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Moving On

I announced a few weeks back that it was time for me to hand over Gluten Free Mom. 

 

I started this website when my daughter, Alex, was diagnosed with celiac disease.  Back then, the word “gluten” was not as common day as it is now.  In fact, the first time I heard the word was when the doctor told me the diagnosis.  I had to Google it.

 

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That diagnosis radically changed our lives.  I started this blog as a way to process it all, to develop a community and to share information with others facing the same issues that we were.

 

There have been some hard times – from restaurants poisoning us to inconsiderate family members who just don’t seem to get it. But despite the struggles, I have tried to stay positive and find as much good as possible in the situation.  My guiding light has been that if I expected Alex to be okay with this diet, I had to be positive and okay with it too. 

 

I have talked about the silver linings of our diet – the fact that we eat extremely healthy food, the new avenues it has taken us down in our search for gluten free food and the closeness it brought to my relationship with my daughter as we have spent HOURS in the kitchen together. 

 

And now, as I am ready to move on with other ventures in my life, I am excited to announce that my daughter, Alex, will be taking over GFM. 

 

She has grown up on these pages – from being diagnosed in third grade to traveling to New York for her 15th birthday, graduation parties and her struggles as a freshman in college. 

 

She is an amazing cook – in fact, better than I am. 

 

She knows everything there is to know about the gluten free lifestyle, as it really is the only lifestyle she has ever known.

 

I will still be around to do an occasional guest post, but Alex is assuming the lead on the management of the website. 

 

And so, with that introduction, say hello to Alex:

 

Hello GFM readers! My name is Alex and I am the Gluten Free Mom’s daughter and I will be taking over her website.  Originally, she had plans to sell the site but we thought it would be fun to continue the family legacy and have her pass it down to me. 

 

Before I get into my gluten free story, a little about myself. 

 

I am 21 years old and a senior at the University of Washington. I am majoring in International Studies with a Human Rights emphasis and planning on attending law school in the future. I grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and some of my favorite things include traveling, being outside, spending time with people I love, and eating good food.  I have been blessed with an amazing family, great friends and a wonderful boyfriend, which you will probably be hearing much more about. 

 

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My mom has written about our gluten free story before, but for those who do not know, a little bit about how I became gluten free.

 

Growing up, I always had stomachaches. I would get super bloated and have zero energy and, according to my mom, I could be quite fussy sometimes. When I was in third grade I would get extremely sick for a week or so every month with constant vomiting and nausea, basically like the stomach flu.

 

I never wanted to eat anything and would get so dehydrated I had to go to the doctor for IV drips. I was so thin you could count my ribs. My parents kept taking me to the doctor and the answer was always, “oh its just another stomach flu.”

 

Finally after months of this, my mom could not take it anymore and insisted they run more blood tests (my least favorite thing in the world).  Eventually, I tested positive for something called celiac which we called silly-yak at the time having no clue what it was.  I went in for more testing and an endoscopy and was finally diagnosed with celiac disease.   

 

Now what?

 

This was back in 2004 when gluten-free diets were not a fad and most people had never even heard of gluten, let alone celiac disease. My whole family was tested for celiac and my mom found out she had it too and was undiagnosed for years of her life, which explained the ulcers and stomach problems.

 

For the first few years, I lived off of corn thins and smoothies. But overtime things got better. Gluten-free products became more popular and restaurants became more accommodating. My mom learned to cook and became the expert on all things gluten free. 

 

That was when she decided to start this website, to help out everyone else like us who was absolutely clueless about the gluten free diet and to provide resources, recipes, and a community for those who are gluten free either by choice or not. 

 

Today, being gluten free is definitely easier but it is still extremely challenging at times.  It is never fun to be the friend (or to care for someone) that can’t eat at many restaurants, or who always has to bring their own food, or who has to miss out on plans because they accidentally ate gluten and are throwing up.

 

While I am not a mom, I have spent the past thirteen years gluten free and have learned a lot. 

 

I have traveled and lived abroad and survived high school and college gluten free and learned along the way that the gluten free diet should not hold you back from anything. I am excited to share all that I have learned and will be updating the site more regularly with new information about travel, health, recipes, and life gluten free.

 

If you have any questions at all feel free to reach out to me at alex@glutenfreemom.com.

 

Thanks! 

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