Here is the truth: celiac disease can be a very lonely disease.
Not many people have it (one in 100 people) and stories of its apparent absurdity travel around the public like a bad rumour. What isn’t a rumour is how lonely one person can feel when THEY ARE THE ONLY ONE DIAGNOSED WITH IT WITHIN ANY GIVEN STRETCH OF LAND/COUNTY/CITY. Some of those diagnosed keep to them selves. Some of those diagnosed might to be worried to be truthful about their disease and therefore never get to meet others with the same feeling of loneliness. Having a disease like celiac and being the only one with it indoor family can make for some trying times.
Hell. Even if you’re they only one, defending yourself without backup is terrible.
There is nothing wrong with feeling alone when you’re diagnosed with celiac. But, know that there is support out there and people out there and organizations out there that have it and deal with it and can help you get through ANY troubling times you might be having.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I consider myself lucky because am a diagnosed celiac, I have nothing against this disease. I’m lucky because I have backup, backup in the form of my mother who is also diagnosed with it. She has been diagnosed as long I as I have. Her and I talk about it, compare notes. Argue about it. Having a celiac partner makes things a lot easier.
It truly is grand to have my mother diagnosed with celiac, because I count on her and trust her and have mega-support from her all the time.
There was a time, when my nephew, at four years old was put on a gluten-free diet and, as bad as it sounds, I was excited that he was. For my own selfish reasons, I wanted to be his cool older uncle who Had to eat gluten-free food with him at family functions and when we traveled in and around the province.In my own selfish ways, I was happy he had to eat gluten-free, NOT diagnosed with celiac disease, but on the same diet I was on, and placed on it viamedical professional.
Then he got tested for celiac disease.
Then it was found out he no longer needed to be on a gluten-free diet.
Then I felt like I was alone again.
Yes, as I said, my mother also has celiac disease (because its a hereditary disease) but our connection together as kin and medically diagnosed was different from a small child. I was heart broken when I found out my nephew didn’t have celiac and could go on eating gluten-full food as he grew in a strong, independent and well rounded person. I thought maybeI was going to have another male in the same boat as me, but, his journey was meant be different from mine. And I can’t be more happy and excited for him. I just thought, I had these notions that him and I would go on this journey together; eating gluten-free and talking about our lives with this restriction.
Not anymore. I felt alone.
Maybe I’m just jealous.
Maybe my selfishness is in fact a misplaced jealously of a small boy who doesn’t have to explain why he eats different and doesn’t have to worry about food at parties and functions in the public. However his life goes, I’ll still love him.
Celiac disease is a lonely disease when the wrong people are by your side. Or NOT at your side. To find those with celiac, don’t hide it. Yell it from the roof top. Tell the world.
I was diagnosed with celiac disease (an autoimmune disease where the lower intestine’s ability to absorb the protein ‘gluten’ is practically impossible) in 2008 when I was 27 years old and at that point in my life I was well into being an adult. I had a full time job, I was married, I owned a house and I was getting ready to start a family. In the 27 years leading up to my celiac diagnosis I HAD NEVER EATEN A POWERBAR.
It wasn’t that I was ever actively avoiding them, it’s just that there was a never a though too grab one as I was on the go. I knew they existed, the idea of a PowerBar is steeped in pop culture that its hard not to think about PowerBar as THE nutritional, energy and protein bar. As I grew up, movie characters where saying they were going to grab a PowerBar or scenes in television had someone eating one or again, mentioning them. It’s funny how in all those years I never tasted a PowerBar, and now as a 36 year old man, I’m diving in. Head first. Mouth first. Eyes first. Now its just starting to sound weird how many firsts. Welcome to me eating a PowerBar for the first time.
I am no science guy. I understand things and how they work.
In 2016 PowerBar created the entirely gluten-free ProteinPlus Bars: lower sugar, 20 grams of protein and 5 grams of fibre. When all balled up into portable bar form, you get a handy little pick me up.
With celiac disease, any individual like myself needs to eat 100% gluten-free in order to maintain a healthy body and lifestyle.
If there is anything you need to take away from learning about what celiac disease is; its just that, what you read above. Having gluten-free food options is always a plus, and when protein bars like these new PowerBar ones come out and are readily available for us diagnosed celiacs on the go, its a blessing in disguise.
There are two new gluten-free flavours:
Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter is exactly what you think it is. The description of the actual bar ends up being exactly how it tastes. There have been times when you might have a protein bar and there is a subtle, if not heavy taste of chemicals, the gluten-free PowerBar ProteinPlus was no where near that. And judging by how heavy the box was when I picked it up, I had a sense that it would be that way. The opposite is in fact true; the Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter bar could also double as a candy bar in a grocery store. While the bar might feel heavy, it’s perfect in taste.
If not for the fact that, too much protein would do me in, I could eat a box of these bad boys with no problem. The Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter was a surprise to my taste buds, a good surprise.
I am no science guy. I understand things and how they work. The idea behind protein and energy related to the human boy isn’t lost on me. The PowerBar Trisource blend of three different types of protein kinda blew me away. The blend is designed to digest at different intervals throughout out the day to continue providing energy to your person. Its funny how the simplest answer like sustainable energy for your body via varying breakdown times makes so much sense. Its what you need to keep going.
The new gluten-free PowerBars ProtienPlus did work for me over the few weeks I had a box of them at my side.
The Lemon Poppy Seed by PowerBar was a tough one to wrap my head around. Right off the bat, I’m not a fan of lemon flavoured food. I will avoid it at all costs. I waited until last to try the Lemon Poppy Seed bar because frankly I’m just not keen on it. The front of the box has a loaf of bread to entice you to think of this wheel consuming the new gluten-free bar, and the look of the actual bar, when opened, was exactly like what a loaf of lemon poppy seed would. It was crazy. Taste wise, okay. It was a lighter flavour that I truly expected, which isn’t bad, but I felt it was a little more dry that in should have been. Granted, I may be biased to the fact that its lemon, and it was well enough tasting, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
PowerBar was often asked in their products were gluten-free and now they can claim that the two new products, the ProteinPlus bars and it’s two flavours are gluten-free. Formulated to give you energy and work with your body. As a father of a six year old girl who never stops moving. A full time outdoor property maintenance worker. A cartoonist for an international magazine and a television host can mean a lot of meals on the go, and with all those jobs and work, a lot energy needs to be filled. The new gluten-free PowerBars ProtienPlus did work for me over the few weeks I had a box of them at my side. And along with the fact they worked for me, the Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter tasted great.
I was paid for this review and received free product by PowerBar Canada. Make sure you click all the links in the above review to take you to the PowerBar site and find out for yourself how you feel about the ProtienPlus bars by PowerBar.
Everywhere you look there are companies, not just food companies, out there trying to create the idea they operate as a industrious family. And, unless you get a chance to visit the factory of business and it’s buildings, no one ever has the opportunity to know this first hand. I had a chance to see this family atmosphere first hand when I visited the Glutenberg Craft Brewery in December of 2016.
Glutenberg and their story isn’t new to how amazing foodstuffs are created; friends wanted to create a new and great tasting gluten-free beer and through dozens of tests and over a year of trial and error they created an award winning gluten-free beer. It’s what has happened in all those years since the creation of ‘the Gutenberg Blonde’ that sets them apart from all the other beer companies: they care.
They care, not just about making a traditional beer taste with all gluten-free ingredients, but making sure that their brand treats its fans, drinkers and supporters like family.
Read the Glutenberg story directly from their site by clicking HERE.
I was able to visit the Glutenberg Craft Brewery in Montreal, Quebec to tour the facility, see the process in which the gluten-free beer was made and sample some of their amazing beer flavours (most of which aren’t available in my home province of Ontario). I didn’t just get to visit Montreal (which I have never done before), I also got to take a train from Toronto to Montreal (something I also haven’t done). The whole day was filled with amazing firsts. And the tip on that iceberg was visiting the Glutenberg Craft Brewery.
While some flavours of beer I sampled didn’t come out as my favourite in the line, there was still a remarkable taste to every one of them, and every one of the gluten-free beers that Glutenberg makes deserves to be tasted and enjoyed. Glutenberg has attempted AND succeeded in doing what they originally set out to do: make a good gluten-free beer. I have had my share of gluten-free beer because I am a diagnosed celiac, some good some bad some terrible, and I can safely say that Glutenberg has their stuff together. All of their hard work has paid off and it reflects in the end product of the gluten-free beer.
What started out as a small company, Glutenberg still maintains that sense of a small company, even as it expands itself past international borders and still considering themselves a craft brewery. When looking at how in the past, traditional craft breweries where the tastes accommodating and manufactured for the area or local towns, Glutenberg is still a craft brewery, manufacturing small batches in MANY different flavours, and while doesn’t just stick to its own area, it is the craft brewery to the world. Their awards prove that.
In January 2016, Glutenberg was just available in Ontario after being available in other provinces and territories in Canada for a number of years. Even being available in almost two dozen states in the United Sates of America. I had e-mailed the company to keep me in the loop as to when I could get some of their beer from my local liquor store. As fate would have it, as a blogger, as King Gluten Free, the Glutenberg Craft Brewery was awesome enough to send me four beers to be sampled. I. Fell. In. Love.
I wasn’t able to spend to much time in Montreal when I went to visit the Glutenberg Craft Brewery. I caught the train early in the morning on a Friday and spent five and a half hours on the train listening to music on my phone, writing Christmas cards and texting my wife. All the while anticipating my first trip to Montreal. After the afternoon spent at the brewery I was back at the train station and on my way home to Toronto via the train. It was a long day, a fruitful day and an exciting day.
I have never hidden the fact about how I feel about food and the connection I have to it as a child and even an adult. Finding a gluten-free alternative to something I had as a child now as an adult diagnosed with celiac, really does take an emotional toll on me. I remember the first time as an adult I found out that Post ‘Fruity Pebbles’ were gluten-free and proceeded to eat them as a diagnosed celiac, and all the memories of Saturday morning cartoons came flooding back to me and I wept as I ate. My spirit was filled with love and joy as I could again eat something that connected me to the past. It’s kind of like smelling something that reminded you of your passed on Grandfather…only this time, it was food.
From it’s inception, Glutenberg has been creating great gluten-free beer…
In January 2016 when the Glutenberg Craft Brewery happily supplied me with a few gluten-free ‘Glutenberg Blondes’ I was once again filled with love and the memories that took place when I was a young man who had no clue what celiac disease was and was still years away from being diagnosed with it (I was diagnosed in 2008), Glutenberg tasted like high school. While some people would say it was either the best or worst time of your life, I was taken back to the times me and my buddies would go to the cottage and drinking barley based beers or the time my little sister and I would sit in the back yard (funny enough at my Grandparent’s) and drink those same barely based beers on what we eventually referred to as ‘Fun Friday’. The Glutenberg Blonde reminded me of a beer I once loved (and could not have because of my diagnosed celiac disease) and triggered something in me that has been undying since that very first sip; my love of the Glutenberg brand.
From it’s inception, Glutenberg has been creating great gluten-free beer and expanding to create new and promising ways to help out the other craft breweries around them that need just that little bit of help. A program where the vats at Oshlag (their own non-gluten-free distillery) can be rented out to other craft breweries and make much bigger batches and maximize Glutenberg’s own competition’s profit margin and creating bigger batches of a different craft beer. Or a program that helps to distribute smaller breweries brands and help get those unknown and unnamed craft brews to those who might never get it, and help out the small guy.
Glutenberg has become the big brother to all the craft breweries it works with. I stood in a room filled with all kinds of other cans and bottles of beer and was taken aback at how Glutenberg is always helping out those who need it. Companies that are looking for that outreached hand to get their name out there. Glutenberg not only treats everyone in their brewery like family, but even their competition gets treated as such; FAMILY.
It’s not everyday you get to sample award winning gluten-free beer with the Chief Operating Officer of a brewery, and aside for great tasting drinks, I was treated to amazing conversation in an environment that made me feel at ease. Glutenberg not only supplies gluten-free beer to celiacs all over it does amazing things locally to recycle beer cans, and consistently sending back the spent grain to the providing farmeronce Glutenberg has finished extracting the sugar from it. The farmer can then feed his soils with the spent grain. Glutenberg has different technologies to create gluten-free beer with presses and countless ways to create new and innovate products that are all gluten-free and safe for me… a diagnosed celiac.
As for how ALL the beer I tasted: (click HERE to see what they offer) I loved them all. From the Blonde to the IPA (which is one of the best beers I have ever tasted) to the White and I even got to take a stab at tasting the ASAP gluten-free beer which is only avail be in Quebec at the time of my visit. A gluten-free IPA infused with flavours of Pineapple, Simcoe Hops and Peach. All great all unique. Even tasting a gluten-free beer made with olives and another made WITHOUT maple syrup that tasted like maple syrup. All of the beers that Glutenberg allowed me to taste were just great.
While some flavours of beer I sampled didn’t come out as my favourite in the line, there was still a remarkable taste to every one of them…
It’s not everyday you get to sample award winning gluten-free beer with the Chief Operating Officer of a brewery…
I spent the day travelling to Montreal, Quebec, toured a brewery, sampled gluten-free beer and had great conversations with some amazing people. Glutenberg welcomed me with open arms and if you’re not a fan of gluten-free beer, give Glutenberg a try. And if you’re a fan of drinking beer, give Glutenberg a try.
I thank everyone at the Glutenberg Craft Brewery for taking time out of their day to show me around.
My train ride to and from Toronto, Ontario to Montreal, Quebec was paid for by the friendly people at Glutenberg.
As a human being you probably have a desire to go out to a restaurant and have a bite to eat. Whether its a solitary dinner alone, a private intimate evening with a loved one or a group outing with friends or family. Chances are, you have thought about it at least once. For those who don’t know, this kind of thinking can cause anxiety to a diagnosed celiac. No one considers food to cause anxiety. Guess what? It can.
Finding the right place to eat out can be a trial on its own.
There are many factors to consider when deciding to dine out and eat at a restaurant. Making sure that they have some semblance of what gluten-free is should be the first sign that you’re possibly in the right hands. Gluten-free menus are often indicators that a restaurant has their stuff together an dare doing what they can to provide meals for everyone. It’s always amazing when eating establishments can create gluten-free food.
Above everything, a fully gluten-free restaurant is the PLACE you want to go. As diagnosed celiacs you know that your butt is covered and there is no worry about cross contamination of gluten-full and gluten-free food. The shame of it all, is that a fully gluten-free restaurant is hard to come by (YES there may be on win your town, but that doesn’t mean that there is one in every town).
You can’t truly search the county for a gluten-free restaurant when you live in a small town in Northern Canada, it’s just not practical.
The safest place for diagnosed celiacs to eat is obviously their own home, but the need to go out, interact and be social can be far to great of a feeling than sitting home all night and all day and for the rest of your life stewing about not being able to go out for lunch with friends.
Yes. Salad is always an option.
The only rule that truly exists when dining out as a diagnosed celiac is whether or not the diagnosed celiac is comfortable to do so.
With salad available, that means some kind of gluten-free food is available at the dining hall and you can go out to eat.
It’s not always enough. But it’s a start.
Is there anyway to tell in a restaurant truly cares about the need for you to eat gluten-free?
1) If there is an option on the menu for gluten-free you can be assured in the fact that the kitchen (and subsequent chain) have some knowledge abut what gluten and gluten-free is.
2) When telling the server about having to ‘order from the gluten-free menu’ they as if its due to celiac disease or an allergy. Better yet, any mention of celiac disease from this person should give you a better sense of security.
3) Does anyone in management come out to your table to talk to you? Kitchen Manager. Head Chef. Restaurant Manager. Assistant Manager? These are all people that should come out and see you and see that your order is processed properly.
There is no list or rules of how to do gluten-free at a restaurant. The places that have gluten-free options often govern themselves and do a pretty good job at it. By self regulating they can control what comes and goes from the kitchen. Each person has a job to do and handles one particular section of food and can be monitored more closely. The only rule that truly exists when dining out as a diagnosed celiac is whether or not the diagnosed celiac is comfortable to do so.
None of this applies to eating out in TRUE ‘rules’ fashion. Each individually diagnosed celiac is in charge of their own bodies and what they eat. Under no circumstances should anyone be told what they can and a can’t eat. If you have to eat 100% gluten-free for medical reasons like being diagnosed with celiac disease, then, make sure you do. Make sure you feel safe when you dine out and make sure that your voice is heard.
There shouldn’t be any surprises when it comes to my post-secondary education. I also never finished college. I have no problem in admitting that I never made it through one year, or one semester. At the time I never considered that I was a ‘school person’. Sometimes I still think that I’m not one to take instruction from anybody (I can be stubborn that way). Then I look back on my time in the late nineties when I attended college for Art Fundamentals and see that I was partial right, and way way wrong.
FAST FORWARD TO 2017
One day while on set at Georgina Life (the television show I host on Rogers TV) I met with some of the amazing people at the South Shore Toastmasters club and they were riveting me to my seat as they spoke about finding confidence in yourself by finding your voice. A public speaking club which helps you develop better social and public skills and aides in your ability to be present in public speaking.
I recalled my memories of how in college; there was a seminar class, where I would have to spend the entire semester creating and building a subject and then presenting and hour long seminar about my topic.
I went to the first class, and no class past that. I dropped out of college.
Public speaking was frightening.
Even high school presentations I had my issues. Even to this day I still get extremely nervous at the idea of doing it. It’s all something that followed me from those days as a teenager and those days as an undiagnosed celiac.
I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008 and I was well into being the person I was meant to be and It was hard to change a lot of who I was. The diet was fairly easy. Switching from gluten rich foods to an all, 100% gluten-free diet was easier than I though, and now in 2017 it’s second nature.
NOW, I see that my fear of public speaking was partially because of my undiagnosed celiac and wasn’t always a figment of my imagination. I see that those times I buckled under the pressure of someone watching me talk was because the toll gluten was doing to my insides and ultimately affecting my mental state. Of course this revelation took almost two decades to figure out, but if I was diagnosed with celiac disease at an earlier age, I could have finished college and become the visual artist I intended to be or finished college and became a world renowned motivational speaker.
But I didn’t.
Here’s what happened.
I was diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 27 and then almost nine years later I became the host of a television show (speaking to the possibility of more that 10,000 people live) and a lot of my fear disappeared. Not before I was diagnosed with celiac and straighten out my shit. But, because I am now eating gluten-free I can maybe function the way I was meant too and not someone in constant pain due to the improper foods. Now, because I was diagnosed with a disease that is so invisible, I wasn’t diagnosed until I reached the pinnacle of my sickness.
My story isn’t new. But it can help someone to see what the potential of celiac can do.
Not only have I gone on to speak LIVE on a television show. I’ve also spoken about my celiac journey for the GLUTEN FREE GARAGE, GLUTEN FREE WELLNESS EVENT and the GEORGINA HOME & LIFESTYLE SHOW. All public speaking forums and all ways to motivate others that just because I was once terribly frightened by public speaking, a little bit of diagnosis and bravery can go a long way. Remembering that I still get butterflies and sweaty and gross when I have to go and speak publicly, but now it’s not crippling and now I recognize the possible reasons why.
If you suspect celiac disease GET CHECKED.
If your medical practitioner won’t check you of it. FIND ONE THAT WILL.
If being diagnosed with celiac disease and eating 100% gluten-free ends up corrections those things that were always written off as ‘shy’ or ‘mousy’, then why not take a stab at getting properly diagnosed?
It can’t hurt.
It can’t hurt you or your future.
Find Jordan Middlebrook updating DAILY on Instagram by clicking HERE and creating cartoon for Gluten-Free Living Magazine all through 2017.
Keep coming back on the 15th of every month for all of 2017 and The Celiac Action Duo will be sure to entertain and surprise and advocate celiac disease on the sly and fight bad guys like you’ve never seen.
There is always an organization hoping to find the cure for a disease, illness or ailment. Institutions like this are always for the betterment of civilization and that’s what makes the world a greater place to live; people helping people though tough times with the aide of science.
Science is truly an amazing thing. There is no way getting around that solid fact.
With so many immediate and more deadly diseases out there in the world needing more attention, it’s clear to see that celiac disease, one of the most common (and unknown and misunderstood) diseases doesn’t need a cure. Celiac disease is best described as; the body being unable digest or cooperate with the protein gluten, which in turns treats it as a sort-of poison. If you’re diagnosed with this disease, you know that there is a lot more to that, what, with its 200+ symptoms and varying amounts of side effects when you ingest gluten. The ONLY way to treat celiac disease is with a 100% medically diagnosed gluten-free diet. It’s as simple as that.
There have been products on the market that are made to attempt to make diagnosed celiacs believe that they can eat gluten-filled food by chewing a pill, or render the effects of ingesting gluten with a drink, but, they’re all wrong. The body doesn’t work that way, and science hasn’t moved far enough along to marry preventative measures with gluten-filled food.
Celiac disease is best described as; the body being unable digest or cooperate with the protein gluten, which in turns treats it as a sort-of poison.
There is no cure for celiac disease and there shouldn’t be one. There doesn’t need to be one.
After the initially diagnosis of celiac disease, it’s fairly common that you won’t feel better right away by going on a gluten-free diet. The body needs time to heal from all the effects of ingesting gluten for the number of years that you went undiagnosed. But, if you can fix or aide a disease with just diet; why do you need a cure? Out in the world many forms of cancer run rampant and destroy lives and families, thats where research can go to find a cure. AIDS, MS, Parkinson’s Disease, to name a few. All possible life threatening, all without cures. These are diseases that need cures.
By stopping and asking your individual self if you really need a cure for your celiac disease, you see that it’s only for selfish reasons; so you can eat “regular” food. By regular food I mean, eating out at a restaurant with no worry of your food being cross contaminated with gluten or being able to stop at any fast food joint to grab a burger when you’ve run out of time at the end of the day. Having celiac disease means having lost the convenience of food. Having celiac disease means constantly worrying about your food and whether of not it’s been contaminated. Having celiac disease means many trust issues surface at times of dinner. Celiac disease has more issues that just food, as you can see there are can be many internalizing issues. Food is at the top of the list.
There is no doubt that having celiac disease makes us all better problem solvers.
There could be reasons that an diagnosed celiac wants a cure so that maybe it’s easier to travel and that maybe you can eat out with no worry, or eat at restaurants while travelling and not have to worry. Looking for a cure to celiac disease really comes down the individuals ability to be prepared: Find out where you can eat while on vacation. Stay at gluten-free/friendly resorts. Take gluten-free snacks on the plane. Travel can be scary for people with celiac disease, but as long as you plan ahead, everything will turn out okay. A cure does’t need to be in place to fix all that.
You don’t need a cure for celiac disease just so you can eat canned soup and not worry about it. There is already a method for controlling celiac and keeping your body safe and that’s with a gluten-free diet. Yes, it can be tough to see a child struggle with not understanding why they can’t eat the cupcakes brought into the school by a classmate or play with the Play-Doh. Those instances is what makes celiac disease unique. By finding alternative ways to eat and be creative about our celiac and gluten-free lifestyle we find ourselves creating better building blocks for who we are and how we grow as individual people. There is no doubt that having celiac disease makes us all better problem solvers.
Celiac disease is the calmest of the diseases across the spectrum. It’s never ideal to be diagnosed with it, but it’s better than having an immediate, life threatening and deadly disease. With celiac disease, your body can sometimes be totally against you, but it’s treatable, and in the simplest way: a gluten-free diet.
The treatment of celiac disease with a gluten-free diet is there and the support system of the celiac/gluten-free community is there, families, friends and loved ones are there, so finding a cure for celiac disease should be in the back of our minds.
No one has to agree on how they feel about their own individual celiac diagnosis and own state of being within their communities sharing the disease. Somedays it’s hard to live with celiac, somedays its all rainbows and puppies and somedays, after years of being diagnosed and developing a rhythm and knowing how your ‘new’ life goes, celiac disease is second nature and just a part of your daily routine. There doesn’t need to be a cure for celiac disease, just an understanding that, things could be worse, only they’re not.
There doesn’t need to be a cure for celiac disease because it’s one of the things that makes you unique and thats a good thing. Which in turn makes celiac disease… a good thing.
The views expressed above are of my own views on the subject of a cure for celiac disease. Every single person is well within their right to feel 100% different from what I think. By reading the above article, you can plainly see that I don’t feel the need for a cure for celiac disease. I understand if you don’t feel that way at all. We’re all entitled to our own opinions and thats what makes our world great.
I’d love to hear what you have to say about it. Email me at email@example.com and tell me about it.
Gluten is hidden in every kind of food you can imagine. When you look at it, the list is gigantic. Not just food, but beauty products and deodorants and even in glue for the crafts with the kids.
Gluten, gluten gluten. Saying those words and people get caught up in the ‘fad’ that is the gluten-free diet. Individuals that are on the gluten-free diet for non-medical reasons never have to worry about cross contamination. And that’s where it is.
The cross contamination of ONE crumb of gluten. One speck; the size of a pencil point, of an average type wheat based bread can send the body of a diagnosed celiac into a frenzy and trigger over 200 symptoms (ranging from mad poops, brain fog and even acne). Cross contamination is the second thing that diagnosed celiacs have to worry about, the first being whether the food we’re eating is actually gluten-free. If celiac’s aren’t worried about the food in front of them, they’re usually worrying about the food around them. It can be a vicious cycle.
That mentality is something that a lot of people don’t understand. That’s why celiac awareness is so important. Educating the public about celiac disease and informing those who live with us about the harmful effects of cross contamination and intentional/accidental gluten ingestion.
It’s a fact that some diagnosed celiacs live in shared food households. Situations like that can’t be avoided for reasons that aren’t anyone’s business, but when issues of cross contamination and constantly dodging bread crumbs on the kitchen counter become a daily problem; switching to an ALL gluten-free household might be the next logical step.
‘Never having to say you’re sorry’ is a great little saying to throw around when it comes to the people that you live with. But, have you ever considered saying ‘never having to ask someone to use a separate utensil to spread the sour cream’?
A simple and effective way to avoid gluten cross contamination is by using different utensils every time you dip into the peanut butter or the mayonnaise. When one person in the house has celiac disease, a very serious illness, that can only be treated with gluten-free food, this path to maintain a healthy life is very easy too do. After laying out the rules and the ground work for this procedure the percentage of gluten cross contamination diminishes.
By being a diagnosed celiac in a shared food house hold, you become your own mega-advocate and spout off what should be done about gluten-free food, your symptoms and the dire effects of ingesting gluten is like due to cross contamination. It’s when this simple rule isn’t followed that the blood boils. Witnessing someone across the table use the same spoon to spread sour cream on a flour based tortilla shell and place the spoon back in the container like there was no care in the world. Ignoring the ONE SIMPLE RULE in place to protect you.
In these types of homes celiac advocacy is important as much as it is in the public. Start locally and move on to the world. A diagnosed adult can speak for them selves, but a child with celiac might not be able to stand up and say that kind of behaviour isn’t right. A simple rule like using a different spoon can mean the difference between having a great day, or spending the next few hours in the washroom with mega-poops and the next week feeling weak, sore and tired, possibly missing work or school or social gatherings or family functions.
Is it ignorance? Forgetfulness? Sometimes, the truth is never known.
Shared food households are common and they do work. Sometimes they need a little work. No one is perfect and what works well for one family might not work for the next. As long as there is someone in the home who supports and aides in the food rules like a wife, husband, sister or mother then the ride with celiac disease and shared food households goes a lot smoother.
Everything takes time, patience and practice. Even with celiac disease. Especially with celiac disease.
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.
“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.