What Gluten-Free Means to Me

by Lauren on September 16, 2011

Four years ago I let go of something big in my life. It had brought comfort, happiness, satisfaction… or so I thought. Gluten was actually the hidden reason I felt constantly fatigued, and inexplicably ill for many years. Without it, and having now given up wheat products, I’ve regained much strength, and a few other things, too.

I’m part of a great group of athletes, moms, entrepreneurs, students, and friends, all of whom are on this journey with me. In the sporting world, Novak Djokovic eliminated gluten from his diet, claiming that it improved his performance on the tennis court. His recent victory over Nadal at the 2011 US Open brought the gluten-free lifestyle into the spotlight. And his dance moves, too…

I’ve been lucky to meet many of the entrepreneurs behind unique and delicious gluten-free products. Jill Brack, Cookie Commander in Chief of Glow Gluten Free has introduced me to new ingredients such as garbanzo and fava bean flours. Her cookies are a hit across the nation, and have been featured on Martha Stewart.

Had my life not changed, I would never have known of Elizabeth Barbone. Elizabeth is a culinary goddess who recently wrote a post entitled “You donate. I bake.” The premise was simple: people made donations to a good cause, and received delicious shortbread cookies in the mail. Let’s just say I tore open the box as soon as it was delivered, and didn’t stop at just one cookie.

Spearheaded by Gluten Free Girl, Shauna James Ahern, Barbone’s project raised more than $700 for a mother who recently lost her husband. Where would we be without these gals, who bake, create, and share with love? Literally.

I know I’d be okay, but maybe not in such a good place as I am now.

I’ll leave you with a photo taken at Redbones in Somerville, MA. If I look excited, it’s because I am. When tasting gluten-free ‘something’ for the first time (in this case, barbecue), it’s always an exciting event.

I look forward to meeting more of you who are living gluten-free, or those of you who are simply interested in learning more about the lifestyle! Feel free to get in touch, and share your stories, and your questions. We can discuss over barbecue, if you’d like.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Sian September 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I would love to meet up for a gluten free BBQ one day!

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Lauren May 23, 2012 at 2:33 am

You got it. Hit me up next time you’re in Boston.

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Shirley @ gfe September 16, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Wonderful post, Lauren! Love the positive spirit of this one and that of the gluten-free community! I actually just wrote about Elizabeth and how she volunteered to speak at my group's open house last year. It was so appreciated!

Have a wonderful gluten-free weekend! Those ribs look tasty. 😉 So often ribs are one of the gluten-free items on menus and I do enjoy them. 🙂

xo,
Shirley

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Lauren May 23, 2012 at 2:34 am

Thanks so much, Shirley. Hope all is well and healthy on your end!

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gf4hm September 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Wish I knew about your blog sooner – adding you to my google reader now 🙂

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Lauren September 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Thanks, Shirley, Janelle! This is a great community to be a part of, and I'm pleased there is as much support as there is. It's tough stuff to tackle alone!

I'll be switching over to laurenschaad.com soon, and will keep you posted when that happens.

Cheers, Lauren

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Gluten Free Traveller May 22, 2012 at 6:50 pm

It’s nice to meet another adventurous gluten free traveller! 🙂

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Lauren May 23, 2012 at 2:33 am

Likewise, and thanks for reading! Would love to hear about things you’ve learned while traveling gf.

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