Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now onto a new year, again.  Every year we make promises to ourselves to quit something, change something or start something.  I’m suggesting only one thing to adapt this year, BE KIND TO YOURSELF!  Forget all the pressure you put on yourself and incorporate treating yourself well.  That begins, in my opinion, with taking care of your health!

Being Celiac, as many of you know takes tons of time, patience, self education, constant scrutiny of food, planning, and much, much more.  So why put even MORE pressure on yourself by silly resolutions. Don’t we deal with enough already?  I say YES!  I know for me I will be adapting this rule as well.  I still get really down on myself when I don’t feel well for whatever reason Celiac brings that day.  I’m extremely careful with my food, lifestyle and surroundings but yet there are days that I go down, literally.  Over Christmas I was visiting my boyfriend’s family for the first time in England and drank some Rice milk that wasn’t gluten free I’m guessing. (Not the same regulations on food over there and didn’t have my gluten sniffing pup, Frankie Beans, with me.)   Well, I  wound up in bed with terrible pain throughout my body and sleeping for hrs,  making us BOTH late for Christmas dinner even though I begged my boyfriend to go ahead without me.    What a GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION don’t ya think???!?!??!!????!?!!?!!!!!!!!!!  I was so disgusted with myself you couldn’t believe, or maybe you could.

When we arrived I apologized profusely yet didn’t want to talk about ME and my disease as the Christmas dinner topic.  Everyone was loving, kind and very forgiving.  Everyone except me.  I could have been swallowed up by my pity party until my boyfriend used my own words on me, “Jen, it is what it is.”  He was right, Well I was right, but he reminded me.  IT IS WHAT IT IS.  I say this all the time to life’s little boulders it throws our way at times. So why wasn’t it the same with this boulder?  It IS what IT IS. And WHAT IT IS is an ever changing autoimmune disease that sometimes gets the best of you, BUT so what!!!!!!!!!!!!  Move on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What can you do other than take care of yourself, educate yourself to the best of your ability, do your best, and MOVE ON!  I will not apologize anymore for having an autoimmune disease.  I DID NOT CHOOSE THIS!  Of course I will always apologize for being late in such situations, but beyond that, no more.  And its ME who needs the forgiving.  Forgiving myself that I am only human and this human needs special loving care of both body and mind.

So here’s to a 2013 full of forgiveness, kindness, compassion and patience for THYSELF!

Also this year look forward to more great nutritious recipes, more products that you can TRUST, and OH YES, THE BAKERY IS OPENING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Be Well

Much Love


P.S  Frankie B. LOOOVVVED all the attention for his superhero ability to sniff out gluten and save me from days of destruction!  He is demanding a cape!!!!!!!!!

~ Jennifer

This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. Gluten Dude

    “It is what it is”

    I use that phrase ALL the time. Because most of the time, there’s not a dang thing we can do about how we’re feeling. Taking the good with the bad is all part of the celiac journey.

    Here’s to a happy and HEALTHY 2013!!

  2. Mary Wikle

    Thank you for this good reminder, I needed it. I got sick in December with a bad sinus infection and worsening asthma. That same week I was injured in a car accident when I was rear ended by someone. So of course, I am in pain from the accident and in treatment for my injuries. To add to it all, my family got another bad bug and with my resistance being low, I got hit hard and had to miss more work and literally have spent the last week in bed. Not how I had wanted to ring in the new year. I have been feeling bad about myself because of all of this, worried what others must be thinking of me…so much in such a little time. I just need to remember “it is what it is” and it is not my fault. This too shall pass.

  3. jc

    Thank you for your words honesty and encouragement. Anyone who suffers with a painful disease or infection craves for an hour of relief. I suffer from miagranes. I never know when an seizure or attack will be triggered. As you say it is what it is; I take it one day at a time and make the most of it.

  4. Dave

    I would just like to add that it would behove people with Celiac problens to avoid all foods made from grains. Rice is a grain and for those that are gluten intolerant should avoid it.
    I am now seeing gluten free breads that have a key ingredient of sorghum. I found that to be curious since shorghum is a grass, which is a grain. The bottom line is that many plants especially grain plants have a defence sytem that people with sensitive stomachs should avoid.

  5. Jillian

    You are so inspirational! I think us celiacs need to take extra special care of ourselves. I get so frustrated sometimes with eating out, and I will need to remind myself to repeat your words: It is what it is :)

  6. DaNette

    I also get extremely sick very easily. You mentioned your dog can tell if there is gluten in your food. How did you find a dog like that. Or did you train him??
    This would help me so much. I hope you are feeling much better. You are a true inspiration. I cannot eat gluten, soy, most veggies, high fructose corn syrup, any fruit with high sugar content, that’s a glimpse of my diet.(and nuts or.seeds) your recipes are great!!

    1. DaNette

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. I have been sick so long and cannot eat hardly anything. I get sick so easily and with the bloating now comes the body pain and severe fatigue. I also have fibromyalgia.
      Thanks to you I know I’m not alone with so many food allergies/intolerances. It is what it is! I need to say that all the time!! :)
      -When you use almond flour, can you substitute anything else. I cannot eat nuts. I thought I would be fine in different form, but I even tried coconut milk and got sick. So I am left with rice milk. I cannot have soy or gluten or dairy. I was wondering about sweet rice flour??

  7. Alyson

    I hate that you had that experience…but it is what it is! I’ve also been using that a lot lately when people don’t understand my behavior during the time I was so sick before my diagnosis and seem to want me to apologize or somehow ‘explain’ it in way they can understand.

    I also have had lots of pain over the holidays and somewhat expect that a third autoimmune diagnosis is on its way. It is what it is. Then I was glutened in a resturant with a gluten free menu. Fed straight up wheat! Amazing how the body can reject a substance it deems poisonous! It is what it is.

    Here’s to 2013…I will do everything possible to be as healthy as I am able to be. No excuses or apologies. I am what I am and it is what it is!

  8. Debi

    We are so much harder on ourselves sometimes. Like you, this is the year of being kind to myself and focusing on my health as I try to recover from adrenal fatigue and the likelihood that it caused food allergies. Total health doesn’t always come to us when we go gf but when we keep at it we’ll eventually get it.



  10. Kendell

    Jennifer- Thank you so much for all you are doing for celiac awareness. I was diagnosed about 3 years ago and still search for every tidbit of information that I can find to help me live a gluten free life. I recently used your wonderful flour in a chocolate fudge pie and also to make cornbread and both were absolutely wonderful. I look forward to being able to purchase more once it is in stock. I looked through your list of gluten free haircare products that you have used and recommend and will try these. I currently use Desert Organics which is gluten free. I am concerned about hair color and would like to know if you could tell us what kind of gluten free hair color you use- I saw somewhere that you said you do color your hair, so I would be grateful if you could share what you use. Thank you so much for helping us find some joy on this journey that none of us planned to take.

  11. Linda

    Jen, love the attitude! I have spells of pain and supersleeping, and besides being a celiac, I have that stupid fibromyalgia. Now I’m wondering…just what is due to stress, gluten, weather, etc??? Happy Nrw Year to all of us BECAUSE….IT IS WHAT IT IS!

  12. Sharon

    Hi there! I want to be better to myself as well and am going to see a nutritionist. You’ve mentioned that you found out other food sensitivities/allergies/intolerance that you have. How did you find out about them? Is there a specific test that I should ask for? I did ask an allergist in my area but all they can tell me is if I would have an anaphylactic reaction not a GI reaction. Thanks in advance!

  13. Jess (The Patient Celiac)

    Happy New Year! I love your optimistic message for the upcoming year and that although none of us chose to develop celiac disease, that we need to keep fighting and move on. And be patient with ourselves. It is wonderful to have an online community. Thank you for all that you do to promote awareness! Jess

  14. Stacy

    Thanks for all your info, I’m so glad someone like u is standing up for all us that have an autoimmune disease. I am gluten intolerant and I have Psoratic arthritis and Ankyolsing spondylitis . It took me many years of pain 20 plus to finally get DX. Prayers for u and all of us to forgive ourselves for having this horrible path in life. God bless!

  15. Sharon

    I will say this once again…many non-dairy milks including rice milks are often produced with some sort of seaweed as an emulsifier…often this is labelled as “carrageenan” – sometimes as simply a type of seawweed. For some reason (and I believe it is either due to the known inflammatory action of carrageenan – esp. gastri-intestinal inflammation or because the seaweed protein inner core is similar to the gliadins of gluten) celiac and GS folks tend to respond to it and MSG (also originally derived from seaweed) as if they have eaten gluten,

    Doctors will say – oh you are having trouble with complex carbohyrdates – so soy, rice, almond milk is out…when in fact the reaction is due to the carrageenan added to these as an emilsifier. Some brands do not have it – Whole Foods 365 milks are producing many without carrageenan.

    Eliminate any products with carrageenan before you stop drinking/eating rice, soy, almond, coconut milk and rice, etc. in general. Realize that once your small intestine is inflammed from carrageenan, it can take weeks to recover – just as if you have eaten gluten. So the recovery period is not a good time to judge the food types you can and cannot eat.

  16. Bethany of Sprinkles & Allergies

    Happy New Year to you!! This winter I’m starting my Master’s of Nutrition and Dietetics and am loving it so far. I really hope I can share as much helpful info as possible regarding real nutrition/food for us Celiacs and those with other food allergies. Like you, I have Celiac, and am deathly allergic to soy, peanuts, all legumes, and am lactose intolerant. Also free of refined sugar and most simple carbohydrates. I write the blog Sprinkles & Allergies and also write for Delight Gluten-Free Magazine. I would really love to write up a post on my blog about your baking products and the Jennifer’s Way Bakery if that is okay with you? Thank you for being the trailblazer that you are, I know I speak for all of us when I say your voice is very appreciated in this community.

    Bethany Trainor
    [email protected]

      1. Becky

        Hi Jennifer,
        I was wondering if your organization helps people find good and informed doctors that specialize in food intolerances. I have been sick for years now and have seen more doctors than I can remember, non of which have ever brought up Celiac or food allergies as the possible source of my problems. The last doctor that I saw told me that I had Lupus and simply wanted me to take steroids long term. That was over a year ago and I have not seen him since. After researching my symptoms I started fasting and very slowly adding foods back into my diet. All of the symptoms that I have been suffering from for years started vanishing. However, I am limited to only a few raw foods that are safe and am too terrified to eat anything else. It is not just gluten that makes me sick. I have reactions to almost everything. I don’t know what to do anymore. I would be so greatful if you could please give me any advice of how to find the right type of doctor or what types of test I should ask for


  17. Toni

    OMG!!! i saw you on the today show and thought i need to check out your website. well i waited till vacation. got sick then checked your site out.
    well i just broke down crying. This is me. i couldnt figure out when the pain came why i slept for hours. im going to get checked , i fear i’ve had this “sensitive stomach” for years and have in the past 2 years gotten worse. Thanks for sending me on my way to healing. And “it is what it is” and quit beating myself up. I can’t thank you enough!!!!!

  18. Kathleen Parker

    Dear Jennifer,

    I am 64 and just diagnosed with Celiac disease. I was sickly most of my life and given
    Antibiotics, steroids and many other drugs until nothing seemed to work. I was tired all
    The time no matter how much I slept and when I began to experience severe anxiety and
    depression I believed it was all in my head. Three years ago I was so sick and in my gut I
    knew I was dying and had to find someone to help. An immunologist did a lot of tests and
    Diagnosed me with PID, or Primary Immune Deficency. My immune system, for all
    practical purposes, doesn’t exist. Now I have to take weekly immunoglobulin infusions.
    And I will have to do this for the rest of my life.

    While the weekly infusions helped in many ways, I continued the IBS symptoms, the
    bloating, headaches, flu like symptoms and of course the depression. I began to pay attention to what I was eating and realized the issues had to be directly related to the foods
    I was eating. I was lucky because my immunologist has been dedicated to helping me
    Uncover all the issues with my health. After tests and a biopsy I was diagnosed with Celiac.
    I had mixed emotions, I was so happy to finally get a diagnosis and at the same time I
    realized that now not only will I have to take weekly infusions, I will have to change my diet
    Completely for the rest of my life. Again, I am one of the lucky ones. The diagnoss could have been one that offered no hope for continued life. Celiac requires life changes and life changes
    require education and knowledge.

    I was in the right place at the right time a couple months ago when I saw a show on TV that
    interview you,(Jennifer) the soccer player and “the banana baby”. That show gave me the
    Resources to begin educating myself about this overlooked disease. I can never thank you
    enough for the wealth of information and resources I have gained because of your desire to
    help others that have been diagnosed with Celiac. We are a family and families help each
    other. I live in Florida and you have inspirede me to step forward on faith, to do my research and decide how I can play a part in educating others on this difficult disease.
    Perhaps there is room for a second “Jennifer’s Way Bakery” in Florida, one day in the future.

  19. Jess

    Thank you for your courage and bringing gluten intolerance/celiac in the limelight! I have been placed on a gluten free diet and have many symptoms of hair loss / joint pain / bloating …..I do color my hair and was wondering what product you use?
    I look forward to visiting your bakery!

  20. Debbie

    This saying came at a time when I really needed to hear it! Really hear it, It is what it is! Not only gulten free but was diagnosed with acid reflux & that means no dairy & some of my favorite veggies, peppers oinons oh my!!! No CHOCOLATE!!! BUMMER No tea, oh so sad!! But after reading this I felt much better, so that’s my new saying IT IS WHAT IT IS!!! Thank you for helping me stay strong & giving me wonderful food choices. I look forward to reading more. I love the oatmeal raisin cookies, give us more!!!! Thank you

  21. Tina Randle

    An allergist/immunologist can provide expert medical advice and treatment in the evaluation and management of people with allergic diseases, asthma and immune problems (see above for types of patients seen). This includes the ability to perform and interpret allergy testing, expertise in treating complex allergic diseases and asthma, as well as the ability to prescribe allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots).

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