So, I’m Ava like guava and I’m a celiac like really really celiac. I remember thinking gluten intolerance and celiac was like tummy trouble you know and for a lot of people that’s where they notice the most affect after consuming gluten.

For me my adrenal gland stresses, my thyroid goes into distress and I can’t regulate my internal body temperature, I get severe diminished neural function (what we affectionately call brain fog that basically gives me the motor, neural, and speech functions of a drunk, it decreases my response and reaction times, chronic dehydration, and of course good old-fashioned tummy trouble. I experience these symptoms to various degrees depending on how much gluten I get.

Like if I eat just a bite of wheat bread I’m going to be in the hospital but if I get a little cross contamination like from fryer oil, flour from someone’s clothing, or a kiss from my boyfriend if he’s eaten something with gluten and hasn’t brushed his teeth I’ll be pretty laid up in bed for a few days but it’s still totally manageable at home. Yep, I can get sick from kissing which made dating really challenging before I met my boyfriend who was willing to make small changes in his life to keep me safe,

The craziest thing is I didn’t even know I was celiac until I was in my late 30s. I was tested multiple times for gluten sensitivity and always came back negative then I read this article about ways to test for celiacs and gluten intolerance and realized I’d been tested incorrectly. The most effective way to test is with a saliva test but my doctors had been doing blood tests. I had to basically demand a saliva test against my doctor’s recommendation and sure enough the results came back positive.


Thus began my journey into adopting a gluten free lifestyle through a lot of education, experimentation, and product sampling. I have learned to be diligent with reading ingredients lists, cross contamination, and helping people understand we are all intolerant to the gluten found in hybridized grains like wheat, barley, and rye.

That’s right, I said everyone is intolerant to the gluten from hybridized grains. Hybridized grains are genetically modified to produce more at the expense of nutrition. This is why some people who are gluten intolerant can still process the gluten from whole grains. I’m not one of these people but I know some. Haha!

We fall on a spectrum from feeling a little lethargic after a foot long from Subway to hospitalization and wherever you fall on that spectrum adopting a gluten free lifestyle results in better health, clearer skin, weight lose, more restful sleep, and increased energy.

I know not eating gluten can seem like an impossible mountain to climb and at least once we’ve all sung a sad lament for bread, chewy doughy fluffy tear-apart bread. Psst, here’s a secret: you can still have chewy doughy fluffy tear-apart bread, donuts, cake, soy sauce, Asian food, pizza, and basically all the food you normally eat. The big change is learning to read labels, ingredients lists, and buying different products.

And if you’re thinking, “but it doesn’t taste the same and the texture’s wrong.” The truth is your right there are some gluten free breads out there that are hard and also somehow gummy(?) and there are cookies that are so hard you’re afraid you’ll chip a tooth. There are also amazing delicious gluten free products and that’s what we’re going to focus on.

Last Christmas I hosted and made this huge spread for family and friends (all gluten free of course!) and everyone kept asking, “This is gluten free? It doesn’t taste gluten free?”


Because it’s just food, whole foods that haven’t been refined to remove all the good stuff our bodies need. Being healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. Just awareness and easy healthy gluten free products that are safe, convenient, and won’t break the bank.

Now let’s talk soft chewy melt-in-your-mouth cookies….

To Bread,

Ava Like Guava