It’s official. On this day one year ago I had just gotten the Celiac Disease diagnosis from my doctor, and I was told that the only treatment was to eat a gluten-free diet forever. Scary…at the time. I had forgotten, but I did blog about it after my diagnosis. I also like to replace “Celiac Disease” with “Silly Ass Disease.” This phrase is not trademarked, feel free to use as you wish.
Already having been a vegetarian for years, limiting the categories of food I could eat even further seemed nearly impossible. But, to be totally honest (and pardon my french), I had felt like complete and utter merde (see what I did there) nearly every day for over a year before my diagnosis. And I still felt horrible for the months of doctor’s appointments when nobody could figure out what was wrong with me. So I would have done nearly anything to make myself feel better at that point. Lo and behold, cutting gluten out of my diet made me feel like I hadn’t felt in years. Being able to go out to a restaurant without the accompanying paralyzing fear of getting sick was a totally new experience for me, and I still appreciate that feeling.
And to my surprise, being gluten-free and vegetarian has done very little to limit my diet, but has expanded it completely. With these “restrictions,” I’ve tried foods that I never would have cooked before, and loved them. I highly doubt I would have even heard of, much less tried, Spaghetti Squash or Quinoa. But now both are an almost weekly staple in my diet.
I really don’t want to get all mushy and “feel-goody” with this, so I’m trying to resist that temptation. Basically, I feel awesome. Celiac Disease is no problem whatsoever; it doesn’t bother me at all. I feel great, and I still eat wonderful food. The only thing I sometimes miss is beer…but even a few sips are okay now and again 🙂 . And Lakefront’s Gluten-Free New Grist Beer is a pretty damn good replacement!
I know a lot of people are now going gluten-free for health reasons, or because it makes them feel better, regardless of whether or not they have Celiac/intolerance/allergy (apparently these are all different). So I really hope the recipes I post help everyone out, whether it’s you guys on a new health kick, or people like me who found out they had Celiac and had no idea what to eat, and really just find salad incredibly boring.
So pardon my rambles, but this year milestone feels pretty significant. Plus, this gluten-free beer I’m drinking as I type this is not my first this evening. Don’t judge me, this is a celebration!!
To celebrate (and because I was really hungry), I made one of my favorite dishes ever. Vegan, gluten-free, and paired with a GF beer: Spinach & Basil Pesto Risotto with Peas and Fresh Roma Tomatoes (recipe to be posted later this week!)
I love hearing other stories about people who have adjusted their diet to improve their health (and I don’t mean a lose-weight diet…stop all of that madness and just eat quality, fresh food), so feel free to reach out to me with your story, and any new recipes you love, or my own recipes modified and made better!
Thank you all so much for reading over the past year, and even before that (my first post was Jan. 15, 2011, how crazy is that?!). I appreciate it more than you can know!