Elikqitie found her calling for health and wellness after having her first daughter 22 years ago. She entered the health and wellness field as a Breastfeeding Counselor with La Leche League, working with other moms to give them support to successfully breastfeed their children.
From this beginning, I started using supplements, researching alternative health practices and using massage and acupuncture. I was inspired by these findings and opened up my health food store Emerald Forest Health Foods in 1998 – I even added a smoothie bar – well before smoothies were popular. I have to say, from all this smoothie making, I can make a mean smoothie in my sleep!
After over 2 years and another newborn, I decided to be at home with my girls for a few years, still researching and practicing alternative health and nursing both my daughters. In these years, I had experienced a couple of health issues, using natural remedies to resolve my health imbalances.
About 3 years ago, while practicing an elimination diet, I discovered I was gluten intolerant. I hadn’t realized how much this intolerance had affected me until one day when I looked into my pantry and discovered I hadn’t drunk ginger tea in over 2 months (this when I had to drink it at least once a day because of stomach issues). I noticed my stomach wasn’t hurting or feeling bloated and I overall felt better.
While looking into the gluten-free diet and lifestyle, I came across symptoms for celiacs. When I did, I noticed one of the cancers a person who has untreated celiacs can have is adenocarcinoma (cancer of the small intestine). This is the cancer my dad passed away from over 10 years prior and as I looked at the list of symptoms of celiacs, they read like a memory from my childhood of the issues my father had while I was growing up. He had been misdiagnosed with IBS, but realistically, I believe my dad had celiacs and did not know he was ill with this disease. We were an Italian family, the staples of bread and pasta were almost a daily event for our dinners. Had my dad known he had celiacs, he would have modified his diet and I would still be with him today.
This is my background and what led me to publish my podcast Travel Gluten Free. I noticed the difficulties of living a gluten-free lifestyle and how isolating this can be. I wanted to give others the information I had learned after years of trial and error and provide a community of support for others like me who cannot eat gluten (or others who choose not to eat gluten as well!)
Being gluten-free can be a challenging way of life – even on good days! Let me be your guide and support to an easier and enjoyable gluten-free life!
Enjoy Food, Enjoy Travel, Enjoy Life!