Why Gluten-Free?

For a lot of people gluten-free living is a choice. If you read celebrity magazines and health & fitness magazines, many people are opting to eat gluten-free as a “healthier alternative”. To what? “Gluten-Filled Living”?

Not my family though. My grandmother was the first person to get diagnosed with Celiac Disease. This was years ago – when Celiac Disease was a new diagnosis and grocery stores didn’t offer a variety gluten-free options like they do today. This was a new thing. And it freaked us out. Big time. Especially when she told us that Celiac Disease can be inherited (oh, the great gene pool in our family!). So my Mother, my sisters and I all went in for bloodwork.

My mom came back positive. Tara, the middle child in our family came back super positive. (Which helped explain her years of hives everytime she ate something). My youngest sister came back negative. And I came back borderline. Borderline – what is that?! So I chose to forego the crazy expensive genetic test and keep on living my “gluten-filled” lifestyle.

Then college caught up with me. And after I graduated, I was sick. A lot. I had chronic headaches and I was getting sick when I ate. ALL THE TIME. So I gave it some thought and I decided to give gluten-free living a try. My whole family ate gluten-free already so I knew the ins and outs of it. I thought it wouldn’t be that much of an adjustment for me.

Oh, but it was. You see, I live in the South. Mississippi to be exact. We might as well change our state slogan to “The home of fried foods”. Eating out at lunch became a challenge. I also travel for work. All over the country. All year round. But I felt SO MUCH BETTER when I started eating gluten-free!!! I wasn’t sick all the time! In fact, I felt like a new person! So I stuck with it. And I learned to adapt to my new lifestyle. I got used to ordering at restaurants and cooking simple, gluten-free meals at home.

The craziest thing of all? My fiance (who is now my wonderful husband), got diagnosed with a gluten-intolerance two weeks before our wedding. So now we have TWO gluten-free people living in our house! He’s still getting used to his new lifestyle, but he has me and my whole family to help him through it.

His diagnosis is what inspired me to start this blog. So many people get diagnosed with a gluten-allergy or intolerance or Celiac Disease everyday. If they can find one easy recipe or one tip about a new restaurant that they can eat at, then this blog served its purpose!

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7 thoughts on “Why Gluten-Free?

  1. Can you tell me what test(s) you had done to determine you/your husband had gluten allergy/intolerance? I’m having a lot of auto-immune symptoms and nobody is able to get the root cause (each specialist is looking only at their symptoms). My kids are ASD and I have them on a GFCF diet and it’s helped so much with their behavior (and my son’s reflux went away and both of their “chicken skin” went away, too). My sister had some testing done but they told her there wasn’t an accurate test for gluten and just do an elimination diet. Her migraines and stomach issues are gone (except when really stressed) since going GF. Just wondering if that could be my issue for all the auto-immune issues I’m having.

    • Hi Jennifer. I had a blood test done, but I don’t really remember the details of it. My husband’s test was more recent – he had a food allergy test done. We thought he was allergic to shellfish, but he was actually allergic to wheat, rye and barley. I guess it was the beer he was drinking whenever he ate shellfish that was making him sick!

      I know to really test for Celiac, they have to do a blood test and an intestinal biopsy. My grandmother, mother and sister all have Celiac – confirmed via biopsy after their bloodwork came back positive. My sister had a genetic test done as well to determine if she carries the “Celiac gene” – though carrying the gene does not actually guarantee that you will develop Celiac. I’m no expert on tests for it – that’s for sure! Those are just some of my personal experiences.

      As for your sister, they say that is actually one of the least effective ways to determine a gluten intolerance. While I am glad she is feeling better, she unfortunately can’t be tested for the intolerance once the gluten has been removed from her system completely. You may find this article helpful for more information: http://glutenintoleranceschool.com/gluten-intolerance-test/#5

      Good luck!

  2. Isn’t it amazing how much better you feel once you stop eating it! I felt a drastic change! My boyfriend can eat gluten, but he chooses to live a gluten free lifestyle to make it easier on me. So much easier when you have support! Glad to know you and your husband can do it together!

  3. Thank you so much for this blog. I know the Martinez clan well. I’ve been sick for years…everyone keeps saying it’s just fibromyalgia, but now I’m having symptoms of leaky gut and decided that going gluten free might be “do or die” for me. This is such a great resource.

  4. Hi!
    I am currently testing out the gluten-free lifestyle in hopes of managing my chronic headaches. I also reside in the Jackson area; I am excited to try Sombra! Do you have any other suggestions for good gluten-free friendly restaurants in the area? I just moved here last month so I’m still learning the ropes! Also, where do you grocery shop?! I am balancing between Whole Foods and Kroger… Surprisingly I am finding that it is easier to pinpoint gluten free items in Kroger.

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