Friday, March 2, 2018

This is my why....

Recently I have been posting about taking over my moms gluten free baking business.  I am super excited about this opportunity and this is why....

For as long as I can remember my mom suffered from severe stomach issues, crippled with pain and unable to perform daily tasks.  Once my mom decided it was definitely from something she ate she started to narrow it down, never did she expect it was one of her (like many others) very favorite foods! After living on apple sauce, many trips to the doctors and numerous tests they told her it was celiac disease and the only way to heal that is a "gluten free diet".  My mom came home and told us and we were like .."A what diet?  what the heck is gluten?"  We had no idea what that was, we never even heard the word.

So the label reading started and the frustration began.  Twenty five years ago there was no "contains wheat..." at the end of the ingredient list and certainly nothing was labeled gluten free.  After going through the phone book and finding a health food store my mom was lucky enough to find a product that was "gluten free".  She was beyond thrilled...well, until she tasted it.

The product was terrible - tasted like cardboard, horrible texture, and very expensive.  Well, my mom was not about to deal with this - remember baked goods are her favorite!  So she started doing research, asking lots of questions and pulled out her baking equipment.

She baked and baked and baked until she got it just right.  There were a lot of failures, but that only got her one step closer to success!  I will never forget when we tried donuts and the "magic ingredient" decided to spread and grow and took over the entire counter, a failure we will never forget.

Well, she did get it right!!!  Soon after that, Grandma learned her kitchen was soon going to be filled with grand kids wanting to scarf up her delicious creations.  Mom decided it was time to hit the streets and supply her local great tasting products to retail locations and restaurants.

Fast forward to 2018, most of her kids and grand kids now follow a gluten free lifestyle, products are now labeled gluten free, ingredient list contain the words "contains wheat",  support groups are everywhere (she also started the Lancaster support group), and celiacs and non celiacs enjoy her products.

So, why me?  Although my mom will never fully retire and will always have a say in what happens she is ready to hand over the torch and let us "young ones" take over!!  I am proud, honored and I hope I can do as much for the gluten free community that she has.

I will serve the gluten free community as an advocate to getting safe products for us all to eat, to teach restaurants the proper way to avoid cross contamination, and to help the newly diagnosed to understand that living a gluten free lifestyle is not a punishment.  We are the lucky ones, the ones who can heal with food - my mantra, my favorite quote, "let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" Hippocrates had it right.

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