Sunday, November 22, 2009


In a small 1950's apartment, with a green and yellow-tiled kitchen, with an oven half the size of any normal one, I made the decision to live gluten free.  After years of explaining away, covering up, and coping with a number of uncomfortable, and sometimes painful, symptoms, I shed a few tears for my former life and steeled myself to embrace my new one.

In the year or so prior, my symptoms significantly impacted my daily living - more than just a few times a month or for a really bad week here and there.  My symptoms kept me on my toes on a daily basis.

No one should have to live this way, I thought.  I had exhausted all of the resources at the school clinic without a clear answer, but to me, all signs pointed to Celiac disease, or some form of gluten intolerance. 

So, there I sat in my dimly-lit living room in March of 2008 and took a picture of the St. Patrick's day cake I was eating.  I decided it would be the last morsel of gluten-containing food I would eat (if I had my way).

From that moment on, I was gluten free; I dove in, head first.

I spent countless hours devouring information presented by others on blogs, forums, and product websites.  I rid my kitchen, my medicine cabinet, and my bathroom of anything even suspected to contain gluten.  I went shopping for new pots and pans, for gluten free flours and pastas, and new shampoo.  And, I won't lie - many of those hours were spent frustrated and confused.  But I kept going.

The blogs of others were my lifeline; the invaluable knowledge others passed on about their own experiences helped me travel the path to my new life, even when I couldn't see where that path was.  My story is long and winding, not unlike many others' I have read.  And you will find it here.  That is why I started this blog - to map my own path, to record my transition to a gluten free life, to hopefully be a light in someone else's dark living room as they search for answers. Through each other's mistakes and triumphs, we become better equipped to navigate this new gluten free life.

My name is Lauren Denneson and I am gluten free.  I play with my food and experiment more than ever - in the kitchen and in life. I reject the notion that gluten free means being restricted and I began my story with an audacity, a daring if you will, to thrive.

If I may quote Charles Bukowski - we are here to laugh at the odds and to live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us.