My Gluten Free Journey

Whether you suffer from celiac disease, have gluten intolerances or simply eat a gluten free diet for health purposes, everyone has their own gluten free journey. Today I am sharing mine. 

Due to the high number of gluten free recipes shared here at The Lemon Bowl, friends and readers often ask if I follow a gluten free diet. Alternatively, if I share a recipe that isn’t gluten free I am almost always asked how it can be made gluten free. The questions and requests all make complete sense considering how often I share gluten free recipes as well as my role as a Brand Ambassador for Udi’s Gluten Free. As a result, I thought it would be a good time to share my personal gluten free journey.

Earlier this year, under the guidance of a medical professional, I participated in a 10 day elimination diet to determine if I had any gluten sensitivities or allergies. You can read more about an elimination diet here but it involved a 10-day detox where I eliminated all gluten from my diet along with dairy, alcohol, caffeine and even nuts. And yes, it was just as fun as it sounds. (Cue: sarcasm.)

Long story short, it was determined that I do not have a gluten sensitivity so I have been able to successfully reintroduce gluten into my diet. That being said, over those 10 days I learned a lot about living a gluten free lifestyle including the common fears and concerns that go along with having to make a major lifestyle change overnight. The fact that I am a food blogger and work in the food industry for a living only heightened those fears.

Although I no longer have to worry about gluten entering my system for health purposes, my connections in the gluten free world remain strong. In just a few short weeks, I made close connections with various gluten free experts including bloggers, Registered Dieticians and readers who have been living gluten free for years.

As a result, I began experimenting more and more with gluten free recipes such as Almond Flour Berry Muffins, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Gluten Free Brownies.  Additionally, I learned that many of the foods and recipes I feed my family are naturally gluten free. For example, most Middle Eastern food is made with rice instead of pasta. Most of the soups I make are naturally gluten free and the same can be said for the grilled meats, salads and smoothies that we eat on a daily basis.

My friends at Udi’s Gluten Free were also a huge resource and a major source of comfort. Their website answered many of my questions and I loved knowing that I could find anything from whole grain dinner rolls to tortillas to granola bars that were 100% gluten free.

Friends, I know many of you are gluten free. I would love to learn more about your journey. If there are any recipes I can help make gluten free, just let me know.

Your fork is waiting.

Learn more about living gluten free! Visit http://udisglutenfree.com/

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.

Comments

  1. says

    It was great to read your journey. I have wondered if you had to go gluten free by all of the gluten free recipes so this is nice to read and see how your journey happened. I know a few people that are gluten free for medical reasons and to have people like you creating delicious recipes for them as a resource is a blessing!

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      Thanks so much for reading Julia! People ask me all the time so I figured it was time to explain my story. :)

  2. says

    Thanks for sharing this Liz! I recently became friends with a girl who is gluten-free, and it has been totally eye-opening. I have started to pay much more attention, abd it has been so interesting to see how many things do have gluten, but also how many gluten-free alternatives are really out there. I appreciate you sharing Udi’s as a resource. I often receive questions from readers of how I can make recipes gluten-free, and it’s good to know where I can send them for more information!

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      Gluten free living has certainly come a long way but there are still so many challenges on a daily basis for people living with gluten allergies. I’m so glad I could help!! xo

  3. says

    I love your bravery and curiosity in tackling a gluten free diet for 10 days, Liz! Very admirable, and I’m sure tough. I’d love to be able to put myself in the shoes of my friends who have gluten sensitivities, if only for a day, to understand what they go through. Loved this interesting and compassionate post!

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      You’re so sweet Georgia! I’m not going to lie, it was a rough time – haha. My husband was doing it as well which helped but I can’t lie, it wasn’t easy. You truly do understand what so many people go through!! xo

  4. Roxi says

    I’m nearly certain I couldn’t do the elimination diet, Liz – good for you!! I had to cut out all milk while breastfeeding because of my little guy’s lactose intolerance (which he THANKFULLY grew out of). My cravings for dairy were insane, not only because I crave the cold white stuff on a normal day, but I think knowing I couldn’t have it exponentially affected the urges. In any case, I’m thankful you don’t have Celiacs nor a gluten sensitivity, but I think it’s wonderful that you still are a great resource for the small percentage of people who do struggle with those issues. Though there seem to be many options (at least more than just five years ago), I imagine it’s a challenge to plan most meals knowing the limitations! Keep up the excellence, lady!

  5. Hannah says

    My son has been gluten free for almost a year. When he was just over a year he was tested for food allergies and turns out he has a ton. And some bad enough to require an epipen. It was quite a shock. I had no idea how many things had gluten in them. I still struggle to come up with meals the entire family will enjoy. I am actually planning an entire allergy free birthday party. Funny how many of my normal party food is not acceptible. It is a challenge every day. I kinda dreading the days he starts school but at the moment I am managing. Thank you for your gluten free recipes. It is so nice to have new recipes to try that the whole family can enjoy.

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      Oh Hannah I give you so much credit for dealing with food allergies. I know how hard it must be!! Please let me know if I can help guide you towards any recipes. And don’t forget, so many foods are naturally gluten free: potatoes, rice, meat, vegetables, beans, nuts, cheese, dairy, etc. Stay strong!!

  6. Carlyn says

    Thank you for your recipes! I’ve been Gluten Free for almost a year now. I struggled with Anxiety, attention deficit, Depression, Chronic Fatigue, poor Immune system and more for almost my entire life 30+ years. One morning I ate a sugar cookie for breakfast (I know shame on me) :) within an hour of eating it I was so tired I could hardly focus on my work tasks. I had enough and wanted answers, I started searching the internet for answers on what was causing me that problem. I came across an article on gluten sensitivity and started seeing many of the symptoms that I had been struggling with my entire life. The thing that is most amazing to me is that gluten sensitivity doesn’t just cause physical problems in people it also causes mental problems. I removed gluten from my diet to see if it would help. I realized pretty quickly that I was feeling much better off gluten. In a year I’ve been able to remove my self from all depression medication along with a.d.d medication and I’ve never felt so amazing with so much energy. I never in a million years thought I would be some one who was gluten free but I cant see ever going back after this!

    • says

      Thank you so much for sharing your personal story Carlyn!! I think people think that it only affects you physically but you’re right – there are many emotional/mental side effects as well. Glad you are able to control it!

  7. Mandy says

    Where can I read about the elimination diet you spoke about? I am researching and preparing to try a gluten free lifestyle.

    Thanks!

    • says

      Try Googling it and you should find plenty of articles about it! Mine actually came from a Naturopathic Doctor I saw in my area so I can’t route you to what I did online. Best wishes!!

  8. Diane Decker says

    I have been diagnosed with celiac disease and am always looking for new and exciting ways to make my food more interesting. Several of your recipes will be going in my try it pile. However, I have one concern. The peach oatmeal bread asked us to swap out the all-purpose flour for GF all-purpose flour, with no other adjustments. If that works, fine, but I hesitate to try it when ingredients are so costly. But my real concern is that no where did you mention that true celiacs often cannot eat oatmeal either, unless it is CERTIFIED gluten free. You cannot use the oatmeal from the Quaker box. It can be cross-contaminated because most oat farmers also grow wheat and use their farm trucks to transport the grain to the local elevator, where it is stored until it is sold. Having lived most of life in small farming communities, I know that neither the farmer nor the elevator operators can clean the wheat residue from the trucks, the harvesting equipment, or the elevators well enough to avoid contamination. Oats that are certified gluten free are grown in fields miles from any wheat fields. The farmers must use dedicated harvesting equipment and transportation. They must take their oats directly to a dedicated processing and packaging facility that handles oats and oats only. It is a very rigorous certification process. No one with true celiac disease would take the risk in eating contaminated oats.
    The reason I responded this way is that when I was just diagnosed, I would have seen this recipe and run right out to buy gf flour blend and made that bread. Not knowing about the oatmeal issue. As ill as I was before diagnosis, it might have literally killed me. The doctor said that even one more episode of serious gluten reaction would have shut done my bodily functions permanently. I did not mean this as criticism in the slightest, I just don’t want people to blithely label their recipes gluten free when there is any possibility they may not be. It is a serious business. Thanks. And I am going to experiment with that peach oatmeal bread because it sounds too good to pass up.

    • says

      Hi Diane – Yes you make two great points! I will make a note that it needs to be gluten free oatmeal. I love using Bob’s Red Mill GF oatmeal. Also, I can tell you the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free all purpose mix works perfectly. Thank you for bringing up these important issues!!!

  9. Diane Decker says

    Just as an example of snafus with recipes. Rachel Ray had a gluten free day of cooking on television, touting everything as completely safe for celiacs. Then she made something using cornflakes in the crust. Regular cornflakes are made with barley malt as one of the lesser ingredients. It can cause severe reactions. Barley and malt contain large amounts of gluten. People consider Rachael an expert and might have happily made that dish, causing serious intestinal distress. It is never to be taken lightly. Sorry for the soapbox. For some of us, this is truly life or death.

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