community

10 Reasons to Get Involved with Your Gluten Free Community

Studies have shown that celiac disease/gluten intolerant patients do better, and stay healthier, when they are involved with a gluten free community.

1. Money – You will save money by learning about gluten free product specials from your fellow GF community members.

2. Products – Not only will you learn about coupons, and specials, you will also learn about new products, and products that taste bad or that made someone sick.

3. Emergencies – During an emergency it will be hard for people with food intolerances, and allergies to find food that is safe for them to eat. With a community of people who need safe food it will be easier to find food that is safe to consume.

4. Support – When first diagnosed, many people have a hard time coping with their diagnosis. Joining a gluten free community can help you learn how to cope with your new lifestyle, and you will find the support you need to continue. While on the gluten free path it is also not uncommon for people to change their diet, learn of new diseases, and stumble upon other challenges. Having someone in your life that understands those challenges will help you succeed.

5. Myths – There are many myths associated with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and living gluten free. There is no better way to debunk those myths than with information from an entire community.

6. Recipes – Many gluten free recipes take trial and error to help perfect. Friends and GF community members can share recipes, and stories of trial and error.

7. Restaurant reviews – With the gluten free trend on the rise more and more restaurants are claiming to have a gluten free menu. Unfortunately, not all these claims hold true. The more gluten free people you know, the more you will find out about which restaurants hold true to their gluten free claims.

8. Research – Every day there is more research and information coming out about celiac disease, and gluten intolerance. With a GF community it will be easier to learn about all different types of information and research.

9. Motivation – Some days are easier than others, however, it is not always easy to be gluten free. Having a friend can help motivate you to stay gluten free.

10. Social – One of the biggest challenges of Celiac Disease are the social aspects of eating gluten free. Nothing is better than a friend who understands.

If you live in the Corvallis area there are two easy ways to get involved with the gluten free community. The first is to attend the Corvallis support groups. These support groups take place every third Saturday of the month, and are located at the First Congregational United Church in Corvallis, OR.  See this page for more information. The second is to come into the Gluten Free RN office (215 SW 4th St). We are open Monday – Friday 9-5. In the office we have articles, books, recipes, resources, and much more. Our office is extremely unique, and there are very few, if any, similar to it in the country. We are here to help anyone learn more about celiac disease, and gluten intolerance. Come visit us soon!

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Enjoying the Holidays Gluten Free

Eating gluten free can sometimes be a challenge during the holiday season. From mother-in-laws to failed recipe attempts many people find themselves overwhelmed and often dreading their gluten free holidays. I don’t believe that food intolerances should stand in your way of a successful celebration. Here are a few tips to stay healthy, happy, and most importantly, full during this holiday season.

When in doubt go without:
Gluten hides everywhere! Never assume something is gluten free, cross contamination is always a risk when eating at someone else’s home. Turkey’s are often made with stuffing inside, gravies are thickened with wheat flour, and it only takes a breadcrumb to trigger an autoimmune reaction. You are the only person responsible for the food that goes into your body. Don’t let someone peer pressure you into eating something that may or may not be gluten free. Trust me, the repercussions are NOT worth it!

Always be prepared:
If you are starving you might eat something that you will later regret. I always pack food in my purse or eat ahead of time so I’m never in desperate need of food. If you know where you will be spending the holidays, give the hostess a call ahead of time and let them know about your allergies or intolerances. If necessary let them know you will bring your own food. If you bring a dish for everyone to share, ask if you can serve up your plate first and don’t plan on going back for seconds. Shared utensils, fallen breadcrumbs, and gluten hands call all contaminate your food.

Offer to host at your home:
If you are able, offer to host the dinner at your home. This way you know what goes into every dish and you can be sure everything is gluten free. If others insist on bringing food, ask them to bring something that is naturally gluten free. Some options are fruit, vegetables, or drinks.

Let someone else do the cooking for you:
If you don’t feel like cooking or don’t have the time, you could always head over to our local gluten free restaurant, Eats & Treats Café. (www.Eats-Treats.com) They offer a wide variety options, including take out, and are always happy to take care of your gluten, dairy, and soy free needs.

With or without food intolerances, I know that the holiday season can be stressful. If you are feeling overwhelmed just try to remember what the holidays are really about. Take time to enjoy your family, friends, and the things that make you happy. When all else fails don’t forget that our local hard cider company, Two Town Cider House is gluten free!