Course Introduction

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Hey guys and gals!

This course has been a long time coming, but I am proud to finally release it for all of you.

So, why a course? Why not an eBook or something else similar to that? I thought long and hard about what type of product to offer my readers. In the end, I thought a course represented the best value.  The gluten free community is evolving at an exciting pace, and I only feel it is fair to have a course that will be updated to reflect the current state of affairs in our community. So, yes, I will be updating this fairly often – how often, I haven’t decided – and I will let everyone know the updates I have made. To me, the course will never be truly complete. It will always be a work of progress as I strive to give the members what they want and what they need. Enough small talk – let’s get to the good stuff!

My Story

I’m going to write a little bit about myself and my story before jumping into the real content. I promise to keep it short and to the point!

That's Me!

That’s Me!

It was some time during the spring of 2010 when I started noticing dull pains in my side and frequent digestives issues. I was 24 years of age at the time. Throughout the spring and summer, the dull pains in my side remained. I knew that they were usually worse after I ate, but I was stumped because this happened after EVERY meal. I went to the doctor, who ran some tests (I don’t even remember which tests were ran) and everything came back normal. He just told me to watch my diet and get more exercise.

I decided to really take a hard look at my diet and make some major changes. I cut fast food completely out and minimized frozen dinner and other highly-processed foods. It was tough doing this (although much easier than the diet change coming later on), but I was really motivated to feel better and get rid of those troublesome issues. I felt slightly better after this diet change, but the stomach issues and headaches marched on.

In November 2010, my girlfriend informed me she was going on a gluten-free diet at the suggestion of her doctor. I remember thinking “that doesn’t sound fun at all”, but I wanted to be a supportive boyfriend, so I told her I would do it with her. I knew gluten was in bread, pizza, and pasta, but that was about the extent of my gluten knowledge at the time. I didn’t know what it was, what other foods it was in, or how it affects our bodies. I didn’t even bother learning either, since I thought this was a temporary dietary change. I let my girlfriend plan our meals and just ate the food.

After 3 days of eating pretty plain, boring gluten-free food, I noticed I was feeling quite a bit better. That was when the thought first entered my mind – “Maybe gluten has been the problem all along”. It was obviously too early to tell, so I continued the gluten-free diet for another week to see if any of the problems would return. They didn’t.

There was still some doubt in my mind to whether or not gluten was the reason for my health issues, so I decided to do a little experiment. I went out and devoured a deep dish Chicago pizza all by myself. For those who have had one before, you know how big and delicious and gluten-filled they are! Sure enough, the very next morning, the dull pain in my side returned, I had a headache, and some other issues that you don’t want to hear about came back. I would repeat this over the next week, eating gluten every so often and noting how I felt the next morning. Every time I ate something with gluten, the issues returned. I decided right then and there that taking my health seriously was something I needed to do. I was now gluten free, no matter how hard it was going to be.

About six months after I went gluten free, I started a blog as a way to help others get information on the gluten free diet and to show my family and friends that gluten free food can be amazingly delicious!

Living in a city like Chicago is much easier than living in a small town with regards to finding not only restaurants that serve gluten free food, but also grocery stores that stock a wide variety of gluten free options. I lived in Springfield for two years while I was gluten-free, and the options for eating out were few and far between. I would either get a gluten-free pizza from one of two places in town, or I would just grab a quick meal at Chipotle. Needless to say, I made the majority of my meals at home. I have been living in Chicago for a year now and there are so many options for gluten-free eaters, it really is a blessing. I have a variety of grocery stores, restaurants, and other options at my disposal that I wouldn’t have if I lived in a smaller city. Living a gluten free lifestyle has become second-nature to me, and it will for you, too – maybe not right away, but I assure you it gets easier as time passes. Well, that’s my story – hope I didn’t put anyone to sleep!

Move to Section 2: Gluten Overview