My name is Jen and I am a stay at home mom, living with my husband and 2 boys, just north of Boston. I started the Family Gluten Free blog as a way to share the information and experiences I gather, as my family and I live a whole foods based, gluten-free life. I hope to provide a resource for other families who are gluten-free in and outside my community.
I have always loved to cook and enjoy learning about food and nutrition. This became a greater passion of mine when my son was diagnosed with a wheat allergy at 3 years old. It was amazing to see how much his life improved when we removed wheat from his diet. However, as a mom concerned for my son’s health and nutrition, I was overwhelmed with the responsibility of having to relearn how to feed him and my family. A 3 year old is hard enough to feed, now remove one of the main go-to ingredients?!
I had originally gone gluten-free with my son to be supportive. I couldn’t drive up to Dunkin’ Donuts and order a bagel, then tell my poor 3-year old, “This is Mommy’s”. Also, how could I make a gluten-free and non-gluten-free version of every meal?? However, after going gluten-free, I felt great. I felt less bloated, more alert, more energetic, and I quickly lost 5 pounds without even trying. All of a sudden, I didn’t want to eat wheat, I didn’t like how it made me feel.
Our family went along the same path as most who go gluten-free. We started out with gluten-free bagels, gluten-free crackers, and any replacement product from the grocery store we could find to fill the gaps of our normal diet. However, I struggled to be satisfied with the nutritional content and quality of these products and started engrossing myself with cookbooks, websites, blogs, magazines, and anything I could get my hands on, to get educated about how to be gluten-free, but eat well. When I say “eat well”, I mean foods that are healthy, but also taste great. I want my family to eat nutrient rich foods that they love and that our friends and family can enjoy without even considering whether or not it has wheat. I can’t say that those “replacement products” don’t exist in our home, but I choose carefully and we rely on them as little as possible.
What inspired me to start this blog is all the gluten-free or aspiring gluten free people I meet. It is almost like a club. When I meet another family who is gluten-free, we instantly bond over everything from the stress of “the cake” at birthday parties to what brand of pasta tastes the best. As I continued to educate myself, I began to gather this wealth of knowledge that is constantly evolving and growing. So, why not try to share it? I hope my blog provides both a resource for you and your family as you embark or continue with your gluten free life and a feeling that there is a community of others like you who can help make your gluten-free life tastier and healthier.