Gluten-Free Monday #1: What Can I Eat?

Gluten Free Symbols

It’s official, Boo has Celiac Disease.  Here’s the official definition from the Celiac Disease Foundation:

Celiac Disease (CD) is a lifelong inherited autoimmune condition affecting children and adults. When people with CD eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Even small amounts of gluten in foods can affect those with CD and cause health problems. Damage can occur to the small bowel even when there are no symptoms present.

Gluten is the common name for the proteins in specific grains that are harmful to persons with celiac disease. These proteins are found in ALL forms of wheat (including durum, semolina, spelt, kamut, einkorn and faro) and related grains rye, barley and triticale and MUST be eliminated.

This basically means that Boo can no longer eat (or touch) things containing wheat, rye, barley (or those other things I can’t spell).

Celiac Disease

Is it the end of the world?  Of course not.  Is it life-changing?  Definitely!  We’ve known for a week, and life at our house has changed drastically!

For years, the most dreaded words to me have been, “What can I eat?”  The phrase drives me crazy.  It means that my kids want me to list every snack in the house so that they can choose what they want.  I would so much rather have them just tell me what they want (or get it themselves if they are old enough).

Since this diagnosis, the phrase has taken on a whole new meaning.  When Boo comes to me and says, “What can I eat?” she says it in a sad, quiet voice.  It makes me want to cry.  She knows she can’t eat her usual snacks, and she is asking the genuine question–“What am I allowed to eat?  I know I can’t have my favorites.  Is there something I can have that tastes good?”

I’m so proud of Boo.  Although tears are rolling down my face as I type this, Boo hasn’t complained once.  She is such a tough kid.  She really knows how to roll with the punches.  She has tried every single thing I’ve offered her, and she didn’t even cry when I had to take away half the candy she got from a pinata at a camp out.  (Luckily, I had tootsie rolls and Hershey bars in the cupboard, so I could supplement her supply a little.)

Why am I telling you this?

I’d like to start a gluten-free community on this site.  If you are trying to go gluten-free, please link up your posts and ideas.  Include recipesgluten-free successes and failures, coupons and great deals on gluten-free items, and your own gluten-free story.  Tell us about your good days and your bad days.  I hope this will be a place where we can share ideas and feel like we are not alone!  There are tons of resources out there.  Let’s find them together.  (If you do not have your own site, please feel free to email me your ideas or to share them in the comment section.)  I hope to find gluten-free sponsors that will help me offer freebies and give-aways that will enhance your cooking and lifestyle.

So, here we go.  What do you want to share?

Next week, I’ll share how I have changed my kitchen to reduce the risk of cross contamination in my cooking and food prep.

Click here to see all the fantastic sites I like to link up with each week.



  1. I can only imagine how much it would change my life if someone in my house was gluten-intolerant! What a huge change that would be!! Great idea to start a party to help people with these kinds of dietary restrictions!

  2. I have been gluten free for four months. Within a week I couldn’t believe how much better I felt than I have my whole life. Boo will benefit so much. It is going to be hard but the internet is a wealth of info with recipes, tips, substitutions, etc. And I have read a wonderful child’s book about having celiacs however I don’t remember where.
    This is just my opinion…After months of this I believe if you can swing it financially I would just slowly switch your whole family to eating this way. That way there is much less chance of Boo being accidentally glutened in her own home. Life outside the home will be hard enough for Boo but at least at home she shouldn’t have to feel she can’t eat what everyone else can. Good luck with whatever you choose to do. It will be fine and your daughter will be so much healthier.

  3. Okay so I commented up there! maybe it should have been here? Either way I’ll post it on my blogs wall too..

  4. What a wonderful idea for a link party!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  5. My daughter has Celiac’s as well. Luckily she was diagnosed when she was 3 yrs old (she’ll be 9 next month). I say luckily because 1 they were able to diagnose her early so not much damage had been done and 2 because she was so young when she was diagnosed she only knows what it’s like to eat GF. She also can’t have any dairy since she is horribly allergic. We love soy milk and almond milk so it’s no biggie. I’m also allergic to all grains so our family is all too familar with food allergies. I will admit it was hard when we were 1st diagnosed (especially since it was way back in 2006, lol) but now that we now the ins and outs grocery shopping and dining out is no problem. My daughter’s school even offers GF lunch in the cafeteria. The only issue we ever came across was some friends that weren’t so understanding about our dietary needs, needless to say we realized they weren’t really our friends, lol! Can’t wait to check out all these great GF links :) Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hi Heidi- Thanks so much for letting me know about GFMonday that you host each week. I’d love to join, and would appreciate any info on the guidelines for participation/submission of recipes.
    Loving your blog!


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