Finding your Gluten-Free Village
Going gluten-free is not easy. Whether for health reasons or by choice, we all have faced the often overwhelming task of figuring out what to put into our bodies. And most of us could not have done it alone. Going gluten-free takes courage; it takes research and tenacity; and, most of all, it takes a village.
But how do you find your gluten-free village? How do find your gluten-free voice?
My gluten-free village was books. I wanted to read as much as I could … about celiac disease, about how my body needed to heal itself, about what I could and could not eat to make me healthy and strong. Early on my GF journey, my sister gave me a book that changed my life. Shauna James Ahern’s Gluten-Free Girl rang very true to me. She wrote about the trying road to her celiac diagnosis, but more importantly she celebrated her gluten-free present and anticipated her future. She included life stories, words to use at restaurants, and even delicious recipes. This book gave me the support I needed and helped me find my own gluten-free voice.
For some of you, your gluten-free village is social media. Connecting with others through Facebook, finding gluten-free websites, or searching for gluten-free blogs has guided you along your gluten-free path. Others may have found guidance in gluten-free support or networking groups.
The important message is this … whatever village you choose to encourage and support you on your gluten-free path, let is also lead you to find your gluten-free voice. As members of the gluten-free community, we must advocate for ourselves in restaurants, at gatherings with friends and family, and within the marketplace. Be confident in your requests, and be comfortable in your gluten-free voice. Together, we can help each other along our own gluten-free journeys.
After all, it takes a village.