Curious as to who I am and why I have this site? Read on . . .
I realized the birth of my second child in 2002 triggered my celiac disease and my symptoms. It took four years of horrible migraine-like headaches, fatigue, unexplained weight gain, bloating, canker sores, joint pain, “brain fog”/ impaired memory, constant dry/ sore throat, and a depressed mood before I finally really pushed for my doctor to find out what was wrong. I knew there was something going on, I just didn’t know what it was.
My doctor performed a complete physical and tested me for everything he could think of, but ended up with no results. Out of desperation, I asked for a celiac blood panel and EGD, simply because I have one sister who was diagnosed as a child, and it was the only hereditary condition that wasn’t tested for. Honestly, I didn’t expect much, especially since my symptoms seemed so different from my sister, and from the celiac websites I researched . Thankfully, the blood test and subsequent EGD confirmed my diagnosis of celiac disease in April, 2006. Even though I was happy to know that my symptoms weren’t “all in my head”, I also felt frustrated that so much time was wasted on tests that were not helpful.
As I started to explore gluten-free products and options, I hated that I wasted so much money on products that didn’t taste good. I turned online to search for suggestions from real people about what gluten free products were worth my time and money. I admit, I am not the best cook, and definitely not a “foodie”, even though sometimes I wish I was. I needed some reliable mixes and products to help me on my gluten free journey since spending hours planning and cooking everything from scratch just isn’t an option every meal, every day.
When I searched for gluten free product reviews, I wasted so much time surfing through so much “clutter” – long personal stories, and personal blogs that were really fun to read, but they did not have the product information I was searching for. . . and many the product sales sites I found only had very limited “products reviews.’ And for some reason, all of the reviews were positive. (Hmmmmmm, interesting.) I really felt frustrated! I was too busy to waste my time wading through endless pages of gluten-free related info, only to come away with minimal product information.
I wanted to find a clear cut site, a site that wouldn’t try to tell me a food was good just so I’d buy it. I wanted an honest site that would point blank tell me what was good or not. Since I couldn’t find one, I decided to create my own in January of 2007- thus, glutenfreefoodreviews was born. I created it as a personal resource so I could remember which products I liked, and why, and it has grown since then. Recently my younger sister Kristina has been sharing her own reviews, who was diagnosed with Celiac disease as a small child.
Even though going gluten free did not eliminate all of my celiac symptoms ( much to my dismay), today I do not miss gluten at all. In the past few years since my diagnosis, gluten free food has improved by leaps and bounds and I have found a satisfactory gluten free alternative for most of my favorite gluten -based foods. I have also evolved an appreciation for the great flavor of gluten free grains. I have realized that gluten free does NOT have to equal flavor-free, or yummy-free.
Take your time exploring our reviews, knowing that you get a straight-forward, honest opinion of what ingredients, foods, cookbooks and restaurants are out there- no extra clutter. If we find a yummy recipe, we just might post that every so often as well!
And don’t be shy- add your own opinions and thoughts as well. The more”real” reviews on gluten-free products, the better!