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Why Gluten Free?

So why do I bake only Gluten Free cookies? ..........

Fun Fact about me - I'm a thrifter!!! Couldn't believe when I saw this GF Bakery sign at my local thrift store!!!

It started when I was 15 (back in the 80's). Don't worry, I'll spare you much of the details. I was having a rash on my face and hands/arms... We went to a Dermatologist a few times and consequently was mis-diagnosed a few times. Finally after a biopsy of the rash, I was diagnosed with a "gluten allergy". If you feel like gluten free food tastes bad today in 2019, you should have seen and tasted it then! There was no way a teenager, told to go home and eat rice cakes, was going to adhere to THAT! So, in our ignorance and lack of urgency and follow through by the doctor, we decided it wasn't that bad a reaction, so.... we'll just stay away from whole wheat/grains. Sure. That's a good plan. LOL! How foolish that sounds now to say that I just ate white bread instead of whole wheat. Where's the rolling your eyes and shaking your head emoji when you need it! I continued to eat what we now know is gluten and I still reacted, but the only visible reaction was a rash, a terribly itchy one, that I would get on my knees, feet, hands, arms and occasionally my face. Apparently I've repressed the memories because my mom recently told me (30 years later), that I would come home crying because people would make fun of my hands due to the blistery rash. Hmmm.... I'm glad I don't remember that. I was pretty shy in High School, so I'm not terribly surprised I would have reacted that way, but I am surprised that I don't remember being that sensitive about it.

Fast forward to being married for 18 years and having 2 kids along the way, my mom got really sick and they couldn't figure out what was wrong. She was loosing a LOT of weight and also muscle. She was having terrible GI symptoms and didn't want to leave the house. During a visit with a Gastroenterologist, she mentioned my "gluten allergy" diagnosis. Then, in 2008, my mom was diagnosed with Celiac by small intestine biopsy. She was the most sever blunting you could have. I call her a Super Celiac because of how sensitive she is to ingesting it. If she even gets a crumb, she will be vomitting within 30 minutes, having other GI symptoms, bone pain and/or migraines and in bed for the day. By this time though, gluten and Celiac had become a bit more well known in the physician community and in society. It was still not as developed as it is now, in 2019, but things were started to taste better with much more variety.

After delaying for about a year and going through my own diagnosing process, testing with labwork and biopsies and ultimately an Endoscopy for an intestinal biopsy, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease as well. I knew it was going to be positive, but I didn't want to give up all the food I'd been so used to eating for the last 39 years, so I drug my feet awhile before I was willing to get the intestinal biopsy. After I was diagnosed as Celiac, I started eating 100% gluten free and learning a new, forever way of life.

For awhile I cooked different meals for the family and made myself something else. That didn't last very long.

Eventually I began only making one meal and everyone just ate it. And liked it. Now, even my husband, who is not Celiac, will choose my food over glutenous food if there is a choice. That's saying a lot about the quality of the gluten free items that are available now.

Fast forward to 2012 and I'm finally able to get the kids set up for an endoscopy to biopsy their intestines for damage from eating gluten and the official Celiac diagnosis. They were 10 & 12 then. My suspicions were dead on. They had severe, what the Dr. called grade 3, blunting of the intestinal villi. He likened it to a buzz hair cut as if you were in the army. He said grade 1 would be as if you just got a trim and a grade 2 would be as if you change hairstyles. This was surprising only in that they had been eating a high percent of gluten free food already since I was cooking gluten free at home already. If they were eating 100% glutenous food, I wonder how bad it would have been then?!

So now we are all, except my husband, diagnosed with Celiac and eat 100% gluten free. And of course, that means my cookies are gluten free as well. :-)

Due to flour being so light and weightless, it can remain in the air for some time before it finally lands on top of your counters and anything on it.

In order to maintain a dedicated gluten free kitchen, and remove the risk of cross contamination, I only cook with gluten free flour.

I often have people ask if I cook non-gluten free cookies and this story is why the answer is...NO.

But.... after they taste my cookies.... they are pleasantly surprised that

they can't even tell they are gluten free.

Some even say they are amazing or the best cookies or better than the glutenous ones.

Still skeptical?

Well.... you'll just have to try one for yourself! :-)

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