I named this blog Celiac and the Beast because I’ve always loved Disney movies – and Belle was my favorite (don’t tell Ariel that). She was smart, kind, and looked past people’s appearances to what really mattered. Plus, I think I can sing all the songs from memory. Like Belle – I’ve learned to live with the Beast (the disease/wheat, etc.), but unlike Belle I will probably never learn to love it (hello Stockholm Syndrome much?).
I was diagnosed in 2009. Turns out I’m a full-blown Celiac with a sprinkling of gastroparesis and osteopenia. Dairy is also not my friend (but I still eat fro-yo and cheese on occasion, just can’t take down a pint of Ben & Jerry’s like I used to).
I don’t have a ton of digestive symptoms (ew gross, farts!) but I had a lot of weird stuff that the doctors finally put together – anxiety, skin issues, mouth ulcers, gastroparesis/GERD and indigestion/nausea, achy joints, anemia, hernia, moodiness (or that could just be my personality, jury is still out on that one), etc. They thought I was just a weirdo with an ulcer for a year, until I took it upon myself to investigate why I was feeling terrible. I still don’t feel that great after 2.something years, but my body is healing apparently (or so my endoscopy says). Unfortunately (or fortunately) I don’t get a lot of symtoms when I’ve been glutenated – it takes a few weeks for me to figure it all out after a shady restaurant or food experience.
I hate cooking, so I use a lot of gluten-free products to get through my day. I’m always looking for the newest gluten-free food item to review on my page. If you have a gluten-free food, we should talk. Every now and then I’ll get the bug for making food at home – I try to make one not-from-a-box or restaurant meal a day, but it is a big challenge for me. Dining out at restaurants is my favorite thing – I just wish everyone in the world understood the concept of cross-contamination and proper labeling.
I also just started (I know, after a few years of going gluten-free) really examining my bathroom and all of my health and beauty products. I can’t believe that I was using a body wash with wheat blatantly in the ingredients!I threw out most of my shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and cosmetics and am starting fresh. I’m especially interested in gluten-free cosmetics, as it’s tough to be a girl and not know what’s in your own lipstick!
I live with a great dude who is super into the gluten-free lifestyle – even though he is not gluten-sensitive in the least bit. He’ll be commenting on my product reviews from a non-Celiac perspective. He’s learning to hate the gummy taste of real bread – or so he tells me to be supportive.
There’s a million gluten-free blogs – I know this. So why did I start mine? A – I needed a hobby, but B – I love trying new products. Listen, I know how hard it is to eat well on a gluten-free diet. I’m not saying that eating GF hamburgers and fries for every meal is acceptable (shaking my fist at you), but I get how hard it is to juice your meals every day, or roast a chicken in your free time. I barely have time to go to the gym, much less shop at Whole Foods for my next extravagant meal. Sometimes a girl just has to microwave a burrito – ya feel me?
Some disclaimers that I have to address as a blogger:
1. Reviews! I call it as I eat it. There is no influence on how we rate a product based on if it was mailed to us by a company, handed out at an expo, or purchased by us at Whole Foods. Yes, some of these products are from the brands or their PR companies – that’s how review sites work! I’ll make sure to let you know on the review where I received the product from. The FTC has rules about these things, and honestly – no one wants to piss the FTC off.
2. Opinions! I have them – a lot of them! The opinions on here are my own (and Non-GFBF’s own too). There’s a good chance that we don’t have the same taste (in products, food, favorite travel spots, men, etc.) – so make sure that you take each review with a grain of salt. If you’ve had it and you disagree, please share your opinions! If you agree, share your opinions as well – it gets lonely on here if no one comments!
3. Giveaways! Occasionally we will do giveaways on the website based on products that we’ve received from gluten-free brands, or out of the kindness of our wheat-free hearts. Please follow the instructions listed on the giveaway to assure that you are included in the drawing! Drawings will be held via a random-izing website like Random.org and personal relationships with any fans won’t be taken into consideration. But if my mom wins, I’ll probably redraw because she’s not even gluten-free!
4. Ch-ch-changes! Sometimes brands will change and ingredients may be different than when I reviewed them. Maybe the brand hikes up the prices or maybe it’s discontinued. I will try to review products with the most current information, but if you’re looking at an old review, please take your health into your own hands and check with current ingredients, gluten-free certification, etc.
5. Not yet a Dr.! Sometimes people ask me about medical questions concerning gluten-free living or being a Celiac. I am not a Dr., I’ve never played one on TV or even in the theater. Nothing on this website is a professional medical opinion, they’re simply personal opinions based on what I’ve gone through as a Celiac. Always consult a real medical professional if you have health concerns or issues about your gluten-free diet. And always consult a doctor before altering your diet – especially “going gluten-free” before consulting a professional! I have a great Dr. at Mayo Clinic if you’re willing to travel!The statements contained in this website or blog have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration – or my mom for that matter. I’m not responsible for your health – but you definitely should be!