The Sweet Geek

So a little about this crazy geek who has decided her thoughts, recipes and life was interesting enough to put up on the webs. I am a trained pastry chef, having gotten my certificate from Western Culinary Institute (Currently Le Cordon Bleu-Portland), and decided that I wasn't paying close to 2k for classes I could take at any community college for my associates (English, Science, etc) so I moved to La which has a really good business school at Southeastern Louisiana University in an adorable little town. About a year away from my degree, I met my Black Hole aka A, the BF or whathave you. We did the long distance thing for a while, but both of us decided that getting to make him yummys to fill the black hole only every couple of months just wasn't working and he was burned out with his own degree plan. Then I shared with him my idea for a bakery, and Sweet Geeks was truly born. Then we found out that my school was offering a degree program for a bachelors that was only normally offered for a masters. It seemed fate and he made the choice to come down here to complete a degree. Then things got interesting....

Shortly before A moved down to La so we could be together and he could get a degree he believed in, but while I was in management school (A second degree, what a thing!), I started having a lot of unpleasant issues that if you're familiar with gluten intolerance I'm sure you're well aware of. fatigue and exhaustion that I couldn't explain. My best friend, N and her mother both have Celiac Disease/Gluten Intolerance and thought it might be the source of my own issues when we  realized that I'd been eating a lot more pastas, breads and such since money was so tight and pasta/ramen is so cheap.

My mum suggested trying the gluten free diet to see if it helped as she was convinced that it was greatly under-diagnosed. I wasn't convinced but it was my senior year and I had to do well which meant I was willing to try anything!

So in December of 2011, with A being amazingly supportive for a black hole, we started on a gluten free diet regime. No pasta, no bread, none of my lovely sweets. Nothing! Well, aside from things I knew were gluten free, which meant processed GF foods or a lot of fruits and veggies. Which wasn't so bad but I missed my sweets and it was expensive. It was a bit scary. I was a pastry chef, what in the world would I do if I was? The first few nights I even had a nightmare or two about it all. It has NOT been easy by any means since I've been glutinized (as we call accidental exposure) at least once a week. But we both noticed dramatic differences. I'd gained weight (too much) and now was slimming down a bit. Tummy and body issues went away for the most part (well, until I consumed too much carbonation on a road trip, but that's another matter entirely).

But then almost all of my symptoms cleared up, my stomach felt better, I felt like I had energy again. But I had to wonder how much was psychosomatic which is what a lot of people are saying gluten intolerance is. But my health was important. Could I take that risk?

I decided to play it safe and then to see if the effects were long term. Christmas was interesting but not too horrific. My boyfriend A invited me to his family's house for Christmas and they were very understanding and accommodating although they didn't fully understand it. Of course, to make sure the impact was said, I was describing Gluten Intolerance as an allergy, which if you're ready this, you know it's not. But it sunk the importance home to them.

After coming back for the spring semester though, I got a bit of cheese for my breakfast (yeah, I know, so balanced, right?), and started swelling up right in the middle of class. Turns out I have a wheat allergy and gluten sensitivity and they used wheat flour on the cheese to keep it moving down the conveyor belt, something they don't have to claim on their packaging! How frightening. So I swell when I eat wheat and get the tummy issues are a lot milder than they are for most Celiacs for which I can only be thankful!

I'd already been working on developing GF recipes since my ultimate bakery was ALWAYS going to be GF friendly (Due partially in tribute to my AMAZING Mum and my BEST Friend) and this was just the push I needed to really get to developing those recipes.