Gluten Free Anniversary #5

One year ago today I was living on Cape Cod, blogging about my fourth gluten-free anniversary and contemplating a bowl of peppermint ice cream for breakfast. I was just getting the hang of this whole blogging thing, wondering if anyone would even be interested in the gluten-free recipes I wanted to share.

This morning I sit typing in my tidy New Mexico casita, sipping a mug of hot chamomile tea- a thousand miles away from one year ago. Dry snowflakes fall on the junipers outside my window. The Old Women Mesa is softened in a tender blanket of white.

Five years gluten-free. It's a milestone. And bittersweet.

I still do not eat out (the risk is too great for me; one speck of gluten and I pay for it all week). And I miss eating out- I miss the romance of it. I miss the spontaneity of exploring new restaurants. I miss travel. The social isolation, the stigma of special needs can feel heavy at times. Celiac disease does not exactly dampen one’s tendency toward introversion. The lingering health issues are discouraging. Forty-seven years eating gluten take their toll. My body continues, even after five years gluten-free, to pay a price from malabsorption.

In many ways my health has dramatically improved. I am free from the most acute symptoms I suffered. And cooking gluten-free has become second nature; it is no longer the massive challenge it felt like in the beginning. New gluten-free choices are emerging, daily, in the marketplace. All good news.

But the best part? Reading your comments and receiving your e-mails, Darlings. It nudges me out of my myopia and gives me a clearer sense of the big picture. I am not alone in this disease. And there are more of us diagnosed every single day.

So here’s to all of us.

Happy gluten-free anniversary! Whether it is one week, six months, or five years, I raise my glass to you.



Kathy S. said...

Just diagnosed today, 12/19/06! Your site is amazing, though I am totally overwhelmed! I'm sure I'll be back very often. Thank you.

ByTheBay said...

Mazel Tov, Karina!

Garrett said...

Congrats to you, and your beautiful and always awe inspiring blog!

kalyn said...

Congratulations on the anniversary and the success of your blog. I'm so glad you did decide to start blogging. I admire the way you've faced the challenges life has handed you. Best always.

Freckled Face Mama said...

Happy Anniversary! Keep doing what you are doing because can you imagine life if you didn't commit to your gluten-free lifestyle? You would be miserable! I am so proud of you and encourage you to dwell on the positive as much and as often as you can. My 2 year old daughter (latent celiac disease) and I (neurological gluten sensitivity and irritable syndrome) have been gluten-free since April 2006. It is difficult and takes thought but in the end I couldn't be happier than I am now. What an amazing life you have and what passion to create what you have now! ENJOY your gluten-free life every moment you can!!! :)

Mike Eberhart said...

Congrats on the anniversary. And, it is great to hear that baking GF has become second nature... that sure does make it easier.

Mare said...

Wishing you the best of everything - always -

Lynn Barry said...

You are a precious treasure.Happy fifth anniversary!

k said...

Karina - congrats on 5 years! I am sorry to hear you don't eat out or travel as much. Not sure if it would interest you but you seem like you enjoy a bit of the outdoors, good company, and a chance to retreat - have you ever heard of Strathcona Park Lodge? You should check out if you are ever looking for a travel idea - and the owner is gluten-free too, so you could be sure the food options are safe!

Megan of Oxford, OH said...

My father and I were diagnosed less than 6 months ago and were directed here by a stranger: "Oh, you have celiac disease? You should check out the Gluten Free Goddess blog." I've been visiting your site for several months now and while cooking is still that massive challenge for me, I frequently check your site, which truly is beautiful and always uplifting. Thank you, Karina & happy 5th!

disimilar1 said...

Thank you for this wonderful site!
The photos of your dishes make me hungry. Latkas, Yum!
I was diagnosed at 50 and am 53 now. It does take a toll.
Getting better every day.

disimilar1 said...

Thank you for this wonderful site!
The photos of your dishes make me hungry. Latkas, Yum!
I was diagnosed at 50 and am 53 now. It does take a toll.
Getting better every day. Hope you are too. I have been able to find restuarants where I can eat out. However, it is socially isolating. Difficult to eat at a friends home. Wish I could cook like you.

Alanna said...

Happy Five Years ... and may they multiply! Have a wonderful holiday, Mz Katrina Goddess ... a gift of this year is a small window into your world.

Amanda said...

Happy anniversary! I understand the bittersweet...I've known of my gluten intolerance for 11 years, and I'm only 23! I'm thankful for being diagnosed so early, and it has become easier over the years, especially now that I have embraced living gluten (and dairy, egg, and chocolate) free! And your blog makes it that much easier to continue this healthy lifestyle :) Thank you!!!!

Shaheen said...

Congrats Karina and Kepp up ur positive outlook. As the world is getting more organic, it will also offer greater choices for gluten free people!u are doing a wonderful job!

Amy said...

Hello Karina-

I have been thorougly enjoying your blog, flitting in and out of your archives, and drooling over the luscious recipes. I purchased some of the Pamela's baking mix the other night with visions of pumpkin and maui wowee bars filling my head and was crushed when I got it home and realized it contains almond meal! Unfortunately I'm allergic to almonds and all other tree nuts :(. Can you give me some clues as to what other combination of ingredients could I use to create the same effect?

Congratulations on your anniversary! Thank you for all the delicious resources!


Karina said...

Hi Amy!

Thanks for writing - and for your kind comments. I'm so sorry the Pamela's mix won't work for you. There are, indeed, other GF pancake and baking mixes. Any would work in my recipe as long as they have leavening - if they don't, you'll need to add some [I tell how much in the recipe].

Check the Gluten Free Pantry mixes, Bob's Red Mill, and Namaste, for starters. There's also one by Ener G, I think? And Mona's. Google "Gluten Free Baking Mix", and see what you can find.

You'll need either: an all-purpose GF flour mix, GF baking mix, or GF pancake mix. {And remember to add leavening if an all purpose flour mix doesn't have it].

Good luck!

Let us know how you make out with the subs...

Karina said...

Welcome Kathy! Then you and I share the same GF anniversary! ;-)

Thanks, BTB!

Hey, Garrett! You're too kind. Thanks, Bro. ;-)

Thanks, Kalyn! You're fab. xoxo

FF Mama! Thanks so much - and thanks for sharing some of your story.

Mike~ Yup. It gets easier. Thank goddess. ;-) And thanx!

Mare and Lynn! You're both peaches! xoxo

k~ No I haven't - but I'll look into it. Right about now, as the snow is flying, I'm thinking a trip to sunny So Cal is in order. ;-)

Wow, Megan! How fun. Thanks for telling me. Nice tidbit.

Disimilar - You and I are almost the same age. I'm glad to hear that you're getting better every day. Excellent.

Whoa, Amanda! I'm glad you found out sooner rather than later... It does make a big difference in healing. All the best to you!

Hola, Shasheen! Thank you for your kind words and wisdom!

You are all THE BEST! Group HUG!


Karina said...

Alanna! I didn't forget you! Thank you as well for your uber-kindness.

Have a healthy, happy holiday!

Meena said...

What a cozy little corner! Congrats, keep up the great work. I love your blog!

Kleja said...

Congratulations to you on this 5th year! I hope that the days to come will bring you many new wonderful flavors that you can share with us. From my gluten free kitchen to yours, thanks for another inspiring year,
Here's to you! (I'm raising my glass of Toleration, the only GF beer available in town)

Kleja said...

Karina, I am preparing a GF meal tomorrow night. I thought I'd make your lasange but I'm sort at a loss as to what to serve with it, any suggestions?

Karina said...

Hi Meena! Thanks so much!

Hey KleJa! Thank you, too!

As for lasagna - I usually make a fresh green salad with baby greens and herbs, maybe some fruit.

GF bread, toasted and rubbed with garlic; or even warm corn tortillas would be nice. Corn muffins.

Have fun!

burekaboy — said...

hey karina :) a big fat mazaltov for 5 years of what i am sure is indeed bittersweet. your blog IS indeed amazing and an asset to those afflicted with this problem. i, luckily, do not have to deal with it but have dealt with cooking for a close friend who was more or less limited to only meat and vegetables and several grains. it is challenging, especially around holiday time. i am sure you and others like bythebay inspire people to believe that there are still good things to eat in spite of the limitation.

מזל טוב, ישר כוח וחג שמח לך

Shannon said...

Congratulations, Karina! You have been a major inspiration for us newly diagnosed. I can hardly believe it has only been two months for me. With the help and support from you and the rest of the on-line Celiac crew it has been a breeze adjusting my cooking. I know I am not alone in feeling that your presence has given us the hope and knowledge that we can do this.

Happy 5th anniversary!

Karina said...

BB - Bubela! You are too kind. [And you are so talented, yourself. Readers, if you want a real treat, cruise by Bureka Boy's fabulous blog, his link is in my blog roll.]

Hi Shannon! Congrats on two months gluten-free! May you enjoy better health each passing day.

GrewUpRural said...

Congratulations Karina, on your fifth year anniversary of being gluten free. Your blog has inspired me to keep on cooking gluten free and try new things.

Thanks for sharing your great recipes. People are constantly asking me when I am going to make the dark chocolate brownies again.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I loved this post. Oh, and a huge thank you, you're food ROCKS with my friends and me here in the UK!

Karen, in Southern California said...


Congratulations!!! Your blog is such an inspiration. I discovered your blog a couple of months as being diagnosed as a Celiac, October 2005 at the age of 30. I still pine for the perfect last gluten meal. I am the only one in my home with Celiac, so I am often faced with my favorite gluten food (like the awesome chocolate chips on the counter right now) My point to all this rambling is you make living GF easier and hopeful. Thank you for all you do. Happy Holidays!

Christan = ) said...

How totally awesome!! Feels good to be feeling better!!
I believe we are coming up to our first year being wheat and dairy free. Starting to feel easier now that I'm getting better at it!!

Shauna said...

Karina, my dear, I'm so happy for you on this anniversary. I haven't been able to comment much the last couple of months, but I have been reading. Brava for all the work you do!

It saddens me to read that you don't eat in restaurants, though. If you find the right place, it can be a healthy, wonderful experience. If you do ever visit Seattle, please come home dinner with me!

Ursula said...

Hey, congratulations! I really enjoy reading your blog, even without the need for glutenfree. I recommended your blog already to a couple of people telling me that they are supposed to eat GF and don't know how.
Way to go!!

Kelly & Kim said...

Happy Anniversary!! We're so glad to have you as our gluten-free blogging sistah!

Karina said...

GrewUpRural, Anon, Karen, Christan, Shauna, Ursula, and last but NOT least, Kelly & Kim -

You are all so totally fabulous and fun!

And your generous comments, your blogging, and your sharing, makes this whole gluten-free thing a little bit easier.

Happy Holidays, everyone!


Vanessa (of vanesscipes) said...

Happy [Bittersweet] 5th, Karina! Thank you for you beautiful and inspiring writing, recipes, and photos. Your godessness has made many lives sweeter. Can't wait until the 10th.

lucette said...

One of the things I love about reading your blog is how it is a testament to the possibility of changing one's life--which sometimes feels so sluggish and in-the-rut.

Michelle said...

Hi from Santa Fe, Karina! Have you tried Annapurna's Chai House in Santa Fe or Albuquerque - they list many items as gf and/or vegan right on the menu! My mom and I have been eating there a lot with no problems - the mattar paneer, breakfast quinoa, and ginger lemonade with agave are all good. The desserts that I have made using your recipes are better though!
Here's a link to the menu:
Link Text

I know what you mean by feeling apprehensive about eating out. There are a few places I feel totally safe, but most of those places are really special-occasion, fancy places. I used to love eating in restaurants too, so it really shocks my parents when I decline to join them. But, happily, thank to you and other fantastic cooker-bloggers (especially FFV and By the Bay), both my boyfriend and I think that my cooking has now surpassed that of most restaurants and it's healthier too! Thanks for being such an inspiration!

Karina said...

Hi Vanessa! Thank you so much! xo

Hola, Lucette! The one true constant in life is: change. :-)

Hi Michelle! Are you having a fab time in New Mexico? Thanks for the Annapurna link; I have not eaten there - but when my son and his girlfriend visit this week, we are planning a Santa Fe day - and we'll try it. Thanks!

Happy and Healthy New Year, all!

Kathy said...

Hi Karina,

Congratulations on 5 years gluten free. You are an inspiration!


Rockstar Gone Soft said...


The milestones will never end and this is a good one. You've inspired so many with your luscious dishes and never-ending creativity. I've learned, over the past three years, to cook G-F for my partner and it was made so much easier by the internet, but so much yummier by you. What you are doing with this blog is changing people's lives. Please know that you are the G-F binder that holds so many of us confused, inspired, confounded, and mostly concerned cooks together when at times it seems like really making a good meal might just be unobtainable. You've become my hero and inspiration over the past year or so and i can tell you Brandon appreciates you more than I or anybody else in the world. He has eaten well for the first year of his life (diagnosed Celiac in 2001 and sick for many years before then) I thank you, with all of my heart and so does Brandon. Keep rocking it hardcore!!!


Karina said...

Hi Kathy! Thank you so much! A healthy happy New Year to you!

Karina said...

Dear RGS!

Your message brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for your lovely words, and kind support. Sending warmest wishes to you and Brandon for a healthy, creative, and propserous 2007!


Virginie said...

Joyeux anniversaire à ton alimentation "sans gluten" ! And thanks for all your nice recipes that taste surely nicer than lots of restaurants' ones.

Karina said...

Merci, Virginie! xo

Anonymous said...

Oh i agree about not being able to eat out anymore, I'm ninteen and I've been on a gluten free diet for nearly 5 years. I can never eat out with my friends anymore, but It's a small price to pay for how much better I feel. I wouldn't recommend that any one who is Gluten Intolerant to eat out at a restaurant, because I worker at a restaurant last year and most chefs have no idea of what is GF or not, and it's pretty hard to stop contamination.

Your blog looks amazing btw! just discovered it now.

best wishes,

Ella :)

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