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29 October 2007

for those of you new to this site....

I'm in Portland as I write this, sitting in my minimalist room in an overly funky hotel. (I'm not hip enough for this place.) Much as I miss the Chef, I am feeling in bliss at the moment. I just finished a beautiful meal at Clyde Common with two incredible women who help run one of my favorite online magazines. Today, I spent hours at the mecca of whole grains, Bob's Red Mill, signing books and meeting people who walked through the front doors to find me. (And there were also gluten-free corn muffins and brownies on the table. That might have enticed people to stop and talk.) I sighed happily into the hours there as they disappeared. I even met Bob!

And last night, I met more extraordinary people at Andina, where we shared shrimp and mango ceviche, soft polenta with tomatoes and goat cheese, and some incredible cocktails. At the end of the night, the "mama" of the restaurant, the wonderful Doris, took my hand and thanked me for honoring them by having the party there. They are avid supporters of the gluten-free community. I am the one who felt honored. (I'm telling you — go to that restaurant when you are here.)

I am feeling extraordinarily blessed.

But blessed with lots of extra time to put up new essays here? Not tonight.

However, I have read so many beautiful emails today, from those of you who are new to the site, through the virtual book tour, and now from reading the book. In the last few days, many of you have been asking about my past, and how I started the blog, and I realized that most of you might not know the entire narrative (without reading the entire blog, and I really don't recommend you do that in one night!). Also, when Kaytlyn re-designed this site, we put in a page called About Gluten-Free Girl. It's here. You can find it by clicking on the photo of us to the right. But most people don't seem to know that, yet.

And so, tonight, I thought I'd share the entire story, here.

(If you have already found it, and you don't feel like reading this again, hang tight. Perhaps I'll have new material tomorrow?)

shauna in the sunlight I

Hi. My name is Shauna James Ahern. I am alive.

I have been alive since August of 1966. Or, should I say, I have been on this earth since then. I haven’t always been alive. For much of my life, I felt lousy. Low in energy. Sick and sometimes depressed. I didn’t know why.

Still, I survived. And I laughed deep from my belly, in most moments of the day.
(Well, except for those six months in the seventh grade I was so embarrassed of my loud laugh that I forced myself to let out only a tiny heh.) I adore being here. I am constantly amazed by life and frequently struck by the absurdity of it. Mostly, I’m grateful.

And I’ve been writing about all of this from the moment I could pick up a pen and put words on the page. I’m a writer. I write about little moments of being awake in the world. Sometimes, I write to remind myself to wake up.

For much of my life, I was a high-school English teacher, first on Vashon Island, in Washington state, and then in Seattle. Between those two teaching times, I lived in Manhattan, tutored child actors, ran a screenplay-editing business, and rollerbladed on the streets to work. (That was dumb.) For a time, I lived in London, where I edited a book for a famous person. (I can’t tell you who it was. I’m contractually obligated to remain mum on this one.) Everything I have ever done for money had to do with words and helping other people with their words. (Okay, those eight weeks I was a terrified waitress don’t count.)

Now, I am writing, full-time. My dream came true. (And my fingers are tired from all the typing.)

I am the daughter of two incredible people, the sister of a remarkable man, the sister-in-law of some phenomenal women and men, and now the aunt of a line of kids ranging from three years old to a married 25-year-old. (There used to be just Elliott, but getting married meant I inherited cool nieces and nephews too.) I am blessed with friends who make me laugh, tease the hell out of me, feed me in every way, and mostly don’t read this website. (They’d actually rather talk to me than read the stories.)

And now, at the heart of everything I do, and the moniker of which I’m most proud? I am the wife of my tender-hearted, hilarious husband.

Oh, and by the way, like millions of humans in the world, I have to live gluten-free. I have celiac disease, although I chafe at the word disease. Being diagnosed with celiac changed my life, in ways that I could never stop listing. Now, I am no longer low energy, prone to falling ill, or depressed. Now, I am free. Now, I am alive.

And I don’t miss gluten at all.

sick Shauna, April 20

taken on April 20, 2005 — ten days before diagnosis

blue Shauna

taken in early June, 2005 — one month after being gluten-free

Way back in May 2005….

In the early spring of 2005, I was terribly ill. My body required 18 hours of sleep a day, my stomach ached all the time, and I could barely move without hurting. Doctors ordered one medical test after another, and none of them yielded answers. (The low point is when I endured a colonoscopy and endoscopy on the same day. Bleh.) All I could eat was soft bread, chicken noodle soup, and crackers. No one understood why I was so ill.

It had been a hard few years. In the winter of 2001, I suffered pneumonia for the sixth time in my life. In the beginning of 2003, I required emergency abdominal surgery for a fibroid tumor that had grown to the size of a grapefruit. In the winter of 2003, I was t-boned by another car, in a terrible accident that changed my life. My body reminded me, every day, how lucky I was to be alive, with pain from the injuries that didn’t go away. Just as I was starting to recover, I fell into that crisis of 2005.

It started to feel like I would never be well.

After all those tests, and no answers, I started to despair. A friend of mine who had been a nurse all her life confided in me later, “I thought you were terminal.” So did I.

Then, a friend of mine called me from Maine, to say she had just heard a story on celiac disease, the most under-diagnosed disease in the States. It sounded like me. I googled it, and found myself in the symptoms. Two years before, in an effort to find my energy, I had given up wheat for six weeks. I felt fantastic, but I slipped back into it. Remembering, my body jolted. What else could it be?

And why had I never heard of this before?

My gastroenterologist refused to test me for it, even though it only required a blood test before I could stop eating gluten. He refused. Actually, he had his nurse call me. “Celiac is really rare,” she said on the message. “That’s a long shot. We’ll talk about it during your follow-up in two weeks.”

Heck with that. I knew my body, exhausted as it was. At this point, I was down to eating a jar of baby food a day. I wanted to start living again.

I went to a naturopath, who did the blood test. I stopped eating gluten.

I have never gone back since.

At the end of the first day without gluten, I felt some energy. My stomach didn’t hurt when I ate. On the second day, I didn’t need a five-hour nap. On the third day, my brain fog cleared, as though my contacts had been cleaned for the first time.

When I received the official diagnosis — you have celiac — I clapped my hands and said yes! The naturopath was a little surprised to see my celebration.

The gastroenterologist was even more surprised, the next week, when I showed up for my follow-up appointment in great health, blood test results in hand. He confirmed it — I have celiac. And he left the room, embarrassed.

I’m not the only one who had to fight her way through the medical system to receive the correct diagnosis and become healthy for the first time in my life. Americans have to wait an average of 11 years, and many doctors, before finally being diagnosed. It is estimated that 1 out of 100 Americans has celiac disease. Only 3% of us have been diagnosed.

We have to change this.

After I was diagnosed, I felt reborn. I became a self I had never been before.

And I started writing about it. About amaranth and quinoa, ume plum vinegar, how to braise a lamb shank, and the life of food I began to live. I wrote to teach, to lead other people to the awakeness I was feeling. I love the fascination of the human body; I dissected cadavers in high school. (It was for an advanced biology class.) And yet, I had never heard of the condition that had been commanding me all my life.

I did the only thing I knew how to do. I began to write.

And thus, this website was born.

roasted chicken diavola at il Bacco Felice

Gluten-free woman just doesn’t have the same ring.

When I had been so sick, my friend Dorothy came over, many times, to bring me food and commiserate. When I just didn’t improve — and grew worse and worse each week — she said, in exasperation one day: “We’re just going to have to call you the sick girl.”

When I was finally diagnosed, and told Dorothy about it, she said, ironically, “Oh, we’re going to have to call you the Gluten-Free Girl!”

I never thought people would stop me at the farmers’ market and exclaim, “Oh, you’re the Gluten-Free Girl, aren’t you?” I certainly never thought I would see that phrase on the cover of my first book.

I just liked the alliteration.

sauteed mushrooms and quinoa

Focusing on the food.

When I first started eating hot food again, I was moved to tears by the physical sensation of it sliding down my throat. It had been so long since I had been able to take pleasure in food.

I have always loved food. Every story I share with my dear friend Sharon seems to involve food, of some kind (and falling down). Even though I ate a requisite number of processed foods when growing up (I was born in the late 60s remember, so I was raised on Wonder Bread), my mother was a good cook. She could bake like no one’s business. And over the years, I started going to farmers’ markets, cooking with good olive oil, and eating food from recipes that originated from outside the boundaries of the United States.

But it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with celiac that I truly started focusing on the food.

Food is the path to healing in celiac. There is no pill we can take, no surgery we can endure, and in fact, no cure other than living on an entirely gluten-free diet. Some find that distressing. I find it a blessing.

In order to be well, I have to eat well. I have to feed myself. I have to live in food.


I started taking photographs of my foods as soon as I was diagnosed. Having been so weak and in pain, I had not been able to write. I needed that creative outlet. But more than that, being able to eat again — after at least six weeks of eating bananas and baby food — made me see. Food is so beautiful. The vivid oranges of baby carrots, the fuzzy hair on a soft peach, the little white rings on red quinoa in a skillet, the crumbling flakes of dark chocolate on a cutting board — everything attracted my eye.

I began taking photographs of my meals. I haven’t stopped since.

From May 2005 to July of 2006, I took photographs with my little Nikon Coolpix.

In July of 2006, I switched to a Fujifilm Finepix.

And in the winter of 2007, I bought the body of a Nikon D-100, and a 2.8 35-70mm lens. It has a wonderful macro capability, which is why I bought it from a professional photographer in Seattle, who needed to move to a different system. That lens has been around the world, taking photographs of people living with AIDS in Kenya, and women singing in Morocco.

This camera has good karma.

the Chef in Gubbio

And then there was the Chef.

When I was diagnosed, I had a visceral understanding that I was now a self I had never been before. And I needed some time to myself. I decided to take a year off from dating at all.

Four days to the year, I met the Chef.

I knew, at once. This is the love of my life. But I held off for six weeks from writing about him on this site. I had to be sure. I knew that once I began writing about him here, everything would change.

Oh boy has this site changed.

From the first post I wrote about him (Meet the Chef), until the post about our honeymoon (la luna di miele), there has not been a single piece I have written here without his influence infused into the words. He lends tender-heartedness, a ribald sense of humor, real working-man’s hands, slow-braised flavors, and a wonderful practicality to everything here.

The name of this site is still Gluten-Free Girl, but this is our website now.

This man makes me feel alive. He makes me laugh, teases me, feeds me, listens to me, wakes up in the morning with me and says, “I love you, sweetie.”

He is also the most talented chef I have ever met.

Within a few months of our falling in love, the Chef started changing his menus. He always found a way to feed me safely when I went into his restaurant. He understood the details of living gluten-free, immediately. The Chef loves and lives in food like no one else I have ever know. For him, cooking gluten-free was a compelling challenge, a chance to discover foods he had never eaten.

But one day, I looked up after typing up the next month’s menu, and said, “Hey honey. I can eat everything on this menu.”
“I know,” he said.
“What have you done?”
And he said, quite simply, “You are my muse. I don’t want to create another dish, and be excited by it, and find I can’t share it with you. I’m just going to make everything gluten-free from now on.”

And he still does.

Oh, how I love him.

Some readers have written to me to ask: “Why do you call him the Chef? Why don’t you just use his name?”

He prefers it that way.

When I first met him, I refereed to him as “the Chef” when I talked to my friends. After so many bad experiences with dates, I didn’t want to trust and even say his name. This only lasted about a week — he walked right into my heart — but the name stuck.

And when I first began writing about him, I wanted to somehow maintain some anonymity for him. He wasn’t writing this. He read and approved of every piece, but still. He hadn’t originated this. And really, it was the only way to represent him. He is, in his heart, a chef. He lives in food. He works crazy hours. His hands are covered in burns and scars. And he expresses his love for humanity through his food.

He cooks because he can give people joy in the belly.

And really, it just stuck. When people come into his restaurant after reading this website, they often shriek a little and say, “Oh, you’re the Chef!”

He loves it.

So, the Chef it is.

But, for the record, he does have a name. Daniel Fitzgerald Ahern. But to me, he’s Danny.

He’s my husband, and I love him.

the island - the farmers' hands

How we eat around here.

Anyone who thinks that living gluten-free is deprivation? Come on over here for dinner.

We live in food. Food, to us, is sensuality and texture, kindness and laughter, being alive and in love. Roasted potatoes with sea salt. Cinnamon-walnut scones. Crispy pork belly. Mixed green salads with champagne vinaigrette. Pizza with prosciutto, chanterelle mushrooms, and goat cheese. Fig cookies. Scrambled eggs with truffle salt. Sauted black kale. Shaved fennel with lemon. One crisp apple.

Food doesn’t have to be expensive to be spectacular. Sure, I’ve eaten foie gras a few times in the past year, and I love truffles after being in Italy. But one perfect peach, in late July, is true richness to me.

It’s about the best ingredients. Food in season, in an awake moment, with the right person. That’s great food.

We shop at farmers’ markets as much as we can. We know the men who sell us fish by first name. We look for truly great olive oil. We allow ourselves to be surprised by good food. We feel fresh to it, every day. We like great spices and creamy butter and gelato in Italy (but not anywhere else). We eat the best food we can find in the places we find ourselves. We love to share.

There is so much to learn. When do I salt the food? How much vinegar should I use? What does a cross between a peach and an apricot taste like? Where do I find the best locally raised, grass-fed lamb? How would those brownies taste with sorghum flour instead? I love this.

We love the people who grow our food.

And one of my best accomplishments is when we are home, late at night after his shift at the restaurant is done, and the Chef eats the first bite of the dinner I have made for us. He pounds his fist on the table, grunts a little, and digs in.

In the end, that’s all that really matters.

we interrupt the honeymoon photos....

The book.

As a kid, I always dreamed of being a writer. One of the literary kinds. Not the one whose books would be produced in thick, cheap paperbacks that fall apart halfway through the read. No, as much as I thrilled to the sound of The Beatles’ "Paperback Writer," I had higher aspirations.

After all that reading, all those books — or actually, after reading my first book, long ago, before I had the words to say it — I knew that I wanted to write. And not just write. I was going to write the books that transported everyone else away. And they’d make my book into a movie, and I’d never have to borrow books from the library again.

I have no idea if they are going to make a movie out of my book, and frankly — I’m not sure I’d want it now. But I can share this with you, dear readers (I’ve read Jane Eyre more times than I can count. And, dear reader, I married him.). Holding the book in my hands?

Well, that little girl is cheering, right now.

This has been a journey, a story of transformation. I loved food, from the moment I could eat it. But that food didn’t always love me back. Throughout my life, I was frequently sick, mostly fatigued, and sometimes at war with my own body. After I was diagnosed with celiac disease, and I stopped eating gluten, I finally learned to find food that would feed me.

This book is a love story. It’s the story of a love affair with food, and finding everything that I can eat, joyfully. It’s a story about slowing down, and appreciating my life. It’s a story about forging a new relationship with my body, and learning to love the life I have. It’s a story about eating local, eating organic, and eating in season. It’s a story about loving the time in front of the stove, dancing. It’s a story about developing recipes and devouring stories. It’s a story about finding the self I never was, for the first 38 years of my life, and reveling in that self.

And of course, it is an actual love story as well. It can’t surprise anyone to know that the last chapter of this book is about meeting the Chef.

And so, in all those ways, this is the perfect subtitle (or perhaps, even the real title): How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back.

Filled with funny essays, tempting photographs, and readable, easy-to-follow recipes, Gluten-Free Girl will break down the mysteries of the kitchen and teach its readers to find themselves, laughing, in the process.

Of course, I intend this book to help everyone who cannot eat gluten. I hope that you all will find it essential. But it is also a book for anyone with food allergies, anyone who wants to become more comfortable in the kitchen, and anyone who loves food. (Hopefully, that’s a lot of people!)

But I can promise you this: I am not doing this for myself, alone. Sure, I want to sell books. I’d like to keep living this life with the Chef, loving each other, eating well, and writing about it. And of course, that little girl who is still with me cannot wait for the book tours and media appearances. I’m not ridiculous enough to say I’m not enjoying this.

But I wrote this book, and I am going to be marketing it, for one urgent reason.

I want to help everyone to finally recognize his or her own story.

That little girl who read books on hot days, alone? Who dreamed of being plucky and stalwart and published in a magazine some day?

She cannot thank you enough.

I hope that you buy it. I hope that you enjoy it.

If nothing else, I can promise you this: if you buy my book, you will be reading my heart.

Sicilian cassata with a gluten-free cone


That’s all I need to say.


the two of us in Montefalco

La Dolce Vita, senza glutine.

Some people ask why I don’t write in every piece here about specifically gluten-free food.

I am alive. That life involves being gluten-free, but there are so many more parts to it:

funny stories, exhilarating travel, tender moments with my husband, discoveries in mouthfuls, falling down and laughing at myself, and learning how to live in the moment, every moment I am alive.

When we were in Italy for our honeymoon, we were both astonished to discover how easy it was for me to eat gluten-free. All I had to say was "Io sono celiaco." Waiters and chefs understood. They pointed out the dishes I could eat, and then brought me plates of black-truffle risotto, or sizzling beefsteak, or a saucer of perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes so vividly colored that I had to blink twice before looking at them. And that was it. No explanations or apologies. I simply ate gluten-free and went onto other conversations around the table.

The sweet life. Italians call it la dolce vita. And in order to remain well there, sometimes I simply said senza glutine (without gluten).

That's what I'd like to bring here. La dolce vita, senza glutine. I want to show you a vibrant life, filled with hilarious adventures and quiet contemplation. Stories of saying yes to life.

All of it, gluten-free.


At 4:07 AM, Blogger Coeliac South Africa said...

I was diagnosed as a coeliac 8 years ago; I just wish it had been earlier. The last 8 years have been the happiest of my life and food has become a revelation to me, I remember savouring a lettuce leaf with delight shortly after beginning my gf diet! I agree wholeheartedly that the gf diet is certainly not about deprivation, but revelling in the food that is naturally gluten free; as for cakes, cookies and other baked good, I make them myself regularly

At 4:14 AM, Blogger Isavoyage said...

I read your blog since a long time now and enjoyed greatly rereading your story.

I respect the way you live your life, and I admire your need to share and give.

You have given me tremendous hope. Not only do I see my gluten-free diet with joy, i also see my entire life with more fredom thanks to you.

Thank you Shauna.

At 6:01 AM, Blogger jill elise said...

I never was actually diagnosed. I had to self diagnose. I had the DH rash, my mom has Celiac, I had been in and out of the hospital 9 times in a year for little things no one could figure out why my body couldn't fight them. So, the last time I was in the hospital, I decided to stop eating gluten. That was almost 2 years ago, and I haven't been happier. My (chef) boyfriend doesn't even consider making something that has gluten in it. He loves to experiment with my flours and adapt everything to be gluten free. People come to me all the time and say "oh my God I'm so sorry, you can't eat anything", and I laugh. I appreciate the food I eat more than I have in my life. I haven't found anything I haven't been able to successfully recreate gluten-free.
Thank you Shauna, for your site. When I stopped eating gluten I came to the internet, and found there was a community of people that were there to help. There were GOOD recipes, GOOD advice, and more and more information. I'm happy to say that I'm gluten-free. I don't feel like I'm missing anything!!

At 6:22 AM, Blogger sweetpea said...

Now that is a hip hotel! Hope the next post title goes something like this: "Windy City, Here We Go"! O.K. people turn to page 238 in the book, read the charming story about Shauna and the Chef cooking together, and then make that Rosemary-Lemon Roast Chicken. I swear everyone will be running around the house whooping and hollering at the tase of it! Mondays are roasted chicken night at our house and I blew the roof off last night with this one! The paste is kick ass girlfriend!!! DAMM, were having it again all over on Friday night, before heading to Chicago to see you.

At 7:18 AM, Blogger VeggieGirl said...

Shauna, thank you so much for re-sharing your story - I enjoyed reading it even MORE this time!! I love your blog so much, and all the wonderful photographs, memories, and experiences you so graciously share with all of us, your faithful readers :0)

At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Kty said...

Thank you so much fir re-sharing your story with us. You'r one of my Thinking blog awards :

Hope plenty of new readfers will come and viit you. You deserve it (parce que tu le vaut bien).

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Jodi W. said...

Shauna, since you were just at Bob's Red Mill yesterday, I was wondering if you spoke with anyone about their new "Gluten-free Oatmeal"?

Info here:

They seem to be going to a lot of trouble to insure that it's gluten-free and I was wondering what you think of this. I'm celiac and I'd love to be able to have oatmeal back in my diet... even if only once in a while.

I know it will probably be individual for all of us but since I don't usually have that strong, immediate reaction like you do to small traces of gluten, I'm a bit reluctant to even try it.

Any thoughts?

Thanks Shauna!

Cheers, Jodi

At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

Thanks for sharing all of that information in one post.

I was diagnosed with celiac last month after being diagnosed with an allergy to gluten (among other foods) a few months before. Sites like yours definitely keep my spirits up while I adjust. I've set aside one task/activity each month to try something new, and December is my gluten-free baking month. I'm looking forward to trying out your various techniques and flours (though I can't use egg, unfortunately!).

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Alison said...

I'm not new, but loved reading this. The pictures of you before and after remind me of all my pale face pictures before my celiac diagnosis - I was so anemic. I was diagnosed 3 months after my wedding, and I remember feeling bloated on my wedding day. Maybe I'll dig up some pics to put on my site... or maybe not! :)

At 10:35 AM, Blogger melissa said...

I AM really new to your site. but I did read your story when I first wandered over a couple of weeks ago (thanks to many, many other food bloggers singing the praises of your book). the tale is just as deeply touching the second time around.

your reactions to your book being displayed and sold and read were absolutely heartwarming and made me cry more than once. wonderful posts.

you are an inspiration and a joy to many. so glad to have found you~

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Faye said...

After a hard day at work, dealing with the mold in my classroom...I was truly enlightened and overjoyed as I read your post. I check in periodically but will do so on a regular basis. Thanks for lifting me up!!


At 5:17 PM, Blogger selena said...

Try the Kennedy School next time:
Kennedy School

The Jupiter is way overrated, imo.

At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Barb Karlsson said...

Love your blog! I am fairly new to it--learned when Amazon contacted me about your book about to be available and wanted to know if I wanted to pre-order. Well, my husband was diagnosed 5 years ago and I am constantly looking for new, yummy, excitimg recipes! So I ordered it straight away!! Loving it so far! You are such a loving, caring and entertaining person---I just want to meet you!! Which brings me to the REAL reason I am writing to you. You are going to be in my neck of the woods the beginning of Dec. and I ABSOLUTELY want to be a part of any cooking classes, dinners--- gatherings of any kind! Please let me know where you will be and how to make my reservations. I check your site every day, but have not seen any details about your visit to LA. Please, PLEASE let me know so that I can have the good fortune to meet you (and the chef!!)
Anxiously awaiting,
A new Fan in So. Cal....Barb Karlsson

At 6:53 PM, Blogger marielle said...

This was so inspiring to read, in so many ways. What really hit home was your initial difficulty in getting diagnosed - your health prior to learning you have celiac could almost be mine, word for word, before learning I have fructose intolerance.

At 7:15 PM, Blogger Sarah McColl said...

gotta love the chef's squinty smile...i can see why you were a goner. ;)

At 7:24 PM, Blogger astillac said...

I got your book today. I had it in my hands the day it came out, just so that I could feel like I was supporting you, but I didn't have the funds to take it home with me. I did today.

I got to olive oil. Then the kitchen cabinet started whispering out to me. The olive oil I had purchased a few weeks ago at the farmer's market was still sitting unopened in the back. It is oil that is grown, pressed, and bottled here in Sacramento. I remember thinking I didn't want to waste it. I snapped my receipt into the book to hold my place and ran out to taste that oil.

It tastes like flying across a bridge, fingers whipping in the crisp air, a grassy meadow in front of you and open, open spaces.

- Callista

At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Gabriela said...

I am just one of the countless people that have been lucky enough to stumble upon your blog. You truly do have the gift of inspiring people, and showing all of us how to really live life and enjoy life and LOVE life. And I thank you for that.

At 12:35 AM, Blogger a kelly said...

Your words are inspiring and are part of my discovery...discovering that all the health issues and pain for the last 5 years were caused by gluten. I can't believe I get a little better every day!! Your sharing helps encourage and understand that gluten free can be very, very good. I have gone from renting a wheelchair to working out at the gym. Sound dramatic? It certainly is...and I am humbled with gratitude.


At 4:02 AM, Blogger Gemma said...

Portland is on my list of places to visit when I finally manage a holiday on the West Coast (along with Seattle obviously). I just wanted to say thanks for the link to the online magazine, it looks great and glad your tour (both virtual and real) continues to go so well.

At 5:48 AM, Blogger madre-terra said...

Shauna the wondrous wordsmith. I love being reminded of the joy of life.
Of the gift to exist.
For the love of food.
For the love of joy.
For the love of love.
For the love of reading Gluten Free Girl.

At 6:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Shauna,

I have been reading ur blog for sometime now...but this is my first time to comment on it... Glutten has never been a problem for me but still I enjoy reading ur blog for the way u write here...:) I'm really really happy to know tht ur book is out...Good luck on it & all ur future endeavors...Dev

At 6:33 AM, Anonymous CeliacChick said...

Is that hotel in North West Portland?! looks like the groovy 60's style apts. my friends used to live in only painted white and tricked out. Whoa. I couldn't find the address on their website. What a funny (in a cool way) town.

And YES, Andina is amazing! It was my first ceviche.

At 8:23 AM, Anonymous Mefuza said...

Your energy is lovely. I bought your book for a friend who has gluten intolerance and ended up buying her another copy as I thoroughly enjoyed your book. It was about good food and good ingredients and the way you describe them makes them even more fun to use in everyday cooking. Thanks.

At 8:54 AM, Blogger jenni said...

I love your blog. I don't have celiac, but I do have a yeast overgrowth in my body, and I'm having to eat yeast-free while I fight the imbalance so that I can be healthy again. Needless to say, my diet changed drastically! But I find inspiration in the way you love gluten-free food - I'll try to do the same with my diet. I'm so glad you're feeling better! I can't wait to read your book. You are a great writer.

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Meryl said...

Hi Shauna,

I am totally new to your blog. I found it when two of my favorite bloggers wrote beautiful posts about your book. Now I'm sitting in my office with tears running down my face from your beautiful writing. You have an incredible gift with words and I can not wait to read your book! I'm looking forward to becoming a regular reader of your blog.

At 10:50 AM, Blogger Claire said...

Hi Shauna,
I've been reading your blog for a long time, but have never said hi. I always hope there's something new to read, making my day at work less monotonous. I just thought that I'd share that, while browsing the library catalog, I found that my library system (South-central Wisconsin) already has a copy of your book! And 15 people are already in the queue to check it out! I hope I can make it down to Chicago this weekend to meet you...and of course stop at IKEA ;)
Love your writing,

At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been dealing with a injury that was caused by an overzealous acupunturist that left me eating canned peaches and cool whip for about a year. l5 years later I am dealing with an intolerance to wheat and most grains. Your blog has given me inspiration to create the meals that are most healing for me,with love and gratitude for being alive. I too,cry when I am able to eat greens .When I am able to eat gluten free scones from Whole Foods without bleeding hours later. In Albq,NM the stores and restaurants are slow in responding. Maybe your book will make the openings that you have hoped for in many places. Thankyou.

At 9:31 PM, Blogger Misa said...

Hi Shauna,

I came to your book-signing at the Seattle (Denny Way) Whole Foods book signing. I bought your book and you signed it for me... and that book has already made such a big difference to me. I just want to say thank you for writing and publishing the book. Thank you for your writing your blog. Thank you for saying YES to happiness, instead of focusing on the negative things.

At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a quite the puffy eye problem for six months (similar to how your eyes look in your before photo, but worse) around the same time -- spring and summer of 2005. Also in Seattle. After going to an allergist, then an optometrist, then a dermatologist I was instructed to just use expensive nose sprays and eyedrops for the rest of my life, a completely unsustainable "solution" that knew would leave me feeling just okay but never great. Finally I went to a naturopath and after a blood test I was diagnosed with allergies to dairy, wheat and cane sugar, and once I cut these foods out immediately started feeling less puffy. Yay for Seattle naturopaths! Also, yay for people like you who bring food allergies to the public's attention!

At 3:00 AM, Blogger 70% cocoa said...

I've got tears in my eyes after reading this post. It took me years to realise that I might be celiac. Doctors just wrote me off as someone who had IBS.

In the end I realised whilst training to be a homeopath - and feeling like a bit of a fraud because I was sooo tired all the time and had gut cramps, itchy skin etc - that it must be gluten. Towards the end I was convinced I had ME and my thyroid function had lapsed into hypo. My doctor suggested that I might just be depressed and offered me some thyroxine and anti-depressants. I assured him that I could get myself better without all the medication (being a homeopath and all). So I gave up everything containing gluten (including the Barleycup I had been washing down my breakfast with for years!) and started to feel better almost instantly.

I don't want to undergo the invasive testing for celiac, so I'm happy to remain self diagnosed.

I work with diabetic celiacs and plan to write a book some day for this niche audience. Until then, I'm going to snap up your book and devour it whole!

Thank you so much for your inspiration.

At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Amber said...

This was a joy to read. I just recently started following you and it's awesome to hear your story. My mom has recently gone gluten-free and is loving it.

At 5:58 AM, Blogger Janel said...

your life mirrors my own in so many ways between teaching english to being miserable before diagnose.

his holiness the dalai lama once said that "every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged."

by sharing your life with others via the blog and the book, you're doing exactly what he means. so many people will get much needed help from your words, wisdom, and wonderful gluten-free lifestyle.

i wish you blessings in abundance,


At 1:20 PM, Anonymous KatyBelle said...

Haey Shauna, I just found your site a few weeks ago, and I'm hooked. I'm really impressed by how personal everything here is. The story about how you met the Chef especially touched me. Thank you so much fro sharing all this.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger said...

If you ever plan to visit TURKEY, you can get help from web site. Look at the very right corner of the upper banner you will see CELIAC TURKIYE or GLUTENFREE sign. You can click on either of them. The new page which will br open in English. You can also send an email to the site manager. They are very helpful! Enjoy your trip...


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