A gluten-free blog about the life of a celiac in college (and now grad school). Full of personal stories about life with celiac disease and fibromyalgia; gluten free, vegan and paleo recipes; and product and restaurant reviews. Plus, reflects on body image, dating and more with a chronic illness!
I pride myself in, two years after my diagnosis, being able to feel myself relatively safely. Read the packaging details, use my own pans, and turn down any free food. Those ninja skills I've got down.
Once in a while, though, a gal gets bored with her "safe" foods and wants to experiment a bit. (Plus, the gluten free granola on the Whole Food shelves were just begging for some taste bud attention). Which led me to trying gluten free oats for the first in nearly a year in the form of Purely Elizabeth's Original Ancient Grain granola!
Me and my new true love!
My first bite of Purely Elizabeth's oat-filled granola made me fall head over taste buds. In fact, I would've eaten the whole bag if I could have. Just the right balance of chewy and crunchy...sweet enough from coconut sugar to be dessert but nutritious enough to top my breakfast bowls (gotta love it being gluten free, vegan and free of added sugars!). Basically, my taste buds were in love. My body, however, was less of a fan. Bloating, extreme fatigue, acid reflux, nausea...even though it was certified gluten free, pretty much all of my gluten boxes were ticked. And oats were to blame.
Honestly, I was also ticked to a small extent. It's bad enough avoiding gluten for the good of myself (and those around me). But oats, too? While I love my oatless oatmeal (made out of buckwheat and rice flakes), it seems like a majority of popular gluten free recipes are riding the oat flour train. Insert frownie face here.
No oats, but all the goodness!
Fact is, I'm unhappy with the experimentation results - but I don't regret the experiment itself. I refuse to live in fear of food, as I did for nearly a year after my diagnosis. I refuse to let "what if's," Internet horror stories or celiac gossip stop me from exploring the culinary world.
One of the most important facts I want people to take away from Celiac Awareness Month is that every celiac is different. We are humans, after all! Some people can eat gluten free certified oats and have a happy tummy. Others, like myself, react similarly to the protein found in oats as the protein found in gluten. Just like a food being "gluten free" doesn't mean it's celiac-friendly, just because something is celiac safe doesn't mean it is well tolerated or desired by a specific celiac.
I'd like to think that, after two years joining the celiac family, I've gotten my diet mostly figured out. Out go the gluten (and, sadly, dairy), in come the fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and a few gluten free processed items. Nonetheless, there's always room for growth - in one's diet and knowledge. In my case, oats aren't landing in my breakfast bowl anytime soon. But I'm not stopping my quest for a gluten free diet with more variety, edible excitement, and finger lickin' potential!