January 18, 2010

Time to Celebrate


This pretty picture was made by Helen Dardik.

In January 2000, around 9:30am on a weekday morning, I sat eating a piece of cinnamon raisin toast. Being sick for years, I recently had been tested for celiac disease and was waiting for the results. The phone rang a few feet away from me and I remember trying to swallow the bite of toast I just took before I answered. It was Lorri, the nurse from my doctor's office, calling with my results. "Your test results indicate you have celiac disease." I could have cried; not tears of disappointment, but of joy. Someone had finally figured out what was wrong with me. I could finally start living my life again. I scribbled down the do's and don'ts she had for me, and after I hung up the phone, I picked up my plate of toast and walked over to the garbage can. I watched as it slid off the plate an onto a pile of used coffee grounds. Cinnamon toast was the last gluten meal I ever consumed.

It's hard to believe that was 10 years ago. Sometimes it feels like yesterday, sometimes it feels like I've eating this way forever. Never once have I "cheated". It's soooo (emphasis on the "ohh") not worth it. There have been a few times I was unknowingly poisoned (thank you, Leona's waitress and your "it's not breading it's seasoning") but other than that, no, gluten free all the way, baby. Rarely I miss things I used to be able to eat. A few times I've had dreams where I've eaten gluten containing foods, only to wake up in a panic that I actually DID eat something glutenous and was going to soon be sick. I have never felt deprived, I just enjoyed what I could eat and carried on.

My friends, family, and co-workers have been incredibly supportive and understanding of my diet. My best friend would always eat gluten free with me (I'll have to have her guest blog our college pizza days...) and would even be the guinea pig for my baking experiments. Co-workers would always bake me gluten free goodies for my birthday. Party hosts always made sure there was something on their menu I could eat. It warms my heart when I get together with friends I haven't seen in awhile and they tell me, "Whenever I see something gluten free, I always think of you!" Since gluten free products are becoming more mainstream, I hear that a lot these days...it's good to know I'm always on someone's mind...cue Elvis.

Also, if you've been counting, and I know you have been, this is my 100th post!! They really add up when you're having fun, right? A great big THANK YOU goes out to every single one of you on my followers list. I love sharing my gluten free findings, recipes, and whatever other nonsense I throw on here. I love all of your comments, they always make my day a little brighter.

This totally feels like I'm giving a speech at a wedding, ha! It's something to celebrate and in honor of all of these milestones I'm holding a giveaway sponsored by yours truly. I want to share some of my favorite gluten free products with one lucky reader. I'm not sure of everything going in the Gluten Free Betsy goodie bag, but so far we have some Liz Lovely gluten free Snickerdoodles, Pastor Chucks Apple Butter, Bob's Red Mill Mighty Tasty GF Hot Cereal, and Celiac Specialties Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Mix. I'm sure I'll find some more tasty treats to add.

If you want to win this, please become a follower and leave a comment telling me what you love about my blog. Got a favorite post? Did I introduce you to one of your favorite GF products? Have you tried any of my recipes? If you're just joining, how'd you find out about my site? Plan on visiting again? I hope you do...bring a friend!

A deadline to this contest would be good, eh? Next Tuesday, January 26th I'll randomly select a winner.

***Site news! You can now sign up to receive email notifications when a new entry is added. Sign up in the "subscribe by email" box over there --->****

15 comments:

jenn said...

holy moly. how am i the first one to leave a comment? weirdness. i would like to thank YOU, betsy, for sharing your adventures with us out in cyberspace. i also live in chicago, and having been diagnosed almost a year ago, your blog is super helpful to me for safe places to eat, safe events to attend and recipes to try.

Marlow said...

Congrats on your 100th post!! And THANK YOU for posting :)

Chandice said...

I love your blog and all the great information including introduction to Liz Lovely products! Congrats!!!

Jenn Sutherland said...

Congrats on 100 posts and 10 years gluten-free! I love your blog because I know I can always come here to get the real scoop on the latest GF products. If Betsy likes it, I know I will, too!

Tricia said...

Congrats on your 100th post!

I'm a new follower, I love how positive you are :)

Marilyn said...

How is it I'm just now finding your blog??? What a great site!

If you're still looking for vanilla bean paste, King Arthur Flour carries it, and I'm sure I've seen it at Cost Plus/World Market.

Lauren said...

100 posts and 10 years?! That is fantastic! Congrats on everything!

Maura Anderson said...

I added you to my Google Reader. I was diagnosed with celiac just ten days ago and found your blog after I followed you on twitter. My writing mentor, Yasmine Galenorn, was following you and I stole you from her friends list :)

I'm hoping to learn a lot about GF products and cooking and, like you, I'm just so GLAD to have an explanation. Just two weeks GF and I feel better every day.

Linda-Kitchen Therapy.us said...

It is time to celebrate! 10 years, 100 posts, and the best part, getting to know you! Thanks!!

Nutrition to Kitchen said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Betsy. And congratulations on your 100th post!

Diana said...

ooh so glad I found your blog! It will be one year for me in May. I don't cheat either. I've been surprised a few times and that makes me mad. If I'm going to get that nasty reaction I'd rather chose the poison I eat. Not worth it!

Jenn/CinnamonQuill said...

Congrats!

I love hearing about new products. And ohhhh, how I want some of those Liz Lovely cookies!

I subscribed to you in Google Reader as soon as I found your site :)

Lisa said...

Thank you for creating and sharing your blog. 10 years GF? Congrats!! Time passes quickly doesn't it!! Thank you for sharing your ups and down and letting those of us newly diagnosed know that there is hope for each of us!!!

Dee said...

I just found your blog and I love it! I am GF for 6 or 7 years now. I am always looking for things try! congrats on 100 posts!

Kathy said...

I enjoy checking in on your site to literarily see "what's cooking "! ( Pun intended ) I will always think special thoughts of you especially when the holidays are in the air and especially when ever I see Christmas Cookies , to me you will always be known as my Christmas Cookie Angel . I Will never forget coming to Lil's and getting to see all the beautifully decorated cut out cookies and all the other delicious holiday candy, cakes and special treats that you had made for Lis's Hoilday open house , you were so helpful and so kind , helping me gather my ingredients and I was so over whelmed , I completely forgot to get the recipes ...DUH...but after one quick call you dropped what you were doing and without hesitation got me all the recipes that I needed , so once again as perviously stated my dear Besty ...I will remember you always as my "Christmas Cookie Angel " . I think it is very encouraging to find so many "new products " and new and innovative ideas in food preparations that you share here . So Happy Healthy Decade to you !!! And here's to at the very least ...another 100 new posts ! Congratulations !