In 2008, my gluten free journey began as a result of  the diagnosis of celiac disease.  After moving to Tucson in 2005, my health began to crumble quickly and with the birth of our third child, it feel apart completely.  I’d always had symptoms of celiac disease but in 2007 these symptoms could no longer be ignored.  Not everyone with celiac disease has outward symptoms of the autoimmune disorder and unlike common misconceptions, we aren’t all thin and/or emaciated.  For many individuals this is a silent illness until they can no longer function normally due to either their symptoms or other related disorders.

The day I my doctor informed me that I have celiac disease will be forever etched in my brain.  While sitting in the doctor’s office waiting to learn whether my diagnosis would be RA  or Lupus, I prayed that I would ONLY be diagnosed with celiac disease.  What a thing to wish upon yourself. In my ignorance, I thought that all I would have to do was give up flour, bread and cake.  No biggie, right?

Once I was given the diagnosis I had hoped for, I quickly discovered how wrong I was.  Gluten is everywhere!  Panic truly set in when the only advice or information my doctor had for me was, “don’t eat gluten or you’ll be sick.”  What a joke!

Looking for help, I came across some wonderful resources including a local support group.  Like many patients who receive the death sentence for gluten, I needed answers.

When I attended my first gluten free event, I was shocked and dismayed by how many people were as ill as I was.  That said, I found comfort in learning that I was not alone anymore. I joined the local chapter of the Celiac Sprue Association to find out what I could do to improve my own health.  About a month later, I received a newsletter stating they were looking for a Vendor Coordinator for the upcoming Gluten Free Food Fair. I jumped at the opportunity to help plan this event.

Planning this event was only the beginning for me.  As I learned more about the gluten free diet and the SAD diet (Standard American Diet), I became passionate about finding more information about gluten free food and sharing it with others.  This search for information is endless as I want to learn as much as possible and share it with others.

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