I’ve not always been gluten intolerant. I was diagnosed in 2011 with an auto-immune disease known as Graves’ Disease. Graves’ disease is a thyroid disorder that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). The signs and symptoms of Graves’ can be challenging for the patient as well as the doctors involved – my own prognosis took almost 8 months.
During this time, as I was looking for answers, one of the doctors I worked with suggested I stop gluten to see if it would help with my mood, joint pains, tummy issues and hives. Reluctantly, I did. I needed to fix how I felt and was willing to do whatever I needed. So I said “bye-bye” to gluten.
Luckily, it worked, although at the time it is was sad, too. My favorite comfort foods were pizza and beer, two treats I thought I was going to have to say good-bye to forever. I was living in Los Angeles and had the good fortune to have a plethora of health food stores and options around so I began my own personal journey to find gluten free foods I could truly enjoy.
I began looking under every rock for recipes, scouring the web for like-minded folks and taste-tested every gluten free item on grocery store shelves. I needed to know what I could do to make my life feel the same…or, rather, taste the same.
The journey started while I lived in the USA, now I’m living in New Zealand (let the Lord of the Rings questions begin). When I moved here two years ago I had to start all over again and experiment with foods and products, plus look for places to eat where I could either grab a meal with friends and not stress, or pop by to pick up a convenient meal on the run. I can say with total confidence that I moved, I saw, and dude, I conquered! Well, with the help of my husband, who likes to work with me to create and test recipes that are not only gluten free but also contain low-to-no sodium. We also aim to watch our sugar intake, but I can’t make any promises. I am human, after all.
Peruse these recipes and see if there’s something you want to try – and if you want to look at other ideas, take a peek at my Pinterest boards for further inspiration: Gluten Free, Gluten Free Travel, Gluten Free New Zealand & Gluten Free Brunch Ideas. You can also find me on Instagram sharing recipes, stories, inspiration and discovering new gluten free treats as I travel New Zealand. Come say hi – @missannekemp
As for my ongoing relationship with Graves’ disease, stop by my page dedicated to this subject. It can be a scary world when you’re first diagnosed, but together we can find the light at the end of the tunnel. I promise, you will smile again.