Part 4: Your Voice!

Your Voice

It’s that time again! I asked and you answered! In honor of May being Celiac Awareness Month, rather than me just share my experiences living with the disease… this year I want to hear from YOU!

Each week last month I asked a different question about living with celiac disease and the responses I got were incredible! It makes me so proud to be a part of such a strong community and really helps me believe that I’m not alone in this struggle!

If you missed the previous posts, be sure to read everyone’s responses to:

The next (and last) topic of discussion was:

“The best advice for someone newly diagnosed with celiac is _______.”

I wrote a post on this a while ago that I called “Gluten Free… Now What?!”

Five years post-diagnosis I’ve learned a lot and sometimes I’ve learned the hard way. Knowing what I know now and everything I’ve experienced, I would say the best advice I could give someone newly diagnosed with celiac is to relax, learn everything you can on cross-contamination and stay positive!

Now on to your responses!

(I’m keeping all answers anonymous to respect everyone’s privacy)

  • I was diagnosed several years ago and didn’t know anyone else who had celiac disease and it all seemed so overwhelming and taxing. Once I sat down and got my thoughts together I realized that I was pretty much eating gluten free most of the time anyway because I was doing it unconsciously. So my advice would be that it will seem overwhelming but it is totally doable. And labels are so much better than they used to be. And it’s ok to be sad, to mourn the loss of those gluten filled foods. It can be a grieving process. But know there are alternatives and you will feel so much better and be eating healthier. Watch out for the overly processed, nutrient lacking, gluten free foods. Especially if you battle type 1 diabetes. Those processes gluten free foods have a lot of carbs in them, sometimes more than their gluten free counterparts and probably because they are now made with rice flour etc. learn to read your labels and listen to your body. You can be gluten free and feel good and be happy.
  • I was diagnosed last August, so I’m still learning .
  • Buy a new toaster. Don’t “google” too much. Focus on the foods you CAN eat. Find your support system. Count your blessings and be so grateful your “disease” is treated with healthy food.
  • … is relax. Its way more easy than it sounds. We can eat delicious food. Really. Learn all the rules and don’t break them. It’s not worth it. Search for bloggers and people with gluten free diet. Breath. You’ll be just fine. 😉
  • Most gas stations have string cheese if you need an emergency dinner.
  • Never trust someone that something is gluten free of they don’t know what celiac is. When I was first diagnosed I was sick a lot going out and going to friends and parties people assumed it was a fad or diet choice. Though many are aware of what celiac is some still don’t completely understand. I always carry nuts and gluten free snacks just in case. And I would also tell them this isn’t the end of the world good still tastes good intact I think a lot of it is better
  • I was at first it’s a little easier now getting use to reading labels but basically eating lots of veggies went through a period early on where I missed certain foods and sort of was in denial but actually I feel better than I ever have pain free belly is good 😊
  • It’s overwhelming but try to focus on being grateful that celiac is a disease that can be managed with food instead of medicine.
  • Cross contamination at restaurants is REAL!! even if u think u are ordering GF.
  • Be your kids biggest ally. Advocate for them so they can learn to advocate for themselves…this will be a lifelong battle
  • Educate yourself! I read as much as I could about my diagnosis. I found that not only did I need to worry about gluten in my food, I needed to beware of it in my medications as well. Many OTC and prescription medications contain gluten as a filler. Also, items such as shampoo, deodorant, and make up can contain gluten as well. I was thankful that there were so many ways to find useful information for a situation that seemed so overwhelming at the time, but knowledge is power. The more you know, the better you can advocate for yourself!
  • To this day I still research things about celiac/gluten. The best way to take care of yourself is to become knowledgeable do your research! Gluten is EVERYWHERE and the best way to take care of yourself is to learn as much as you can. Its an ongoing process
  • Don’t be tempted to cheat on the diet!
  • Do not search the internet-you will find conflicting information or people’s personal comments that may not be accurate. Ask your physician for trusted sites. If not, it will add to the craziness of navigating this new way of life!
  • What would I tell a newly diagnosed celiac? Your doctor’s ability to help you probably ended with the diagnosis, unless he/she or a family member has celiac. It is hard enough to get that diagnosis in the first place. You are one of the lucky ones if you were diagnosed in under two or three years. Learn to read labels, subscribe to a site like this one, buy books, educate yourself, and get into the kitchen. There are tons of recipes online. There are lots of companies making gluten free products. My personal favorite is King Arthur. Their mixes are fabulous when you don’t have the time or the ingredients to bake something at the last minute. Glutino is also a great company. Read reviews of products at Amazon. If something is good or bad, they will tell you! Be prepared to spend more money, because gluten free products cost more. Make your own food. Meat, vegetables, fish, and fruits are naturally gluten free. Processed food often is not, and it doesn’t taste as good as homemade. It might even be worth the effort to find a gluten free support group in your area. Educating yourself is extremely important, and a top priority. A support group or an online site can tell you what you need to know. In some ways, being gluten free is like keeping kosher must be! You may need your own utensils, condiments, pots and pans, small appliances etc. When I was living with my daughter, I had to replace my waffle iron because she used it to make regular waffles. Unless everyone is gluten free, you need a separate toaster, Most importantly, it’s okay to be grumpy and feel sorry for yourself because your life is changing. It’s a lot to take in and none of us learned everything we know overnight. What isn’t okay is giving up and eating what you can’t eat. It isn’t okay to cheat because it will affect you and the more you cheat, the more damage there is to your intestines. The way I look at it is that I am serving a life sentence, I am not on a diet. Diets end, celiac doesn’t. I probably eat more healthily than people who don’t have celiac. I make better food for my family than if I relied on frozen foods and takeout. It is a lot to get used to, but you can do it. It takes time, patience, and effort, but you can do it, and you’re not alone. We are always here for you. There are so many resources and products that weren’t available thirty five years ago. That was truly the dark ages! Read the archives on this site. There are lists of different products that you can and can’t eat. I consult them frequently, and find them very helpful.
  • Learn about cross contamination. In the beginning I hadn’t even heard of this & my whole first year I kept getting sick & wasn’t understanding why. It’s also the biggest thing friend’s & family members need to be educated on. And food service people as well.

There are so many great tips here and words of wisdom from people living with celiac disease. As today rounds out celiac awareness month, I want to thank everyone that participated in these posts and shared insight on living with this disease!

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Friday Favorites: Memorial Day Addition!

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! I hope you all have had a wonderful week! How is this weekend Memorial Day already?! Is it me, or did May fly by??! In honor of the holiday weekend, I’d thought I’d share some of my favorite things if you’re hosting or attending a BBQ.

1. Tips for Avoiding Gluten on the Grill

Avoiding Gluten on the Grill

Cross-contamination on the grill is a BIG DEAL! If you’re attending a BBQ this weekend, be sure you read my tips so you don’t get sick!

2. Greek Chicken Kabobs

These Greek Chicken Kabobs are our go-to for BBQs at our house. They’re simple to make and always a big hit!

3. Greek Potato Salad 

We are not mayo fans in my house, so traditional potato salad isn’t something I’d ever make. This is a Greek twist on potato salad and has become a favorite of ours!

4. Beanfields Chips 

If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw I posted this picture yesterday of Beanfields Chips. These chips are certified gluten free, Non-GMO and higher in protein & fiber than your average corn chips. They also come in other great flavors!

5. Easy Flag Fruit Dessert via Family Fresh Meals 

How cute is this?! I was searching Pinterest for healthy festive desserts to make for this weekend and came across this! You can easily make this gluten free & no one will ever know! Just use these Glutino Yogurt Covered Pretzels.

6. Gluten Free Alcohol Guide

MsModify Gluten Free Alcohol Guide Cover

Before you head out to your BBQ this weekend make sure you know which alcohol is gluten free!

There you have it, some of my favorite things for your Memorial Day weekend! I hope you all have a great holiday and take a moment to celebrate, honor and remember everyone who has sacrificed for our freedom!


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Gluten Free Mixer List

Gluten free mixer list

If you’re gluten free, then you know not only do you need to read labels and be careful with what you eat… but also with what you drink.

I’ve shared with you a list of some popular gluten free alcohol brands, so now I thought you’d want to know about gluten free mixers to go with your alcohol!

Recently I was at a restaurant and was going to order a Bloody Mary, so I asked the bartender if it was gluten free and she said yes. Call it an instinct, but I just didn’t feel right about it so I asked to see the mixer bottle. Sure enough when I was reading through the label it said “wheat”! Good thing I doubled checked

Here are some popular brands that are gluten free.

To see a complete list be sure to get The Gluten Free Alcohol Guide where you will find over 40 pages of alcohol categories, brands, flavors and mixers that are gluten free!

TGI Friday’s:

  • Long Island Ice Tea
  • Margarita
  • Mudslide
  • On The Rocks
  • Pina Colada
  • Strawberry Daiquiri.
  • TGI Friday’s Club Cocktails
  • Manhattan

Canada Dry: (*all Canada Dry products are gluten free- here are some of the most popular)

    • Club Soda
    • Ginger Ale
      • Original
      • Cranberry
      • Diet
      • Diet Sparkling Green Tea
      • Sparkling Green Tea
    • Seltzer
      • Cheerful Cherry
      • Cranberry Lime Light
      • Lemon Lime Twist
      • Mandarin Orange
      • Original
    • Tonic Water

Clamato Brand:

  • Tomato Cocktail- The Original
  • Tomato Cocktail- Clamato Picante
  • Tomato Cocktail- Clamato Limon
  • Tomato Cocktail- Clamato Preparado

Jose Cuervo:

  • Margarita Mix
  • All Jose Cuervo Blenders

Master of Mixes Brand:

  • Collins Mix
  • Whiskey Sour Mix
  • Strawberry Daiquiri/Margarita Mix
  • Sweet n’ Sour Mixer
  • Margarita Mix
  • Pina Colada Mix
  • Classic Bloody Mary Mix
  • 5 Pepper Extra Spicy Bloody Mary Mix
  • Mojito Mix
  • Mango Daiquiri/Margarita Mix
  • Cosmopolitan Mix
  • Sour Apple Martini Mix
  • Manhattan Mix
  • Mai Tai Mix
  • Old Fashion Mix
  • Red Sangria
  • White Sangria
  • Watermelon Daiquiri/Margarita Mix
  • White Peach Daiquiri/Margarita Mix

Mr & Mrs T:

  • Bloody Mary Mix
  • Bold & Spicy Bloody Mary Mix
  • Fiery Pepper Bloody Mary Mix
  • Light Margarita Mix
  • Mai Tai Mix
  • Manhattan Mix
  • Margarita
  • Old Fashioned Mix
  • Pina Colada Mix
  • Strawberry Daiquiri
  • Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Tom Collins Mix
  • Whiskey Sour Mix

Daily’s Cocktails:

  • Bar Syrup
  • Grenadine Syrup
  • Lime Juice
  • Mango Mix
  • Margarita Mix
  • Mojito Mix
  • Original Bloody Mary Mix
  • Peach Mix
  • Pina Colada Mix
  • Raspberry Mix
  • Strawberry Mix
  • Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Thick ‘n Spicy Bloody Mary Mix
  • Triple Sec

For a more detailed list, you can purchase the complete Gluten Free Alcohol Guide.

MsModify Gluten Free Alcohol Guide Cover

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{no sugar added} Slow Cooker Applesauce

This naturally sweet slow cooker applesauce has no added sugar, is made with only 4 ingredients and is the perfect healthy treat for the entire family!

no sugar added slow cooker applesauce

I love apples all year long! I don’t know about you, but we buy the containers of apples from Costco and then we have so many we can’t eat them fast enough before they lose their crispness. This happened to me one time and rather than tossing them out (because they were still good, just not as crisp as we like them), I decided to make applesauce.

You guys, this is seriously SO easy and delicious! I will never buy store bought applesauce again. An added bonus is that while your apples are cooking, your entire house smells amazing!

I bought mini jam jars and stored all the applesauce in them. We enjoyed this (naturally) sweet treat all week!


  • 12 apples
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup water


  1. Peel, core and cut apples into pieces (I cut them in fourths).
  2. Place apples in slow cooker.
  3. Add lemon juice and cinnamon. Stir so evenly coated.
  4. Add in water.
  5. Cover with lid and cook on high 3-4 hours (or until apples are very soft).
  6. Using a potato masher or immersion blender, mash/blend to your desired consistency.
  7. Store remaining applesauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

no sugar added slow cooker applesauce



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Part 3: Your Voice!

Your Voice

It’s that time again! I asked and you answered! In honor of May being Celiac Awareness Month, rather than me just share my experiences living with the disease… this year I want to hear from YOU! Each week last month I asked a different question about living with celiac disease and the responses I got were incredible! It makes me so proud to be a part of such a strong community and really helps me believe that I’m not alone in this struggle!

If you missed the previous posts, be sure to read everyone’s responses to “the challenges living with celiac” here! And “Tips for when you get glutened” here! 

The next topic of discussion was:

“Something positive that came out of my celiac diagnosis is _____ .”

Getting diagnosed with an autoimmune disease is not something you typically would be grateful for. However, I believe strongly in the power of positivity and taking a bad situation and finding the good in it. I wrote a post a while ago where I shared 10 reasons I’m grateful for celiac. You can read my thoughts here!

postive aspects of celiac

Now on to your responses!

(I’m keeping all answers anonymous to respect everyone’s privacy)

  • My overall mental health, and my body doesn’t ache anymore and I truly feel better inside and out.
  • Definitely a healthy diet. I consider what I put into my body so much more!
  • I sleep better and have lots more energy.
  • I am healthier than I’ve ever been, eat a really balanced diet, and feel more sociable as I can be included more readily in food-related outings. I’d love to say I’m feeling 100%, and I’m certainly no longer ill, but I feel because I was born with it and undiagnosed for so long, my digestive system is still super sensitive. My hair has thinned over the years, which I am told is because of nutritional deficiency, and I am still prone to swelling and cramps when I am totally gluten free. I sticking to the diet for 14 years but I’m not there yet! Sorry there is still some negativity from me!
  • So I’m going to be honest. I didn’t think having my diagnosis would have changed my life as much as it had. Prior to my diagnosis, I was always sick. Whether it was a migraine, stomach issues, or just not feeling right. Because of all of this, I was almost always miserable. I had mood swings, joint pain and I just was not happy overall. After my diagnosis and being consistently gluten free, I noticed a change in my personality. Nothing major, it was just that I was feeling healthy and good which made me happier. It really was the best thing to happen to me. Yes, having to be gluten free and missing out on some of your favorite foods really sucks. But I would never trade a batch of grandma’s brownies for my overall health and happiness. I hope to see improvements for a long time! It’s only been about three years for me. Thanks for making me think about this! I don’t think I realized all of the positivity that came out of my diagnosis. It’s nice to have focused on that for this post!
  • A diagnosis takes you out of the limbo of pain and suffering and wondering what is going on, and into a place of awareness. I would rather have answers and be able to address an issue than just have to keep suffering and trying everything and anything to feel well again. For so many of us, it’s not just the Celiac Disease, and we don’t feel better until all the root causes are uncovered. It’s frustrating to hear “you’ll feel so much better in a few months after cutting out gluten and healing”, and then still struggle because of additional autoimmune diseases that are caused by Celiac, the effects of living undiagnosed for years, and the havoc it wreaks on the body. I’m still trying to find the right doctors and plan for wellness that helps me get back to a place where I can thrive. It gets better with each health mystery that gets solved, and I am thankful for the medical journals, research, doctors and people in my life that listen and care, and the increased awareness that there is for food allergies and autoimmune diseases. Knowledge is power, and education is how we empower each other and create a climate of understanding.
  • My diagnosis did change the way I eat obviously, but it changed the way I grocery shop, the way I cook, the way I feel, the way I sleep, the way my brain even works! My diagnosis came later in life when I was 43. I don’t like bringing attention to my disease, especially when out with a group because there is always someone who has a few comments to make or does the  eye roll when I say I’m gluten free.
  • Because of my diagnosis of celiac disease, I have learned so much more about my body and why I have to take better care of it. I make informed decisions about my overall health not just nutritionally but concerning physical fitness, sleep, mental health and also my spirituality. I will always miss the spontaneity of being free to eat anything and anywhere, but I feel blessed that I have a chance to have my next 50 years be healthier because of celiac disease.
  • Because of my diagnosis, my daughter was diagnosed. She was not growing and no signs of puberty at 15, with all the social issues that go with that . Soon as I diagnosed, I did research and realized that her delayed growth was a symptom. We took her off Gluten and she began to develop in 3 months. It was amazing. Today she is normal in all ways.
  • Something positive that came out of my celiac diagnosis was learning to take care of my body and to promote awareness to others who don’t know much about it! And to receive amazing support from family and friends!!
  • something positive that came out of my celiac diagnosis was meeting other girls my age that also have celiacs and being able to automatically connect and become close friends. i also feel i have grown to take care of my body and really focus on what i eat to keep myself healthy.
  • Because of my diagnosis my mom and brother were diagnosed, I am no longer depressed, my hair is not falling out, and I feel like myself. I always told people that I didn’t feel like myself, that I was somehow possessed or felt just… off. It’s a strange thing to try to describe, but now I know what it means to feel normal & whole, and that is the best part of all.
  • This has been the most challenging time in my life – it has impacted every area of my life. One positive thing is learning about what is actually in every single bite of food I put into my mouth.
  • Well, since starting this account I’ve met a great community of other celiacs and gluten sensitive folk who share their safe places and recipes with one another! It’s really quite an amazing thing
  • I have two gorgeous little girls. I’m off all prescription drugs and live a way better life than I did before!
  • Before my celiac diagnosis I struggled with infertility and miscarriages. I now have a miracle baby that I never thought I would have. Thanks to learning about my celiac and healing my body.
  • I used to suffer from anxiety and depression. Ever since going gluten free and getting my health back on track, that all went away!
  • Before my diagnosis I was on sleeping pills and still never felt rested. Now I sleep through the night practically every night without any medication.
  • I was tested for and learned I already had osteoporosis At 47. Therefore, I was able to start getting treatment to avoid serious breaks.
  • After my diagnosis and sharing my experience with others, 3 people I know then got diagnosed. Without my diagnosis I think they all would still be struggling with their health.
  • I listen more to what my body is trying to tell me. If I eat something that disagrees with me, I don’t eat it again. Not being able to eat gluten has also made it easier not to ingest other things that I can’t have. Starches and most grains are hard on my system so I don’t eat them very often anymore.
  • The biggest positive for me is that as soon as I was diagnosed (& I wasn’t properly diagnosed until age 40) I knew what was wrong with my son. He’d had digestive issues since infanthood & had stopped growing & doctors continued to brush us off. Thankfully my son won’t have to suffer & endure the same fate I did.
  • I was diagnosed with Celiac at 18, a few months before leaving home for college. After living with the pain and discomfort of Celiac for almost two years at that point, I was honestly just not in a good place. I felt sick all the time, so I ate whatever I wanted to try and feel better (mostly ice cream, if we’re being honest). I was gaining weight and losing the motivation to fix my issues. I was always in a bad mood, and had lost friends, my boyfriend, and myself along the way. I didn’t even care about going to college anymore.
  • Finding out I had Celiac forced me to focus on myself without guilt. I found a passion for cooking gluten free meals, and spent the last few months before college eating well and enjoying this new hobby. When I left for school, I was in a much better place. I lost weight and was happy with my body, I’d found motivation again to improve my circumstances, and I’d had the opportunity to listen to myself and love myself. It’s hard to explain, but there is something so therapeutic about just knowing yourself, and I think that Celiac facilitated my own journey of self-love. It’s an annoying disease, but in the end I’m actually glad that I have it. I’m not me without Celiac!

After reading through all your responses, it made me realize that we really do have a lot to be grateful for! Thank you again to everyone who opened up (I know it can be scary) and shared your thoughts!

Stay tuned for part 4 later this month!


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{gluten free} Spanakopita Bites

Modifying a classic Greek favorite, without the need to spend time making gluten free phyllo dough… these spanakopita bites are the perfect finger food!

gluten free spanakopita bites

Being Greek, food is a big deal to us! Our family get-togethers center around food, as do holidays and even many of my phone conversations with my mom (“what are you making tonight?”… “Oh, I’m making __”… “How do you make __?”). Food is just a way of life for us! Needless to say, I’m glad that many traditional Greek dishes are naturally gluten free. However, some are not.

Spanakopita (spinach pie) is something I miss dearly since becoming gluten free. I have tried many alternatives to phyllo dough and so far I haven’t been happy with any of them. Enter Brazi Bites! I have an obsession with these little Brazilian cheese bread balls. I decided to take my yia yia’s spanakopita recipe and modify it by using Brazi Bites in place of the phyllo… and guess what?! It was a HUGE success! I left out garlic from the recipe since I used the garlic asiago Brazi Bites (I recommend you use these too!).

gluten free spanakopita bites


  • 1 (11.5 oz) bag of Garlic Asiago Brazi Bites, thawed
  • 7 cups baby spinach, stems removed & chopped
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 ½ Tbsp dill, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp mint, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup feta cheese, finely crumbled
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Gluten free flour, for dusting surface


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Drizzle olive oil in pan over medium heat, add in onion and sauté for about 3-4 mins.
  3. Add chopped spinach to pan and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes, or until there is no liquid remaining. Add in salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Transfer spinach to a bowl and set aside to cool.
  5. In another bowl, whisk egg and then add your herbs and cheese.
  6. Add spinach to egg mixture and stir everything together.
  7. Sprinkle work surface with gluten free flour (to prevent sticking) and flatten out one defrosted Brazi Bite. Use the palm of your hand to flatten it out on your work space (turning it over and dusting with flour as needed).
  8. Place flattened Brazi Bite into mini muffin tin and form a cup.
  9. Scoop mixture into cup.
  10. Repeat this process until you’ve used all Brazi Bites.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes.

Gluten free Spanakopita bites


*This post is sponsored by Brazi Bites, however my opinions & the recipe are my own!


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Part 2: Your Voice!

Your Voice

In honor of May being Celiac Awareness Month, rather than me just share my experiences living with the disease… this year I want to hear from YOU! Each week last month I asked a different question about living with celiac disease and the responses I got were incredible! It makes me so proud to be a part of such a strong community and really helps me believe that I’m not alone in this struggle!

If you missed last week’s post, be sure to read everyone’s responses to “the challenges living with celiac” here!

The next topic of discussion was:

“When I get glutened, the one thing that helps most is _____.”

I received so many great, helpful responses! I did a post on this topic a while ago with my 10 helpful tips for gluten recovery. You can read my thoughts here! 

Now on to your responses!

(I’m keeping all answers anonymous to respect everyones privacy)

  • Time+papaya enzymes
  • Water, water, water, my go to clean meal of grilled chicken, steamed broccoli and mighty rice. And then I drink water.
  • Lots of rest, water, and beef broth from our favorite pho restaurant.
  • Activated charcoal, water, fasting, sleep.
  • Charcoal pills, lots of water, hot water bottle, Epsom salt bath, beef broth ..and prayers…
  • Sleep! Plus water, coconut water, enzymes, Bio K probiotic, apple cider vinegar (I just take it like a shot), and broth. It’s all about purging & cleansing the system. It still takes 12-36 hours, but you do what you can.
  • Time. Water. Rest.
  • Baby wipes! Taking GlutenFlam (supplement that helps reduce the damage and inflammation if you take it ASAP); Upping the probiotics, vitamins C, D3, Zinc, liquid B12, and magnesium; Boiron’s Arsenicum Album – homeopathic pellets for symptoms of food poisoning; icing my abdomen; sleep; Alo brand Aloe Vera drink (the watermelon/ peach variety); Turmeric; chlorophyll; Traditional Medicinals Chamomile and lavender tea; Pepto Bismal caplets; bone broth and easily digested meals and ta GF version of the BRAT diet to slow things down (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast); Orgain’s vegan protein shake – the ready to go or powder mix; ginger and ginger ale; and finding something to watch or read that can make me laugh and take my mind off the pain. I’m SUPER sensitive and once glutened, easily get any flu bug or virus that I get exposed to when I’m in that vulnerable state. I literally will try anything safe for me, to feel better and heal! The symptoms last a minimum of three weeks for me!
  • An understanding husband that gives me a bucket and lots of space!
  • When I have gluten accidentally get into my diet, it not only gives me hundreds of tiny blisters on my palms and fingers that burst and then peels ( a total of 3 weeks to heal) but it creates havoc in my GI track , after 2 days it’s so very painful to have a bowel (because of the diarrhea , I have a prolapse rectum )that when anything passes I must immediately get into a scolding hot bathtub, it’s an instant relief and I only need to be there maybe 5 minutes but on bad days it’s as many as 10 times, now that I understand what causes it I can keep it from getting that bad. ( a dermatologist diagnosed it after seeing GI Dr’s for 8 yrs, 4 colon scopes and even blood transfusions because I was bleeding so bad from my rectum and when the blisters made my hands so raw, my whole problem was GLUTEN ) I’m finally on my way to feeling better !
  • I take Alka Seltzer Gold and lie down. I try to get as much rest as possible. I drink more water than usual over the course of the next few days. I try to avoid my family so my mood swings don’t get inflicted on them. I also try to figure out what I ate that might have done it, so I don’t do it again. Mostly I try to avoid eating out because being glutened is hell. If it happens at home, that’s harder to track down since for the most part we are gluten free at home. Recently I was having a lot of problems, and I figured out that it was the bird seeds for our pets. I try to be scrupulously careful washing my hands after I feed them, but if I get distracted, it doesn’t happen, and the probability of getting glutened goes up. It’s so easy to forget and then eat before I’ve washed my hands. I put post it notes on the food buckets and in the bathroom so I remember to wash my hands thoroughly. It helps me to remember that it isn’t always what I eat that affects me. What I touch can be just as bad. Ugh!
  • Nothing will take the pain & suffering away, but I’ve found I can lessen it by taking activated charcoal & digestive enzymes. And I use essential oils topically on my abdomen also.
  • When I get glutened, the one thing that helps me most is anything to control the nausea. Peppermint, ginger, nausea medications. Everything else I can’t really do anything about but the nausea I can at least minimise… a little!
  • Chicken broth, L-Glutamine and Probiotics….
  • Rest, lots of water and patience. Sometimes it can take weeks to feel better!
  • Bone broth, activated charcoal and epsom salt baths.
  • Lots and lots of water. Eat bland for a few days and avoid dairy for a few weeks.
  • Rest and bone broth. Explain to family that you’re not yourself while recovering… emotions get crazy! It’s okay, it’s not you it’s from getting sick.
  • Activated charcoal and sleep. Lots of sleep.
  • Bone broth and rest. Just give it time to pass.
  • Essential oils, lots of water and sleep.
  • Listen to your body. Rest, and don’t feel guilty about calling out sick from work or checking out at home until you feel better. Sleep heals.
  • Time. Drink water, bone broth and sleep!
  • Follow the BRATs diet for a while and lots of water.
  • Sleep!
  • Epsom salt baths, essential oils topically on stomach, lots of water and rest.
  • Nothing really makes you heal faster, just be patient and let it pass.
  • Mint tea, bone broth and lots of water.
  • Activated charcoal!!
  • Bone broth, eat simple foods with no seasonings, no dairy, and lots of sleep.
  • A supportive, loving family helps a great deal! Water, rest and trying to stay positive because that can be a challenge.
  • Warm baths, lots of water and sleep.
  • Heating pad, lots of water, rest and prayers.
  • Essential oils (I use doTERRA’s DigestZen) on stomach and lots of water. You have to flush it out.
  • Sleep and essential oils! There are so many symptoms and every time is different but oils have helped a lot like nothing else.

After reading though everyone’s responses, it made me realize many of you recommend the same types of things. It appears that liquids, sleep and activated charcoal (I’ve personally never tried activated charcoal but it was mentioned a lot!) are the most recommend tips!

This is a topic I asked my doctor when first diagnosed and people often ask at the celiac conference I attend each year. From my experiences, most of the time doctors just recommend allowing time to pass in order to feel better. I love that all of you with celiac/gluten senstivity shared REAL tips that help make you feel better!

*As always, I’m not a medical professional so please always consult with your doctor. 

Thank you SO much to everyone who shared tips on this topic and stay tuned for parts 3 & 4 throughout the month!



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Weekend Recap!

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Recently I asked you what you want to see more of on MsModify and a surprising amount of you told me you want to see more of my personal life, so I thought I would add in weekend recaps (for when I do something worth sharing! ha).

Friday Erik and I both took the day off and took a day trip to La Jolla (San Diego, CA). The weather was a little gloomy, but it’s such a gorgeous location that nothing will ruin it.

There is a part of the beach known for where seals go to rest. There were so many of them (this pic doesn’t even show a fraction of them)!

It was so nice to have a day date with this guy! If you haven’t read it, you should read my interview with him!

After La Jolla, we headed to Carlsbad to my favorite Mexican restaurant. If you’re ever in the area you have to go to Casa de Bandini. Not only is it delicious but they understand gluten cross-contamination and have a separate kitchen area! Can you tell we love chips & salsa?!

Hello fajitas! 🙂 I always ask for veggies in place of beans and rice.

5 years ago on Cinco de Mayo I was diagnosed with celiac. What I thought was the worst day of my life turned out to be one of the best. Cheers to being healthy & feeling good!

Over the weekend we did a little DIY project! I was in charge of staining the wood!

I love having a handy hubby!

We made our own little gardening planter for our balcony! We also hung a basket with a strawberry plant and have a zucchini plant in a pot. If you have any gardening tips, please share!!

Then I just got ready for the week and did some grocery shopping. You guys, Sprouts is having a BIG sale on gluten free products! This sale is in all stores and goes through Wednesday!

My favorite gluten free flour (Cup4Cup) is on sale and is a great price!

The rest of the weekend included some family time with my parents, then just laundry, work emails and watching tv. We are OBSESSED with Homeland! I didn’t want to watch it at first, but Erik talked me into it and now I’m hooked!

I hope you all had a great weekend and are ready to tackle this week!


  • Did you do anything fun over the weekend?
  • We are almost caught up with Homeland… what should we binge next?!
  • Do you have gardening tips/tricks I should know?



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Friday Favorites: Cinco de Mayo Addition!

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! I still can’t believe we are in May… where is the time going?! I used to always do “Friday Favorites” posts where I would share some of my favorite things (sometimes they were random and other times I had a theme). I decided I want to bring this back from time to time (we will see how you like it and I may do it more or less depending on the feedback I get!).

Oh hey Cinco de Mayo! Today I celebrate 5 years of officially being diagnosed with celiac disease. Did you notice I said celebrate? Yup, that’s right! Cheers to 5 years of feeling healthy (for the most part!) and finally gaining control back of my life.

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I thought I would make it a theme today of some of my favorite Cinco de Mayo inspired things!… So here we go:

1. Mateo’s Gourmet Salsa


If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw I shared this yesterday. Mateo’s salsa is hands down the best store bought salsa I’ve tried! Sometimes I can find small jars at the grocery store, but occasionally Costco has this large one! You better believe I bought 2 (3..maybe 4!). It’s hit or miss at Costco, so if they don’t have it I buy it from Amazon. You need this in your life… trust me! (PS: It say’s “Gluten Free” right on the front!)

2. Chip & Dip Serving Tray

I saw this chip & dip serving tray and knew I had to have it! What a great idea that it comes with a lid! There is nothing worse than entertaining outside and flies are all over the food. The glass part comes out too, so it’s easy to clean.

3. Cactus Margarita Glasses

How cute are these glasses!

4. Cucumber Lime Margarita

Now these “Refreshing Cucumber Margaritas” via Tastes Lovely are the perfect match for the cactus glasses! I was searching Pinterest for skinny margarita recipes and this one sounds delicious! There are only three ingredients and no artificial ones in these. I’m sold!

5. Black Bean & Corn Dip

black bean and corn dip

This black bean & corn dip is a staple in our house any time we have a bbq! You can guarantee 100% I will be making this today!

6. Gluten Free Salsa List

Gluten Free Salsa List

Recently I made a list for you of gluten free salsa brands & flavors. Here you will find popular mainstream brands that are easy to find in any large grocery store. Make sure you take a look at it before you enjoy your chips and salsa today!

7. Gluten Free Alcohol Guide

MsModify Gluten Free Alcohol Guide Cover

If you’re gluten free I bet you always double check the food you eat and read labels, but do you check alcohol before you drink it? I’m not a big drinker, but I can tell you I have been sick from alcohol & it’s not because I drank too much… it was from the gluten! I made a detailed guide listing categories, brands and flavors. I also explain some of the controversial issues to help you make safe decisions when choosing which ones to consume. Included in the guide are ten of my favorite cocktail recipes made with gluten free alcohol and mixers!

Well there you go, some of my favorite Cinco de Mayo inspired things!


  • What’s your favorite type of Mexican food?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!



Today I’m linking here. 







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Part 1: Your Voice!

Your Voice

In honor of May being Celiac Awareness Month, rather than me just share my experiences living with the disease… this year I want to hear from YOU! Each week last month I asked a different question about living with celiac disease and the responses I got were incredible! It makes me so proud to be a part of such a strong community and really helps me believe that I’m not alone in this struggle!

The first week I asked you to fill in the blank:

“The most challenging aspect of living with celiac disease is ___.”

If I were to answer this question I would say for me personally the most challenging aspect of this disease are social situations. Even five years post-diagnosis I admit, sometimes before I head out to a party or other social events I feel anxious and maybe even get some tears in my eyes. Do I love packing my own food to take with me? Nope… Do I like when people ask me if I’m dieting? No… Do I like feeling anxious every time I order at a restaurant and hope they don’t mess up my order? Not a bit. Does it hurt my feelings when people say “I think you make it a bigger deal than it is… a few bites won’t hurt you”?  Absolutely.

Five years later I’m starting to learn to not care what others think and put my health first. A couple years ago I wrote an open letter to celiac and shared some of the challenges I felt. You can read that here if you’d like!

Now on to your responses!

(I’m keeping all answers anonymous to respect everyones privacy)

  • Making sure my 8 year old son always feels special and not left out. It’s hard enough being a kid, but being a kid with celiac disease can be challenging.
  • Trying to tell people that this is a disease not a yes I’m dying to have that piece of cake or pizza but I can’t because it will hurt like hell. People just have to know the differences between people having a gluten free diet because they want to have a healthy lifestyle or because there is no other choice!!..i’m 23 years old, i’ve discovered that I have celiac a few month ago, and it’s so hard for me to fit in with all these things, and I’m tired of explaining myself to people who actually don’t understand or don’t care, because it’s not a well-known disease doesn’t make it less important.
  • Ensuring my daughter is in charge of her disease and not the disease is in charge of her. Diagnosed at 8 yrs, with history of illness, she will be the victor.
  • Travel. Long haul flights are tough. As is staying in places who aren’t aware of coeliac disease, especially if you don’t speak the language.
  • Trying to figure out what you can or can’t eat at a buffet and how difficult it sometimes is to track down a chef to help you out.
  • Planning ahead.
  • The anxiety of going out to eat.
  • What bugs me the most is that people treat this as a joke, and call it a fad, a diet. It’s a way of life, not a diet, and they can’t seem to grasp it. I am tired of restaurants and manufacturers jumping in on what they consider a craze. Their staffs are ill prepared to deal with us properly. There are restaurants I no longer eat at because I have been glutened too many times. So far I trust Five Guys and Outback. Red Robin and Chik-Fil-A have made me and my daughter-in-law ill too many times. I hate hearing that I can get gluten free pizza only to find out it is prepared in the same place and using the same equipment. It’s not all bad though. I have made lovely friends online that share my feelings, and we can vent or laugh. We laugh a lot, especially over doctors. I think one of us would know more about what celiac disease is and isn’t, than a trained physician would.
  • For me it’s the social aspect. Everything social revolves around food. It’s a hassle to have to make & pack food for myself & my son. I’m already incredibly busy & don’t need or want more work. I don’t look forward to or enjoy social stuff anymore. I used to really LOVE going to pot lucks & sampling all the foods. In all honesty I dread it now & will very often look for a way out if I can.
  • The most challenging (and frustrating) aspect of celiac disease for me has been the absence of finding good health care providers!!! Looking back, my body was out of sorts for years – but the last two yrs before a diagnosis were BAD! I lost a considerable amount of weight, suffered poor health and debilitating GI issues …. and after repeat visits to my physician and GI Dr – I was carelessly (repeatedly) sent away with “Its just IBS!” I KNEW that diagnosis was incorrect. I did my own research, approached my physician of 30+ years with the request for a celiac blood test! Positive! The endoscopy that followed confirmed my small intestine was extremely damaged due to celiac disease! Two doctors missed this – and one was a GI specialist! After 8 months on a GF diet, and still feeling pourly – MY research suggested a celiac should have thorough blood work! Again – I had to ask!!! MY Inquiry revealed I was VERY low in B, D-3 & folate which necessitated supplementation. The last two years, prior to a diagnosis, I suffered serious and repeat sinus infections which I feel was celiac/auto-immune related. This is ongoing. Repeat use of antibiotics is the last thing I want to do – but none of the doctors/specialists are willing to look at the celiac link. Where does a celiac sufferer find knowledgeable medical help and medical support (an informed physician!)? (Feedback welcome!!) Next struggle would be the social aspect – so many gatherings/relationships/social activity involve food! Along with that …. I have been hesitant to resume traveling with my friends and feeling confident I will find safe food! I think the celiac community would benefit from a support group – a place to share information and offer support and education! Thank you! Rant over! 
  • It impacts every aspect of your life! How you shop, how you look at food, how you cook, bake, etc. Also, meeting friends for drinks and a quick bite to eat is now strenuous. Every time I eat out, I am so scared that I was exposed to gluten and will get sick. Most people are understanding, but it’s hard to feel different and have to ask for special treatment…..
  • Hi the most challenging aspect prior to disgnosis was the neurological impact – the brain fog, dizziness, loss of concentration and profound fatigue – I truly thought I was dementing and didn’t feel safe to drive at times. Since diagnosis 2.5 years ago it’s been trying to heal and normalize my titres to no avail even though I am fanatic about no gluten or cross contamination. Now diagnosed as refractory celiac. Neurologically much better but travelling and social events at others’ homes or restaurants are challenging. Oh well life sucks sometimes and then you just move forward and learn to work with what you have.
  • The anxiety of going out to eat.
  • worrying about being able to eat when on business trips where it is harder to control where dinners are held. Bringing snacks or eating before/after draws attention from employees/prospective employees & takes the conversation away from my qualifications also, having celiac treated like a fad weight loss diet instead of a serious autoimmune disease.
  • Social situations
  • trusting the restaurant staff when they say “It’s gluten-free.”
  • Feeling sick from most gf food. I’ve been sick since I was a baby now I’m 33 and found out only two years ago I had Celiacs. Now I’m on a strict diet the rest of my life of paleo. Everything bloats me nauseates me and inflamed me. I don’t bother eating out or at anyone’s house.
  • Your food allergies becoming the topic of conversation at a dinner party because you can not eat most of the food. Then the host feels bad and it’s not their fault. Also my food allergies are the least interesting attribute of mine, but I feel that’s what most people know about me.
  • Feeling like an outcast at a cookout or dinner. I haven’t met many people with sensitivities to gluten or celiac disease in my community and I sometimes feel that I am looked at as strange and/or antisocial.
  • The way it ravished my body and took me from a size 16 to a size 1.. Depression hit me so hard, I couldn’t believe how much weight I lost.
  • I am 43 and have had celiac for 7 years. Sometimes it still amazes me how I can feel left out or sorry for myself bc I can’t just eat anything I want.
  • My 7 year old son was recently diagnosed. Thanks for doing this post. It’s so helpful to read other’s thoughts to understand what he is going through.
  • The social aspect of food is certainly challenging and heart breaking to see my four year old son feel left out. But, one of the most challenging parts for me is the panic and PTSD that I have when he complains about a tummy ache, leg/joint pain, or has loose stool. I automatically question if he got gluten and then often unnecessarily stress about where he potentially had cross contamination and what implications it has for him. I wish I could take it all away and go through it myself instead.
  • Having people say: is a little contamination really gonna matter? What’s actually going to happen?
  • Feeling “off” with fatigue and stomach ache often.
  • When people think I’m shady, not honest or flaky when I have to cancel plans, am running late, have to reschedule appointments or plans, or can’t show last minute because of the health issues. How many people REALLY want full details of what’s going on in the bathroom when my body is damaged and fighting itself?  It’s had a huge effect on my social life and work. Even when people know about health issues, many are still judgmental and completely lacking in tolerance, patience, understanding and sympathy for the daily challenges we face. It’s frustrating.
  • Challenges smelling freshly cooked bread and not eating it! Also having people and family around me trying to accommodate me….I don’t like that.i don’t want to be “that person” I can handle my gluten allergy just find.
  • as a 15 year old , the most challenging aspect of having celiacs is feeling left out at parties when there is cake or pizza. i also dislike having to ask places like Chipotle to change their gloves/utensils because i feel like i annoy them. The last thing that i feel is challenging is getting people to understand what celiacs is. Many people think i’m just going on a “common white girl gluten free diet” when in reality i have no choice but to be gluten free !
  • Being the one in total control of protecting my invisible insides from the scary invisible things in the foods that I eat. No pills, no prescriptions or creams, no antibiotics or bandages; just the best attempt to defend and protect my innards every single time I put something in my mouth.
  • Being in college and having celiac is hard. Sometimes I feel like I exclude myself from attending social events, but it’s the fear of getting sick that hold me back. Then there is also all the weird stares or mumbles about why I’m not eating or looking up things on my phone to see if it’s safe to eat or drink.
  • Having a child with celiac and seeing her struggle is the hardest thing. Trying not make it a big deal to bring attention to her, but making it a big enough deal that she can one day advocate for herself.
  • Dating is the most challenging thing. Deciding at what point to do I drop the celiac bomb on them and trying to make it so they don’t think I’m a freak. By the way… I can’t kiss you if you just had gluten…
  • Attending social events hands down is the hardest thing.
  • My family and friends think I’m crazy. I swear If I hear “one bite won’t kill you” again, I’m going to scream!
  • I worry about the future for my celiac child and the fear that he will develop another illness because he doesn’t take his gluten free diet serious.
  • Traveling. Now I have to plan out my entire tip based off where I can eat and pray I don’t get sick  and it ruins the trip.

After reading everyone’s responses it made me realize that although we all struggle in different ways, what we do have in common is that we all have challenges when it comes to living with celiac. Sometimes when I stress about certain things relating to this disease, I think “is it in my head?.. No one seems to get it.”…. but after seeing everyone’s responses it helps me feel that I’m not alone!

I want to truly thank everyone who contributed to this list and opened up because I know that can be scary sometimes!

Stay tuned for parts 2-4 throughout the month of May!





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