I am a huge fan of Matthew and Mehl’s Flour Company. Not only is he one of our Calendar Men, he is also a genuinely, nice guy and his products are phenomenal. Hands down he has the best pancake mix I’ve ever tasted, can almost eat it raw, and his biscuit mix is almost indestructible; even a less then fair baker like myself could not mess them up. As for his chocolate cake, well let’s just say that by the end of the day there were only crumbs left and a very lonely fork.
When I first started baking gluten-free, over half of my goodies found their way to the garbage before my mouth. Mehl’s offers a full line of easy to make mixes that will surely please even the worst cook.
Meet Matthew Mehl:
1. Let’s start with 9 people in your family diagnosed with celiac, who was the first to get tested, when, and how did you figure out it was Celiac?
My sister was the first diagnosed and it was nine years ago. Her internal medicine doctor was really up to speed with the Celiac testing procedure and ordered tests for her which were conclusive.
2. How long were you feeling ill before you were tested?
I was diagnosed over five years ago. If I become ‘Gluten-Bombed’, which can only happen by cross-contamination, as I avoid gluten like the Black Plague; I will notice symptoms within a half hour! First a dull headache starts and then nausea/stomach pain. Over the next few hours I get the worst tired spells ever, then the headache intensifies with sweats and clammy skin. This leads to the dreaded bowel symptoms/stomach pain & nausea that accompany the human body not being able to process food properly. The details of the BM’s are horrific to say the least, I had better have a toilet in close proximity! I had 8 years of symptoms and now almost 6 years of being Gluten-Free; during which I developed Graves Disease in 2002. I feel this was a result of eating gluten and not knowing I was Celiac.
3. How long did it take for you to finally start feeling better completely?
30 days after going gluten-free I felt way better. I had lab work done sixty days after going gluten-free and for the first time in six years I had perfect labs: T4/cholesterol/blood pressure/proteins, etc.
4. Did your doctor find you had vitamin deficiencies? Do you get randomly tested to make sure that you are still not deficient?
I get labs every 6 months and prior to going gluten-free my labs were always out of whack, they couldn’t figure out why. I self diagnosed after my whole family was found to have Celiac and then my internal medicine doctor confirmed my diagnosis.
5. I read that you when you started Mehl’s Flour Company, you baked over 25,000 loaves of bread to get the recipe correct, that’s rough. How did you know you finally had ‘it’?
My brother Paul was and is the idea guy/baker/product development guru. We used the taste comparison method and the local Celiac group/gluten-free consumer to affirm we had a great product. Believe me Kirsten, we knew we had it in comparison to prior attempts; being a taster/guinea pig isn’t always enjoyable!
6. What is the best thing about being gluten-free?
My eyesight has gone back to 20/20!
7. What was the worst experience you’ve had before being diagnosed?
Projectile vomiting/migraines/inability to stay awake (sleep spells).
8. How important is it to get tested early and not ignore symptoms? What is the best advice you can give other men?
Don’t add a propensity for an auto-immune disease to your life by being a tough guy. A ‘real’ tough guy takes care of himself and his health, that way he may serve the ones he loves to the best of his abilities. By not diluting his body/spirit/mind with eating something his body cannot utilize fully to power the machine we call ‘Man’, real men use the best fuel to perform. When you are Celiac, putting gluten in your body is like putting diesel in an engine that takes gasoline, the machine will not run properly and eventually break down!!!!
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