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About P&GF

Hello and welcome!! I'm Danielle, and that's me up above.

 To make it easy to understand Poor and Gluten Free, I thought I'd share some pictures that help describe what goes on here!

Poor and Gluten Free has been a journey for me. You see, it started out as a blog about me, Danielle, living gluten free on a budget with my husband and trying to eat healthy, gluten free foods while living as eco-friendly as I can, wherever I go. I'm also an author, and historical romance novelist with a small publishing house. Sometimes I share pictures and recipes related to my works. 

Mostly, I share allergy-free recipes and frugal, DIY projects.  

That's because, after many years of inexplicable suffering, I discovered in 2008 that I was gluten intolerant and had Oral Allergy Syndrome.  Essentially this means that, along with seasonal allergies, I am allergic to most fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and wheat. As a result, I’ve had to be totally scrupulous about everything I eat.   

 I compiled a lot of my allergy research into a book called Living with Oral Allergy Syndrome (linked on the side bar. You can get it on Amazon, or by ordering it at most bookstores) 

I've also written a couple of other allergy-free cookbooks since I began the blog:

Sometimes I share product and place reviews, and tips on traveling gluten free on a budget. 


I also write historical romance novels.

When I was about five or six my teacher had us all make books out of recycled cereal box cardboard and wrapping paper. One of my first stories was about a red cat from Venus and a purple cat from Mars who overcame their differences to become friends. 

I like to think this book was prophetic. It predates Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, as well as the wide-spread adoption of the rainbow by the LGBTQ community. ;)  

I've been writing ever since. 

I have a BA in English Lit, and an MA in Middle Eastern History. My MA research focused on Egyptian cinema and dancers in the 1940-70s, and I love watching old black and white Egyptian films. I'm a research fanatic, and part of the fun of writing is researching the juicy little tidbits that makes an historical setting come alive. 

My first published novel, In the Court of Kemet, is inspired by Egypt's first female ruler. Two more books in my Ancient Egyptian Romance series are due out in fall of 2015. There are several more planned, as well as a Medieval romance series. I intend to share some of my experiences writing here, as well as pictures and recipes that inspired, or have been inspired, by my books.

So now most of my days are spent like this:

 And sometimes Poor and Gluten Free is about me being a moving van stunt driver.  

Anyone who's ever driven a 14ft u-Haul back and forth across the Rocky Mountains (and hubby and I have done it not once, but twice), or tried to navigate that truck through the narrow, one-way streets of downtown Madison, Wisconsin where you can only park for two hours at a time before having to drive around and find another spot, will know what I mean when I say I'm a Moving Van Stunt Driver. 

I've moved over twenty times in my life. I've lived in three different countries (including a few months spent living in Egypt), and at least eight different cities. I also travel a whole lot. In the last five years alone I've stayed in over forty different hotels. 

I move and travel partly because I've studied at four different post-secondary institutions. I also move and travel so much because my husband is doing his PhD in the US (although we're both Canadian) and he does research in Europe. 

And then sometimes I think I travel and move so much because on one side I'm descended from Acadians and voyageurs. I get itchy feet when I haven't traveled for a while. Perhaps moving is just in my blood!

Hopefully you'll find something useful amongst all that!

Questions? I'd love to hear from you.  Contact me at bellyopudge AT gmail DOT com

My Disclaimer: I have to tell you, of course, that the information on this site is not to be taken in lieu of medical advice.  It is only a means to share my own personal experiences.  As a historian, I do my best to verify facts and information, but cannot be held responsible in any way for any negative consequences that arise from the use of this site. It's always a good idea to consult a medical professional before changing your diet.   


  1. Dear Danielle,

    We've recently launched the site, where users can search through hundreds of thousands of recipes from Canadian food sites and food blogs.

    We’ve noticed that you have a great number of tasty, original recipes on your site and we would like to suggest you to have a look at our Top Food Blogs section here:

    If you want to add your food blog to the list and have your recipes indexed on all you have to do is follow the instructions here:
    Our concept is already live in Mexico, US, France, Italy and Spain amongst others. We deliver thousands of visitors to food blogs daily. Some of the top food blogs receive 10,000+ visitors from us on a weekly basis.

    We hope you will join us and your food blog will be up there in the top!

    Warm regards,

    1. Thanks for the invite, Christina! I'll come by and check it out :)

  2. Are you familiar with Mahmoud Reda?

    1. Of course! I studied with him in Cairo several times (I lived there for several months in 2008 while studying Arabic), and have traveled to see him in the US :) He's a real sweetheart!

  3. Danielle,

    Just wanted to say thanks for putting together this incredible site. There aren't a lot of resources for people with allergies and of this nature - most are gluten-free as you've stated - and the number of recipes you've created are incredibly useful.

    So... thank you!


    1. Thanks, Bob! That's so kind of you to say. I'm glad you've found the blog helpful :)

  4. I just want to say thank you for your blog! My daughter is 6 and has had fruit, peanut, and nut allergies since she was an infant, and now has Celiac disease. Everyone thinks I am crazy, and has never heard of a child being allergic to fruits and veggies.

    She has mild OAS (hives, and itchy mouth/throat) with apples, cherries, cabbage, kohlrabi, cucumbers, peaches, peppers, oranges, more severely allergic to melons, and had an anaphylactic reaction to watermelon last summer. She is allergic to most trees, grasses, etc, so it makes sense I guess. Her nut and peanut allergies have also caused anaphylaxis in the past..

    There are many blogs about gluten, nut/peanut allergies, but yours is the first I have found with so much about OAS/fruit allergies! So excited to read about how you live with these issues! You look so happy, and healthy! It gives me hope for my daughter!

    1. Thank goodness your daughter has you to support her, and believe in her. It can be really debilitating when people don't take your legitimate allergies seriously and it's so important that she has your understanding.

      At the same time, it's true that many people can fall into despair, so a positive outlook for both of you is key! I try to look on the bright side, and see it as an opportunity to educate myself about food, food systems, the environment and how they relate to my body, as well as a chance to experiment with cooking within my limited means. I like to think of my body as a delicate eco-system which requires the proper environment and nourishment for my unique body chemistry to flourish ;)

      Please let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer them :)

  5. I have been searching the internet for ages for a blog like yours! I have no problem with gluten, but have had OAS my entire life. I find it so frustrating that so few people are aware of this allergy. It's even worse when I look up healthy recipes and all I see are raw fruits and veggies! I'm excited to try out some of your recipes. Keep it up!

    1. It's always a challenge to eat healthy with so many allergies! I try to think of it as a creative opportunity ;) Thanks so much for your kind words and I hope you find some good stuff to eat here.

  6. I agree with you that many allergies/intolerances are showing up because of the contamination of our food supply with gmo, petroleum/fertilizers, and poor diets in general.I discovered in my mid sixties of my gluten intolerance by myself. Going to doctors has been a waste of time so far. Perhaps I chose the wrong ones! Eating out is often a challenge too. Your recipes are helpful. Here in Australia, we have rainbow chard that doesn't quit. 3days after picking one plant, it has grown back.With almost a dozen plants we have a huge amount to pick/use. Any success in freezing?

  7. Hi grandma,
    Thanks for stopping by. You might be interested in the book I have coming out - I have over 10 pages worth of info on how food allergies develop based on scientific studies on toxins in our environment and food.

    As for the chard, I haven't tried preserving it myself, but I found a few links from some other great bloggers that recommend chopping and freezing them, like this one:

    and this one with a recipe for pickled stems! (I think I'm going to have to try this myself!)

  8. Hi Danielle,

    I enjoy reading your wonderful blog and participating in your blog hop!

    I'd like to invite you to visit my healthy lifestyle blog,

    Every week we have a Blog Hop where bloggers can share healthy, green and natural recipes and

    remedies, DIY projects, natural living ideas, tips, arts & culture and other inspiring and relevant blog posts.

    So hop on by and LINK UP up at the “Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural” Party Hop!

    Everyone is looking forward to reading your wonderful healthy, green and natural blog posts, so hop on by to post

    or read at:

    It's a great way to promote your blog content, make new friends and gain new subscribers.

    I just love connecting with people who visit the Urban Naturale or participate in the Blog Hop!

    It's so great to read and share your posts--and to make new friends who have interests in common.

    So, let's stay in touch!

    Feel free to contact me to ask a question, make a suggestion, pitch an idea, collaborate on a project,

    or to let me know how I can be of help to you.

    And by the way, if you like free giveaways, feel free to stop by my blog and enter to win my

    FREE Crock Pot Giveaway


    FREE giveaways are my way of saying "Thank You" for your support.

    Again, thank you so much for visiting UrbanNaturale.

    All the Best,


    1. Thanks, Deborah, I'm already ahead of you, I linked up this week :)

  9. Dear Danielle,
    Greetings from Maryland. I have been doing all kinds of research and planning to make my family go grain & dairy free. Tough call for my husband who was a bachelor for 23 years living on junk food, pizza and anything out of a box or a bag. Today, he came home from the allergist with a long face & a diagnosis: Oral Allergy Syndrome. Mixed blessing-now he has no excuse to buck my decision to clean out the cupboards and start a revolution in te kitchen. Sites like yours will be a huge help! Thank you!

    1. Hi Jeannette, I hope you find some helpful info for your husband here! Also, my new book on OAS is available now on Amazon (or through my site) and there's tons and tons of info on potential causes of allergies and things that aggravate them, as well as lots of tips for managing symptoms and cooking food for OAS (and several recipe chapters).

  10. Just ordered the cookbook and am looking forward to it. I would be interested in seeing the research you've compiled linking OAS yo toxins in the environment!

    1. I hope you find it informative! I've removed as many toxins and chemicals from my environment as I can and it's been extremely beneficial.

  11. Found your blog as I was looking for reviews on Dr Bronner's products. I like the site and your ethos :) It's very interesting you've studied in Cairo! My sister (we are English) lives there and has been there several years now doing various stuff; journalism, teaching and odd bits. She graduated not long ago from studying Middle Eastern politics and Arabic at the American University.. I wonder if you know her?

    1. Hi Berry, sounds like your sister is doing some interesting stuff! I haven't been back to Egypt since 2008, and can't actually recall having met anyone from England while there - mostly Americans (and only one other Canadian!) I studied at the Hedayet Institute in Maadi, which was just intensive Arabic, and not like a uni. That said, I did once crash an AUC party when they moved to their new campus outside of downtown Cairo ;) As I recall the food was good, a folkloric troupe performed, and there was lots of dancing!

  12. Hi Danielle, found your blog. Sounds like you have been keeping very busy with writing on your blog and novels, getting married, cooking and baking up a storm. How are you doing? /Eva L.

    1. Eva! How lovely to hear from you. Things are good, and we're back in town for the time being. It would be great to catch up. Please do PM me if you have time for coffee :) (bellyopudge AT

  13. Hi Danielle,

    My name is Anuj Agarwal. I'm Founder of Feedspot.

    I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Poor and Gluten Free has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 Gluten Free Blogs on the web.

    I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 Gluten Free Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

    Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.


    1. Thanks so much for including me, Anuj! I've shared the list, it's an excellent compilation of wonderful bloggers :)

  14. I had to laugh when I came across Poor & Gluten Free, because that's me all over! I've pinned a number of your recipes to try. Thanks for being there! <3


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