Casey Wilson felt a sense of relief when her son Max was diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune condition where the body is negatively affected by gluten. After years of discomfort, her then 4-year-old began to thrive and, as she wrote in a New York Times op-ed, “his truer self emerged.”
Now, three years on, Wilson, 41, and her family have adopted a lifestyle that aligns with Max’s needs. In an interview with People, the actress and Fed Up podcast host said she, her husband David Caspe and their 4-year-old son Henry all eat gluten-free because, for Max, his diet is not a choice but a necessity — and they want to support that.
"I guess I might have been guilty a little bit of like, 'Oh, people have these sensitivities in gluten.' And I stand so corrected and I feel badly," she said of 7-year-old Max’s battle. "That whole world opened up to me and I try not to be the mom that's like, 'Hi, my son...' No one wants to be that annoying mom. But at the same time, we eat gluten-free in our house and I feel a lot better, and I don't have that sensitivity."
People with celiac disease have an intolerance to gluten and can face debilitating issues in the small intestine if they eat foods containing the wheat protein. Even trace amounts of it can cause digestive distress, and neurological and skin-based reactions are also common after ingestion.
Although it’s easier to cook and eat gluten-free meals, Wilson admits that she and Caspe order out sometimes to satisfy their wheat cravings. "I feel like I have so many cheat meals,” she teased. “I need to have the good meal once a week. Like, where's my non-cheat meal?”
She continued, “Life is short and life is so difficult. The idea of reining oneself in all the time to me is just so, kind of such a bummer.”
Wilson narrates the new Wondery podcast, Fed Up, which tackles diet culture, influencers and the feud between Tanya Zuckerbrot and Emily Gellis over the high-fiber F-Factor Diet. Wilson currently enjoys the meal-tracking program Noom, but believes it’s all about the approach when it comes to weight loss and diet fads.
"Certainly, as an actress, I've had my own run-ins with 'needing' or being told to be thinner. It certainly affected me, but I've actually tried to kind of maintain a healthy sense of self within this business, which I think has been hard,” Wilson told People. "I've just done therapy and I'm in comedy. So I try to just kind of let it roll off and just do what makes me feel good in my own skin."
A good lesson for herself, and for her young boys.