I am a mother and a wife. A lover of food. A lover of all things creative. Sadly, also diagnosed with Celiac.
Before the Celiac my favorite thing to do was go out to eat with my husband. Of course, I didn’t really choose American food…I was more into the cuisine of the world. My favorite places were Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian and middle eastern. I love Mexican, but at the time we were living in Canada, and there wasn’t any Mexican food to be found.
Something about the variety of flavors we encountered living in such a melting pot of culture excited us. (we lived in the greater Toronto area)
We moved back to the US after 6 years in Canada and into a small town where there wasn’t a lot of international cuisine. I spent my days watching Anthony Bourdaine taste the best the world had to offer. I would salivate until I couldn’t take it any longer, then rush off to the store to try to mimic all the goodness my eyes had just encountered.
During this season I got pregnant with my second child, and started to feel a little off. I developed rashes over my whole body and started to get really bad stomach aches.
During my 6 month OBGYN checkup, the doctors couldn’t find the heartbeat, and said my beautiful baby girl had died a couple of weeks earlier.
All the trauma and stress of the event sent my stomach into a frenzy. I ended up in the ER twice with extreme pain. The doctors gave me morphine and a prescription for prilosec (in the event it happened to be ulcers) and sent me on my way with no answers.
I laid in bed for over a week with nonstop extreme pain. I just laid there with a heating pad on my stomach, eating only crackers trying to figure out what was wrong.
I was referred to a GI specialist who finally made sense of my condition. He called saying, “both your blood work and biopsy were positive for Celiac…you definitely have Celiac”.
It seemed hopeful when I started to read up on Celiac and gluten intolerance. It was as easy as changing your diet right? Well, not so much.
After changing my diet drastically I still had stomach pain and was reacting to even non-gluten food. I realized I had multiple food sensitivities and my digestive system needed healing. I also realized that actually eating gluten-free can be difficult.
I realized that eating out was almost impossible, and I could say goodbye to the convenience of eating what I wanted, when I wanted.
I was never a big bread eater, so losing bread wasn’t a huge deal…but what was a big deal was the realization that I wouldn’t be able to eat out with my husband and enjoy all the cuisine the world had. Stepping into a Japanese, Thai or Indian restaurant meant encountered sauces filled with gluten.
I broke down and cried a few times out of sheer frustration. I felt sorry for myself.
But then I decided that I would make the most out of this experience. I committed myself to replicate all my favorite recipes that I would get at my favorite international restaurants. I decided that I would find a way to still eat all my favorite foods.
I decided to take what life had given me, the proverbially lemon of a Celiac diagnoses, and make some delicious, and refreshing, gluten-free lemonade, and sit back and enjoy life.