I was diagnosed with severe gluten/wheat allergies about 14 years ago. The diagnosis was devastating; it literally turned my world upside down. At the same time, I was diagnosed with a huge list of allergies (including other food allergies) and moderate-persistent asthma. Talk about a 1-2 punch…mine was more like three or four hard punches at one time. I was a single mother of two, and we had a very tight budget to live on. It was overwhelming learning how to balance our grocery budget, while providing food that was safe and good to eat.

Gluten-Free Back in the Day
At the time I was diagnosed, mainstream grocery stores didn’t offer much in the way of gluten free products. You had to turn to the health food stores, and even then the options were sparse. The gluten free products that did exist were horribly expensive, too.

Self-Education & My New Gluten-Free Diet
The first thing I did, after diagnosis, was begin a process of self-education. I bought books at the health food store and read everything I could get my hands on. One of the first and most helpful books I found at that time was Bette Hagman’s The Gluten Free Gourmet. Her book reached out to me like no other. Bette had celiac disease, but her advice and recipes were applicable to my wheat/gluten allergies. The Gluten Free Gourmet started me out, in the right direction, with advice and recipes that were common sense and easy to follow. I was able to gain confidence through reading and cooking with The Gluten Free Gourmet; I still use this cookbook as my gluten free “bible.”

Starting This Blog
I wanted to start this blog a few years ago, but other life experiences came first—becoming an empty-nest mother and a newlywed, then moving overseas. All of these changes came over a four year period.  My kids were on their own and I had married a Czech guy and moved to the Czech Republic. That’s a lot of life changes in a relatively short amount of time…and why this blog was put on hold until now!

Thrifty and Gluten Free
Thrifty and Gluten Free is all about sharing tips, recipes and more about the gluten free diet, how to save money on a gluten free diet, while living a frugal life. This site’s currently in the building phase, so I don’t have recipes up here…yet. I’m working on those; however, in the mean time I’ll share information about the gluten free life and tips I’ve learned along the way.

Thanks for stopping by—please feel free to contact me at Czech Off the Beaten Path (at) Gmail dot com.

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