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About Me

I started blogging to answer the first question I get when I tell someone I have Celiac disease: “What in the world do you eat?!?!?”

That’s the first question I get.  Usually the first comment I get is:  “Man, I’d kill myself if I couldn’t eat that stuff.”  Gee, thanks.

What is Celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which is found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. If you have celiac disease and eat foods containing gluten, an immune reaction occurs in your small intestine, causing damage to the surface of your small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients.

Eventually, the decreased absorption of nutrients (malabsorption) that occurs with celiac disease can cause vitamin deficiencies that deprive your brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment. This can lead to other illnesses and stunted growth in children.

[ Source: Mayo Clinic ]

My story

I began getting sick my freshman year of college (2003).  At first, my symptoms weren’t debilitating – I was tired, bloated, and had constant stomach aches – but over time, they became really bad.  I saw numerous doctors and had numerous procedures.  Diagnoses ranged from upset stomach to IBS to nothing at all. 

I remember a doctor early on mentioning that he wasn’t going to bother testing me for Celiac since my symptoms did not match.  The “classic” Celiac symptoms are weight loss, diarrhea, and skin rashes known as Dermatitis herpetiformis.  For many years, doctors believed that 99% of all Celiacs fell into this narrow category of symptoms and didn’t bother testing anyone who didn’t.  (Most) Doctors now know that less than 50% of all Celiacs have even one of the classic symptoms and that many Celiacs are asymptomatic.

So I struggled with feeling awful for many years, eating increasingly more gluten as white carbohydrates were often recommended for “upset stomachs”.  No wonder I continued to get more and more sick. 

By March of 2006, I was at my wit’s end.  I would have done anything to feel better when a friend recommended I try a gluten-free diet.  I didn’t have a lot of hope that it would work, but I gave it a try anyway, as our wedding date was less than 3 months away and I was absolutely desperate.

To my complete and utter surprise, after 2 full days of being gluten-free, I woke up feeling like a different person.  It only took one week on what I now think of as a very flawed GF diet (I didn’t understand the cross-contamination issue at all) to feel 90% back to normal. 

By the time we were married in June of 2006, I felt like I did before I went to college. 

However, discovering what not to eat was only the first step of the process. 

What do I eat?

There are 2 main ways to approach a gluten-free diet:

  1. Find gluten-free replacements for your pre-GF diet.
  2. Change your way of eating.

I do a combination of both.  For the most part, I try to abstain from eating a lot of gluten-free replacement products, but there are some that I really enjoy and work into my diet.  The amount of specialty products on the market has increased substantially in the past few years, so it is nearly possible to replace ALL of your gluteny standbys if you want – but the products are incredibly expensive and often less nutritious than their gluteny counterparts.

I aim to eat fresh, whole foods because I see a noticeable difference in my energy, skin, and general overall health when I do.  But I also believe that swearing off anything processed or junky for the rest of my life is not something I want to do – a few (GF) cookies once in a while or some Velveeta in a recipe is not going to kill me and eating more rigidly than I already have to just because is not a life I want to live.  I enjoy sweets – specifically chocolate chip cookies – and believe you can fit them into a healthy diet if they aren’t all you eat.

Please contact me at thedallasceliac@dopple.net.
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18 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2009 3:33 AM

    WOW – what a story! I am not very familiar with your disease but I am sure it makes life difficult. I can’t wait to read your blog and see your eats – take care!
    Healthy Eating
    Tasha

    • thedallasceliac permalink*
      November 10, 2009 6:11 PM

      Thanks Tasha!

  2. Anna permalink
    November 9, 2009 9:26 PM

    Hi,
    I just found your blog. I am a college freshman and was diagnosed with celiac two weeks before I left for the university. I was wondering about Starbucks – clearly you love coffee – which drinks are gluten free? I need fuel for late night study sessions! Thanks!
    Anna

    • thedallasceliac permalink*
      November 10, 2009 6:19 PM

      Hi Anna,

      I can relate – I was a freshman when I started getting sick, too. Not fun.

      I drink mistos about 90% of the time, but almost all of Starbucks’ drinks are GF (except for the Java chip frappucino and I would be careful about any of the blended drinks for CC reasons). I would call them (1-800-23LATTE) if you have questions about a specific drink. I’ve had their lattes with flavored syrup without a problem, but you never know what they could change.

      Thanks!
      Elizabeth

  3. December 14, 2009 10:24 AM

    I was reading the healthy tipping point and saw that you were an OU grad! Me too! And im a 2007 alum! Small world!

  4. Kay permalink
    February 21, 2010 9:04 PM

    Great blog! Also loved the picture of the kitties!

  5. hrmeredith1 permalink
    March 1, 2010 1:53 PM

    Hello! I’m a DFW blogger too! I’ve read alot about celiac disease, because there have been many times that I thought I might have it! However, I’m pretty sure I don’t, I did wonder. Did you ever get a Dr. to officially diagnose it? SOunds like you have got it under complete control! So glad you were able to make those changes and live a wonderful life!
    Look forward to reading your blog. Also, are there any specific restaraunts you like in DFW that have a lot of choices for your diet?

    Heather@www.forthehealthofit01.wordpress.com

    • thedallasceliac permalink*
      March 1, 2010 10:07 PM

      Hi Heather,

      Yes, I was diagnosed in 2006 and confirmed by biopsy. It does take a while to get used to, but when you were sick without any hope of ever getting better for years, it’s a blessing. We don’t eat out often but when we do, we like Chamberlain’s (N. Dallas Tollway in Addison), Stephen Pyle’s (Arts District Dallas), and Benedict’s (in Addison) for brunch. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. October 5, 2010 3:04 PM

    I dont know if you have heard of My Fit Foods before, but I would love to tell you all about us. We are 98% gluten free. All of our meals are made fresh daily, are perporitoned and already packaged, all you have to do is heat them up! Our food is very tasty and healty as well. You can just walk in our store, our coolers are always stocked with our meals. Any My Fit Foods team member can help you if you have questions.

    My Fit Foods started in Houston about 5 years ago. We currently have 20 stores in Texas located in Houston, Austin, Dallas, and now San Antonio. There are 2 stores in Dallas, one is located on Lemmon Ave and the other is in Preston Center.

    I know that it can be hard to find places that are gluten free, and after reading your story I had to let you know about My Fit Foods. If you have any questions or want more information you can check out our website at MyFitFoods.com or can stop by any of our locations.

    Thank you,

    Jaclyn Summy
    Nutritional Consultant
    Lemmon Ave My Fit Foods

  7. November 9, 2010 4:34 PM

    So I have Dermatitis herpetiformis and just moved to DFW… and I was wondering if anybody knows of a good DR in North Dallas area?

  8. Donna Ehrler permalink
    June 29, 2011 2:54 PM

    Enjoy this website. Could you please tell me in which particular area of Dallas is the SUBWAY which serves GF sandwiches? I would drive twenty miles to eat a GF SUBWAY sandwich!

    Thanks!

    • thedallasceliac permalink*
      July 6, 2011 8:51 PM

      Hi Donna,

      There are several in the Carrollton/Irving area. I haven’t looked outside of that. In particular, a good one is off MacArthur and 635 in Irving. Let me know if you still can’t find one.

      Elizabeth

      • February 4, 2012 3:07 AM

        Hi there, this is acatully a blogengine weblog right? Could you take a look why it would seem i can not get any comments accepted on your blog? I mean i am having a wonderful read right here and I simply just try to provide a small postive suggestions on your blogposts I located a few interesting content here btw.. Keep up the fantastic work!

      • February 5, 2012 8:24 AM

        W6qKwT bvexjvlhurzx

  9. Christine Boyd permalink
    January 17, 2012 10:07 AM

    Hello, I’m a health writer wondering if I could interview you for an upcoming story. I’m happy to provide details if you may be interested. Thanks.

    • January 3, 2013 6:23 AM

      Christine, we would love to get coverage for what we are trying to do here in DFW – keeping the GF community safe and spreading the word 🙂 Sorry if I stepped on anyones toes but passionate about getting info out to the community. God bless and Happy 2013 to all

  10. January 3, 2013 6:21 AM

    Hi fellow GF friends and Celiacs. My son, Dominic and myself, Lee are Celiac and I am owner at “From Across the Pond” in Colleyville, 3809 Colleyville Blvd, 76034, 817-428-2332. Check out our GF menu online, seriously, its amazing, http://www.fromacross-pond.com, check out our reviews at Find me Gluten free and Yelp. We are committed to providing great, 100% safe food to people like us so come on by ❤

  11. November 28, 2013 2:33 AM

    We must have our own beliefs.

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