I was diagnosed with gluten-intolerance in October 2004. At that time, the only people I knew with gluten-intolerance were the females in my family. Since gluten-intolerance is a genetic condition, I was persuaded to submit to testing after my mother found out that she was a gene-carrier. The last one in the family tested, I had the “highest score”. Life for me would never be the same. I cried as I walked down the aisles of our grocery store as I read labels and mourned the fact that I would never again eat cereal, bread, pies, cookies, cakes, muffins, bagels, or pasta again. Those were all of my favorite foods. As someone who lived on wheat-based carbohydrates, life for me was over.
The first year after my diagnosis were spent felling sorry for myself and searching for substitutes for my favorite things. The few gluten-free cookies that were available at the health-food store may not have been delicious or even remotely healthy, but they were the only cookies that were available to me. Cookies the weight of hockey pucks were a welcomed change from fistfuls of M&Ms and Hershey’s Kisses. Gluten-free breads may have resembled a brick, but at least I had something with which to recreate the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches of my youth.
Since then, I know that my life has become so much richer than it was in my pre-diagnosis days. Today there are options for gluten-free breads, cookies. and even more than I ever imagined. And I don’t even need substitutes for my favorite foods. There is a world of foods out there that God created for us to enjoy. If not for my gluten-intolerance diagnosis, I would never have discovered them. And on top of that, the quality of gluten-free products has increased, and the gluten-free community has banded together to create products and share recipes so that we no longer feel like we are living without.
We are living with much much more than we had before.
I am not an expert on anything. Gluten-related or otherwise. I am just a fellow gluten-free girl who’s curious about the options out there, and I want to share what I find with anyone who will listen. I call myself the Gluten-Free Cat, because I have found that I have a lot in common with my cats. When you think of curiosity, you can’t help but picture a cat. Slinking around, nose to the ground, tapping curious bumps in the rug, investigating a new bag left on the floor. I’m curious about a whole lot of things – gluten-free cooking and baking, fitness, healthy living. There just isn’t time to become an expert in one area, because just when I’m learning the fine nuances of… Oh, look, a string!