The Gluten-Free RV: The Beginnings

A typical gluten-free meal for me. Yes, that's a lot of mayo.

A typical gluten-free meal for me. Yes, that’s a lot of mayo.

Now children, gather round, I’m going to tell you a deeply personal story. Once upon a time in grad school I started to get very, very sick. I had debilitating stomach pain. I was hospitalized several times. I had mysterious rashes, unexplained tiredness and nausea. I knew every bathroom within a 50 mile radius of my apartment. It was a miserable, unpleasant, and downright scary time. Sometimes the stomach pain would get so bad, I would think “ok, this is the end. I’m really lucky I didn’t decide to get a cat so he wouldn’t eat my face off when I die.” Really. I thought that.I saw so many doctors and the inside of more depressing waiting rooms than I care to remember. I had so many tests run and everything came out negative. Many doctors brushed me off. “You’re in your 20s, you are young, it’s just stress,” they’d say. I lived in fear of food and on the recommendation of one doctor, ate a very bland, low-acid diet of peanut butter crackers, bananas and chicken soup.

I was sick for years. YEARS. I lived a miserable dietary existence. I was ready to just accept my fate as a weak, sickly individual until I saw one last doctor. This particular doctor suggested cutting out certain foods to see if my pain stopped. I cut out gluten, dairy and nightshades. My pain disappeared. I had more energy than I had in my entire life. I actually enjoyed eating again.

I worked the nightshades back into my diet with no problem. Then I tried the dairy. Still very little problem as long as I didn’t overdue it. I was scared, but I also tried adding the gluten back into my diet. The stomach pain and nausea came back soon after.

I’ve now been gluten-free for a couple of years. And it’s been glorious. I don’t miss “real” bread, pasta or the pain they once caused me. I eat fresh, beautiful foods without abandon. And guess what?! I cook them all out of my Airstream!

So to make a long story short, I want to share those foods with you in a new column I’m calling “The Gluten-Free RV.” The title makes sense now, huh?!

Thanks for listening, ya’ll. I love you and I hope you’ll enjoy.



7 thoughts on “The Gluten-Free RV: The Beginnings

  1. Monique Mitchell (@neeke1)

    Ok. I had to chuckle at the cat comment. I have experienced levels of pain that have made me think some “different’ things as well. lol It is amazing how long you had to work through this process before finding what worked for you. I am glad you were able to find relief. I’m curious about nightshades…I’ll have to Google that.

    1. lovelibrarianmelanie Post author

      Yeah, nightshades are troublesome for some people– Nightshades are things like tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. So glad I don’t have trouble with those because I looooove peppers and tomatoes.

  2. The Laughing Nanny

    Melanie, it’s seems there’s more in common than just living in an Airstream. I, too, have similar issues unrelated to gluten (to my knowledge) but everything eaten for nutritional supplement is top priority for living. My problem is gastroparesis, a paralyzed stomach. I know I will have to submit to a lifetime feeding tube in the not to distant future but it’s all good. I’m so glad you know what your problem is and that you can help yourself with it. BTW – your food looked good!


    1. lovelibrarianmelanie

      I hate to hear that, but it is nice to relate to someone else.

      I’ll be thinking about you.

      1. The Laughing Nanny

        Same here Melanie. I’m thinking about you too, and glad to see you have some control with your health. I loved the recipe you posted earlier….I’m giving that one a shot when I get the new oven this weekend!


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