Welcome to another week of the blog series called Austin gluten-free story.
Last week I shared a bit of my story for a contest I am participating in called Project Food Blog. To read, click here.
This week’s guest blogger is Kristin from The Schell Cafe. I hope you are enjoying reading their stories as much as I am. Kristin recently just switched over to a whole new blog layout. It looks fantastic Kristin! Kristin chronicles life as a wife and mother of four with daily musings and recipes at The Schell Cafe.
Kristin’s gluten-free story
Several years ago, I began to wonder about this mysterious protein gluten and the impact it might have in our lives. You know when you’ve never heard of something before, but once you become aware of it, suddenly IT is everywhere? Such is the case of gluten for me.
I am the mother of four children whom I lovingly refer to as the Littles on my cooking blog The Schell Café. Two years ago one of the Littles began having sporadic episodes with symptoms that at first glance were nothing out of the ordinary for a five-year-old. Tummy aches, leg and arm pains, occasional diarrhea. But, my mama instincts kept me scratching my head. Pale skin, dark circles beneath the eyes, bloating, headaches, and tummy aches that prevented the celebration of her own birthday were NOT normal.
Our pediatrician ran tests screening for common allergies, but nothing came back abnormal. Soon after, during a late night trip to Children’s ER suspecting appendicitis, x-rays and more blood tests ruled out ‘the twenty pound tumor’. Although gratefully relieved, we were still scratching our heads wondering what was causing these sporadic gastrointestinal issues, muscle & joint pains, and other irritating ailments.
As a food blogger, I’m clearly interested in food. Over the last several years I have been increasingly aware that what we put into our bodies plays a much larger role than pleasing our palates. In an ‘Ah ha’ moment it occurred to me that something I was feeding my precious Little might be the cause of her issues.
Soon after my epiphany, I was introduced to a holistic practice Whole Body Health. I immediately became a patient of Dr. Ulery and took two of the four Littles to see him as well. The dots started connecting, and for the first time I didn’t feel crazy. I knew food was playing a role in her ailments, I just didn’t know what. It didn’t take Dr. Ulery long to diagnose our Little with a gluten-intolerance. Our other Little tested positive for wheat sensitivity. And, while not intolerant to all forms of dairy, milk and most cheeses were an issue too.
The next day I cleaned out the pantry. I gave away grocery bags full of whole-wheat pasta, organic crackers, sauces, tortillas, and bread wondering if I had lost my mind. Next, I cleaned out the baking stash – several kinds of flour, oatmeal, pancake, cornbread & cake mixes.
Then I rolled up my sleeves and told the Littles we were all for one, and one for all going to figure out how to live gluten-free.
The biggest challenges?
1) Snacks! Oh how easy it was to toss Clif ZBars to the back of the Suburban on the way home from school and activities.
2) Birthday parties and school celebrations! Telling young children they can’t have birthday cake at a party is no fun for anyone.
3) Sleep-overs, play dates and social outings! Pizza – the requested dinner of choice for such occasions is a bummer when you are gluten and dairy-free.
Schell Café Favorite Gluten-Free Products
1) Hail Merry We love everything from this line of raw, vegan, gluten-free foods. Our fridge is never without the Red Bell Pepper Macadamia Dip or the Chocolate Tarts. I’m not sure who loves Hail Merry more – me, Husband or our 3rd grader.
2) Glutino Gluten Free Pretzel Twists From Husband to Littlest, these are our favorite gluten-free store bought snacks.
3) Enjoy Life Soft-Baked Snickerdoodles I give a box of these to each teacher and on celebration days the Littles have their own delicious treat to enjoy!
Schell Café Favorite Gluten-Free snack recipes
Schell Café Favorite Gluten-Free friendly Restaurants
1) Santa Rita
2) Jason’s Deli – sandwiches on Udi’s bread
Mostly I am grateful for our supportive gluten-free community. Having amazing advocates and resources (like Jessica!) has definitely made a difference in our transition to gluten-free living!
Thank you Kristin for stopping by ATX Gluten-Free to share your gluten-free story.
Stay tuned for next week’s guest blogger! 2 more to go!