Gluten-Free but Still Getting Sick?

glutenfreebutstillsick

Are you eating gluten-free but finding yourself still getting sick?

Were you diagnosed with celiac disease but struggling to feel better and get rid of the symptoms?

Well, this is the post for you!

Depending on where you are in your recovery, you will continue to struggle for months even up to 1-2 years after your diagnosis for a variety of different reasons. These are 5 reasons you might still get sick after removing gluten from your diet:

  • You are probably still eating or using products containing gluten. Not by a fault of yours (or maybe so) but you are still getting used to eating gluten-free. This is a process. You can’t cut gluten like you would peanuts so it is much more difficult to avoid in the beginning. Don’t beat yourself up over it! Each time you get sick is a new learning experience. Even people who have been gluten-free for years struggle with hidden gluten at times. Maltodextrin seems to be the ingredient that I miss on labels all the time!
  • Your body is healing. Remember you likely have gone many years with undiagnosed problems associated with gluten and so just by eliminating it is the first part, you need to take the time to allow your body to get back to normal. It has to heal itself and adjust to a whole new (healthy) way of living. You might need to have your blood levels checked to be sure your deficiencies are being covered with supplements.
  • There are other things you are reacting to that once you eliminate gluten you will realize, like lactose. It is very common for celiac to hide other food intolerance or allergies so be careful when blaming getting sick on gluten, it could in fact come from something else.
  • You could have another bowel disease-causing the distress. If eating a dedicate gluten-free diet doesn’t help your stomach symptoms, then you definitely should go back to the doctor and be tested for other diseases like colitis, Chron’s or other bowel disorders.
  • You could have another auto-immune disease-causing problems. For instance, I was suffering from Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis and endometriosis. It took a whole year to figure out all of those things and once they were all dealt with, I started to feel like a whole new person.

If you are eating a dedicated gluten-free diet and your symptoms are not improving, you should seek a doctor’s opinion as to why you aren’t getting better. Unfortunately, there is a small percentage of people who do not get better using a gluten-free lifestyle so it is imperative you seek medical attention.

Another concern with gluten-free is that you have to go cold turkey. Literally, there is no weaning process for gluten removal. You must stop eating it because you will never get better if you do not completely eliminate it from your diet. I’ve written another popular post about why cheating on celiac is a horrible idea, so if you are trying to eat just a little bit of gluten – it’s time to stop.

Gluten is not like lactose. I’m lactose intolerant and can handle a small amount. If you have celiac disease, you can not handle ANY amount of gluten nor should you try to test your body. Just because you don’t physically react to a small amount that you can tell, your body on the inside is in turmoil creating a breeding ground for malignant diseases like cancer!

Finding out you have to eat gluten-free is not the end of the world. There are lots of supportive groups and resources out there for you! If you want to check out our Facebook group – you are more than welcome to join us! It’s primarily women and we are a non spam, non soliciting, self-hosting support group on Facebook.

Comments

  1.  Liz says:

    What a great post! For years doctors were blaming my symptoms on (first I was called a hypochondriac) the genetic condition I have, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome – Hypermobility Type. Only when I had sever vitamin deficiencies did they even consider celiac again and that someone could have more than one thing going on!

    Thanks for posting!
    Liz recently posted…cinnamon St. Patrick’s DayMy Profile

     

    •  Rebecca says:

      I swear we could all write a huge book on the misdiagnosis of celiac disease. Everyone has such different stories with all the same theme. At least you have it sorted out now but I’m sure you would rather of had it many years ago.

       

  2.  Princess Shimari says:

    Hi, Can anyone explain the relationship between endometriosis and Gluten Intolerance. This is the first time that I have heard of an association and I am eager to find out.
    Princess Shimari recently posted…CONSULTATIVE MARKETING My perspective.

     

    •  Rebecca says:

      There are very limited studies that link the two but women with celiac disease have a 25% chance of having endometriosis. They all seem to link together especially the infertility concerns.

       

  3.  Cathy says:

    Rebecca, I’m so thankful to have found your blog today, because I am at my wit’s end! I was diagnosed a year ago with celiac – with a bonus diagnosis of collagenous colitis, which I thought would go away as soon as I started eating GF. Nope. It did for a while, but this is the 2nd time in a year that I’ve been able to eat basically nothing for weeks in a row. I’m sick, sick, sick…and SICK of it! So, I’m just glad you’re here with suggestions like looking into lactose intolerance (love milk in my coffee and think yogurt is good for its probiotics) or vitamin/mineral deficiencies. Thank you!! If nothing else, you are a morale-booster that will hold me over till I can figure this all out. : )

     

  4.  Jamie R says:

    Hey Rebecca,

    Thank you for the article. It feels good to know that you are not alone in this battle. That other people have conquered what seems very difficult, and managed to lead healthy lives!

    I don’t want to rant too long, but I feel it is important to get a little bit of detail in to be able to really see the situation.

    I have been ill for a long time (diagnosed at an age of 2, but not being able to clue together the physical and mental problems it brought with it until age of 20+). Can go as far to say I had gluten ataxia (neurological issues: slurred speech, muscle weakness, cognitive difficulties etc), constant anxiety/depression, lots of pain throughout the body, sleepless nights / insomnia etc caused by this and the list goes on.

    I’m now 26 and I’ve been on a strict gluten free diet since sept 2012. I’ve gradually gotten better, started working out and felt my health slowly creep back up. Though as things were progressing nicely I’ve now hit a road block and it feels as if the horse is starting to run backwards, upside down, across the ceiling. I’m confused. I eat “paleo” clean fish, chicken, tuna, eggs, gluten free oats (not sure about this one) veggies, rice and mostly self prepped except tikka marsala sauce which is “gluten-free” (yet again, not sure if it is safe). Also drink some milk, but have taken it on off the diet. Fruit/berries smoothies and tried hemp protein for a while (again, not sure… so I dropped it) . Potatoes gives me the worst stomach pains and so does certain foods. I take fish oil, gluten free vitamin tablets. Working out 2-3 times a week… Was seeing good weight and muscle gains, but now I’m feeling weaker and weaker for every day. Also have a lot of normal allergies, and I’m quite certain they cause reactions throughout my body (such as peanuts) and I eliminated the ones that I could tell wrecked havoc. I’m now at the point where I’m curious what to do. Head back to the hospital for further examination? Play it out and try to eliminate once again?

    So I was wondering if you have any tips on how to approach this as it seems you have gone through the same thing. Would really love your thoughts and any help is greatly appreciated!

    Kind regards,
    Jamie

 

 

Do you suffer from Celiac Sadness?

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If you have celiac disease or think you have celiac disease, you can’t help but go through denial at some point in this journey. For me, it was both before I was diagnosed when I had a million different health issues and then about 6 months post diagnosis when it really hit me what this meant.

In a quick internet search on denial, of course Wikipedia was the top search result but it also was the thing that hit home the most – specifically the term abnegation:

Denial, in ordinary English usage, is asserting that a statement or allegation is not true.[1] The same word, and also abnegation, is used for a psychologicaldefense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.

Turns out, it wasn’t denial after all. It was abnegation.

I’ve never heard of this term before but man does it hit the nail on the head. Let me explain…

You see there was always a suspicion in the back of my mind that I might have celiac after a coworker was diagnosed who was having the exact same symptoms as me. I didn’t want to have celiac and I didn’t believe that was the case. I said things to myself like “it’s such a rare disease” or “but I don’t get sick when I eat bread.” She repeatedly would tell me I should go and get tested but I never did.  I didn’t want to.

There I was going from doctor to doctor trying to find an answer. Trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Continuing to hear from my friends and family that I was a “hypochondriac” or “always had something wrong with me.” The answer was right in front of me for years, yet I didn’t want to believe it.

The first few months after diagnosis were a struggle. I ate the same foods every day because I knew they were safe but I was so busy opening my business that it worked out well that way for a few months. But after the shock of diagnosis ended and my business calmed down a little, the denial and abnegation reared its ugly head again.

It really hit home for me that I would never eat the foods I loved ever again.

That I could never eat a delicious piece of sourdough bread at my favorite restaurant.

That I wouldn’t be able to grab a bite to eat just anywhere anymore.

That I couldn’t enjoy foods with friends the way it used to be.

That eating fruit and cheese at weddings was my new reality.

That celiac was my new reality.

I was sad, angry, anxious, depressed and in denial.

Maybe I didn’t have this life long disease. It was a wrong diagnosis. I should find another doctor and get a second opinion. maybe I could have gluten a little bit, every once in a while. Maybe I could just do what I’ve always been doing and hope for the best in the long run.

Yup, all of these thoughts ran through my mind. I was sad for about 2 months. I’m lying – I was depressed. July and August of 2012 were just awful for me. I started blogging September 1st and after starting to find all of you online, that’s when I realized I wasn’t alone and my life wasn’t over. I could turn this into something positive and wonderful.

I want you to know it is totally ok to go through these emotions and have these feelings. A few weeks or months is ok, if you are finding it lasting longer than this, it is ok to seek professional help to get over the celiac sadness. <– This is a real thing. It never really goes away.

Celiac Sadness: The temporary feeling of sadness when you encounter any of these scenarios:

  1. You get glutened.
  2. You realize at a social event there is nothing for you to eat.
  3. You make an awesome recipe only to find out it’s disgusting and you spent $75 on ingredients.
  4. You get upset when you see someone make fun or mock gluten-free anything.
  5. You go to dinner with a friend and they constantly make comments about how you order, what you are eating or how delicious their own meal tastes.
  6. You hit your third grocery store to get all the brands of gluten-free foods you enjoy.
  7. You are on a road trip looking for a Wendy’s or Outback Steakhouse but settle for almonds and a bag of kettle chips at the gas station.
  8. You get angry when another dumb ass celebrity says they are going “gluten-free to be more healthy.”
  9. You realize how many years you spent sick because our medical doctors aren’t properly educated on celiac disease.
  10. You finally come to terms with yourself that this is your life now, you can never go back and you will be okay.

Do you ever have Celiac Sadness? Post below!!

Rebecca

gluten-free-300x210

 

Gluten Free Review – Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant

Cooper's Hawk Winery
Cooper’s Hawk Winery

Cooper’s Hawk opened at Easton Town Center in Columbus on Monday this week. Imagine my excitement when I saw they offered a gluten-free menu and my first thought was “I have to try it immediately.”

So by Wednesday, I was eating there for the first time. Check out the size of this gluten-free menu….

They even have 5 gluten-free desert options!

Gluten free menu
Gluten free menu

I told our waitress about my gluten allergy and she made sure the kitchen knew I was there. They brought out the pretzel bread for my dinner date and a gluten-free bun for me to try.

We started with an appetizer of shrimp wrapped in bacon – delicious. The shrimp were large and I easily got 2-3 bites out of them.

Dinner was the pepper jack, bacon cheeseburger – the bun was a little much for me since I already had one when we first got there so I ended up eating the burger naked. There were several sides I could select from and I ended up with Mary’s mashed potatoes.

gluten free cheeseburger
gluten free cheeseburger

I got a gluten-free brownie to take home and shared it with my husband. It was simply delicious. Light, fluffy and moist!

The manager even came out after my meal to make sure everything was ok and I enjoyed my meal. He explained the gluten-free process and that they are very sensitive to cross contamination and pride themselves on making safe gluten-free experiences for their guests.

My new favorite wine
My new favorite wine

After this tasty meal, I decided to bring my family last night to try something new on the menu. They’ve already been to all the places around us to eat so it was a great change for them to try something new.

Last night’s meal blew the lid off of any other gluten-free meal I’ve had at other places. Wildfire Chicago is a close second to this dish.

I decided to try something totally new and went with the short rib risotto and it was best decision I’ve ever made. The meat was tender, moist and fell apart with my fork into the risotto. The sauce was incredible and the truffle oil on top with parmesan shavings tied everything together perfectly.

Short Rib Risotto Cooper's Hawk
Short Rib Risotto Cooper’s Hawk

We ended the meal with some chocolate covered strawberries. They were ok, not the best but then again it’s hard to compete with Godiva strawberries. I just didn’t think they were ripe enough before being covered in the chocolate.

I do have one comment about the restaurant – we had reservations at 7:30pm. While we didn’t wait longer than 5 minutes for our table, imagine our confusion when they were quoting people a 2-3 hour wait for a table and then there were at least 10-15 empty tables in the dining room when we were seated. Maybe it was lack of staff, but it was strange in my book.

You can find my review online at www.findmeglutenfree.com so I suggest you check it out and add your own!

Food Addiction? What is wrong with us? Changing the way we think about food.

foodaddiction

I posted on Facebook yesterday what foods people missed most from their gluten free lifestyle. The purpose of this post was to see what types of food I could play around with or find as a great substitution for what everyone was missing.

54 People commented on my post and the comments as I read through them disturbed me. I completely understand that we miss bread, pretzels, beer etc but some of the things that people wanted to have so desperately are part of the problem in society.

I recently spoke to an Ohio State University group called CHAARG -Changing Health, Attitudes, and Actions to Recreate Girls – They came to Bexa Body Fitness for a group fitness sampler and a little seminar on healthy eating in college. I spoke to them a lot about food options and ways to make better choices when eating on campus.

I can’t emphasize to people enough at my fitness studio:

  • If the ingredients look like they should be on a shampoo bottle you probably shouldn’t be consuming them.
  • There is nothing FRESH about Subway – Their lettuce is out of a bag and their meat is as processed as you can get. The sandwich is entirely bread and why do you always smell when you leave there?
  • I’ve never met anyone in my life that told me they were addicted to carrots, sweet potatoes or steak. I do however on a daily basis meet people that can’t give up artificial sweetener, diet coke, candy, sugary coffee drinks etc. What does that tell you about those foods and how they are reacting in your body? Your brain is addicted to these substances and no one seems to think this is a problem.

The list of foods people missed goes something like this:  Pizza, biscuits, donuts, pie crust, pizza, flour tortillas, bread, pizza, twizzlers, crackers, hot dogs, Subway, Arby’s, pizza, McDonald’s, funnel cake, Ciabatta bread and so on….

ON TOP OF THIS – I see an incredible amount of children and teenagers also addicted to these foods.

I believe that when people think of food addictions, they think of the television shows on TLC about people being cut out of houses or Extreme Makeover Weight Loss edition. But, we are all addicted to food in some capacity. Some people are able to handle it better than others but very few people recognize the problem/trend in our society.

Our society pushes low fat, low sugar, no fat, no sugar, low cholesterol and anything else with “low” or “no” in the front of it.

Do you know how those things get to be that way? They pump the foods filled with chemicals and fillers so they taste great and food us into believing they are healthy or good for us. They aren’t. Our brains are so fooled and duped into thinking all food should taste this way that eating a nice whole meal of protein, potatoes and veggies is like eating cardboard.

All of us that can’t eat these other foods and desperately long for them are proving my point. We are just replacing these junky gluten filled foods with junky gluten free foods. While it is fine once in a while, it is not ok all the time. Moderation is key but when options are so limited, I’m finding it much easier to go overboard on gluten free foods.

I’m absolutely not saying that I don’t fall into this trap. There are certain things I know I miss desperately and would love to have again. There are foods filled with gluten and gluten free that I know I can’t keep in our house because I won’t be able to keep my hands off them.

But I understand now how all this affects my brain chemistry. I realize how screwed up our society is to see that eating “I can’t believe it’s not butter” is better than eating regular butter. Do the research. Butter won’t kill you but I’m pretty sure whatever the hell is in that fake butter will.

We are the fortunate ones. We can’t eat that crap or we get sick. We are the ones that have the opportunity to heal our bodies and wean ourselves from the stuff we once knew.

If you get anything from this post, it might just be the 3 bullet  points I posted above and you might just think of a shampoo bottle next time you check out ingredients!

But I challenge you to think about these things the next time you are longing for a brownie or piece of pizza.

 

Bye Bye Greek Yogurt ~ You will be Missed :(

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Bye Bye Greek Yogurt

Well it’s official. I have a lactose intolerance and I’m not happy about it. After a few weeks of feeling great and being steady on a strict gf diet, I decided to buy 1 container of Greek yogurt and try it out tonight.

After my urgent run to the restroom a few minutes ago, I can confidently say I will no longer purchase any regular yogurt or greek yogurt. I’ve already been buying and using organic lactose free milk but I’m really bummed. Greek yogurt has always been my go to snack. Filled with protein it’s the perfect choice with berries!

Kefir
Kefir

Interestingly enough, I’ve been drinking these Kefir probiotic smoothies with my vitamins throughout the day and it not only helps me get them down without gagging but tastes pretty good.

An RD once told me that the probiotics cancel out the lactose thus allowing our bodies to process the yogurt. I consume probably a 1/2-1 cup throughout the day and don’t have any problems. I actually really enjoy them – they are thick and help tremendously with supplements.

Part of the reason I love Greek Yogurt is the convenience and ability to grab one and eat it quickly – along with feeling satiated after that 1 container. If I ran into the grocery, I could grab one on the way out and eat it right then and there! Or if I needed something quick in between a personal training client – my dear friend Greek Yogurt was always there to fill me up and fuel me for my next client.

But that’s ok. I can still eat cheese with no problem! I will find other things to enjoy for sure. I’m going to wait a couple days and then try cottage cheese to see if I have to rule that out as well. What’s better than a fresh peach cut up in a cup of cottage cheese?

According to the Kefir website,

How can kefir help?
Kefir is the most favorable milk product for people suffering from lactose intolerance. A recent study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association examined people struggling with lactose intolerance and found that kefir can actually improve lactose digestion. The reasoning? Kefir’s live, active bacteria cultures help break down the sugars in milk.

Comments

  1.  Judi says:

    LOVE kefir! I should definitely try it with the supplements. Water just doesn’t always cut it. Sorry to hear Greek Yogurt and you will be breaking up . Glad you and cheese are still going steady

     

  2.  Plipe says:

    yes I found out the hard way greek yogurt is the devil! so tempting yet soooo bad for our tummies

     

  3.  martine says:

    Coconut yogurt is pretty good. And sheep yogurt is great with such a low lactose content it may not bother you. To achieve the greek yogurt texture put cheese cloth in a strainer, fill with your yogurt and refrigerate overnight. It reduces the liquid content and gives it a creamy greek texture – great to make tzatziki with too.

     

  4.  Donette Dowell says:

    Hi ……..I was wondering have you ever heard of NAET…….it is an allergy elimination technique that is getting amazing results for people..I am hopeful because I have alot of food and vitamin and minerals allergies at the present time. Google it and tell me what you think. I just started the program…..alot of chiropractors learn the techniques. ~D~

     

  5.  rouquinexx says:

    I read somewhere that many celiac person are lactose intolerant, but by being on a GF diet may help them to regain that tolerance. Kefir is actualy a very good way to get a better digestive health with or without celiac disease. I have some fresh at home from a original mixture. Reproducing again and again. Yummy !

     

  6.  Jen says:

    Fake rice pudding: cottage cheese, cinnamon, stevia and raisins.

     

  7.  celiacandallergyadventures says:

    I was worried after going gluten-free that I would find out I also have a problem with lactose. Thankfully, I haven’t noticed any issues because like you, Greek yogurt is my go-to snack!

    I have heard that after being on a gluten-free diet for 3-6 months though, that people who originally had lactose intolerance are now able to tolerate it. I’m not sure how long you’ve been gluten-free but something to think about/hope for, anyway!

     

  8.  Judy says:

    I had a bad reaction to a store brand greek yogurt a couple of weeks ago (i.e. forceful vomiting). Have not been able to try it again since; similar to a reaction to a food that you ate right before the virus kicked in. Wondering now if I am lactose intolerant as well. I will try the Kefir probiotic. Thanks for you sharing…really;o)

     

  9.  Amanda Y says:

    After being gluten free (I’m quite sure it’s full celiac, but as went the nontraditional medicine route, unfortunately for taxes, I can’t officially say that), I realized last month I’m also lactose intolerant :-(. It’s so hard to work around cream sauces, thank goodness I can still do cheese. I have been still having yogurt and butter without too much problem–but cream, cream cheese, ice cream, milk are all out! Looking forward to more info and recipes on your blog now!

     

  10.  Cher Stewart says:

    Liberté makes a lactose-free Greek Yogurt, Yoplait makes lactose-free yogurt, there’s Green Valley Lactose-Free products (they make a sour cream, too!) and that’s how I deal with my intolerance. ^_^
    Cher Stewart recently posted…Imperative Details Concerning The Planet Of Internet Hosting

 

Speaking Engagement: Cleveland Celiac Awareness Tour 11/17/12

Come see me on November 17th, 2012 at the Celiac Awareness Tour!!

You can get your ticket online here!

Tons of vendors and speakers, lots of foods to try and of course come meet me!!

I’m going to have an awesome raffle gift at the event so be there to try and win it.

I’ll be sharing my story and answering questions.

January’s stop will be in Pittsburgh… I will confirm the date for you shortly!

What cities would you like to see me visit?

PLC 30 Day Gluten Free Challenge – Important FAQ’s

30 Day Gluten Free Challenge
30 Day Gluten Free Challenge

I am completely over whelmed, honored and excited at the response for this challenge!! A couple of quick things based on emails and question’s I’ve received since the initial post….

  1. You do not have to eat the protein or dairy items. You can make some substitutions and I’ve also included a list of vegetarian protein sources on the Facebook Group Page.
  2. You do not need to actually complete the competition part of the program – you can do it on your own, with us or enter the competition. It is completely up to you!
  3. You do not have to have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance to do the program! If you want to give a try – that is awesome!!!
  4. We are starting the challenge on 10/22/12 but you can do it whenever you want! Just the part with the competition is officially starting. You can get the plan without competing.
  5. The workouts can be done at home or at the gym. They are quick, intense and get the job done.
  6. I am not a nutritionist, doctor or RD. This is a basic gluten free plan based on my own personal knowledge and experience in the fitness industry. I am a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, business owner, lifestyle coach, fitness competitor and personal weight loss story person.
  7. You can find the 30-day plan and other materials on the FACEBOOK group page – once I figure out how to get it as an easy download thing on my blog – I will add that too. Just waiting to get my new fancy schmantsy blog up and running!!
  8. Let’s have some fun.

I started a Facebook Group page for us to hold each other accountable, post our goals, interact with each other and become our own little community!!! Join here

 

Gluten Free Make Up – Hidden Ingredients and Recommendations

makeup

I LOVE make up. Not wearing a lot of it and looking like a clown loving it, but normal have fun with it love.

Dr. Aukerman provided a list of ingredients that could indicate wheat or gluten:

hydrolyzed malt extract

hydrolyzed wheat protein

hydrolyzed vegetable protein

wheat germ

vitamin e

cyclodetextrin

barley extract

fermented grain extract

oat (avena sativa)

stearyldimoniumhydroxypropl

samino peptide complex

phytosphingosine extract

triticum vulgare

dextrin

dextrin palmitate

maltodextrin

secale sereale

sodium C8-16 Isoalkylsuccinyl Wheat  Protein Sulfonate

yeast extract

anything with wheat in the name

He recommends: Smashbox, Sephora, Avon, Neotrogena, Afterglow Cosmetics, Bare Minerals and Naturally Dah-Ling

Many of you ask me about different brands or suggestions. My only and best advice in this area is to contact the manufacturer directly and ask about their products. If you are totally gluten free and still having problems, it might be a reaction from hidden gluten somewhere else in your life!

Do you have a favorite gluten free beauty product? Let’s hear about it! Post it below so we can all try new things!!!

 

Kroger Grocery Store making BIG Gluten Free Changes in 2013!

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Kroger!

Today I had the pleasure of being one of the guest speakers for the Kroger Natural Foods Summit in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was invited to tell me story and give their store managers/buyers some insight on gluten allergies and celiac disease.

It was exciting to find out some great things they have planned for 2013!

Gluten Free Tags
Gluten Free Tags

First they plan on introducing many more of these gluten-free tags under the foods on the shelves. They have some already but it never did seem consistent throughout the store. These are great because they allow you to quickly identify the gluten-free options on the shelves! You will see them in some of their stores already but their main focus is to help consumers find the foods they need.

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Lots of Gluten Free Foods

Depending on which Kroger store you go to, you will find many options on gluten-free foods. The problem with their stores is the foods are all over the stores making it harder to shop there and time-consuming. They said the second most common question beside “where is the restroom?” is “where is your gluten-free section.” Well, guess what! They are taking note of that and working to find a better solution for all of us.

Whether it is a dedicated natural foods section with all the gluten-free items or a store map indicating where things can be found, they are focusing their energy on making our shopping experience better.

They also want to be able to provide a large selection of items at the lowest possible prices for their consumers. Now that’s what I’m talking about!! They are very motivated in bringing all of our favorite brands into their stores to help all of us shop easier.

I told them the easier it is for us to shop there, the more money and customers they will be getting because us gluten-free peeps are some loyal, loyal fans!

The first step was just me being there to educate them on celiac disease and what it means to be “gluten-free.” Only a couple of people in the audience heard of celiac disease or knew what it was.

I give Kroger 2 huge gluten-free thumbs up for taking the initiative to help their customers and make our lives even better (and easier).

And I want to thank all of them for enjoying my “crap my pants” stories!!

What suggestions do you have for grocery stores that I can emphasize as I continue my speaking engagements all over the place??

My speaker tag!
My speaker tag!

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Post: Maggie McKay – My Pretty Little Assistant

Hi! My name is Maggie and I’m Rebecca’s assistant. I have had the pleasure of knowing this wonderful woman for almost a year now and she has had the most incredible impact on me. This is why I decided to share with you what separates Rebecca Black from every other fitness expert, blogger, and boss. I have aligned how I feel with the mantra of her business, Bexa Body Fitness.

…a strong mind is the key to a strong body

As many of you know, Rebecca struggled with depression after receiving her celiac diagnosis. Having witnessed the dramatic shift in her attitude and her struggles first hand, I now fully empathize and understand what a struggle it is to live with celiac disease. Having overcome many struggles in her young adult life, Rebecca has kept an unbelievably positive attitude through it all which has motivated me to keep a healthy mind in my own personal struggles.

…life challenges are positive things- the provide motivation to dig deep and push hard

She herself has been on her own personal weight-loss journey along with her journey to understand and cope with her diagnosis. I’m sure many who struggle with their celiac diagnosis know how much better it is to get advice from someone who has been there and fought the same battle. Those with celiac disease can really relate to Rebecca’s story. She is so incredibly honest because she wants to give a sense of comfort to those who are dealing with things she has had to tackle herself. You don’t want someone without celiac disease telling how you should feel; those who don’t suffer probably have no real idea (me included).

…what you do both in and out of the gym matter

She practices what she preaches, and not just in the gym! Rebecca follows the same advice that she’ll give you. She’s quick to correct any behavior that she wouldn’t tell her clients or anyone seeking advice from her. This summer I had the pleasure of being her third roommate (just another example of how wonderful Rebecca is) and I witnessed firsthand how Rebecca and Aaron cut snack food from their house. She knows that with doing work from home comes the temptation to snack. So they got rid of it! You won’t find a single bag of chips in their pantry. They also stopped drinking crystal light because of all of the unhealthy additives. Instead they buy natural juice and mix it with water to create what we like to call “juice water”. If you have the pleasure of receiving fitness or health advice from Rebecca, you should know that she’s following that exact same advice. She put it best by asking us, “Are you ready to change your life for the last time? I did and I am NEVER looking back”.

…a strong mind is the key to a strong body

She’s SO ambitious. Rebecca’s ambition is the key to her success. She used that drive first to lose the weight, to compete, to open her own business, and now to become an incredibly successful celiac blogger and speaker. Bexa Body Fitness embodies everything that Rebecca stands for. Bexa is an unbelievably positive environment full of people with REAL goals. The clients of Bexa aren’t there because they want to look like Victoria’s Secret models, they are there because they want their own after picture. Rebecca is constantly throwing out big ideas for her business. She never stops showing us what she’s capable of and what she knows her business if capable of. Weekly lunch meetings with her are hour long conversations about all of her projects. I am constantly impressed with the amount of work she takes on. She holds her staff to high standards because Rebecca doesn’t accept anything but the best her clients.

Thank you for listening to me for a bit! I hope you all take what I said to heart and have an even greater understanding of and appreciation for this woman

Yours truly,