Celiac Disease is Here Everyday

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When I tell you I have celiac disease, don’t stand there and stare at me like I just told you a joke. As far as some individuals know; celiac disease is something a lot of people made up and are using as a scapegoat to squeak by in life. The big joke, the big cosmic joke is that celiac disease exists. I don’t have a serious or deadly peanut allergy or an urgent shellfish allergy and so, I don’t look sick or like I’m dying when I ingest gluten. But rest assured, my disease is potentially just as serious.

I don’t look sick because I eat properly. I eat 100% gluten-free. It’s the only way to keep my diagnosed celiac disease, and every other person diagnosed, in check.

I AM sick, I do have celiac disease, it’s just all in order now. I was only diagnosed in 2008 and was eating all the WRONG food. I don’t eat the wrong food anymore and I check/watch/read every label and after years of maintaining a proper gluten-free diet, I am a lot healthier.

For a diagnosed celiac; celiac disease isn’t just about one month of awareness (which is MAY of every year), it’s a daily defending of a disease that not a lot of people take seriously. Celiac disease isn’t just a conference at the end of the week or every month, it’s a gathering of like-minded and like-bodied people sharing new ideas and new discoveries with a lifestyle the general public sometimes views as inferior. It’s a not a disease that was created by pesticides or GMO’s, it’s been around since long before you or I were born.

It’s not about throwing it in everyones face, its just about positive reinforcement that celiacs are normal, happy and amazing people, regardless of what the media or popular culture says.

Celiac is an invisible disease and those people with it have to constantly defend it. Almost constantly having to point out the reasons they need to maintain a gluten-free diet. It’s a bout health, not fad diets or food ridicule. Media stars are out there telling an audience that it’s trendy to have celiac, making it harder and harder to for us to have said celiac. We have to stand on the highest rooftop and own celiac like a boss and tell them all the deal, the real deal. Celiac disease affects every gender and can possibly affect anyone without them knowing it.

No, having celiac disease isn’t just about food, but it’s a big part of who we are as individuals and a big part of how we try to be accepted as regular people attempting to adapt into regular food-type situations: parties, restaurants and dinners are all the same public missions that celiacs handle weekly and internalize privately. Celiac disease is an every day thing that can be a hard struggle for those who don’t have those around them who support them. That’s why celiac disease is an everyday thing, celiac advocacy is an everyday thing.

Celiac disease is misunderstood at the best of times and only through constant promotion of how normal we are and how unusual our disease is can we create the kind of positive awareness that ALL celiacs deserve. Yes we need to eat 100% gluten-free, but we can also be 100% fun and normal, the only thing different about a celiac is that gluten is a poison to our bodies and we need to stick to a specific kind of diet to stay healthy.

If every 1 out of 133 people has celiac disease, then the understanding of this disease could probably be just a little better and more accepted. Support for it could stretch past those who already have it and those who are directly affected by it, like family and friends, so take the awareness seriously. It’s not about throwing it in everyones face, its just about positive reinforcement that celiacs are normal, happy and amazing people, regardless of what the media or popular culture says.

Celiac disease is going to be around a lot longer than you or I; as much as it’s been around before you or I. So lets say ‘hello’ to celiac and give it a high five. And we’ll use everyday of EVERY month to celebrate our celiac awareness.

I have celiac disease, ask me about it. You might just learn something.

Lose Weight on a Gluten-Free Diet

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“If you want to lose weight go on a gluten-free diet.”

This is something you’ve heard a lot in the media. It’s told to you by celebrities and and it’s told to you by TV doctors, but guess what, that’s not the case. You’ll never guess that I’m not the peak of physical perfection. I’m no Channing Tatum, I’m more of a Jack Black. This is because I am on a gluten-free diet.

I have celiac disease and I’m 100% gluten-free and I still struggle with my weight, and still, on a regular basis how my body looks. I’m not swayed by what the world perceives as ‘sexy’ or ‘chiseled’. I am 100% comfortable with my body, but my weight can get out of control and it’s getting increasingly difficult to fit into my favourite t-shirts. All because I am on a gluten-free diet.

I have a large stomach and on a good dayI have a great set of man-breasts and all while I am on a gluten-free diet. But, I’m sexy as hell.

Guess what? A gluten-free diet is a lot like any other diet and food choice out there. In order to maintain a healthy body or slim down to what you deem as acceptable, you need to work at it. There is no denying that hard work pays off. My Instagram feed is filled with gluten-free people kicking ass and staying healthy. Its a category not limited to athletes or body builders. Nurses and Dads and assistants that are all on a gluten-free diet are doing an awesome job at creating a look that they are comfortable with all while being on a gluten-free diet. Whether its celiac disease or gluten-free for other reasons.

I can do that to.

When I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008, a lot of  gluten-free food wasn’t the easiest to come by. With my initial diagnosis I lost a bunch of weight as my body started to act normal. Bloating reduced and swelling dropped. I was starting to be the thinnest an lightest weight in my adult life. The one sure fire way that I was able to be thinner and healthier in 2008 when I was first diagnosed with celiac was because no junk food and no snack food was ever, EVER gluten-free. That is a solid fact. I barely knew what gluten was. I knew as much as the next guy. Companies were blind to what gluten was and the huge need for it in the country. In 2008, man it was good that junk food wasn’t gluten-free at all or labelled properly. It helped keep me clear of all that junk.

Currently. I am now dining on gluten-free junk food like it’s going out of style. One of the worst things, was that bakeries were popping up making gluten-free brownies. Potato chip brands were now being labelled as gluten-free. There was a Scrooge McDuck moment of jumping into a pool of Doritos when I initially found out that they were gluten-free in Canada. That was truly a blessed day. But also the worst day.

A few years ago I switched doctors and I was having body issues. My big gut was always sticking out, it was always just there (while I have zero body image problems, I still think I could do something with myself or just be that much better) and I asked the doctor if my stomach was swollen because I had celiac and I was bloated because I wasn’t absorbing the proper nutrients. I used celiac as a scape goat. I just had a big beer belly.

Celiac disease can’t always be a scapegoat to how poorly an individual eats.

I’ve been on many diets.

I attempted to curb my portions to a more manageable size. I tried more physical activity. I have a food problem. I like food, so I eat food. In 2015 alone I started a diet at least three times. Breakfast is my kryptonite and Ketchup flavoured chips are probably my worst enemy. Even on these diets and attempts to become more svelte, I was still large because I am on a gluten-free diet.

Male Pattern Obesity is a thing. This is all because I am on a gluten-free diet and I don’t watch what I eat. Not because celiac disease creates a huge stomach while eating gluten-free. Its because I don’t watch what I eat. I am on a gluten-free diet and I gain weight. And I have a large stomach. I have a dad-bod.

Don’t let others tell you what to eat when it comes to gluten-free. Just because you’re a gluten-free eater doesn’t mean you have to eat clean or healthy. It’s every person’s own prerogative to do what they please with their own bodies, and that includes what you put into it. I am a leader when it comes to eating whatever the hell I want, and I am proud to say that. Just because I am on a diet, a celiac on a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean I’m going to stop eating bacon,there is certified gluten-free bacon. Same with fresh fries and hamburgers and kebobs.

It is widely recommend that if you DON’t have a serious illness like celiac disease then you shouldn’t be on a gluten-free diet. Unless otherwise dictated by a competent medical professional. 

Eat whatever you want, even if you’re on a gluten-free diet and you want to ‘cheat’ and eat gluten, go nuts. I’m not going to tell you no. If you’re a celiac and you’re that stupid to eat gluten, knowing full well what it does to you, then you do whatever you want. That’s just like the way I’ll eat a bag of potato chips in one sitting. We all know the consequences of our food-eating-actions. We make the choices for ourselves. I’ll continue to eat whatever I want; healthy or otherwise (you can too), as long as its gluten-free.

Never let others tell you that a gluten-free diet is a cure-all and the ‘best’ way to lose weight. It isn’t. Diets are based on will power and hard work, proper nutrition, daily activity and mindset that I don’t possess. I commend anyone who can do it, because I struggle with food every day.

I Wish You Had Celiac Disease

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Celiac disease is hereditary.

My daughter has been tested for celiac disease and has been deemed negative.

Being diagnosed with celiac disease isn’t a death sentence. Getting my daughter checked for celiac is a smart move. Catching it early to prevent any problems that could potentially arise in the future. Celiac is hereditary, so having immediate family checked should be on the list of things to do this week.

My mom is a diagnosed celiac. When I was initially diagnosed at 27 years old, i let my mom know about the hereditary nature of the disease and she got checked.

Being the ONLY gluten-free eater in a house of five; there can sometimes be a feeling of being a lone or left out. Many times are family meals are gluten-free, sometimes we might even make gluten-full food and gluten-free food. Then, on days when I’m not a round or out of the house, caution goes out the window and it’s gluten for everyone: ordering take out Chinese food or breaded chicken wings. There is no handbook on how to feel when you have celiac disease, knowing that people can just do what they want with the food in the house can sometimes make you feel like a burden. This is a legitimate feeling that you are allowed to have.

Would you wish celiac disease on someone?

I would. Only to have a buddy.

I wish my wife had celiac disease.

She has stood by me the entire time I have been diagnosed with celiac disease. And even as I travel the world of my current celiac status, she is there with me. Always supporting me and making sure I am looked after. But, the things is, my wife can only empathize with me, she can’t feel what I’m feeling when I sit at a table and everyone gets a grandiose meal and I sit by and have a salad. In moments like that you feel like a complete outsider, and to have my wife experience the same thing could make me sit at ease.

I only wish my wife had celiac, not to have to go through the range of emotions one person might feel, but for selfish reasons: to have a buddy. Someone who lives with me and thinks of food the same way as me and can relate to some of the problems or negatives a diagnosed celiac might have to go through. There aren’t always negatives with celiac disease, more often than not there are amazing wins, and I’d want my wife to know that feeling too. Even is she decided to go gluten-free as an act of faith an solidarity, that personal move still isn’t the same as being diagnosed with an disease like celiac; where the only treatment is a 100% gluten-free diet. It’s not a choice.

It’s just that; celiac disease can really put you down in the dumps sometimes, and having someone go through the same thing in the same house would be an amazing bonus. Kind of like having a support group, right there with me. There is no shame in hoping, or wishing someone had celiac with you. YOU ARE ALLOWED to feel like this. Being alone is a terrible thing, and celiac disease can make you feel alone, even when in a crowded room. Having someone you love and respect by your side makes handling situations like that a lot easier.

I wish my wife had celiac disease only for selfish reasons, but I love that she doesn’t.

I Review Montgomery Inn Barbecue Sauce

When I get a chance to review gluten-free food, I make no qualms about how I feel about it. It can be good or bad or tasty or terrible. I’m honest enough to tell you what I think of food. Luckily, in all my years of being able to give you honest reviews of gluten-free food, it’s rare that I find one that tastes terrible.

Don’t think negative about what is happening today because you need to click HERE to see what Montgomery Inn is all about.

World Famous MONTGOMERY INN bbq sauce claims to be the best of the best. Here in Canada, Kraft makes an exceptional bbq sauce, but I will tell you this right up front; MONTGOMERY INN bbq sauce blows it out of the water. While I am lucky enough to get my hands on some amazing gluten-free food, I also happen to come across the best gluten-free food. For instance, the Tomato Bisque soup from Cori’s Cafe is the soup in which Campbell’s needs to get their head checked. The Tomato Bisque from Cori’s Cafe is what all soups should be measured by (I stand by that 100%). It looks like Kraft needs to step up their game, because MONTGOMERY INN truly has brought about a world famous bbq sauce. A bbq sauce in which everything needs to take it’s cues from.

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A lot of hot dogs were harmed in this gluten-free food review

I liked the bbq sauce from MONTGOMERY INN so much, that I was finding excuses to pour it onto my food. I was frying veggies and putting the bbq sauce on. I was having gluten-free hot dogs and using as much as I could. The flavour was just perfect. A mild taste of what a bbq sauce should was all over this MONTGOMERY INN bbq sauce.

In addition to being gluten-free and being made without high fructose corn syrup, the sauce has always been fat free, peanut-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and tree nut-free.

I make no qualms about my food.

I am a diagnosed celiac and have to eat 100% gluten-free in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Because of this, a lot of the foods I ate as a child have been crossed off and are now inedible to me due to the amount of gluten in them. Aside from the taste of MONTGOMERY INN bbq sauce there was a weird connection I felt to it… and I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Then I realized, the MONTGOMERY INN bbq sauce reminded me of my grandparents (both of which passed away in 2010). The taste of the bbq sauce, somehow transported me to when Grandpa would cook steak on the bbq out back of their place and when Gramma would tend to the massive platters of meat in the kitchen. Then, all of us as a family would eat like kings and create memories for a lifetime. Little did I know, the gluten-filled food of my past could trigger current gluten-free memories now.

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I used it as much as I could. Here I’m mixing the bbq sauce with brown sugar

 

MONTGOMERY INN bbq sauce did that which a lot of food hasn’t: created an emotional response.

The MONTGOMERY INN bbq is good. Probably the best bbq sauce I’ve ever had. But, they get an added bonus for helping me remember memories I thought were washed away with time.

As an added bonus: the lovely people at MONTGOMERY INN want to make sure you can have some bbq sauce for yourself with an added money off bonus. So click HERE to shop with the coupon code KINGGLUTENFREE and tell me you love this bbq.


 

I was not paid in anyway for this honest food review. I was given some sauce. I ate some sauce. You read about the sauce.

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I just like it.

 

 

A Celiac in the House

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As I sit across from you, why wouldn’t you think that I don’t take my celiac disease seriously?

At no point should the people in your home question the reasons you are gluten-free if you have celiac disease. The ones who reside with you (it can be anyone. Not just partners, but children and sisters and brothers and mothers and sisters) are the ones closest to you and need to know how serious celiac disease is.

The choices diagnosed celiacs make in their home is based on the very simple reason that they need to be healthy. This includes everything from separating the gluten-free food from the regular food or scooping separate jar of peanut butter for later consumption (to avoid cross contamination). Every step taken by a diagnosed celiac has a premeditated plan: STAY HEALTHY.

Aside from having to eat 100% gluten-free, diagnosed celiacs are just regular people. When I say choices made, I don’t mean going out and smoking a whole lot of crack, I mean making sure that the canned kidney beans made in the communal chilli is gluten-free or that regular bread-type crouton aren’t in the teaser salad at the table. The life of a celiac in the home can be great and it can be bad.

There are no rules in the home to follow for celiacs. Some homes are 100% gluten-free and some are shared food homes. It all depends on how you feel. No two celiacs deal with heir disease the same. And thats ok. There is no definite book or rule to live by when you have celiac disease.

Cross contamination happens. Sometimes when the table is filled with various types of food, it happens. That’s why it is extremely important to know what is happening at the table and what is happening with the other plates:

  1. Did the serving spoon touch that guy’s bun?
  2. Did a crumb from that slice of bread fall into the mashed potatoes as they handed it across the table?

Sure, having a 100% gluten-free home could eliminate questions and potential problems like this, but sometimes you can’t always have it that way.

That’s why is important for all the people in your home to understand the severity of cross contamination and what celiac disease is. Shuffling off the crumb in the broccoli as ‘maybe something else’ isn’t the answer. If a diagnosed celiac suspects that that ‘something else’ is in fact a crumb of bread from someone else at the table, believe them. When it comes down to it; it’s not about the food getting eaten or making sure all the food at the table is eaten, its about the health of the celiac.

Cross contamination is real and thats why there is AND should be a huge emphasis on it in shared food households. Everyone in the house has to be on board with what a celiac is putting down. If the others in your home choose to be ignorant to this fact, then there is an issue. Is it trust? Is it neglect? These are questions that you have to ask yourself when your VERY SERIOUS disease is shuffled off at the dinner table. Shuffled off by the people who are supposed to care for you.

Yes a crumb will hurt me. No I won’t just eat around it.

I have celiac disease, understand that this is my life and you have to get on board with it’s severity. Being 100% gluten-free isn’t a fad to me, it’s what i need to actually survive, to be healthy and to ultimately be happy.

All Gluten-Free Food Tastes Bad

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Standing at one side of the yard and minding my own business, is something that happens once in a while. Its actually not very common that celiac disease comes up at all in my work place. Everyone knows I have it and goes on with their life. At no point has in interfered or played a negative role in the day to day operations of my work day.

“I could never be gluten-free”

When those two words are spoke ‘gluten-free’, of course my ears perk up and I start to pay attention. My interest is peaked at where the conversation is going. Two things that ALWAYS go hand in hand are celiac disease and food being gluten-free. It’s just that, what direction would that conversation go: negative or positive?

My first question is; why couldn’t you be gluten-free? If you were diagnosed with celiac disease you’d have to be gluten-free to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“The food tastes terrible”

Before I was diagnosed with celiac disease I never liked hot cross buns. To this date, I still don’t like them. There are always varying kinds of food out there that no one likes. Regardless of whether or not they are gluten-free. There are many kinds of brands of foods out there ON BOTH SIDES of the gluten-food spectrum. Yes some taste terrible, and others taste awesome and others taste okay. Lumping all the gluten-free food into the ‘terrible tasting’ category shows how closed minded people are to what is out there and available in the gluten-free variety. by automatically thinking that all gluten-free food tastes bad shows ignorance to what you know about food and what a diagnosed celiac has to go through when A) eating gluten-free food B) finding good tasting gluten-free food and C) explaining what celiac disease is.

Purveying the myth that all gluten-free food tastes bad is not just a dis-service to diagnosed celiacs, but to the individual who feels that way. That type of thinking reveals their ignorance.

Some of those with lactose intolerance can take a pill to help them digest the lactose and go about eating their favourite dairy products. Some of them don’t have to have the lactose free ice cream or cheese and opt to have the real stuff. Celiacs don’t get that choice.

I’ve said it before that the education of celiac disease and gluten-free go hand in hand. One always begets the other, and when you witness it happen first hand, you truly see why it’s needed. As a diagnosed celiac, I know that there is terrible tasting gluten-free food. I don;t need to be reminded of it overtime I talk about it. In fact, before I was diagnosed with celiac disease, i remember there being some terrible tasting gluten-filled food too.

See. Bad tasting food on both sides. I know, because i’ve lived bon both sides.

No one asked you to go gluten-free, so if you don’t want to be gluten-free, don’t be. I am a firm believer that everyone does what they want. Do what makes you happy, and I have to reason or place to tell you how to live your life. My opinion is that, if you don’t have celiac disease or have been instructed by a medical profession, like a PhD carrying doctor, there is no need for any individual to be on a gluten-free diet.

If someone is being a turd and turns up their nose because you’re serving apparently bad tasting gluten-free gravy at the Thanksgiving table. Remind them that the mashed potatoes in front of them are gluten-free and so is the chocolate milk in their glass.

Not all gluten-free food tastes bad. You’re just being unreasonable.

Celiac Disease Made Me

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It can take years to be properly diagnosed with celiac disease. It can be common for tests upon tests to be done and check to get to the final answer of celiac disease. What you have to remember, if you ARE diagnosed with celiac disease, then it will be the best thing to ever happen to you. Some people might not agree with that statement, but when you look at home you might have been over the years NOT being diagnosed with celiac, you’ll come to realize that your body and your mind are finally coming together to a place where they should be.

Being diagnosed with celiac disease and turning your everyday diet into a 100% gluten-free one, allows your body to heal itself from many years of going undiagnosed. All the symptoms of celiac disease can start to disappear and you can start to live a life you were meant to.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 27 years old, in 2008, and up until the point I was all over the map with who I was. But, by being diagnosed with celiac disease, I was able to shuck off a lot of my past issues and become who i am today. This thing with living with undiagnosed celiac disease for 27 years is that, a lot of what I was doing was because of my body constantly attacking itself and constantly wanting to just curl up in a corner and die. Because of issues created in my first 27 years, those traits have continued on, way past my diagnosis and into my current celiac & gluten-free life.

In the mid to late 90’s I spent a lot of time at the movie theatre. I was always watching movies like Blade and Fight Club and X-Men. I was lucky enough to be able to see Independence Day in theatres and even all of the original Scream movies starring Neve Campbell. At the time, I had crazy social anxiety. I didn’t like sitting in the middle of the row of a theatre and because of a crazy incident, I left a theatre twice to use the washroom and missed fun, scary and important parts in certain movies (incidents I still kick myself about). Back in those times I used to carry a plastic shopping bag with me in the sleeve of my jacket or in the pocket of my pants. I was always on the ready to vomit or my butt was always just 10 seconds away from pooping my pants. At the time it was just me. Something I lived with. Being diagnosed with celiac disease corrected all those problems and helped me become who I am today.

The thing is…

Because, all those times I peed and pooped right before a movie, and sat at the end of the row of seats in an aisle and carried a plastic bag with me ‘just in case’ came with me after I was diagnosed with celiac. Those traits followed me after my diagnosis. So when I tell you that celiac disease made me the person I am today, I can provide you with examples. All those things I did growing up, most of them followed me into my later years: I still sit at the end of the aisle and I still pee before a movie. All of these used to be ‘just in case I had to run to the bathroom or avoid a panic attack’ but now its my tick or Classic Jordan. It’s just who I am.

This is a small showing of what undiagnosed celiac did to me for 27 years and my eventual diagnosis of the disease.

Going many years undiagnosed can cause a lot of damage to an individual. A lot worse things than my own movie going-things-I-do. That’s why its always important that if you suspect celiac disease yo seek medical attention AND GET CHECKED.

When I say celiac disease made me the man I am today, made me the person I am today, I’m not lying. A lot of what happened before my diagnosis carried over into my daily celiac and gluten-free life. It’s not a bad thing, it’s what makes me, me and what makes me unique.

Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free are Connected

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No one has ever said that creating awareness for celiac disease was ever easy.

I like to preface celiac disease by including it in the gluten-free food category, and it all flows from there. By combining the two subjects of celiac and gluten-free you’re able to create more of a dialogue and create a wider awareness as to why diagnosed celiacs need to be gluten-free and what gluten really is. You can establish the difference between what the gluten-free fad dieter is and why a diagnosed celiac needs to be 100% gluten-free.

There is no real way to let the public know about celiac disease. You could stand on a mountain and scream at the top of your lungs and there would still be those who lump in gluten-free food with terrible taste and expensive ways, not once regarding it’s significance to celiac disease. It’s frustrating when family members or those closest to us (the diagnosed celiac) brush off the disease like a burned to THEM and not the person affected. A lot of times there is no empathy with a diagnosed celiac, and that can be frustrating. Often times its the celiac/gluten-free community that becomes the support to lean on for each other. Sometimes our Aunts or cousins can be difficult and don’t offer any real back-up or support to someone who needs it.

Celiac disease awareness can be difficult and can often be frustrating.

Because gluten-free is as much apart of ‘celiac disease’ as constant awareness is, it’s important for them to be mentioned or at least related to in the same vein. Celiacs aren’t avoiding gluten to be a pain in the ass or to be difficult. Diagnosed celiacs are avoiding gluten because they need to. They avoid gluten in order to live as healthy as everyone else, and a gluten-free diet is the ONLY thing that can facilitate that.

To my face:

I was once lucky enough to get free gluten-free food from a really nice lady. Her son was a broker for all kinds of food in the area and was kind enough to give me a small box filled with some amazing gluten-free foods: pasta, cookies, crackers. All different brands, all with unique flavours. It was nice treat for a Thursday afternoon. This lady was Italian and went on and on about pasta and feeding her family and when the topic of gluten-free pasta came up, she looked me straight in the eye and referred to the gluten-free pasta as poison and asked how I could it it?

There is one thing to say you don’t like food, but calling the very food I need to survive poison? That just shows there are kilometres to go when it comes to breaking down the communication barrier for why diagnosed celiacs need gluten-free food and that by back-handing in the face at every turn, really enforces the fact that there is little knowledge of the GREAT tasting gluten-free food.

On my TV:

There is no shortage of people on morning television getting up there and making gluten-free food. Sometimes it’s for celiac awareness. Sometimes its just an alternative food lifestyle. Either way, someone is always trying to bring a little difference to the world by introducing new gluten-free food recipes to the morning audience. It’s to bad that there are times that ignorance takes hold when gluten-free food comes up in conversation, and on live television one guest was joking about calling child services on a dad who was feeding his child gluten-free food.

What. The. Hell?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

It’s comments like that, and on a grand stage like a popular morning television show, that CONTINUE to make it okay to create negative stigmas around gluten-free food, which in turns affects the very people who need it to survive, the diagnosed celiacs.. The very fact that individuals can be so, nonchalant about their thinking and slinging terrible comments abut children and child services, shows that there has to be more awareness for the combination of the connection between life saving and medically needed gluten-free food and celiac disease.

No one has ever said that celiac disease awareness is easy. Its something that we have to fight for everyday. Sometimes, to make it easier for people to understand, connecting the dots between gluten-free food and celiac, the general public could get to a place of general acceptance and understanding.

Celiac disease affects 1 in every 133 people and they all need to be 100% gluten-free.

Children with Celiac Disease

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There is no denying that there are children out in the world that are diagnosed with celiac disease. If every one in 133 people has celiac disease then the odds are pretty good that a child has it.

Children have a rough go growing up as it is, and when you throw celiac disease into the mix, you can pretty much imagine what it’s like. As adults, we have a pretty good control of our emotions. As an adult diagnosed with celiac disease, we can hold our own when we feel isolated from a crowd because our celiac disease. Everyone is enjoying a pizza and your avoiding the table because you’re eating a gluten-free salad. There are times that this happens and you are well within your capabilities as a full grown adult to feel sad or left out.

Children are ever changing humans who never become who they’re supposed to be until the age of seven. Throw in celiac disease and a terrible social understanding of what it is and it becomes a ticking time bomb of sitting in the cafeteria and feeling sorry for yourself. Children diagnosed with celiac disease have mentors like their parents and teachers and grand parents and guardians who can stand up and speak for them. The one problem is that they aren’t there all the time.

Children can be cruel. I was a child once and I know what I was capable of and I know what others were capable of. There is already a ‘no peanuts’ rule running through out many social establishments, up to and including schools, arenas, gymnasiums and so on. And it is quite common for children to have deadly peanut allergies, but celiac disease is the frowned upon weird cousin that no one talks about or has any clue why he is the way he is. Gluten is in every food. There is no denying that, and if you’re the one child in a classroom of thirty that has celiac disease and needs to eat 100% gluten-free then there is a true belief that teasing is going to happen. Teasing that is going to create a bigger gap in the way the diagnosed celiac sees their disease and the way others do.

I’m not doctor, but this kind of behaviour from all parties could potentially lead to cheating on a medically needed 100% gluten-free diet.

Children take their cues from adults. As adults we bestow our knowledge of how things work. If there is a child in your child’s classroom that might have celiac disease, let them know what it is. Its not as immediate and deadly as peanut allergy but over time it can cause great pain and complications.

It has to be tough for the parent to see their child feel isolated because of celiac disease. That’s why we ALL need to educate as many people as we can about it. There is wrong information and good information out there that we can bring to light. caregiving adults need to be taught about celiac disease as much as children so that the current information is passed on. Just because one kid can’t play with the play-doh, because its mostly wheat, doesn’t mean that child can’t be awesome.

There are a handful of things a child with celiac disease can’t do but that doesn’t mean they have to suffer for it. Adults and children can learn as much as they can to create an inclusive environment for these children who can often feel left out. I’m an adult diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 27 years old, I know how I feel when I’m left out, so imagine how a five year old does.

All Celiacs Miss Some Kind of Food

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There is always the mega-ultra convenience of fast food. It’s easy to grab on the way home from work. That rainy Saturday afternoon with the family when hamburgers and fries are the perfect pick me up. Late night drive homes from the cottage. Fast food joints have been a staple of our lives for many decades, and have only grown in popularity as our society becomes bogged down with work, family and all the other commitments that stretch into our days and make the amazing convenience of food served fast to be a blessing.

As a diagnosed celiac, this kind of lifestyle proves difficult.

Diagnosed celiacs need to eat 100% gluten-free, and finding gluten-free fast food can/is a challenge.

You can stop off and grab a hash brown and coffee on the way to work or sit with your high school friends at lunch period and share a carton of fries and multi-layer burgers. The odds that any of that is gluten-free are slim to none, and finding that one gluten-free, simple and satisfying alternative is rare to come by.

There is always talk about the hamburgers on the fly. Peeling back the paper wrapper and eating it while you drive to the big game or inhaling it because you missed breakfast. What about all the talk of chicken nuggets? The long lost cousin of the fast food industry. Even in advertisements, the focus always seems to be about beef and beef and beef. Well, a great tasting gluten-free chicken nugget should be found to sate the appetite of those in need: namely me.

The year 1999 was ending (I was still nine years away from being diagnosed with celiac disease), and a few of my closet friends were going to get together and watch Blade on DVD and maybe have a few drinks. One of my boys said as we drove to the party “we should stop at [INSERT LOCAL FAST FOOD PLACE] and buy a pack of 50 chicken nuggets and then we’d always remember that at the turn of the century we had 50 chicken nuggets”. I regret a few things from that night, and not taking him up on that offer is one of them. And in all the years since, him and I never ever bought 50 chicken nuggets together.

Looking back and seeing that him and I currently make jokes about the 50 chicken nuggets so many years later, and even years after my diagnosis of celiac disease where I have to be 100% gluten-free and no fast food restaurant is serving those perfectly browned and tasty morsels, that we all know as chicken nuggets. It’s the one food that him and I always talk about when the mood strikes. The one food that him and I always have a chuckle over. The two major chains in my hometown served them. Respectfully, as teenagers, as dumb teenagers, we called them: chick-nugs and nugs. Yeah, a little stupid, but, food.

Making chicken nuggets at home is one thing, but having that ‘fast food’ flair to the chicken nuggets has always been a food I’d like to relive and recreate as a gluten-free alternative. It’s not about eating healthy, its just about eating.

Every food evokes emotion. What food gives you the feels?I believe food

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