How we learned our son had Celiac Disease

Seemingly random complaints finally explained 

I am often asked how we learned our son had Celiac Disease. We figured it out in the most random way, but in the hope that telling our story will help other families, here’s what happened to us. At age 4, our youngest son was generally healthy. He met his pediatric milestones and was consistently in the 75th percentile for height and weight. He did however have some random complaints that seemed just a bit “off.” He constantly had a mouthful of canker sores. He seemed to have a low grade virus (i.e. cold) quite often. When he was tired, he said his legs hurt. He didn’t sleep well.  He had a long history of fluid buildup in his ears. Continue reading “How we learned our son had Celiac Disease”

Why we are the Healthy Gluten-Free Family

How we rally behind our son with Celiac Disease

The short version is that we are the Healthy Gluten-Free Family because of this sweet boy. Seven years ago this month (ironic that it’s Celiac Disease Awareness Month), our youngest son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease just weeks before his fifth birthday.

Celiac is an autoimmune disease whereby the body cannot digest any amount of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. In fact, if gluten is ingested, the body responds by attacking the small intestine and inhibiting the absorption of nutrients. The only treatment is to adhere to a strict gluten-free diet. And so our journey began… Continue reading “Why we are the Healthy Gluten-Free Family”

Dining out in Napa

What we ate while in Marin for 36 hours

Before heading to The Big Island of Hawaii last month we spent an action packed 36 hours in Napa with a large family group attending our cousin’s wedding. We arrived late on a Thursday evening and had only Friday to show the kids a taste of Napa before the ceremony. It rained, or rather deluged, the entire time, but that didn’t dampen our fun! We showed the boys the rolling hills of Napa, visited the Mondavi winery, and dined out at several delicious restaurants with gluten-free options. Continue reading “Dining out in Napa”

Dining out on The Big Island of Hawaii

A gorgeous location with gluten-free options all around


We just returned from an amazing vacation to The Big Island of Hawaii. It wasn’t just that we were traveling with great company (my parents and my brother’s family) or that the weather was perfect, or that the island is absolutely gorgeous. The icing on the cake is that it was really easy to dine out and eat well gluten-free! As anyone with food restrictions knows, dining out on the road can be a real challenge. Menu options are often limited, and many restaurants aren’t able to prepare food safely at all. Continue reading “Dining out on The Big Island of Hawaii”

Nima goes to Hawaii

Love me a smiley face!

If you’re unfamiliar with the Nima, it’s a portable testing device that detects gluten in food. It’s a bit like a small chemistry set: you put a pea-sized sample of food you want to test into a capsule, place the capsule in the Nima sensor and about three minutes later the device signals if it does or does not detect gluten. A cute little smiley face on the screen means “no gluten,” and that’s a great thing to see when Nima-testing your food! Continue reading “Nima goes to Hawaii”

The joy of dining at a gluten-free restaurant

Worry-free eating out: what a treat!

Dining out is something my son loves and something I love to do with him. It has become our “thing” whenever we get some extra one-on-one time. He loves the entire experience and he loves trying new foods and different versions of old favorites. However, his having celiac disease makes dining out a little less of a spontaneous experience for all of us as it requires some planning. Whenever we travel, even day trips, I research restaurants offering gluten-free fare and call ahead to ask about menus and preparation to help me decide if the food is safe enough for our son. Continue reading “The joy of dining at a gluten-free restaurant”

What we’ll be eating in January…

Cheers to fresh, flavorful and simple food!


If you’re like me, you ate a lot of food over the last few weeks. While there were definitely some sweets involved, it wasn’t so much that it was “bad” food (I personally don’t believe in deprivation or good and bad foods), it was that it was A LOT of food. After a month of holiday get-togethers, cooking and baking, we sat down to the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, which, as it sounds, includes many courses. Then we woke up the next morning and after our favorite Christmas morning Cranberry Bread, began the task of setting out appetizers: an antipasto course and a lasagna course for 12 of my favorite family members. Continue reading “What we’ll be eating in January…”

Surviving the Holidays, Gluten-Free

Our Top 10 Tips

If you’re like my family, food is a big part of any gathering, but especially over the holidays! There are tons of holiday food traditions, and being celiac and having to eat gluten-free can pose a whole set of potential stressors. Being the mom of a celiac child, I go above and beyond to make sure my son never feels left out and can participate and enjoy any gathering. The key is being organized, planning ahead — and being proactive! Last minute and winging it do not always work so well if you want to enjoy food at an event or party. Here are some tips we’ve learned along the way, and live by… Continue reading “Surviving the Holidays, Gluten-Free”

Holiday Cookies!

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

sugar cookiesWhen Christmas and Hanukkah are around the corner, I look forward to sharing our special holiday cookie recipes over the weeks leading up. They are all family recipes that we’ve been making forever. Some date back to my grandmother and her great-aunt — and each has a story. We also have an annual Cookie Baking Day, and it’s one of my favorite days of the holiday season! Cookie baking with longtime friends and family on this special day has been a tradition since I was a kid. Continue reading “Holiday Cookies!”