Gluten Free Diet Transformed Me into a Totally Different Person

Renee TassoneBy Renee Tassone

In 2010 I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. This diagnosis came after years of odd illnesses that none of my doctors could figure out. I finally ended up in the Emergency Room one weekend because I was bleeding every time I went to the bathroom. A few days later they performed a colonoscopy & endoscope. The doctor took some biopsies and in a few days told me the result was Celiac Disease. Neither one of us believed it, we thought maybe there was an infection of some kind going on and it was just masking itself as Celiac. He said I did not look like a classic Celiac patient, probably because of all the unexplained weight I was gaining. He put me on some antibiotics and said we would wait 3 months and then re-perform the procedures. Everyday I became sicker and sicker, after 2 months he decided we had better go ahead and do the procedures and not wait any longer. All tests came back positive for Celiac Disease. He said he was 100% sure I had the disease which by the way I had never even heard of before. He explained the seriousness of the disease and encouraged me to go gluten free right away.

Honestly, it was all a bit overwhelming at first. I still did not believe that food was my problem but I told my doctor I would try it for one week but if it did not make a difference then we would need to do more tests. Well, by day 4 of being gluten free I had transformed into a totally different person. I had incredible energy, my body rash started to subside, the tingling in my legs went away, I wasn’t as bloated and my cracked lips started to heal. From that point on I knew I would never eat gluten again.

A few months into my new diet/lifestyle I decided to start a Celiac support group to help others. I also became a resource of the Celiac Sprue Association so I could help people that were newly diagnosed. I started reading everything I could about the disease. I was really enjoying helping people transition to a gluten free life. Then a few months in to my new gluten free lifestyle my symptoms started to reappear so I decided I wanted to do a diet cleanse. Again, I went and read everything I could about different cleanses, which there are thousands of them out there. I knew I did not want to starve myself, I did not want to be in the bathroom all day and I did not want to take a bunch of supplements that cost hundreds of dollars. I could not find one I liked so instead I created my own by piecing a few different ones together.

My first cleanse was a 28 day healthy, nutritional cleanse which I started on October 4, 2011. This cleanse changed my life. I felt even more incredible with tons of energy. Through this cleanse I also found out that I was allergic to soy and to nuts. Every Saturday I would "treat" myself to a Dunkin Donut Hot Chocolate, their hot chocolate is gluten free but not soy free. Just as I started feeling better at the end of the week, the weekend would come and I would be drinking another one so I could never pin point what was making me sick. Since the cleanse I stick to a plant based, whole food diet. Which means I do not eat anything from an animal and I do not eat anything with a label. So then of course I started reading about plant based diets and was shocked at the information I found. There is such a huge connection between the food we eat and the way we feel.

Soon after I started telling friends about the cleanse, the cleanse improved many of their problems such as migraines, high blood pressure and thyroid issues, they all had amazing results. To date I have helped thousands of people in 27 different states through a cleanse and adopt a plant based, whole foods diet. The results have been amazing. I have helped people with diabetes, crohns, joint pain, parkinson’s, depression, fatigue, cancer and more. I have also done a lot of research on raw foodism, veganism and the macrobiotic diet.

Nine months ago I opened a vegan café in the Berkshires that is also totally gluten and soy free. We sell nothing but healthy food and smoothies that are free of allergens and animals.

I have lost a total of 38 pounds since my journey began and am at my perfect weight. For the first time in my life I don't ever think about weight, I know my body is where it naturally should be 38 pounds lighter and I feel I don't even have to work to keep it there. For once, my weight doesn't fluctuate 6-8 pounds in one day and I have incredible energy and my skin radiates and all I want to do is scream at the top of my lungs and share this information!!

PS. If every one of us inspired ONE person to go meatless imagine the difference we could make in ten years time. I am going to collect inspirational vegetarian/vegan stories to share with everyone. If you think your story will inspire others, please share with me by sending it to I will post your stories on this blog. I believe everyone has his/her own story, I think it must be great when we can share our stories and inspire others. Let’s make the world a better place.
Xiao Kang.

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