Recently, one of my roommates decided to take on the task of making an entire gluten-free dinner for me and the rest of my roommates. After doing research, she decided to make chili, potatoes and a gluten-free cookie cake. She got the recipe for the cookie cake from one of her friends, who is studying to be a dietician. Not only was the cookie cake gluten-free, but it was also somewhat healthy. The recipe did not call for flour or sugar, so how bad could it be?
I have spent years avoiding pizza, because it caused me upset stomach. Once I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, one of the ONLY things I was excited about was knowing that I would be able to enjoy eating pizza again, as long as it was made with gluten-free crust. I have been looking forward to eating my first pizza since my diagnosis. Recently, I have struggled to find a pizza place that serves gluten-free pizza. I have not found a single chain restaurant that offers gluten-free pizza, which is really disappointing for me. I was hoping to have the opportunity to order gluten-free pizza and get it delivered to my house. However, a friend of mine told me about a pizza place in Springfield, MO, Cravin’ Pizza, that has a gluten-free pizza option. I was thrilled! I could not wait to try it out.
This past weekend, I had my first meet since my official diagnosis of Celiac Disease. Oddly enough, it was the last meet of my swimming career, since I am a senior in college and my four years of NCAA eligibility are up. I had several concerns going into the meet. What was I going to eat when the team stopped at Jimmy Johns for lunch on the drive to the meet? What was I going to eat for dinner the first night when the team had pasta catered to the hotel? What would I eat during the meet, when I got hungry and the snack tub was full of gluten-filled bars?
This weekend, my swim team had our annual pre-conference potluck and tee-shirt decorating party. Everyone brought a dish to share. After my diagnosis of Celiac, events like this have not sounded as exciting as they did in the past. All I can think about is how much of an inconvenience I am to everyone else.
Today, after over a week of struggling through my gluten-free diet without any guidance (except for the Internet), I finally got to meet with my school’s athletic nutritionist. Although the Internet taught me a lot of background information, I am happy to report that I have clarified some of the inconsistencies the Internet provided. I also got some great ideas for my everyday life!
I am officially one week into my gluten-free diet, and I have made it through with only one major temptation. I have had numerous minor temptations, but they have been easy to overcome. For example, I have three gluten-eating roommates. When I walk upstairs into the kitchen and see a bag of pretzels opened, I have moments when I forget I can no longer eat them. As soon as I start to walk over to the bag and grab a handful, I am reminded by the annoying voice in my head that those pretzels are not gluten-free. I sulk for a moment, and then move on to my trail mix or cheese sticks.
The journey to discovering my Celiac Disease started about three years ago. And trust me, it was a long and complicated one. It all started when I noticed abnormal amounts of hair loss, so I went to the doctor. He ran some blood tests and found that my iron count was low. In other words, I was anemic. The doctor told me to take three iron pills a day until I started feeling better, and he sent me on my way. About a year later, I had backed off the amounts of iron I was taking (mostly because I was lazy and no one was there to make me take them).