The Gluten Free Collective
A Celiac Series - Part One
Updated: Jul 6, 2020
It’s Sara here! Diagnosed celiac and Co-founder of The Gluten Free Collective. You can find my story in our first blog, Hi! We’re the Gluten Free Fest Girls! I’ve created A Celiac Series to let you in on The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But
the Truth. It’s a series of blogs and social media ‘lives’ about my journey, some of the obstacles I’ve overcome and the struggles I’m still enduring. I’ve been hesitant in sharing my whole story, but want to support those who might be experiencing something similar. We are in this together!
When I was diagnosed with celiac disease over 9 years ago, it took the doctors several years and many tests. I stuck to a strict gluten free diet and embraced my new lifestyle. I moved twice, switched careers, and gave birth to two beautiful boys.
In 2018 after being off on maternity leave with my youngest son I returned to work. So much had changed…a new work location, a new supervisor and altered responsibilities. I like challenges, but the commute clashed with my family’s obligations. With a husband who travels for work, I was stretched thin. Like advocating for my health years prior, I advocated for work, life, family balance.
In 2018/2019 the organization I worked for hired a consultant to complete an organizational review and I was let go in April 2019…just over a year ago.
While still working, I requested to use vacation to attend a Mindfulness Course. Now, out of a job I forced myself to attend this workshop. It ran in the afternoon, one day a week. As I sat in the first class, I could not help but think…what am I doing here??
This is not for me!! and when I told others what course I was attending, I received weird looks and awkward silences.
Throughout the workshop I learned to relax, to listen to my body, practiced yoga, learned how to complete body scans and how to mediate.
For those of you who know me…I’m always on the go, and can’t sit still…and if I do, I fall asleep. After a couple weeks I looked forward to going…it was MY time!!
I learned how to live in the moment and taught myself to SLOW DOWN! I got into a routine of dropping my oldest off at school and enjoyed a slow walk home with my youngest. I noticed that when I slowed down, that I was mindful of the events happening around me. The birds singing, the two cats who greeted us at the house down the street, counted worms on the way home, inspected caterpillars, and watched an army of ants for hours. I met a lot of amazing people, some who have become friends and who comprise my support system. I also started a consulting position with an organization who allows flexibility with my family's lifestyle.
A year ago this July, I started experiencing gluten symptoms. I had diarrhea that would come without any warning and would take my son’s potty with me on long trips…you never know where you’ll find a bathroom…or if you'll make it.
I decided to direct my passion into the 1st Annual Gluten Free Fest and attended courses at the small business centre.
I started documenting what I was eating, tried to cut out greasy foods and paid close attention to potential cross contamination. Nothing seemed to work, and the pain was unbearable....