Monday, May 20, 2013

Happy Celiac Awareness Month- My Story.

In July of 2005, I was having symptoms most closely related to those of IBS as I had been for the past few years. Over the past 3 years I had seen 3 gastroenterologists and all gave me the same diagnosis “you are a young, healthy female, so it must be IBS”.  On the 4th doctor, I finally said “I’m getting married next month; you need to do every test you can think of and find out what’s wrong with me!”  After the upper endoscopy that was checking to see if I had an ulcer (negative)- I was finally diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  Being that my wedding was weeks away, my cake was picked out, my menu set, and my honeymoon booked.  A few weeks before one of the major events in your life is not when you want to find out that everything you’ve been eating your entire life now has to change.  But for me it did.  I gave my husband an “out” and told him I would understand if he wanted to cancel the wedding- after all, this was going to be a major life adjustment for him as well- but he said we’d figure it out together.  Which we did.  He read the labels with me, tried the horrible gluten free products that were out at the time (2005), and he humored me when on our honeymoon I took him off to remote parts of Rome, London and Paris on search of a place that I heard of on the internet that offered a gluten free meal.  My husband was with me every step of the way.   Thank gosh foods have gotten much better since, restaurants are easier to find and the breads more closely resemble the breads I remember.  Now when my husband eats with me, he eats just as much of the gluten free food as I do, and will sometimes even finish off something that I then have to yell at him about (HELLO?! You can go to any store and get any chocolate chip cookie- hands off my Udi’s  Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies!).  But through all of this my main goal has been to help spread awareness so that others going through this will have an easier time than I did in 2005 and that through awareness, education, support and vocalization we will help to educate others.  There has been an amazing jump in the awareness and availability in the “gluten free world” in these past 8 years I can only imagine what it will be like in the next 8.   

Since May is Celiac Awareness Month, Udi’s has taken on the charge of helping to raise awareness of Celiac Disease to hopefully help others who may be suffering with it.  By discussing the signs, symptoms and treatment options (100% gluten free diet for life!), we can help others.  No 2 people that I talk to with Celiac Disease have the exact same symptoms, which makes it even more important for those of us with Celiac Disease to help spread the word so that everyone (including the medical professionals) will realize that with Celiac Disease, there is no “one size fits all” in how it manifests.

Udi’s Gluten Free has really changed the landscape of the gluten-free product world.  Their breads were among the first to be “fluffy” and able to be eaten without being toasted!  I remember my first time eating a piece of Udi’s Gluten Free bread- that had thawed because it was in my car while I was at a HS football game- I came back to the car hungry, and grabbed a piece of this “new” bread I found and ate it plain, and right out of the bag- and it was AMAZING!  From that day forward I was a Udi’s fan.  Now I love all of their products, from their many varieties of Granola, breads, muffins and  the yummy cookies (even my most discerning gluten-eating friend ate one of the soft chocolate chip cookies the other day and said “WOW, this is a good cookie!” – she didn’t even know it was gluten free!).  Udi’s sent me an AWESOME box of Udi’s and Glutino samples of some of their products- it was an amazing array of what they have to offer.  Among them I received Udi’s hamburger and hotdog buns, Udi’s Granola, Glutino Pretzels, and Glutino’s new toaster pastries!  I was thrilled to receive this box to help me celebrate Celiac Awareness Month in style!
For more on what Udi's is doing to help raise awareness- click here:

Happy Celiac Disease Awareness Month!


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