EatInEatOut Autumn 2015 - Page 45

L et’s welcome Karine Barlow to EatInEatOut Magazine. I know you’ll love hearing her personal journey and what lead her to start an exciting new business. What is your background? Tell us about Karine… 2015 marks 20 years for me as a Registered Dietitian (gasp!!). It’s been a fantastic journey! The world of nutrition has changed so much since I first started practicing and it continues to evolve at a fast pace. Never a dull moment! I knew early on I had a passion for learning about food and how it related to health. When I learned there was a career all about just that, becoming an RD was an obvious choice! In fact, I always felt it a gift that I had such a clear path for myself. Food and nutrition are in my blood! In some respects I’m not your typical dietitian. As a young person, I struggled with fairly serious weight issues and have battled obesity for most of my life. I believe it makes me a very humane, compassionate and realistic RD. No judgements here… I’m also a mom to a 10 year old who has gone through quite a health journey that led me to the world of gluten-free. What led you to a gluten-free lifestyle? In short, my 10 year old son James did! I personally do not have to be gluten-free, and I will sometimes have gluten when I am not with him, but at home and when I’m out with him, we live a 100% gluten-free lifestyle. His story is a long, complicated medical one. The short version is that after growing increasingly ill over a period of a few years, seeing a multitude of specialists, and generally becoming completely desperate to help my child, my husband and I tried him on a gluten-free diet. The results were dramatic! James has now been gluten-free for about 5 years and he is a different child. Thriving, healthy, active and well again. My journey with him, having to learn all about gluten, propelled me into a new world as a dietitian – one I had not spent much time thinking about prior to this time in my life. What I learned was that his is a common story. On average, it takes people 11-13 years to be diagnosed. Typically most patients will see a variety of doctors, often being told what they are feeling is just in their head, and rarely does anyone think to question gluten as a culprit. In James’ case, he was anemic, there was evidence his growth was not progressing at a normal rate, he had spontaneous bouts of crying in class, his language and fine motor skills were not developing at the pace of his peers, he had joint pain, chronic canker sores, and more! In retrospect, all these symptoms should have been cause to suspect Celiac disease. Instead he was tested for Mono, told he likely has ADHD, reassured that his growth would ‘pick up’ in adolescence, and got WWW.EATINEATOUT.CA 45