The Test Results are Here…

Well, after months of doctor’s appointments, blood draws, tests and procedures – I finally have some official answers. A couple of weeks ago, my gastrointestinal doctor called me with the results of my blood test and endoscopy after consuming gluten for weeks to prep for the tests. My last investigative tests were done in October 2013 and everything looked great. But, I had been strictly gluten-free for almost 2 years. The only way to get accurate results is to consume gluten again. Let this be a valuable lesson to you that BEFORE you get any testing done, you continue to consume gluten and your normal diet. I can’t emphasize this enough. I write about it a lot on my blog and in social media. To get accurate results, don’t change anything before seeking medical help.


After years of thinking I have celiac disease, it turns out that I actually have non-celiac gluten sensitivity and Barrett’s Esophagus. There is a great article by Jane Anderson on regarding this and it’s correlation to celiac disease and non celiac gluten sensitivity.   I mentioned in a previous post that I was on a mission for an accurate diagnosis because of education from the International Celiac Disease Symposium. I didn’t believe the tests I had done were accurate or enough to confirm a celiac diagnosis. Obviously, I am frustrated and disappointed that yet again I went years without an accurate diagnosis.

The symptoms of non-celiac gluten sensitivity can overlap with celiac disease, but they also have different ones as well. According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, “Non-celiac gluten sensitivity shares many symptoms with celiac disease. However, according to a collaborative report published by Sapone et al. (2012),  individuals with non-celiac gluten sensitivity have a prevalence of extraintestinal or non-GI symptoms, such as headache, “foggy mind,” joint pain, and numbness in the legs, arms or fingers. Symptoms typically appear hours or days after gluten has been ingested, a response typical for innate immune conditions like non-celiac gluten sensitivity.”

I specifically struggle with the joint pain, inflammation, numbness and head aches, which looking back makes total sense. Even after consuming gluten again, I didn’t get the major stomach aches that I used to get before going gluten free. I was very bloated but I didn’t get sick to my stomach and that surprised me. It also reinforced my decision to go forward with the testing to get accurate answers.

So, what about the Pretty Little Celiac? Well, the reason I started this blog was to not only share my stories (the good and the ugly) but I wanted to advocate for this disease. This experience for me just reiterates how complicated getting a true diagnosis can be and the emotional and financial toll it takes on a person going through all of this. All of these experiences taught me so much about living gluten-free and celiac disease. Meeting all of you virtually through the internet and social media, along with all of the people I met at Expo’s taught me so much. Just because I don’t have celiac disease, doesn’t mean I will stop advocating for all of you and the gluten-free lifestyle. I am not going back to eating gluten because it really does make me sick and makes me feel terrible.

My experiences going forward will be more based on gluten-free living and the challenges and life lessons associate with that. I want to focus a lot on the challenges associated with gluten-free living but also the other auto-immune diseases that I struggle with such as Endometriosis and Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism along with GERD/Barrett’s Esophagus. Obviously, with a name like Pretty Little Celiac, I would never want to deceive anyone to think that I have something when I don’t. I am going to spend the next few days or week brainstorming options, but if you have any ideas – let me know.

I’m sharing this information with you because I want to have full disclosure. I want you to know despite thinking I had all the answers 2.5 years ago, things change. New information is discovered and that’s okay. At first, I didn’t want to let all of you down but then I realized this is just part of the journey, part of the discovery and frustration that we all go through trying to find answers.

Have you had a similar story? I would love to hear about it. Email me or post it in the comments below for others to see we aren’t alone.

Thanks for being so loyal and such awesome followers.


  1.  Sue Rice says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey and this next chapter you are about to begin. You continue to inspire to a life of wellness, no matter what your health challenges are labeled.
    I really appreciate, as do many others I would think, how much information you have made accessible and how many people you touched along the way.
    I hope you will keep us informed of your new endeavours. I too suffered from Endo for many, many years until surgery. Best wishes and I look forward to cheering you onward on your new path.


    •  Rebecca Black says:

      Sue, Thank you so much for this heartfelt comment. I appreciate it more than you can imagine! I’m going to keep almost all of the content on this site and probably transfer it over to my new blog – that way people can still find a lot of the information that is still relevant! I think the comments from thousands of people are just as important as my blog posts for people to be able to see they aren’t alone. That was the whole point of this blog was to let people know they aren’t alone in this journey!
      Glad to know you will stick around


  2.  Erica Markee says:

    Hi! Thank you for sharing this story. Im in the process of finding a diagnosis for myself. This is all new to me and over the last 2 months what I’ve always thought of as just “a fast metabolism/digestive system” come to find out I have osteopenia and all my celic panel blood tests came back as strong positives.. I’m waiting for my biopsy, my youngest son is going through all of this as well.. Can you let me know what your blood tests were like? Did you have the antibodies on the TtG tests as well as positive gluten allergy tests? Thanks for any help


  3.  Chatmal says:

    I’ve been following you for a while (about 2 years now) and am part of the support group. I too am non-celiac, so they tell me. I get much of what you described: immediate runs followed by brain fog, possible migraine, fatigue. I’m not even sure what else anymore! I’m not willing to eat gluten because of how terrible I feel when I get glutened, but I may still do the gene test to be sure. Auto-immune diseases seem to run in the family so it’s hard to tell if there’s something else wrong with me or if that’s it. Clearly there’s more work to be done! I’m just grateful to have insurance again so I can continue the quest for answers.
    In my own trials, I think I may also be Corn Sensitive. I’m testing it now. I instinctively was avoiding most bread, pasta, oats and processed foods. So far, I think Corn gives me brain fog, fatigue even with 12-hours sleep, bloating, inflammation, joint swelling / achiness and weird skin breakouts that are not like normal pimples (for someone over 40?). Blemishes appear about 2-4 days afterward and have been on my neck, cheeks and earlobes (??). Most of these symptoms actually seem to have a 24-36 hour delay which is why it’s been so hard to notice and associate with corn. Perhaps it’s why 2 days after a party with tortilla chips and salsa or guacamole, I’m zonked and can barely get out of bed!
    Corn is such a special ingredient! It’s in everything — candy, soda, GF chips, GF breads & baked goods, and practically every medication has corn starch! It explains why I was fine with my homemade brownies with corn-free flour, but not after a store-bought cupcake. I’ll have to find my threshold since I need my daily meds!
    So, Rebecca, just know you’re not the only one on a health quest! And part of the quest is hoping the doctor, PA or NP will listen to us and our crazy-sounding theories!


  4.  Nancy says:

    It must be a bit of a relief to know that you can move forward knowing that you do not have celiac disease. I started following your blog about a year ago when I suspected that gluten was the root of my issues: brain fog, lethargy, numbness in my arms and feet, headaches, and such. Ultimately, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s which shocked me. Since then, I try to eliminate as much gluten as I can from my diet, and it seems to be working. Stress is the biggest trigger for me now. I will continue to follow you, and I wish you the best of luck with whatever the future may bring.


  5.  Kaila says:

    Wow, what a touching story. I’m so glad that you were able to find some answers. My story is almost the opposite of yours. I presented as a celiac with atypical symptoms. Now, I had weight loss and stomach pains, but they were mild in comparison to my other problems. My GI looked for everything but celiac. (I claimed wheat bagels were the only food that made me feel better). During my diagnosis process, I gained such a deep respect for my GI because so many diseases/conditions have similar symptoms when you’re looking into the digestive tract (and even other immune problems/organ systems too!). Once I went gluten free (post Celiac diagnosis), my acid reflux magically disappeared within days. I hope that the Barrett’s Esophagus diagnosis helps solve/explain some of your other conditions, and I look forward to following your blog to learn more about your journey.

    After years of thinking I have celiac disease, it turns out that I actually have non-celiac gluten sensitivity and Barrett’s Esophagus.


  6.  Hayley Haynes says:

    How long did you eat gluten before getting the blood test panel done to test for celiac? I am working with my new thyroid dr taking Amour and my chiopractor (for fibromaylgia) to feel better but if things don’t improve want to test for food sensitivities. The test is expensive so I want to do it correctly but dread the side effects of adding gluten back into my diet.


  7.  Pats44 says:

    For me it makes little difference. Gluten is bad for you, so avoid it. I am either coeliac or have ncgs. I only found out by doing the Fodmap diet – had no idea what coeliac or gluten was before and despite many trips to the docs had never been tested. No ive been gf for almost 6 months and theres no way im glutening myself for weeks for a test, just no way. So I’ll continue to eat GF and take vitamins


  8.  Angela says:

    Virgin coconut oil is the best thing to take for GERD,, by the spoonful, up to 3 tablespoons per day.
    For inflammatory bowel conditions, eat two Mrs Crimbles coconut macaroons (gluten-free) per day.
    Very best wishes

Quick and Easy Gluten Free Pad Thai – ONLY 6 Ingredients!

Gluten Free Pad Thai

~My goal for the end of the year is how to do better food photography~

The easiest Gluten Free Pad Thai Ever –

What you need:

Cocount Oil

2 Eggs

Gluten Free Rice Noodles (we like Asian Kitchen)

10 Large shrimp (for 2 people) – We use WILD extra large shrimp when we cook – fresh – never frozen….

1 bunch of broccolini

Gluten Free Pad Thai Sauce (SAN-J)

How to mix them all together:

Take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and melt it in a large saute pan – Add the 2 eggs and scramble them a little bit.

At the same time boil the rice noodles and add the shrimp to the pan with the coconut oil and eggs

When the shrimp are pink add the rice noodles to the pan with the shrimp, eggs and coconut oil.

Add the Pad Thai Sauce – we don’t like that much sauce so add at your discretion

Add the broccolini

Mix everything together and put the lid on

Let simmer for about 10 minutes – just enough time to let the flavors sink in to everything and broccolini to get soft.

If you want to add peanuts on the top, you can do that as a garnishment. We didn’t use them.


Scott’s Gro-ables – The easiest way to create a garden at home.

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gro-ables. All opinions are 100% mine.

My husband and I have been trying to find new ways to save money and even found local farmer’s markets for the summer to check out. But, then I heard about Miracle-Gro’s new products and had to try them. The Gro-ables are the latest product from Miracle-Gro. They are so easy to use, all you need is some potting soil, a pot and a Gro-able and you can create your very own garden anywhere! They are especially great for me now that we live in an apartment.

Gro-ables are perfect for anyone who is looking to save money at the grocery store and try something new. Gardening can be difficult but Miracle-Gro makes it super easy with these products. For less than $1.50 a pod, you can try gardening and new produce you might not have tried before.

We decided to try the green peppers and cilantro, since we eat them frequently in our home. Here is a great green pepper recipe from my blog that is super easy, gluten free and can be made just in time for dinner. 



1lb of grass-fed ground beef

1 cup uncooked tricolor quinoa

3 oz Fontina cheese cubed

2 cups of fresh spinach

3 large peppers

1 oz Asiago and Fontina shredded cheese

1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

How to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Start the Quinoa – it should take about 15-20 minutes to cook depending on what brand you buy
  3. Wash and clean out the peppers to make a big empty pepper cup.
  4. Brown the beef with the coconut oil in a skillet. Once it’s almost done, add the spinach in and cover for about 3-4 minutes until the spinach has wilted into the meat. You might want to stir it in so it’s not just sitting on top.
  5. When the quinoa is done, add the Fontina cheese and the beef mix. Get everything melted and into a nice consistency.
  6. Use a casserole or meatloaf dish to put the peppers in. Fill them up with the mixture and put in the oven for about 17 minutes (we like our peppers a little crispy but if you want them soft, you should leave them in longer).
  7. Take them out at the timer and add the shredded cheese on the top of them along with the Parmesan cheese. We are a cheesy household so you can put as much or as little as you would like on the top.
  8. Bake for another 4-5 minutes so the cheese can melt. Take them out and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

Do you grow your own vegetables? I’d love to hear about them and if you would use these new products!

Lovely Lady Products Review and Giveaway!

Lovely Lady Products Review and Giveaway!

After getting over a horrible sinus infection along with double ear infections, I am finally on the mend! Now I can do this amazing giveaway for all of you that I’ve been meaning to do since January. Does time get away from everyone? It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating New Years Eve and now spring is knocking on our door! Although, I admit I will welcome the warmer weather with open arms.

Alright… Let’s get down to business!

I first met Cheryl with Lovely Lady Products at the International Celiac Disease Symposium. Her story was inspiring and I seriously couldn’t stop staring at her face – her skin is flawless! Turns out after years of having problems (just like the rest of us) she found out she has celiac disease and went out on a mission to create natural products to help everyone.

Prior to meeting Cheryl, my esthetician suggested using Argan Oil on my face instead of chemically filled products so for about a year, that’s what I’ve been doing. My skin feels so good! Turns out Lovely Lady Products knows a thing or 2 about Argan Oil and uses it in many of their products. After getting  bunch of testers, I was hooked and have been using Lovely Lady Products since the fall.

So, what products do I use? I’ll admit, I’ve never been a huge beauty product consumer and typically use an entire bottle of something I like before moving on to the next. I absolutely love the Facial Nutrient and Night Serum Oil.

Few tips – Our skin needs oil! That’s what prevents wrinkles and fine lines. It’s imperative that we keep moisture and elasticity in our skin to look fresh and young forever. You only need a small amount of these products. Don’t take a huge amount of the oil and put it on your face. You want just a little bit – enough for it to melt into your skin and not feel greasy. If your face feels greasy, you are using too much.

Everlasting-Argan Immortelle Facial Nutrient
(Embrace the power to never fade)

Creams and lotions may be inefficient at preventing dry, tired, itchy and sun damaged skin.  Over time, your skin needs more hydration and natural nutrients which help to slow and prevent the effects of aging.  This fast absorbing nutrient salve deeply penetrates and moisturizes the skin.  One of the key ingredients is helichrysum essential oil.  There’s a reason this oil is called “Everlasting” and “Immortelle”.  This flower will not wilt or wither after it has been picked.  This formula is complete with properties from the immortelle plant, so just imagine how effective these properties can be.

Everlasting-Argan Night Serum Oil
(Help your skin find its eternal fountain of youth)

Our Pure Organic Argan Oil will help your skin find its eternal fountain of youth. This easy to absorb oil will help to minimize lines and wrinkles, bringing moisture to your skin as it nourishes and protects from the environment.  We suggest using our Serum oil prior to going to bed, which will assist with your skin’s own ability to regenerate itself.  Cell regeneration is a natural process where fresh, new skin cells replace old, dead skin. This happens quicker at night compared to daytime. Vitamins and other healing/anti-aging plant properties lose potency after exposure to sunlight, which render them less effective.  Due to there being no sunlight exposure at night, vitamins and other skin healing properties stay active longer and can provide more anti-aging benefits for your skin (by supporting the skin’s hydro-lipid layer).   This oil is a truly natural solution for youthful, healthy and beautiful looking skin.

So, What am I giving away?

All of the Lovely Lady Products!

Lovely Lady Products generously donated a TON of products for me to giveaway so you really need to enter this one!

Here are the products and their descriptions included in the giveaway.

Another tip – If you are allergic to nuts, please look at the ingredients, I know some of them contain almond oil

Everlasting-Argan Facial Cleaning Bar

Everlasting-Argan Facial Cleansing Bar
(Help your skin find its eternal fountain of youth)

A luxurious, deep-cleansing soap for all skin types that doesn’t leave your skin feeling dry after rinsing away impurities. It’s light and invigorating, leaving your face hydrated and smooth. The powerful and everlasting properties of neroli essential oil, argan oil and calendula work to nourish, stimulate and rejuvenate. Excellent for all skin types, including aging, dry, problem and sensitive skin.

Everlasting Skin Toner
Everlasting Skin Toner

Everlasting Facial Toner
(Embrace the power to never fade)

After cleansing your face with our Everlasting Facial Bar, be sure to use our everlasting toner.  It will restore the skin’s natural balance while toning and refining your pores.  Enjoy the perks of this nondrying helichrysum-infused toner and the added benefit of properties that rescue dull skin and will soon have your skin glowing again. How Lovely!

Immortale Facial Mask
Immortale Facial Mask

Everlasting-Argan Immortelle Facial Mask
(Help your skin find its eternal fountain of youth)

Our mask will purify your skin and is great for both combination and oily skin. We are certain that you will be extremely pleased with the effectiveness of our mask. It goes on with a very light and creamy texture, but then gently dries, helping to soaks up oil and dirt from your skin.  This product should be used once or twice a week after cleansing your face with our facial cleansing bar and toner.

Everlasting Body Butter
Everlasting Body Butter

Everlasting-Argan Helichrysum Body Butter
(Help your skin find its eternal fountain of youth)

You’ll love this exquisitely whipped shea nut butter that absorbs quickly and completely into your skin without a greasy texture. Intensely rich, it will penetrate deep into the skin’s tissue, leaving your body exceptionally hydrated and silky soft.

Moisturizing Bath Bar
Moisturizing Bath Bar

Lovely Lady Moisturizing Bath Bars

(Indulge in your bathing experience)Our cold-pressed moisturizing bath soaps have an invigorating, fresh smell that leaves your skin lightly scented.  It conditions the skin while gently cleansing and leaves no soapy residue.  We’ve specially formulated our soap bars with nutrient-rich oils and essentials that are sure to have your body feeling hydrated, rejuvenated and clean. They are perfect for all skin types including aging, dry and sensitive skin.

At this point, you are probably asking yourself… How do I enter?

Just follow the Rafflecopter prompts and you are entered to win. More points = better chance of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m also throwing in some rubber celiac awareness bracelets and a Large Happy, Healthy, Living Gluten-Free T-shirt!

Good Luck!









Yoga for Auto-Immune Diseases? Why I Love Yoga…

Why I Love Yoga…

This morning I woke up and decided I needed to go to yoga. I haven’t been there in over a week and this was a gentle reminder not to fall off the wagon. Since going consistently, I feel stronger and better than I have in a long time. I weighed myself this morning and lost the 3 extra pounds that mysteriously crept up the last 2 weeks so I felt pretty good.

I pulled myself together, squeezed into my tight yoga pants, wrestled my lady bumps into a sports bra, grabbed my water bottle and headed off to the studio. Since moving to Northern Virginia, I found a place I really enjoy by checking out Yelp reviews. It’s always a good way to get an impression of anywhere prior to going. I love the atmosphere, teachers, classes and overall feel of Dancing Mind Yoga in Falls Church, Virginia.  This is so important when you already have body image issues or health concerns. Finding that place where you feel comfortable regardless of how you feel mentally or physically that day can make or break a yoga class.

The class I signed up for today is “Power Hour” in 99 degrees room, which any other day would be perfectly fine except today the heat felt too hot. I’m not sure if it’s the weather or what was going on but I knew within 2 minute of being in the room it wasn’t going to be a good class for me. Some days I feel crazy strong like I can conquer the world and others I am just glad to get through the class. But, regardless of how I feel, I’m always happy I finished the class. Today I ended up resting a little more in the class, spending more time on breathing and staying in basic poses instead of modifying into a more difficult position.

Oh autoimmune diseases, how I love thee. (sarcasm)

One of the amazing things about a great yoga studio is the different levels of people in all of the classes. Not everyone can do headstands or twist up into a pretzel on one leg, like all you wonderful people proficient in “bird.” But, having an auto immune disease is very challenging in group setting classes. I look healthy. I look like I should be able to do the class and even amp it up a notch, but I can’t right now. Every day is different. How I feel each day is different.

I’ve learned to accept this.

If people are looking around at you during a yoga class, it’s not because they are judging you, it’s because they don’t know what they are doing and are looking for cues to figure out their next step. There are people of every fitness level, every body type and every age in each class I attend. Sometimes I take more breaks and that’s just what needs to happen. You can always take a break during a yoga class – it’s your time to get whatever you need from the class.

There are modifications for every position to make them easier or different for you depending on your level. If you can’t touch your toes, there are blocks. If you can’t reach your arms around you back and grab your hands, there are straps. If you can’t do a full Chaturanga (yoga push up), that’s okay because there are modifications or just move into downward dog. Additionally, there are beginners classes and slower styles that might work better for you. It’s your practice for your mental and physical state. Any concerns you might have about the class, it is beneficial to talk to the instructor prior to class starting so they know to keep an eye out for you.

Yoga teaches you to “be in the moment” and to feel your body and create that mind/body connection. I just read an article in the Yoga Journal that outlines some great studies on the benefits of yoga for people with auto-immune diseases.

Full confession: I used to despise yoga. I thought it was slow and boring. I never knew how to breathe appropriately and always felt faint or dizzy. When I opened Bexa Body Fitness, I met Jill Forster, who taught me to true meaning of yoga and how to maximize my time during a class. As a trained dancer, Jill moved flawlessly through the yoga positions and I aspired to be more like her in every class. I knew I would never be able to do some of the things she was able to do but I wanted to try to get as close as I could. I am thankful to have met Jill and the inspiration I have from her to do my best in class and understand its my practice and not anyone else’s. So, I’d like to personally and publicly thank Jill Forster for teaching me to love yoga.

My body thanks you.



Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Fries Recipe by Jennifer Fugo

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Fries
Gluten Free Sweet Potato Fries

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Fries

Jennifer Fugo, CHC
Enjoying the roasted savory sweetness that makes up sweet potato fries isn’t a very difficult task to handle. I love them for any meal of the day and even the occasional snack!  Sweet potatoes are downright awesome for you and they can complement almost any meal perfectly.
Plus sweet potato fries are naturally gluten-free and better for you than traditional white potato fries.  As a result, they are perfect for a healthy, low-sugar, gluten-free and even paleo diet.  This recipe is one of many that’s approved for clients that do my Gluten-Free Sugar Cleanse.What makes my recipe different from others out there is that I use a variety of spicing combos.  I’ll share with you my five favorite options and each has no more  than 5 ingredients.  Make sure that the spices you choose are gluten-free (Frontier Natural Spices are always gluten-free) and have fun!
There are two tricks to cooking fries in your oven.  The first is to cut your ‘fries’ to about the same size.  Small fries will cook way too fast (and then burn) while the larger, beefy looking fries will stay soggy.  Do your best to keep them relatively the same.The second trick is to lay all the fries out in one layer.  Don’t pile them or they won’t cook correctly.Here’s the ‘thing’ with spicing… there’s no magic bullet for amounts of how much to use.  I like to make sure that everything is evenly coated with both oil and the spices.  I don’t worry so much about the salt because you can always add more salt to taste once they’re done baking.  Plus no sweet potato is ever the same size, so the amount of fries you’ll get will vary.  That’s why I’ll generally do about 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil, if you can tolerate it) and then add a nice light coating of spice.  Combine them well.  If the fries aren’t evenly coated with oil, they’ll dry out and burn.  So add a bit more to the bowl and stir if needed.

Remember… you can always add more, but it’s difficult to take back too much spice.  I don’t say this to scare you off if you’re someone who needs an exact roadmap to follow for cooking, however even with an exact amount, you could still find the flavor overpowering.  That’s why I’ve taken photos (see above and click to enlarge the tray image) and you can get a sense from looking at them how yours should look!

Spicing Options

White Pepper & Sea Salt

Chili Powder & Sea Salt

Dried Rosemary & Sea Salt

Garlic powder, Black Pepper & Sea Salt

Smoked Paprika & Sea Salt

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potato(s), peeled & cut into 3″ long sticks
Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Spices (pick from list above)

Pre-heat oven to 375 F.  Cover at least 1 baking sheet with foil (if you need more, then cover them as well since piling fries will not get you the results you’re hoping for).

Add your cut sweet potato fries into a mixing bowl.  Start by adding about 1 tbsp of oil.  Sprinkle a few pinches of salt and add a light, but even sprinkle of your spices of choice.  Combine well making sure that the sweet potatoes are coated (they will dry out if you don’t). If you feel that you want more spice, add a bit more and mix again.  Repeat this until everything is lightly coated to your desire.  (See my photo above for how much my fries were spiced before going in the oven)

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes and then flip fries over.  Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until fries are nicely browned or are the consistency you like.  Keep in mind that you won’t get that crisp “out of the fryer” feel that regular processed white potato fries get.

Enjoy immediately!

Also, you can save them in the fridge, but they will be more soggy at that point if you don’t mind.

About Jennifer:

Jennifer Fugo is the founder of Gluten Free School, a website dedicated to teaching gluten-sensitive individuals commonsense, simple and powerful steps to get healthy.  She’s a certified Health Coach named a “Gluten Free Guru” by Philadelphia Magazine who co-hosts the popular “Gluten-Free Sugar Cleanse” that teaches gluten-free folks how to kick their sugar addiction, regain control of their diet and feel awesome again.

Jennifer is sought after speaker and expert for news contributions who has been featured on Yahoo! News, eHow, CNN, and Philadelphia Magazine.

Should You Take Digestive Enzymes for Gluten?


Should You Take Digestive Enzymes for Gluten?


I am frequently asked about gluten enzyme supplements and I just wanted to give you my opinion on them.

These so-called enzymes do NOT give you the green light to eat gluten if you have celiac disease. They are not a cure for celiac! There is a false belief out there that it is acceptable to take these pills with a piece of cake and you will be fine. It’s not that simple. There is NO PROOF or medical research showing that these enzymes work. Why? Because they are not FDA approved and the companies can make whatever claims they want about their products except saying it cures and treats disease.

Now, some of you will say “Hey! I use them and they work.”

Do they really? How do you know what they are doing to your intestines and body chemistry? How do you know they aren’t causing internal problems?

I seriously doubt an over the counter supplement that’s $18 from WalMart is the latest and greatest treatment or medication for celiac disease.

There sure seems to be a lot of people saying they “aren’t getting better” or “still feeling sick.” A part of me can’t help but think some of that is due to the false sense of security from taking these medications.

While these “gluten enzymes” may break down some particles of gluten, there is no way for sure to know if they are gone and not causing damage to your body. Why take that risk? Save your money and buy some supplements your body can use effectively and will help you with healing and digestion!!

The ONLY way to manage celiac disease is with a strict, dedicated gluten-free diet. It makes me a little sad when I hear people say they wish they could just take a pill because your body is clearly telling you it doesn’t want gluten and clearly rejects it. We are the only people who can manage their chronic disease with food and in a natural way which should be a blessing to all of us!

Now, there is a company that filed for patents for enzyme use in medication to treat celiac disease. Alvine Pharma is working towards finding medication for all of us suffering from this disease. They are in phase II of clinical trials but nothing has been approved yet.

ImmusanT is a potential vaccine for celiac disease which is showing promise. They are still in the early stages but it is promising to know that there are things in the works for us!

Are you looking for information about gluten poisoning? Check out my post with 47 commons symptoms!

Have you been poisoned and are looking for help on healing faster? Check out my post with 20 tips and ideas for gluten poisoning recovery! 

Recovery for Gluten Poisoning

20 Recovery Ideas for Gluten Poisoning
20 Recovery Ideas for Gluten Poisoning

A few weeks ago, I made the mistake of assuming something was gluten-free without confirming it online and suffered the consequences, even the best of us at times struggle with gluten poisoning. Unless you only ingest things you physically make and know exactly what’s in the product, you risk being contaminated.

For me, it was something as silly as a cider ale, REDD’s which is actually a cider BEER made of malt. Shame on me, I should have known. I actually talked about this with someone a few weeks ago and we decided it wasn’t but I obviously didn’t remember the conversation.

Alas, it’s not the first and it’s not the last time I’m going to get sick, so I set out on a mission to find what people do when they get poisoned and how to ease the pain.

Gluten Posioning Relief Ideas from other sufferers-

  • Lots of water – many, many people believe this helps with the symptoms
  • Extra Fiber – Eat your veggies and fruits
  • Rest – Give your body a day or so to just relax, take it easy
  • Hot Baths- Epsom salt is a perfect addition to a bath on any day when you feel muscle fatigue not just when you get glutened
  • Bone Broth from large joints – I’ve had a couple of people mention Mark’s Daily Apple for recipes and cooking tips on bone broth to assist with being glutened.
  • Glucosamine for anti-inflammatory – there are differing opinions about this. I’ve always been told that it needs to build up over time but others say it helps them within a few days.
  • Acupuncture – I’m a huge believer in acupuncture. I think it works wonders for numerous problems but specifically digestive health.
  • Yogurt with probiotics
  • Sleeping
  • Tylenol or Advil for arthritis usually helps for me
  • Ginger Tea – I’m not a big fan of ginger, it actually makes me gag but I’ve heard it helps significantly for nausea.
  • Gax-X helps for the bloating and gas (obviously)
  • Watermelon and cucumbers
  • Bananas
  • Nettle tea – anti-histamine
  • Just moving around a little like taking a walk
  • Magnesium and Cinnamon are great things to take to help get into your system
  • Coconut oil – it has many, many uses but coating the stomach is a great one
  • Dandelion Tea is great for reducing bloat and water retention
  • Do not take benadryl or other allergy medications. Remember celiac response to gluten is an aut0-immune response and not an allergic reaction so taking those medications won’t do much but keep you sleepy.

Don’t beat yourself up about it. It happens to all of us.

Your celiac is not my celiac so not all of these will work for you. You have to try different things to see what will help your body when this happens. No one can tell you what will work for you.

These are just some ideas our Pretty Little Celiac support group came up with – and as always you are more than welcome to join us over there.


Gluten-Free Recipe Baked Avocado

Gluten-Free Baked Avocado
Gluten-Free Baked Avocado

In our house, fats are good. We never buy low-fat products and try to use wonderful and healthy fats in almost all of our meals. Although I can’t eat avocados due to my latex allergy, my husband enjoys them almost every day or every other day. So, when I came across Recipe by Photo’s baked avocado recipe, I had to try it myself.

If you don’t have latex issues, avocados are wonderful fats to incorporate in your gluten-free diet. Studies have linked avocados to cardiovascular disease improvements, weight management, diabetes, and its ability to enhance your body’s absorption of nutrients.

This recipe is probably the easiest one I will ever post.

Gluten-Free Recipe Baked Avocado

Shredded Cheese
Bacon – nitrate free – organic is what we use

How to make:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
  2. Cook your bacon – crispy is better.
  3. Cut the avocados open, remove the seed and clean out the avocado to make room for the egg. Don’t take all the avocado out though!
  4. Push the bottom of the halves flat so they sit even on the baking sheet. If you don’t do this step, the eggs will shoot out of the avocados all over the place!
  5. Crack the egg open and drop it into the avocado, sprinkle the bacon pieces on top of the egg. Do not add the cheese yet.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes. Take out and add the shredded cheese to the top and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Take out and let cool. My husband said that was one of the best meals he had ever had.


Would you take a Celiac Pill?

If only we could cure our pains with medicine like this
If only we could cure our pains with medicine like this!

In yet another insomnia filled evening on the coach, I found a very interesting article on CNN regarding the health system in our country. Dr. Andrew Weil wrote an article called “U.S. Managing Disease, Not Health” about the problems with our medical treatment and how our country does nothing to prevent disease.

As a matter of fact, he even goes on to say,

I have argued for years that we do not have a health care system in America. We have a disease-management system — one that depends on ruinously expensive drugs and surgeries that treat health conditions after they manifest rather than giving our citizens simple diet, lifestyle and therapeutic tools to keep them healthy. – Dr. Weil

For those of us with auto immune diseases looking for alternative medicine options, we know this all too well. We go to the doctor over and over again hoping that we can cure or take pills to help our ailments instead of learning simple natural techniques to ease our discomfort.

I’ve probably been to over 100 different doctors appointments over my lifetime for a wide variety of things that ultimately were mostly all caused by undiagnosed celiac disease, which is treated primarily with food. The medical world got its fair share of money out of me over those 20 years when I was seeking answers but had they figured it out when I was young, the money never would have filtered to them!

But now that I’m not taking medications or seeing doctors for answers like I used to be, I still can’t get my insurance to cover things that help me tremendously like acupuncture, my vitamins for nutrient deficiencies or acupressure massages. Things that are inherently cheaper than medications and doctors appointments. Our system is set up to treat disease, not prevent it – which I think is pretty sad. I’ve met people taking over 8 different drugs a day to the cost of over $300/month out-of-pocket, plus the copay that their insurance is covering as well (and the doctor office visits too).

A great example of this is Prilosec. They have commercials now for you to take their pill before eating crap, so you can keep eating crap without getting sick. UM HELLO?? Doesn’t anyone see a problem with this?? If the food makes you feel like crap, why do you continue to eat it?

While I completely understand there are limitations to natural remedies and sometimes medical intervention is needed but why is it that we’ve become such a pill popping country? We want to take a pill for everything instead of just doing what we need to do for our body.

I’ve seen many articles lately about companies testing celiac pills so we can consume gluten when taking the pill. It just doesn’t make sense except on an emergency basis that you would need this. I completely understand traveling outside the U.S. where you might struggle with finding gluten-free but a pill you intentionally take to eat gluten? That’s just as bad as the Prilosec.

I don’t know…. Maybe I’m too big of a cynic after my own personal experiences. Maybe I’m sick of going to doctors offices and being put on pills. Maybe I just want to have my insurance cover the things that make me feel better and well instead of letting the problems manifest into something greater.

Please post your thoughts on this!

I would love to hear your opinion on both the celiac pills and natural medicine! 

What other natural remedies have you found work for helping with your auto immune diseases?