gluten free. you & me. ™
Stuffed Pepper ™ is your online community and resource for all things gluten-free. If you love to cook, we provide mouth-watering recipes with eye-catching photos, showing that gluten-free does not mean taste-free. You can even submit your own recipes if you have something yummy to share.
Do you have health and medical questions about celiac disease or going gluten-free? Visit our FAQ page to get the basics, then browse the articles of our doctors and nutritionists for more in-depth answers. If you're a health care provider specializing in gluten issues, email us to see how you can contribute.
Where do you go Friday night to find a satisfying gluten-free meal to help you celebrate the end of a long week? Search our directory of restaurant listings, and view their online gluten-free menus. Read what others have to say about the restaurant. Or submit a listing of your favorite gluten-free restaurant that others don’t know about yet.
In addition to amazing gluten-free recipes, you can find reviews on cookbooks and other books related to the gluten-free diet, as well as product reviews. View honest ratings, and read honest reviews posted by other community members, and add to the conversation if you have information to share.
Joining the community is free. We hope you find all the information you need to help you with you gluten-free lifestyle. And we would love for you to contribute in any way that you can, helping to shape our gluten-free world.
In the course of starting, first my personal blog, and then Stuffed Pepper, my story has changed. A lot. At first I was “just” gluten-free. I have been gluten-free since 2001. I diagnosed myself after a childhood of chronic illness and a young adulthood writhe with abdominal discomfort. Colonoscopies and biopsies showed nothing. One doctor told my father “it was all in my head.” Another doctor told me I had IBS. In 1998, I had an emergency appendectomy, due I now believe, to my body’s inability to handle wheat. It occurred right after a huge Easter brunch where the pièce de résistance was strawberry shortcake.
Shortly after that, I developed hyperthyroidism, which was cured with radioactive iodine, causing my thyroid to eventually go hypo, and now I have permanent hypothyroidism, a condition I also now believe is tied to gluten.
Then, a culminating event occurred during the week of September 11, 2001. I was traveling in London, and not in charge of my own diet. The food that was presented to me for the week consisted of white bread toast for breakfast, white bread sandwiches for lunch, beer, and pasta for dinner. After about 3 days of such fare (a diet to which I was not really that accustomed) my hair began falling out in clumps, I had a bad breakout of acne on my face, I had severe abdominal distress, and insomnia. Yes, there was a very stressful event that took place that week, and watching the towers collapse while I watched in helpless horror across the pond, probably took some kind of physical toll on my body. But my body’s physical reaction was way too severe to be due to emotional distress alone. I believe my body was reacting to the shock of an overabundance of highly processed wheat products over the span of just a few short days.
With the advent of the internet and access to more information, I learned to figure out what was bothering me. I took my newfound understanding of my condition to another doctor, and with confidence told her that I thought I had an intolerance to gluten. “Oh, you don’t have a gluten intolerance,” she said, without further pursuing my statement. “But here’s an antibiotic, if you’d like.” Leaving her office in tears, because I was still being treated like a hypochondriac, I met my (then) boyfriend for beer and pizza in a half-celebration of supposedly NOT being gluten intolerant. And I got very sick from that beer and pizza. And I have not eat gluten since.
Ten years later, as I saw more awareness of gluten intolerance and more diagnoses of cases everywhere I went, I decided to start a blog with useful information for people new to the gluten-free diet. Which snowballed into an idea for a community website, now called Stuffed Pepper.
But something strange happened to me as I began this new endeavor. After 10 years of happily enjoying all foods other than gluten-containing ones, I suddenly developed soy and dairy allergies. This opened my eyes to more than just the problems with gluten and its epidemic toll. Now I saw that there is a massive increase in all types of food allergies. And as I took soy and dairy out of my diet, and did not heal, I began to realize that I was reacting to all kinds of grains & seeds as well. I learned some things about the paleo diet, the low-carb diet, the elimination diet, leaky-gut, cross-reactivity, cross-contamination, food allergies, autoimmune disorders and much more.
I tried again to get diagnosed for celiac disease (CD), but biopsies and the colonoscopy came back negative. This is probably because I wasn’t eating any gluten, except for one accidental gluten-ing that I know of, which most likely will not manifest enough damage to show up. But DNA tests for susceptibility to CD also came back negative.
So then I was told by one person with CD, that I was known as a “celiac wannabe” in the celiac community. The medical community didn’t believe me. My parents took ten years to believe me, and I think there is still some doubt in their minds. And now those with diagnosed celiac disease don’t believe me! Only myself and my (now) husband believe. And a couple of gluten sensitivity Experts, that I met through initiating Stuffed Pepper.
However, in February 2012, a panel of experts on gluten sensitivity and celiac disease finally gave Gluten Densitivity a classification of its own. So there might be some redemption coming my way, yet.
But as I’ve delved into gluten, food allergies and diet at large, I’ve learned a lot about wheat and gluten, and I’m starting to believe that its really not good for anyone. Read my reviews on Wheat Belly, Eat Right for Your Type, Dangerous Grains, and the Gluten Effect to name just a few of the books with consolidated information about the dangerous effects of gluten, and wheat in particular. I have also found out that people arrive on the gluten-free diet from many different means, not just celiac disease, because CD is just one of many autoimmune conditions stemming from gluten. It’s the most easily identifiable reaction to gluten, but its not the only way that people react to gluten.
In the end, it doesn’t matter how we got to the gluten-free diet. Its what do we do now that we’re here, that is the question.
And I have a lot of questions. Why are gluten intolerance, celiac disease and food allergies on the rise? Is it excessive use of processed foods (which I’ve never really eaten much of, so I don’t know how that could have affected me so severely)? Is it the introduction of GMOs into diets not accustomed to them? Is it that the human body was never really meant to digest gluten, but it’s taken us generations to realize that many of our health conditions are being caused by the same culprit? Is it over-prescribing antibiotics and excessive use of antibacterial soap that leads us to be more sensitive to our environment and our foods? Is it environmental toxins and higher loads of stress? Some combination of all of the above? And aside from avoiding gluten and other foods that offend us, what else can we do to heal ourselves and live comfortably again in this fast-paced, high pressure society?
I don’t have the answers, but I’m working on them every day. In the meantime, I started Stuffed Pepper so we can all help each other. Whether your specialty is delicious gluten-free/allergen-free recipes, interpreting the latest medical research relating to gluten, or helpful hints on surviving the lifestyle, anyone who has some experience on the gluten-free diet is welcome to share their knowledge. Same goes for any experience you have (good or bad) with gluten-free restaurants or food products. Share your reviews so we can re-live the good experiences with you, and avoid the bad ones! And if you’re new to the diet, here’s your place to ask questions and find help. Together we will navigate a new gluten-free world, and maybe start answering some of these questions.
Gluten-free. you & me. ™
Why join this community?
Joining allows you to save recipes to your recipe box, bookmark restaurants you'd like to visit, and participate in the forums. Becoming a member also allows you to submit your own recipes, add restaurants, and write reviews on restaurants and products. Its free to become a member. You just have to create an account.
In addition to the free resources you receive by being a member, as well as the connectedness you will feel with others on a gluten-free diet, there is another important reason to join the community. We believe in the "wisdom of crowds," meaning that together we can solve some of the problems our gluten-free community faces. Also, a community with a large membership has influence. Together, we can actually shape the face of the gluten-free world, through advocating better meals, more diverse food options, better nutrition and greater support. As a unified community we will have a more powerful voice, whether we are trying to get the attention of the FDA, restaurant associations, or the medical community. We also have the chance to set the bar on the quality of products that are offered in the gluten-free world. Really, there is no limit to what we, as a community, might accomplish together. How do you envision a better gluten-free world?
Our Top Contributors were hand-picked because they are among the most knowledgeable experts and talented recipe creators in the gluten-free world. Please take a moment to read the profiles of our individual contributors under the Experts and Star Chefs pages. If you are a health practitioner who would like to add to the conversation, please contact us directly, to find out how you can be a part of the community. If you would like to be considered as a Star Chef, please direct us to a portfolio of your work. You can also submit recipes to Stuffed Pepper, and begin building your portfolio here. We have also recently accepted bloggers on Stuffed Pepper. If you write about the gluten-free lifestyle and would like to post to the site, email us and let us know!
For general inquiries, please contact as us info @ stuffed-pepper.com
You may also send snail mail to:
Stuffed Pepper ™
PO Box 35442
Houston, TX 77231