You’ve just been diagnosed with celiac disease or you’ve discovered you have a gluten intolerance. Now what? You’re going to have to be on a gluten-free diet from now on, your doctor informs you. But wait. Before your disappointment at the thought of diet restrictions starts to set in, take note that there are some exciting new gluten-free recipes you can enjoy.
In the past, this diagnosis may have been disheartening news for you, as a gluten-free diet represented not being able to eat the foods you love. However, times have changed. As a gluten-free and celiac researcher as well as a mom who loves to cook, I can attest that there are a variety of delicious foods, and even desserts, that you can indulge in while still avoiding gluten.
Gluten, which is commonly found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley and oats, has been found to cause severe health problems in people who are intolerant to it. Celiac disease is an autoimmune reaction—a severe, sudden-onset allergic reaction—to the protein called gluten. There is no doubt that a gluten-free diet can relieve people of the painful symptoms of gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Gluten intolerance can have a slower onset than celiac disease and may be hard to diagnose due to the broad range of symptoms and causes. Many of the symptoms are similar to celiac disease.
The good news is that as awareness for gluten intolerance increases, so does the number of delicious gluten-free recipes. After I discovered that the source of my painful physical symptoms was celiac disease, which took years of running around in circles with doctors who had no clue, finally driving me to research my symptoms on my own, I devoted myself to raising awareness about gluten intolerance. On my gluten-free website, I make sure to present a variety of easy, tasty recipes. Many health-conscious and gluten-free companies, doctors, nutritionists, researchers, and advocates support this website, as well as gluten-free restaurant and bakery owners. I’m also putting together a much-anticipated cookbook of gluten-free recipes.
Some of the delicious recipes that have been compiled on my website are Gluten-Free and DELICIOUS Filled Pastries or “Tarts,” Gluten-Free, Easy Chocolate Dream Pie, and Quick and Delicious Gluten-Free Crepes with Raspberry Sauce. There are also child-friendly recipes available, such as Kids Fun “Ice Cream-Sicles.” Kids will also love the dessert items, such as Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.
As part of my campaign to raise gluten-free awareness, I throw popular monthly cupcake parties. The one I threw in September 2009 with much success was sponsored by Pamela’s products with proceeds being donated to the NFCA, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. The press coverage was terrific, and I’ve been requested to host more of events like this in the future.
According to health officials, about one out of every hundred Americans suffers from celiac disease. Currently, that total number stands somewhere near three million. With there being such a large number of gluten-intolerant people, it is fortunate there are already so many tasty gluten-free recipes and foods available, and surely the number and variety will only grow in the future as more and more people are correctly diagnosed.
From our home to yours, Tina Turbin.