail, organic pears, organic rice and a few other things that at that time where sold at the only health food store in Indiana at that time. The baby in the bubble I think so. I think I am actually very lucky to be alive.

Before the sky started to fall down. I was a strong baby and crawled very early, started to talk some, started to walk pretty early to, but as soon as I had food/gluten and not only formula and rice cereal I stopped walking and talking. Can you imagine if you where my parents and your Daughter was way ahead of schedule and suddenly stopped making progress, but actually went backwards to barley crawling and not even saying "Mama"?! 

The pediatrician had heard of Celiac disease but believed that it was just another symptom of being allergic to chemicals and living in a world with too many chemicals in it. This made since but looking back Celiac was here to stay in my body and actually should have been given more attention. We did live in Indianapolis where Lilly, the drug company, manufactured its' drugs and every corner you turned where corn fields still to this day sprayed and grown with toxic pesticides and fertilizers. My older sister suffered from the Chemical sensitivity issues but she does not have Celiac. My sister for sure got a much different mix of genes then I did. She looks more Scandinavian and I look more Ashkenazi Jewish with a bit of Northern Italian.

When we decided to move to Texas I was about three and was then diagnosed with Celiac by my pediatrician there, but at that time they thought it was a childhood disease that I would grow out of by age 12 or 13. So through out my adolescence I would eat Gluten and had all these unexplained symptoms that are symptomatic of what is Celiac Disease, but where not understood as symptoms at that time. I had bloating but not diarrhea just loose stools, mood swings more then the average teen, learning difficulties the list goes on and on. So once I hit high school I stopped eating wheat pretty much cold turkey. I finally saw a specialist at UCLA that said he would not want to do any test to confirm again because at that time you had to do a biopsy and that I would have to go back to eating wheat for three to six months to get a positive result which he thought was ridiculous.  I was diagnosed when I was three so that still stood with the insurance company and if I was feeling good then to stay on the Gluten free diet and made it very clear that the research had advanced since I was three and I would never grow out of the disease, ever! Now I could take a DNA or a blood test and be diagnosed again if needed.

Also I got the long scary talk about conceiving children. I was terrified that Celiac caused infertility unless treated early and still may not be able to conceive at all. I was already keeping a very strict gluten free diet and I would have to be even more strict while pregnant. He said I was probably too young to worry about this but he had to make it clear. He said I could run the risk of loosing the baby or cause brain damage from not being able to absorb nutrition from food after the damage that the gluten that I had eaten, by miss take, would cause. I can tolerate up to one teaspoon of products with gluten but nothing more. He said I could not even have up to one teaspoon during the pregnancy. Trust me even if having children was not on my mind at that time it was a reality check that this disease would not only effect my life but my future and possibly having a family. Celiac is no joke. He said you will be careful but other people are not. Your whole nine months you have to cook for yourself and don't trust anyone or any restaurant to watch out for cross contamination. I was actually very thankful for this information. It scared me but every seventeen year old needs to be shaken to actually get the severity of a issue. 

Celiac even controlled where I went to college. For the first few years I stayed home and went to Junior College, which was a smart financial decision, but also for keeping me healthy. When I finally transferred my final decision was based on the living situation. My dream school was not equipped for my needs as far as the living situation so I had to pass on it and go where I could live gluten free without fear. I had to go where I could have my own room and access to a kitchen along with other normal factors. I only lived on campus for a year. Once I was familiar with the city I got my own apartment which was a total luxury and worth every penny for keeping me healthy and happy. 

Now, I am feeling probably the best I ever have because I am more vocal about my celiac. It took many many years to figure out ways to deal with my celiac in social settings especially. I have experienced food pressure. People would make me feel bad if I did not take a bite of a baked good that they had made. Or I heard a lot of "take a bite, treat your self". I think people assume because I do not carry a Epi Pen that the Gluten issues are not that severe. The problem is my consequences are not immediate like someone with shell fish or nut allergies. Mine show first on the inside and take a few days to show on the outside. So people do not see the reaction and neither do I at first bite. That was something I even had a hard time with. I would have a few bites of a friends Birthday cake and think I will just deal with it later, but I was doing so much damage that I could not see. So I do understand why people think the way they do, so it is my job to be as polite as I can and say no thank you. 

Holidays are a whole other issue all together though and much harder to say no thank you or even eat anything at all at non-gf holiday get-togethers. People take so much pride in there family dishes and get really offended if you don't at least try their food. Sometimes it makes me want to say that I am so allergic I need a Epi pin just to get people off my back at Holiday dinners and such. I pretty much refuse to eat at any ones home for the Holidays but my own or my parents. I have been invited I don't know how many times to my boyfriend's family's and friend's homes for Holidays meals and turn them down. I can handle a cocktail party, no problem, but a typical "Thanksgiving" meal is full of hidden gluten! I went to a few Easter and Christmas family dinners and did my best trying to eat what I could and still got sick, so I just do not go. I was given the suggestion to bring my own meal but that just makes you even more of a sore thumb and then people think you are turning your nose up at their food and that just creates more tension.  So again I put my health first at all cost anymore.

So about six years ago I started blogging. Not really focusing on Gluten free living but just my interest like wine, cooking, reviewing cook books, skin care and other products I found interesting etc, etc. I would check my statistics and notice only my Gluten free post where getting a lot of hits also my wine and cocktail recipes. The cookbook post where also being read quite a bit. I decided to re-work the blog and concentrate on what people wanted and considered the most interesting. I hope this blog is fun and also informative for a person living in a gluten filled world. Our world will never be gluten free, so we must learn to navigate through it the best we can. 

If you have any questions about my story or just need to talk to someone that understands please feel free to contact me. My contact information is on my contact tab.