Can you help share Celiac awareness and gluten-free living this month?
I remember when I started my gluten-free diet. I had no idea what gluten meant, nor did the people around me. It was a hard time.
Today is a different story. The world of Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance has vastly expanded. We can easily find gluten-free foods at the grocery stores, noted in articles, and characters in sitcoms are even eating gluten-free. Today, more know what we are talking about when we mention gluten.
Yet there is still a lot of confusion about the topic. (Welcome to my website! I am hoping to help this situation!)
Many people are confused of the real meaning of gluten-free living.
**It is not just giving up bread and pasta.
**It is not eating only organic foods.
**It is not just buying packaged foods that state they are gluten-free.
Following a gluten-free life takes patience, understanding and education. Learning where gluten is hidden and how to read food labels is a huge part of understanding how to keep your body safe from gluten exposure. Buying the same products all the time is not that easy either, as many manufacturers change their ingredients from time to time.
Always recheck labels when you shop
All too often people around me think, “Oh poor you”, “You are so deprived”, “Look what you cannot eat”. Many think the gluten-free foods are dry and unpleasant. We need to show them they are wrong in this assumption.
So . . . can you help?
How can you share your gluten-free life during Celiac Awareness Month?
Here are a few things you can try:
Share the gluten-free foods you prepare with friends and family. It lets them know and understand that you are not deprived of awesome food just because you follow a gluten-free lifestyle. Eating gluten-free CAN BE eating delicious, nutritious meals every day. No my friend, we are not deprived!
Share your baked goods with friends. Too many have the misconception that gluten-free goodies are bland or dry. Not always the case! Today you can even find some packaged goodies that are great for that every-so-often treat. (Thank you Wholly Wholesome and Enjoy Life Cookies!)
If your child is in school, ask the teacher or principal if you can share a talk or handout with the class or parents about food allergies. When my daughter first told her friends she was gluten-free, they moved all their food away from her in the lunchroom. This is not needed with following a gluten-free lifestyle, but, other allergies like nuts do have to follow that protocol. You DO need to make sure children do not share foods and watch for cross-contamination in some cases.
Invite your Book Club or Mom’s group over for a tea – share your favorite gluten-free dessert recipe.
Invite your neighbors or friends over for a Memorial Day Cookout – all gluten-free! Again, it shows others that you are capable of following a gluten-free lifestyle with all those around you – and it is all delicious!
Kids or teens in the house? Have a few friends over and teach them how to bake something gluten-free together. Fun for all!