Meet Jackie Ourman, NFCA Blogger Ambassador and author of the blog Celiac and Allergy Friendly Epicurean (C.A.F.E.)
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is proud to call Jackie Ourman of Celiac and Allergy Friendly Epicurean (C.A.F.E.) a Blogger Ambassador. Learn more about Jackie and the work she does for people living with celiac disease.
Keep an eye out for more Q&As with our Blogger Ambassadors. Meet the rest of the Ambassador Team at www.beyondceliac.org/bloggerambassadors.
Why did you decide to be a blogger for NFCA?
NFCA has been a tremendous resource for me since my son and I were diagnosed with celiac disease in 2011 and I have worked with them many times since then to raise awareness, share recipes and other resources. I was honored to be selected as one of their blogger ambassadors and I feel we have been partnering for a long time. This just made it more official.
How has celiac disease personally affected you or your family?
Celiac disease runs in my family but I didn’t know anything about it most of my life. My son was diagnosed when he was four years old, after we noticed he didn’t gain any weight the previous year. I was diagnosed shortly thereafter and my mother after me. Another one of my sons tested positive for the genetic marker but negative for the disease.
What makes your blog different from others?
Every blog has it’s own unique voice. Celiac and Allergy Friendly Epicurean is a blog I created after enrolling in culinary school. My son and I had just been diagnosed with celiac disease and two of my kids also have food allergies. I wanted to learn to love food again despite those issues and share my journey with others.
What goals do you hope you achieve with your blog?
When we were first diagnosed, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t find many recipes or resources that inspired me. When I did find one here and there I was incredibly appreciative and excited. It made me feel I could find a way to love food again. I hope to give that feeling to others.
If you could only tell people one thing about celiac disease and living gluten-free, what would it be?
It’s a lifelong struggle but it is manageable.
How do you maintain your love for food even though it has recently been challenged by allergies and celiac disease diagnoses for you and your family?
Food is there every day of our lives, if we are lucky. Three squares a day and then some. Celiac disease and food allergies make it challenging, but I try to focus on all of the amazing naturally gluten-free and allergy-friendly options available.
I also try to see some of the positives. We can’t buy many processed foods since those that are gluten-free are often not nut-free and visa versa. Therefore, we are typically forced to make most of our foods and desserts from scratch. It’s more work but in the end, it often tastes ten times better and is actually more healthful for my family.