A gluten-free blog about the life of a celiac in college (and now grad school). Full of personal stories about life with celiac disease and fibromyalgia; gluten free, vegan and paleo recipes; and product and restaurant reviews. Plus, reflects on body image, dating and more with a chronic illness!
What people should also know about celiac disease, though? No matter how long someone has had it and how many times and ways they've learned to cope, bad days happen.
You don't grow out of feeling left out during parties when the birthday girl cuts into her gluten-lovin' cake.
Thank goodness for my own mac and cheese recipe...
You don't stop drooling when a friend digs into fresh mac and cheese from the farmer's market - even though you brought your own dinner.
You get better at packing for overnight trips - but not any less annoyed.
The fact is, celiac disease - in its physical, emotional and mental effects - doesn't follow a straight line of progress. Most days, celiac disease is just a part of me. Part of my life. Avoiding crumbs and bringing a lunch box occurs as naturally as brushing my teeth before bed.
On days when celiac and I start fighting, though, that's OK. It doesn't matter how "good" you are at being gluten free, how long it's been or how much your family and friends do to make you feel "normal." You can hate celiac. You can rail at the unfairness of being one of the 1 in 133 Americans affected. You can even dream of a fluffy, gluten-y croissant - maybe even cry over it. (I'm not ashamed to say I've been there).
Being an advocate for celiac disease doesn't require being positive and "loving" your gluten free life all day, every day. It means embracing the real emotions hitting you that day - whether love or hate - and then working to improve celiacs' daily lives. Through tastier gluten free goodies. Through more community support (especially on ranting days!) Through more public awareness.
Eating samples while raising awareness doesn't hurt!
Sharing my body with celiac disease isn't easy and some days I do, indeed, hate the disease that controls so many aspects of my life. To me, though, that's what Celiac Awareness Month is all about: revealing the facts, the stats and the daily realities of celiac disease.
Sometimes my daily reality features a lot of hatin'. But that only makes the days I'm proud to be a celiac - proud to have endured medical setbacks, adapted to my new diet and join the gluten free community - even sweeter.