I am a serious fan of Bethany! She has a wonderful and informative blog.
Check out her cute kids making my recipe for banana muffins!
Enjoy reading the following interview I had with Bethany:
SLB: Thank you for reviewing my cookbook. What recipes do you think you will try?
BH: There's a lot I want to try. Brownies, corn chip candy, honey garlic chicken, carrot cake, and Mediterranean pasta are all on my "to make soon" list.
SLB: I am excited to see that you shared my muffin recipe on your blog. Did your family like the recipe?
BH: Yes. A little too much, in fact ;). I finally had to hide them from my kids because that's all they wanted to eat and I wanted them all to myself (I'm the only one in the house eating gluten free, so I don't have to feel bad about that). I haven't had delicious homemade muffins in years. Next time I make them I'll give my kids each one and then hide the rest for myself. I loved them!
SLB: You seem to sense the importance of helping many people by sharing recipes and information on your blog.
BH: When I first discovered I was gluten intolerant I was very fortunate to have a close friend who had been eating gluten free since childhood. She was a huge support for me. She had also been my roommate for a few years, so I'd witnessed what types of food she ate and how she handled social situations when it came to the gluten free diet. That helped a lot! I know that most people don't have that kind of help, so I wanted to help them through my blog.
SLB: What kind of support have you found that would help others with the transition of changing their diet to eating gluten-free?
BH: Most of my support has come through family and friends. An important part of making the gluten free switch easier is to be open and honest with family and friends. Speak up about what you can and can't eat and be open and honest about your frustrations. It's hard at first and it's important to allow your friends and family to be there for you.
Blogs are also an amazing resource. You can get a glimpse into the lives of how other people do gluten free on a day-to-day basis. I've never participated in a gluten free forum or local support group, but those are also excellent.
SLB: What do you miss being able to eat?
BH: Not very much anymore. After not eating gluten-filled foods for over 4 1/2 years the cravings have gone away. As weird as this is, the longest lasting craving I had was for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. It's not like it was even my favorite food before. I just craved it a lot. (Susan's note: We love adding the Kraft M & C powdered cheese packet to Tinkyada Elbow Noodles, along with a little milk and butter. See P. 84 of my cookbook.)
Inexpensive granola is probably the biggest thing I miss now. Luckily it's possible to buy and/or make gluten free granola. It just costs a bit more.
SLB: What have you learned to like or what food or gluten-free products have you discovered since being diagnosed with celiac disease?
BH: Thai rice noodles, spaghetti squash, polenta... these are all foods I wouldn't have normally tried before being gluten free.
SLB: What are some of your favorite restaurants that offer gluten-free food?
BH: Outback Steakhouse is awesome with gluten free and their food is delicious! They were one of the first restaurants offering a gluten free menu and I'll always love them for that. I also love that Pier 49 has gluten free pizza crust. Yum!
SLB: What do you do at family gatherings?
BH: My family is awesome about making gluten free options for me to eat. If it's a big extended family party we usually do potlucks. For the first year or two I either knew what was in the dish or I'd ask the person who made it what the ingredients were. It's even easier now. Cousins and aunts come up to me and let me know that they specially made their dish gluten free for me or they'll make sure I know that there's flour in their dish. They're awesome!
SLB: What was your journey like for being tested for celiac disease?
BH: I was never officially diagnosed. I was sick for years and couldn't figure it out. One day at work it occurred to me that it could be a gluten intolerance (I knew a lot about it from my friend/roommate). When I got home I looked up the symptoms for celiac disease. Not only were the headaches, joint aches and stomachaches symptoms, but so were canker sores, foggy brain, and sinus infections, all of which I constantly had. I did a 1 1/2 week gluten free trial and felt a lot better. I planned to go 3 weeks, but accidentally got "glutened" and immediately felt awful. I went back on gluten so I could do testing.
I went to my family doctor who did the blood tests. They came back negative for celiac disease (I'm still not positive he did the correct tests), but he told me it sounded like I had it and if I felt better off gluten then I did have a gluten intolerance. And that was that. I never did get the biopsy, but I have a sister who did and it was negative for celiac, but she is gluten intolerant. I figure I'm the same way.
SLB: What advice do you have for people who have celiac disease/gluten intolerance?
BH: Stick with it! It is hard at first, but the cravings for gluten-filled foods will stop and you'll find tons of gluten free foods that are delicious. It does get easier!