Juliana's gluten-free world
Every now and then I receive e-mails that read like this: „Guess what. Luca was now also diagnosed with celiac disease. Do you have any tips or recommendations for us?" So I thought, why not do an open post about this topic which is obviously concerning more and more people.
When Juliana was diagnosed with celiac disease and lactose-intolerance in 2010 we were all crushed. My first thought was: is there anything left for this poor girl to eat? I worried so much that I even got a lumbago after her diagnosis. Yes, my body always reacts to a crisis. :) Since the world of gluten-free was completely new for us and also totally overwhelming, I bought a lot of books (including cookbooks) about this topic, educated myself, took every opportunity and became an expert.
There is something I learned in the last years. Whenever a crisis or problem occurs, don't run away and avoid it. Face it and educate yourself about it as much as you can. Knowledge is power! I read so much about nutrition and the effects on our body and mind that after a while I came to believe that this diagnosis might just have been a blessing to us. I always attempt to also find the good in a (bad) situation. Because now, we were forced to know about nutrition and to eat healthier. We gained a deeper appreciation for food. We discovered new favorite foods. Also, the effect it has on Juliana is just amazing. Juliana feels no longer so fatigue as she used to before her diagnosis, and she did a big milestone in the cognitive department, even her teachers could tell the difference. I also came accross of a lot of interesting researchs where cardiologists and neurologists were blaming gluten for everything from arthritis, and asthma to multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia. They are also assuming that wheat, carbs and sugar are our brain's silent killers.
The transition from eating wheat & co. to gluten-free was quite hard at the beginning. Sometimes it still sucks, because sometimes it's a real challenge. But like everything, you get used to it. At the beginning we compensated a lot of food with their gluten-free alternative. Luckily our nearby supermarket has a huge variety of Schär products. It's just amazing to observe that it's one of the fastest growing sectors of the food and restaurant industries. We can also recommend all the gluten-free products from Bofrost. The Prosciutto-Funghi-Pizza from Schär is Juliana's absolute favorite. You almost don't taste a difference. But our goal is to avoid as much as possible of wheat-alternatives (like cookies and bread), because although they are gluten-free, they are not necessarily healthy.
At home we are quite gluten free. At the beginning we bought a second gluten-free everything for everything. A new toaster, new cutting boards etc. In the meantime, only glutenfree goodies make it into our oven and toaster. Even the rest of the family doesn't miss it. The real challenge starts when you have to eat out. With Juliana on board I always carry something gluten-free in my bag. Eating in restaurants requires particular vigilence. Sometimes I find myself talking to the chef a lot and checking on everything. When we go on vacation, we always have an extra suitcase with gluten-free food for Juliana. In the meantime all of Juliana's friends know about her special diet. When she's invited to a party, they doublecheck with me beforehand. Most of them are so sweet that they order a gluten-free pizza for her or gluten-free cake from a special bakery. Going the extra mile for her just melts my heart.
Over the years we have collected quite a number of yummy recipes like our all time favorite cheesecake and Italian Chocolate cake - both cakes that don't require any flour at all. If you also have a favorite gluten-free recipe you can't live without, please always feel free to share it. :)