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Casey Cromwell

Condition: Celiac Disease and Fibromyalgia

Diagnosed Year: 2013 and 2007

Foods I Love:

Salmon
Sweet Potatoes
Avocado
Dark Chocolate
Smooth Sunflower Butter
Pumpkin Seeds
Dates
Homemade Pesto
Mixed Greens

Foods I Avoid:

Gluten
Eggs
Tomatoes
Corn
Beef

My Story

My story is pretty simple. Girl loves food. Food stops loving girl. And, after months of acid reflux, nausea, weight loss and other symptoms, my doctor called with the diagnosis: celiac. How easily a word I’d never even heard of turned my life upside down.

 

I started eating gluten-free the week of my senior prom, but, even a year and half later, regaining my health is still an ongoing process. In my freshman year of college, I suffered from malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies and an inability to gain weight (even though I was at a dangerously low BMI) and I ended up in the hospital, being fed through a tube that went into my nose and down to my stomach. I struggled with a negative body image after celiac stripped me of 20 pounds. I’ve dealt with the social awkwardness of avoiding gluten while trying to enjoy the typical college lifestyle. Cooking all of my own meals has even become normal after my school cafeteria couldn’t accommodate my dietary needs. Despite the challenges, though, I’ve finally reached a place where I can be happy with my body and my diagnosis. Eating gluten-free isn’t easy, but it has transformed my life for the better.

 

Pre-diagnosis, food was fuel and I didn’t have any interest in exploring the culinary world beyond packaged foods and my “meat and potatoes” diet. Now, I’ve learned to eat more vegetables than a vegetarian – and love it! I’ve learned that avocados make the best accessory to nearly every meal and how to peel a pomegranate without looking like a murder victim. Just like my journey with health, my journey with food had its bumps. Because of the pain that food – even gluten free foods – initially caused my damaged intestines, I used to look at nearly all nutrients with fear. Now, I look forward to eating and trying out new dietary concoctions – as long as they’re gluten-free!

To learn more about Casey and her recipes, visit her at caseythecollegeceliac.blogspot.com.

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