Ann Anderson is a stay-at-home, gluten-free dog mom of Hank, a Plott Hound, and Hamilton, a Terrier-Schnauzer mix. She lives in Olathe, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City. Now that her children are adults, Ann and her husband are making the most of their empty nesthood. Through her online handle @ModernWinning, Ann has been sharing her #Nimatested photos and videos with the community online. Although Nima is not officially validated for non-human food items, she has even shared videos testing dog food to help keep the house and her body gluten-free.
Hi Ann! What’s your food identity?
I was diagnosed celiac eight years ago and last month, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, which means I have to eat a no fiber and lower fat diet.
How do you maintain your special diets?
I cook at home. With my recent diagnosis, food is a challenge. I’ve been going out to eat more to keep me interested in food.
What are some of your hobbies or interests?
My kids are grown, so my husband and I are making the most of pre-retirement. I love traveling and going to concerts. We’ve seen Foo Fighters, Indigo Girls, 30 Seconds to Mars, Muse, Four Voices (supergroup with Joan Baez, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Indigo Girls) as well as Hamilton in Chicago.
What’s your favorite concert of all time?
Better Than Ezra puts on a fantastic show and they always have interesting opening bands. They are good scouts for new talent.
What do you test with your Nima?
I test everything with my Nima. I don’t trust anything. After seeing stories about gluten-free stuff not being gluten free, I test something every day.
“My life with Nima is much more adventurous. We’re planning more trips to Seattle, Portland and Hawaii. I would’ve dreaded these trips before but now that I can verify my food is gluten-free, I know I’ll be safe.”
What’s your most surprising Nima result?
I ordered steak and potatoes at a restaurant. I tested the steak and it tested positive for gluten. They had cooked it on a shared grill. They had closed down part of their grill because it was close to closing time and the steak was contaminated. They didn’t remake it for me. It was surprising because I thought steak would be okay.
What was your life like before you had your Nima?
Pretty hopeless because I’d go out with my family and I’d given up explaining celiac and gluten. My husband would explain and order at restaurants for me, saying that I absolutely couldn’t have gluten. I had completely given up.
What’s your food life like now that you have Nima?
Nima gives me validation. Restaurant staff are curious about the test and when it comes back with the result, they can celebrate with me or I can point to it. It takes people completely by surprise because they don’t know where gluten is coming from and they don’t know what to substitute. They want to help, but they don’t know how. I’m happy to educate them because I know it will keep a lot of people safe.
I invested in a second Nima sensor so I can test every dish and side dish. Having two sensors lets me get my meal tested faster so I can then talk to the chef just one time. If you eat out a lot, it’s worth making the second investment. I know that makes me super spoiled, but that’s okay.
My life with Nima is much more adventurous. We’re planning more trips to Seattle, Portland and Hawaii. I would’ve dreaded these trips before but now that I can verify my food is gluten-free, I know I’ll be safe.
What’s your favorite Nima story?
When I was coming back from seeking treatment options in Rochester, Minn., I needed food and protein. I was in the middle of Iowa and we stopped at a Come and Go gas station. I was desperate for protein. They had all beef hot dogs and I put it in my Nima. It tested gluten-free. I was so happy that I was having safe protein! There are restaurants with dedicated gluten-free menus who can’t give me safe food and here I am at a gas station eating safe food!
If you can only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If I want to enjoy life: strawberry shortcake. Pragmatically, eggs.
Thank you Ann for sharing your story with the community!