Beth is a community member from the Pacific Northwest. She uses Nima to test foods at home and while traveling. Read about her journey from realizing her diagnosis, coping with the disease, and now being able to stay healthy while traveling the world!
What’s your food identity, and how do you maintain it?
I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a decade ago. I avoid ingesting gluten by being overly cautious, doing constant research and of course, by using my NIMA sensor. (I have two: I keep one in my car in case I make an unplanned stop to eat.)
Tell us a little about your gluten-free journey. What was it like when you started eating gluten-free? What challenges did you face?
Ironically, I had always been a healthy eater and interested in nutrition. For many years I followed a version of the Mediterranean food pyramid. This included a lot of organic vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts. Also, healthy grains and seafood with some poultry, cheese and yogurts. I never ate meat or processed sugar. My passion for nutrition and healthy aging lead me to pursue a master’s degree in Gerontology. It was shortly after my studies ended that Celiac related symptoms set in. Like so many people back then, I was misdiagnosed with everything from Fibromyalgia and IBS to depression and Lupus to name just a few.
What was your food life like before you had your Nima?
Of course, I was shocked and upset when my diagnosis was confirmed. Meeting up with friends and family at restaurants came to a standstill. Ten years ago, there weren’t any gluten free dining options nearby and there was a lot of misinformation on the internet. The anxiety of having to guess if items were cross contaminated made dining out impossible. I found my diagnosis to be socially alienating. Eventually I realized that I could use the knowledge I had attained through my education. This enabled me to begin my recovery and move on physically and emotionally.
What’s your gluten free life like now that you have Nima?
It might sound dramatic, but the NIMA sensor has been life changing for me. Gone is the anxiety of playing “Russian Roulette” at restaurants. I travel frequently to places where Celiac Disease is not heard of and that is when my NIMA is most helpful. I can avoid becoming ill, and instead spend that time exploring new places, meeting people and participating in life experiences.
What do you test with Nima? Has there been anything that surprised you wasn’t safe (according to Nima)?
Things I test with NIMA: I travel a lot, most recently to Japan. The gluten free restaurant community is taking hold there due to the global rise of celiac, non-celiac and wheat allergies, and the influx of travelers for the 2020 Olympics. These food matters are taken seriously in Japan. The restaurant owners are always interested in hearing about celiac disease, eager to share ideas and compare our different food cultures. On the other hand, food labeling practices and ingredients are different. I constantly test products from the market for use in recipes I cook while I’m there. I learn what is safe with my NIMA and then continue to buy those brands.
What do your friends, family, and/or doctors think about Nima?
People I meet are always interested to see my NIMA in action. While many people with Celiac Disease have heard about NIMA for gluten testing, I have been happy to recommend the NIMA peanut sensor to people unaware of its availability.
If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It sounds so boring, but even before CD my favorite food was a salad.
If you could only use one spice or condiment what would it be?
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes!
If you could only choose one restaurant for the rest of your life where would it be?
If I could eat gluten, I would choose any restaurant in Seoul that makes Korean Fried Chicken.