The Adventures of Anti-Wheat Girl! The Adventures of Anti-Wheat GirlThe Adventures of Anti-Wheat Girl

The Adventures of Anti-Wheat Girl

The Adventures of Anti-Wheat Girl is the journey of blogger Priyanka Chugh through the crazy adventure of being a gluten free 20-something. Anti-Wheat Girl covers everything from restaurant and product reviews, to easy to follow recipes, to topical information about the gluten free world! Not only is a place to read and learn, but it's also a place to engage: comments and contributions are ALWAYS welcome. But most of all, everything is fun, everything is chill, and everything is 100% real, honest, gluten free goodness.
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Hey there Anti-Wheat People! I received a question a few days ago, asking for the cooking instructions for Sweet Christine’s Bakery’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust. You may remember my review of their delicious crust a while back (if not, click HERE) and here are the cooking instructions so you can enjoy for yourself after buying this amazing crust!

Hey there Anti-Wheat Peeps! Today I would like to present you with our next installment of the Gluten Free Voices series. Periodically, we have been featuring the personal stories of our very own gluten-free readers. Of course we’ve all had different experiences with eating gluten free but through this series, we hope to portray that there are similarities in what we all go through and to help strengthen the amazing gluten free community that already exists!

We invite you to comment with your own experiences or to email antiwheatgirl@gmail.com if you are interested in sharing your gluten free story as well!

Today we hear from Deepa Srikantaiah, the creator of Gluten-Free South Indian:

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“Maybe it’s gluten.”  I looked at my doctor with hopeful eyes that this test he was running would be an answer to 15 years of undiagnosed symptoms ranging from intense gut issues to neurological problems to extreme muscle/joint aches.  It had been a whirlwind of a journey for me—doctors told me that maybe I had IBS, sciatica, vertigo, etc., and one doctor even said, “maybe you’re just stressed.”  They just couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong with me.  I felt like giving up going to doctors, but my health kept getting worse.

Finally, after 15 years I found a doctor who got it right, it was gluten, and I was so relieved—an answer to years of sickness!  But, as I leaving my doctor’s office, he also said that it was interesting that I was the first South Asian he had diagnosed as a Celiac.  He mentioned that research on Celiac Disease indicated that it was more a “European,” “Australian,” or “North American” illness.  He was surprised that I, as a South Asian, had this condition. 

I left his office with mixed feelings; I was happy that my symptoms would slowly get better on a gluten-free diet, but kept thinking that I probably would not have had to suffer for so many years if I had known gluten was the culprit to my sickness. 

I know there has been more awareness about celiac disease and having a gluten intolerance in the recent years, and now going “gluten-free” is even a popular trend or fad, but it still bothered me that I was the first South Asian my doctor had diagnosed (and also the first one in my family!).   

When I told my mom that I couldn’t eat gluten anymore, she didn’t worry at all.  She said she would teach me to cook and eat like a South Indian—having a mainly rice-based diet.  My mom made me think back to the diet my ancestors and relatives in India had or have. 

Although I was born in and grew up in the US, my family is from the Southern part of India, from the state of Karnataka, where they mainly have a rice-based diet.  The majority of my family still lives in India.  Even if the gene for Celiac Disease might run in our family, my ancestors who had the gene for Celiac Disease were probably treating themselves without knowing it because they ate a mainly rice-based diet.  I had much more exposure to gluten growing up in the U.S.—my school lunches were primarily peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, or pizza.  Even though my mom would mainly cook South Indian food at home, since I’d been a toddler I probably had ten times the exposure to gluten compared to my relatives or ancestors in India. 

Although there is limited data on Celiac Disease prevalence in South Asia, research does show that celiac disease has historically existed in the South Asian population where gluten is consumed.  For example, there is research supporting high incidences of Celiac Disease in the state of Punjab, in the Northern part of India.  In Punjab, celiac disease or a gluten intolerance was called “summer diarrhea” because wheat was generally consumed in the summer, while millet was consumed in the winter. [1] 

As I mentioned earlier, the South Indian diet is predominantly rice-based, so there are many South Indian dishes I can eat without getting sick (thanks to my mom, relatives, and friends for teaching me all the wonderful recipes!).  I created a blog called Gluten-Free South Indian (that’s me!) to share naturally gluten-free South Indian recipes, and other yummy gluten-free dishes I like to make.  Please check it out, and thanks for reading!



[1] See Cataldo F, Montalto G. Celiac disease in the developing countries:  A new and challenging public health problem.  World J Gastroenterol 2007; 13(15):  2153-2159.  

Check it out Anti-Wheat Peeps! Our Celiac advocacy superhero, Dr. Ritu Verma did it again! 6 ABC just posted a great segment featuring Dr. Verma and the ever-inspirational Savidge family on dealing with Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes. 

Happy to see some real education and advocacy getting out there in more mainstream media!

What’s up Anti-Wheat People!?

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Today I am going to tell you about an INCREDIBLE brownie that I just had, and our lovely contributing blogger, Nika, is going to give us the rundown on a fantastic new cookie! Both of these products were given to us by the awesome people at This Chick Bakes! This Chick Bakes is a gourmet bakery based in Long Island City, NY with a bunch of gluten-free products, AND you can order these yummy products online, so no need to worry if you’re not in the area.

First up! The Gluten-Free Fudge Brownie:

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It must seem like I say this a lot, but I think I just keep getting to try better and better products, because this is probably one of the best gluten-free brownies I have ever had. The brownie is big, and it is chocolatey, and it is delicious. THERE WAS NO NASTY AFTERTASTE and that is probably my number one marker of a good gluten-free dessert. We all know that I love my chocolate and this brownie did not disappoint—chocolate lovers, take note! I ate a bite of that brownie and I legitimately felt like I could run around and sing a song (yes, I know that is a ridiculous visual to imagine). So if you’re going to order something from This Chick Bakes, I wholeheartedly believe that it should be this brownie!!

But lets swing over to hear what Nika has to say about the cookie!

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So I tried the gluten-free Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Cookie and it was great! It tasted like a regular, gluten-containing cookie! The cranberry and white chocolate flavors were definitely present, but the combination was subtle and I wasn’t overwhelmed by any one flavor. It also had a great sweetness to it that made it almost like a sugar cookie with a little fruity kick! 

So that’s it, Anti-Wheat Peeps!! A delicious pair of gluten-free products from This Chick Bakes! You must be wondering how you can get your hands on some of them. Well, lucky for you, we’re teaming up with This Chick Bakes and running a giveaway to win one of their gluten-free products. Head on over to our giveaway site before April 21st and enter to win!!

Hey there Anti-Wheat Peeps! The Celiac Community has been buzzing about this post 27 Reasons I Could Never Go Gluten-Free”. I decided to take to Huffington Post and share my thoughts! Now is the time to share yours!!! Read my 27 Reasons and comment with some of yours.

<3 AWG

"The feeling of being bullied and stigmatized does not end as children age into adults: bullying and a sense of loneliness are ubiquitous in many of the lives of those with food restrictions."

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Hiya Anti-Wheat Peeps!

I just wanted to take a minute today to repost this piece that I wrote on The Social Impact of Food Allergies. I’ve been seeing a lot of bullying in and towards the Celiac and Food Allergy communities lately and I hope people remember the impact that their words have. Of course it is important to voice your opinions and spread awareness. But there is nothing that minimizes the importance of our cause more than lack of respect and education.

What good does it do if we waste our time and resources criticizing each other? Let everyone advocate in their own way and as long as they’re not hurting anyone, let us work together towards a mutual goal. Let’s have some respect and be role models for others. Believe me, the stigma and bullying that kids with food allergies are subjected to is more than any parent would want for their child and we have an opportunity to work to change that. However, acting like bullies to each other does nothing to change the issues that plague our community out in the real world. So please give the article a read and share your stories. Let’s be role models and make this world a better place for ourselves, each other, and future food allergy sufferers. 

Finally, there is no better way to express this sentiment than with a little Bob Marley. 

MUCH love,

Anti-Wheat Girl

Hey there Anti-Wheat People!

As you may have read, The Adventures of Anti-Wheat Girl has been featuring stories by gluten-free individuals in our Gluten Free Voices series!! Originally, the series was slated for an October publish date, but we’ve decided to make it an ongoing series! If you want to read the first in the series, click HERE and if you are interested in sharing your story of diagnosis or an anecdote of your experiences, PLEASE email me at antiwheatgirl@gmail.com. See below for more details:

I’m looking to share unique stories of gluten free people to give the world more perspective on how different the experiences of everyone who eats gluten free can be but yet at the same time, how similar we all are in our struggles with this disease/diet.

So what exactly are we looking for? We are looking for ANYONE who wants to share a specific or unique story about their experience with Celiac Disease or eating gluten free. Even if you have your own blog, we would love to hear your story and you’re more than welcome to link back to your own blog. You can write about anything related to being gluten free in just about any format. We have people making lists, telling stories, even drawing! It can be anything that you feel expresses your voice and tells your gluten free story (or one of your stories). 

If you’re interested, email antiwheatgirl@gmail.com with your story idea! Hopefully we will find a place for everyone’s ideas and stories! Feel free to email if you have any questions as well :) 

And don’t worry if you’re not gluten free yourself and are an Anti-Wheat Ally, go ahead and submit!! We’ll be running a series of Allies as well! 

Hey Anti-Wheat Peeps! I want to let you all know about a cool new opportunity from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness!

They’ve launched Test Your Gluten-Free Knowledge, a quiz designed to to clear up common misconceptions and misinformation about Celiac Disease, gluten sensitivity, and gluten-free diets. Help spread awareness by taking and sharing the quiz! Rudi’s is also giving away 10 gluten-free prize packs just for participating, so jump on it!

You can take it at their site here, but watch out! I got 9/10 when I took it… That number 10 is a tricky one!

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Hey Anti-Wheat Peeps! We have some exciting news for you all today! The Adventures of Anti-Wheat Girl is giving away two gluten-free grab bags, and you could win!

Each grab bag is a random assortment of 5 gluten-free products that will be mailed to your front door, free of charge! The contest starts today and runs until 12:00 AM EST, April 8th, 2014, so you have plenty of time to jump on it!

To enter the contest, all you have to do is check out our Grab Bag Giveaway page, and follow the instructions there. Good luck to all of you!

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What up Anti-Wheat Peeps! Hope everyone had a nice weekend :) Today we’re answering another Ask Anti-Wheat Girl question. Again, please chime in with your thoughts—the more helpful advice, the better!

This questions is from an anonymous Tumblr user:

"So I haven’t been tested for celiac disease but I’m 99% sure I have it. I stopped eating gluten for like a month and felt so much better, went into my doctors office and now I have to eat gluten for at least two weeks before I can be tested ( it has been the worst two weeks ever) Anyway, I’ve gone to the gluten free aisle in my grocery store but some of the products give me a reaction. Is that normal for someone with celiac disease? I thought if it was gluten free I could eat it."

Yikes, the dreaded gluten challenge. Not just for you, my anonymous friend, but for everyone, I’d like to just put a little advice out there. If you think you might have Celiac or some kind of gluten-related issue, I highly suggest seeing a physician first, before going gluten-free. If you want the tried and true diagnosis of clinical Celiac Disease, bloodwork and an endoscopy have to be done WHILE ON GLUTEN. Meaning if you went gluten-free, you’ll have to go back to eating gluten before the tests will give an accurate result. The gluten challenge is not an easy feat and who really wants to feel gross again after they just started feeling better? So, if possible, talk to your doc before making big changes like that! That being said, if it’s not important to you to have the stamp of Celiac approval, then by all means, do what feels best for you! Everyone’s health is different and only you know what works best for your belly.

Okay, but as for your actual question, it is VERY possible to have additional reactions to gluten-free foods for a few reasons. Number one: you may be eating foods that are not ~truly gluten free. So that could mean that they have oats, which have been contaminated from when they were harvested. Or it could mean that the company just slapped “gluten-free” on the product without testing (although the FDA’s ruling on gluten-free labeling will be changing that somewhat). If that’s the case, you may want to try and avoid oats and investigate your products a little more. Secondly, there is some evidence coming out these days that there is potential for cross-reactivity with other foods in people who have Celiac. This could be due to the fact that your gut is still healing and not all foods are okay for you just yet, or it could be because of additional allergies that you may have. These are all important things to bring to your doctor. Your physician may suggest additional allergy testing, or food trials where you avoid certain allergens in a strategic manner. Unfortunately, this isn’t an exact science just yet, so you may have to deal with some amount of trial and error until you pinpoint exactly what is causing your reactions. Bottom line—make sure you meet with your physician and let them know about these additional reactions, and come up with a plan to figure out what’s up!

Hope this helps and, Anti-Wheat community, share your advice and experiences too!! Help another celiac out :D 

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