Meet Chad Hines, the brain behind Gluten Free Faces, a social site much like Facebook, except that everyone there is gluten free. I am so jealous of his last vacation, to the Sundance Film Festival. Someday I am going to get there!
Your name: Chad Hines
A short bio: Chad Hines is an author, speaker, insurance coach and online marketing specialist. He is considered to be a leading authority on living a healthy gluten-free lifestyle and founded GlutenFreeFaces, an online social network dedicated to everything gluten-free. Chad is on the Board of Directors of the Celiac Disease Foundation and dedicates much of his time to spreading awareness about Celiac Disease and living gluten-free. In addition, Chad owns a successful insurance agency in Southern California that specializes auto, home and business insurance.
1.How long have you been eating gluten free? Since 1989
2. How did you discover that you were gluten intolerant? As a child, I constantly felt sick and fatigued. After visiting several doctors, dealing with a few misdiagnoses and undergoing several endoscopies and biopsies, I was finally diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1989, when I was just 7 years old.
3. What were your most prominent symptoms? Headaches, severe stomach aches, fatigue and leg cramps
4. Do you have an official diagnosis of Celiac Disease? Yes.
5. How long did it take for your major symptoms to disappear when you started on a gluten free diet? I wasn’t one of those cases where as soon as I went on a gluten-free diet, I immediately felt better. It took me a few years before my symptoms began to disappear. Even though I am on a 100% gluten-free diet, I still suffer from fatigue and migraines every now and then.
6. Do you have allergies or intolerances to other foods? No. Although dairy products tend to upset my stomach a bit, so I avoid dairy whenever possible.
7. Are other members of your family gluten intolerant? No one else in my family has been officially diagnosed with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance. However, looking back, I believe that my grandma had Celiac Disease. In addition, my mom has chosen to eat gluten-free and has found that she feels healthier while on a gluten-free diet.
8. What do you miss the most since starting to eat gluten free? When I was first diagnosed, I missed eating pizza the most. It was difficult being the only kid at a birthday party who couldn’t eat the pizza. I also remember missing Maple Bar doughnuts as a kid! I used to love those before I was diagnosed. But as I grew older, it got much easier and I found myself no longer craving things like pizza, doughnuts and bread.
9. What is the hardest part for you about eating gluten free? At this point in my life, eating gluten-free is easy, due to the increased accessibility of gluten-free foods at grocery stores and restaurants. However, a few years ago, I would say the hardest part was the dining out at restaurants. Gluten is hidden in so many food items and sauces, that it can often be difficult to determine if certain food items at restaurants truly are gluten-free. Due to a substantial increase in Celiac awareness over the years, many restaurants have created gluten-free menus, which makes dining out much, much easier.
10. What is your favorite restaurant? Hmmm. That’s a tough question…I would have to say that my favorite restaurant is a small Italian restaurant in Hermosa Beach, CA, called Fritto Misto. I love it because they serve corn and rice, gluten-free pasta and allow you to make your own pasta!
11. Do you have a favorite gluten free recipe to share?
Gluten-Free Crustless Spinach, Tomato and Cheese Quiche:
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 8-10 oz spinach, washed
- 3-4 eggs
- 4-6 oz Gouda cheese, shredded
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Dash of pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large frying pan, saute the diced onion in the olive oil until the onion is tender. Add the tomato and spinach and cook until the spinach wilts. Remove from heat.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Add the shredded cheese, the salt and the pepper, and stir to combine.
4. Add the spinach, tomato and onions to the eggs and cheese, and stir to combine.
5. Pour into a greased pie plate. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top starts to brown.
12. What are your hobbies? Golfing, Snowboarding/Skiing, Music (I play guitar, bass, drums and a little piano. I was even in a band in high school that released a few CD’s!) and relaxing at the beach with friends and family.
13. Where did you go on your last gluten free vacation? Park City, Utah. For the Sundance Film Festival
14. How has eating gluten free changed your life for the better? Eating gluten-free has essentially allowed me to live my life pain-free. Prior to my Celiac diagnosis, I suffered from severe head and stomach aches on a daily basis. Eliminating gluten from my diet has dramatically helped to suppress those symptoms. Therefore, I have found my overall health and happiness increase after going gluten-free.