A Blogger A Day: Gluten-Free Mike
Why we’re fans: Mike brings a cool metropolitan vibe to gluten-free. He launched a new website and Facebook page in late 2010, complete with fabulous graphics and reviews of restaurants and products that might otherwise slip under the radar. Gluten-free Bloody Mary mix, anyone? I met Mike at NFCA’s 2010 Appetite for Awareness, which made me even more excited when he popped up in an MSNBC articleabout gluten-free dining.
Mike’s Story: I was diagnosed with celiac disease going on 10 years now. It took years (namely, the first 20 or so of my life) of wrong diagnoses and many, many, visits to doctors to finally figure out what was wrong with me. At that time, celiac disease was not really front of mind. I never actually heard of it until I was diagnosed — how things have changed today. In a complete fluke, I also became hyper-allergic to shellfish around the same time – something I had eaten (and loved) without worry my entire life. I got into blogging about living a gluten-free and food allergic lifestyle because I remembered how difficult it was for me when I was first diagnosed. There was not a lot of information readily available, and it was pretty much a lone journey of trial and error in the beginning. Once I fully understood what it meant to be celiac, I vowed never to let it dictate what I can and cannot do. I am an avid traveler and foodie through and though. My perspective on living with celiac is to do your research, understand your disease, and get out there. My mantra is “Living Well, Gluten-Free, No Apologies,” and I live it every day. I will not let celiac define who I am — it is just along for the ride, but I am now in control. Blogging has afforded me the opportunity to meet so many great people from around the world who are at various stages in their celiac journey, and I have learned so much from the information they shared. I thought, why not give something back and share what I have learned over time to hopefully help others on their journey to gluten-free fabulousness?
According to Mike: The most unexpected part of going gluten-free was the weight I gained as my digestive system got back to normal. The doctors kind of left that one out in their Celiac 101 guides. And that was at a point in time where there was not that many great gluten-free replacements. If I was diagnosed today with all the delicious options now available, forget about it.
A taste of Gluten-Free Mike:
- Gluten-Free and Luxury Now Officially Synonymous, Told You So: My post citing the MSNBC.com (and later the TodayShow.com) article where I was interviewed on behalf of Fairmont Hotels worldwide and their new, first of its kind, Lifestyle Cuisine Plus dining program catering to the food allergic/dietary restricted traveler.
- Quintessentially New York Gluten-Free Series: My experience as a celiac and food allergic diner at some of the most iconic New York City restaurants, with new locales and re-visits added regularly.
- Gluten-Free Mike’s Gluten-Free Chicken Fried Chicken Recipe: One of my earlier, and likely most successful, experiments to replicate a gluten-filled favorite from me pre-diagnosis days. Super simple, but still one of my (and my readers’) favorites. While you are there, don’t miss the recipe for my Mom’s famous meatballs that she made gluten-free after my diagnosis.
For more of NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Month celebration, visit www.CeliacCentral.org/awarenessmonth.