My Story – Why I had to learn how to eat gluten free

12 years ago I discovered I had Celiac Disease and had to quickly learn how to eat gluten free. But having Celiac Disease and having to focus on what I eat and drink each and every day is not all of who I am. It’s only part of who I am. 😉

DSC_1927edit2I love sharing my gluten free story so I can help others who struggle with learning how to eat gluten free, especially as it’s something those of us with Celiac Disease or a gluten sensitivity need to focus on each and every day of our lives.

Before I share that part of my story, let me tell you a little bit more about me.

My husband Greg and I have known each other since were kids. We grew up in the same neighborhood so I call him my huckleberry friend.

We started dating when I came home from college, got married in 1997 and have been married for 18 years. We have 2 children (a girl and boy) and we love spending time together as a family.

Our wedding song was Moon River and one of the verses references a huckleberry friend 🙂 The song was perfect for us and our life together.

How to eat Gluten Free - Greg and Christine Plaskett

‘Moon river, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style some day
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you’re goin’, I’m goin’ your way
Two drifters, off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see
We’re after the same rainbow’s end, waitin’ ’round the bend
My huckleberry friend, moon river, and me’

We always try to have some fun– we love swimming, skiing, biking, rope climbing, traveling and just going out to eat at new restaurants.  We’re a pretty active family.

How to eat Gluten Free - Christine Plaskett

And, we love sometimes just sitting down and watching a movie together and snuggle with 2 beautiful Birman Cats – Snowball and Cosmo.

How to eat gluten free - Christine Plaskett

People always tell me I’m enthusiastic, genuine and fun. I truly just Love Life!

I also love to decorate my home. I want it to feel like the most welcoming, comfortable and relaxing place for my family and friends.  I watch HGTV pretty frequently. Anyone else out there an HGTV fan? I really think I’m going to win one of those dream homes some day. Don’t you? I also like to create my own art for my home. You’ll have to check out my Pinterest page to see what I’ve done.

I love to Dance and have been dancing since I was 12 years old. I danced tap, jazz and ballet for 20+ years. I had to get out of dance when I was 5 months pregnant with my first child and was struggling to dance with a big belly!

My Ah-ha moment and finding Team Beachbody

Once Greg and I had our children, we became very busy as working parents. We both started to neglect ourselves. I wasn’t working out and was stressed out ALL THE TIME. Life wasn’t starting to be much fun anymore! Any working parents with children can appreciate how hard it is to balance life.

One day while cleaning out a drawer I discovered a diary that I kept when I was pregnant. It was so much fun reminiscing until that moment when I realized I weighed as much as I did when I was 5 months pregnant with my daughter I thought “Is that possible? How did that happen?” Yes, you can still gain weight even when you know how to eat gluten free.

My husband, Greg, was in a similar situation. He discovered video games and didn’t work in the winters, so he packed on some weight, too. In the end we each had 20 pounds to lose. So, we both agreed to start working out more. We had our treadmill and some weights, we each went to our gyms (when we could get there) and we watched what we ate and… lost only a couple of pounds.

We needed something different! A friend suggested P90X. Hmm…we had heard of it but didn’t really know much about it. We found a 3 minute clip of Ab Ripper X on YouTube and tried it. We thought “we got this”. Boy were we wrong! We were laughing because it was so HARD!!! We knew this would give us the results we were looking for.

The Program

We quit our gyms and ordered P90X (which saved us money)  followed the program faithfully for 90 days including the nutritional plan. We had amazing results. I lost 15 pounds and Greg lost 20. Best part was I lost 4 inches in my waist. We loved the program so much that we started to share it and buy it for friends. That’s when we became Team Beachbody coaches.

Christine explains how to eat gluten free

Next we started drinking Shakeology. What an amazing daily dose of dense nutrition. I truly can’t imagine a day with out it. It helps me keep the weight off, reduces my cravings, I have energy all day, and my digestion is great even with my Celiac Disease. I often get asked if Shakeology is Gluten FREE. And the answer is, YES! Check out my blog on Is Shakeology Gluten Free? The truth.

As coaches we use all the programs and nutritional supplements, like  P90X, Focus T25, P90X3, 21 Day Fix, PiYo, Ultimate Reset, Performance line, Omega 3. I could go on. We so LOVE these products…can you tell?

Remember I loved dance? So to say I was excited when Beachbody came out with Cize is an understatement 😉 Here’s a video of one my favorite Cize dance workout 🙂

Our coaching adventure over the past 5 years has been amazing!  We’re both full-time coaches as we were able to replace our full-time jobs. Today, I’m a 2 Star Diamond Coach with Team Beachbody, which is a considered a Regional Leader. Together my husband and I are a 15 Star Diamond team with many full-time coaches on our team.

Are you ready for a change? Contact me today! I would be happy to help you get started on your journey to better health or show you how to build an amazing business.

Results may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition. Consult your physician and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program or using any supplement or meal replacement product.

Learning how to eat Gluten Free

This is the part of my story on how I discovered the cause of my ongoing health issues, and had to quickly learn how to eat gluten free.  I share this story to bring awareness about Celiac Disease and help others in a similar situation. I wish I had read a story like this 12 years ago 😉

My firstborn daughter, Colleen, was a year old, very sick and losing weight rapidly and the doctor told me there was something SERIOUS going on. I remember that day like it was yesterday. My heart sank and I cried as I knew right away life was going to be different.

I had my daughter when I was 32. I really wanted to start sooner but couldn’t get pregnant for years. It was a very hard time for me emotionally. All my friends we’re having children and I couldn’t get pregnant. I went through so many tests and several were quite painful. I won’t even get into that HCG test! At the time I was having a lot of intestinal issues. This wasn’t unusual for me as I had intestinal issues my entire life, but the issues were getting worse! Over the years I was diagnosed with acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance. Although I still never felt better with anything doctors gave me or had me try with a diet.

When my daughter was born she was healthy and growing beautifully. For anyone with children, we always love to see our children on the growth chart in the 50-100% range. It feels good, right?  You’re a new parent and your child is growing strong.

At about 13 months old, things changed for us. My daughter started to throw up sporadically which turned into constantly. We saw and spoke with doctors and nurse practitioners at our office several times. They said she had stomach viruses or that she was now lactose intolerant. I remember her eating all the time because she was so hungry from vomiting. I recall being up late one night, both of us exhausted and she just kept eating one grape after another. My husband and I were lost and didn’t know what to do.

At her 15 month checkup they gave us her growth chart. I cried. A child that was growing so well at 75% was now not even on the chart. It was a straight line off the bottom. Her doctor said there was something serious going on. Something serious? What does that mean? All I could feel was a huge lump in my throat and pain in my stomach. That day they did blood work and the next morning they did an upper GI. We went home and continued to deal with the vomiting for the weekend. Early the next week the doctors told us that our daughter’s blood work came back and that she had Gluten Sensitive Enteropathy also known as Celiac Disease. All I remember hearing is the word “Disease” and wondered what was Celiac Disease and what was gluten? I honestly had no idea at the time.

How to eat gluten freeThe doctors explained that Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease where the small intestines are damaged when Gluten is eaten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley and sometimes oats. That means NO pizza, bread, cereals, pastas, cookies, cakes, etc. Pretty much everything the average person eats on a daily basis. The body’s immune system attacks the small intestines, which damages the villi. Villa are small finger like projections that line the intestine and absorb nutrients. When they get damaged, nutrients can no longer be absorbed into the body. You can learn more about Celiac Disease by following this link.

Our next step was to go to CT Children’s Medical Center so she could have an endoscopy. An endoscopy is a procedure where the doctors go in through the throat and stomach to the view and biopsy the small intestines. They saw the small intestine damage immediately and said to start following a gluten free diet. We thought, we’re going to have to learn quickly how to eat gluten free. How do we know what foods contain gluten? We met with a nutritionist while our daughter was recovering to learn what to do. We got a stack of papers and were supposed to read through to figure out what she could eat or couldn’t eat. It was crazy! We were in a daze and completely lost!

How to eat gluten free - Christine Plaskett

While we were at the hospital we were told that Celiac Disease is a hereditary condition. They asked if my husband or I had intestinal issues. I knew right away I was the one with the gene or disease. I saw my own doctor who did a blood test and endoscopy and it was confirmed that I had Celiac Disease. All those years with intestinal issues and I was FINALLY diagnosed.

how to eat gluten free - greg and christine plaskettMy daughter is truly a blessing as she basically saved my life. See, if you don’t know you have Celiac Disease and don’t learn how to eat gluten free, you can have serious health problems. The scariest one is intestinal cancer. Then there’s Type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), dermatitis herpetiformis (an itchy skin rash), anemia, osteoporosis, infertility and miscarriage, neurological conditions like epilepsy and migraines and short stature. I clearly had the “infertility” issues for years and it’s truly a miracle I even got pregnant.

We continue to get healthier and stronger each and every day and love helping others do the same!

The past 12 years

Over the years we have learned so much about how to eat gluten free both at home and while eating out. I can assure you it wasn’t easy.  I often get asked Why gluten free? and then I share my story.  So many times I’ve helped people discover they have Celiac Disease or a sensitivity.  They Blog, Why Gluten Free will help you identify what foods are safe to eat and not safe to eat. I love sharing tips on gluten free foods at home and when out at restaurants. Check out some recipes here on our blog and my instagram account.

3 years after this diagnosis with my daughter, we decided to have another child.  We knew there was a chance that our second child could have Celiac Disease.   Because we already learned how to eat gluten free, we knew we would be fine if that happened.  My son was born and to this day, he does not have Celiac Disease.  He was tested for the gene and unfortunately; he has the gene for Celiac Disease but only a 30% chance that he will get it in his lifetime.  He’s so familiar with how to eat gluten free himself that if he ever gets the disease, he’ll be absolutely fine.

If you connect with my passions of FAMILY, LOVE, HEALTH, FUN AND DREAMS, I’d LOVE to CONNECT and get to know more about YOU! Feel free to reach out via the contact page or on my social media outlets 🙂

Christine Plaskett

Christine explains how to eat gluten free