I’m April. I have celiac disease, aka, a wicked reaction to gluten as a result of an auto-immune disease. As someone who has written about, eaten, and adored food this diagnosis was kind of a buzz kill. But as someone who is pretty sure I can re-imagine fried food and bread sticks, I’m confident I can give gluten the ass-kicking it deserves.
And it deserves a big one, as I recently discovered that my mother passed away after suffering from gluten ataxia, and my little girl has that gene that could turn her into a celiac too. WTF, people.
You can also read more of my ramblings on parenting, current events, and whatever blows my skirt up around the world wide web. Need some gluten-free advice? You can find me at Living Without.
I’ve started tackling more food issues, because clearly gluten wasn’t enough to keep me busy and out of trouble. But the fact is, I am dealing with other food issues every single day. After all, I’m a mom and I live in Los Angeles. And the food allergy/intolerance/preference terrain is very, very rocky out there.
As a celiac adult, I’m used to dealing with my own food challenges. I think I’ve covered just about all of them here, here and again here. But the thing is, I’m a grown ass woman and I can fend for myself. Those kids out there? Well, they need our support, our understanding and most of all—our gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, peanut-free, tree-nut free, shellfish-free, regular fish-free and egg-free treats. Some of those are obvious, others, less so.
So I’ve launched Bake Sales Are My Bitch (I know, not quite as catchy as GIMB) to help parents on both sides of the issue (I mean, how many vegan birthday parties can one attend? Really.), and ideally bringing us all together to eat safely without rage. That’s a laudable goal, right?
very timely and important blog.
April, are you stomping some gluten butt or what?! nice blog
Thanks Stacey! But omg, I wish you were here in LA to pilate my butt back into shape. Eating gluten-free cookies is making me chunk up.
I just found you and already I love you. I’ve been gluten-free for a whole decade now, but couldn’t find anybody with a sense of humor about it, or who complains about it as much as I do. I stopped reading the Gluten-Free Girl blog because she uses too much high-falutin’ gourmet stuff and cooks everything from scratch. Gimme a break! I’m a mom with things to do and I can’t (or won’t) spend more money on food than my mortgage. Forgive me if I ramble. It’s just nice to find a kindred spirit anywhere, even on teh intarwebs.
Just found out I have this too–not fun. I will definitely following along. (PS I also recently connected with you on Linked In. We have a lot of mutual friends, and I did a little work with you at Babble)
Thanks Ron. And bummer about your celiac. It does suck. Totally remember you via Babble! Glad to see you here.
So I found you on The Stir after reading your post on the mini pies kicking the cupcakes’ asses and then I noticed you mentioned a bakery in Santa Barbara with gluten free pies (and CHEESECAKE, apparently). I just moved to Corona, CA all the way from northern Virginia (near DC, as mentioned in your post as well) and with the major stress of that, not having a job, etc. I’m 99.9% sure I have celiac because my Mom was diagnosed with it a couple years ago as well. Unfortunately, I don’t have insurance to get tested for it but after changing my diet, I’m not getting sick EVERY SINGLE DAY…so, obviously that will be the first appointment I make when I do get a job and insurance! But your blog is hilarious and I think keeping up with it will definitely help me (I also shared it with Mom!). Thanks. 🙂
Thanks so much Caitlin! I also have a few posts up about Gluten-Free Palm Springs, Gluten-Free Los Angeles, and I’m working on one about Gluten-Free Santa Barbara this weekend. So check them out if you’re in the area! Also look at the blog, Gluten Freeways which is a Los Angeles based gluten-free blog. It’s RAD.
If you feel better after cutting out the gluten, yeah, that’s probably the case. ESPECIALLY since your mom was diagnosed. Stress doesn’t help either so you’re probably in the middle of a massive body revolt. Yuck. Good luck, and thanks so much for your comment!
Finally, a celiac with a sense of humor! You know better than anyone that “celiac” and “humor” normally do NOT get mentioned in the same sentence. And for good reasons…..eating and living gf BITES. I’m not a celiac but am gluten intolerant. I eat gluten and it triggers asthma. This also rates high among those things that BITE, but in the last year have learned of many gf products and only occasionally yearn for really good pizza or one of my mom’s cinnamon rolls. Thanks for the laughs, the education and for helping all of us kick gluten to the curb!
Thank YOU, Charlotte. I know, people get all serious about their gluten and stuff. Although if I had asthma as a result of eating gluten, I think I might be scared shitless. Fight the good fight!
Just found this blog while searching for GF Thanksgiving menu ideas. You are the first GF blog I have really liked!! I love your humor, as I call being a Celiac “the pain in the a** disease.” And come on, can someone please find a better name than Celiac Disease! The word disease has got to go. Thank you for your humor, I love to laugh and being able to laugh about oneself and of course our issue makes life more tolerable!
This is my first GF Thanksgiving, was diagnosed right around Christmas 2010. Can’t wait to try your GF Pumpkin Cheesecake! Happy Thanksgiving!
I like “pain in the ass disease” it totally fits. Thanks Michelle! I hope you enjoy the cheesecake, it’s really super duper yum.
Loved the gluten free holiday recipes!
You are adorable, April! I love your blogs and can SO empathize as I was diagnosed with Celiac Diease in 2006 (although probably suffered from it for a lot longer than that) and have been gluten-free ever since! Fortunately for us, the world has taken notice of this inconvenient and challenging disease and have really come up with some great gluten-free products and proper labeling. I will be making your GF peanut butter cookies for my dad for Christmas this weekend for sure! Although he’s not gluten intolerant, my rule is…if I’m cooking or baking, I better be able to eat it, too! Happy Holidays!!
Eydie, I totally have that rule too. Seriously, I’m not cooking or baking something that makes me physically ill. Not even on your birthday. (Not YOUR birthday, but . . . you know what I mean.)
Ha. I’m doing that today. Making manicotti for my bfs birthday and forgot to try and order GF shells online until it was too close to show time. Any recommendations for next time? I see Tinkyada has some available. Not sure I’m ambitious enough to try making them from scratch…
From scratch???? No way. I haven’t even tried manicotti yet. Let me know which works.
Fortunately, I am not Celiac. However, my wife is. I know all too well the struggles of making most food edible while also making it g-free. Seeing as I do 90% of the cooking, I have had to get creative, practice a lot, and not get too mad when dinner tastes like cat litter. Luckily, there is growing support and resources and yours is truly a gem! We live in a tiny county and most people have no clue what gluten is, so restaurants are out of the question if we want any sort of variety (I went g-free to support my wife).
Anyway, keep up the ass-kicking, and I would love to swap recipes and compare notes (I have a *delicious* coconut chicken contest winner recipe)!
Thanks Luke! I’d love to have an award winning recipe, especially one that is not a dessert. Since I seem to have some laser focus on that food group.
And I grew up in a very, very, very small town in Oklahoma so I thank god every day I wasn’t diagnosed when I only had those limited resources — and no Internet! So I feel your pain
You go girl!
April I found this site at just the right time. Thanks!
Yay, so glad to come across your site. I’m a new GF blogger, but it’s nice to find another slightly snarky and sarcastic GF blogger, too. Maybe it’s a So Cal thing? I must admit the warm fuzzies and endless healthy recipes were … not my style? heh. I am not into recipes – which is why I’ll bookmark your site. And learn all about your thoughts on food, and how to perfect the jello shot.
And I’m equally stoked to check out WTGF? Super rad name.
I’ll just join the chorus and say that I needed this blog. Actually, when I really needed it was about two months ago on the Day of Diagnosis, but I was awfully busy then with sobbing on my kitchen floor and smashing my freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies (not unlike the photo above). But now is good too.
Seriously – thank you. Thank you for not trying to make me eat egg substitute or quinoa loaf. You are a life raft of humor and non-bullshit in a sea of borderline unbearable GF blogs.
I will never make you eat an egg substitute, Christine. NEVER.
Ugh, and I’m sorry about your recent diagnosis. Welcome to the poop club.
Well as I said I would, here is a starter recipe. I’m sorry for not having any exact amounts, measurements etc. I never use em 😦 I couldn’t follow a recipe to save my life. Feel free to amend anything if you decide to try it!
COCONUT CHICKEN WITH PEACH PAPAYA SALSA
-2 boneless chicken breasts thawed
– 2 to 3 cans of sweetened coconut milk
– Equal parts white rice flour, tapioca flour and potato starch
– Shredded, sweetened coconut
– 1 peach
– 1 papaya
– 1 onion
– 1 jalapeno
– 1 tomato
– 1 clove garlic
– fresh cilantro
– deep fryer
-Cut 2 chicken breasts into small pieces (about 1 inch cubes).
-Place chicken into large bowl and pour coconut milk over chicken. Let marinate for 30 minutes.
-Combine white rice flour, tapioca flour and potato starch in a large bowl. -Mix coconut milk and shredded coconut into flour mixture until a thick batter forms. Should resemble thick pancake batter.
**Prepare your deep fryer according to manufacturer directions**
-Dip chicken pieces into batter, evenly coating each piece. Carefully place battered chicken into fryer.
Once batter is a nice golden brown, remove from oil and let drain.
-Dice peach, papaya, onion, jalapeno, tomato, garlic, and cilantro.
-Combine into a saucepan over low to medium heat. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add salt, pepper etc to taste.
Serve over rice or Pad Thai noodles. I personally prefer the noodles 🙂
This recipe won in a cook-off for the chamber of commerce where I live. It was set up very similar to the t.v. show Chopped…it was awesome!
in your experience, what has been your most successful gluten free cake recipe? or can you recommend any resources out there? i ask because i’m hosting an event in the next couple of weeks and there has been a request for some GF pastry options.
The cake recipe I have that always blows people away is my Honeybun cake. You can buy a white/yellow gluten-free cake mix and it’s super easy. I’ve used Cherrybrook Kitchen as well as the very pedestrian Mrs. Betty Crocker and they’ve both turned out fantastic. It’s also best to serve it as soon as possible out of the oven, because people can get the whole “warm honeybun” feeling. https://glutenismybitch.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/happy-gluten-free-birthday-honeybun/
Love your blog – and love the name! Looking forward to reading more about how to make gluten my bitch too! x
Just found out last week that the horrible exhaustion, daily aches and pains, head aches, constant back door trotts, bad sleep, and severe foggy headedness that has been going of for over 5 years is a result of gluten reaction. My business, relationships and quality of life have been s**t for so long, I’ve talked about suicide. I can’t believe thats all it was. I’m glad to have found this blog. Being gluten free for a week has been amazing. I’m grieving and reeling with strong emotions now over so many lost years, some of the best years of my life. But I look forward to folding in the information I find here into what I can feel is a budding vigor growing in side me. Intense, all of it, whew. Thank you.
Oh, man. It so totally sucks to hear stories about people going undiagnosed for so long. I thought my months of misery was bad. I can’t imagine! But, umm, welcome to the club? So glad you’re feeling better and I hope you’ll be able to laugh about it someday. Over some gluten-free waffles.
Thanks for your humorous and informative blog. I am in love with someone who is GF and I am in love with gluten, so I have been working hard to strike a balance…
Thanks Dave! You and my husband should start a support group. 😉
Hi! Bernadette from Brisbane Australia. Stumbled onto your blog a couple of months ago via the randomness of the web when I googled GF communion wafers?? (& i don’t even go to chuch anymore. Something about my sense of humour). Have been GF for just on 3yrs. Again in the random thing we’re visiting LA at the moment so finding your blog very useful. My husband & I are taking the Coast Starlight train trip to Seattle on Sunday. Hubby is doing some “secret squirrel” stuff for this trip as it’s our wedding anniversary. He’s having to educate Amtrak staff re what celiac/GF is to ensure I’m catered for. Fingers cross for his efforts which started in Australia and continue now that we are in country.
I’m very disturbed that celebs are jumping on the GF bandwagon – Might lead to some nasty backlash in the catering of us folk if we aren’t taken seriously
A lot of people find me via communion wafer search. Kind of awesome.
Well, I look at it two ways. One, now more people know what gluten even is, which they didn’t before Miley Cyrus announced her allergy and/or eating disorder. But yes, it can also be seen as very trendy and people won’t take you seriously. I had a friend I was having lunch with once who announced to the waiter, “She’s not Gwyneth Paltrow, she actually can’t eat it.” Which was effective, and hilarious.
Good luck in LA! I think you’ll find there are many, many, many places you can eat g-free here. Have fun.
I am gluten intolerant and loathe it. Thank you for helping me to make gluten my bitch too!!!
I found your blog cus you got Freshly pressed….so first congrats! I have a gluten intolerance so I know its a bitch. I find your posts funny and can relate in so many ways! I have found so many recipes that are gf and you don’t have to have gourmet ingredients. I also have a blog about my personal fight with this….but it’s not near as funny as yours. Mine is more recipes and stories from the past…..a mish mash of stuff….but I will be following yours because at least you make this funny 🙂
Love your blog! I just saw it freshly pressed. I feel your hatred toward gluten. I absolutely loved eating until I was diagnosed and now I’m coping with the sad truth 😦 but we will overcome. Soon, us glutards will be taking over the world… One household at a time…
Fuck that gluten! I’m also celiac. I’ve got a few gluten-free few recipes in my blog (why would I have recipes if they weren’t gluten-free??). Glad I found your blog through the freshly pressed thing.
I’m really stoked on finding your blog! I recently had to go gluten-free and it is so refreshing finding someone with a similar mindset as mine and a little bit of humor as well! Every time I feel a little hopeless about this gluten-free thing, reading your blog really helps!
Awww, welcome gluten-haters. It’s super rad to have like-minded people here, who also can’t eat a damn thing at the airport.
I’m fifteen and I was diagnosed as coeliac a year or so ago. It’s still hard to adjust to and, like you, I was a complete food lover before I was diagnosed, so the entire thing was kind of a blow to my stomach. I want to thank you for this awesome blog! It’s helped me so much, and you make what is a annoying topic into something witty and fun. Now, if you don’t mind me, I’m saving all your brownie pictures into a folder to drool over.
First off, Congratulations on the Fresh Pressing! That’s how I first stumbled upon your blog. Second… I love the title of this and as I’m heading into the doctor, armed with a food-and-symptom diary and am highly suspicious of a gluten-sensitivity (thank goodness dairy doesn’t seem to affect me!)…. Thank you! I have a feeling I’m really going to need your blog!
Oh no! Well, my fingers are crossed for you. Stupid gluten.
That’s why I be like, “Yo, F$CK Gluten!”
You speak the truth, Jason. You speak the truth.
I just found out I also have celiac three weeks ago and have been blogging my travails ever since! It’s so refreshing to find someone else who approaches gluten-free life with such down-to-earth humor. I’d love to follow your blog officially, but I can’t seem to locate any space where I can enter my email address/follow it with my WP account? Please let me know if I’m just being dense (it’s surprising that the blog has stayed afloat this long, given how little I know about the internet). Anyway, thank you!
Ahh me. Never mind, I figured it out! As usual, two seconds after I’ve clicked to post. 🙂
Ha! Thanks. I was going to suggest following on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gluten-Is-My-Bitch/186201274756358?ref=hl
because I also can take a minute to get the Interwebs. Welcome to the club!
HEY!!!! I’ve discovered a media opportunity for you – but you must reply by noon today EST. If interested, email me offline and I’ll give you the contact info. Stuart’s Peep.
Well, an email address would help now wouldn’t it? firstname.lastname@example.org
Have u found that gf fried chicken yet!?!?
Only in my own kitchen!
Such a great blog. I have had Celiac for 4 years and I just started a blog. Love your attitude about gluten. Funny. 🙂
You’re going to have to teach me how to decorate cupcakes. Spaghetti and meatballs? Holy moley!
Hahaha yes ma’am!
Just found you. I so need your attitude right now
Welcome! Sit down and complain for awhile. It’s nice here.
I love your blog because you keep a sense of humor about it all! I try to do that as well …. you have to be able to laugh about things 🙂
Dude! I love your blog, just saw the book, can’t believe I’ve never seen it before. It’s awesome!!!! I love the writing style, and all the info. Mucho Mucho Awesome
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just found your site and blog: great writing (and I teach writing, so I should know:). I suffered for years from gluten issues, and labored under constant misdiagnoses from qua…uh, I mean doctors, until my GF–that means girlfriend–suggested I try going GF. I scoffed at first, but she was right. In fact, she was so right that we have started a GF bakery in Santa Barbara. I don’t know if it’s pc to plug a biz on someone else’s blog (sorry if it’s not), but we are kdsbakery.com. If you email, we’ll get one of our cakes to you next time we’re in LA. Of course, it will be gratis as a reward for making us laugh. Thanks.
Oooh, free cake!!!! Thank you Shaun. I also have family in Santa Barbara and hope to have a book event up your way.
Great! Let us know where to send the cake, and we’d also love to attend your book event.
You rock! Like another reader, I also found you through the randomness of the Web and now I can’t stop reading. I was diagnosed with celiac in October 2012 after a year of brain fog, fatigue, raging anxiety and weird floating abdominal pains. All of my symptoms were brushed off as “bad menopause” (I was 48 at onset of symptoms), IBS and stress before a G.I. discovered I had celiac during an endoscopy he had ordered looking for gastritis. If there’s anything positive I can say is that I was lucky to have been diagnosed relatively quickly. There are plenty of people who’ve gone undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for several years, even decades.
I tried joining some of the online celiac support forums but found them to be too intense. Celiac is a disease to be taken seriously but many of these people were far too negative and fear-mongering. The first and only question I ever posted on an online celiac form was the perfectly reasonable “is it ever ok to cheat?” Within an hour I had 16 semi-hysterical replies warning me of the dire consequences of cheating. Some “helpfully” included links to articles linking celiac to cancer, and one even asked me if my life was worth a slice of cake. I was scared, confused and overwhelmed…this was NOT what I needed. I never went back to the forums.
Trying to find anything remotely positive (or at least humorous) about celiac is nearly impossible. Pretty much everything I read online made me feel hopeless and depressed. I have to live with this condition so I might as well face it with a positive attitude; that’s where you come in.
Thanks so much for your blog!
Thanks Soni! Yes, the fear-mongering is the worst. The worst. I’m afraid enough as it is, I don’t need people lecturing me about vodka. Welcome!
One of my best friends just surprised me by sending me your book in the mail….. I had an all-out rant on my blog (accidentalceliac) a few weeks ago….mainly needed to vent (I’m sure you’ve never felt that way..hahaha)… your book was like a kindred spirit… I read your book in just a few hours….it was hilarious. Keep up the ass-kicking! 🙂
I loved your rant! Celiac does suck. IT DOES.
April, you are hilarious! Although I was celiac-diagnosed on Dec. 14, 1993 (yes, right before Christmas!), and I’ve been dealing with GF eating for almost two decades, I’m enjoying your book very much. My boyfriend was browsing it at the book store and came across the Tamarind Margarita recipe, so that was the clincher for buying me “Gluten is My Bitch.”
When I received my diagnosis, the gastroenterologist. shrugged when I asked him about my diet, and said, “Ask a dietitian.” When I called the local hospital to speak with the registered dietitian, she said, “Gee, that’s a bummer for you!” She mailed (this was before email) copies from a book, two scant pages of info, with a line drawing cartoon of a bloated man floating up in the air, and another cartoon of a Gluten Monster hacking away at terrified Intestinal Villi (that one was actually pretty funny!)
GF food offerings and availability have come a long way, and newly diagnosed celiacs have so much info at their fingertips now. Your book should be one of them. Thanks for presenting gluten intolerance info with wit, sarcasm, a few curse words (‘cuz dammit, I’ve wanted to curse gluten many times), and solid details. “Gluten is My Bitch” is a great resource! (And the tamarind margs are my new fav!!)
Betsy! You are a true pioneer. You deserve 7 tamarind margaritas.
Through experimentation, I found that three tama-ritas is my limit, using Jose Cuervo 1800. I also use a combination of fresh-pressed lime and lemon juices. Delish! 😀
Also found a GF communion wafer for Catholics, for whom substitution of any kind is not allowed: http://altarbreadsbspa.com/altarbreads/index.php?main_page=page&id=2 These low-gluten altar breads made by the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration are USCCB-approved. I’m very sensitive and I’ve never had a problem with them.
3 Tama-ritas sounds PERFECT.
Picked up your book at my local library just the other day and couldn’t put it down! Though I’m a seasoned celiac (I was diagnosed with celiac disease about 5 years ago) I found your book very informative and extremely entertaining!
My absolute favourite part has to be your passage on poo tea fecal transplants. Laughed my ass off (pardon the pun) to the point of crying!
Your blog has now been “favourited”. I’m hooked.
Thank you SO much for saying things I have been thinking for years!
Library! You just geek’d me out!!!!!! Where do you live?
LOL…I actually work at the library as a shelving clerk, so that’s how I saw your book…nice and new and on my shelving cart ready for me to take home. 🙂
I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada!
April, I came across your book/blog just last week and it has really helped to cheer me up. One of my jobs is working at Wegmans, so thanks for the shout out in the book (they get different products frequently). I was just in NYC and went to Risotteria and Tu Lu bakery which were also in your book- very good. I was diagnosed 6 months ago and “quit” gluten cold turkey the day I was scoped. I have been wishing I would have given myself one last day of gluten heaven because I have recently been going through the “hating my life” stage of the diagnosis. It is good to know that there are others like me, and I look forward to following your blog. (I’m not implying your life sucks too, but it is good to know others are going through it too… I don’t know anyone with Celiac).
Thank you Brittany! And yes, sometimes, life does suck. 😉
So I am only 5 days into my gluten free diet and I was like man I am gonna miss, corn dogs and pizza and cookies etc. Then I find this blog and I am like holy sh*t this food looks amazing! I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and have been doing research on the terrible things gluten does to specifically people with autoimmune disorders…I find it criminal that not one doctor in the last 13 years have ever told me Gluten affects my thyroid!! Anywho I am already starting to feel less bloated and can put pressure on my feet without being in pain. I am so hopeful and will share your blog with all my other GF sufferers!
Ugh, it’s criminal how many people suffer for so long with no direction. I so hope you start to feel better soon! While you’re enjoying a delicious corn dog.
I need a gluten AND dairy is my B*&^%…work on that next, ok? 😉
My 16 year old daughter was just diagnosed with celiac, as a result of hair loss. She is sad to not be able to eat everything that she wants without thinking about it, but is handling it pretty well, although she still has not read your blog, which I have been reading since i found it yesterday! OK, I’ll give her a few days to come around! While she is old enough to manage this herself, she is still too young to do it alone. I am concerned most with cross contamination at home, and of course when we go out. I did buy her a few skillets, large pot and colander, whisk, measuring spoons and cups, cutting board, but that is about all at this point. I’m thinking our whole family will eat gluten free, but I don’t know if I can bring myself to get rid of EVERYTHING gluten that we currently have……yes, we are a bit addicted to carbs! Looking for some advice on that, as well as wondering if anyone else had the hair loss issue, and how long it takes to start coming in stronger and thicker again? Also curious about what to do when you’re “glutened” (I know you address this, I need to read up on it) as well as follow up bloodwork/endoscopy after initial diagnosis. I love your blog. We live in the Philadelphia area, so if you’re heading our way, we’d be happy to help you search for great gluten free options! So, gluten is my daughters bitch, and I am turning 50 later is month, and I told her that 50 is my bitch!
First of all, you’re an amazing mom. You need to hear that. Second of all, let your daughter know that all I do is say swear words and eat fried food and maybe she’ll come around.
I have heard of the hair loss issue, and I’m guessing people in my circle will fill you in on their own experiences. I think your daughter should grab my book (I’m not only saying this for self-promotional issues but also for smart ass responses for a teenager) so she will not feel so alone, and will also be inspired to say ‘eff you to cheesesteaks. And, for the record, I had a significant other from Philly and hello, Gino’s Steaks? Phhhhhpt.
My daughter’s hair started to grow in more and look healthier after about 6-8 months of going gluten free. She turns 6 next month and after being gluten free for a year, she just needed her first haircut.
Awesome blog – I found you by searching for comments about the gluten free goodies at Bea Bea’s, and there you were! 🙂 Yay, and I’ll be reading a LOT more of you in the very near future. If you live in the Burbankian area, cheers and perhaps our paths will cross eventually.
Thanks Andrea! I’m Burbank-adjacent so I wind up heading over there quite a bit. I troll Pam McD’s aisles way too often. Waaaaay too often.
I just read Gluten is my Bitch cover to cover this afternoon – My older son was diagnosed about 8 months ago (at 15) – He was completely asymptomatic – A blood test came back with high celiac levels – the doctor sent us straight to a gastro who said that only definitive test was an endoscopy – My son had very little damage but damage nonetheless – FUCK!!! (I wish there were very large caps to write with because this diagnosis came on the heels of my younger son (at 13) having just spent 10 days inpatient at a mental health facility) – I was pissed – He loves food – not in a stuff your mouth teenage boy kind of way – but in a taste and texture and smell and enjoyment way – It’s been rough – I have bags upon bags of unopened flours and starches and gums and powders that I’ve abandoned in favor of Cup4Cup (found at HomeGoods) and Jeffrey Nathan’s kosher for passover gluten free breadcrumbs -I found your book at Eataly right up against the clear window where you can watch an employee of Mario Batali roll out glorious rich yellow pliable semolina pasta dough – How cruel!?!? Luckily my gf son was not with me – he would have cried
A little tidbit that most gf-ers are unaware of – when supermarkets roll out the Kosher for Passover products (usually in February despite the fact that Passover does not strike until March or April) anything marked non-gebroks is (generally) safe for gf consumption – Non-gebroks means that no matzo (ergo no wheat gluten) is in the product – The products are made with potato starch or nut flours –
April, thank you for your humor and recipes and ranting and glimmers of hope – I closed the book with a smile on my face believing that my son will be able to go on the trip to Italy in his senior year (with the Italian Club) and have a great time and eat Italian food (even if it is 10 days of gelato in every flavor known to man) – He has been dreaming of and saving for this trip since his first day of Italian class in 9th grade
This was our first (Yom Kippur) break fast with him eating gluten free – I splurged on the 5 frozen bagels for $10.99 at Whole Foods (I grew up in Brooklyn and now live in White Plains where we still get good bagels so a bagel-less break fast would be sacrilege) – They were the first ones he’s eaten without complaining that they taste like poo and they did not fall apart – When he eats the last one, it’s back to Udi’s ’til next year –
So much to unpack here motherbucker! First of all, who makes these $10.99 bagels because if they’re that good when I’m in New York I’m getting them. Second, my book is at Eataly? That is cruel. Although I heard there were some gf options there, so maybe that is actually awesome?
Your kid is lucky to have such a rad mom like you, and he will not be alone with his gf’ness. It’s all over the place and he can also rest easy knowing he can eat his way through Italy safely. GOOD LUCK. And where are those bagels?????
I just stumbled upon your website (love the name, btw). My daughter was diagnosed with Celiac a year ago- she had no other symptoms aside from her stature but her Celiac was very severe. Then, I was tested and low and behold, I was positive. The irony is, at 5 yeas old my daughter was completely open to trying and enjoying a variety of cuisines. Since her array of foods was not limited to typical kids menu items such as chicken tenders, flour quesadillas, frozen french fries, and hamburgers, it has made this first year much easier. Of course, it is still a bummer because now cannot be carefree or spontaneous like we used to be with food- no more trips to the hole in the wall thai or chinese dumpling place anymore! On the flip side, there are so many things she can eat and LA is very GF friendly. Have you found any safe thai places? We have a few that do not use soy sauce in some of their noodle dishes but I’m never certain if we are getting cross contamination since we do not get symptoms. Anyway, I love your website and we will stay away from the tortilla chips at Loteria tomorrow! I haven’t found a bagel worth eating until I sampled one at Rising Hearts bakery right out of the oven. It was not a NY H&H bagel by any means but still very good. I was told they would still be good 24 hours out the oven, unfortunately they were not. So, if you can grab a bagel (or baguette) straight out of the oven, go for it. While you are there, try the brownies, moonpie, and lemon bars.
Oh wow, I can’t believe that about your daughter. I’m so sorry, but glad you’re killing it gfree style for her. I love the bagels at Rising Hearts. I really do think they’re the best, by far. Good luck to you and your gal!
so the $10.99 bagels are Joan’s gf Good Bakes – every decent gf product deserves a website http://www.gfgreatbakes.com/ – I have not tried any of the other products – and this is not a grab and go bagel – it needs to be defrosted and baked and rested
I am a baker and will – at some point – experiment and document – and when I bake a decent bagel – I will post the recipe here (and hope that it will cost less than $10.99 for 5 and not be too complex)
Ha! Please let me know when you knock that bagel out of the park.
I am a celiac newbie and absolutely love your blog! So far I’m extremely overwhelmed with this new diet. Gluten in gluten free foods? This is never ending. I’m determined to make gluten my bitch. Thanks for all of your posts 🙂
Welcome to the saddest club in the world, Megan.
Hi, just found your blog. Thank you for the posts! Great tips for cooking here. I and my younger son have celiac disease as well, but life without gluten is easy. A million times easier than with it 🙂
I just found your blog while procrastinating on the internet, and I love it.
At as recently diagnosed Celiac, and a first year university student, living in residence, in the middle of effing nowhere, I have next to no choice, and have been constantly sick for two months. Whether its mistaken placement of the allergy signs like putting the gluten free on the vegetarian dish, or vice versa, or there is just no tell tale little sign, I think I had my most violent reaction to date today, over meatballs, i love meatballs, it was traumatizing. I like a good student, and still working through the pain and doing work, well really just looking for easy GF receipes to hand to chef. Hopefully, it gets better and I would like to thank you in advanced for some of your recipes.
Aww, I’m sorry hockey gurl! I’ve always maintained that being a college student with celiac has to be the WORST. I hope you can find comfort in cursing while making some gluten-free pumpkin dishes I keep churning out. Stay strong!
HI there-I just finished reading your book! I loved it-you made everything seem so much better. You sure do know what you are talking about-I could really relate to your sense of humour-thanks so much! (Diagnosed here just over a year ago-still learning how to cook a different way.)
Thank you Pat! And good luck, it does become more second nature, if not exactly easier. 😉
PS-just scrolled up and read the comment from the lady from Halifax, NS. I also live in NS in Bridgewater, I found your book in our local library and borrowed it from there!
Hi, I’m a big fan of your site and your book, which I gift frequently and leave on my coffee table in plain sight at all times. I’m a screenwriter and filmmaker, and wanted to let you know about a fantastic documentary project about Celiac that has recently been launched, and has the support of some major GF and Celiac groups. Please check it out. Your backing would be tremendous in helping this film go forward and word to continue to be spread about Celiac. http://kck.st/1jdRGDf Thanks!
I’ll check it. Thanks!
Thank you! Let me know if I can put you in touch with the director. I’m the guy in the pink shirt in the video on the site. Have a great day!
I can’t tell you how happy I am to have found your blog! I just got my celiac diagnosis and although I am happy to finally have an answer, I was feeling a little down…felt like I was going to be missing out on so many great food related things. I love your inspiration, I want to kick the ASS of gluten!! Thanks so much : ))
Kick it, Kathleen!!!!!! And welcome to our sad little club.
Great blog reading! I self-diagnosed in April 2014; official blood tests last month confirmed what I told my PCP. Next step is a colonoscopy in July. This is horrifying b/c my mom died of Colon Cancer 11 years ago. Although I have been eating a fairly healthy alternative diet for some years, I had no idea gluten was such a culprit. All these years, nutritionists have been advising to eat whole grains, etc – no one mentioned the gluten factor! Sounds like a conspiracy to me (another blog). Anywho, I had been searching for a DTE blogger who keeps it real. Thx for your transparency
Wow, you know your body, yes? I started getting really sick when I tried to be a vegetarian. Go figure. Good luck with the colonoscopy, as it is not such a good time.
I just discovered your website and it is filled with great insight. I am always trying to enlighten others about the GF diet and am going to be sure to share your site! I’m not sure if you are looking for people to contribute to your site, but if so I would love to share about a couple great places I ate this summer while traveling to Spain and Brazil.
I like your blog already. I used to read that gluten free girl blog but am sick of all her talk about her island, babies and ferry pictures. I want something real, and real recipies! Looking forward to months of reading.
Thanks Gamine! I do wish I lived on an island with a chef though…..NOT FAIR.
I found this site/your book while visiting Austin, TX and looking for some good gluten free restaurants (Celiac of 14 years)…Every couple of years I find myself getting lazy and unsatisfied with my food options, I stop checking labels and eat (gulp, real doughnuts!) foods containing gluten as I throw myself a pity party, then immediately regret it.
I went out and immediately bought your book, not only has it made me laugh, but it is also just the medicine I need to get me out of my glunk (see what I did there?!). I am sure this will be a go-to book for me in the future when I need a pick me up! Thank you! (Also following your blog too!)
Aww, thank you! I was just in Austin, Texas which is an extraordinarily gluten-free friendly town. Thanks so much for reading!
I picked up your book in LA airport in November, after having been ‘glutened’ on my holiday (well, I was on a small boat sailing around the central Pacific. The non-chef-trained self-taught cook did his best, but he’d never cooked gluten free before!). The book made me laugh right there in the shop, so I thought I’d better buy it.
Anyway, we’re off to Colorado for a fornight in April on an organised trip that will mainly be eating in diners. I wondered if you have any advice to avoid the gluten and whether I will survive the American diner experience for two weeks (I’ve never even been to the US before, so it’ll all be an experience).
Thanks in advance and hope you’re doing well,
Hi Janet and welcome to America!
Well, Colorado is very progressive, food-wise, and the home of some great gluten-free companies. So you may be in luck. Diners, however, can be dicey. Please avoid IHOP as they put pancake batter in their omelets (sneaky devils), and beware of anything that is cooked on a griddle/fried as it will most likely be cooked on the same surface as toast/buns/flour-coated foods. You just have to ask all the right questions (do your french fries have flour? If not, are they cooked in a dedicated fryer?) and be prepared to eat very simple meals if you’re in a danger zone.
Good luck and have fun!
Dear lord girl, where do I start? Oh yeah…I totally bought your book. Anyone with a mouth as filthy as mine and a snarky attitude about GLUTEN is someone I can relate to.
I got diagnosed as a Celiac in December (after having been tested out the wazoo for every autoimmune disease known to humankind). Needless to say, my reaction was one of calm acceptance and stoicism. But really, when I’m alone in my own house, I am furious and I curse and cry a lot.
That being said, my diagnosis came late enough in life that I have a full-blown case of osteoporosis, vitamin D and B12 levels that did not even register on blood tests, and apparently, at least two other autoimmune diseases that have destroyed the cartilage in my joints and left me with little chicken-pox-like scars all over my body. But am I bitter? Oh hell yes. But never mind that.
Well anyway, I wanted to say thanks for sharing your wit and humor and making at least some of this journey a little more tolerable. I will clutch your book tightly to my chest as I cry over pizza I can no longer eat.
Cat! I hate hearing stories like this, but they are so common. Well, now that you know what’s shaking, go kick some gluten ass. And feel better as soon as possible.
hey – this is just a general comment…. i’m visiting LA for 4 days and never thought about researching GF restaurants (I’m diagnosed celiac for about 8 years and my two teenagers carry the gene and avoid most gluten) since I thought LA would be so GF friendly. I’m sure my experience will get better but got pretty sick last night (our first night) as i apparently didn’t grill the waiter about preparation enough/at all….. guessing it was fish that was floured as everything looked pretty clean/no sauces….. I’m jotting down your restaurant tips and hope to cross the paths or make it a destination. But I want to say girl if you want to have a lovely food vacation – come to Boulder, Colorado where it’s rare these days to have a menu in our very foodie obsessed town that doesn’t have an ** marking what’s GF on the menu or a server that doesn’t know exactly what’s in everything. Fresh GF baked goods in so many coffee shops around town, GF baguettes, etc, etc……
I’m going to Boulder in July! I’m very excited to see all the gfness. And yes, when I travel I find other cities to be shockingly more GF friendly than LA. San Francisco, Portland, Seattle are all obvious. But even New York City and Austin, Texas are way easier to navigate than LA. I’m not sure what gives.
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Hi, I just wanted to let you know that after three months of raging sickness, many hospital visits, and knowing my last year in high school is going to be rough with even more visits to my clinic, your blog is probably the best thing that has happened to me since being diagnosed with Celiac disease. I can’t wait to get my hands on your book 🙂
Aww, thanks! And gah, I’m so sorry this is your celiac timing. THE WORST.
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Got your book for my birthday and it is hysterical. I’ve been gluten free for 12 years, and I also have gluten ataxia. I honestly thought that some things were gone forever (like fine motor and the ability to do the Electric Slide), but the majority of things have come back after 12 years. Am I any good at doing the Electric Slide? No, but I can do it again.
Since this is my first visit to your blog, let me say that if you ever go to Italy, there is a tiny little GF bakery just south of Rome, where I had the most amazing croissants (SERIOUSLY) and cannolis and other things that I hadn’t had in a decade. I may have jumped up and down. I highly recommend it.
I don’t actually think ANYONE is truly great at the Electric Slide, but that could be because everyone is drunk at weddings when they’re doing it. Regardless, that’s great news!
I also find the ataxia news encouraging. My mother had it but it was diagnosed so late the damage was done, and she did not recover. It’s the most horrible thing I’ve ever heard of in my life.
And thanks for the croissant tips!!! I so need to get to Italy. SO NEED.
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This is my first time to this site, but I just wanted to say thanks so much for being real with celiac disease-you say exactly what I’m thinking all the time. I’m 26 and have struggled with anemia, stress fractures, pancreatic insufficiency and bone infections-it was finally diagnosed as celiac disease. I HATE being the center of attention, and that’s what celiac does to you. I’ve been feeling a little bummed about it and this site was just what I needed to keep from cheating. This will definitely be a daily read for me 🙂
Awww, thanks! I know, it’s a huge pain in the ass. HUGE.
I want you to know that I just started reading your book and it is cracking me up. My doctor just let me know that my bowel trouble and general feeling like poop all the time, was due to a gluten intolerance. I am feeling so much better since I’ve cut it out and your book has made me laugh while I have been trying to change my diet. I am getting married and I am having a completely gluten free wedding. Tiers of gluten free donuts!
Tiers of gluten free donuts is my DREAM!! Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials and I’m so sorry you’re in the g-free club.
April- Thanks so much for your honest and funny appraisal of having celiac disease. I found your book by accident…someone had recommended yet another stuffy scientific book for me to read and your book came up when I googled the other book.,,yay! I dream about donuts and tables of Manchego cheese and Challah french toast, so I felt like I was coming home when I read your book…they should have the book at every Gastroenterologists office because they do not seem to be very helpful ( at least in my humble opinion)….rock on, Sister celiac!
Thank you Angela!!!! And, yes, I just had a bad rheumatologist appointment so I feel you.
April, my kind-hearted mother-in-law found your book and gave it to me. As a less than 6 month old newly diagnosed celiac, it came at a perfect time. (Read: definitely sobbed in the parking lot of my favorite pho restaurant last weekend when I found out that it is heavily cross-contaminated.) You are making me laugh out loud about something I can’t seem to talk about (yikes I know, still) without crying. I’m soaking up all of your humor, encouragement, and hope. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have a big fan in Austin.
Awww, thanks Whitney. And I’m sorry about your diagnosis. It’s such a pain in the ass! I will say that every time I’m in Austin I’m able to eat really well and gluten-free. So you have options, even if they’re not breaded. GOOD LUCK.