Survival of a Celiac in a Natural Disaster

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Good day to you.  We are coming to the end of May 2012, Celiac Awareness Month, and into the beginning of an important season – Hurricane Season.  I think this is a wonderful opportunity to meld the two events together into one blog.

As a celiac survivor, I pay close attention to the Hurricane Season as I’m a resident of Florida, USA (central, west coast).  I know I will need to rely on myself primarily should a hurricane or other natural disaster hit my locale.  Why do I state this?  I’ve reached out to American Red Cross in regard to food allergens, celiac, and shelter and they’ve informed me while they can accommodate people with food allergens, celiac, and shelter – their resources are very limited due to budget constraints.  What does this mean to you and me, celiac survivor?

What this means is this:  we, celiac survivors, have to take responsibility in regard to our diet and stockpile gluten-free, celiac foods for ourselves in case of a natural disaster.  How many of us have thought of this aspect of our lives in a day-to-day fashion?  In light of my recent dialogues on Twitter (@GFDougie), not many of us do.  While I don’t have specific quotes from Twitter, many say “OMGosh, I didn’t think of that” or “Being celiac in a shelter never occurred to me!”  It’s understated, celiac survivor, but I think we need to find our own gluten-free resources for celiac-friendly foods when facing a natural disaster.

I understand I’m blogging to many income-level earners.  Money may not be as plentiful and/ or discretionary in regard to what you can afford to stockpile gluten-free in light of an impending natural disaster.  That said every effort should be made to stockpile as much as you can, especially if you live in a vulnerable locale, like Tornado Alley, USA.  Do what you can to support you, celiac survivor.  No one can do this better than you can, celiac survivor.  Know no one but you, celiac survivor, will take care of you!

Celiac survivor, you need to augment purchasing gluten-free rations into your food budget; either from a grocer, health-food store, or an on-line website.  Please look into MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) (I’m not a paid spokesperson) items ahead of any natural disaster.  Here’s another resource for MRE.  Please know canned veggies, fish and sardines, and soups are also great resources from local grocer for a celiac stockpile in regard to a natural disaster.  Also know gluten-free crackers, rice cakes, peanut butter and packaged gluten-free bread may contribute to your natural disaster celiac survivor stockpile.  Do what you can to increase your chance of survival of an impending natural disaster, celiac survivor.

What knowledge should you take away with in regard to regard to education in regard to this blog?  Prepare, like the ants do, celiac survivor.  We, celiac survivors, have to work harder to be with health during a natural disaster.   Know you can’t depend on others for our celiac disease.  Know you can depend on you for education in regard to what foods you can eat in a natural disaster.

In closing, I hope I’ve opened a few windows in regard to tips us celiacs can use to survive a natural disaster.  I hope you will pass these tips on in regard to celiac disease and awareness.

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

Peace be with you.

An Unexpected Friend, Celiac – The Grocery Store

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Good day to you.  I live in the United States, specifically Tampa, Florida, and I’m witnessing a renaissance in the surge of gluten-free food products in main-stream grocery stores in the last few years.  I’m seeing Betty Crocker with Bisquick, and gluten-free baking mixes, and more with recipe ideas.  I’m also seeing my local grocery store, Publix, provide an in-house product called generic product brand listing of gluten-free products.  I’m seeing gluten-free Progresso brand soups, Wolfgang Puck brand soups, Schar brand items, etc.  My, how times have changed in just a few years!  And by a “few years,” I mean the last two or three!  Isn’t this exciting?  While exciting, note some gluten-free choices are healthier than others.  Please consult with your Physician or Registered Dietitian in regard to your diet in regard to sodium, “preservative,” and other in-take.

While “ready-to-eat,” instant gluten-free food items seems to have exploded at the local grocery store, please don’t forget the “forgotten” part of your friend at the grocery store.  What, may you ask, am I referencing regarding the grocery store?  Fruits and Vegetables, Seafood, Dairy, and Meats.  These are raw, fresh items you have much control over being gluten-free.  Yes, they may cost more (we all know this diet is expensive!), but you have control over preparation with your recipes to make more healthful and nutritious for you.  Another unexpected find at your Grocery Store is the “Frozen Food Aisle.”  Use frozen veggies/ produce in off-season for favorite recipes as opposed to more expensive, imported fresh produce.  Know it may take more work to provide such yummy gluten-free dishes from scratch but that should be expected – yet more healthful.

Please research what is available to you, celiac, in the grocery store.  You could save a lot of money and not enter a “Health-food Store.”

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

Peace be with you.