Our co-founder, Austin, had the pleasure of chatting with Liz Tuggle from Sierra Vista, AZ who struggles with gluten sensitivity.
Austin: How long have you been diagnosed with Celiac Disease(CD) or a gluten sensitivity(GS)?
Liz: I first found out about my gluten sensitivity in August 2013, but I believe I have always been gluten sensitive. There was always the signs but had been overlooked for decades.
Austin: How has having CD or a GS affected your life?
Liz: Changing what I eat has been difficult to say the least. There was lots of slip ups in the beginning but I managed to get through it. Since going gluten free my health has gotten much better.
Austin: When was the last time you were “glutened” and how did that make you feel?
Liz: I was ‘glutened’ was about a month ago. I found a local pizza place that had “gluten free” pizza. I decided to try it. Well something about it wasn’t gluten free…..it must’ve been cross contaminated or something. I felt bloated, gassy, constipated, and my face broke out in a rash. It took 2 weeks to get passed it.
Austin: How often do you dine out versus eat at home? For example, how many meals per week/month do you eat out?
Liz: I eat out approximately 2-3 times per week. I’m not much of a cook. 😦
Austin: Do you feel nervous when you do eat out? What are your ‘go to’ dishes when you do dine out?
Liz: Yes, I feel nervous every time I go out to eat….especially if it’s someplace new. I like to eat out at Mexican restaurants as long as I stay away from anything that has flour tortillas or red chili. I’ll eat a hamburger on a lettuce wrap or just a salad if I’m nervous about a new place.
Austin: What is something that would make living with CD easier that does not currently exist?
Liz: When going out to eat it would make it easier if ALL restaurants had a gluten free menu. Some do but most don’t. More readily available gluten free products would also be great. I have to drive one hour just to get to a health store that sells the gluten free bread that I like.
Austin: Do you have any advice for family members of those newly diagnosed with CD?
Liz: I would tell anyone new to this life change to not feel overwhelmed. Going gluten free is not the end of the world…..it’s hard and it may take a while but you’ll get there…..there will be slip ups…..there will be accidents….but you will learn from them. Join a group where you can talk about your issues, share stories and even share recipes.
Austin: Anything else you’d like to share about living with celiac?
Liz: Research, research, research. Read, read, read. That’s the only way to learn. It’s a long road but there is light at the end.