Celiac Awareness Month in May!

May starts Celiac awareness month!! Aldi has all of their gluten free treats in the stores. Lots of grocery stores still have leftover gluten free Passover treats on sale right now, too! It’s a good time to have Celiac disease.

At the same time, we know what Celiac is and that it stinks. I think we should take this time and make it our own personal “Take Care of the Celiac” month. We spend a lot of time denying ourselves gluten food we can’t have. So, what can we do and what should we do differently to improve our lives.

So, here’s my guide for May —

Try a new restaurant! Lots of us stay home and don’t eat out much for fear of cross-contamination. Find a restaurant with a gluten free menu in your area and try it (unless pizza or pasta, but that is from another post). You never know. You might find a new favorite safe place to try!

Plan a vacation! Summer is coming and while it is hard to have Celiac and travel it can be done. I hear Europe, especially Italy, is very gluten friendly. I hear Australia is rocking it out on the gluten free lifestyle as well. Disney is awesome with handling of food allergies and dietary restrictions.

Don’t restrict yourself because of your disease, dream big. If you’ve always wanted to go to Asia (that might be hard), I’m sure it can be done. I even have heard of tour companies that cater specifically to gluten free travelers, so there are ways to travel!!

If you can’t afford to travel, I get it. But start to plan the trip, set the budget, and make a plan to go on the trip. If the trip is 1, 2, or 4 years, at least you are thinking about going instead of letting this disease deter you from going.

Take care of yourself! Many times, we put others needs ahead of our own because we feel like we can handle this disease. Lots of times it is true and we do what we have to do to get by, but sometimes we need to be first. Get a massage, pedicure, or other treat for yourself. If those don’t work for you, think about something you’ve been dreaming about and go get it. It could be anything that you’ve been longing for but Celiac has been holding you back. This is your permission slip to go get it. (Note don’t do anything that would put you or your family in harm’s way – physically, emotionally, or financially.)

Exercise!! Exercise is time consuming and in the beginning quite painful. However, exercise will help get constipated bowels moving and slow down overly excited bowels. It will clear your head. Even if you are exhausted after having a bout with cross contamination, a simple walk can help settle your mind and body. I’m not talking about jumping into a CrossFit gym today. I’m talking about a walk around the block after dinner or a short hike on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Exercise also helps the gut microbiome.

Eat Right!! Make sure to feel yourself good nourishing food that will help heal your gut and give you the energy to live the life you want. Eliminating much of the gluten free replacements for naturally gluten free foods will help your budget and probably make you feel better. Many people swear by the Whole 30 diet to make them feel better.

My point is, make sure you take care of you this month. Celiac awareness is for the rest of the world to learn about Celiac disease because most people don’t have a clue about what it is. But for those of us that suffer with it, I think we should focus on ourselves and making ourselves a little better. These are things I will be focused on this month for me!

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