The Glutenfreeda program was created to help people with Celiac Sprue Disease learn to prepare all the foods they love, gluten-free. Our goal is to show the gluten-intolerant how to eat well, eat healthy and how to function happily in a gluten-engorged world. Glutenfreeda recipes will be enjoyed by your entire family and were selected to make eating a delicious experience, not a sacrifice.
The recipes on the Glutenfreeda site will cater to any lifestyle and any level of cooking ability. Our focus is to help people prepare good food and maintain an active lifestyle. You don't have to spend all day in the kitchen, but you do have to plan ahead. Preparation will become your 'friend' and be the key to eating like a normal person.
If your culinary life before being diagnosed with Celiac Sprue consisted of McDonalds, Hamburger Helper, Top Ramen, macaroni and cheese in a box, or calling for pizza....life has changed as you know it. So snap out of it, take one last look in the mirror and kiss your gluten-gorged past goodbye! Say Hello to a brand new world where everything tastes wonderful!
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Upon hearing my diagnosis, "You have Celiac Sprue Disease, both the endoscopy and the blood test confirm it', I was elated. At last someone knows what's wrong with me! My case of Celiac manifested itself primarily in acute anemia. Twenty years of playing "stump the hematologist", resulted in the same profound prognosis, "Your body just will not absorb iron. We don't know why. Perhaps we can transfuse you, or put you on an iron infusion program, Just 3 or 4 hours a month dripping iron into your veins. How's that sound?" Pass. Until another year brought a new doctor and another annual physical. He had the typical reaction to the pathetic condition of my blood, ordered a battery of blood tests, and Surprise! He found nothing. Then he decided to pursue a new course, malabsorption. Maybe iron was not the only thing I was not absorbing. I was referred to a gastroenterologist, Bingo.
So, Celiac Sprue Disease. What in the world is that? An intolerance to gluten, what in the world is gluten? And here is where the fun begins. Well, let's see, gluten is in bread, pasta, catsup, mayonnaise, some cheese, ice cream, almost all brand name snacks, cereal, all meat sauces, salad dressings, mustard, soups, cookies, cakes, muffins, pies, gravy; nearly everything you currently eat and certainly everything you like to eat.
And so begins the frantic search for gluten-free foods to replace everything you really like. So begins your search for health food stores, the only stores that carry foods promising to be gluten-free. So begins the increase in your food bill as you stock up on rice flour, brown and white, garbanzo bean flour, potato flour, tapioca flour, xanthum gum, etc; and so begins your realization that your life has changed....and by association, probably the lives of your family and friends.
We all cope with trauma differently. But I think that the progression of emotions for coming to grips with Celiac are pretty consistent. Something like this:
Step One: Relief
You're not crazy. You're not a medical miracle. If you follow a gluten-free lifestyle, you're not going to expire, at least not from gluten. Finally they know what is wrong with you and how to help you.
Step Two: Excitement
You learn, you read, you surf the internet. You realize this is bigger than you thought. There are entire organizations dedicated to Celiac Sprue.
You buy a bread machine and a new toaster just for your special bread. You instruct your family on how not to contaminate your food with 'their' food. This will be an adventure! You will take this disease and harness it. After all, it's just a matter of controlling your diet, it's not as if you had to take medicine or treatments for the rest of your life.
Step Three: Obsession
Your throw out everything in your cupboards. You empty your refrigerator. Get that poisonous gluten infested food out of your house. You replace it with weird boxes and brand names no one has ever heard of. You buy and eat things you didn't even like before. Your never ate cookies before, but now you have three flavors of gluten-free cookies and you pretend to enjoy them. You buy everything that says gluten-free on the package.
Step Four: Resentment
The thrill is gone. You resent having to shop in health food stores. It's not that you have anything against flower power or Mr. Natural, in 1968 you were there, tie-died, be-moccasined, soaked in patchouli, but people, that was thirty years ago! Been there, done that. You resent having to sneak into the local co-op on your lunch break wearing a black suit, loafers with the little tassels, and peering out behind Fendi sunglasses. Oh yeah, you fit in. You shop as quickly as possible, hurry to the check out stand and count an amazing 23 rings in the cashier's ear as you wait your turn. And no, you don't have your own cloth shopping bag.
You resent not being able to go out for a beer. A night out for dinner no longer holds any fascination. An invitation for lunch brings apathy not anticipation.
Step Five: Acceptance
OK. It's not so bad. You can do this. It is at this point that you are ready to explore all the wonderful culinary treasures that await you. Don't be satisfied with the ordinary, the mundane, free yourself from the land of bland. Glutenfreeda will show you how to love what you eat and eat what you love!