Allie Scheiber is a pre-med graduate from Stanford studying human biology and modern languages. Allie has been actively sharing her #nimatested photos on Instagram (@goseeglutenfree) and is one of our most active test contributors in the Nima app. With the holiday fast approaching, we asked her to share the story of her first Thanksgiving with Nima.


My First Thanksgiving with Nima (Allie Scheiber)


For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving has always been a strange holiday for me. To start, my pre-Celiac-diagnosis Thanksgivings were filled with stomach aches, heating pads, and bed rest. Turns out, the holiday known for over-indulgence, gluten-filled turkey, gluten-filled sides and gluten-filled desserts is not Celiac friendly. Thanksgiving 2010 really took the cake, though, as my biopsy results came back on Thanksgiving day. Yes, my intestines were freaking out so much that the doctor made an urgent phone call on a holiday. I cut gluten cold-turkey that day, but would still have a long journey ahead learning all of the secret places it hides. Happy to have a diagnosis to make sense of the years of symptoms, I had a hopeful outlook and would start to treat the holiday as a joyful “Celiacversary,” a.k.a when my life began again.

“Thanksgivings were still filled with stomach aches and pain.”


But as I got better and better, Thanksgivings were still filled with stomach aches and pain. My incredibly supportive family agreed to always have Thanksgiving at our house, so that it could be a 100% gluten-free meal, and so that I would know it was prepared in our safe gluten-free kitchen. “It must be from the huge quantity of food, I’m as stuffed as the turkey,” I would always think. It couldn’t be gluten! I persistently got sick, no matter how little I ate in the subsequent years.

Thanksgiving with Nima

Thanksgiving with Nima

Thanksgiving with Nima

Then, Thanksgiving 2016 rolled around. My Nima had just come in the mail a few weeks before. I brought it home to Ohio with me to show my family how cool and exciting it was to have a gluten-detecting device that could now help me make informed decisions about my food. It was Thanksgiving Day, and my dad asked for a demonstration. My mom was getting ready to prepare the turkey. The brine kit was out on the counter, within reach. Since it was conveniently there, I just grabbed a spoon and started showing my dad the step-by-step process of the test.  “You have to use a pea-sized amount so the liquid inside the capsule can interact properly…” I went on and on. “Now we wait 2-3 minutes and it will show us either a smiley [ahem, just wait], which means it’s gluten free, or it will say ‘gluten found.’” Two minutes later… “gluten found.” “That can’t be right,” we thought. “It’s just a brine mix from Whole Foods!” In total disbelief, I opened another capsule and re-tested. “Gluten found” again.

“In total disbelief, I opened another capsule and retested. ‘Gluten found’ again.”

Aha! A moment of truth. I suddenly had flashbacks to every year I spent bent over in pain, despite eating a supposedly GF meal, and it was all because of a simple mix of salt and spices.


Thanksgiving 2016 will now go down as my first pain-free Thanksgiving in the 23 years of my life. My first Thanksgiving with Nima. Now, instead of wondering and anticipating how long I think I’ll be able to last at the table before I get too sick, I can look forward to making it through the whole holiday without pain, and I can focus on what the holiday is truly about. Let’s just say, I’m thankful for Nima this day and every day. Thank you, Nima!

Thanksgiving with Nima

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Read more posts by Allie:

Breaking Bread: Grading the Nima College Experience

Thanksgiving with Nima