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Just one way we’re raising awareness at the Gluten Free RN office this beautiful month of May!
I can hear it in the silence in conversations all the time both with friends and with acquaintances- ‘just because you have celiac disease doesn’t mean everyone else has it too’, ‘don’t even try to foist your food issues/intolerances/ sensitivities onto me. I love food and I can eat anything I want.’ Or, the assumption that if you are of a certain ethnicity, it is your duty -and pleasure- to eat the foods that your forbearers ate. This is true of every group… no exceptions. I have heard it from Scandanavian friends, Native American people (‘fried bread is a traditional food’! Ummmmm, no its not!), Polish people, including myself, have said, ‘Well, if wheat was ok for my Mother, it must be okay for me too!’, “everything we eat is made with flour!” Or my favorite, Italians who think that because they are Italian they are innately NOT celiac because all Italians eat is bread and pasta, right?
Why do I care? Really. Why?
As a nurse, I could no more pretend I don’t see an abused child than I can pretend I don’t see celiac disease. It would be unethical and immoral for me to ignore sickness and disease.
More importantly, we should be asking why DON’T you care if you have an issue with the food you consume if it is potentially making you or a family member sick? How can you NOT try a gluten free and dairy free diet for a month to see if you feel better? Or get tested see if you are a gene carrier for HLA DQ2 or DQ8? Do you not want to know that a very simple diet change can prevent or reverse symptoms or illnesses you just accept as familial or part of the normal aging process or my favorite, ‘inevitable’? Everybody dies of something, right?
The more I understand about celiac disease, the MORE I want to get people tested. The more I want to speak out, to shout out, “please pay attention, this is important- not just to you personally but for all of your children, grandchildren and their children whom you will never get to meet.” This is a genetic issue that gets passed on and it is NOT recessive, nor is it a ‘genetic mutation’. This is a BIG deal- a public health crisis of monumental proportion that is being ignored, on purpose. It DOES affect everyone, even if you are in the blissfully ignorant group right now, that will change. Change is inevitable, despite some people’s strong desire to stay in their comfort zone. We have to change and adapt and be stronger. Not just for ourselves but for our children. Our children’s children and their children that we will never know but that will carry our genes and WE will have an impact on their growth and development, even while in the womb. If we fail to recognize celiac disease, if we continue to sweep it under the rug, if we are not able to have an adult conversation about the large, bloated, gluten saturated people in the room, we are failing our great grand children. My people ‘failed’ me. My pediatricians, dentists, family doctors, dermatologists, allergists, ophthalmologists, counselors and co-workers. Anyone of the people paid to provide medical advice and keep my family healthy could have recognized and tested for celiac disease early, They could have recognized that my Mother had at least 11 miscarriages and premature twins that were born in the 1960s, that died shortly after birth. That should have been reason enough to have someone, anyone suggest that our whole family had celiac disease even before I was born. Instead, it was just accepted that as children we would have all of the ‘familial health issues’ that everyone had such as eczema, gas, bloating dental issues, premature balding, addiction issues, bad vision and early death for the men.
May is celiac awareness month. I am ‘in your face’ trying to make you aware. When I do try to tell you what I know and what I see, it is only because I understand how easy it is to change your diet and truly get better. I only repeat myself over and over because I want you to get better. I want you to assume you CAN get better and don’t have to accept the diagnoses that WILL change your life in a very unpleasant way and will make you a prisoner to the medical system. I understand how important it is to finally get the information that will change your life for the better. Don’t get me wrong, it is a huge change and can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be daunting.
Take a step in the gluten free direction. Get tested just as a matter of course.
Go 100% gluten free for 6-8 weeks and THEN tell me how you feel.
Last weekend we packed up our bags and headed down to California for the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo.
Nadine was a presenter and spoke on two different topics. The first topic was on the ‘Paleo Diet’ and the second was on how ‘Gluten Affects Your Entire Body’. We have received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from these presentations and can’t thank everyone enough for attending. We also had the first copies of our new ‘Getting Started Guides’ and we were beyond thrilled to get these out in the community!
This was by far one of the best expos that we have been to. We met some incredible people and talked to some new and exciting vendors. Below are just a few of our favorite things from the expo!
Schar was there with their awesome gluten free products.
Two of our favorite people in the gluten free community, Anne Roland-Lee from Schar and The Celiac Diva!
Tammy from The Healthy Gluten Free Life and Paleo Indulgences was there selling her incredible cookbooks. As many of you know her cookbooks are by far our favorites!
Red Apple Lipstick was there with tons of samples and awesome products. Red Apple not only has a great line of gluten free beauty products they have an amazing team as well. It was awesome to finally meet them and hear more about their company. Look for a blog post all about their awesomeness coming soon!
These sweet t-shirts and sweatshirts are from Celiac and The Beast – Not only are they an awesome design, word on the street is that they are extremely comfy! You can order them through her facebook page here
We were at the super cool presenter table with these awesome ladies! From the left is Laura Russell, Mrs. Northwest Brandy Wendler, Amy from The Family Chef, Sam, and Phyllis from Enterolab
We are book hoarders here in the office… If there is a book related to celiac disease or gluten intolerance we probably have it. However, we only have a few books that are directed toward children. We absolutely love this new book ‘Gluten Glitch’ – check out her website http://ieatdifferent.com/The_Gluten_Glitch_CP8J.html
These are the wonderful ladies from Monkey Sea, Monkey Doo – They have a line of all natural personal care products specifically for kids. All of their products are gluten, soy, dairy, and oat free. Although it may be for kids, we love their cherry lotion and we are kids at heart so it works perfect.
These folks (Agha and Annie) are from Baba Joon’s and have the best testing ‘chocolate chewies’ – What was so cool is that we actually knew them from years back in Oregon. We were beyond excited to see them here at the gf expo. We ate our fair share of these amazing little chocolate miracles but we could eat more!
We were lucky enough to sit and talk with these brilliant women for a while! From the left is Willie Victor from Essentials for Health, Nadine, Sam, Meghan O’Hara from True Nourishment, and Margaret Walsh from the NFCA
We had such an amazing time at the Expo - They are taking over the USA and have shows this year in Chicago, Des Moines, New Jersey, and Dallas. Hopefully we will be able to attend more and share with you All!
When Nadine and I attended the gluten free expo in Canada last month we encountered a new company, “Giggles Fun Dough”. We are super excited to review their products because not only is it fun to play with but it also fills an absolute need in the gluten free market. To our knowledge this is the first gluten free play dough company. As of right now all mainstream play dough does contain wheat.
Giggles Fun Dough is:
– Gluten free
- Free of top ten allergens
- Contains no artificial dyes or ingredients
- Is fragrance free
- Made in a dedicated facility
These are all things that we love. Plus the dough feels and acts just like ‘regular’ play dough. It will last over six months, and comes in array of fun colors.
You might be wondering… gluten free play dough. Why does that matter? I don’t eat it. This is true you might not eat play dough but it absolutely still needs to be gluten free.
This is for a couple of reasons:
1. Think about how often you put your hands to your mouth. Now think about how often a child puts their hands in their mouth or accidently eats something they are playing with. Trust us, this happens all of the time. It would be impossible to have a child play with a wheat containing product and not ingest wheat. Remember, it only takes 1/64 of a teaspoon of gluten to cause intestinal damage.
2. We believe that what you put on your skin needs to be gluten free. You can read more about this in our personal care blog here.
Head over to “Giggles Fun Dough” and check out all of their awesome play dough!