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Actress Jennifer Esposito dishes up gluten-free goodness and celiac awareness

Jennifer Esposito is both an actress and a celiac disease awareness activist.
Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Actress Jennifer Esposito has become famed for more than her roles in TV and films such as "The Proposal." She also has become known as an activist for enlightening others about celiac disease, after suffering for years trying to find a diagnosis for her illness. Now she's a bakery owner hoping to take her gluten-free goodies nation-wide, telling Well & Good NYC about her plans in a March 28 interview.

Jennifer vowed to create her own bakery after discovering problems with commercial versions of gluten-free foods.

"Most commercial-size facilities are not strictly 100 percent gluten-free; they used gluten in separate areas or shared the same machinery. This was not okay for me," she explained.

By having her own space, she can guarantee the use of quality, organic ingredients such as quinoa flour and maple syrup.

"Now I’m right at the helm at my facility every day and in the test kitchen creating new products and working to make my existing products better, more nutritious and safe,” she said proudly.

In addition to her bakery, Jennifer is spreading the word about celiac disease in a new book: "Jennifer's Way: My Journey with Celiac Disease--What Doctors Don’'t Tell You and How You Can Learn to Live Again" (click for details).

In it, Jennifer describes her battle with a chronic illness, and how she finally achieved her diagnosis. She hopes it will help others learn how to fight to be diagnosed and to redesign their lives for health and happiness.

An estimated one in 133 Americans has celiac disease, according to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. And despite the increasing attention to this condition, more than 80 percent of those who have it are misdiagnosed initially.

Jennifer says that she received her diagnosis only after years of not knowing what was causing her pain and illness. But for her, and others with her condition, the increasing awareness of gluten-free diets has helped. A recent survey showed that nutrition experts predict gluten-free plans will be the most popular diet trend in 2014: Find out more by clicking here.

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