Five years ago, in mid-April 2005, I was diagnosed with celiac disease. Three years ago, in mid-May 2007, I started blogging about it. A year ago, I celebrated Starbucks' gluten-free almond cake (which they discontinued shortly thereafter...sad!). This year, I moved to Boston and started a grad program, blogging along the way about quick, cheap ways to cook/eat gluten-free.
When I tell people I can't eat gluten (and what that means), the most common reaction I get is, "Wow, I could never give up bread and pasta and cookies and cake!" It's not a surprising reaction; I had the same about a year before I was diagnosed when I first learned about celiac from a college friend - "I can't imagine living without gluten!" That same friend was an incredible resource and encouragement once I was diagnosed, letting me borrow his CSA gluten-free product listing and my roommates' favorite, Special Diets for Special Kids. :)
Since then, I've collected a library of helpful books, websites, blogs, and delicious recipes that I love passing along to new and old friends facing the scary transition. I've learned that, while losing a major part of one's diet is without a doubt a loss to be mourned, there is life after the diagnosis, and it's healthier and tastier than before! I have acquired a new appreciation for good food, one I didn't have before; because my options are limited, and because not all gluten-free goodies are created equal, I celebrate really good food all the more now than I ever used to. I also really look forward to God's promises of a heavenly feast - one that will most certainly include the richest bread you can imagine, one that won't make me sick!
This week, the last week of Celiac Disease Awareness Month, I am celebrating these anniversaries in a few different ways: 1) tonight I am roasting a whole chicken, per Alice Waters' beautiful instructions in The Art of Simple Food; 2) I am adding an "I blog gluten-free" logo to my blog, courtesy of Karina at the Gluten-Free Goddess; and 3) this summer, I am contemplating cooking up some of these scrumptious-looking goodies at 101 Cookbooks - all gluten-free!
Here's to the next five years of gluten-free living!