(Here is a testimony from my daughter, Clare)
Hello, my name is Clare and I want to share with you the story of my life. As you know, my Mom wrote a special cookbook called Gluten Free with Love which is specially designed for anyone who wants to eat gluten-free and/or wheat-free. This book is based on eleven years of raising me; it is the secret to my cure and current health.
As a baby, I was plagued with all kinds of health problems. I was always getting sick and my parents had a hard time making me behave. My mom frequently dealt with my colds, my ear infections and eventually, my bronchitis. She fed with me with vegetables, fruits and vitamins in the hopes of giving me better health. But, nothing seemed to work. I was still cranky and I was still getting sick.
Then, when I was two years old, my parents began to notice that I frequently complained of stomach-aches after eating bread, pizza, cookies and cake. They also saw that I became more moody after having flour-based foods. The doctors immediately sensed that I had an allergy of some kind and recommended that I be put on a gluten-free diet.
Soon, my Mom stopped giving me bread- based foods. She began creating her own recipes for gluten-free cakes and cookies because gluten-free food was practically unheard of at the time. I quickly started to improve. I stopped getting sick so often and my mood swings went away.
For the next nine years, I followed a strictly gluten-free diet under the guidance of my Mom. Sometimes it was quite frustrating because, at that time, the stores sold very few gluten-free foods at reasonable prices. It was also difficult for me to eat out or attend parties, since I could not eat all the things provided; one of the hardest parts for me was watching my younger siblings eating hamburger buns and cake.
From then on, my diet was extremely healthy. Not only did I not eat gluten, but I was also off most dairy products because I was lactose sensitive. Plus, we had very little processed foods, stayed off MSG and rarely bought soft drinks and candy. I don’t think that I was ever seriously ill again.
When I was ten, the doctor saw how much I had improved and suggested gradually adding a little gluten to my diet. Mom started giving me a little bread or pizza once a week; soon, it was twice a week. Before long, I was eating gluten and dairy products full time without suffering any of my former symptoms. I was really happy. Although Mom’s superb cooking kept me from missing the taste of gluten products, I had still missed the convenience of eating it. Now, I no longer had to worry whenever I ate out or attended social functions.
Now, I can eat pretty much anything. However, Mom continues to cook gluten-free dishes and buy gluten-free snacks because both of my parents and my younger sister feel so much better when they don’t eat gluten. Not to mention, I think most gluten-free foods taste just as good if not better than the real thing. These days, I still eat gluten-free whenever I can because I know that it is better for you; why eat something that is unhealthy when you have something that is equally tasty and much more healthy available to you?
Today, I enjoy flour-based pizza, cookies and cake balanced with gluten-free crackers, breads and cereals. I rarely have soft drinks, candy, ice cream or processed foods because I’ve found that I feel my absolute best when I avoid them. I am in perfect health and have never had the skin troubles or weight gaining problems that plague so many teenagers today. I never feel depressed, but, instead, live my life to the fullest in a happy and useful way. I truly have my parents to thank for all this. Without the love, time and effort that they gave to me and to this special eating plan, I would not be the kind of person I am today.