Some of you have asked me for the low-down on celiac disease and gluten. As the owner of a gift basket shop that sells exclusively gluten free foods, I assume everybody has heard about the gluten free diet. I sometimes forget that before my son was diagnosed with celiac disease ten years ago, I didn't know what gluten was either.
In a nutshell, celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten--the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten is literally the "glue" that holds together baked goods and pasta. Although gluten is found mainly in foods, it may also be in everyday products such as medicines, vitamins and lip balms. Now given that I am not a medical professional, nor do I play one on TV, I'm going to send you here to read more about it.
Since there is no cure for celiac disease, a strict adherence to a gluten free diet needs to be followed. This is the tricky part. It involves reading labels, phone calls to food manufacturers, reading labels and re-reading labels. The cool thing is when you focus on all the naturally gluten free foods. Like fresh fruit and veggies; fresh meat, chicken, fish and eggs; potatoes, rice and quinoa; cultured plain yogurt; and aged block cheeses and many varieties of real cheese (assuming dairy is not a problem for you). It almost sounds like the caveman diet, remember that one?
Certainly there are the obvious forbidden foods (bread, pizza, bagels, muffins, donuts, crackers, cookies, cake, brownies, cereal, fried food). BUT the gluten free versions of all these foods do exist. Buying them or making them is just a little less convenient. But since when is convenience usually the healthier option anyway?
I started Vanilla Spoons because it was something I was already doing. (Albeit without pay.) I call myself the Expert Label Reader. I'm constantly searching for new, delicious gluten free food products that are not always found in the mainstream marketplace. Vanilla Spoons represents my view on living a gluten free life. All the food and fun that can be enjoyed. Vanilla Spoons is an experience that combines creativity and deliciousness.
Thanks for taking the time to read this (if you've made it thus far). It's an unusually long post for Absolutely Not Martha.
(Image from here)