Breaking up with Gluten

Thanks for visiting my blog! It’s been almost one year since I was diagnosed with what I like to refer to as “The Other Big C”— more commonly known as celiac disease.

I vividly remember the day I received a phone call from my gastroenterologist confirming the dreaded diagnosis. I was half-expecting to hear this, but also not-so-secretly hoping that the endoscopy and intestinal biopsy would have come back negative, while also wishing that the elevated antibody levels previously determined by a blood test had actually gotten mixed up with someone else’s lab results. Those things can happen, right? Hmm, well maybe that only happens on Grey’s Anatomy (poor Izzie). Anyway, once my diagnosis was officially confirmed, the reality set in that my life was about to change forever.

I pretty much went cold turkey when it came to permanently ending my toxic long-term relationship with gluten. I considered easing myself into the gluten-free lifestyle and slowly giving up all of the things that I enjoyed eating and drinking. I yearned for that one last beer, bagel, pasta dish, and doughnut (side note: I’ve never really been a huge doughnut fan, but the thought of never being able to have a bite of one again was slightly depressing).

But, I made the difficult and ultimately life-saving decision to end my 26-year-long relationship with gluten (definitely the longest relationship I’ve ever been in) right then and there. This was a painful decision, especially considering that I had recently purchased an unfinished six-pack of beer—pumpkin beer obviously (does anything else even exist in the fall?). I also quickly remembered that I had tickets for the Luke Bryan concert that weekend. I knew that Luke would be working it on the stage as always. I guess I would have to “country girl shake it” for him without a beer in my hand.

Anyone noticing a trend here? Beer. Lots of beer. As a self-proclaimed beer lover, learning that I had a diagnosis of celiac disease was not the most favorable news to receive. But, as much as I enjoyed beer, I also enjoyed living and knew that I had no choice but to begin a lifelong gluten-free diet as soon as I received my diagnosis.

Adjusting to a gluten-free diet wasn’t going to be easy, but luckily I just happen to be a registered dietitian and already had a basic understanding of gluten-free foods. I’m sure my parents are thrilled that I’m finally able to put that college education to good use!

I’ve learned a lot this past year about celiac disease and how to survive in a gluten-filled world, and I continue to discover new things every day, which I can’t wait to share with you! Thanks for reading and be sure to check back weekly for more on my journey “living against the grain.”

~Lauren~

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