I am so excited about this week’s Blogger of the Week! We have had the great fortune to meet Paula Gardner, co-founder of CeliacCorner.com. Her website is dedicated to all things gluten free, celiac disease and food allergens in general. This site, along with she herself, is a wealth of knowledge and information.
She was diagnosed with Celiac disease and lactose intolerance not all that long ago. Her story of diagnosis is an interesting one to say the least. She was having the common problem we are all familiar with when it comes to celiac disease: abdominal pain, low iron, fatigue, etc. She went to see a gastroenterologist; he did not initially test for Celiac. He tested for everything else instead- just to rule the easy stuff out first. It wasn’t until Paula took a vacation to the Tuscany region of Italy that she really began to suffer with the effects of Celiac. In Tuscany she enjoyed eating pasta dishes in every imaginable form and fashion! If you’re going to eat pasta, you can’t do better than Italy! Upon her return home she began to feel the effects of so much gluten from the pasta she ate. “I gather my small intestines couldn’t take the nightly consumption of pasta and finally revolted,” said Paula of her experience. That is when she was finally tested for celiac, and lo and behold, she tested positive. She immediately went gluten free from the moment on. How fun is it to say your last gluten meal was pasta while in Tuscany? If you’re going to go gluten free with a bang, that’s the way to do it!
To say going gluten-free was easy is not exactly accurate. She, like many others, felt overwhelmed. Her first trip to her local grocery store was a bit of a let down. “There I stood, in the one-aisled section, perusing the gluten-free products, feeling a little numb, dazed and yes, depressed.” There wasn’t a lot of choice and no one who worked there could really help her with product selection. The very next day she went to Whole Foods and a whole world of choices was opened to her. They had the knowledge and selection to help her shop gluten-free and feel encouraged about her new diet. She is now extremely adept at reading labels and has learned through trial and error how to cook and make gluten-free dishes.
Her website is dedicated to living gluten-free and helping those with Celiac disease learn how to handle their diet with support and encouragement. She herself has learned so much about how foods are processed and prepared and she wants to share the knowledge with everyone. You do not have to have celiac disease to benefit from her site. Her research can help anyone learn about how food is processed and what types of foods everyone should stay away from, like foods with unnecessary dyes and preservatives. Her website, www.celiaccorner.com as links for support, teens with Celiac, informative videos, and information about Celiac disease, and so much more. It is easy to navigate, and if you have any questions, she is happy to point you in the right direction.
Paula has these words of advice for people who are newly diagnosed and feeling overwhelmed, “Be patient, healing doesn’t happen overnight, but you will feel better with time and easting gluten-free!”
Please visit her website and share it with anyone you know who is a Celiac and might need a starting point to help them understand the disease with love, support and hope.