** Disclaimer: I wrote this post for an "about me" page to list on my side bar -- Then I decided that regular readers of my blog might enjoy it as well. It's an introduction to this site and why I started living gluten free. **
In August 2007, I discovered food blogs for the first time. The first blogs I read and became acquainted with were: Fridge Magnet, The Amateur Gourmet, and The Wednesday Chef. I started reading these food blogs on a daily basis. At some point I ran across Gluten Free Girl, and something clicked. I wanted to do that too. I loved cooking and baking (though at that point I was not gluten free), and I enjoyed writing for fun.
I was familiar with Blogger and I thought I would give blogging a shot. My first post was published in late August 2007.
I had attempted blogging several times before, but I never found a "niche" I was really interested in.
- I didn't want a blog just to talk about my life -- that seemed a bit too personal.
- My faith is extremely important to me and I contemplated writing about that (and I may still do that in the future with another blog), but it wasn't what I was drawn to writing about at the time.
- I thought about frugality, living green, living on a budget etc... as that is a big part of my life too... yet that just didn't feel quite right either.
And it is.
I'm still not exactly sure why I chose the name "Ginger Lemon Girl." I've always liked being called a "girl." It makes me feel young, new, and excited, even though I hit the "30" mark this year! Ginger and lemon are two of my favorite flavors, though in reality I don't use them all that often in my kitchen. I do love a good gingerbread with lemon sauce, but I haven't made one since Christmas 2006. The spices and flavors I use most in my kitchen are cinnamon and vanilla, but that would have been a mouthful of a title!
After reading Gluten Free Girl's blog I seriously considered changing my diet. I noticed I had several symptoms that were mentioned in blogs that talked about being gluten free. When I saw migraine headaches as one of the main symptoms for some people, I was willing to try the whole gluten free thing. I had horrid migraine headaches that would make my life miserable for weeks at a time. I had several other symptoms too, and I realize that by not going to a doctor for an official celiac diagnosis, I was taking a risk. But I've never been conventional. So I stopped eating wheat. It was just an experiment at first, but I never turned back.
I don't regret it. It took about 8 months on the gluten free diet to realize the drastic change in the frequency of my headaches. I get around 3-4 migraines a month now, instead of one almost every day. Before I went gluten free, I had gone to 4 medical specialists for help with my migraines. The only thing they told me was that I was sensitive to the weather. They couldn't do anything, except prescribe medications to help me get through the migraines. I do not think they understood or cared about the severity of my headaches.
But, since going gluten free I have realized that I am sensitive to wheat and possibly soy. Since I started the gluten free diet, I am very aware of what I eat. I am aware of how my body reacts to food. When I accidentally eat wheat or soy, I often immediately get nasally congested, and I've had incidences of my tongue swelling or my throat itching and swelling. A headache usually follows.
So this Ginger Lemon Girl gladly gave up wheat.
The first gluten free recipe and meal I posted on the blog was a stir fry made with cellophane noodles (saifun bean threads). I still love those noodles!
Not long after, I posted about some chocolate cupcakes I made from Gluten Free Mommy. Looking back, I can tell you that those cupcakes were not all that great (my fault, not Gluten Free Mommy's!) and I have learned a LOT about gluten free baking since then!
It is now May 2008. Nine months since I first ate gluten free pasta. I feel better, I have far fewer headaches, and I know a lot more about baking and cooking than I did 9 months ago.
My husband Michael is my best friend, my cooking guinea pig (If Michael likes it, there's a good chance your pickiest eater will like it too!!), and my biggest supporter! I could not do this blog without his love, help, and kindness. It's an amazing thing to wake up next to your best friend every morning, and I am incredibly thankful for him!
For an index of all the gluten free recipes I have posted on this blog (and trust me they've gotten much better than those original cupcakes!), please visit here.
I blog for the fun of cooking, writing, and photographing (even though I never picked up a digital camera before I started blogging!) I also truly enjoy helping people who are starting a gluten free diet for the very first time. I know it can be overwhelming and frustrating, it is a huge change. Hang in there. Be patient, and allow your body time to heal. Be aware that nothing tastes quite like wheat. Your taste buds will adjust and you will learn to love new things, along with new versions of the old things!
If you have any questions about gluten free living, or just want to chat, feel free to drop me a note at gingerlemon_girl at yahoo dot com. I answer every email I receive!
For more information on celiac disease, please visit any of these helpful sites:
- The Gluten Intolerance Group
- Free Gluten Free Publications
- The Online Celiac Support Group at Delphi Forums
- The Celiac Survival Guide
- Do You Have Celiac Disease?
For more information on wheat allergies and sensitivities, please visit any of these helpful sites:
- Food Allergy Initiative - Wheat Allergies
- Web MD.com - Living with Wheat Allergies
- Wheat Allergy Information from Revolution Health
- Wheat-Free Zone
- Information on Wheat Allergies from About.com
Random Facts about Ginger Lemon Girl:
- Incidentally, my favorite food blogger is The Pioneer Woman. I want to be like her when I grow up, just a gluten free version!!
- I own four cats. They are all strictly indoors. Cat hair resides on every single square inch of my home. Anybody who owns four cats is crazy. This is a fact... I should know.
- Cat hair does not come off. It is permanently attached to anything it sticks too. Did I mention owning four indoor cats is crazy?
- I bite my nails. Yep. I do.
- I do not like bugs. I will touch them, but I do not like them.
- I do not like snakes even more.
- I could read for hours a day. I can become so engrossed in reading, that I can completely ignore everything around me, including dinner boiling over.
- Sometimes all I want for dinner is tuna salad.
- I still haven't mastered boiling eggs. I can whip up a real buttercream icing with the best of 'em, but I'm still learning about those boiled eggs.
- I love watching action and adrenalin-packed movies with my husband. I didn't really like those movies before I met Michael.
- My favorite color changes daily.
- If given a choice, I want vanilla ice-cream.
- Yet, I eat a piece of chocolate nearly every day.
- I am overweight and one day (hopefully soon) I'll get serious about losing weight again. Yes, I said again. Marriage does strange things to people! I want to be like Sally one day!
- I do not know how to ride a bike. I want to learn.
- I really do not enjoy washing dishes.
- It's amazing how much you learn to like tortilla chips when you can't eat wheat thins!
- I could eat guacamole every day.
- My favorite restaurant is Carrabba's. They have the best salmon ever.
- I cannot cook fish to save my life. Oh wait. Except tuna salad. I rock at tuna salad.
- I really do shop at the Piggly Wiggly. Currently they are having a give-a-way for a John Deere Lawn Tractor. You can enter once a day. We've been buying a LOT of groceries from Piggly Wiggly lately.
- I have an extremely short attention span.
- I love American History.
- I do not love flea markets or yard sales. I know they are great frugal alternatives, which I am all about, but it takes too much time to hunt through them.
- I love my husband's chicken pie.
- I love reading cookbooks from the 50's. I secretly collect them.
- I think that's about all the random facts I can muster at the moment.