Have Celiac or Gluten Intolerance? You are not alone!
Learning that you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance may feel at first, like your world was turned upside down. If you are the only one in your family that needs to shift their diet in a new direction, you may begin to feel very alone. The good news is that you are not alone, there are many people just like you, and connecting to this community of people can provide you with a strong sense of support as well as many new friends you can relate to. Support can be found in and outside of your home, you’ll just need to be proactive in finding it.
Follow these tips to help you find the support you need (and deserve) in your journey.
· Connect with the gluten free community online. Seek out Pages, Groups and more on Facebook. Participate in discussions, read other peoples stories, and share your own.
· Join community discussions on twitter using the hash tag #glutenfree
· Follow gluten free blogs – you may be inspired by new recipes, and the stories they share. Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect to these bloggers through comments and on their social media pages. In most cases they will love to converse with you!
· Follow the social media of your favorite gluten free food and product companies. Their pages will be full of conversation and activity. The Wellesse page is a great spot to connect with others!
· Connect with your local celiac and or gluten intolerance group- and volunteer to get involved. This will give you the opportunity to make new friends locally.
· Find a skilled and understanding doctor that takes every one of your symptoms seriously. A doctor that brushes symptoms off is not worth spending time or money on.
· Support celiac research- volunteer to participate in walkathons etc. for the cause. Through this process you will have the satisfaction of doing a good deed and will connect with others living with the disease.
· Try out gluten free restaurants with friends and family. This will allow you to enjoy your meal, while also spending time with those you love. Tips To Safely Dine Out Gluten Free
· Be honest. Tell your friends and family about the disease. Help them understand what happens to your health if you consume gluten. With education and understanding of the disease they will naturally want to support you in whatever ways they can.
· Travel to gluten free expos-you may discover new gluten free products and make new friends!
· Start a gluten free cooking club. Invite friends over once a month and have each person bring a gluten free dish OR make a meal together.
· Attend gluten free cooking classes. Learning new skills will augment your confidence to make and enjoy delicious food that works within your diet.
· Teach your family how to read food labels and shop for your favorite foods. There will be times when you may need someone to pick something up for you at the store. If you teach your family in advance what foods are safe to buy, they will better be able to support you when you need a favor.
· Teach your significant other and children how to make basic staple foods so that they can cook for you sometimes too!
· Make your families favorite meals gluten free and you will discover they will become highly supportive of mealtime again without complaints. This may seem like more work for you up front, but the truth is that it will make your life easier on the back end.
· MOST importantly: Be Kind to Yourself – Don’t beat yourself up, get discouraged or expect perfect health at first. You have the potential to be your own biggest support and worst enemy.
Blog post by guest blogger, Brittany Angell, of www.realsustenance.com and author of "Essential Gluten Free Baking Guides Part 1 & 2".