How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back

the cover of my book

There are certain moments in a woman’s life that she will remember forever. The first time she hit a baseball over the left-field wall. The first time she had her heart broken by a nerdy guy in glasses or a dashing basketball player an impossible four years older than her. The first time she talked about sex with her girlfriends, with knowing innuendo instead of giggles behind her hands.

The moment when she moves out of her parents’ house. The first time she flies to New York. The day she lands the job she has always wanted.

The first time she meets the love of her life. The moment when he proposes. The moment she finds her wedding dress, anticipating the day when she marries him.

And for me, along with those memorable moments, I can now add one that I know I will remember the rest of my life: the time I first saw my book on Amazon.

* * *

As a kid, I always dreamt 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.

The characters who thrilled me most when I read my stacks of books, one after the other, on long summer days? Of course, it was the plucky girls who later became heroines.

I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder, read all those Little House and Village and Plum Creek books in one big gulp, devouring all the words I could find. I loved her moxie, even though I didn’t know that word then. I loved how she battled all the boys on the playground, and stood up for justice with her small fists and big mouth. I have to say that all the love stuff with Manly sort of bored me as a child. Those seemed like far less interesting adventures than her childhood on the prairie had ever been. (Um, I understand all that love stuff better now.)

I identified with Harriet the Spy, hunched into her hooded sweatshirt, furtively writing in her little black notebook. I would have done that too, if my mother had let me prowl around the neighborhood by myself. But the idea of being able to sneak into apartment buildings and crawl into dumbwaiters was as much of a fantasy for me as the idea of living on the untamed prairie in the 19th century. I did once own a orange-hooded sweatshirt, though. Mostly, I wore it in my room, while I read.

They say that every girl goes through a horse phase. Not me. (Other than reading Misty of Chincoteague, of course.) Along with a small bevy of girls around the globe, I fell in love with Jo instead. Especially when she rejected that sap, Laurie, and forged ahead to craft solidly written stories, published in small magazines. When she first saw her name in print, I wanted to cheer. That’s going to be me some day, I said to myself. Hell with the sappy boys — I want to write books.

I wrote on little scraps of paper I hid under my mattress. And felt like Francie Nolan, from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, who knew how to make happiness from a bowl of ice cubes, two cracked peppermints, a book from the library, and the shaded space of the fire escape on a hot day. I tried to make happiness for myself by watching everyone around me, like she did.

Any freedom I ever felt as a kid was the freedom I found in the pages of books. I devoured them, one after the other, like the potent nectar that some Tibetan monks taste to reach enlightenment. Anything would do. Manuals on how to fix cars, long before I could drive one. The sides of cereal boxes. Pamphlets slid under the door by pairs of Mormon men dressed in identical ties. Words transported me out of the house for a few moments. But mostly, I read books by authors who had once longed for the world the way I did. People who could show me worlds I didn’t know yet.

I gamboled through Victorian England, and trudged through New England winters, and gazed on the plains of Africa. By the time I was eleven, my three favorite authors were Dorothy Parker, John Cheever, and Somerset Maughm. You do the math. I was a strange little child, perpetually reading in the semi-darkness, long after the light had faded from the room.

So, 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’m marrying him.). Holding the cover of my book in my hands? And now, seeing it for pre-order on the world’s largest book site?

Well, that little girl is cheering, right now.

* * *

Originally, the title of my book was going to be A Life Beyond Wonder Bread. Whenever I told anyone that, a smile formed on her lips. It made people laugh. I love that.

But the problem is — we couldn’t use that title. You see, Wonder Bread may have gone out of business in the US, but the name and the bread were bought by a corporation in Mexico called Bimbo Grupo.

They probably wouldn’t like the stories of horrified nostalgia for all the godawful processed food we all ate back then, and how it was silently making me ill. My publishers, wisely, decided we had to start again.

Curses.

Immediately, the good people in the marketing department decided that the book should be called Gluten-Free Girl, after the name of this website. At first, I resisted. I want to be known as a woman, not a girl. But, after a brief time, I relented. I did choose the name, originally. I like alliteration. And there’s something timeless and childlike about my journey, and how I live today. In a strange way, this is a story of growing up. And so. That title.

The subtitle? Oh my. That took awhile longer. I had backs of envelopes and pages of yellow lined paper and little strips torn from the newspaper with sudden inspiration. I don’t remember them all now. Some of them I advocated for, strenuously. They seemed vital at the time.

After being told no, and the marketing department countering with something I just couldn’t accept, I took a rest. I thought about other things. And then I called Tita.

Tita is one of my oldest, dearest friends. She has enough common sense for ten women, plus two. Whatever she says, I remember, and it changes me. She has known me for fifteen years, and she has watched this entire journey unfold. When I asked her for a subtitle, she thought for a moment, and then said: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back.

There it was.

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.

(The other part of the subtitle? And How You Can Too? Well, let’s just say that I didn’t choose it, and I couldn’t seem to make it go away. Make of it what you want.)

* * *

For a while, I felt a little squeamish about marketing the book boldly. As much as I love sharing stories and writing here, I’m actually quite uncomfortable with trumpeting myself. I’d rather let people find what they will, come back here if they want. To tell truth, the book has been up on Amazon for a couple of weeks now. I haven’t announced it until now.

However, here’s how I feel now, after much writing and thinking and talking with other people. If I were just writing a cookbook, or a book of essays, I might not shout from the rooftops: my book is for pre-sale! I would probably allow the publishers to do their thing, and I would just do what I could to sell some copies.

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.

As I write this, I am sitting on the couch in our living room, the same couch where I lay for hours every day, two years ago this month. For months on end, I was shattered with tiredness, shrieking with headaches, unable to eat, wracked with pain. This time of crisis followed years of lassitude and mild depression, grumbly medical problems and feeling removed from myself. I never knew what it was like to feel good.

After I was diagnosed, and stopped eating gluten, what has changed in my life? Everything. Absolutely everything.

I feel great. I eat well. I found my way. I dove into my passions and came up grinning. I met the Chef. I know real love. I know myself. I love the world more than ever before.

And I am determined to bring this chance for transformation to as many people as I can.

One out of 100 people in this country has celiac disease. 97% of them do not know it.

Think of the good we could do in this world with the energy that will be released when all of us know who we are, and we are healthy.

And so, I’m going to be singing this book from the rooftops. Everyone I meet knows someone who cannot eat wheat, or gluten, or other foods. We are all touched by this.

We are all in this together.

I hope, for these reasons, that every one of you buys this book. And that you tell your friends.

There, I said it out loud.

* * *

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.

69 comments on “How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back

  1. Food Allergy Queen

    Shauna,

    I can’t imagine how it must have thrilled you to down to your bones to see your book on Amazon. Jo March would be so proud of you. And so are we!

    You can show the world that allergen-free does not mean deprived. Good health is a glorious thing that must be shared…rock on girlfriend.

    PS. My pre-order is already in. :)

  2. ren girl

    I am buying it! & I am buying a copy for my mother, who is gluten-free, & my neighbor, who is also gluten-free. We have tea with her every so often & when I was younger I would get frustrated that I couldn’t make cookies or cakes for tea time with her. Well, I can now.
    I am so so happy for you & so thrilled to see a book with your name on it. :)

    –kenna

  3. astillac

    <333

    And now I have a nicer picture to put on my desktop. I had blown up the little image that was on Amazon.

    Yeah, it replaced an immaculately frosted cupcake. ^_^

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this book.

  4. Karianne

    Good for you, Shauna. I only started reading you last week, so coming in this late in the game kind of feels like cheating, but regardless,

    Congratulations!

  5. Hannah

    Your writing never fails to astound me. I will get right on pre-ordering my copy as soon as possible.

    You’re an inspiration, Shauna.

    –Hannah

  6. Pille

    Well done, Shauna, I’m very excited for you! The cover looks so warm and inviting, and I love how you’ve managed to get your future surname on the cover:-)

  7. shuna fish lydon

    I only know second hand from my mother how it feels to see your name on the cover of a book, printed and being sold.

    Congratulations dear girl. And here here to many, many more.

    I think I’ll wait for my signed copy in July.

    I have a feeling it will be well worth the wait!

  8. Gemma

    Your book will be sitting in my Amazon basket eagerly awaiting the publication date. Congratulations! Is it going to be published in the UK as well?

  9. Suzanne

    Can’t wait to get a copy. Is it being released in Ireland? I don’t have a credit card to buy from Amazon!You’re just brilliant. Wishing you all the success you deserve.

    Suzanne

  10. SouleMama

    Oh, I’m so so so so very happy for you Shauna. With all my heart, this is so very exciting. Congratulations, right now, on a GORGEOUS cover to YOUR boook!!! I, too, anticipate the Amazon day to be one of the big ‘book moments’ for me — well, that and getting an ISBN number, and then the big release party we’ll have. Okay, I guess it’s *all* exciting. ;)

    Revel in it!

  11. madre-terra

    Living with an artist as I do and selling his work has opened me up to think often upon the ‘creative process’. When I am selling his creations I am often asked things like, “Where did this come from?” or “How does he think up all those sayings?“
    Once, at one of our first shows, Michael left the booth to go and get a cup of coffee. A gentleman walked into the booth. Stood there pondering and looked me directly in the eye and asked, “How do you sleep at night?” My reply was, “Quite well thank you next to the man who creates this artwork.“
    Your sharing of your creative process is a gift to so many people, Shauna. I have found that a lot of people on this planet want to be creative and don’t know how. They are out there searching for answers and inspiration. Thank goodness there are people out there like you (and Michael) and all the other artist types setting examples for a creative humanity.
    In our house books are sacred things. We hold librarians in particular esteem. There’s nothing like being lost in a really good book…yeah you know exactly what I mean.
    Keep on writing, girl.

  12. Les

    I love the photograph on the cover! And I will eagerly tell all about your book. How exciting! Your excitement is quite contagious, btw. Since today’s post speaks so much about books and reading, I would love to mention it on my blog with a link here and to Amazon. Would that be alright? Oh, and, yes, I’m pre-ordering, too. :)

  13. ChupieandJ'smama

    How totally exciting!!! Congratulations! What an exciting time for you. A wedding, a book on Amazon. You must be over the moon. And please, trumpet away, My Dear. If you don’t blow your own horn, who will?
    My pre-order is in, and now I’m going to sit here and wait impatiently for it to arrive. Now I just need to get the author to sign my copy :)

  14. carol

    I live far, far away in the Philippines.
    I don’t have celiac.
    I hardly cook.
    But I do love your blog and your writing and your enthusiasm and you passion and I look forward to chewing on your stories, one word at a time, very very soon :-)

  15. Michèle

    Shauna, congrats on realizing a dream. The cover is lovely and it matches the title beautifully.
    I’m thrilled for you!

  16. Lisa

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now. You have a way with writing that I really enjoy. I just preordered your book as well. Congrats!!!

  17. Andrea SK

    It looks amazing!

    And it’s up on the Canadian site too. I’ll be ordering one for sure.

    Congrats!

  18. Slacker Mom

    Congratulations.

    A dream actualized.

    That is a wonderful thing to witness.

    I am so happy for you, and the little girl inside that got to see this happen.

  19. Amaranth_Sorghum

    The title is perfect. I am amazed and thrilled. I can’t wait to see you on Martha Stewart, and I bet that you will be on that show one day!! Personally, you have helped me to look on the brighter side of living gluten-free. Honestly, I felt sorry for myself before reading your blog. Thank you for writing about your experience.

  20. Lisa

    Yay! I just wishlisted it and will order it for my 39th birthday (October 7). Congrats!

    I read the same way you did. My daughter does now. While I’m not yet a “writer” the way you’re a writer, words mean everything to me and I write a lot. Words’re as evocative as sunsets or good smells or the perfect chord change in a Bear Quartet song. Your writing does all of that and now that’s being recognized and affirmed. Brava!

    Also? I really like the cover. And I don’t mind the subtitle, though as a writer I know how it is when you just want to ditch something and someone is hanging on to it.

  21. Ali & Evan

    Hoooray! You are making the little girl in me tap dance with delight. Congratulations; I feel full and satisfied thinking of your success.

  22. Kim

    Shauna,

    I’ve been lurking around your site for a while, but I just had to comment. You could have been writing about me. I devoured (still do!) books…I ate them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and the snacks in-between!! Like you, I was transported…for me, it was a way out of the dim reality of my childhood, which I am still grappling with.
    Thank you for writing this blog and your book. Thank you for sharing your journey and your spirit with us. You understand the power of words that transform us and set us free. I’m off to pre-order your book…I already know this one will be a keeper (something the library does not allow!!).

  23. Ali & Evan

    Hoooray! You are making the little girl in me tap dance with delight. Congratulations; I feel full and satisfied thinking of your success.

  24. Ali & Evan

    Hoooray! You are making the little girl in me tap dance with delight. Congratulations; I feel full and satisfied thinking of your success.

  25. Ali & Evan

    Hoooray! You are making the little girl in me tap dance with delight. Congratulations; I feel full and satisfied thinking of your success.

  26. Tanaya

    Brava!!!! Dear, sweet Shauna,

    You have done it. You have found a way to have the adventure, the book, and the boy. You have done it with grace and I am so happy for you.

    …on my way to pre-order right now.

  27. Bengali Chick

    Girl you should have told us earlier so we could have ordered it ASAP. I’m so excited. This was so fast! BRAVO!!!

  28. Amy

    I cried as I read your post — it was so moving. There are so many little girls, reading the same books, staying up late with a flashlight under the covers so they can read one more chapter. The trick is not squashing their spirits, and supporting them and letting them grow up while retaining that wonder. I’m so glad you were able to do that. You always move me with your posts — they speak to that little girl (or boy for the men reading) in all of us. The little person we use to be — with the grand thoughts and dreams and boundless optimism (before we got all pragmatic, serious, and cynical!). I’m trying my best to hang onto that little person!

    I can’t wait for your book!

  29. Jess

    Congratulations!!!!!!
    What wonderful and exciting exciting news, you are truely deserving of your success!

  30. Claire

    The book is beautiful! I know you must be flying like a bird! So excited for you.

    My dad read the Little House on the Prairie books to me at bedtime when I was little. I loved them but think we actually stopped when we got to the Almonzo book. Who cares about him…I wanted more “half-pint.”

  31. Tea

    The plucky girls who later became heroines? I think I might know one:-)

    Congratulations, my dear. I am thrilled for you!

  32. s'kat

    Reading your web site has been a fun, giddy, introspective and life-embracing journey. I can only imagine what it will be like in print.

  33. Sarah McColl

    It feels so, so awesome, to be so, so happy for someone! Congratulations! You should be so very proud of you.

    When you come to New York for your book tour, will you please please please come on Pink of Perfection?

  34. APKimberMama

    Shauna,

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your blog before, although I’ve been reading regularly for a long time. I am so glad that you wrote your book and can hardly wait to read it.

    My little boy has celiac disease (and multiple food allergies as a result of his leaky gut). Because doctors like to rule out things like food allergies before confirming something that you know (it’s obvious J-Baby has celiac) I got allergy tested too. I’m allergic to wheat, and barley, and rye, and oddly yeast (plus more…leaky guts cause big problems). True allergies.

    Yet I believe it goes farther. Odd symptoms, odd problems; fatigue, depression, insomnia, irritable bowel, interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, TMJ…and more. I think now that I’ve always had a problem with gluten (hence my intolerance of casein), we just didn’t know it, and I was naive enough to think that I couldn’t have celiac because I wasn’t rail thin.

    I hope your book helps to spread the word. 1 in 100; that’s a lot of people. My son has celiac disease, I would say I have celiac, I’m almost positive my mother and brother have celiac as well (although they won’t listen).

    The gluten free journey is exciting…today is my birthday and I feel like a huge puzzle piece has shifted into place. The future will be fantastic…and gluten free.

  35. ByTheBay

    Congrats, Shauna — Let me know if you end up in NY for a book tour and I’ll be sure to meet up with you.

  36. Dianne

    Well done Shauna!
    When is the English book promo? I’d like a signed copy too!

    My 21 year old son is now having trouble with gluten, this would be brilliant for him

    :)

  37. Alyce

    I haven’t pre-ordered only because I’m hoping you’ll do something neat like sign a bunch if we buy directly from you. Is that possible?

  38. Ellen

    Mazel Tov! On this and all your achievements, your wonderful accomplishments. We are all so proud of you and wish you much continued success. How fantastic for you and for all of us, too. I can’t wait to get my copy.

  39. Eric

    Congrats! I work at PCC and had a great conversation with a mom whose daughter turned purple after having mac and cheese for the third time. Needless to say, I recommended your site and various bakeries/stores around Seattle.

    I came to your site recently, but I refresh your page daily, hoping to catch a bit of new work or a photo. Keep it up!

  40. Jen

    Oh, just try to keep my little mitts off this book. Just try.

    I am so thrilled and proud for you that I don’t have the words for it — just tears. (Good ones. :) You are a wonder, my dear. You truly are.

  41. terry

    what a great cover! and i can only imagine how thrilling this is for you. i’m thrilled, and it’s not my accomplishment!

    i can’t wait to read it.

  42. Beth Shea

    Shauna, Congratulations on a well-deserved triumph! You are a rock star, and I know your book will be a great success. I can’t wait to read it!

  43. nellbe

    Congrats Shauna, as a fellow coeliac, I identify so much with the subtitle of the book, as I know others will too. It is indeed perfect and I am waiting until I get to the states to get my copy.

    I felt like life really began for me when I was diagnosed,somehow I get the feeling is was a little bit like that for you too.

    Congrats again. :) and have lots of fun on the book tour.

  44. ley

    Okay, I’ve been “lurking” for ages and could never find the right thing to say or the right time to comment, but I as read this post, something just swelled and I had to say to you: Congratulations!

    My mother is allergic to gluten, and in searching for recipes to make for her, I stumbled upon this site. I feel like Alice, because a whole new, completely different world was revealed to me– one which I am not going to be able to leave, even if I wanted (which I don’t!) since I have to now go gluten-free, as well.

    Congratulations, and thank you.

    –Ashley

  45. Mia

    I’m so happy for you. That just about sums it up. I pre-ordered the book today — October seems so far away. Thank goodness for your blog!

  46. Lea Ray

    Shauna,

    I have ordered your book and I am very patiently awaiting it’s arrival in October. I know it will be just as wonderful as your posts are.

  47. Jodi

    Hi Shauna,
    I saw the cover and my first thought was “Perfect” You chose wisely (again and again). I love it and I will be purchasing at least two copies.
    Congratulations!!! Thank you again for sharing your joy.
    Jodi

  48. Kelly

    well, hott dang! and congratulations! and I’m going to buy this book the minute I get home from work. I’ve been dealing with terrible IBS for about two months and have found your site and story and words and joyfulness to be extremely helpful as I eliminate the glutens and sugars. After almost two weeks of dietary changes I’m feeling so much better. I can’t wait to read the book!

  49. An artist name... Danielle

    Shauna,
    “Congratulations”…love the title! You deserve to give yourself a BIG hug, for an outstanding accomplishment…you have many gifts that are blessing you, they will keep you confident, happy knowing who you are and how you’re enjoying life.
    From the sideline, I have admired your incredible ability to express yourself and show me through your talent of writing, what a passionate, kindhearted, and humorous person you are. You make me wonder…”Wow, what adventures I would have, if I knew you growing up!” I am going to enjoy buying your book. Oh…by the way, October is a great month for the release of your book, just in time for my birthday/20th Wedding Anniversary.

    Thanks for sharing your stories.

  50. Deborah Dowd

    Congratulations and thanks for sharing your excitement with us! It is such a joy to read your posts, and I know your book must be fabulous. And even greater kudos for getting healthy and finding a way to share with others so openly. It is a gift.

  51. Shauna

    Thank you, everyone. I really have no words to express this (i know, this is funny, for the amount of words I spill onto the page, right?).

    Your support and good wishes and everything you have written here. Thank you for your enormous, shouted voice of confidence. I am honored beyond words.

    And I can’t wait to be done with editing the manuscript for the last time, so I can put this book in your hands!

    As to particular questions.…

    Gemma, I don’t know if it will be published in the UK. However, the latest version of the catalog copy I received from my publishers included a price in pounds. So.…

    Suzanne, I really don’t know about Ireland! I sure hope so, as I know there is a large celiac population in Ireland. And I’m a good chunk Irish, so I would love to be published there!

    Amanda,

    I just can’t wait to put your book on pre-order, my dear.

    Tea,

    Thank you, my friend. That was such a sweet thing to say.

    Sweetpea,

    I don’t know the details of the book tour yet. There is so much happening at once! When I do know the details, and can finalize them, I will let everyone know, to be sure!

    Sarah,

    Oh my goodness, I’d love to come on Pink of Perfection! Can I bring the Chef?

    Eric,

    I’m so glad that mother had PCC to turn to! And thank you for recommending my site. In fact, I’ll be teaching gluten-free cooking classes at PCC soon. Maybe I can meet you there?

    Brianna,

    Again, I don’t know yet. But a good part of the Chef’s family lives in Colorado, so we sure hope we’re going there!

    Thank you again, everyone. I feel like part of such a wonderful community. You all mean the world to me.

  52. stacy

    congrats, and thank you for writing your book. When it’s sold places besides Amazon, I’ll certainly buy a copy (I’ve had issues with their cruddy customer service). My daughters and I have not been officially diagnosed, but we cannot tolerate even the tiniest trace amounts of gluten in our diet (just wish I’d known it before I was in my late 30’s). I have found that the hardest thing about being gluten-free is other people’s lack of understanding, like that other mom who unknowingly reached across my daughter’s plate to pour cheez-its on her kid’s plate at a picnic, and many other instances just like that which have caused my family such grief. thanks again! I hope the whole world hears about and reads your book!!

  53. Linda

    I am lucky enough not to have food allergies but I come to your site because it makes me happy. It is a pleasure to read of your happiness in life. Of course, falling in love completes a life, and I always enjoy reading about food and its preparation. I’m going to be one of the many to buy your book as well. Congratulations!

  54. Susan

    Shauna,

    I was dianosed with celiac in November and my friend sent me your blog. It’s been a mainstay ever since. I am also a writer who felt a kinship with Jo and also I am in love with a chef who I also call “the chef” and makes me yummy gluten-free things as well.

    Congradulations on your book, I am ordering a copy.

    Your writing is both funny but also intimate, thank you for sharing your world with us.

    susan

  55. LynnaeEtta

    Shauna,

    My story takes some time to tell, so I’ll save it for another time but, suffice it to say that your book looks beautiful. I saw the subtitle first and thought, “What a lovely title”. As I scrolled down the page and the full cover came into view, my eyes filled with tears. Something about the photo and hanging on to “gluten free girl” took my breath away and made me cry. Reading your blog has helped me learn that a diagnosis of celiac disease is not a death sentence but rather a chance to appreciate more fully the wonderful food I can have. Thank you for sharing your passion for food, life, and love so openly, in a way that inspires hope and joy.

    I can’t wait to read the book!

    Peace,
    LynnaeEtta

  56. firefly

    It’s really weird, and yet not weird at all, that food can have such an effect, but when I gave up gluten and casein I felt exactly the way you described: freed. I became a happier, friendlier, more energetic person, and even though I still dream that I’m eating cheddar cheese occasionally (no lie!), I would never go back. I’m doing things now (including blog and fiction writing) that I somehow couldn’t conceive as possible in the past.

    I wonder what does it? Is it just getting rid of the food substances that make you feel awful, or the realization that life really can turn around, or a little bit of both?

    I will look for your book (Harriet the Spy is still one of my all-time favorites!), and congratulations on getting married too. My sister had the best wedding I’ve ever been to, in a restaurant, with a dress from Sears, and the thing that made it so wonderful was how much she and her husband loved each other and wanted to get married (even after 13 years of living together).

    Life is too short for anything less!

  57. Easy 2 Digest

    i was refered to your blog by venture venture. congrats on your book! the slogan you wrote ‘how i found the food that loves me back’ i can totally relate. most days i feel like food hates me. i to am trying my best to change this relationship into something positive! check out my blog for my journey. i’m still new to all this.