Gluten Dude

I’m a glass half-full kind of guy. While I may bitch and moan about celiac disease, there are many reasons to be thankful. As the holiday approaches, this is as good a time as any to mention them.

  1. It is a treatable disease. No medications with a laundry list of side effects. No endless trips to the doctor. Just follow a strict diet. Easier said than done, but it beats the alternative.
  2. You don’t have to share your Thanksgiving stuffing. So what if it’s because nobody else wants it. It’s all yours.
  3. Nobody will drink your last Red Bridge. See number two.
  4. It explains a lot. Falling asleep at your desk. Forgetting people’s names. Now it all makes sense.
  5. You eat a lot less crappy foods. No cakes. No cookies. No heavy sauces. The way mankind was supposed to eat.
  6. There is more awareness. It seems everyone is talking about gluten these days. Not always a good thing, but it has opened up more options for us celiacs.
  7. The celiac community. A wonderful group of people and a great support system.
  8. My “No Grain. No Pain.” tattoo would make no sense without it.
  9. The discovery of new foods. Gorilla Munch. Pad Thai. Udi’s Bagels. Pamela’s Cookies. Kind Bars. Never would’ve tried any of these without celiac disease.
  10. Save money eating out. Fear of new restaurants means more meals at home.
  11. People really look out for you. Most people will go out of their way to put you at ease. If not, try to get these kind of people in your lives.
  12. You can still eat sushi and have a cocktail. Wow…am I thankful for this one.
  13. ???

Ok…fine…so I could only come up with 12. Help me finish the list. Comment below and tell me why you’re thankful for celiac disease.

Happy Thanksgiving!

95 thoughts on “13 Reasons to be Thankful You Have Celiac Disease

  1. 13. I’m thankful for being reminded that life is about doing things. Alone or with others. Food is one thing but there’s so many more and now that I don’t feel like complete junk I’m present in a life that non-celiacs take for granted.

  2. You get to try entire groups of food you never would have entertained before and by using spices and herbs, can open a whole new world of flavors and textures. I never would have tried black eyed peas with ginger, chile and cilantro had I not stopped gluten. Things like that.

  3. The people I have met through and because of my diagnosis with celiac disease have changed my life. Having celiac disease has also afforded me the opportunity to help others, which is a true gift!
    ~jules

    • If you’re lucky enough to have a support system like that, it is indeed something to be thankful for! Not everyone has it.

  4. The day I grudgingly (bc I was in mourning) went gluten-free was the day my vegan diet became a high-raw vegan diet that’s jam packed with yummy green juices and green smoothies of which my doctor attributes to reversing my severe osteopenia at a record speed with diet alone.
    Celiac disease has been a blessing for me and my family (all four of us were diagnosed in the same year)!
    ~Priscilla

    • Hello,

      I am celiac too and I am having a hard time with osteoporosis. I would love to hear more about your diet and how it helps you. I would really appreciate hearing from you.

      thank you…
      Laurie

      • My Osteopenia also reverted after going gluten free! And all I did was remove gluten! I’ve always had lots of vegetables, so that continued the same. The key to osteoporosis is gluten, not the other things you eat. (unless you have a very poor diet)

      • I am a vegetarian and now diagnosed with Celiac. I was a hardcore “carboholic” prior to being diagnosed with Celiac, hence the tremendous amount of damage done to my intestines prior to being diagnosed. Never even a good vegetarian. I hadn’t been able to eat for almost 6 months prior to being diagnosed so the switch over to a GF diet was not hard at all…it was a joy because I could actually eat..something….

        Now, 6 months later, I am finding it difficult to find things I can “enjoy”… I guess it is time to start learning to bake using GF flours and recipes. This should perk up the diet a bit! Thank god for several pizza restaurants out here that offer decent GF pizza.

        • My honest suggestion is to stop trying to find gluten free replacement foods of things you used to eat. Much of it is processed crap.

          That being said, there are tons of great gluten-free recipe sites out there and you should be able to find some great healthy meals.

    • All four of you? Wow. Luckily, my wife and kids have been spared.

      By the way, just read your latest blog post. 400 symptoms. Unreal how many things Celiac can affect.

  5. My diagnosis, though a shock at the time, made the rest of my family get tested. My Mum and my daughter were also diagnosed because of this and will now live healthier lives! My daughter grew three inches in her first year gluten free – she loves not being the small kid anymore!

  6. Maybe it’s not that I’m thankful to HAVE celiac disease, it’s that I’m thankful to KNOW I have celiac disease. I feel so much happier, so much clearer, so much better. And I can see how great life really is without gluten, and that it’s not something to miss or agonize about – it’s really worth it…everyone always tells me “I don’t know how I’d live without gluten!” and I always think “Thank god I can live without gluten.”

  7. Im thankful for being more aware of the food I eat. Even if my celiacs magically dissappeared I still wouldn’t eat corn or gluten grains, and would continue to eat organic non GMO foods.

  8. My daughter too, has GF food when I’m there so as not to worry about cross contamination. I really appreciate her doing this for me. It also is good for them once in awhile too:) 14

    • That is very sweet. My kids still live on bagels. I try to get them to have just one gluten free day. They don’t make it past breakfast.

  9. Emotional stability. I have been on an emotional roller coaster since my late teens. 48 hours after going gluten free I discoverd what normal people feel like all of the time. I can now make rational decisions and get upset without losing all control. I have met some of the nicest, kindest, most caring people from all over the world because of my Celiac disease. I wouldn’t change it for the world. And, btw, the stuffing I made this year was actually the best I’ve ever had so if people didn’t want to share, it was truly their loss! :-)

  10. I’m thankful for my daughter’s dx because it led to my own dx. She had symptoms for years, but the labs kept coming back negative. Finally, at age 5, her labs her positive and an endoscopy confirmed celiac. I had ZERO symptoms, but was tested with the rest of our family because of the genetic possibility. My biopsy showed “near 100% villi atrophy”. I would never have known there was a problem!

  11. I”m so thankful to be gluten free now for 5 yrs. I’m so much healthy now, since my Dr. said it was Celiac. I’m no longer in pain, and always being sick. And believe it or not, I’ love my food, gluten free pizza, ceral, cookies, pies. Hey I’m so happy now that I’m not sick all the time. And my husband and kids, even the grandkids help me to stay with my diet.

  12. 13. My diagnosis made me a better cook and baker. I had to learn to cook for myself, and now my family enjoys loads of GF dishes. Also this Thanksgiving my cranberry/white chocolate chip cookies were a hit. No one knew they were GF until I ate one!

  13. Thanks for sharing this list.
    Being gluten free has introduced me to more nutritionally dense flours and grains, and has made me more adventurous in the kitchen, and more compassionate to other people’s needs and journeys.

    • Well said Blender Girl. Your blog is awesome by the way. Every informative and engaging. Did you really pour food over yourself to get those pictures?

  14. For the first time in my life since diagnosis I’ve taken up regular exercise – motivated by putting on weight for first time ever (boo!), and by being finally well enough to do sport. Interesting to sort of ‘get’ what everyone else was going on about all those years about having to ‘work off’ that extra cake in the gym etc, and discovered the endorphin rush from going for a run :-) that has definitely enriched my life.

  15. I was very ill the year before my diagnosis, and it prompted me to cut my hair short, because I simply didn’t have the energy to deal with my long hair. I love it, and others do, too, so I am, in a way, thankful to Celiac Disease for that LOL Also, for the wonderful people I’ve met because of it. Some of the other reasons I am still waiting for, but I know I will get there!

  16. 13. I’m glad I do not feel like absolute s* anymore. I feel like going outside again. I can pay closer attention to my loved ones.

  17. I’m thankful for Avocados and now Coconut Aminos. And thankful for getting my family eating healthier as well as having met “in cyber world” a bunch of great gluten free people.

    Have you tried Coconut Aminos instead of soy? I also just cut out soy. Just curious as to how others decide to go. What made you decide to?

    • I want soy and dairy free years after my diagnosis when my body just refused to feel better. But no have never heard of the Coconut Aminos. Will keep my eyes peeled.

  18. It helped me think about what I eat, where I eat at and how I can take an active role in my health. My mother is also GF but my Dad isn’t. I think he’d try and deny the seriousness of it if he had half a chance but I’m pretty sure he realises the importance of it. He drinks lots of beer. At least being GF gives me a good excuse to say “No”.

    It also helped me become more hygienic. A friend once said to me that he finds home made bread one of the least hygienic foods due to hand-kneading and how the sticky ‘glutenous’ dough picks up the ‘dirt and germ’ from the pores of our skins. ;)

  19. Now we have no choice but to treat our body as our temple as the bible teaches us…so good for us and influencial to those around us…everytime we buy truely healthy food we are casting a vote to support sustainable farming…helping the environment and not supporting those companies who fill their products with dead food chemicals and preservatives…not to mention GMOs…
    slowly but effectively killing people…what a true honor to be nominated to join this growing army of monetary voters

  20. #13…finally a reason for 100 really odd problems that neve made sense and were destroying the “real person” inside and out! And all fixable by changing your diet – wow!

  21. Hi,

    Just found your blog. I’m lovin’ it so I’m reading through some of your older posts and am surprised at the sushi references. As far as I’ve heard, sushi rice is made with a vinegar that usually has gluten in it. I’ve been avoiding it and ordering sashimi with a bowl of plain rice. I’m hoping you’ll tell me I’m wrong, this is just a myth, cause I’d love to eat sushi rolls again. You got anything on this?

    Thanks!

    • There are the occasional places that make their sushi rice with soy sauce and those you need to stay away from. But as far as I know, and from my experience, the vinegar in sushi rice is totally fine.

      Don’t be takin’ my sushi away :)

  22. I have this mentality all the time, since day 1. To have a disease where all you have to do is change your diet is an amazing blessing. I have other issues that I have to constantly take medication for, or visit the doctor for …. you don’t even NEED health insurance to treat Celiac Disease (though of course having health insurances makes getting diagnosed easier).

    No medication, no drugs, no regular doctor visits, no co-pays, no surgery …. I think we lucked out!

  23. I am thankful that now I KNOW why every time I ate bread, pie, cake, etc. my guts were in knots. There is something to that quack Atkins and the paleo type diets we all read about. I feel justified!

  24. I just found out yesterday that I have celiac disease. I have got to say I don’t see much of a reason to be grateful. I am a 26 year old girl who really LOVES food. I have always been able to eat what I want when I want it…. Until recently that is. It is nice knowing why i have been so sick. Being deployed to Afghanistan did cut down my options but it has also cut down options of foods that are gluten free. Coming from a girl who has never been on a diet I am very confused and don’t even know where to begin. I am grateful that I found this site. It is pretty helpful.

      • Thank you so much! I really appreciate your help. I have found myself getting pretty creative with what I eat and I have a great support system here. A couple of my friends decided to go gluten free with me to be supportive. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be although at times I do get bitter over not being able to eat some of the stuff I so desperately want. I am starting to feel a little bit better though. I still feel sick but its slowly going away.

  25. I’m thankful for the kindness of strangers. My 20-yr-old daughter went to a Thanksgiving dinner at a new church last week. (She had only been to their events on campus.) She expected to be able to eat only turkey and potatoes, but that was ok, bc she’s used to adapting. Turns out, one of the church members (who wasn’t even at the dinner) had made her GF bread and cake (which was so good I’ve requested the recipe). This sweet lady has never even met our daughter, but cared enough to do this extra for her after hearing that she was coming. (She didn’t even remember mentioning being gluten-free to the campus people) Turns out her grand-daughter is gluten intolerant, so she is familiar with gf stuff. In the 17+ years our daughter has been gluten free, few family members have cared enough to attempt this. (Even though most of them should be on the GF diet themselves!)

  26. Just wanted to say this, in case you didn’t know, and I just found out last year – after a life time of eating sushi. The wasabi, or “wasabi” outside Japan is generally not real wasabi, but instead coloured horseradish which contains wheat. The joy of having this explained to me after years and years of stomach ache and “but I’ve only eaten sushi, this can’t be right..” Now I make my own sushi at home. Great blog! Lots of gluten free hugs from sweden!

    • Egads!!! I have not had any reaction to wasabi at the few sushi places I’ve been to. But I will indeed reconfirm. Thanks.

  27. Hi, had a blood test taken recently and came back positive for cilicac disease. I was first diagnosed 15-20 yrs ago. At that time had extremely bad runs & gas. After 1st diagnosis it suddenly stopped and never had the runs or gas since. I have been eating loads and loads of gluten over all these years. Now since the past year I get itchy at times usually in evening and mostly on my head. Not really bad–just more annoying. Do you think ciliac disease is causing my being itchy? Still no gas or runs now either. I tried looking it up and can’t find out if being itchy is one of ciliac symptoms. What do you think, have you ever heard of being itchy as a symptom?…….Thanks!

    • My dad was recently diagnosed with Celiac and he didn’t have any obvious symptoms whatsoever. They actually found it while looking for something else. He had a mysterious rash on his hands and feet for years and went to different kinds of doctors and tried different medications and nothing got rid of it. His doctor said it’s probably because of the Celiac and if he sticks with the diet, it should clear up eventually.
      I just looked up “eczema” on Wikipedia and it says that there is a link between the two. Interesting…

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  29. My reasons to be grateful that all I have is Celiac Disease.
    1. It taught me what to look for in my children so my son’s was caught at 9 years old.
    2. I have the energy to be a mom.
    3. It’s not cancer. I really thought it was lymphoma with my symptoms.
    4. I’m not waking up with excruciating painful leg cramps anymore.
    5. Instant excuse when I don’t want to go to somewhere.
    6. I never liked beer.

    Even though I would happily be celiac free, I am not facing drug regimes, daily shots or non stop doctor visits. So, I will maneuver the restaurant mine field, read every label and search endlessly for that elusive good GF bread. I will be the Mommy my kids deserve and I will teach my son that cheating is not an option.
    Celiac sucks. It is a life sentence but it’s not the end of your life sentence.

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