Sarah is a Nima community member living in Goodyear, Arizona. She is a celiac warrior and crohn’s disease fighter who has to maintain a gluten-free diet to stay healthy. You can follow her gluten-free adventures on her instagram @ieatgf4life, and if you love kittens she documents her other passion (kitten fostering) on @sarahnarizona.
What’s your food identity, and how do you maintain it?
I was diagnosed with Celiac and Crohn’s at the same time 6 years ago, autoimmune and GI double whammy! I figured out quickly that the only way I was going to get and stay healthy was to eat mostly from my own home. I taught myself how to cook with YouTube and it’s been a crazy kitchen adventure. Now 99% of my meals come from my own home kitchen.
Tell us a little about your gluten-free journey. What was it like when you started eating gluten-free? What challenges did you face?
My gluten-free journey was so hard in the beginning. I was confused and totally clueless. I spent hours in the store looking at labels and scouring the internet for things like farro. Any time I thought about food I would start to get anxious. I eventually learned, with help, how to control those anxious feeling and had a solid list of foods I trusted. I just keep adding foods, brands, restaurants, grocery stores and cooking skills to that list.
What was your food life like before you had your Nima? What’s your food life like now?
Food was really boring, not only for me but also my husband! By the way, he is such a trooper (love you D xoxo!). Now food is fun again. I am able to bring some convenience and prepared foods back into the house and trust my choices. We also get to eat out again on occasion! My motto is trust but verify!
What do you test with Nima? Has there been anything that surprised you wasn’t safe (according to Nima)?
I rarely test anything other than food. As a celiac I tend to stick to one dish only at each of the restaurants I trust. I am always surprised to get a positive at a place on my trusted list.
What do your friends, family, and/or doctors think about Nima?
Everyone who has ever seen the Nima is impressed and my GI (gastrointestinal doctor) is the one who introduced me to the Nima!
When using Nima at restaurants, what has been your experience? Do you have a favorite Nima related story?
People love this tester, and it makes for a great conversation piece! From chefs to the nice couple in the other booth, everyone has been curious and fun to talk to. Last year we traveled to London and sailed back across the Atlantic on a cruise ship for 14 days. My very first meal the very first night was positive for gluten. The crew handled it amazingly well and for more than twenty meals it was cheers and high fives for eagerly awaited happy faces. I ate safely and used 191 capsules on a 3 week trip I would have never-ever planned before the Nima.
Bonus fun questions:
If you can only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If you can only use one spice or condiment what would it be?
If you can only choose one restaurant for the rest of your life where would it be?
In-N-Out, see answer to bonus question 1.
– – –Thank you for sharing your story Sarah!