Home » HAWMC Day 1 – Getting Started

HAWMC Day 1 – Getting Started

Inspired by my co-sufferer, Candice at Embrace GFree, I am attempting the Wego Health Activist Writers’ Month Challenge. A post each day in April. So, now that I told you I am going to do it, I oughta follow through, right? Today’s prompt is asking why I started writing about health.

Do I even write about health? Maybe? Sort of?

Last summer, I changed my tagline from “Confessions of a gluten-free foodie” to “Finding hope & happiness in the gluten-free kitchen”.

You see, at first this site was all about the things I was concocting in my little kitchen. It was about my unabashed love affair with butter and sugar. It was about the lasagna that I made from the abandoned tomato plant in my garden. It was about celebrating food. In a way it was allied with a health-related cause (gluten-free), but the lack of gluten was just a footnote.

Raisin Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

Those things make for a pretty ordinary food blog. Even if you make the best gluten-free cupcakes this side of the Mississippi (no, Kyra, I am not willing to find out for certain that yours would win if we ever went head to head), everyone else is talking about their cupcakes and the heart warming tale of making them at their grandmother’s side. And their chickens with the fresh eggs that they collect every morning. And their epic buttercream piping skills.

What did I have? I had a knack for making gluten-free desserts (ok, and doughnuts) that people who ate gluten actually liked, an absurd love for the Spice Girls and a celebrity crush on AC Slater.

All that, a bag of chips and a deep, dark secret.

I kind of talked about my migraines becoming manageable and that I lost 100lbs when I went gluten free. I mentioned a shellfish allergy at some point. But this blog wasn’t about the health stuff. It was about sugar and butter. Merengue and buttercream. Mousse and pậte à choux. And making cupcakes dance.

pumpkin spice cupcakes from maryfran wiley on Vimeo.

There are people who blog about health who I admire. Whose advice I take. But certainly, I am not one of them, I eat cookies!

So see? This wasn’t a place where I advocated for health. I advocated for chocolate.

But one day, that changed.

I was bullied on Twitter for a statement about prescription drugs. Because clearly you, random twitter user, knew more than my doctors. It wasn’t ok to sit back and watch adults bully each other. I felt that I needed to take a stand.

So, I shared that secret.

I put it out there. I am sick disabled a hot mess a chronic pain sufferer. My pain is caused by Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a rare and debilitating disease with no cure. A disease that my coworkers and many friends had no idea I suffered from.

And that was that.

In the hour it took to write the post, I knew everything was changing. And I knew that nothing was changing. I was going to keep eating chocolate and making buttercream. But I wasn’t going to waste this opportunity to offer hope to everyone else who has an incurable disease.


I changed my tagline and started to focus my writing. I wrote a call to live a remarkable life and paired it with whiz-bang cupcakes. I wrote about being sick and having hope. I resolved to get control of my body back.

Somewhere along the line, I found hope and happiness in my gluten-free kitchen and I couldn’t wait to share.





  1. mel says:

    You totally rock girl, and I give you mad props for taking the step to put your health issues out there and dealing with them publically.

    I will always have your back and be a cheerleader for you.

  2. GFKimAZ says:

    Great article! You are truly inspiring. Good luck on posting every day. I only know three people that can do that and I’m not one of them LOL 🙂

  3. I relate to you on so many points in this post! I love that you keep on livin’ and keep on baking. Rare diseases suck, but you don’t let it consume you. You make the best of the situation and you make it delicious. 🙂

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