Meet The Cheeky Celiac’s New Teen Chef

cropped-saguaronationalpark_arizona2.jpgWhen I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008, I had no idea how deeply it would affect my entire world.  Not only did the diagnosis change my life, it also changed the lives of the whole family.  Once the words gluten free entered my daily vocabulary and I realized my doctor knew as little as I did about maintaining a lifestyle free from gluten, I became a voracious reader about all related matters.  From then on, I became an advocate for awareness and proper testing for celiac disease.  It only took a small amount of time to realize that within the gluten free community there was a very large group of people with similar symptoms but negative test results.   These patients were called gluten intolerant and the newest term calls their condition non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Colin and Ciara trying some new gluten free chocolate mix a few years ago.

While I was educating myself, advocating for others through our local celiac support group and planning awareness events there was plenty going on at home.  One of my children had a horrible case of eczema from head to toe that wouldn’t go away and another child was receiving multiple incorrect diagnoses for mental illnesses due to rapid cycling behavioral fluctuations.  Finally the light bulb came on and I began to do more research about other conditions related to ingesting gluten (and dairy.)  With both children, applying the gluten free diet and removing dairy resolved the symptoms whereas traditional treatments and medications did not.

Cheeky Celiac Contributor, Ciara

Cheeky Celiac Contributor, Ciara

What I didn’t know is someone very important was watching and listening to everything I did.  Her name is Ciara and she’s my 13 year old daughter.  Life handed her plenty of lemons and she indeed decided to make lemonade.  She loves to bake and bravely create new things in the kitchen.  Ciara can’t wait to morph mixes into new ideas and whip up some safe gluten free, dairy free recipes from scratch.  This middle child is also an outspoken and outgoing advocate for living gluten free.  I’m proud to say that she’s decided to join me and become a contributor to this blog.  I can’t wait to see what she creates next.  This gluten free girl is fearless in the kitchen!  Come meet her at the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference in Denver.  Where she can connect with you and also tell you our other big news (the development of Ardent Wellness – my new website which will be offering health coaching to those who feel overwhelmed by their autoimmune health and dietary restrictions)

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