I am honored that the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has asked me to be part of its Blogger a Day campaign during National Celiac Disease Awareness Month.
I will celebrate my fourth anniversary as a gluten-free individual on May 18. Four years ago this week, I was seeking information on this thing called "Celiac Disease" that I'd never heard about before. The more I read, the more I realized that I had probably had Celiac Disease for most of my life. The NFCA was my first resource for information on CD, and I like to think I've been a dedicated friend and supporter of the NFCA and its resources. The gluten-free and Celiac World has changed so much in the last four years, and I'm honored to be trusted by GF companies and retailers to write about their work and products.
For this blog post today, I've been thinking about what having CD has meant in my life.
So for today's post, I am going to Proclaim My Celiac Manifesto -- What I have a right to demand as a gluten-free person today..
1. I have Celiac Disease, part of the 1/133, and like so many others, my diagnosis was missed by several GI doctors. The one thing I wish I'd known was to GET TESTED THOROUGHLY (including an endoscopy) before going on the diet. I was lucky that I was so damaged, I still showed symptoms long after I went gluten free. Don't take a chance. If you think you have Celiac Disease, you're among friends. Get testedl.
When I realized the only cure for Celiac was that I must be constantly vigilant of what I eat and how I eat it, I cut all gluten from my life. No, I don't cheat. No, I can't have just a tiny bit. If you don't like that, please know that I will understand your choice not to feed me or dine with me. If I'm cooking, you're missing out on a feast. And some damn good company. I do this to save my life. All I ask is your respect for my choices. I will give you the same.
2. My money talks or my butt walks. I will no longer settle for inferior gluten-free products or restaurants who think I really WANT some fruit instead of a rich dessert. If you can't feed me in your establishment as well as I can feed myself at home, I do not need your half-baked attempts. Im lucky -- I mean, I have Glow Gluten Free, Starfish fish, Moondance Heavenly Desserts, A killer Outback in Roswell, Fuego Mundo, American Gra-frutti, Udi's, Kettle Cuisine, and Chex cereal. If you don't know how to serve me, I can find someone who does. All thi Fifth Group Restauants, Blue Moon Pizza, Carnival Cruise lines. Harrah/s Atlantic City. The Wynn in Las Vegas.
3. Twitter and Facebook and blogs and books have made me knowledgeable. Vendor Fairs have clued me into the world. I am proud to be a member of two groups (through GIG) that have informed me and helped me network with others who share my Celiac challenges. With NFCA's efforts, added to these resources, there's NO REASON to be uninformed.
4. You and I may have come to fisticuffs over tbe minutia of ourgluten-free world --who are you jealous of in this GF world? Do you think your work is more important than mine? Well, there's no room for that -- the gluten-free world needs ALL of us who offer resources. Bury the hatchet (and not in someone's back) and let's live in peace. The gluten-free world is big enough for all of us, with plenty of work to be done. Let's celebrate the successes and fight the good fight so we can live in unity in our gluten-free universe..
5, There is plenty of the world that still needs to hear rhe important word about CD and Gluten Intolerance. Because LOOK where we've been....and LOOK whe we zre headed! And we're in DAMN FINE COMPANY.
Mzke a promise to yourself, and to our community:
Each one Teach one. Spread the love. Spread the word. Share our Celiac Connection!/