I’m Larraine – a wife, mother of three, and grandmother of five. My family is the most important thing! I enjoy songwriting, sewing, painting, cooking, baking, and being a “Grammy.” And, I have celiac disease. When I received my diagnosis a few years ago, after being deathly ill for weeks, I was so relieved. I knew that FINALLY I would have a chance to be healthy. I learned everything I could about celiac disease and how I needed to eat for the rest of my life.
My daughter, Kayli, was diagnosed with celiac disease when she was 15. At that time we had no idea that it was a genetic disease. We tried rice pastas, but they were flavorless and gooey. We ordered baking flours from the Internet, but when I made bread and cookies out of them they were awful. We joined our relatives in Indianapolis for Thanksgiving that year. Kayli cried during dinner because she couldn’t eat the rolls or pies. Later, she ate some cookie dough, then cried more when she realized she couldn’t have that either. It was devastating to see my little girl so unhappy.
My niece, Christine, is married and has 3 beautiful kids. All three have been diagnosed with autism. For quite a while they had no eye contact with others, spoke mostly nonsense, and had bowel problems. They woke up and stayed awake for hours during the night and bounced off the walls constantly. They now eat a gluten-free diet and the changes are quite amazing: Improved eye contact and speech, less hyperactive behavior, more normal bowel movements, better sleep at night.
I have spent a great deal of time studying and practicing a gluten-free diet to help myself and my family. I am often contacted by people who have just received a diagnosis of celiac disease, and are overwhelmed with what they should do. There are so many out there who could live happier, healthier lives if they just had the right information. My lifetime of suffering has become a life of helping others understand a gluten-free diet, creating and sharing gluten-free recipes, eating and enjoying good food. Most important of all, I now experience a healthy and happy life with my family. You’ve heard people talk about a new lease on life. I have a new LIFE!