Today sharing her autoimmune story is Brianna! She has celiac disease, type 1 diabetes and multiple food allergies and intolerances, but still manages to thrive! You can find all sorts of product reviews, restaurant reviews and inspiration on her website: A Different Kind Of Survival Guide.
Tell us about your self! Who are you?
My name is Brianna Wolin and I’m the voice and human behind A Different Survival Guide and breezygfreezy. I’m a type 1 diabetic, celiac, with multiple food allergies and intolerances, as well as IBD and a few other odds and ends that sees my life as a perfectly imperfect series of over-planned events. I seek to show people that a love of cooking and food trumps all—and easy, quick, affordable, and delicious meals are absolutely always on my agenda.
When were you diagnosed with celiac disease? What was life like before?
I was diagnosed with celiac at age 5, one year after my diagnosis with type 1 diabetes. Though antibodies were elevated at the time of my t1d diagnosis, I wasn’t ill and they sent me home with my parents still reeling with the first diagnosis and ultimately concerned about the potential second. Within a year, I was a classic celiac case— endless gruesome abdominal pain, vomiting, failure to thrive, weight loss, and a ballooned stomach.
After diagnosis, my mom put my house into full celiac mode—with about 98% of all food completely safe for me to this day and even when Iw as away at college! The only appliance/cooking item we have for gluten is a separate toaster and one freezer drawer/pantry shelf. Otherwise my entire home is Brianna-safe. I went to college at the University of Michigan where they were unable to accommodate my food needs. As a result, I lived in a studio apartment for four years and developed some of my best food creations to date!
What's helped you the most after your diagnosis?
While most people think the rise of gluten free must be helpful to a celiac like myself, I find the opposite. The thing that has truly helped me the most is the support of my family and friends—never writing my needs off as unimportant or too much to handle.
What has been the silver lining or something positive that has come from your life with celiac disease?
The silver lining is absolutely my cooking and baking skills, as well as the development of my blog and social platforms. I love connecting to others around our love of allergy friendly/gluten free food, and I’m always looking to make the next fun, simple meal in the kitchen.
What's you favourite recipe or product?
Favorite recipes and products are so hard to name! I will say that I have a different brand for each flavor cookie that I think is best—no one line has me sold on more than one of their flavors!
What advice would you give to someone just starting out on a gluten free diet?
Stand up for yourself. We are not fad dieters, and people may treat us like we’re the latest annoying thing on their plate. Stay strong, never compromise your safety, and make a stink when you need to!
Thanks for sharing your story Brianna! If you're interested in sharing your autoimmune journey you can email me at email@example.com