Breaking Bread: Fighting Gluten One Test At A Time With Michelle Bock of Goodness Gracious Gluten Free
Michelle Bock is a blogger and married mother of two daughters from Gilbert, Az. She shares recipes and celiac life tips on her blog, Goodness Gracious Gluten Free and on Instagram @goodnessgraciousglutenfree. Michelle uses Nima to test nearly everything she puts in her mouth, and she’s talking to us about why she’s so diligent.
Hi Michelle, thank you for joining us and sharing your story with the community today!
Can I start by asking what’s your food identity?
I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008.
How do you maintain your gluten-free diet?
I’m a big label reader and if I don’t know what something is, then I Google it. Now that I have Nima, I literally test everything before I put it in my mouth if it’s anything new. Even if I’ve tested before with success at a restaurant, I still retest it to be sure that I’ll be safe. Nima has been a big life saver.
Our family eats meat, veggies and dairy. We don’t eat bread. Our whole family is gluten-free because it’s easier, plus our daughters have the genes for celiac. Our older daughter doesn’t have symptoms, but our younger one does. It’s likely that she has celiac disease. We haven’t gone through testing yet.
My husband’s mother has Hashimoto’s disease, which is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. It’s best to be on a gluten-free diet for that. To keep cross contamination from happening, everyone is gluten-free. It’s best not to mess around.
I don’t allow any gluten in my house. Even when people come to visit, any food with gluten stays outside.
What are some of your hobbies or interests?
Cooking, food blogging, learning to sail with my husband and hanging out with friends and family.
What do you test with your Nima?
Despite keeping only gluten-free products in my house, I suspected I was getting glutened from somewhere. I tested everything in my house even if it was labeled gluten-free or certified gluten-free. I was shocked to find gluten in some of these products. I decided to test everything: medications*, supplements*, packaged food and anything I eat at a restaurant.
What was the most shocking test result?
A supplement* that I was taking for gut healing came up positive for gluten. I called the company to speak to the manufacturer about cross contamination but they never called me back. You just have to laugh.
The other shocking one was a protein powder made by someone with celiac. I tested it because I was using it daily. It came up positive and I called them. They were really angry with me. I wanted to tell them so they could make it better for themselves as well as everybody else. I was just trying to help.
Both of these test results were huge eye openers. I thought I was being so careful and good!
What was your food life like before you had your Nima?
I trusted gluten-free labels and questioned restaurant staff. I’d also question friends if I was going to their house for dinner. They were really great about it–sending pictures of food and lists of ingredients. Even with assurances, I wouldn’t eat something if it looked sketchy. But still I got sick sometimes.
What’s your life like now that you have Nima?
Before using Nima, I thought I was doing a great job and it’s like starting over again. I’ve learned I can’t trust labels and now I don’t have to. My Nima takes a lot of the stress out of going out to eat. It’s my safety defense mechanism. It’s reassuring.
I’m incredibly thankful for Nima. I wish I could hug the creators. I think everyone with celiac should have one. It’s wonderful to know what you’re eating is safe.
What’s your favorite Nima story?
I went out on a date with my husband the night before our first sailing class. I explained I was gluten-free and used my Nima to test the first and second courses. They were okay. I almost didn’t test the dessert because I figured it was okay. My husband suggested I do it anyway just in case. It had gluten! I was so lucky. If I’d eaten it, I would’ve been sick on a boat for six hours with three men and a Port-o-Potty. Nima saved the day.
When I told the restaurant about the test results, they were really responsive. They figured out where gluten came from. I’ve found restaurants will either want to get to the bottom of it or not.
One last important question! If you can only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Torn between chocolate or cheese. Too hard to pick!
We’re so happy that Nima has helped you and your family. Thank you for sharing your stories and your test results on Instagram.