I am often asked why I follow a gluten-free lifestyle. The answer is I have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes the small intestine to be hypersensitive to gluten. Celiac disease can damage the part of the small intestine that allows the body to absorb nutrients, making it difficult for someone with the disease to properly process food. I was not diagnosed until later in life. For this reason, I still have complications associated with the disease. Some days are good, some days I feel horrible. It is definitely something I have to pay attention to every day.
When I was a child, I was anemic. This was likely the first indication of Celiac disease since it is common for people with undiagnosed Celiac disease to be anemic. The part of the small intestine where iron is absorbed is the same area that is damaged when gluten is ingested. As I got older, I experienced frequent sinus infections, digestion problems, extreme exhaustion, hair loss and many other issues.
If you have Celiac disease, it important to note that eating gluten-free may not be enough to treat the disease. You should test for nutritional deficiencies and leaky gut. Celiac disease is all about the gut and your ability to absorb nutrients from food.
The biggest complication for me is cross contamination. It only takes 1/8 teaspoon of gluten to set off an autoimmune reaction in my body. The small amount of gluten damages the villi in the gut. The villi are in charge of taking nutrients from which fuels the body. Without these villi, there are no nutrients and the body shuts down. I can usually tell right away if food is contaminated.
I followed a strict gluten-free lifestyle for many years and still did not feel better. I started following a paleo eating plan and felt better. I try to avoid all grains, dairy, soy and sugar. I feel the best eating this way. I also drink bone broth and use Nutritional Frontier GI for gut healing. I take a digestive enzyme with all meals.
I have included links to resources and products that I use. I also have a list of restaurants that are 100% gluten-free or have a gluten-free menu. I will continue to update the list. I only share places that I enjoyed the food and did not have an issue with cross-contamination.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.
Cambro Storage 2 oz. Containers *I use these to store flour.
Siete grain free chips, tortillas
Capello’s grain free lasagna sheets, pizza crust, cookie dough
Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Flour best gluten-free flour
KL Wine Speciality St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Old Sugar Distillery Queen Jennie Whiskey
Favorite Restaurants and Food Markets
Yo Mama’s *I can’t tolerate fried food; great place if you like fried shrimp. Owner’s son has celiac.
Erewhon Market great for grab and go
Bulletproof Coffee food menu everything is paleo, gluten-free
Sweet Laurel Bakery paleo cakes
Inn on Randolph Bed and Breakfast
Meals From the Heart crab cakes
Avery’s on Tulane *request separate fryer for fried items; owner familiar with celiac
Juan’s Flying Burrito *staff will make substitutions; I like the Mexican salad without corn and beans.
Casamentos *I can’t tolerate fried food but many celiac friends recommend the gluten-free fried oysters.
Avon By The Sea
Senza Gluten Cafe and Bakery *I do not like the dessert or pizza crust
Hu Kitchen *skip the coffee bar
Don Antonio best gluten-free pizza in the city
Broto bone broth
Spero *must request gluten-free substitutions; staff familiar with celiac
People’s RX *great selection of supplements and grab and go salads
Unrefined Bakery *I did not like the bread and Keto items.
Bird Bakery *GF cupcakes
Bird Bakery *GF cupcakes
Salt Lake City
restaurant and bakery
GF bread and desserts
bakery and cafe
*arrive early items sell out fast
La Cantine de La REcyclerie
organic and has a lot of gluten-free, vegetarian options
a little shop selling juices, soups, and salads in the Marche des Enfants market
Cabo San Lucas