HealthPersonal Blog

Starting A Gluten-Free Life Even Though I’m A Chicken Wing And Nacho Loving Kind Of Girl

I can’t believe it. I really can’t believe this. I have to start adhering to a gluten free diet. Me. The girl who never says no to french fries. The girl who dives in head first whenever she sees a bag of Doritos or a plate of spaghetti and meatballs.

I’m not ok.

I’m seriously NOT OK.

Three pregnancies ago – when I was baking Natalie (my first born) –  I was placed on bed rest. It was horrible! During that time, I was also told that I had gestational diabetes and that I had to monitor my eating. I cried for days. I didn’t cry when I was placed on bedrest. I cried when I was told I couldn’t have a second helping of rice with my dinner.


I don’t monitor myself. I don’t think twice about anything. I look at girls who eat salad for lunch and I feel SORRY for them and I REALLY REALLY mean that. I feel like they are missing out on GOODNESS. No… GREATNESS. I mean, kale over chicken fingers? I don’t think so.

But, three days ago, I was told that I have Hashimoto’s disease. And everything that’s ever been wrong with me in my LIFE suddenly made sense.

Here is the full list in case you were wondering –> (I have about 85% of this)

  • Fatigue and sluggishness
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Pale, dry skin
  • A puffy face
  • Hoarse voice
  • Unexplained weight gain — occurring infrequently and rarely exceeding 10 to 20 pounds, most of which is fluid
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, especially in your shoulders and hips
  • Pain and stiffness in your joints and swelling in your knees or the small joints in your hands and feet
  • Muscle weakness, especially in your lower extremities
  • Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
  • Depression

Hashimoto’s disease isn’t cured by drugs. It isn’t hypothyroidism. You don’t just get put on some meds and call it a day. You have to be proactive in a different way. You have to start taking vitamins and watching what you eat.

The suggestion is… to remove… gluten (gulp) from your diet.


No more gluten.

No more random slices of pizza while out with my kids at birthday parties.

No more grabbing food at parties and going to town.

No more couscous. I LOVE couscous!!!!

I went to the supermarket today (after a good cry – no I’m not kidding) and bought $300 worth of gluten free products so that I could fill my pantry with the products my body deserves.

Gluten Free popcorn

Gluten Free pretzels

Gluten Free pasta

and then a whole bunch of fresh fruits and vegetables

You had to see me in the rice aisle. I wouldn’t give up. I kept looking at all the different rice options to try to find a gluten free one. I was like… ONE OF THESE WILL BE GLUTEN FREE, RIGHT???? ANYONE???? CAN ANYONE HELP ME??

But no. I walked out with Quinoa and a few other sides that I have never made before. All a test. All a HUGE TEST!! That is what’s ahead of me.

I splurged and bought some gluten free brownies and chocolate chip cookies because I feel like I need to THINK that there are yummy options out there. I need to just KNOW that there are desserts that I can eat and enjoy. So, I bought them all. Every single thing I found. I think people thought I was insane.

I didn’t care.

I came home and Bill almost lost his mind. He was like… WHAT DID YOU DO??

I bought it alllllllllllllllllllll!

That’s what I did!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve tried three things so far and they were great –>
Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 7.10.41 PM

Sabra Tzatziki — we dipped cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots. So good!

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 7.12.06 PM

Food Should Taste Good Tomato & Basil Brown Rice Crackers — couldn’t tell the difference. Truly!

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 7.13.06 PM

Barilla Gluten Free Pasta – I didn’t taste much of a difference. In fact, I don’t think I tasted any difference???

So — slow and uphill battle. But it’s happening. I will be writing about this a lot. So, I hope you don’t mind it. I need to document my findings!

Are you gluten-free? Tell me about it!! PLEASE!!!

Vera Sweeney, mom, blogger, social media influencer and New York resident, is the founder of She is considered one of the top female digital influencers in today’s social media space. Her lifestyle and parenting brand helps busy women stay on top of the latest trends in fashion, food, family and travel.