All About Me

My name is Melissa and I'm a junior at Indiana University studying Management with a core in Public Affairs. I love running, reading the news, politics, cooking, hiking, being outside, and spending time with my friends and family. I'm also obsessed with my dog. Her name is Nellie. She is part collie part lab and is an angel sent from the heavens.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease in June, 2011. I had been having stomach problems for years. I was always tired and sick. After going to the doctor several times and hearing that I was just stressed, I gave up for awhile and tried to learn to deal with my stomach issues. One doctor told me I had a hiatal hernia and acid reflux. I changed my diet but my symptoms only got worse. After a stay in the hospital the day before my birthday, I decided to see an endocrinologist. That was actually my Mom's idea. I was very against seeing yet another doctor, but thankfully I did. I got a bunch of blood tests and Wa La!  It showed I have Celiac.

Some people might ask why I went undiagnosed for so long. That's because celiac disease is the most under diagnosed disease out there. Doctors still see it as very rare although it is estimated that 1 in 133 people have it. Although this was devastating news, I can honestly say I would rather give up gluten for the rest of my life than have to deal with stomach problems and having zero energy day in and day out. I still have my moments where I want a huge sandwich from Jimmy John's or Which Wich and literally think I will reach death if I don't eat it. Don’t get me wrong, this disease absolutely sucks. Finding out I can never get a deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s or eating pasta dishes from my favorite Italian restaurants was probably the worst realization I’ve ever had. Ever.

Although I have to give up a lot of things, I see myself as incredibly lucky. I don't have to take medication for the rest of my life nor do I have to endure surgery. All I have to do is change my diet. It takes some time getting use to, but living gluten free will make me be a healthier person in the long run. No more processed foods, no more greasy hamburgers from McDonalds, no more birthday cake... I try and look at it as a blessing in disguise.

On the bright side, I absolutely love to cook.  I may not be able to eat heavenly pizza again from a restaurant, but I’m sure as heck going to try and recreate it in my kitchen. I made this blog mostly for myself. I'm constantly creating new recipes and it's like my own personal cook book. This blog is just for fun, but hopefully someone finds it useful to them in some way!

(I also want to apologize for the poor quality of pictures. I'm not a photographer and the camera I'm using is really bad. The pictures aren't a good representation of what the dishes actually look like, but they're better than nothing!)