After almost exactly 7 years. After 691 posts. After 33,627 comments. After, after, after…it’s time to come out in the open.
First…I don’t have celiac disease. I’ve never had celiac disease. I saw a business opportunity and went for it.
Ok..I’ll get serious now. My name is Scott and while I’m not going anywhere, I kinda am. Wait…huh? Exactly. Let me explain. While I’m not putting Gluten Dude out to pasture, I am refocusing my energy a bit. Why now? What happened? Lotsa reasons.
Like I said, I started this blog in October of 2011 and have put my heart and soul into helping the community; but I’ve lost steam. Here’s a perfect example: In the past few weeks, I have gotten tons of messages regarding two things that happened in the media. 1) There is a Coke commercial that calls gluten-free pizza “not real pizza”. You can watch it here. 2) There was a radio show where a woman called in and said she runs a bakery and tells customers items are gluten-free when they aren’t. Why? Who the f**k knows?
My point? I used to be the guy to write about this stuff. To call people and the media out. To give shit to companies like Udi’s, who put profit over the community. And I enjoyed it. I was passionate about it, even though I got TONS of crap in return.
But I don’t wanna be that guy any more. Why? Because it didn’t do any good. Gluten free is still made fun of. Celiac is still misunderstood. And Udi’s is still in business. All my ranting and raving didn’t do diddly. I’m angry enough about all of the injustice happening in our world right now to have anything left to be angry about here. And after 7 years, it’s time for someone else to take over the reign of calling the stuff out. Any takers?
I currently have 865 emails from my fellow celiacs in my inbox that I need to respond to. It’s a mental burden because I feel bad not responding to everyone. But it’s also a time burden. My days are filled to the brim with work. And writing a blog post takes time as well (this one took 3 hours to write). There simply aren’t enough hours in the day anymore to do everything I need to do and I need to prioritize, which brings me to my next point.
Yep…that necessary thing that I detest but we all need to live on. Take a look at the sidebar on my website. See all those advertisers? Yeah…me neither. A few years ago, I decided I needed to make something to help cover the cost/time of being Gluten Dude. So I took in a few advertisers. So where are they now? Like Keyser Soze…gone…never to be seen again. What happened? Let’s just say I’m not a product first guy. So one, it was tough to find companies I truly believed in who had the budget to advertise. And two, when they did, they came to realize I wouldn’t be shilling for their product, even if they advertised on my site. Not a good combination, so the market started to dry up. And then last year, I decided just to pull them off. Authenticity as an advocate is tough when money is involved.
I do have a Tip Jar at the end of each blog post. I was hoping the community could support this site as I have supported the community for so long. And while I do get the occasional donation (THANK YOU), it’s few and far between and does not come close to covering what I put out. So I’ll be honest. There is a little disappointment in there as others in the community are getting paid handily. Which leads me to my second to last point.
Between you and I, I’ve become so disillusioned with so many of my fellow celiacs who treat their disease as a career choice, becoming brand whores along the way, while putting other celiac’s health in jeopardy. A real chasm has developed in the celiac advocate community. There are those who put the community first (few and far between) and those who put their own best intere$t$ first. There is celiac.com who has TOTALLY sold out, yet remains the go-to site for so many newly diagnosed. There is the Celiac Disease Foundation, which continues to promote Cheerios and a number of other shit products. There are fellow bloggers who promote dangerous restaurants. And the list goes on and on. There are a number of bloggers who do it right. Find them. Follow them.
I don’t eat “gluten-free”. I haven’t eaten “gluten-free” in a long time and my health has never been better. I almost don’t feel like “a celiac” anymore. I just eat clean, healthy food that happens to be gluten-free. I don’t struggle with the diet. At all. Is it a pain? At times. But it’s not nearly a big source of stress in my life. I’ve written a lot about this. Food can and will change your life. Please see all of these posts. I’ve seen it and I’ve experienced it.
This is not to minimize the struggles that others have with it. I know, especially for the newly diagnosed, celiac disease can be absolutely overwhelming. It was for me, for many years. I just kept trying different things (and listening to people who have been there) until I began to truly heal. And it is pretty much all in your diet. I implore you, if you have celiac and eat gluten-free, yet are still struggling with your health, change your diet. Even though many bloggers promote them, so many of the gf products out there are complete garbage. I know. I used to eat them. And they were killing me. You don’t have to feel ill all the time. Listen to your body and make the changes you know you need to make.
Ok…So Who am I?
My name is Scott Hayes. My lovely wife, aka Mrs. Dude, is Deb. Breast cancer survivor and all around amazing person. And my wonderful Dudettes, both who have saved their own health through food, are Courtney and Madison. Courtney is on her way to becoming a health coach, focusing on how diet can help those with dealing with anxiety. On Instagram, she is at Becoming Courtney. Maddie is a sophomore at University of Delaware and is thriving.
I was living in Bucks County, PA for 8 years but recently moved the Dude Ranch to New York City. I’m 53 years young. I have three older brothers and both of my parents, one an alcoholic and one bi-polar with addison’s disease, have sadly passed. I know…boooooring.
So What Happens to Gluten Dude?
He’s still here. I’m not taking the site down, deleting my social media accounts or anything like that. I’ll still post when I have something to say. I’ll still help where I can. I’ll keep you educated and entertained when I have the time. I call it Gluten Dude: Phase 2. Still tastes great. But less filling.
So hi…my name is Scott. What’s yours?
Update two weeks after the above post: In the original post above, I had stated, and since deleted, that I was going in business with Jennifer Esposito, and ChewOnThis.life is our new venture. This is no longer the case. We have decided to go our separate ways. I am no longer involved in the podcast or the website. Carry on.