I love discussing gluten free products and restaurants. I love highlighting and supporting the companies (especially small businesses) that do gluten free the right way, care about the community, and make exceptional products. You have heard me say many times that we propel the market forward with our dollar. Why support companies that are merely mediocre and don’t have any vested interest in the people buying their products? I say let’s support the companies that are supporting us.
BUT with all of this love towards great companies, restaurants, and bakeries, it is important to remember that Celiac Awareness Month is not about brands and eateries – it is first and foremost about the disease. It is about kicking the fad diet to the curb and helping more people understand the severity of Celiac Disease, the risks that family members face, the long term consequences of eating gluten, and the fact that the gluten free diet is not a “diet” in the traditional sense – it is our medication. It is a lifestyle that we must follow in order to live and thrive.
Here are some ideas you can do to help honor Celiac Awareness Month:
- Have a discussion with a family member or friend about getting tested. Beyond Celiac has a great campaign called “Seriously Celiac” that helps you discuss Celiac Disease with your loved ones.
- Organize a showing of The Celiac Project documentary in your community. (They also have an amazing podcast!)
- Explain to a confused restaurant staff member the difference between Celiac Disease and the fad diet and why it’s important.
- Attend a support group meeting and discuss your Celiac/autoimmune experiences with others. Perhaps others can learn from your journey and vice versa.
- Share helpful graphics on social media like this one from Gluten Dude
- Use helpful hashtags on social media such as #NoCureNoChoice, #CDAM16, #CeliacAwarenessMonth and #CeliacIsNotASalad
- Buy a copy of “Jennifer’s Way: My Journey with Celiac Disease – What Doctors Don’t Tell You and How You Can Learn To Live Again” and donate it to your local library.
- Remember that every month should be Celiac Awareness Month. We must never stop advocating for our health. The more we can spread awareness all throughout the year, the better off the community is.
Share your Celiac story in the comments below. What are you doing to honor Celiac Awareness Month? What does Celiac Awareness Month mean to you?