Today’s guest post is from Devan over at Accustomed Chaos. She is a mommy to three little ones and lives her life Gluten Free. Her blog is great because she is so full of information and shares lots of recipes and ideas on how to live without gluten in your diet. Even if you don’t need to eliminate gluten from your diet, you can still enjoy her recipes. It’s really amazing to read about her journey and how she has done so much to help herself and her family. Here she shares with you a bit about her journey with Celiac Disease. For more recipes and information about the disease, be sure to visit her blog.

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I’m Sorry, Gluten Free??” : My journey through Celiac Disease

Gluten Free” – 3 years ago when I was told by my doctor that this was the only treatment for what I was just diagnosed with, I was both relieved and freaking out. I was a young mother who just had her second child 4 months ago and was just learning how to handle 2 kids 14 months apart and now I was thrown this curve ball.

My heath had been an issue for some time and while I was relieved to finally have an answer for what was going on with me, I was not prepared to have to completely change my eating habits. Celiac disease … celiac disease was the reason for my weight loss, brittle bones, fatigue, digestive issues, walking around with a 6 month-looking pregnant belly (when I wasn’t). Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten – hence the “Gluten Free Diet”. There is no “cure” but the treatment is to strictly follow the diet.

OK… so gluten free, what does that mean? Gluten is in what seems like EVERYTHING. Pasta, breads, cookies, crackers, pizza, beer, … even the glue on the back of envelopes. I had to learn a whole new way to shop, cook, plan and come to terms that I might not be able to eat certain foods ever again.

Fast forward 3 years to today, and I can tell you that it really isn’t as scary as it may seem. The whole house is gluten free, if my husband wants a treat he must have it outside the house. My older daughter (she is 3 now) has also been put on the gluten free diet so it was safer and easier for us to have a totally gluten free kitchen. I have a strict NO GLUTEN rule (one breadcrumb will send me into a downward spiral) and as bizarre as it sounds my husband would tell you he doesn’t feel like he lives in food h*ll, we actually eat pretty good!

The initial learning period can be hard to navigate, but once you align yourself with some really great resources you will quickly realize that you are not condemned to a lifetime of bad food. The gluten free market has grown so much in the last few years and products like gluten free beer, ‘oreo-esque’ cookies, gluten free pretzels, pizza, bread and more – are all available and taste great. My favorite gluten free recipes that I cook on a regular are gluten free lasagna, orange beef with fried rice and peanut butter bars.

Things are not always easy being gluten free. I run a busy household with 3 kids 3.5 years apart and one of the biggest road blocks of being gluten free is we can not easily go out for dinner or do take out. I am also facing another gluten free dilemma when my 4 year old starts school this fall. Although he does not exhibit signs of having celiac disease I am going to have to be aware of what he touches and eats while at school (play doh is not even gluten free).

I am actually one of the lucky ones. Typically it takes the average person 10 years of symptoms and doctors visits before they are correctly diagnosed with Celiac disease. I am feeling so much healthier and I am thankful that my daughter was caught early. Gluten free isn’t a life sentence to bad food but a wonderful way to discover what it’s like to feel healthy and to use that creative cooking side.

Have you ever heard of Celiac Disease? What is the one food you don’t think you could give up?

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