When it comes to Summer, aside from the warm weather and pretty flowers, my favorite part is cooking out with friends and family. Since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, however, I look at barbecues a bit differently. Instead of seeing a delicious spread of potato salad, coleslaw, and chips, I see unknown cooking surfaces, mystery seasonings, and cross-contamination risks.
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Life after diagnosis has been smooth sailing for the most part. Since my father and I are both gluten free, even Thanksgiving and Christmas (normally a pretty gluten-y affair) were both huge successes for us, and by success, I mean it felt normal, and that meant a lot to the both of us.
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As soon as I was greeted by the nurse, I knew something was amiss. The nurse quickly ushered me into an exam room, and only a few short minutes later, my doctor followed.
First off, I’d like to introduce myself: Hello! I’m Brittany McNeal. That's me over there to the right... Snazzy. I’m the brand-spanking new content creator at Lauren’s Hope, and I (like almost 8% of Americans) have an autoimmune disease. In fact, like most people who have an autoimmune disease, I have more than one: Celiac Disease and Hashimoto’s Disease.
Whether it's due to Celiac Disease, gluten sensitivities or intolerances, wheat allergies, or a Paleo diet, a great many people are eating gluten-free these days. With the carb-loaded, stuffing-infused, food-focused holiday of Thanksgiving (and then the winter holidays!) fast approaching, it feels like a good time to look at some gluten-free recipes the whole family can enjoy.
It seems that everywhere we go these days, there are more and more gluten-free options. And that's a very good thing. Far from being the latest food fad, gluten-free diets are actually life-changing and even life-saving for some people. But there's a lot of confusion out there about what gluten is, who should be eating gluten-free, and why these dietary changes are helpful. Today, for National Celiac Awareness Day, we're breaking down the Celiac and gluten basics.
Humor, Ice Cream, and No More Gluten
Did you know that having Celiac Disease is not the same as having a gluten allergy? It’s also different from a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, despite the fact that the treatments for these increasingly common issues are fairly similar. The main way to manage Celiac Disease, gluten allergies, and gluten intolerances or sensitivities is to remove all gluten from the diet, which is easier said than done, as gluten is widely used and can easily be ingested due to cross-contamination during food preparation. Just ask Amber, a high school student and Lauren’s Hope customer, who has been living a gluten-free life for over a year now.