I was diagnosed with celiac disease on May 22, 2013. Upon hearing the news, I was happy; relieved that, after enduring discomfort for years, the cause of it was found. Finally, I could eat a meal and actually feel good afterwards. However, I was heartbroken that, suddenly, I had a “disease.”
I quickly learned the do’s and don’ts of living with celiac. Eliminating gluten from my diet was no small feat. Being a vegetarian for over 30 years (and Italian!), it was a challenge to delete favorite pasta dishes from my list of comfort foods. I could no longer indulge in my morning bagel from my favorite coffee shop. Occasionally snacking on gooey, cheesy tortilla chips at a local pub wasn’t allowed. I was a die-hard foodie and life as I knew it was over.
Through the following months, I discovered an entirely new realm of foods. To my delight, there were gluten-free pastas, breads, cereals, and so on. I taste-tested and selected my favorite pastas and mostly passed on the breads. The better I felt, the less I craved my old eating habits.
I realized that being a vegetarian with celiac disease didn’t define starvation. In fact, it inspired me to be more creative in the kitchen and appreciate new flavors and textures. I’ve returned to my old favorites with a twist. Food is not only healthier now, but lighter and tastier.
I happily indulge again with no regrets!