Picture this: you’re a parent who strives to make the best food choices for your family. For the health of your family and that of the planet, you opt to use local and organic ingredients, opting for ethical choices and healthier ingredients. You balance these choices out financially by using seasonal ingredients and looking for deals.
Now imagine one day a member of your family is diagnosed with celiac disease, and the only way to keep them healthy is to eliminate all gluten from their life. All the other factors that go into making food choices are put on hold, because the number one consideration is if a meal is gluten-free. That’s what happened to us. When our children were diagnosed with celiac disease, all food options were eclipsed by the need for food to be gluten-free.
Welcome to Grateful GF! Hi, I’m Liz. I am the mother of two amazing children that happen to have celiac disease. I hold a degree in environmental studies, and after gluten-free, sustainability is the driving force of our food choices. When it comes to food, what is better for the planet is typically healthier for us, too. Grateful GF is a collection of family-friendly recipes and activities, as well as information about living gluten-free sustainably.
A lifelong diagnosis, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten. In addition to many other symptoms, damage to the small intestines causes malnutrition. If left untreated, celiac disease can lead to further complications, including the development of other autoimmune diseases or certain types of cancer. Celiac disease is genetic but not inherited—it develops when a person’s genes interact with environmental factors.
Before my kiddos were diagnosed they were both so sick. I’m thankful to the doctors who thought to test them for celiac disease in the first place. I’m not a medical professional, and this site is not intended for medical advice to treat yourself or others. If you think your child might have celiac disease you should reach out to their medical provider.
Gluten is a protein found in products made from wheat, rye, or barley. (Oats are typically cross-contaminated.) Most whole foods do not contain gluten, but gluten is often found in processed and prepared foods, and of course anything that includes the aforementioned grains. By reading labels and asking questions, it’s possible to steer clear of gluten and avoid the symptoms of celiac disease.
Starting with whole ingredients is one of the easiest ways to control for gluten. By cooking at home with whole ingredients, you know exactly what goes into the meal. If you do used processed food of any kind, read the labels. Ask questions. And when in doubt, don’t eat it. I am an advocate for my children. Mistakes will happen, but I’m doing my best to keep these kiddos healthy. I’m grateful that my children’s chronic condition is manageable with a food-based protocol.