Let’s break the ice, so to speak. (Ice is gluten-free, if done right.) Welcome to Glügle Gluten-Free™. My name is Tia Hain, and I am one of the founders and the “face” of Glügle Gluten-Free™. Well, and the “helping hands”, too. We got some behind-the-scenes people, but they don’t like the spotlight as much as I do. Anyway, let’s get to the questions you probably have.
“Hey, Tia! What’s your story?”
I’ve been gluten-free since the summer of 2006. I had been living with sharp, stabbing stomach pain, little painful blisters all over my fingers that made it hard to use my hands, insomnia that only prescription medication could help, etc. I had seen several doctors for each of these things separately, but no one could ever figure it out, let alone connect that they were all from the same source. Then, thank goodness, my husband and I watched a special with Dr. Mark Hyman. Before he was even a big gluten-free advocate, he told a story about a woman who had all of the same symptoms as me. Nothing helped her either until she went gluten-free. LIGHTBULB!
(Unfortunately, I didn’t know about testing for Celiac Disease until after I had been gluten-free (and living pain-free) for quite a few months. I was not willing to go back to eating gluten for a month and feel like crap to have the official diagnosis. So, I am convinced I have Celiac Disease looking at my and my family’s history, but I will never know for sure.)
So the next day, I went to Whole Foods and found their (small at the time) gluten-free section. I bought everything. EVERYTHING! Well, it sure seemed like it was everything. I came home with five different packages of cookies, cake mixes, pancake mixes, pizza crust mixes, etc. I didn’t buy this many cookies and stuff before, but for some reason I felt I needed it all now. Lesson #1 – Don’t go overboard.
And, I used my newfound knowledge as an excuse to eat ice cream and milkshakes everyday because there was nothing else gluten-free on the menu. (Gained 10 pounds in 3 months.) Lesson #2 – Learn to have gluten-free choices with you so you are not at the mercy of someone else’s food.
“What makes you so smart?”
Research, baby, research. (And I got really good grades in school. Yay, me!)
No, seriously. I have been researching this stuff ever since. I come from a family with lots of different food allergies, so I have grown up being alert and diligent about food anyway. My mom is allergic to onions. (Yeah, those are in everything, just about.) My FIL is allergic to peanuts. My SIL is allergic to honey. And, now my oldest son is allergic to pistachios and cashews. Anaphylactic allergy. I carry an Epi-Pen (Auvi-Q, now) around with me everywhere we go. I am so paranoid, but sometimes I forget because it is so unusual.
Plus, since I have been blogging about this gluten-free lifestyle for many years now, it has brought me into contact with some other amazing gluten-free, allergy-free bloggers and friends. We share stories and ideas and help each other out as much as possible. It’s one big ol’ gluten-free community. I really like calling them friends. Real friends.
“Why should I be here and listen to what you have to say?”
Because I am just like you. I have been where you are. I wish I had someone to help me and walk me through everything at the beginning. So I will be that for you.
I am here to help you figure out what to do in restaurants, when you go grocery shopping and how to eat well on a gluten-free diet, not just processed food. Recipes for basic foods to always have available in the house and on the go.
And if you are local to the Monterey area or even just plan on visiting, I can help you in person.
“Where are you? And how does that help me?”
I am in beautiful Pacific Grove, CA, which is in the Monterey Bay area. And that helps you if you are located here or are planning on taking a trip to this awesome area. If you are looking for someone to help you, your family or your restaurant to go gluten-free, I am available. Just drop me an email or give me a call, and we can set up an appointment to go over what you need.
Also, we are creating another website called Gluten-Free Monterey so locals and visitors can know where to go to get safe food when they are in the Monterey area. It’s going to be a database to search to find establishments that are friendly to us gluten-free folks.
“Now, that I know all about you, can I tell you about me?”
You betcha! I want to know. What’s your story? How did you discover you needed to be gluten-free?
And, do you have a “wish”? What’s the one thing you really want o have someone spell-out for you or you wish someone had spelled-out for you at the beginning of your journey?
Write to me at info[at]glugleglutenfree.com or go for the snail mail version at
1120 Forest Avenue, Suite 188, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, if you care to.