Squeeze Out The Last Of Summer! Orange Poppyseed Vanilla Muffin! Gluten, Soy Free Vegan Goodness!!


Summer over soon!!???? Crazy how fast time flies.  I remember when I was a kid time seemed so long. The time between seasons was an eternity. Especially waiting on Christmas and the end of the school year.  As soon as that last day of school and summer vacation was inevitable i was psyched!!!!!!!!!!!!! It seemed to go on forever!!! Playing outside with friends, pool parties, barbeques, sleep overs, up late nights sitting outside watching the stars and the most important the ICE CREAM man!!!!!!!!!  I would hear those bells ring from the ice cream man’s truck for blocks, maybe even miles away.  It didn’t matter  what I was doing at the time, when those bells went off, I went running.  One of my favorite treats was a creamsicle.  That mix of vanilla and orange just made me so happy. To this day, I smell those flavors and immediately I’m a kid again standing on my stoop in Brooklyn with my sister.  As many of you know I try to not feel deprived by this ever lovely disease that has joined my life.  Any way of capturing the love affair from yesterday with a certain taste, texture or smell, and make it into something I can have today has always been my goal.  And of course not just good taste, but must be nutritious as well, as always.  I always believe that shopping for fruit and vegetables is best when it’s seasonal.  Buying what nature is giving you at that moment in time is simply the healthier way to eat.  Think about all the man made adjusting, I will be nice and say adjusting, that has to be done to a piece of fruit to keep its color or make it taste sweet when it really doesn’t want to even exist at that particular time.  So before those gorgeous oranges leave the farmers market grab a couple and some fresh vanilla bean and taste the last bit of summer.

Oranges.  When they’re fresh and juicy I cannot stop singing the praises of these juicy little gems. With their plentiful stores of Vitamin C, fibre and phytonutrients (which have an anti-oxidant effect, hunting down those free radicals in your bloodstream and boosting your immunity) not only do they keep your heart and colon happy, but did you know they can have an effect on your mood?  Studies have linked Vitamin C deficiency with fatique and depression, with the addition of Vitamin C to the diet having mood boosting effects.  How’s that for a delicious pick-me-up?  Plus, poppyseeds have a decent dose of calcium and phosphorus, two essential components of building our bones.  With that I share with you this delicious and nutritious muffin recipe.

Orange Vanilla Poppyseed Muffin

2 cups my all purpose gluten free flour or 1/2 cup quinoa flour, 1/2 sorghum flour, 1/2 brown rice flour, 1/2 cup starch. I would mix potato/arrowroot or tapioca/arrowroot.

1tsp baking powder

1tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp himalayan sea salt. You can use other salt i just love this salt. The taste and the benefits it brings, awesome.

1/2 cup date sugar or coconut sugar, maple sugar, cane juice sugar

3/4 tsp xanthan gum

1/3 cup grapeseed oil or olive oil

1 tsp fresh vanilla bean, then another splash for dressing top

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup rice milk or almond

1 cup applesauce unsweetened

half of a very ripe banana

2 tbsp of fresh squeezed oj

1 tsp unwaxed orange rind

1/4 cup poppy seeds


Preheat oven to 350

Whisk together all dry ingredients and set aside

Mix all wet ingredients except rice milk

Add dry a little at time to wet ingredients alternating with rice milk, don’t over mix.

Fold in poppy seeds

Put into muffin cups and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Let cool

can enjoy as is or combine some powdered sugar, (i make my own out of evaporated cane juice and arrowroot starch) some orange juice, and some vanilla until a thick consistancy appears then drizzle on top of muffin for an extra CREAMsicle expierience!!!



A new beginning

I love these. I called them wishing flowers when I was a kid. We used to close our eyes, make a wish and blow.  If all the seeds blew off, your wish would come true.

I love these. I called them wishing flowers when I was a kid. We used to close our eyes, make a wish and blow. If all the seeds blew off, your wish would come true.

September has always felt like a new beginning to me.   Maybe it’s old memories of getting back to school,   or the end of Summer bringing the new start of Fall.  Whatever it is, it brings a sense of starting again, a chance for renewal, which I absolutely love.  Well, I’m going to take liberties with this feeling of renewal right here.  As many of you already know, my dedication to bringing understanding and information to the celiac community or anyone struggling with their health has become  a life mission for me.   While I’ve been doing just that at my bakery every day and working to finish up my book; with such massive undertakings, sadly this blog has been neglected.  No Longer.  There have been so many things I’ve wanted to share over the past few months with you. Stories about some amazing people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at the bakery, recipes I’ve wanted to share, and oh yeah my new TROOP!  I recently welcomed a golden retriever puppy named Brooklyn Magoo to my brood.  (Pics soon).  But before I spill the beans on all these happenings I wanted to kick of September with a story of strength and starting fresh.

About a week ago I was out in the Hamptons by the beach for some rare down time.  Even more rare was the opportunity to do dinner with my sister (who is also celiac), her husband and my niece and nephew.  We went to an uber cool place that in the past had done ok by my sister and I, but this was during the day. For a girl with Celiac Disease, going to a restaurant in the middle of the summer, by the beach, on a super busy weekend night can be nothing but scary. Belittling. Humbling. Scary.  Regardless, we all sat down, had a bit of wine and my sister deferred to me to do the ordering.

For us, I picked a salad with absolutely no dressing and the branzino with roasted tomatoes.  We had this before and had no trouble.  I could see the waiter was busy and distracted as he took the other orders at the table.  When he came to me I told him: “I am a severe celiac and cannot have any gluten and absolutely no dairy.”  I always make sure to look them straight in the eye and follow up with this statement: “I don’t have an allergy and I’m not on a diet. I have a disease and if there is gluten in this dish I will wind up on the floor, right here in the restaurant.” I always say it very nicely, but you can tell I’m dead serious.  I then said to him to please check with the chef if it would be ok to do PLAIN olive oil and lemon for dressing.  He scribbled some words down on his pad and said, “That dish is fine”  I replied “Do you mind just checking with the chef?  I’d appreciate it.”  He said “fine”.  I could see he was a bit rushed so I stopped him before he fled away. “Please let me know if it’s too busy to accommodate me, it’s no problem really”.  He scurried away, and when he returned a minute later he said it would be fine.

Minutes later a salad was placed in front of me as shiny as a new quarter.  I looked at the supposedly plain salad and immediately knew that was not the case.  Without hesitation I sent it back and my boyfriend went to get the manager for me.  A very nice woman came to the table and when I explained the story about my disease she stated her grandmother had celiac and she totally got it.  I said “I dont mean to be a pain but I will be extremely ill.  It’s not a diet for me.” The waiter then stated that ” about half the people that come in now request gluten free so not everyone can be celiac, I think it gets the kitchen confused”. She assured me she would take care of it.  This statement made me so ill of course. For all those choosing gluten free to be cute or in “fad” or whatever, you are not making it any easier for those with an actual disease!  But ok, on with the story. Salad course complete, now on to the main.

The main course finally arrived and my sister took one bite and told me not to eat it.  She said she could taste something not right.  For my sister to speak up in this instance is unlikely.  She usually just eats it and suffers for weeks.  Of course I was already suspect of everything, but my sister had just confirmed it.  Was this really happening again?

Now here’s the transformative moment folks: instead of calling the waiter over and insisting they prepare it again, or getting upset, or eating it and suffering,  I put my fork down and pushed the dish away from me. When the waiter came over and asked if it everything was ok, a sense of calm came over me.  I wasn’t going to feel bad, or get mad, or try and make him understand something he really had no desire to, I was going to simply and honestly state what I felt. I looked him straight in the eyes and said without apologizing first or after, “I’m not going to eat it.  I don’t trust it and I refuse to be ill”.

The waiter was taken aback.  He said “the chef said it was fine”.  I said, “I’m sure he did his best but I will not be eating it, thank you.”  As I sat there and the manager came over as well I kept my story the same.  Brief, calm, pointed and at peace.  I sat there and watched everyone eat and enjoyed the conversation and realized how empowered I felt.  In this situation I had always apologized or felt bad or felt like a pain but this time I didn’t.  I felt like I honored myself and my body in a way that it needed to be.  So much of this disease renders you powerless at times.  The autoimmune disease, as celiac is, is the one in charge every day.  So taking back a moment of power was a moment that lasted and lasted. I had a lovely evening with my family that night, I wasn’t sick from anything that I might have eaten and I walked out of the restaurant feeling proud.

At this time of new beginnings I ask you to take your power back as well and stop apologizing for the disease you did not ask for.  Honoring yourself and your health tastes much better than anything you could ever possibly eat.

I will be speaking with you soon

be well


Orange At Christmas?? Naturally Gluten Free Goodness!

Hey all my gluten free friends!!  With all the holiday festivities and everyone running around like mad I’m sure YOUR not your number one concern.  Unfortunately when you are dealing with this every changing autoimmune disease taking a “day off” is a luxury you just don’t have.  I know for me I’ve been so busy lately that inflammation creeps up every once and a while indicating that something is off.  So I took a break from all the green and red around a decided to go ORANGE!   If you follow this blog you know how excited I get for all things fall, especially the colorful shades of orange veggies.  Not only do I love the color but the nutrition benefits are amazing and perfect in reducing inflammation!  I decided on mashed Butternut Squash over organic WILD Salmon with a touch of green Asparagus to keep with the green of the season.  Butternut squash is packed with vitamin A and full of antioxidants to support a healthy immune system and reduces chronic inflammation.  Did you also know that it also helps support a healthy reproductive system??  Then, of course there is the the wonderful, omega 3 packed salmon – full of vitamin D, selenium, and again controls inflammation.  To round it off, some detoxifying asparagus that also helps reduce pain and inflammation. An easy, quick, healthy dinner to nourish YOU this crazy holiday season.


Mashed Butternut Squash over Wild Salmon and Asparagus

PreHeat Oven to 375
  • 2 Cups cubed butternut squash
  • 2 pieces of wild salmon about 1 1/2  (can double)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • olive oil ( about a half a cup, separated)
  • sea salt/ pepper to taste
  • A few sage leaves
  • tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoon rice milk
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice


  1. place cut up squash on a baking dish and bake until tender
  2. When squash is done remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Then take salmon and place in aluminum foil, skin side down.  Sprinkle with about 2 tbsp of olive oil, parsley, fresh lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Wrap up so salmon is enclosed and place in baking dish.   Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Depending of thickness this time will vary.  Check with a fork, inside should be still pink while outside is pale pink/white-ish.
  4. Take another piece of tin foil and place the asparagus on it.  Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and squeeze some fresh lemon.  Again cover with the foil and place on a baking sheet and bake until crisp.
  5. In the meantime place squash in standing mixer or use hand mixer, add the rice milk, olive oil, and salt and pepper.   Whip until creamy
  6. Place whipped squash on plate, top with cooked salmon and asparagus.


Be Well,

Jennifer Esposito

Oh Yeah! Vegan, Dairy, Gluten, Soy, and Refined Sugar-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!

Just a quick recap and correction. The last post I spoke about Leaky Gut and what I was doing to help heal it. I’m taking Metagenics UltraClear Sustain, Glutagenics by Metagenics, and Acidophilus, and Quercetin. Also, I’m avoiding all allergens and anything else I am allergic to at the moment. The Lymphatic Drainage Sessions are to flush my body of toxins and then going for vitamin IVS at my doctor’s office. If you believe you might have Leaky Gut, please go see a doctor who will listen and help you.

Now on to the Fun Stuff!

Oh Yeah! Vegan, Dairy, Gluten, Soy, and Refined Sugar-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies! Take that falling eyelashes!

These cookies are delicious, even more delicious for me, for many reasons, let me explain.

When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I was depressed beyond belief. I know many of you understand having an Autoimmune Disease sucks, yes but was the thought of giving up so much of what I loved – cakes, cookies, bread, and pasta. After realizing my fate and healing from the devastating damage this disease had already done to my body I got in the kitchen again. If course this time all was new and confusing. I managed to start to create recipes. Yummy recipes of things I loved. About 75 of them to be exact, at the time I was using dairy and regular sugar. Months after that I was happily baking away but still feeling great, I was told dairy was no longer my friend either. I discovered on my own research that white sugar was an enemy as well, which also meant corn was their evil cousin. At that time if that wasn’t enough after doing some research on Soy, I opted to keep that out as well. Now what do I bake with though? Air? Knowing me now from my posts, I got back in the kitchen Again. I REDID all recipes – All 75 of them and then some. So recently when my eyelashes and hair decided to start falling out, as explained in the last post, I thought, oh no, not another allergy. Yes, even more allergies thanks to a leaky gut. Almonds now were a big problem as well as chocolate – CHOCOLATE! Really – I’m really being tested here I thought. What was I to do? Give up, cry, scream? Not going to say I didn’t do all of that, because I did have a day that I was so pissed, maybe even two days. After I realized that it wasn’t going to the be end of the world. I got back in that kitchen and I made myself a cookie. A Gluten- Free, Dairy-Free, Corn-free, Refined Sugar -Free, Nut-Free, and Soy- Free Oatmeal Cookie. YUM to the E!!!!! Take that allergies, what a victory I thought. Again, a dance of joy came upon me as the first batch came out of the oven – Healthy, Beautiful, Delicious cookies that not only gave me some sort, however little it is, control back from this ever changing autoimmune disease. I share them with you. Make them, enjoy them, and do a little dance for you. Today you won!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (eyelash cookies)

PreHeat Oven to 375
3 cups oats
1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup sourghum flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup maple sugar, date sugar, coconut sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/3 cup no sugar added apple sauce
3/4 cup raisins
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Combine all dry ingredients and whisk through lightly
In a separate bowl combine all wet ingredients
With a wooden spoon slowly combine wet ingredients to dry a little at a time
Then add raisins and combine
Take a tablespoon size of dough and put on baking sheet
Bake for 15 to 25 min  depending on how crispy you like your cookies
Eat UP!!
Much Love!

Ever Onward,

Jennifer Esposito

Attention All Celiacs

Hi all, hope everyone is well. Yes, there is a lot of stuff going on, but also, some unanswered questions from earlier this summer. As some of you might have noticed I vanished for a minute there. Know that when I do, it’s usually for a very good reason…I think eyelashes and hair falling out is a good enough reason, don’t you?

Late April-early May is when it started  and I mentioned  this in one of the blogs from that period. Time for the update: who would think that in 2 1/2 years into being a Celiac; a well-informed, impeccable eater, and someone who tries her best to take care of herself, how I would, yet again, have an unsolved mystery???? When the eyelashes and rashes on my skin started I truly thought it was from too much makeup while filming, Blue Bloods, (the show I do on CBS). When the season ended the eyelashes and rashes continued. I started to have big spaces where eyelashes once sat and now nothing, not even small re-growth. At the same time, I was getting these hot burning rashes and to top it off I was seeing far too much of my scalp on the top of my head than one I would like.

Now I’ve never been a vain person but HELL, how much is one person suppose to give up with this disease? I was not about to let go of my eyelashes and hair now, too. I started to do my research which came up with a thyroid problem, Lupus, and other not so wonderful options. For me though, I’d rather know what I may be dealing with and armed with questions when going to seek a doctor. And go to the doctor I did, 10 of them! 10 of them in a three week period – not to mention having Lymphatic Drainage – going to see an energy healer, and anyone else who would try and help solve this mystery. My blood-work  for many other Autoimmune Diseases came back all negative.

What did come back is a slew of new allergies, What?!?!? I’m already Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Corn, and Refined Sugar – Free. What am I allergic to now? Air? No, it was Almonds, Eggs, Chocolate, Watermelon, Broccoli, Avocado, and Chicken, and so on and so on. The swelling in my face from my eyes had now taken over my entire cheek that brought me to the ER one weekend, of course, they had no answers. My research led me to a naturopath doctor who told me about Leaky Gut Syndrome. It’s something I knew about but didn’t think it pertained to me. Think again! All Celiacs most likely have this condition. Leaky Gut Syndrome, is a gastrointestinal disorder in which the intestinal lining of the digestive tract becomes more permeable, or “leakier,” than normal, due to repeated irritation. The small intestine is designed to allow tiny particles of digested nutrients to pass through its wall and into the bloodstream. These are then distributed for use throughout the body. But due to a variety of causes, the intestinal wall can become more permeable and allow larger, less digested particles and toxins to pass through—causing Leaky Gut Syndrome. The body then recognizes these particles as foreign “invaders,” and the immune system attempts to fight them off—which can set the stage for various autoimmune disorders. So, basically, anything that was getting into my bloodstream, my immune system thought it was a foreign substance therefore making me have an allergic reaction to it.

What to do? Well I’m on a mega-genetic drink for Leaky Gut called L- Glutamine, tons of Acidophilus and Quercetin. Please do your research and talk with your doctor if you believe you are experiencing this. What I also learned was that the food rotation diet is a must for all Celiacs !!! Since 2009 I’ve done countless research on the subject of Celiac and am still shocked when I discover something new. A food rotation diet is a vital part of a Celiac’s diet. Otherwise you easily develop other allergies. The foods that showed up in my blood-work  were everyday things I was eating, on a daily basis. I set up a simple rotation in my frig of mandatory milks to keep in rotation. I also made a simple calendar: what I ate on Monday I couldn’t eat until Friday and so on. I discovered a great site to help understand more about the Food Rotation Diet, please click on the link.

As far as my eyelashes and hair – they are growing back…for now. Still need my gut to heal, but, I, of course, didn’t give up on my treats. I’ve managed to create some completely allergy-free treats! Soon I will be making muffins and cookies out of air. Until then, stay well and look for my new blog post – Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Completely Allergy – Free!!

Ever Onward,

Jennifer Esposito

Did You Know… There is a Link Between Celiac Disease and Depression? Did You Know… Feb 10 is P.S I Love You Day?

Did you know celiac disease and depression are linked? Did you also know 90% of the bodies supply of serotonin (which is linked to depression) lies in your digestive tract? Serotonin is a chemical manufactured in the brain and when at “healthy” levels we feel balanced and happy. In short it regulates our mood. So if our gut is off then we are off! And since we, Celiacs, already have a decreased ability to absorb crucial vitamins and nutrients, we may not be absorbing enough of the important protein that create serotonin. We have millions of brain cells and serotonin affects most of them directly or indirectly – which will then affect our mood, appetite, sleep, memory and learning, and some social behavior. And that’s only to name a few! This is why it’s so VERY important we are aware of the nutrients are body needs and may or may not be getting, and the HUGE role this plays in our path to a happy life!!

I suffered with unexplained depression my whole life so when I found out I was Celiac and about the serious link to depression things started to make sense. Now gluten free for 3 years the depression is much more understandable and manageable. I know that my mood is directly linked to what I’m eating and the nutrients I’m getting. As you know, since you are on this site, that my passion is to scream from the mountain tops everything I’ve learned on this journey. It pains me to think that people are suffering in so many ways including living with depression and that maybe their eating can be a factor in helping them to live a happier life. The millions of people on anti-depressants in this country is astounding. Even worse the numbers of suicides. Which brings me to my next point.  

For the many of who understand what I’m talking about when I speak of depression you understand how devastating it can be on your life – spirit and soul. The isolation you feel sometimes feels unbearable. Hopefully you have the support of friends or family in these times. Sometimes a hug or kind words can help you through those hard days. For me it’s words.

I was watching the Today show recently and saw an interview, followed by a YouTube clip, with a young woman addressing depression and suicide and the role it plays in her life. After her father killed himself due to depression she started a movement by creating P.S. I Love You Day in honor of him and asks everyone to wear purple to remind people they are loved. And since I deal with depression at times this touched me on deep level. Her message of how just a few kind words are more powerful than you would think to someone who is feeling low and powerful in so many ways. Words can harm but more importantly can HEAL. Dealing with depression can make you feel extremely isolated, so to hear something that connects you to another human being can truly save someones day, maybe even a life.

This blog is written with love and in purple in tribute to P.S I Love You Day, February 10th. PLEASE take a few minutes to watch this video clip:

P.S. I Love You from The Troops!

Ever Onward,

Jennifer Esposito

For more information on serotonin we visited these sites:

1. webmd

2. wiki

3. yourlife

4. everydayhealth

Did you know…. Tea Tree Oil kills Mold!?

Did you know tea tree oil is a great alternative to using harsh chemicals such as bleach?! I thought since I just posted a blog about tea tree oil’s amazing antiseptic and anti-fungal benefits for health reasons I would write a quick follow up so you have yet ANOTHER reason to go out and buy a bottle!

Besides using tea tree oil topically for my health, the other main use is as a great house hold cleaner and specifically for killing MOLD! Tea tree oil is one of the only true methods of killing mold – not just removing it or discoloring the area so that it appears to be gone, but the only great and healthy way to kill mold. I use a spray bottle and poor about 5 drops of tea tree oil per 2.5 cups of water. It is very important to remember most “commercial” cleaning supplies contain hazardous chemicals that you do not want be inhaling or putting on surfaces that you are then going to be touching- they are not good for anyone and will especially irritate those with allergies and asthma!

Tea Tree Oil is so multifunctional and so powerful that a little bit will go a long long way and well worth the purchase!!

Ever Onward,

Jennifer Esposito


For additional household uses for your tea tree oil check out:

For bleach info:

Tips for Staying Healthy with Essential Oils!

This time of year, when everyone around you is sneezing, it’s very difficult to avoid the common cold and flu. And for me, my day job working on the set of a tv show in an old cold studio full of dust and 70 other people huddled together in confined spaces – makes it especially difficult to avoid germs. As Celiacs, we have an already compromised immune system so it is important to keep those germs at bay!!

I have developed my own little all natural flu-fighting system that I’d like to share with you. The first sign I feel like I’m getting a bug or slightest bit of congestion, following a flight, or  after a long day on set I like to boil about 2 cups of water, add only a few drops of tea tree oil and oregano oil into the water, grab a towel and put over my head and sit hovering over the hot water infused with oils. This creates a very strong smell but I take deep breaths inhaling the essential oils into my lungs. They both have great antiseptic properties which kill germs that might have been working their way in to your system. This remedy has helped me a great deal in keeping my health in tact and nipping the bugs in the bud!

If you don’t have a neti pot I highly recommend investing (they run about $12 and will last so worth it). A neti pot -in short is an irrigation system for your nose. Put a little bit of salt in the pot with hot water (touch test water so don’t burn) and pour into one nostril at a time, to clean and remove the  dust and germs that have infiltrated the passageways, and a great way to help alleviate congestion.

Another germ fighting remedy I practice when my throat starts to feel sore is gargling tea tree oil. I add just 1-2 drops into 1 cup of hot water – DON’T SWALLOW but gargle to kill bacteria.

Must have’s for staying healthy!

If you weren’t able to stop the bug in time, a great way to find relief from a cold or an infection that is creating excess flem in your chest and head is a powerful home-made tea! Take one plump fresh ginger root (which is great to sooth for respiratory ailments) and peel, chop off a small piece adding it to about 2 cups of water and boil to make a fresh ginger tea. Once boiled add 1 tbls of cayenne pepper, 2 tbls honey and a squeeze the juice from a whole lemon. Stir and drink it down! Its going to be spicy and sweet and hot and will burn through that infection instantly!  To really give your body a full recovery make yourself a warm bath add a few drops of rosemary oil to relieve muscular aches and pains, sit back and start to feel better!

I practice these remedies to try to avoid taking the painful antibiotic. Antibiotics are beneficial when severely need it and prescribed by doctor – other than that they are not good for our system. It is VERY important to remember essential oils are VERY powerful on their own so need to be diluted. Don’t ever put directly on skin.

These tips are a great way to avoid getting sick and keep yourself healthy in a natural way! ENJOY!!

Ever Onward,

Jennifer Esposito

Healing the body – Where to start?

Body – where to start? If you have come to this point and have a positive diagnosis of celiac disease then you realize that all those symptoms were screams for help from you body. A gluten allergy and sensitivity causes plenty of discomfort but full on celiac disease causes damage. As you probably already know, the villi (which is in charge of taking in nutrients from food and feeding you body) have been damaged at this point. Only time and a strict gluten free diet will reverse that within year or two. However a gluten free diet must be maintained to stay well. What to do in the meantime? How do we get the nutrients our bodies are so depleted of? How do we calm our destroyed, annoyed, inflamed digestive system? How do we deal with some of the repercussions of this disease? Depending on how long you went undiagnosed, will determine how much damage was done. These were some of my questions that were either unanswered or vaguely answered by doctors and nutritionists. So again, I took matters into my own hands.

*Important – please remember I am in NO WAY a doctor. I am just a person who was suffering and needed to find a way to feel better. These suggestions worked for me. Hopefully they will give you ideas to help yourself. Or at least ask better questions to your health provider.

First thing that must be done:
Vitamin D. You must have a slew of blood work done and demand (if not given freely) all vitamin and mineral levels checked. The #1 deficiency with Celiacs is a Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is essential for your bones. Testing for early osteoporosis is important as well! It is vital to replenish that Vitamin D and fast.

Fact  - Vitamin D is linked to depression, joint and muscle pain, chronic fatigue, skin pigmentation and now studies have shown a possible link to Alzheimer’s.

Here is what I did:
I was put on 2000mg of vitamin D a day. Your doctor should tell you how much is right for you. You can find Vitamin D in fish (herring, catfish, salmon, trout, halibut, sardines, mackerel), fish liver oils, egg yolks, fortified dairy and grains, and 15-20 minutes of sunlight.

Because my digestion was so inflamed and sluggish, I opted for liquid or powder vitamins. I did this (and still do) because my body didn’t have to work as hard to break down the pills. Some supplements can even go under your tongue for faster absorption. I was so depleted of Vitamin D among so many other vitamins that it was necessary for me at first to be administered vitamins through intravenous. This can only be done by a doctor. My levels of vitamin D were so low that I remember coming in out of the sun just a half an hour to find a weird rash all over my arms and face. I found out, again through my own reading and investigation, that it was caused by my lack of vitamin D. Celiac disease, as you know, is an auto immune disease, so your immune system is on high alert. So the Vitamin D that I had absorbed from the sun that day was entering into an autoimmune system that was ready to attack it. My body looked at it as an invader because my Vitamin D was so low it didn’t recognize it as a friend.

Assuming your Doctor has told you what your specific needs are in terms of vitamins. Vitamin C and a multi-vitamin is necessary.

Here is what I did every morning to make sure the basics were met:
I made a smoothie of 1 cup water or hemp or almond milk, one banana, and handful of blueberries, blackberries – whatever is fresh and organic, my liquid Vitamin D, 1 heaping tbls of All One (a rice based soy, gluten 100% pure multi and mineral powder packed with vitamins), and some Vitamin C. YUM!!!

Another big issue with celiac disease is inflammation! A year before my diagnosis the inflammation under my eyes was insane. I always experienced bloating but the under eye swelling would lead to sinus infections all the time, constant headaches, dark circles under my eyes and brain fog. I couldn’t even think when this would happen, it really became debilitating. I went from doctor to doctor with more and more antibiotics prescribed. One doctor even suggested a surgery that would open up the small bridge of my nose to make my sinus drain better. Another doctor wanted to release the same pressure by drilling holes through my eyebrows. Sounds good huh? The bloating in the stomach, well that is from a digestive system that is over worked, mad, inflamed and obviously not functioning properly. I was told a slew of unbelievable diagnosis for that as well. I will tell you one diagnosis I never heard was celiac disease!

It’s been 2 1/2 years now since being diagnosed and living a gluten free life. Although it took a while to adjust I can say the bloating and under eye swelling has most definitely gotten better. It is not always easy to live a gluten free life but I promise the rewards are great. Feeling better is reward enough, isn’t it?!

Ever Onward,

Jennifer Esposito