Ashlyn and Sylvia (Ashlyn’s mom) are a Nima community members living in Fairway, Kansas. Read how Ashlyn uses Nima to test her food at restaurants and take control of her health.

What’s your food identity, and how do you maintain it?

Ashlyn (age 11):  I have Celiacs and was diagnosed 3 years ago, and my Nima helps me as well as my parents.

Mom:  Our Nima has been amazing to help us identify restaurants that we can trust in preparing Ashlyn’s food correctly.  We’ve found both restaurants that do a great and poor job of doing what they say in providing her a gluten free meal.  So now we know where to go and where to avoid!

Tell us a little about your gluten-free journey. What was it like when you started eating gluten-free? What challenges did you face?

Ashlyn:  When I started eating gluten free, it was a hard change. I couldn’t eat a lot of my favorites, like Oreos or Twix, and I could never go to Russell Stovers (our neighborhood place to get ice cream). But I soon found out eating gluten free was healthier (and could be just as yummy) and there was so many foods that were prepared gluten free.

What was your food life like before you had your Nima?

Ashlyn:  I always had to assume that the waiters were saying what was true about how they prepared my food and I had to take some risks.

Mom:  We had some bad (and super frustrating) experiences where the waiters/cooks would emphatically state that food was fine for her to eat, and then she would have a terrible reaction.  We felt somewhat hopeless, as you are simply going on faith that food is safe for her to eat. Every meal, I would be a little nervous a few hours after, waiting to see if we’d have a reaction.  We are a family that enjoys going out to eat, and before Nima, we felt that we weren’t able to eat outside the home.

What’s your food life like now that you have Nima?

Ashlyn:  Now I know if my food really is ok or not, and it helps me not get sick.

Mom:  We have freedom to be able to eat out again!  It’s nice to be able to have Nima, especially when we have no prior experience with a restaurant.  Plus, it’s great to spot check at times with trusted restaurants to make sure things are all good. It gives us a sense of security knowing that we can actually know whether our food is gluten free versus just praying that it is.

What do you test with Nima? Has there been anything that surprised you wasn’t safe (according to Nima)?

Ashlyn:  I test food when I go to new places or places that were on and off every time. Once I tested pizza that was supposed to be gluten free, but found out just in time that it wasn’t gluten free.  I would have never known if I didn’t have my Nima.

What do your friends, family, and/or doctors think about Nima?

Ashlyn:  They think that it is very efficient and helps me not get sick.

Mom:  I am super impressed that it is able to test food so quickly.  When I first started researching options, I was surprised how others required 20 minutes, a tedious process, large kits, etc.  I love how portable, quick and easy Nima is!

When using Nima at restaurants, what has been your experience? Do you have a favorite Nima related story?

Ashlyn:  Most of the time it has helped me realize what foods to eat or not.

Mom:  One thing that I really like having the ability to do with Nima is being able to give feedback to the chef or waiters… and even more, to be able to thank them for when we do get smiley faces.  I think the restaurant staff also really appreciate knowing they are doing things correctly. It’s nice being able to say “Job well done” when they are truly making the effort.

Bonus fun questions:

Option 1: If you can only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ashlyn:  Pasta because there are so many options.

Option 2: If you can only use one spice or condiment what would it be?

Ashlyn:  I don’t have a favorite.

Option 3: If you can only choose one restaurant for the rest of your life where would it be?

Ashlyn:  Eat Fit Go