With a new year comes new and exciting opportunities. As some of you know, I am one of the event hosts for the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup Group, the largest gluten free Meetup group in the country with over 2,000 members. Erin (our beloved leader of 10+ years who also runs Gluten Free Fun and Gluten Free Globetrotter) is moving away from the city to pursue some amazing new adventures. As disappointed as I am to see her go, I was incredibly honored when she asked me to take her place as lead organizer of the Meetup group.
I have always greatly admired Erin for her passion and dedication to the gluten free community. She was and continues to be a huge inspiration to me. I definitely have some big shoes to fill, but it is my goal to continue moving forward with the same spirit, heart and integrity.
Regarding Celiac Disease, I often discuss the importance of community. When I was first diagnosed I had no idea what gluten was. None of my friends had ever heard of the words “villi” or “brain fog”. It was the online community and other people with a similar diagnosis who were my greatest supporters and resources. We are truly one of the strongest communities that I have ever come across. There is so much camaraderie! You meet someone else with Celiac Disease and there is an instant connection – instant empathy – and there is a big feeling of relief. That is why Meetups and support groups are so important. We all deserve a little understanding and care.
And so, I am extending an invitation to YOU. If you live in/frequent the NYC area, I would love for you to join our group and share some fabulous gluten free adventures! And for the non-New Yorkers reading this, if you are ever traveling to NYC please feel free to join the group, attend an event, or reach out to me with any questions you may have about the city. This group is all about community and supporting each other.
(By the way, it is totally free to sign up and we welcome all gluten free folk, Celiac or not!)
I have a few exciting plans in the works, but for now here’s a peak at some of last year’s events:
Gluten Free Dessert and Wine Night at Senza Gluten
Chocolate Making Class at Rakka Chocolate
Dinner at Colors Restaurant
Gluten Free Dessert and Wine Night at Bistango
Pie Making Class at Krumville Bakeshop
NYC GF Oktoberfest at Pie By The Pound
Jessica and Erin on their way to the GFAF Expo in Secaucus, NJ