So many people have asked us “Why?” and “How?” — if you read “About Us” on our website you will get an abbreviated version of our journey. We decided to get a little more personal on our first blog post:
Debbi and Jen met in the fall of 2003 shortly after Jen moved into the neighborhood. Realizing that they both had kids the same age and that they also shared the same sense of humor, love of 80’s music and red wine, they became fast friends.
Jen was a Kindergarten teacher and Debbi was in sales. After years of suffering with GI issues, Debbi found out she was allergic to gluten in 2008 and went gluten free. Her symptoms subsided for a few years, but came back in 2011. Jen, having been diagnosed with Lupus in 1998, had always searched for foods that were wholesome and unprocessed. She always felt a direct correlation between what she ate and how she felt. In the classroom, she was seeing an increase in the amount of children that had various special needs, including Autism and ADHD, and also children who suffered with food allergies. The parents of the children struggled with finding nutritious, good tasting snacks that weren’t loaded with sugar, gluten or artificial sweeteners.
When Debbi’s symptoms returned in 2011, she knew she needed to make a change in the way she ate that went beyond gluten free. While searching desperately on the internet for an answer, she found the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) which was for people who had tried everything to control their GI issues to no avail. Eating this way meant cutting out all grains, soy, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners and dairy (amongst other foods). Debbi started the SCD diet immediately and within a week she was feeling better.
In 2012, Jen decided it was time to leave teaching. After 15 years in the classroom she knew there was something else out there that would feed her soul just as the children had these past 15 years. Meanwhile, Debbi had spent the last year creating delicious meals for herself that were all SCD “safe.” Eating this way was drastically improving her health, but it definitely meant spending a lot more time in the kitchen. During her weekly trips to Whole Foods, she always found herself in the health bar aisle searching for a “safe” option that she could eat on the go or throw in her purse when she knew she would be away from home all day. But most of the gluten free bars she found contained ingredients like rice, soy, or agave — all of which are off limits for the specific carbohydrate diet.
Frustrated with the lack of options for a satisfying and safe alternative, Debbi picked up the phone and called Jen, “Wanna create something great?” Armed with a list of delicious, whole, unprocessed foods that Debbi could eat, they both set out to create something fabulous. And every day following that, they spent creating CharmedBars (while listening to 80’s music!)