Hello, my GF friends!
Thank you for checking out The Dedicated Kitchen. This site has been our dream two years in the making and we are so excited to finally have a place to celebrate (and mourn) a gluten-free existence.
I always hear, “oh my god, I would DIE if I couldn’t eat gluten,” and I don’t think that’s true. When you’re faced with a life-changing obstacle, you will have the strength to rise from the ashes and learn to adapt beyond your wildest expectations. A set back is only a set up for a comeback, and when you treat your body right, you can take the world by storm.
One of the things I love most about connecting with other glutards is the uniqueness in their story. In case you wanted to know all the deets, here’s my gluten-free journey:
How I Found Out
During my senior year of college, in between fall and spring semester, I was eating a LOT of tuna melts. A. Lot. I had just gotten a panini press and fell deep down a rabbit hole of cheesy-carby-goodness. I began noticing that food just wasn’t sitting right with me. My stomach turned into cement. I was irritable, anxious, and just felt…like shit. At first, I equated it to a common winter cold, but it didn’t go away. It felt like every time I ate, I would keel over in gut-wrenching pain. Why was my BFF, food, turning against me?
6 months, 2,938,498 tests, and endless elimination diets later, I finally had an answer…Celiac Disease. Cool.
How I Handled the News
Not well. There were a lot of tears. A. Lot. The news came juuuust as I was mastering an at-home “crunch wrap supreme” with a monster-sized flour tortilla. I spent weeks mourning everything I couldn’t eat. A few weeks after I found out, I went on vacation with my family to Toronto and Kingston, Ontario. I was so desperate to feel better that I was so reluctant to eat anything at a restaurant. Luckily, my mom took me to a health foods store to stock up on GF food. I stood and stared at the frozen section, calculating the rate of my demise. Gluten-free hot pockets? Gluten-free burritos? Ok…maybe I can do this.
After my parents saw the struggle of a gluten-free lifestyle, they too decided to go gluten-free so I would always have a support system (and things to eat when I raided their kitchen). My sister who grew up taking 5+ medications for her undiagnosable stomach aches soon after discovered, she too, had Celiac.
The Ongoing Struggle
Don’t get me wrong — I still dream about accidentally eating glutenous cookies and ache every time I smell a damn good garlic knot. Fortunately, the gluten-free options have exponentially increased in availability (and taste) since that fateful day over 6 years ago. I’ve learned to survive by reading ingredients and refusing to go out to eat at any restaurant where I can only eat a side salad without the croutons. Even though my husband’s grandma still offers me cake at every family gathering, I am lucky to have a large support system.
Today, I maintain a GF & vegan lifestyle. Food has become a way of life and going gluten-free has completely transformed the way I consider what I put in and on my body. Celiac is a part of me and I am proud to support others who also suffer in the early stages of going gluten-free.
Being More Than Just a Glutard
Beyond my food choices, I work in the beauty industry and am a portrait photographer. I am a few days away from “crazy plant lady” status and enjoy kissing my polka-dotted rescue dog, Blue (and my husband, too, I suppose). I am a yogi, runner, crystal lover, and a strong believer in the saying, “follow your bliss.”
Thank you again for helping all of my dreams come true. I’d love to connect on Instagram! Follow me @leenalemos and be sure to follow @thededicatedkitchen, too! Cheers to a gluten-free life! We got this.