I have been officially diagnosed with celiac disease and off the gluten. Forever. A couple of weeks ago I had my appointment to go over the test results and meet with the dietitian. My head was spinning by the time I left. I had done some research and knew quite a bit already but the appointment was so much information in just a few short hours. I was overwhelmed to say the least.

Luckily I love almost all fruits and vegetables. I also can still eat most dairy and meats, my other two favorite food groups. It’s just the pastas and baked goods I have to find alternatives too. Oh and watch for all the hidden gluten. It is everywhere.

Weekday breakfast have been more difficult than other meals. I need something quick and easy since I eat at the office. I usually have oatmeal, jimmy dean turkey sausage and fruit. My doctor has said no oatmeal in the first year, even if certified gluten-free. I can’t find anything if the jimmy dean sausage is gluten-free. The package or website has no concrete information. I also can’t use the toaster at work so I need to be able to make it in the microwave.

The other hard part is eating out. A lot of places have gluten-free menus but they may not be appropriate for someone with celiac due to cross contamination. We like to eat locally but most aren’t listed as a place safe for someone with celiac disease. I need to call ahead and make sure it is ok for me. The majority of places listed as “safe” are chains. We can no longer pick up McDonald’s or Filibertos on the way home from work.

I have my ups and downs, some days are better than others. I feel like I am having a lot of days where I get down about not being able to eat gluten but I am sure it will get easier as time goes on. Saturday was particularly tough on me. I went to a spring training game. It was 95 degrees out, hot and sunny. I could see the Leinenkugel’s stand and people drinking beer all around. Suddenly it was all I could think of. I wanted a beer. I wanted a beer so bad. It sounded so amazing on a hot day. This was the first overwhelming temptation I have had. Obviously I knew not to have one but that didn’t quench the cravings.

I am trying to focus on the positive. I feel better already. I was walking around in a fog before. The fog has been lifted. I am still pretty exhausted but it’s not as bad. My stomach is no longer in constant pain after eating. And I have been given the opportunity to improve my food photography. I get to try new flours and recipes to make into photo shoots (and then enjoy the yummy baked goods). I just need to purchase some specialty flours and get to work!


(this is not an April Fool’s joke. I really do have this and need to change my entire eating habits)

Categories: Gluten Free


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.