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Emotions in Regard to Celiac Disease

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Good day to you.  My name is Dougie and I’m a Celiac.  How many times have I made this or a variance of this greeting to people I’ve interacted with?  I wouldn’t be able to count.  The more important question I would like to ask is this – how do you feel when you make that greeting?

Celiac disease is an emotional autoimmune disease.  When I was younger, I felt like cringing when I had to announce my disease.  Why?  It alerted others I was different, not the norm, and high maintenance.  I would then have to go into my spiel of what celiac disease is and what I can eat (yes, I can eat potatoes) and cannot eat (no, I cannot eat just the cherries off of the pie crust), gluten.  It can be very frustrating, especially if my audience doesn’t get it.  Having to explain myself, and my disease, only intensifies my feelings of difference.  Now that I’m older and have a better understanding of the disease, I embrace it.  As a result of embracing celiac disease, I’ve found my emotions and self-esteem has improved for the positive.  I no longer cringe when I say “Hi, my name is Dougie and I’m a Celiac.”  Why?  Because of my attitude change and how I feel about myself and my disease.  I own who I am and what I have.  While celiac disease is not the whole of me, it is a part of me.

Besides the social element of emotion in regard to celiac disease, there is another important emotional aspect – the food itself.  Yes, for the normal diet, food brings about many emotions as a result of memories, comfort, and well-being.  For the celiac survivor, food also brings about these same emotions but I feel there’s more to it.  Negative emotions and feelings can abound if the celiac survivor focuses on what they can’t eat or make.  On the flip side, the celiac survivor can achieve the same emotions as those on a regular diet by focusing on what they can eat or make.  What can celiac survivors do to focus on what they can eat or make?  Learn how to cook gluten-free by making substitutions for gluten flour in recipes.  Focus on natural vegetables and fruits without using flour.  Get delicious recipes from other celiac survivors.  What is the celiac survivor left with?  Emotions brought on by positive memories, comfort, and well-being.

I do not have a medical background or education.  That said I feel many celiac survivors are not in touch with their emotions enough to validate themselves and what they are up against as a survivor.  Acknowledging the feelings and emotions, I feel, is one of the first steps for the celiac survivor to recover mentally and then physically and truly be gluten-free.  I feel until these first steps are understood and completed, the true celiac survivor does not exist.  What do you think?

Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free – and Celiac Disease Awareness for May.

Peace be with you.

Progress

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Good day to you.  We are halfway through Celiac Awareness Month at the time of this writing and I’ve done a little reflecting on the progress the celiac survivor has made.  I feel this progress for celiac survivors has come in many forms to make celiac disease just a little easier to live with.

Progress for the celiac survivor includes increased awareness by the general public.  I’ve heard so many times from my co-workers: “I was at the grocery store last night and I thought of you.  I saw gluten-free Rice Chex!”  Most people I interact with seem to have at least a slight grasp of what celiac disease is.  Even if the people I interact with have incorrect perceptions about celiac disease, I’ve generally found they are receptive to receiving accurate information about the disease.  I find this encouraging for the celiac survivor.

Progress for the celiac survivor includes increased information sharing among our own.  With social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other media; the information at our fingertips is almost limitless.  I’ve witnessed celiac survivor information being transmitted at lightning speed on the internet.  I’ve observed celiac survivor communities pop up and help out others with advice, consolation, and answers to questions.  Gluten-free recipes and other ideas are spread like wildfire.  As I state in another blog I recently wrote: “It’s been an amazing ride and experience.”

Progress for the celiac survivor includes technology.  I’ve already mentioned social media in relation to celiac survivors.  However, using internet search engines to find gluten-free products, ingredient lists, and information in regard to symptoms is also an amazing tool for celiac survivors.  Other great tools are the many smart phone apps to find celiac survivor friendly locations such as health-food stores and restaurants.  If the celiac survivor lives in a remote area, they can easily access the internet and order gluten-free products on-line!  The celiac survivor has almost instant access to all things gluten-free around them.

Progress for the celiac survivor includes the expansion of the distribution of gluten-free products.  Fifteen to twenty years ago, in my personal experience, I could find gluten-free products primarily in health-food stores.  Five to ten years ago, I noticed a few gluten-free items in the grocery store.  Now, there are dedicated gluten-free sections in the grocery store that appear to be expanding almost daily!  Choices have expanded greatly for the celiac survivor.

Progress for the celiac survivor includes eating out in restaurants.  In my experience, celiac survivors have increasing options in regard to eating out gluten-free.  From food trucks and pizzerias to five-star dining, menus have been increasingly accommodating for the celiac survivor.  More restaurant employees also seem more knowledgeable about celiac disease and the dangers of cross-contamination.  Celiac survivors seem to have less stress in helping choose a restaurant to eat with family, friends, or co-workers and remain gluten-free.

Progress for the celiac survivor is not without hidden dangers.  Celiac survivors must hold themselves accountable in regard to the accuracy of the information they receive.  Whether that information is in regard to an ingredient list, information on the internet, or menus; the celiac survivor still has to educate themselves accurately so as to remain gluten-free and healthy.  That said, it is increasingly easier to receive accurate information and that, celiac survivor, is what I call progress.

Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free – and Celiac Disease Awareness for May.

Peace be with you.

GFDougie Shares His Celiac Story – My Take on Celiac Awareness Month

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Good day to you.  I’ve recently been extended an invite to write a guest blog post on Ken Scheer’s blog: Rock a Healthy Lifestyle  to help raise awareness of the month of May being Celiac Awareness Month.  Ken Scheer is writing or submitting guest blogs for each day of the month of May.  I hope you check his blog out as he has great tools, information, and resources available for people surviving celiac disease and allergen issues.  Please read Ken Scheer’s introduction of me and my guest blog below:

Today is day 8 of 31 straight blog posts celebrating celiac awareness month and I would like to introduce GFDougie.  He and I got connected via Twitter about six months ago and his passion is spreading awareness and educating others about living a gluten-free lifestyle.  He’s been extremely supportive and I’m happy to add him to a very nice list of gluten-free buddies.  I hope you enjoy his story as much as I did.

My Take on Celiac Awareness Month

Good day to you.  Celiac awareness has taken me full circle in my life as a celiac disease survivor.  I’ve run the gamut as a survivor of celiac disease in not having the proper education of how to handle my celiac disease lifestyle, to blatantly cheating with gluten,  to finally coming to grips with what a celiac disease survivor is and how to live that gluten-free lifestyle successfully.

For the full guest blog post I submitted, please see the link below:

http://rockahealthylifestyle.com/gluten-free/guest-blogger-gfdougie-shares-his-celiac-story/

 Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free – and Celiac Disease Awareness for May.

Peace be with you.

Pitfalls of a Pediatric Patient Diagnosed with Celiac Disease

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Good day to you.  I recently had the privilege to guest blog on Claire Baker’s blog:  So what CAN you eat?. Claire Baker is a wonderful advocate of celiac and glutenfree and I hope you check out her blog.  Please read more about Claire Baker via her biography:  About Claire Baker.  Via Twitter, here’s how you can reach Claire Baker.

Claire asked me to guest blog on the subject of a non-compliant, diagnosed celiac kid.  Little did she know, that non-compliant diagnosed celiac kid was me.

Here’s the opening of my guest blog on Claire Baker’s blog:

May is Celiac Awareness Month.  For my part, I’m GIVING AWAY electronic copies of my new cookbooklet, So What CAN You Eat? Gluten-Free Paleo Vegan (mostly) Recipes for Health and Weight Loss.  (It’ll be for sale at the Amazon Kindle Store later today.)  It has 19 fast, easy, nutritious, gluten-free recipes plus tips and strategies to support healthy living.To receive a copy, sign up for my mailing list at the home page of the website and you’ll receive an email with the link for the download. In addition, I will be doing a guest “blog” later in the month at http://iamjtheblog.wordpress.com/.  More details to follow.

Also in honor of Celiac Awareness Month, I invited GFDougie to write my first ever guest blog post. Dougie and I met via Twitter. His celiac history is very different from mine and his story of being a non-compliant celiac kid gives me empathy for my own kids who are growing up with their own special variety of “different.”

Good day to you. I’m going to take you on a personal journey of the how and why a kid blatantly cheats with gluten while having been diagnosed with celiac disease. I hope this personal journey will help you understand what you can do to help support and educate a celiac kid live gluten-free; and likewise, a celiac kid to gain the mental tools of fortitude and strength to obtain the courage to lead a gluten-free lifestyle.


Please read more of my guest blog on Claire Baker’s blog site here: http://www.clairebakerok.com/1/post/2012/04/pitfalls-of-a-pediatric-patient-diagnosed-with-celiac-disease.html
Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free – and Celiac Disease Awareness for May.

Peace be with you.

How do I envision living in a better gluten-free world?

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Good day to you.  My vision of living in a better gluten-free world is rather simple:  Having gluten-free food choices and being able to enjoy all of those choices in all settings.  That’s a simple enough statement isn’t it?  But where would or should those same gluten-free food choices and settings be?  That, my friend, is the more difficult question isn’t it?

Currently, food choices have greatly expanded in the main-stream Grocery store and the Health Food store for gluten-free food items.  Choices have also expanded with gluten-free menu items with National restaurant chains and with some Independent restaurants as well.  We celiacs, and gluten-free, are also making progress in regard to being able to purchase gluten-free food items more conveniently and at a cheaper cost than in the past.

However, I’m going to turn the silver-lining of the cloud of optimism upside-down.  There is a stigma of celiac, gluten-free which exists with family, friends, acquaintances, and co-workers. I only state ‘stigma’ as there is no knowledge easily accessible out there, without specifically researching “celiac, or gluten-free diet” in regard to celiac, gluten-free on the Internet.  Eating gluten-free in settings such as your family, friends, acquaintances, and co-workers without risk of cross-contamination is no small undertaking.  Education in regard to how your personal involvement with family, friends and acquaintances, and co-workers react to your gluten-free world is paramount in regard to your survival and health.  Most do not know the consequence of you even eating a crumb of gluten and how it will affect you.  It is your job to educate others.

A better gluten-free world?  People close to you will have to educate for themselves on what a gluten-free, celiac world means to you.  But others will not.  It’s up to you to figure out who is your advocate, and who is not.

Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free.

Peace be with you.

Cooking From Scratch with Nutrition and Health

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Good day to you.  If you follow this blog and my Twitter feed, you know me to be very conscious of health and nutrition when preparing meals.  As a celiac, I feel it is most important to eat as healthy as I can due to the damage already done to my digestive system.  With more nutrition packed into each meal, the more nutrients are absorbed and the healthier I am.

When I’m in my kitchen, I like to cook from scratch with recipes whenever possible.  This is helpful to me on a lot of levels.  Foremost, I am in control of what foods go into my dishes.  I’m also in control of the quality of those foods in regard to freshness.  Additionally, I’m able to control the amount of preservatives, sodium, and artificial dyes and flavors in my dishes.  When I cook from scratch, it enables me to have control over each ingredient in my dishes.  I like having this much control as I feel more confident I will not be “glutened” in my own kitchen.  Also, I’m not dependent on any manufacturer of pre-packaged food items in regard to the accuracy of their nutritional and allergen information.

As you probably know in your own lives, I don’t think its possible to cook from scratch every day for every meal.  Life is just not like that.  That said, I’ve seen tips from others whereas they spend the majority of one day cooking for the week ahead and freezing food items in serving size portions.  I’ve seen other tips whereas people will cook items for more than one dish – like chicken for stir-fry with vegetables one night and tacos with lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese the next.  Or, make a salad with fresh greens and vegetables as a side dish for dinner, a lunch the next day, and dinner the next night – cooking from scratch is still being achieved.

As I’ve stated in previous blog posts, I do not live in your household.   You may already have ideas or practices in place to maximize cooking from scratch in the amount of time you have in your kitchen.  If so, good for you!  If not, please reference the Internet and Twitter for good ideas to maximize nutrition and health while cooking from scratch.  Live well and be healthy.

Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free – and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness for April.

Peace be with you.

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Nice Bread recipe! I give u kudos on that! 🙂

Re-blogged with permission by Author: @EZ_GFree (https://twitter.com/#!/ezgfree).  Thank you.  🙂

EZ G-Free

Here’s a paleo and gluten-free bread recipe that I can honestly say kicks any gluten or gluten-free right to the curb!

This yeast-free bread is light for a gluten-free bread. It’s buttery nut flavour with the full organic aroma of olive oil soothe all the senses.

Ingredients

  • 5 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. Raw Honey or Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups Almond Meal
  • 3 Tbsp. Coconut Flour
  • 1/3 cup Flax Meal
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. Seeds

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan.

Whisk the eggs. Add the olive oil, honey/maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar to the egg mix.

Next, mix the almond meal, coconut flour, flax meal, sea salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in another bowl.

Add the dry mix, 1/2 cup at a time, to…

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