Why Gluten Free?

Why are all of our recipes Gluten-Free? For those of you out there wondering "Why gluten-free?", here is an article released today that explains my condition, Celiac disease and many of its symptoms.

My story is familiar to many. I was misdiagnosed with Lupus and subjected to steroid medications and endless testing. After a year of living a less-than-inspired life and feeling anything but myself I began learning everything I could about lupus and the links between our health and our nutrition.

Along the way I was blessed to meet many practitioners who believed in the power of healthy living and healthy eating. Slowly, I gained knowledge about nutrition, health, allergies, sensitivities, lupus and eventually gluten intolerance and celiacs.

My knowledge empowered me to make daily choices to take my health back into my own hands and to begin my healing process. I worked together with my doctors, providing them with my findings and research and convincing them to get me the referrals and to order the tests that would confirm that I had Celiac disease and not Lupus.

While I was diagnosed almost 6 years ago, it took a long time to adjust my diet and to find ways to cook, modify and create the nourishing, delicious foods that I love to eat and to fuel me as trainer, an athlete and a Mom.

Living and eating gluten-free is not convenient. I completely understand this and always enjoy finding creative ways to eat around my limitations. Only 6 years ago even less was known, understood and written about Celiacs disease and gluten intolerance. When dining out I would often receive looks of disdain from waiters and waitresses when requesting ingredients or requesting no croutons or no bread.

Perhaps, not surprisingly in Southern California, my odd requests were perceived to be just that - the eccentric food choices of a high-maintainance woman probably on the South Beach Diet! Today more and more restaurants are offering gluten-free options!

It took many more years to earn the respect and gain the understanding of many of the people in my life. Change is challenging, especially when it affects long-standing family traditions like the recipe for Thanksgiving turkey stuffing!

My how things have changed...Luckily, nowadays, gluten-free is the new trendy nutrition fix! As CNN noted in their February 2011 article "When did G-Free get all...SEXY?"

Many Celiacs suffer silently, undiagnosed for many years. My symptoms were subtle and internalized. I felt a tremendous difference when I removed wheat and gluten from my diet - an increase in my energy levels, a strength, clear, healthy, vibrant skin, a lightness and lack of stomach bloating.

At the time, so few people understood my condition that it was simply easier to explain it as a "food allergy." Celiac disease is actually my body's auto-immune response to gluten (the protein found in wheat and some grains).

Curious how a gluten-free diet might change your body? This Wall Street Journal article shares insights into our body's reactions to gluten - even if you're not a Celiac.

Want to give gluten-free a try? Here is an excellent Quick Start Guide to Gluten-Free eating from Living Without magazine.

So this is why the recipes on our Blog are gluten-free. I LOVE to eat delicious, nourishing food. I believe that what we feed ourselves is more than simply fuel - our food is a reflection of how we choose to live our lives each and every day. I choose to LIVE and EAT INSPIRED! How about you?

Live Inspired Today,

Clea