Eating gluten-free is not always easy. There is so much information out there about what you should eat, what you shouldn’t eat, where you should get your food, where you shouldn’t get your food, etc.
No, I am not happy that I have Celiac Disease.
Yes, I am happy to have been diagnosed and to have found a cure for all those nasty symptoms.
It has been over a month since Bryson and I got married, and I finally found a few minutes to sit down and write a blog post about our fairy tale wedding day and honeymoon.
This past weekend I celebrated my first Memorial Day as a celiac. As usual, my family spent the weekend floating on the lake and barbecuing with our friends. Luckily, barbecue food can easily be made into a gluten-free meal. The only special thing that I brought for myself was a gluten free hamburger bun. I normally keep a few in the freezer and take one out the night before I plan to eat it. I did not feel deprived at all during the barbeque. I ate a burger, watermelon, chips and salad.
When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I had a really hard time during the day when I wanted a snack. It was normal for me to be able to grab something from a vending machine or at a gas station if I was on-the-run. Now, my choices for snacks are limited, but I have found that there are still great options!
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?
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).