Monday, September 13, 2010

National Celiac Awareness Day

"Naturally Gluten-Free Pears" watercolor & ink on paper, 5x7, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

Today is
National Celiac Awareness Day. September 13th is the birthday of Samuel Gee... In 1888, Gee published the first complete modern description of the clinical picture of celiac disease.

I kicked the day off by answering an email, to a friend of a friend, who is very new to gf eating (as in starting this week) that was looking for some tips from someone she knew.

I am more than happy to share everything I've learned in the last few years. And offer as much support as needed in navigating the gluten-free waters. It gives me a chance to help spread awareness, and also, to pay it forward. I am very grateful for all that I read, learned, and was helped with when I was starting out on my journey.

The early stages can be so damn overwhelming... I know how useful it is to have someone who's been through it to use as a resource and sounding board. The first thing I tell someone starting out on their gluten-free journey is to remember patience. It takes time to get used to and to learn new eating habits, and find the hidden sources. But, with time - and healing - it gets easier. Nothing like knowing how sick you'll get if you go off track - to keep you focused. Then I give them a list of all my favorite gluten-free foods.

What is your #1 tip to share with someone who is just starting out gluten-free?


Jessica Johannesen said...

I'm not living with celiacs but i was vegan for a number of years and there are so many hidden sources of animal ingredients. When i first started it was incredibly overwhelming. I think the best thing i did was to keep a cheat sheet of all the things i had to watch out for.

Of course since it wasn't making me sick physically i could grow into a stricter, longer, cheat sheet. But i'm sure the same thing applies to celiacs. Find a list of things to avoid and get recommendations on new recipes. And know that it will get easier.

erin rogers pickering said...

Thanks for the input Jessiegirl!
A cheat sheet is a great idea... so nothing is forgotten.