About My Gluten Free Recipes Website
This gluten free recipes website will be AD FREE! This website is intended to be quite different than any other gluten free recipes website ... ad free and very easy to navigate. By registering for an account, you'll be able to print recipes, mark recipes as your favorites (for quick access), and much more. There are a ton of recipes out on the web; but, my recipes are my own and not copies of all the other recipes on the web, thus making them unique.
I've been cooking since 1983 when I was 15 years old. I was very shy when I was young and rather than hanging out with friends after school, I hung out with my grandma and learned to cook ... southern style. Through the years, I developed my own style and have tantalized many taste buds. I've decided to share my recipes with the world in hopes that many can enjoy them.
I don't want my unique recipes carelessly scattered all over the web where they would become mundane and meaningless and blend in with all the other millions of recipes. I want my recipes to be special. So, in order to see the recipes available on this website, I will be charging a very small, yearly fee. This fee will keep advertisers off this website and will pay for the web hosting of this website, domain re-registration and will pay me (the web developer) for my time that is required to upkeep this website. This website is custom built and not some cheesy template available on the web. I build only streamlined, high-quality websites. So, there will be time I will need to spend to provide lots of fun and useful goodies for my registrants. The fee will be $9.95 per year. If you'd like to register for an account, click here to get started.
I actually published a book with a few of my recipes back in June 2013 ... right after my bout with Cancer. At the time, I was scared the Cancer would come back and I wanted to feel like I had accomplished something in life and leave something behind so at least some folks would remember me. Read more about my bout with Cancer below.
My book is a mini book and contains common, everyday foods; foods that my family eats each day, along with some special occasion foods. My recipes are not cookie-cutter, recipes which have been copied over and over. My recipes are unique because I'm a real, everyday cook, and these come straight out of my head, and not from somebody else's recipe.
My book is exclusively available at Amazon.com. So, if you have a Kindle or just want to download it to your mobile phone, you can obtain it by clicking here.
My name is Becky and I currently live near Brookings, South Dakota, USA. I'm originally from North Central Florida. We moved to South Dakota in 2006. You're probably wondering why we'd move from Florida to South Dakota? Well, we got tired of the rising crime in Florida, the hurricanes, the snakes, gators, bugs, frogs, and most of all, the horrible, sweltering heat. I am married to my best friend, and we have wonderful feline children who are all rescue cats who now live the life of kings!
I have owned my full-time, worldwide web development business since 2002. I also get sub-contracted by other web development companies to code websites for them. My specialty is complex, database-driven websites and the writing of web-based software ... from-scratch. I'm a programmer and it comes natural to me ... I even dream coding while I sleep. My USA-based company, Designs by CM, has a strong presence in the UK, Australia and Canada.
My Path to a Gluten Free Lifestyle
I am a 100% southern gal. In Florida, we lived in the woods, in the middle of nowhere ... not where all the beautified tourist traps are located ... but the woods. About 2003, or so, I decided to try the Atkins Diet. I enjoyed it and felt really good after I got used to it. In June 2006, we moved to Sioux Falls, SD and were near all the fast food joints, and, let's just say ... I hit them hard and gained about 40 pounds!
In August 2007, something began to happen. My hips began to hurt, to the point that I could hardly go up and down flights of stairs, and mysterious skin rashes started to appear in various places on my body ... scary ones! They were red, scaly, itchy patches, round and blistery with little itchy bumps.
Over the next few years, I went to a Dermatologist (and got a skin biopsy) ... and this doctor and that doctor and found out nothing. After researching the web, I bumped into Celiac Disease. I got tested a few times via blood at the regular doctor's office and all those tests were negative ... which was shocking to me because I strongly believed I had Celiac Disease ... and I am far from being a Hypochondriac.
I continued having terrible problems for the next few years. In 2010, I found Enterolab.com. I decided that I must have alien blood because my blood work, no matter what test was performed, was always negative. I knew, that someone as sick as I was, had to be sick! I bought the DNA Gene Testing kit from Enterolab in December 2010. About 2-3 weeks later, I got the results. I had 2 genes for Gluten Intolerance ... which meant my symptoms would be much more severe! FINALLY! I had something to go on!
Towards the end of 2011, I'm guessing, that because of my continued eating of gluten, I had to go to an urgent care facility to try and get help! My guts had stopped digesting food and anything I ate, just seamed to sit there in my stomach and would not digest, and it hurt pretty bad. I almost stopped urinating, I was extremely weak, I was losing 5 pounds per week, I had extreme constipation, nauseated, abdominal pain, my skin was raging, dizzy, headaches, couldn't sleep, foggy-headed, choking sensation, could not eat, metallic taste in my mouth, etc. I really did feel that death was imminent; it was no longer funny, but VERY scary! The urgent care facility sent me away, saying I was too complicated, and to go and see the doctor the next day! The next day, the doctor scheduled me for an Upper Endoscopy, but it would be 3 weeks before I could get it done!!!! I knew I had to do something or literally die.
Only knowing, at that time, that I had a double-positive DNA test to gluten, I decided to STOP all gluten immediately ... or I was going to die. So, I made myself broths and such, and kept trying to get as many calories in me as I could. I drank sodas so I could furnish my body with plenty of glucose. Within a week I felt much better. Within 3 weeks, I was feeling like a football player again!
My symptoms during the years of sickness were:
- Migraines (full-blown aura producing migraines)
- Extreme Anxiety ... like panic attacks
- Extreme Abdominal Swelling
- Bouts of extreme Diarrhea (fluorescent yellow) and Constipation
- Extremely stinky bowel movements and gas ... extremely
- Extreme GERD (Acid Reflux Disease)
- Mouth Ulcers and Blood Blisters in Mouth
- Caved in Fingernails (from malnutrition)
- Extreme Thirst
- Increased Hay Fever Intensity
- Inability to Digest
- Nerve Damage to Thighs and parts of my Back
- Weight Loss
- Gait and Balance Problems
- Extreme Exhaustion Spells
- Extremely Itchy, Blistery Rash on Forearms and Bend of Arm, Calves of my Legs and Hands
- Shortness of Breath
And, Here Comes the BIG Whammy
In January 2012, because I kept having problems that didn't seem to be completely solved by eating gluten free, I went back to Enterolab.com and purchased the Stool Test. The results of that test were positive for gluten as well, which was just further confirmation. However, I was still having some pretty severe problems.
Towards the end of May 2012, my husband and I decided to lay wood flooring in our home. After a couple days of intense physical activity, I started having some pretty bad pain in my lower abdomen near my Bladder. I decided that it did not feel right at all, and had my husband take me to the ER. After many tests, they did a Vaginal Ultrasound and found a large mass in my female area they called a large Fibroid Tumor.
On June 20, 2012, they opened me up in surgery to give me a full Hysterectomy and found that I was eat up with Cancer!!!!! They closed me back up and told my husband that I didn't have very long to live ... 2-3 weeks maybe. It was a sad time. Imagine how I felt waking up from surgery and them telling me that they closed me back up and I was full of Cancer! First thing I remember doing is saying ... Xanax please! bahahahahaaaa!!! Now, I'm NOT a pill taker nor a Hypochondriac nor any kind of druggie and I avoid medicine like the plague! So, for me to ask for drugs, that was a big deal. I needed something to help me absorb the news I'd just been told ... that I was about to die! I had STAGE 4 OVARIAN CANCER!
I got out of that hospital, which is just a small, local hospital, on a Thursday, and on Monday, I went to the big hospital in Sioux Falls to see a Gynecological Oncologist who admitted me within 10 minutes and sent me through the "express lane." There was nurses and doctors all over me! I didn't have any time to rest or even think. I was in one test and out the other. The cancer tumor was so big, my Uterus was in my chest!!!
The next couple days, the Doc continued to stabilize me for the upcoming Cancer debulking surgery he planned. I was not stable ... had blood clots all over me. He put in a direct line in my vein, put in an IVC filter (to keep further blood clots from going to my lungs, brain and heart), etc. That Thursday, I had cancer debulking surgery in which he removed everything inside me that I did not need to live ... Uterus, Ovaries, Cervix, Appendix, part of my Colon, part of my Small Intestines, lining of my abdomen, etc. My intestines were so bad, that Doc had to give me an End Colostmy, which soon became a blessing in disguise.
Chemotherapy should not be given within 6 weeks of surgery. But, there was no time to wait ... it was do it or die. So, within 3 weeks of my major surgery, my Doc started me on Chemo. I was in and out of the hospital the entire summer of 2012 because of so many complications from Chemo and the Cancer. My chemo port got infected and I spent around 10 days in hospital in ICU literally dying from Sepsis. My white blood count kept bottoming out, I needed bags of blood (every few days), I needed daily infusions of Potassium and Magnesium, my Sodium levels kept dropping low enough to cause a heart attack (but, I didn't have one thankfully), I lost the ability to walk and had to be bed-panned and toted everywhere, I had a Stroke, I had blood clots all over me and in my lungs, my lung filled with blood, had to get my abdomen drained several times, my abdomen stayed full of Cancer Ascetes and I had to get drained ever so often, had to get drains put into my abdomen to drain the abscesses and infection, my surgery scar blew open and Cancer tumors and infection fell out on the floor ... which required another major surgery to place a Wound Vac (a vacuum cleaner installed in my abdomen to suck out all the puss and infection) and I had to wear it for 6-8 months and it had to be changed every other day (excruciating pain at first), etc. I had LOTS of complications, and was near death many, many times. I had 4 total rounds of chemotherapy which consisted of 3-week intervals ... and it seems I never had a normal 3-week session as I was always in and out of the hospital near death. It was a VERY, VERY hard time and I think all this trauma gave me a form of PTSD as it was a couple years afterwards before I could sleep soundly.
I have been Cancer Free ever since November 2012. God healed me and the scars and Colostomy are what I consider "battle wounds." I was a true miracle survivor my Doc said. I should've died a few times. God is wonderful! The summer of 2012 I will never forget as it was a nightmare! But I survived thanks to God, and the BEST Cancer Doc in the world, and all my Doc's helpers, and I am beyond grateful that I'm still here for my husband and my kitties.
After my immune system came back, and I was eating again, my digestion issues not only came back, but came back with a vengeance! I absolutely cannot eat gluten and suffer terribly if I do. I have terribly itchy and blistery skin rashes on the calves of my legs, behind my knees, on my forearms, face, etc., when I ate it. I'm sure it is Dermatitis Herpetiformis, which is the skin form of Celiac Disease.
Celiac Disease is not a "food allergy." Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks itself when gluten is eaten; it's not a food allergy. However, true food allergies can cause digestion issues as well. The early part of 2017, I got blood tests done for food allergies, as I was still having digestion issues even after stopping gluten. Found out I'm allergic to Nuts. I had a reaction to Nuts, once, by using some coffee creamer that was made in the same facility as nuts; it made me really sick and I pooped it out into my colostomy bag within a few minutes.
November 2017, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease ... a disease that is commonly found in those that have Celiac Disease.
UPDATE: February 2020 ... I had to take a trip to the ER ... I was vomiting poop!!!!!!!! After getting a CT scan, they told me my abdominal wall had basically collapsed and I had multiple hernias and a small bowel blockage. They inserted a VERY painful NG tube into my nose, down to my stomach, to stop the vomiting, and I took my first ambulance ride back to my "home away from home" ... the big medical center where I was a resident during Cancer. It was 4 days of just hanging out in the hospital while my intestines were decompressed via that NG tube. They performed just one other test on me and I failed it miserably (injection of die into my NG tube to see if it came out the other end, and it did not). So, they took me to surgery and performed complete abdominal reconstruction surgery on me! They REVERSED my Colostomy and took away all the Cancer scars (by cutting a slab off/out of my abdomen) and gave me a full tummy tuck, with liposuction, to make my abdomen beautiful again. My new abdomen is simply amazing!!! I recovered for a few months, but it was a quick recovery. I am soooooo proud to be back to normal!!!! Thank you to the most amazing surgical team!
And, I'm officially diagnosed with Celiac Disease ... which was revealed by an Endoscopy during my reconstruction surgery in February 2020 ... "the hairs are still flat" was told to my husband. I have known for years that I have full blown Celiac Disease; but, I was extremely unable to eat gluten for a couple weeks in order to fully test. It's very comforting to, finally, know I was right.
And, that's my story.