In 2019, after months of severe stomach pains, fatigue, and nausea, an endoscopy revealed that the culprit of my pain was Celiac Disease. This diagnosis did not come easily: endless doctor visits, constant blood work, different opinions. Each meal was a mental battle - will I feel sick afterwards? Am I feeling sick because I’m thinking about it? Is this my new normal?
Food has always been a staple of my life. Losing the freedom to choose meals was restrictive: less gluten in my diet meant less spontaneity in my life. I had taken for granted the meaning of small moments throughout the day that centered on food: a quick grab-and-go with my sister between activities or a coffee and donut after school. I thought these unrehearsed moments could be replaced by structure, but it was not that simple. Instead, I developed new insecurities; the embarrassment of explaining my condition overwhelmed me. I also felt a creeping sense of alienation from my own culture: food is my family’s way of infusing our Italian and Greek immigrant past with our current American lifestyle. GlutenFreedomForAll was born in an effort to eliminate the restrictions and insecurities many face while on a gluten-free diet, and make eating an experience to look forward to. I hope that it adds as much value to your life as it has to mine.