I am a Celiac.

Welcome to my Blog.

My name is Kathleen Reale. I am the creator of BeFreeForMe.  I am a daughter… a sister… an aunt.  I love to save money whenever I can, learn about food intolerances and allergies, and share my experiences and knowledge with others. I am a serial entrepreneur. I am a celiac.

Whenever I am asked to describe myself, such as in those “10 words or less” get-to-know-you games,  I always describe myself as being a celiac. Having celiac disease means that I have a lifelong intolerance to gluten, a protein found in many grains – including wheat, barley and rye.

I finally asked myself why?  Was this diagnosis really making that big of an impact on my life?  Was it making me connect to others? Connect to myself? I have decided, after a lot of thought, that I describe myself as a celiac because it has made me who I am today.

And who is that? What has a positive diagnosis of celiac disease help me become?

Being a celiac has made me a better person and has taught me a lot about myself, others and the world around me.

Here are a few things that randomly pop into mind of what being positively diagnosed with celiac disease has made me become or made aware of:

I Feel Alive.

After years of living – I finally feel alive after going gluten free. I thought that everyone in life always felt the way I did before being diagnosed with celiac disease. I had no idea what feeling really, really good both physically, but more so, mentally felt like until after living a gluten-free lifestyle.


Letting Go Of Things I Cannot Control.

Since going gluten free, I am more accepting of others around me, as well as myself.



I have learned to be patient with other people and also with myself – my body.

Healing takes time.


Enjoying The Little Things.

A hotdog at Fenway Park.
Hot buttered popcorn at the movies.
Splitting a six-pack and a pizza with Sue, my college roommate.
I’ve learned that the little things can sometimes turn into the biggest memories. Hold them close.


Realizing that Talking to Strangers is O.K.

During Sunday morning grocery trips to my local Market Basket, I feel an instant bonding and connection to any other shopper I see that has a variety of wheat free goodies in their cart.  If I notice something atop their cart that I’ve wanted to buy and try, but have been leery, I don’t hesitate to ask them what they think of the product.
A stranger with gluten free in the cart suddenly becomes an instant friend.


Looking On The Positive Side.

There could be a lot of worse things in life to go without besides bread.
Enough said.


Focusing On My Goals.

I now focus on something I am passionate about. Whether it be making a new gluten free recipe. Sending information along to a newly diagnosed celiac. Discovering a new gluten free restaurant. Or starting BeFreeForMe. Being passionate about your goals makes working for them that much easier.


Discovering Food is Powerful.

I had never put much thought into food until I was diagnosed with celiac disease. Now it seems that each and every thought is somehow related to food. Food is powerful. Food is powerful because it supplies bodies with nutrients. But food is even more powerful because it is emotional; a social and cultural glue. It took me awhile to reconnect with myself, and also with the world, when I was first diagnosed with celiac disease.

But now I am back into the world, stuck on being me…gluten free.




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3 Responses to “I am a Celiac.”

  1. Cathy Pearson Says:

    I feel like I just read my own biography. Everything you’ve written pertains to me – even the coupon clipping. I’m a big discount shopper and used to pay 79 cents for a loaf of bread. How I would love to find a coupon for the $4.99 gluten-free bread mix, now!
    Thanks for the website. . . My doctor is great but everything I’ve learned about celiac disease has been on the internet.
    Cathy Pearson

  2. Lindsey McArdle Says:

    I felt like for a long time no one else was really going through anything like this…. seemed like all my friends/family thought I was crazy for having to do this. I actually do not have Celiac disease, but I have an intolerance to Gluten, Soy, Dairy (cow dairy only) and Corn. I find many products gluten free, but SOOO many of those products have soy and/or corn as an ingredient. I always find that corn gives me a lot of trouble, and i don’t or haven’t heard of a lot of people having a trouble with this one. I feel like I eat the same things everyday because my food intolerances seem to be across the board. The only food base I seem to be able to eat is anything with rice.. but id LOVE some alternatives!!

  3. Sarah Says:

    Hi Kathleen,
    thank you so much for your beautiful post about looking at the positive side of celiac and food allergies. I can honestly say that I feel the same way now. I don’t have celiac but have allergies to gluten, dairy and sugar. My son is allergic to dairy and soy, not sure about gluten yet.

    Once I was finally able to stay off gluten, I too felt so much better mentally and emotionally. I didn’t know that gluten was causing major emotional mood swings and depression.

    I too turned my allergies into something positive by starting a menu planning service for people with food allergies and celiac. It is called the Nourishing foods Menu Planner and is dairy/gluten/soy free. I am so passionate about sharing recipes and information with people who are struggling with the same things I have.

    thanks again for your beautiful post,

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