Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Julie from Goodie Goodie Gluten-Free. She is a Certified Health Coach whose mission is to show you how to live, love and eat beyond your limitations by dishing up deliciously clean recipes and transformational self-care tools to help you create your new normal.
Learn about her journey with celiac disease, managing gluten-free living and food sensitivities, and mindset and self-care are crucial to healing.
Let’s start by learning more about your story about why you started Goodie Goodie Gluten-Free.
I started Goodie Goodie Gluten-Free because no one wanted to hear all that I had learned about celiac disease and going gluten-free. Once diagnosed I became a sponge for gluten-free knowledge but I was the only one at that time gluten-free out of everyone I knew. So after reading tons of blogs, I decided in 2010 to start blogging. Of course, the entire blog has changed from just gluten-free and processed to whole food gluten-free living. At this point, GGGF is an extension of me. The blog represents me and all my energy as a person but is also a place on the web where the reader – that’s you – can feel at home and completely comfortable about what is going on in their life when they get to my blog.
What was your health journey like when you discovered you had celiac disease? I know when you had your celiac diagnosis things weren’t necessarily smooth sailing. Can you tell me a little about that?
Definitely not smooth sailing (lol) and I know for most diagnosed with Celiac the process is never quite smooth. Many doctors either don’t believe in Celiac or don’t even ever think to test for Celiac. Some doctors think that Celiac only exists in such a small number of people that they would never think to test for Celiac even if the patient insists. Instead, the diagnoses are usually misdiagnosed. For me, I was misdiagnosed with a wheat allergy as a toddler and IBS at 15. We learned years later through testing DECADES later that it was Celiac and not the other things.
Once I was diagnosed I’d say up to the first 7 years post-diagnosis it felt like I had found the end all be all cure – the gluten-free diet. But on that 7th year, other medical issues related to celiac started to come to emerge. You see when I was diagnosed all I was told to do was eat gluten-free. But there is so much more to gluten-free living, then just gluten-free eating. My doctor also never had me heal my gut from years of celiac damage.
Throughout my journey, I have remained really positive. I learned early on that I would not allow the gluten to ruin me or set me back. I am also a self-taught baker so when this happened I went straight to the gluten-free market and bought all the flours so I could start experimenting and not be deprived. I would say getting into the kitchen is what will keep you sane when diagnosed with Celiac. And while I remain positive this does not mean I don’t have the bad days, the frustrating days, the sad days, the inconvenient days, because of course I do. I just look at it differently.
I love how you talk about choosing to look at managing multiple food sensitivities as a way to be creative in the kitchen instead of looking at it as limiting. How has having this mindset help you with healing?
Creativity has replaced difficulty when it comes to food sensitivities. At first, I was constantly thinking of all the things I couldn’t have and crying over the loss. But after a while, I started to realize that this could be a really cool thing. It would give me the change to experiment with ingredients I would never think to use in my own kitchen like dandelion greens, bok choy, all different kinds of plant-based kinds of milk and so on. It became a fun challenge as you see in those cooking shows.
To this day going to the supermarket is one of my favorite activities. I get ridiculously inspired. When I couldn’t have chocolate I ate carob, and developed recipes with carob, I still can’t have bananas, I use cantaloupe in smoothies instead and it’s just as sweet with less sugar. When I couldn’t have sugar I allowed more sugary veggies and fruits instead of honey/maple syrup/white sugar. At one point and for a really long time I had well over 40 food sensitivities. And to this day I still cannot have bananas, all nuts, peanuts, (not coconut thank god), green beans, pineapple, broccoli, corn, most beans, rice, sesame, ginger, eggplant and many, many more. I live with it. In my eyes, there are plenty of other things I can have. I am not deprived. And I am not a victim.
Having a mindset of seeing THIS situation as a learning challenge rather than a limiting one can be really fun. If you realize you are nourishing your body you may not be as mad if you look at it that way.
The truth is, is that food sensitivities come and go. Some stay. Instead of being mad at life, accept that this is our new healthy and go from there. That mindset is a game-changer. This experience also teaches you how to travel with your food issues, and dine out with your food issues and even bring foods for holidays. I have definitely learned throughout this experience.
Self-care is such an important part of healing. What are some of your favorite self-care practices?
Oh, so many! I have a full toolbox. That’s what I call it. I have gathered over the years so of my favorites and they go into a toolbox in my mind. When self-care is needed I choose the one I want to do. The way I see it is the way you see it. You cannot heal anything without a self-care practice.
1. Guided meditations
3. Deepak Chopra meditations
4. Gabby Bernstein meditations
5. Amanda Frances meditations
6. Epsom salt baths
7. Turmeric mask for acne
8. Aloe mask for acne
9. Olive oil mask for hair and scalp
10. Restorative yoga at home to really good soothing music
11. Spending time in nature – even if it’s a patio and you’re checking your phone – do it in nature.
12. CBD for sleeping
13. Crime shows to get out of your own head / Chicago PD, Law & Order SVU, Criminal Minds, and all Netflix crime shows.
14. Decaf green tea, parsley juice when sick
15. Listening to health podcasts, reading health blog newsletters is a great way to feel connected so I read many
16. Cold compresses and 1-2 hour meditations for migraines
18. When all else fails – surrender. Then surrender some more. This part is about acceptance. When all else fails, ask yourself if you are really accepting that this is the new normal. Because the stress may just be you not accepting your divine life purpose.
Come back next week for part 2. We will talk about gluten-free cooking!
Let us know where we can find you!
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Amanda is a pizza loving registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in mindfulness and gut health. She quickly realized that gut health goes beyond the gut; it is also about honoring our gut feelings. She is the creator of The Mindful Gut™ which uses science and strategy to help people improve their gut health.