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Customer Spotlight: the Sawatzky Family

Posted on June 26, 2018

Life with two active teenage daughters is extremely busy!  How can anyone manage crazy schedules AND maintain a gluten free lifestyle? Well, meet the Sawatzky family.  I had the opportunity to sit down with Tracy Sawatzky who, along with her helpful husband Steve, is able to balance the busy schedules of daughters Hailey (16) and Megan (14) while providing “safe” nutrition options.  Admittedly, Tracy takes the lead when it comes to food, but the whole family helps out.

Gluten Free Diagnosis

Hailey was diagnosed with gluten and dairy allergies two years ago, which changed the eating habits of the whole family.  Everyone is now eating gluten free with Hailey, although Tracy, Steve and Megan still consume dairy products.  At first, Hailey was worried about giving up some of her favorite foods, but she felt so much better and healthier that it didn’t matter.  As well, she quickly discovered that she didn’t really have to give up much after all, as Mom Tracy was able to change some recipes using gluten free flours and dairy alternatives.  Now, when snacks are needed away from home, Tracy makes sure the family has safe items on hand.

Surprise Benefit to being Gluten Free

Everyone in the family is eating healthier, drinking more water, and experiencing the cause and effect of a healthier lifestyle!

Tracy’s Tips for Newly Diagnosed Families

You’re not in this alone. Talk to others with gluten sensitivities.  Join Facebook/social media support groups.  Use online resources.  One of the toughest issues is dining out, as you often worry about cross-contamination. There’s no perfect answer to the dining out problem, but other gluten free families will gladly share their experiences regarding safe restaurants.

Is this family busy enough?

Getting back to the crazy, nonstop Sawatzky family lifestyle….  Hailey is a dancer who is on the high school dance team and also competes with a private studio.  In fact, Hailey has performed in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade, at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, and her team is working out details for another big event in the near future!

Megan is busy with softball and hockey.  When she heads into high school this year, she’ll (sadly) have to give up softball so that she can focus on competing in hockey for Team Illinois.  As well, she plans to help coach a younger softball team when she’s not in school or playing hockey.

Favorite Family Vacation

As you can probably discern from the beautiful family picture with Scrooge McDuck, the Sawatzky family LOVES Disney!!  They visit Disney about twice a year—although I have no idea how they coordinate schedules to get this done.  As many of you already know, Disney has an excellent reputation for taking care of “guests” with food allergies—another way in which Dreams Really Do Come True!

Sawatzky Family Favorites from Sweet Ali’s

  • Hailey—everything pumpkin!
  • Megan—besides everything, she loves the shamrock cupcake
  • Tracy—Crispies
  • Steve—key lime cupcake

 Thank you, Tracy, for sharing your beautiful family with fellow Sweet Ali’s customers!

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