Finding (Gluten) Freedom Stories: Barb

Finding (Gluten) Freedom Stories are about YOU!

These posts feature the experiences, advice, and questions of people (just like you and me) living gluten-free—they are intended to provide both insight and support for members of our gluten-free community, so please comment below if you would like to answer one of the questions or discuss your own experience.

Meet Barb!


Barb has been living gluten free since 2004.

“Living this new normal is such a joy when it is followed.”

Why are you living gluten-free?

Because I have to. I have guttural and histamine reactions to the normal wheat, rye, barley, but also to about 20 other foods. Lost 19 lbs in just under two years while my doctors tried different pills, etc. on me.

How long have you been living gluten-free?

Since late 2004, when my Naturopath, not my MD’s, figured out the why’s of what was going on.

Is your entire kitchen gluten-free?

Not entirely g.f. as my husband does most of the cooking. But over the years he has learned not to share pans, utensils, etc. I do almost 5 days of cooking on Sundays, freeze it for eating at work or at dinner.

(Note from Beth: I’d love to see a sample menu!)

Do you bake? Bake from scratch?

I bake from scratch with [Baking Free] flour products [and Positively Free] mixes. Now that g.f. eating is coming into acceptance, Fred Meyer and Costco are even starting to carry a lot of good baking products.

What is your favorite GF resource?

[Baking Free and Positively Free flour and mixes] and “Living Without” Magazine, which has updated articles on the different food sensitivities and what to watch for in the ingredients of anything I buy from a regular grocery.

What are your best tips for a gluten-free newbie?

Take your probiotics (if prescribed-mandatory for me), and don’t cheat!!! I had huge cravings those first few years for chips, for a real piece of bread, for veggies fried in butter. Cheating made me ill for than just the few hours of discomfort…….. sometimes lasting three days. A young 40 yr old  friend died of colon cancer after cheating for 3 years on his celiac menus, his “villi” just about disappeared. Scared the heck out of me.

What surprised you the most about living gluten-free?

How much healthier my whole attitude is toward food. How easier it is to like things I didn’t even know existed prior to 2004 (I thought rice was the only g.f. food in the world.). Discovering sorghum, brown rice, quinoa, etc. flours has expanded my cooking horizons.

What question(s) you are still struggling to answer about living gluten-free?

Why food manufacturers are allowed to stick wheat/soy flour on raisins, chips, most soups, energy bars, to “keep them from sticking together”, supposedly, but not as an ingredient. I’ve learned not to buy anything with more than four ingredients, or with words I don’t understand. Adding one word (flour) to a label can’t be that expensive.

Thank you, Barb!

If you would like to be featured, please email me and specify you are interested in sharing your story.