Back to the Future
Carol Fenster looks back at the day of her gluten-free diagnosis.
“Don’t eat wheat,” the doctor said.
Seemed simple enough.
It was 1988, and I had a
demanding corporate career that I
loved and a fabulous husband and
son I adored. Life was good, except
for debilitating sinus infections
that required endless rounds of
antibiotics and many sick days. A
self-confessed “foodie” and avid
baker, I proudly ate everything—
never suspecting wheat.
Then my doctor performed
a blood test that showed IgG
antibodies to wheat, but I didn’t
know enough to ask any questions.
He didn’t give me a diet to follow
and never mentioned gluten or any
of the other wheat-related grains,
like spelt or barley, that I later
learned also made me sick. It would
be years before I knew that I was
Carol’s Defining Moments
Bob’s Red Mill asks me
to develop a line of
My doctor tells me,
“Don’t eat wheat.”
My personal wake-up call
to completely avoid gluten,
eat healthier and start my
first cookbook after finally
seeing my gluten-free
diagnosis as a blessing.
Realization that I was in
a gluten-free business,
not just a hobby, with
my mission of helping
people eat. This year was
a tipping point: The FDA
was formulating FALCPA,
people started knowing
what “gluten” was, and
the market for gluten-free
cookbooks and products