I was immediately drawn to Dave’s Instagram account when I saw his handle also sported a “GFD” for Gluten Free Dave. I knew we had to be friends! Over the past little while we linked up and shared some of our gluten free favorites.
After reaching out to him, I’m happy he accepted my interview request and decided to share his story and little bit more about his life with all of us. Below are Dave’s insight on the gluten free lifestyle:
1) Your story…tell us a little bit about yourself!
“I am 48 years old. Married to an accountant and have two awesome sons, ages 19 & 17. We live in Kansas City, KS. I am a mechanical engineer and work in the Defense and Aerospace Industry. Looking back, I have had signs of gluten intolerance since my college years. My symptoms became more severe about 13 years ago. For 10+ years, I suffered through daily heartburn and bloating. I threw up many times a week, usually after my evening meal. I had lots of digestive problems, joint pain, and brain fog. I saw many doctors, took many tests, and tried many medications over that time. Nothing worked. In 2016, I change doctors, and she diagnosed my Hashimoto’s Thyroid disease. 6 months later, I ran across an article online that discussed the link between Autoimmune Disease and Gluten Intolerance. Next, I read an article about gluten intolerance symptoms. I quit gluten that instant. In hindsight, I should have been tested for Celiac before quitting. I have had lots of stumbles along the way, but I have become an expert at keeping myself safe. I feel better than I have in years. Even my joint pain is gone. I didn’t know I had brain fog until after it lifted. My family and I tried to maintain a shared kitchen at home for the first couple years, and I would routinely get glutened from cross contamination. About a year ago, our home went full GF. I am grateful for my family’s generosity and willingness to go on this journey with me and keep me safe. To add to my challenges, I was diagnosed with Alpha Gal Red Meat Allergy two years ago. A disease that I picked up through a tick bite. Therefore, I eat lots of chicken, turkey, and seafood.”
2) Why do you eat gluten free food?
“I have a severe gluten intolerance. The smallest amount of cross contamination gets me sick. Within 30 to 60 minutes after consuming, I become bloated, start frequent burping, and then proceed to throw up my entire meal over the next couple of hours.”
3) What is your favorite gluten free snack? Where can we find it?
“Salty and crunchy snacks are my weakness. My go to snack is Blue Diamond Almonds. My favorite flavors are: Salt & Vinegar, Sriracha, and Habanero BBQ. They can be found at most grocery stores including Walmart and Target.”
4) What’s your favorite gluten free recipe?
“Fat Head Pizza crust topped with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, sweet Italian turkey sausage, turkey pepperoni, sun-dried tomatoes, and sprinkled with crushed red peppers. I discovered this recipe years ago when I was following a low carb diet before I understood my gluten insensitivity and have been making it ever since! My whole family enjoys it. Recipe for the crust can be found at: https://www.ditchthecarbs.com/fat-head-pizza“
5) What’s one thing you wish you knew when you first went gluten free?
“Find Me Gluten Free App exists and is awesome. This is a must have tool for eating out. I am so thankful that the GF community supports each other with this app through thoughtful restaurant reviews and ratings. I never eat a new restaurant without consulting it.”
6) If you could only eat one gluten free meal for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
“Homemade Fat Head Pizza. I love it because it is delicious straight out of the oven, and the leftovers are portable and delicious cold too!”
7) What advice would you give someone who is about to go gluten free?
“Be patient and understand that most of your family and friends will never fully understand how to meet your dietary needs. Some of them will accuse you of being a baby, selfish, or trying to get special attention. It is a difficult task to stay gluten free, and it is too much to expect that everyone else is willing to accommodate you. I have attended countless meals where I went away hungry because the risk of getting sick was too great. Plan ahead and have an emergency snack available.”
8) What’s your favorite thing about being gluten free?
“I have identified and defeated my enemy! After 10+ years of seeing doctors that do not understand food nutrition and prescribe silly tests and unnecessary medications, I finally discovered the root cause of my problem. I have become an expert at detecting hidden sources of gluten and cross contamination. I understand how to keep myself safe and feeling fantastic!”
9) What is one thing you dislike about being gluten free and what do you do to mitigate it?
“Eating at other people’s houses. Most of my family and friends know that I am GF and try to have something available for me to eat. Unfortunately, many of them do not understand hidden sources of gluten and cross contamination. Often times, I make arrangements beforehand to bring my own food with me. A lot of times, I simply don’t eat what they have provided. Sometimes, my wife eats their ‘special food’ on my behalf, and they think I did. I know that my actions offend many, but it simply is not worth the risk for me. Unfortunately, it’s my new normal.”
10) How can other people find you?
“I am active on Instagram @glutenfree.dave“
Dave, thank you for sharing with us! Hopefully this is just one of many interviews. For future interviews, if anyone has additional questions you would like me to add, just let me know! Feel free to reach out to Dave or myself with any issues or concerns you may have.
Thanks for stopping by!