Life would cease to exist. That is what I thought would happen if I no longer could have gluten in my life. And it wasn’t even me who was having the physical reaction to it. Oh but giving up gluten is just chalk full of emotion too. Well, it is if you are food obsessed like I am. Let’s rewind a bit, shall we?
Our precious little Man Boy was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was 14 months old. This means that he has the autoimmune disease where pretty much his body decided to take out all the beta cells in his pancreas and leave him without the ability to produce insulin or regulate blood sugars. It’s a big bad deal. Since his diagnosis, every three months he has been tested for his A1C and a bunch of diabetic related issues but his endocrinologist would throw on the test for Celiacs too. It always came back negative. I was always so thankful that it was negative. Remember I thought I would die if I had to contend with showing gluten the door in our home. But I just knew that it was probably going to make an appearance. Ever since he was a baby, food did not agree with him. His tummy would be distended, gassy and uncomfortable. He was quick to throw up and had a hard time making it through meals. But we took away dairy and we took away other things but the problems would come and go. Ironically when his labs finally came back off the charts Celiac, he had no symptoms. We retested three times. It was always the same. His results were so high that a biopsy was unnecessary. The other autoimmune disease had decided to show up to the party.
I cried. I literally sat on our couch with a tissue box and doubted my ability feed my family. I have been cooking since fourth grade. I had my favorite ingredients…bread, cookies, cakes, chips, more bread. Okay, maybe those aren’t all ingredients but they were staples! Images of rice crackers slathered in swamp goo and quinoa stir frys flashed through my mind. This would be the end. Not only did I have to count all the carbs that Man Boy would eat, but now figure out what the heck to give him besides air, water and dust particles. I started reading that gluten was in everything (it is!). That the risk of cross contamination with his sister’s gluten ridden food could make him sick (it can!). And that all baked goods would have a weird after taste that will make you wish for less taste buds(mine don’t but many do!)
It all seemed hopeless, but I pulled on my invisible chef hat, started looking at grocery shopping like a science lesson and figured it the heck out. There is something so powerful in seeing your son smile over a meal that you prepared and know that it will not harm him. To know you are giving him a piece of your heart because you spent years of your life knee deep in gluten free cooking, baking and research. As with a lot of celiac households, we all switched to gluten free. It is just too risky to have it in the house. And you know what? Three of the four of us who can eat gluten, don’t even miss it. Let me repeat. I DON’T MISS GLUTEN. I never thought I would say that. Ever. Like I would go on a mud and rock diet before that would be true. Our Princess Sparkle still likes the gluten treat here and there but is so understanding of why we can’t have it around.
The greatest compliment I can get is when we have people over and they love my food. And they have no idea it is gluten free. I sit in the dark and twirl my invisible mustache as I laugh at people scarfing down my lemon bars and having no idea that they aren’t made with wheat flour. This is when I knew I had “made it.” That I could feed the unsuspecting masses and they loved it. Recipe modification has become my hobby. It is my art.
I created this site to hopefully help others who may be new to gluten free eating- whether it is due to preference or because of necessity. I made it for those who have been eating gluten free forever and just want to be able to eat an amazing birthday cake again or sit on the couch with a bowl of cookie dough while watching a movie. My goal is to help kids feel normal at school when everyone else is eating a Twinkie. It is also TOTALLY for people who don’t necessarily have a gluten free lifestyle but like to eat food that tastes amazing. I’d love to give you the low down so that your adjustment doesn’t need to take a year if you are just starting this process. And above all, I am a busy mama to two kids and two fur babies. My delicious recipes are fast and easy. No cordon bleu diploma necessary.
Names Used on Site Glossary:
Husband: Boyband( my annoying abbreviation for Boyfriend Husband because he is still my sweet boyfriend forever even though he put a ring on it)
Son: Man Boy or Man Child (he is for all intents and purposes a mature man living in a young boy’s body)
Daughter: Princess Sparkle (because she loves all that sparkles and my nickname from my Grandma when I was a kid was Sparkle and because that is what she is called)
Bulldog: Diesel, King of The Pigs, Hog, Slab of Meat, Piece of Bacon, Stub Wiggler, Bad Dog 55% of the time