I named this blog Celiac and the Beast because I’ve always loved Disney movies – and Belle was my favorite. She was smart, kind, and looked past people’s appearances to what really mattered. Plus, I think I can sing all the songs from memory. Like Belle – I’ve learned to live with the Beast (the disease/wheat, etc.), but unlike Belle I will probably never learn to love it (hello Stockholm Syndrome much?).
I was diagnosed(ish) with celiac disease in 2009. I’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis, osteopenia, ehlers-danlos hypermobility disorder, endometriosis and adenomyosis, thyroid issues, along with anxiety-based mental health issues like generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and I’m in recovery from an eating disorder (down with diet culture!!). As you can see, autoimmune diseases are needy and like to collect friends. Dairy is also not my friend, in fact – we may be mortal enemies.
I don’t have a ton of digestive symptoms (ew gross, farts!) but I had a lot of weird stuff that the doctors finally put together – anxiety, skin issues, mouth ulcers, gastroparesis/GERD and indigestion/nausea, achy joints, anemia, hernia, moodiness (or that could just be my personality, jury is still out on that one), etc. They thought I was just a weirdo with an ulcer for a year, until I took it upon myself to investigate why I was feeling terrible. I believe that every day is a chance to heal as a celiac – and I’ll never be “cured” but we can all live to manage our symptoms and avoid gluten on a regular basis. Unfortunately – or fortunately – I don’t get the “typical” celiac symptoms when I’ve been glutened. That means I don’t have an immediate migraine or diarrhea. It takes around a week for me to figure it all out after a shady restaurant or food experience. While it’s delayed, my reactions are more neurological related and skin issues, along with long-term nutritional deficiencies and anemia.
While I’ve certainly improved since diagnosis, I wouldn’t consider myself a strong chef or baker. I do try hard, but I’ve definitely thrown away some dishes! I use a lot of gluten-free products to get through my day. I’m always looking for the newest gluten-free food item to review on my page.
Travel and dining out at safe restaurants is my favorite thing – I just wish everyone in the world understood the concept of cross-contamination and proper labeling.
A few years into my diagnosis, I really examined my bathroom and all of my health and beauty products. I can’t believe that I was using a body wash with wheat blatantly in the ingredients! I threw out most of my shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and cosmetics and started fresh. I think you should too!
I live with a great dude who is super into the gluten-free lifestyle – even though he is not gluten-sensitive in the least bit. He’s always in the background, commenting on my product reviews from a non-celiac perspective.
There’s a million gluten-free blogs – I know this. So why did I start mine? A – I needed a hobby, but B – I love trying new products. Listen, I know how hard it is to eat well on a gluten-free diet. I’m not saying that eating GF hamburgers and fries for every meal is acceptable (shaking my fist at you), but I get how hard it is to juice your meals every day, or roast a chicken in your free time. I barely have time to go to the gym, much less shop at Whole Foods for my next extravagant meal. Sometimes a girl just has to microwave a burrito – ya feel me?
Some disclaimers that I have to address as a blogger…
1. Reviews! I call it as I eat it. There is no influence on how we rate a product based on if it was mailed to us by a company, handed out at an expo, or purchased by us at Whole Foods. Yes, some of these products are from the brands or their PR companies – that’s how review sites work! I’ll make sure to let you know on the review where I received the product from. The FTC has rules about these things, and honestly – no one wants to piss the FTC off. I also travel the country and speak at events and conferences. If I am a keynote speaker, conferences or events may waive the fee for me to attend, or pay for my hotel room. A sponsored listing on a post, photo, or guide implies that the sponsor brand has paid for the listing or has paid the cost with product.
2. Opinions! I have them – a lot of them! The opinions on here are my own (and Non-GFBF’s own too). There’s a good chance that we don’t have the same taste (in products, food, favorite travel spots, men, etc.) – so make sure that you take each review with a grain of salt. If you’ve had it and you disagree, please share your opinions! If you agree, share your opinions as well – it gets lonely on here if no one comments!
3. Giveaways! Occasionally we will do giveaways on the website based on products that we’ve received from gluten-free brands, or out of the kindness of our wheat-free hearts. Please follow the instructions listed on the giveaway to assure that you are included in the drawing! Drawings will be held via a random-izing website like Random.org and personal relationships with any fans won’t be taken into consideration. But if my mom wins, I’ll probably redraw because she’s not even gluten-free!
4. Ch-ch-changes! Sometimes brands will change and ingredients may be different than when I reviewed them. Maybe the brand hikes up the prices or maybe it’s discontinued. I will try to review products with the most current information, but if you’re looking at an old review, please take your health into your own hands and check with current ingredients, gluten-free certification, etc.
5. Not yet a Dr.! Sometimes people ask me about medical questions concerning gluten-free living or being a celiac. I am not a doctor, I’ve never played one on TV or even in the theater. Nothing on this website is a professional medical opinion, they’re simply personal opinions based on what I’ve gone through as a celiac. Always consult a real medical professional if you have health concerns or issues about your gluten-free diet (please no chiropractor or naturopath that makes you do stupid things like muscle testing – that’s bullshit and we all know it). And always consult a doctor before altering your diet – especially “going gluten-free” before consulting a professional! I had a great doctor at Mayo Clinic if you’re willing to travel to Phoenix, and there are many celiac centers across the USA that are more than capable of handling even the most difficult case! The statements contained in this website or blog have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration – or my mom for that matter. I’m not responsible for your health – but you definitely should be!
Where else can you find Celiac and the Beast Content?
Here’s everything I’ve written for Gluten Free and More Magazine – both print and online before everything transferred over to Simply Gluten Free without author retribution.
Celiac and the Beast Industry/Press Experience
- Gluten-free lifestyle author – book available in softcover or ebook
- Former Managing Editor – Largest gluten-free magazine in US
- Lifestyle speaker at conference and expos
- Subject matter expert for celiac disease/gluten-free
- Subject matter expert for blogging
- Live TV promotional spots or lifestyle spots:
- GFree & Happy Show: http://gfreeandhappy.com/wordpress/celiac-and-the-beast-gfreehappy-ep-51/
- Beyond Celiac Webinar: https://www.beyondceliac.org/community/webinars/archive/
- 2015 AZTV Morning Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoRya1mFLYY
- 2016 GFFAFest http://celiacandthebeast.com/2016/04/what-is-gluten-what-is-gluten-free-interview-with-kvue-in-austin/
- 2017 GFFAFest http://www.fox7austin.com/good-day/246619951-story
- IdeateTV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpp7X17SVQQ
- 2018 Good Day Columbus: http://myfox28columbus.com/good-day-columbus/gluten-free-food-fest-comes-to-columbus
- My past life was in advertising/PR and corporate market research. Specialties include: account planning, qualitative market research, social media, video gaming/electronics, millennial/teen/tween marketing, senior/Boomer marketing, extreme affluent and wealth marketing, travel & tourism, hotel & leisure, food & beverage, health & nutrition, wellness, specialty diets.
Erica on KGMI
Want to work with me?
Please email CeliacandtheBeast(@)gmail.com for media kit and rates.