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122 Comments

  1. 1

    Katherine

    What do I love about having Celiac disease?
    I eat healthier than ever before.
    I feel good and have more energy.
    I got my life back now that I no longer feel like crap all the time.
    I am more creative in the kitchen.
    I save money on food (no processed crap or eating out, just naturally GF whole foods made with love by me).

    Reply
    1. 1.1

      Gluten Dude

      Nicely done Katherine…thanks!

      Reply
    2. 1.2

      Becky

      This echos my feelings as well. I’ve been FORCED to eat better as I can’t stop at my favorite drive-thru or pizza place on the way home from work. Food or pain, food or pain; go on, you choose! I can walk now as my arthritis is not killing me with every step. Yeah, having a disease does suck (pardon the vernacular) but there are worse diseases and this one is fairly easy to deal with; no extra drugs or procedures, just no gluten. Diabetes and sudden death from heart disease run in my family, so if this is the worst I have to deal with, I’m good.

      Reply
  2. 2

    Rachel Minnick

    Tough call… Mostly I am just pissed about having it.

    Some good things I can think of:

    1) I have a totally legit reason for not participating in office pot lucks. I always hated them because I had to pretend to like people’s cooking! And, I don’t trust people’s food prep habits! Now, I just say that I can’t due to cross-contamination and unknown ingredients in food! It’s awesome ’cause it’s true.

    2) When flying on airlines with meal service, those with special diets are served first.

    3) I don’t have to wash my family’s glutened dishes anymore.

    Reply
    1. 2.1

      Gluten Dude

      Yeah…7 years later, I still get pissed, but very few and far between. I take that back…I don’t get “pissed” but I still get “frustrated”.

      Reply
      1. 2.1.1

        Still Have Gluten

        Can you get gluten in your system by washing dishes?

        Thanks!

        Reply
  3. 3

    Rachel Minnick

    And yes to saving money on eating out.

    Reply
  4. 4

    Billie

    Oh my goodness, the potlucks! I get to skip out on bad food and forced social interaction. As an introvert, this aspect of Celiac Disease has been a blessing.

    Reply
  5. 5

    Sio BF

    When cravings hit it stinks- but in general I love not being able to eat at fast food restaurants. I always thought it was bad to eat all that crap and now I have Celiac diagnosis to ensure I don’t crack under pressure!

    Reply
    1. 5.1

      Gluten Dude

      It definitely makes you stronger when you “can’t” have something, as compared to when you “shouldn’t” have something.

      Reply
  6. 6

    Maxi

    1. My skills in cooking and baking are getting better and better!
    2. I don’t have to go out for lunch with client i don’t like anymore!

    Reply
    1. 6.1

      Gluten Dude

      2. Using celiac to your advantage. Nicely done ;)

      Reply
  7. 7

    Donna

    since my daughter was really young when 3 generations were diagnosed (my daughter, my dad & I) with CD..we all bonding baking breads . It was wonderful to watch my CD dad & my CD 3 yr old bake together almost 20 yrs ago!

    Reply
  8. 8

    Katie

    Our eating habits are so much better. By cutting out gluten, we cut out a lot of crap from our family’s diet. My 10yo son and I have celiac, and our whole family went gluten-free. There’s eight of us. It was a major change not only to our diet but our pocketbook as well, because when we first switched over, we were buying a lot of prepared foods (cereal, pasta, chips, etc.) and man, do the math. That was freakin’ expensive. Simple economics forced us to eat better, because we couldn’t afford the junk anymore. It wasn’t an easy transition, but I’m grateful for it now.

    I’ve found that having celiac also fosters 1) a sense of compassion, especially in situations where someone is trying to get help for a health problem that isn’t well defined; and 2) courage, because we’re forced into situations where we have to advocate for ourselves or others, even if we’d really like to keep our mouths shut and not rock the boat.

    And finally, it’s brought awareness to a lot of extended family and friends about their own health and eating habits, and helped some of them as well when they had to go on corrective diets of their own. The knowledge they’d already gained and that we could share, helped them through that overwhelming initial transition.

    Reply
    1. 8.1

      Gluten Dude

      Ok…I just may steal, I mean use, your words exactly as is. ;)

      Reply
      1. 8.1.1

        Csue

        Found out how much my husband loves me – he does all the cooking and has totally adapted our favorite recipes, labeled everything in the food pantry with GF stickers, and is very nice about us NEVER eating out anymore since I got sick from cross contamination. Claims he doesn’t mind, and of course we save money. Did I mention we are in our 50th year of marriage ❤️❤️❤️.

        Reply
      2. 8.1.2

        Katie

        Awesome! Steal, I mean, use, whatever you like. ;)

        Reply
  9. 9

    Jersey Girl

    GD-

    Glad to help, promise to keep this positive and PG rated. Maybe.

    I can think of two things straight away (holy hell am I British all of a sudden?!)
    1. I am an advocate and a bleeping good one. People who know me know all about gluten, what a poison it is to my body. I will raise awareness about this disease wherever and whenever I can.
    2. Chipotle. They get it. Before I even finished given “the big great gluten speech, standard stock, Jersey Girl style” they were pulling off gloves, furious hand washing, more gloves, fresh containers pulled, etc.

    Xoxo-
    Jersey Girl
    ————————-
    “Stop being a little baby and get up. Life is pain. Get used to it!”

    The Long Kiss Goodnight

    Reply
    1. 9.1

      Gluten Dude

      1. You are awesome.
      2. Mrs. Dude went to Chipotle for the first time yesterday and LOVED it. You saying I can trust it??

      Reply
      1. 9.1.1

        Kathryn

        My hubby travels for business in the US too much, I mean a lot, and he often ends up eating at Chipotle every single day because it’s the only place he can trust that it’s actually gfree. Non GMO is huge too, I fully believe that glyphosate used on GM crops is behind the huge increase in the rate of Celiac disease.

        Reply
      2. 9.1.2

        Jersey Girl

        GD-

        1. You are awesomer. Ask the following (not the show, your peeps yo.)
        2. Bleeping 100% yes. Go there now, do not pass go. You will thank me when I hear your sigh of happiness.

        Taco time y’all-
        JG

        Reply
      3. 9.1.3

        C

        Unfortunately, not all Chipotles are created equally, and I have gotten very sick eating there, even after the changing of the gloves, fresh food, and other “allergy precautions”. I love the food but will never eat there again. Not worth it.

        Reply
      4. 9.1.4

        Allison

        I love Chipotle but I got SEVERELY glutened there. I actually had multiple absent seizures and wasn’t allowed to drive for over a month. Just be careful!

        Reply
      5. 9.1.5

        John

        My wife frequents Chipotle as well but we vet each visit and location, EVERY time. Since they pretty much smear the spoonfulls of ingredients on the tortillas to get them flat for the eventual rolling, I have always been suspicious of the safety, but my wife has had good luck so far. We always order the bowls and they will wash hands and change gloves, and switch spoons. In really good locations they will switch the tubs of toppings so they are not using a clean spoon in a tub that just had a dirty spoon in it, but we havent gotten this level of service at all locations (still didnt get sick).

        We walked out of one location when the staff person washed her hands and changed gloves happily, but then proceeded to grab a tortilla when my wife asked for the burrito bowl (our fault for confusing her), but then didnt wash her hands when my wife asked her to start over. It shook our confidence enough to just skip it.

        My major concern with tacos has always been that they warm all the tortillas on the same press, flour or corn, so I just say no to that can of worms.

        Our number one “fast food” has been Red Robin because they always have a manager bring out the allergy food in special colored baskets and they have dedicated prep stations and fryers, and GF buns on hand in our area. (but there is only so much variety one can get at a place that specializes in burgers)

        Reply
  10. 10

    Jan

    I found out who my true friends are (those who believe & respect my needs), as well as those who just think I’m full of crap…

    Reply
    1. 10.1

      Gluten Dude

      Indeed Jan. Those who think you’re full of crap? Well, never really friends in the first place.

      Reply
    2. 10.2

      Lorretta

      Well…when I was sick, I WAS full of crap. That was the problem. ;)

      Reply
      1. 10.2.1

        Gluten Dude

        I was so full of crap, my eyes were brown ;)

        Reply
  11. 11

    s watts

    As the mom of a celiac, I can only speak to the effects on our family but:
    Saving time and money on eating out
    Bringing back family time for food prep
    It’s an automatic filter for those who consider us worth the inconvenience of keeping her safe. (It’s always good for a mama to know who loves her baby like she does)
    I know so much more about nutrition than I ever thought I would.

    Reply
  12. 12

    Chris

    When traveling, it used to be really easy to grab fast food as you pass by an unfamiliar town. Now I’m forced to research restaurants and I’ve discovered some amazing little places that I never would have found. Like a little Thai place where the chef returns to her hometown in Thailand once a year to harvest spices for her special blend. Or the BBQ place with the big smoker out back and grandma’s sauce recipe.
    No, I don’t miss the Big Mac.

    Reply
    1. 12.1

      Clare

      This is so true. It can be so easy pre-diagnosis to just eat wherever when traveling or at a major chain. With Celiac, I’ve discovered some of my favorite restaurants while traveling. Places that I never would have eaten at otherwise probably, but were so good, I want to visit the city again just to eat there. (I am talking to you Picazzo’s in Phoenix and Marcella’s in Columbus.)

      Reply
  13. 13

    CD

    I can relate to all of the reasons above, but there is one reason beyond eating healthier, etc. that matters so much more to me.

    For 20 years of my life I suffered debilitating and even life threatening depression and anxiety. The depression was so severe I almost took my own life on several occasions. I felt defeated, no doctor could help me, there seemed to be no answers and I truly wanted to die from feeling so invalidated and alone in my own personal hell for that many years. Somehow miraculously, one fine day I found a GI doctor who knew what Celiac disease was and he diagnosed me. My life has changed 110% from what it was before. I am thriving.

    Because I was so blessed to find what was wrong all those years and because I can treat it myself, I have my power back. I can live. I can thrive. I am grateful for every day that I am alive and I will never take my health for granted. I am alive today because of this.

    Reply
    1. 13.1

      GFGalinKY

      CD I just want to say that I am glad that you are still here! I also know the struggle with anxiety. It is a hell like no other and no one understands what it feels like to simply not fit in your own skin until unfortunately they do.
      I also feel blessed to know that it wasn’t all in my head and that I was simply not being heard or believed. Everyday is a blessing. Yes, it’s hard to remember that everyday but it doesn’t make it less true.
      I am not thriving yet but I will get there. I am also hugely blessed to have found such a huge group on the internet for the support I simply can’t find locally. And with all of you behind me (we all need a cheering stand occasionally, right?) I know that I will get there.

      Reply
  14. 14

    Jana

    I love all the previous comments. I thought of two things:

    1. My daughter and I have an extra bond because of Celiac, so we always have each other’s back when it comes to food and finding things we can have in different circumstances.

    2. This needs a disclaimer because I was never a big gluten filled bread baker to begin with, I can count on one hand the number of times I attempted it. The recipes seemed so intimidating to me with all the kneading and rising. Now gluten free bread seems much less intimidating and not nearly as much kneading and only one rise. Another disclaimer is that I use my bread maker but have learned a lot from gfjules books and products.

    3. This one just came to me. The great community of people like yourself, Jules Shepard, Jennifer Esposito etc. who are in the trenches and doing so much to educate us. We have been on our gf journey since July 1, 2012, so we are still somewhat new at it and learning all the time. Great resources sure make it easier.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. 14.1

      Gluten Dude

      That is fine company…I’ll take it. Thanks.

      Reply
  15. 15

    Stephanie

    Honestly, it is the best way for me to get out of eating things that others prepare when I don’t want to eat.

    I have a friend whose kitchen is… well… sloppy doesn’t even being to describe it. The pots – I can’t even begin with the pots. I know she washes them, but there’s still always something STUCK! It was getting to the point where she would get angry. How do you tell someone that their kitchen isn’t clean enough for you?

    How many times can you go to a friend’s house and say you just ate even though they just made dinner/lunch, etc?

    Now I can get out of eating there so easily! I tell her that with her husband and kids there’s no way she could make safe food for me. And she gets it, she REALLY gets it. And she’s the most supportive friend I have with regard to this disease. When we dine out she lets me choose bc she wants me to feel comfortable.

    This is going to sound crazy, but I think my Celiac saved this friendship. For that, I will be grateful.

    Reply
  16. 16

    Lorretta

    I am very new to all of this…but for me there are three things (as others have mentioned):
    1) I am finally able to feel better after feeling so awful for so long.
    2) I am definitely eating more whole foods and much more aware of what is going into my body – much less mindless snacking or apathy about what I was eating.
    3) I have always considered myself to be an empathetic person that strives for equity (not equality) among individuals. This has just made me much more aware that people are struggling with things that I may never know about or understand.

    Reply
  17. 17

    Addie Mae Weiss

    Everyone’s comments above strike a chord with me. Especially the traveling bit where it used to be easy to just pop in on a small local restaurant but now realizations that small often means it is difficult to avoid cc so unless we know the establishment well it isn’t possible to take the risk.

    But on the positive side it has made me more compassionate towards others dealing with health issues and especially food allergy perils. I’m also more aware of the food system and question food handling and look at what environmental factors may have changed over the years.

    Especially since this intriguing study about rise in celiac over 50 years not just case of better diagnostics: http://www.startribune.com/study-confirms-increase-in-wheat-gluten-disorder/49558522/

    Reply
  18. 18

    Marcy

    Our whole world changed when my son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. We became more aware of sourcing quality foods for sure. I also learned never to doubt my parental instincts. After doctors repeatedly dismissed our concerns about my son’s health, and we decided to switch to yet another practice, the new doctor flagged his growth rate and a diagnosis followed. I bet my son would say the best part is growing! Growing is pretty important to a teenager. We almost missed his growth window. Very thankful. I also found a great community of health advocates; that’s pretty awesome too. Plus I discovered my gluten intolerance (undiagnosed Celiac?), which has helped with my thyroid issues. Score!

    Reply
    1. 18.1

      Jana

      I took my daughter to a Pediatric Endocrinologist three years ago because she wasn’t growing just to rule out the possibility of a medical issue. Bam! The thing that hit from the blood test was the Celiac one, her numbers were off the charts at > 100, more than 10 is positive. I figured she would end up on growth hormone shots, which she did a year later after she still wasn’t growing enough. A more extensive test showed that she made less than 10% of the growth hormone she should have been making. So we can relate a bit to your story. Her doc said sometimes the only way Celiac shows up in a child is that they are not growing. My daughter also had been diagnosed with asthma at 7 years old. We are glad to know what the issues are and she is growing now.

      Reply
      1. 18.1.1

        Pam

        My daughter (8) was also diagnosed because of lack of growth. She has no other symptoms, and still doesn’t show any negative GI effects if she’s been accidentally glutened. It showed up in her blood work when they were testing for growth hormone deficiency (her levels were normal), her ped thought to add the celiac test. Her numbers were above 100 as well. The endoscopy confirmed the CD diagnosis. I’m glad when I hear that more doctors are testing for celiac when there is more going on than just GI issues.

        I’m enjoying reading this thread of comments because after 6 months in, we haven’t seen any positives to this.

        Reply
  19. 19

    Ruth Millican

    Knowing my health is in my hands and not the hands of a doctor and/or pharmacist. I know I’m one of the lucky ones and that not everyone has this benefit but of all the autoimmune diseases to have this is one of the few where one might be lucky enough not to have to spend the rest of their life taking pills and going to doctors.

    Reply
  20. 20

    Kirsten

    I’m more mindful.
    More mindful of how and what I eat.
    More mindful of reading what’s listed on a food label – and what every single actually item means.
    More mindful of staying away from food that has a label.
    More mindful of where my food comes from.
    More mindful of how food is prepared.
    More mindful of how I communicate with wait staff and bartenders.
    More mindful of how I interact with people at parties.
    More mindful of how I talk about gluten and celiac disease. Clear and concise is best.
    More mindful of being tolerant of people who just don’t “get it.”
    More mindful of “listening” to my body in any given moment.
    More mindful of making appropriate changes for the good in my life.
    More mindful of protecting myself. (Not guarded, just mindful.)
    More mindful of taking care of myself first.
    More mindful of whether I choose to react or respond to other people’s reaction to my disease.
    More mindful of what’s really important – relationships and time spent with family and friends.
    More mindful of the fact this “thing” is just another challenge in life. I choose not to have it define me. I choose not to let it strip me of my positive nature.
    More mindful that I am not alone is this journey.

    Reply
    1. 20.1
  21. 21

    Lou

    I am finally healthy enough to exercise! I love being able to run and fight (martial arts – no not brawling at my local pub) and dance and have enough energy to enjoy doing it.

    I never realised that exercise could be this much fun!

    Reply
  22. 22

    Jen

    As a mom of a celiac:

    – Feeling good physically more often than not.
    – Knowing how many people look out for your kids health – it really takes a village!
    – Forgiving yourself when your kid does get sick. Learn the lesson, then move on.
    – Learning that there is more to life than food. Focus on the people, not the food.
    – The amazing people I have met who are in the same boat my family is.
    – Watching your child develop self confidence in telling the world what she needs and why.
    – Knowing she was diagnosed young before long term effects can settle in.
    – Having other auto-immune diseases up on the radar – in case she develops other symptoms, she won’t suffer as long.
    – A new appreciation for insurance.
    – Not having to keep a clean pair of pants on me at all times.
    – Being able to eat lactose again after the villa healed.
    – There are more GF options at the store and when we eat out than there ever have been.
    – Teaching our school system how to safely prepare kids lunches so every kid after mine can eat similar meals as her friends, safely. She feels included, rather than excluded.
    – Being humbled as others voluntarily go out of their way to be sure my child is safe.

    There are likely more. Do I wish my kid had this disease? Absolutely not. But I need to remind myself of this list when the going gets tough.

    Reply
    1. 22.1

      Gluten Dude

      “Focus on the people, not the food.” My mantra too.

      Reply
      1. 22.1.1

        Jen Luszcz

        I learned that one from you. That perspective has helped immensely in many instances. Thanks!

        Reply
  23. 23

    Mark

    In some ways, it makes shopping easier.No need to scan through cereal options and those rows and rows of cookies , crackers and baked goods . Those isles never see the shadow of my cart.

    Since CD is an autoimmune disorder it has alerted me to the possibility of a link to yet another manifestation I have which is pulmonary scarcoidosis. It is an auto immune double whammy but there may indeed be a link.

    Reply
  24. 24

    Jennifer

    The positive side of celiac for me and my family:

    1. After a couple of years of NOT eating at McDonalds, I “treated” my daughter to a big mac meal at her request (It’s me who can’t eat gluten not her). Afterwards, she said it didn’t taste as good as she remembered and could do without. (Yay!)

    2. My kids are aware of what they put into their bodies. They can eat gluten so far, but understand how food can either help or harm you. We’ve had discussions about gluten, food additives, msg, sugar…the list goes on. A little pill cannot fix everything. We have some (major) control of our own health.

    3. I think someone mentioned it above, my family has more compassion for people who have food allergies or intolerances. I am always surprised when someone in the family asks me if what they plan on serving is ok for me. I don’t ever ask for anyone to go out of their way, but always feel blessed when they offer.

    4. We have learned to question doctors. I don’t mean to be disrespectful and I don’t mean that we should act like we know more than someone who has been trained for 10-12 years in the medical field but…I am the expert on how I feel and if a treatment or diagnosis seems to be working or not. I will no longer accept the insinuation that it how I feel “is all in my head.” I’ve learned to voice my opinion and questions respectfully and most importantly of all, if I feel like I am not being taken seriously that I don’t have to accept that. I can find a professional who listens. Someone who is not threatened by the fact that they may not know everything and who will work with you to find answers. They are out there. You just have to find them. Partner with your doctor/practitioner. Don’t just blindly follow.

    Reply
    1. 24.1

      Lee Graham

      My new PCP/NP was so terrified of having to help me “treat” my Celiac Disease that she asked the NP orientating her to the office and patients, “do I have to help him with his celiac disease” (Excuse ME? “Hey guys … I’m still in the room”). My old NP and I had an understanding that I would manage my Celiac Disease and she would help me with weight management, diabetes, any heart problems etc. and she stated it almost exactly like that back to the new NP.

      Reply
    2. 24.2

      Gluten Dude

      The Dudettes haven’t touched McDonald’s or Burger King in over 10 years. Not that they eat strictly healthy, but they’re smart enough to know that is absolute crap food. Smarter than me at that age, that’s for sure.

      Reply
  25. 25

    Rebecca

    I think having the piece of mind that something is wrong with me and really feeling better because I control my diet and how I feel better. Feeling better then I did before is key

    Also, specially made gluten free treats? Who can’t pass those up?

    Reply
  26. 26

    Maryann

    Before I figured out I had celiac (no thanks to the multitude of specialists I saw for years who missed my obvious symptoms), I was literally dying. I could no longer work and could barely function at all. I am SO grateful that I have celiac because it is treatable by following a gluten free diet. Once I went gluten free I recovered most of my previous functionality. Many people are permanently disabled by other autoimmune disorders or have other dreaded diseases with no cure or chance of recovery. Having celiac has made me more aware of what others may be dealing with and has made me more compassionate. I was so happy to find I had a disease that was “simply” (no hospitalizations, no expensive meds) treatable, so given what cards I could have been dealt you could say I love being celiac!

    Reply
  27. 27

    Autumn

    Having Celiac hasn’t been a walk in the park for me. I struggled, I cried, I was angry and finally came to terms with it but through it all my immediate family (my husband and kids) had my back. They have been my advocates from day one. Even to the point of deciding to have a completely gluten free home so I could feel safe and not take the chance of me getting sick. Always speaking out when they know I can’t eat something and sticking up for me. It has shown me that no matter what life throws at me as long as I have my family backing me I can make it through anything. Even celiac disease. So I’m thankful for celiac disease because through it our family has grown so incredibly close.

    Reply
  28. 28

    Beth

    Having celiac disease has made me much more creative in the kitchen. I always liked to cook and try new recipes before, but when you can’t use a whole class of food ingredients, it challenges creativity even more! It has also made me more assertive on the rare occasions I do eat out, ensuring that the staff realizes that I’m not just eating “gluten-free” but literally cannot have my food exposed to gluten. It also has validated that I do have a legitimate disease, not what my previous doctor (who I stopped going to) diagnosed as “doing too much.” Having celiac provided answers to why I was having certain ongoing health issues that he couldn’t seem to figure out. So it has been a blessing in disguise.

    Reply
  29. 29

    casey - Casey the College Celiac

    1. I now have the ability (forced education though it was) to successfully cook more than a baked potato.
    2. Going gluten free has helped my fibromyalgia symptoms greatly
    3. I pay more attention to the quality of food I eat
    4. I’m a very cheap date – Chiptole or my own lunchbox it is!
    5. I promote my boyfriend’s dental health since he has to brush his teeth before kissing me
    6. My vocabulary has extended greatly to include unique terms like “glutened” and “coeliac”
    7. I never fail to have a funny story to tell
    8. I’ve met amazing people like y’all!

    Reply
    1. 29.1

      Gluten Dude

      You cook two baked potatoes? ;)

      Reply
  30. 30

    Lisa

    I was diagnosed at 1yrs old and my parents were told I would outgrow it by the time I was 3 or 4. So, as a teenager , I did not follow the gluten free way. I was constantly sick, my immune system was horrible and I work with kids, so I got EVERYTHING they had!

    I say the good thing about having celiac is having a healthy immune system! I haven’t been sick from kid germs in a LONG time. Celiac sick….that still happens occasionally :(

    Reply
  31. 31

    Kathryn

    My favourite part is being able to bring my own food to dinner parties, really! I was always a “picky eater” ( and now I know why!) and struggled to appear polite and appreciative of others culinary efforts. Now I can eat whatever I like and enjoy the company of friends. I usually take the excuse of having to cook to go to a dinner party as reason to splurge on something expensive and ALWAYS bring a delicious gfree dessert to share with everyone.

    Reply
    1. 31.1

      Susan

      You stole my comment!! I was going to say the exact same thing! I’m intensely picky (possibly a side effect of undiagnosed CD in my childhood?) and now I can politely decline it all because I can’t be positive that it is entirely GF.

      Reply
  32. 32

    Laura

    Having food sensitivities (not just celiac) has taught me to really enjoy my food and be grateful for what I can eat. It has taught me to focus on other pleasures in life other than just food, and to keep food in its proper place as just nourishment for my body and not the reason for living. It has also taught me to be assertive with others and to learn how much I tell others about my health and why. Sometimes a “no thank you” will suffice to decline offers of food while other times a detailed explanation reduces rampant ignorance about food sensitivities. I am amazed at how many people think we choose to be picky about food. I am learning to find joy in small things like waking up without hives or allergic reactions instead of finding reasons to be unhappy.

    Reply
  33. 33

    Colette

    One good thing about having Celiac is people are always buying me gluten free treats and snacks to surprise me because they think of me when they see something that I wouldn’t normally get to eat but they found labeled as safe. Also not having to share my food or drinks at a party and getting to take home all the leftovers when someone makes a gluten free dish!

    Reply
  34. 34

    Shellie

    Gluten Dude-

    CD, FMS, & RLS has fed my curiosity and desire to be a lifelong learner. I am eating the way we all should be eating. I’ve pushed my self to be a self-dietitian, a gourmet cook, and a master gardener all due to this disease. My husband loves my cooking and gardening. Nothing tastes better than using fresh ingredients to flavor your food!

    I have become a stronger woman and my own health advocate.

    A healthy immune system is wonderful. No sinusitis, not getting some-kind of virus every month! My dental health has improved greatly. No diarrhea 4-5 times a day – dehydration nightmare.

    Helping educate others that are having issues. My favorite was coaching one of my sons best friends, Mom. He went from sallow to glowing in just a few weeks, his anxiety lessened and his stomach issues stopped.

    Thank you for all you do for our community!!!! Keep the beer info. coming!

    Reply
    1. 34.1

      Gluten Dude

      GroundBreaker now in 12oz cans. Trying desperately to get my hands on some. Cheers.

      Reply
      1. 34.1.1

        Shellie

        I looked at getting some bottles shipped to me, but the shipping was more of a cost than the beer. Let us know when the cans get to a broader market. Cheers!

        Reply
  35. 35

    Clare

    I didn’t read through all the comments so some of these may be repeats but:

    1. Being diagnosed for most people means that they have an answer to what has been plaguing them and can hopefully start the long process to feeling better. To me that was way better than doctors looking at me and saying “I know there is something wrong, I just don’t know what it is.”

    2. I’ve tried so many new foods since being gluten-free by the fact that they are naturally gluten-free and now have a whole new set of foods I LOVE. I wonder why I wasted so many years not trying pineapple!

    3. As awful as Celiac is, for me, it is way better than some other things. I hear stories, such as about the “butterfly children” and I just feel like as much as I can hate Celiac at times, I love it because it is so much simpler than some other things.

    4. For those days when you just need a sweet treat or a piece of pizza, there are some really delicious options. For those people who say “Oh gluten free stuff is awful.”, I always say, “You just haven’t tried anything from someone who is dedicated to making it taste good.” There can be a lot of trial and error but if you find someone who hasn’t decided to just sell their first attempt at gluten free , but actually cared to perfect it, gluten free can be delicious. (But still a cookie is a cookie, gluten free or not.)

    Also, I agree with your three points, those were three I would have added too.

    Reply
  36. 36

    Stevie

    I LOVE celiac disease!! Why? For the simple reason it gave me an explanation of why I was feeling so awful for so long. Plus, of course, because I began to feel human again after changing to a gluten free diet. Also it connected me to an awesome community – thanks guys.
    S.

    Reply
  37. 37

    Kristy

    CD has given me self-control. I was forced to take control of the things that I didn’t want to control, like my eating habits and exercise habits, in order to feel good. I eat better and I look better, and I feel better than I did which is a step in the right direction. I finally have the self-control to tell myself (and others) “no”, and I’m thankful for that.

    Reply
  38. 38

    Renee McKay

    Being diagnosed celiac probably saved my life. I didn’t know it at the time but it turns out I was diabetic and hypertensive and the diet change I had to make due to being celiac (whole foods, healthy foods) meant I was inadvertently also controlling the diabetes and hypertension through diet. I’ve also lost weight as a side bonus. So not that I’m happy to be celiac, but it’s far easier to eat well when you do it to feel better. I’m one of those lucky few celiacs (insert sarcasm here) that suffers from the dermatitis herpetiformis side effect as well as all the other fun celiac symptoms (yes, more sarcasm)…so willpower doesn’t even come into play to eat right as there’s no bloody way I would consciously put gluten anywhere near my digestive system.

    Reply
  39. 39

    Matt

    I love knowing what caused me so much anguish throughout my childhood and young adulthood. I love eating and actually feeling good afterwards. I love having an appetite. I love my physical endurance. I love my mini-six pack, slightly toned arms, and strong leg muscles. I love being able to think coherently. I love my mobile joints. I love dancing. I love not feeling horrid without an explanation. I love myself. Finally, I love sharing my experience with others.

    Reply
  40. 40

    Lee Graham

    What do like/love/hate about Celiac Disease? I’ve told this to my celiac and non-celiac co-horts at work and play and they totally agree and that is that I cannot eat at most fast food restaurants, and not neccessarily the ones with frankenfoods ; I’m fairly certain you know the ones I’m talking about … McDonald, Burger King, Wendys, KFC, Popeyes, Taco Bell, Dominos, Littles Caesars … etc etc etc. I know some of them will tell you that they can make it “gluten free”, but how hard are they really trying. One restaurant that I had built up a degree of trust to go out of their way to keep the food prep areas free of gluten lost my confidence and my business when they had a staffing change and the new staff “just couldn’t get the food orders right”, time after time, to the point I was returning the plates to the kitchen, they would attempt to fix the problem and make the same mistake again.

    For the most part, for now, now only direct my business to those restaurants that have a totally gluten free service, a gluten free menu but not necessarily a gluten free kitchen (I’ve been really lucky on this), or a non-gluten free place with gluten free food items that I have built up a degree of trust (And tyells me “just eat the salad” (“ARRGH”))

    Reply
  41. 41

    el Hefe

    I receive this question unkindly. Who would ask a person with any other disease what they love about it? It’s bizarre. Maybe the processed food pushers think happy talk works for them.

    Sorry you’re not feeling so hot, Dude.

    Reply
  42. 42

    Gigi W.

    I “love” that having Celiac disease has caused me to truly pay attention (really, really!) to everything I put in my body. No more sliding through the drive through because “I’m tired” at the end of my day, only to eat some unhealthy meal that leaves me even MORE tired!!

    Now, I purposefully shop at the grocery stores, planning what and when I want (not “have”…WANT!!! Attitude is everything!!) to eat! I feel so in control. And honestly, I don’t feel deprived because I feel BETTER!!

    So yeah…I may have CD, but it doesn’t have me!! I love that!

    Reply
  43. 43

    Dayle

    Your positive statements are a big help. It has been hard to stay positive for me at times. I was diagnosed 3 years ago with Celiac disease (By biopsy but had a negative lab result..such a long story..let’s just say it took me ending up in the hospital before they found it) since the Celiac I have also become Dairy Intolerant. It took a long time to get used to the G Free way but I did find myself eating so much more healthy mainly 1 reason was all that label reading was a Hassel but also very scary…You become very aware of just how many chemicals and things you can’t even pronounce goes into everything we eat off the shelves. But now….I have developed very large and fast growing kidney stones that they physically have to surgically remove from my kidneys and the diet restrictions for that is…No greens..no Green leafy vegtables, nuts, pepper, dairy, berries or beets and the list goes on. So I am pretty much..STARVING and can barely even eat healthy. So any positive thoughts are hard to hold on to. I appreciate hearing all of yours. It shines some light into what can be a very bleak life at times. I am also greatful for your website it helps knowing that I’m not alone. (Although I’m not liking the that there are so many of us in the world with this disease.) Best wishes to all!

    Reply
    1. 43.1

      Delia

      Wow this paragraph describes me right now. I can’t even eat healthy due to so many things I can’t eat. Along with being gluten intolerant, I also can’t eat dairy, eggs, bananas, apples, grapes, cherries, celery, cucumbers, potatoes, almonds, coconut, oranges, lemons, and the list goes on. Recently I found that I’m becoming sensitive to brown rice, corn, soy and I definitely can’t have anything with citric acid, sulphites, and much more. I feel like I’m starving. I decided today to go on a 2-3 day fast to get rid of all the toxins in my body. It’s so hard to stay positive when I know how good it was to eat whatever I wanted and not get sick. I guess one good thing with having CD is that I’ve become aware of how much junk is in all foods these days. Yes even in the produce. There is a lot of junk even in some of the Gluten-free stuff they sell. It wasn’t always like that but this is the world we live in today and I just have to make better choices. Its also good to know that I’m not alone in this. I’m glad to have found this blog.

      Reply
  44. 44

    Carol King

    If you are what you eat, I’m difficult, I’m complicated and I’m really, really expensive! But so much better!

    Before I was diagnosed I had a wheat mill and I ground fresh whole wheat flour and made homemade bread almost every week. I LOVED to bake. I thought I was going to die the first time I tasted GF bread, there wasn’t much available back then and it was AWFUL!

    So I started to learn, and I read and I tried recipes. and I played in the kitchen. I love that I got to learn about all these amazing powerhouse grains that people who eat wheat never even hear about, how can you not love teff? And I can use a different flour for different flavors. I’m someone who loves a challenge and GF baking offers them. I have learned so much more about baking and the science of how food works than I ever would have without the GF diet in my life.

    I love that I’m never ever ever tempted to eat McDonalds. And I love that I have learned to be at peace with my body and my diet. There are so many things that I can’t eat, I give myself permission to eat what I want. Now that I know what foods make me sick, I feel free to be more adventurous and try new things that I know are gluten free.

    As dedicated introvert (I’m not shy I just hate meaningless social interactions particularly the dreaded family or office party!) I love the excuse of I can’t eat at that restaurant or I’m worried about cross-contamination to avoid eating/participating without giving offense.

    I love that when someone is diagnosed with celiac disease, they tell their friend who says, I know this lady who has celiac who bakes a lot, you should talk to her! And I can talk to someone who is just starting their journey and they are discouraged and they are angry and maybe scared. I love being able to share the good things, I love taking a GF donut to someone who thought they would never have a donut again. I love that this shared experience of celiac disease brings us into the same room into the lives of people we would not have known otherwise, who are amazing.

    I Love that I’m not sick every day. I would never ever go back.

    Reply
    1. 44.1

      Anne

      I’ve been reading a lot of the responses and you have one of the best! I wish I did as well at adapting the GF baking as you seem to. I have hit and misses but keep trying. My non GF husband eats them with me and is very patient. Also wishing there is some way you could share your favorite recipes!

      Reply
      1. 44.1.1

        Anne

        Also, have you been able to make a decent biscuit or scone? Those are the two I seem to crave and keep trying different recipes. Mostly fails.

        Reply
        1. 44.1.1.1

          Cynthia

          Have you checked out ‘America’s Test Kitchen GF Baking’ recipe book? I’ve had great results with them, but haven’t tried their biscuit recipe yet. Pie crust was awesome.

          Reply
          1. 44.1.1.1.1

            Anne

            Yes, I have the cookbook and use it frequently. The GF flour mix is one of the best and I’ve used it in adapting other recipes quite successfully. Pretty successful on the biscuits, haven’t tried the pie crust yet but my daughter has and liked it. The waffle recipe is great too! Hopefully a scone recipe in the new book they are putting out!

            Reply
  45. 45

    Cheri

    My son was diagnosed with celiac when he was 11 and then i was diagnosed shortly after. The fact that I have celiac means that my son doesn’t have to go through this alone. The other positive about celiac is that it has been an opportunity to teach my son about resilience. From the beginning, we have been very positive about the diagnosis. He finally has an answer to his pain, and the fix is food! He spent many days in the waiting room of the Children’s Hospital waiting for appointment before he got his diagnosis. We have many conversations about how lucky we are that we don’t have the same kind of challenges as many of the children you see there. It is a very heartbreaking place to be.

    He never allows celiac to be a reason for a pity party and he doesn’t let it define his life. Some days are hard and we vent to each other but we always try to focus on our blessings. You cannot choose what happens to you in life, you can only choose how you react to it. We choose happiness!!! He has had a grow up a lot since his diagnosis but I am proud of the amazing young man he is becoming.

    And one more positive, we have tried a ton of great new recipes and foods!

    Reply
  46. 46

    Vicki

    The bright side:
    It has all been said
    It is all documented
    Let it blossom
    The rest is just life
    It is messy
    It is all consuming
    We gain from any experience
    If we choose to each day
    So let’s ask what we have gained
    Compassion
    Empathy
    Knowledge
    Health
    Relief
    Cuisine
    Seriousness
    Conscientious
    Diligence
    Completeness
    Advancement
    Steadfastness
    Humility
    Stability
    Control
    They are all just words
    We deal with our circumstance knowing how lucky we are to have found out. It is what it is.

    Reply
  47. 47

    Jean

    Good to reflect on this… I love that advocating for myself over the 20+ years after a Celiac diagnosis has helped me love the individual that I am, as well as helped me be more ready to help others. I was born with a shortened right arm that has no fingers. When first diagnosed as celiac, I felt angry that I now was food handicapped too.

    Over time, I’ve come to learn that both “handicaps” were actually gifts because of the experiences and healthy living I now have that I would not have had without them. As my Dad used to say (he was a teacher/coach) – you play with the equipment you’re issued…

    Reply
  48. 48

    Nikki

    It’s allowed me eat healthier than ever before and has caused me to become aware of my body and how important it is to take care of it. My cooking and baking habits have gotten better and I’ve been able to explore a lot of ethnic cuisines which are naturally gluten free. I’ve learned a lot about physical and mental disorders and have started to act as an advocate for these causes on my college campus. I’m not afraid to speak out about what I need or on behalf of others (we have a gluten free station at my college, and when people start to eat there or contaminate the station I either stop them and tell them why they can’t just take the food. I’ve also spoken to management about it and there are new protocals in place to make sure only students who need gluten free food can get access to the station. I’ve also started to speak up for myself in social settings as opposed to just going along with whatever the waiter says is safe).
    I’ve been introduced to a variety of people in the Atlanta area who care about using natural, sustainable foods in order to heal their bodies after years of (unintended) abuse and I am pursuing a career in sustainable food because of it.
    Because of the awareness of the disease several members of my family became aware of how their diets could affect them and my father discovered his severe gluten intolerance (and the reason, in part, for his multiple heart attacks due to body inflammation).

    At the same time, I think that an article approaching anyone saying “why is your disease great” is disrespectful. If they asked more about “what have you learned about yourself since being diagnosed” etc. that is at least a more positive direction.

    Reply
  49. 49

    Mary K

    What I love about having Celiac disease.
    1. I’m alive and kicking after being near death. No meds required, just eating gluten free.
    2. Being a survivor of Celiac disease, rather than a victim of it, translates into other areas of my life. I don’t get pushed down so easy anymore. The fighter in me has been awoken!
    3. As an introvert, I’ve learned to be bolder and more vocal to educate others, not only about Celiac disease, but eating healthy food – not processed “middle of the store” foods. That boldness to enlighten others came only from having to live with this disease.
    and…
    4. My sisters love finding new foods for me to try. I get more care packages now than I ever got at summer camp!!

    Life is good when you know you are not alone on the journey. Thanks, Dude!

    Reply
  50. 50

    Deb

    Having Celiac and, consequently, being forced to change my eating habits and forced to acknowledge that what we put into our bodies really does make a difference in our health, allowed for me to come to terms with my smoking habit. After quitting gluten, and everything associated with the consumption of it (parties with friends, eating out on a whim, travel with no fear of starving, etc.), getting rid of the smoking habit was a walk in the park. I just don’t think I could have done it so easily had I not gone through the whole Celiac nightmare first. I guess having this disease gave me some self confidence and drive that I did not have before.

    Reply
  51. 51

    Allison

    One good thing about having Celiac Disease is I now know what is actually in my food. Reading labels upon labels has shown me that I can’t pronounce half the ingredients in my food and that gluten has many names. From 5 years of checking ingredients, I have shifted to a mostly organic diet. Gluten related disorders have increased due to the amount of GMOs in our food and it has personally affected me. I want to eat better food and understand what I’m eating. I’m much healthier now than I’ve ever been. I haven’t been glutened in about a year and I’m proud of myself.

    Reply
  52. 52

    Dick L.

    I don’t love anything about celiac disease.

    I love having been diagnosed. If I’ve got to have a disease that will be with me for the rest of my life, I love that the one fate flicked my direction has a simple, non-drug treatment, and won’t get continually worse until it kills me. (Okay, simple in principle, but certainly not easy. But scads easier than many treatments.) I love that my doctors came to a diagnosis in a reasonable length of time, and that the simple treatment has fixed so many of the problems I was having. I love being able to treat the underlying problem and not just the symptoms.

    I love the feel of this website and many others that deal with celiac. It continually reinforces the notion that there are lots of good people in the world.

    I love experimenting in the kitchen (playing with my food {G}). And finding lots of new (to me) things to play with, like urad dal flour, psyllium husk powder, Timtana(TM) (timothy) flour, Expandex(TM), and cassava flour.

    And I love how supportive my wife, daughter, and others have been. More good people.

    Reply
  53. 53

    Tina

    My cooking repertoire has increased exponentially! If I have a craving for something — Chinese food, enchiladas, meatloaf, mac and cheese — I look up a recipe – figure out how to modify it if need be — and amazingly it usually turns out to be good! I use to buy a lot of prepared foods — now I do the preparing — and that’s fine with me.

    Also now that I’m reading labels anyways — I am more conscious of other things besides gluten. I was shocked to see sugar in many tomato sauces . As well – I steer clear of products with multiple chemicals that I can not pronounce. Before my diagnosis — I never looked at labels – or cared about sugar and chemicals.

    Reply
  54. 54

    Cheryl

    I am attending a major league baseball game tonight. I saved almost $50 dollars by eating at home before the game.

    Reply
  55. 55

    Meagan

    I’ve been trying to be a little more optimistic about it myself. This is all I could come up with at the time if you need a few more ideas:

    http://eatsomethingdelicious.com/7-reasons-to-appreciate-my-dietary-restrictions/

    I love reading through everyone’s positive responses. I hope you find some inspiration for your article. We love having you to give a voice to our community!

    Reply
  56. 56

    Laura

    I thought about this recently on vacation in Amaterdam, Paris and south of France (and didn’t get glutened! Because if you translate your illness into their language properly they still take your gf needs seriously there!) you are walking and active all day (vs sitting at work) and eating vegetables, fruit and protein with the occasional gf treat or bread from the amazing gf bakeries in Paris. Guess what? You lose a couple pounds because you don’t change your eating habits – just activity level. Meanwhile your travel companions who are chewing down on pain au chocolat and bread and croissants start complaining about their pants getting tight. No need to come home and lose those vacation pounds. Also, I don’t have to eat the endless office treats and don’t get guilted into eating them. I’ve become a much better baker and now even make my own delicious, organic ice cream. This is the first year that I feel at total acceptance and have moments of gratitude on the positive side of celiac.

    Reply
  57. 57

    lydia

    one of the things I love most about Celiac Disease – is when I eat out, and I order hamburgers “in the buff” (no bun, and sometimes, without the sauces ) and the waiter say’s “ah eating health are we ?” and I look at them, and say with all the serious I can muster “no, I am just trying not to die”
    I also love it when I am making my way through the health food section (or, the gluten free section) nabbing my favorite nut butter or crackers, and someone is in the isle looking so confused, I walk over, and ask if I can help them – and most of the time, I get this reaction : ” my doctor told me to try eating gluten free, but I have no idea where to even start – why is it all so expensive ?” I ask them to follow me, and I walk to the produce section, I gesture grandly to all the wonderful fruits and veggies and I say ” this is the actual gluten free section, you can eat TONS of this stuff, and it is ALLLLLL good for you, no gluten in ANY of it, and, it is not expensive at all !!!!”

    Reply
  58. 58

    Cheryl

    There seems to be parts to the answer to this question.
    A. What is positive about finally finding out what was making me so sick all my life?
    B. What are positives about actually having Celiac?
    C. What are the positives about having Celiac as opposed to other chronic illnesses?

    A. This one seems pretty obvious. It is great to finally have a diagnosis, to know how to keep myself healthy, and to have a choice to stay well.
    B. The best part is having total control over the treatment. I get to choose what foods I put into my mouth. I don’t have to hope that some pill or drug will stop the progression. I get to stop the damage without anyone else’s permission.
    C. Having a disease that is totally controlled by diet means that gives me more control than with most other chronic conditions. Again, I get to choose to feel well or not based on the foods that I eat.
    I always have the perfect excuse to refuse all those horrible foods that everyone makes for pot lucks.
    I get to always have exactly what I want at every event that I attend.
    I never have to make enough for everyone.
    I get to have so many people ogle over the fact that I have such great “self-control”.
    I don’t have to bake cookies or cakes for those sidewalk sales.

    The truth is that life hands everyone trials along with joys. Each person receives in turn some things that ease the journey and those which make it difficult.
    Chronic disease is difficult to face each day. Celiac is a difficult chronic condition to with which to live. It is isolating to never be able to go out to a simple meal with friends and family or a pot luck dinner, or ever trust others to make foods that are safe. There are joys and trials each day. It is no different from any other chronic illness.

    Reply
  59. 59

    Caroline betghahn

    Everyone has a difficult time deciding what they want at a restaurant because there are so many options. While there is usually a couple gluten free options, making it easy to decide.

    Reply
  60. 60

    Cali

    Celiac disease has taught me compassion for myself and others. Before celiac disease I was worried about how much money I was going to make, how well I was doing in school, and how I was going to get the things I wanted out of life. Since developing celiac disease, I am more aware of those around me that are struggling with different things in their lives and I know what it is like to be in a constant battle everyday with a health problem. I feel like celiac disease has opened my eyes to what is really important. I used to be hard on myself when things weren’t going the way I wanted them too. Now I take a chill pill and realize that it doesn’t matter that much. I’m glad I learned this so now I can be truly grateful for life and I can spend more time focusing on helping others and less time focusing on myself and things that don’t really matter that much.

    Reply
  61. 61

    Anne

    GD, you certainly have some inspiration for your article now. So many positive responses for your question that you can think over before you write and perhaps relate to the readers. It warms my heart to read these and realize that so many have put the disease into proper perspective and go on with their lives. And lives that are not totally defined by celiac disease! Thank you.

    Reply
  62. 62

    Michele

    My daughter was diagnosed with celiac almost 6 years ago when she was 6. I always say her diagnosis was a blessing in disguise. Besides being an easy fix to a medical problem (no pill, no bandaid, just change your eating habits), its made our family eat healthier. I’ve always loved to cooks, but I changed my cooking habits to be more creative and use less processed foods. There were times I’d open a frozen bag of something ready made and just add chicken, but who needs all those chemicals and sodium? I also found by eating gluten free I’ve helped my own thyroid issue (hashimoto’s). I’ve created a group on facebook “gluten free in the OC (orange county, NY)” where I help other local people that are GF. I guess I never really found it hard to go gluten free myself or for my family. We just enjoyed an AMAZING weekend at NJY camp in Milford PA for a Gluten Free Family Camp weekend. No worries about food and lots of fun. It really has been a blessing to our family.

    Reply
  63. 63

    Lacey

    Why I love Celiac (but most days don’t really like it very much):

    I am no longer literally starving to death, with sores that won’t heal, hair that is falling out, hives that won’t go away, exhausted beyond the normal even after 14 hours of sleep and so boggled and confused by the fog in my head that I don’t know up from down. This, above all else, is a great reason to love Celiac. I know the cause and the source of the problem. Take it away, and viola!, the majority of my problems go away.

    Does that mean I don’t have problems, or I don’t get sick every now and then? No. But another thing I love about Celiac is that it forced me to learn to pay attention to my body…to take care of myself. I know, most of the time without knowing what, but I know when something is wrong…if I’m sick, or if my systems just aren’t running the way they should. Whether I know what is wrong yet or not, I can immediately start to take better care of myself. Strip away any GF processed foods I may have snuck back into my diet, drink lots of water, get more rest, be extra special careful of any and all food/drink I put in my body. It causes me to take a step back and see if I’ve become lax or careless (we all do). A forced look at yourself and your lifestyle. Am I allowing things I shouldn’t be? Have I gotten lazy and not as observant about things as I should be. Many of us would love the chance to start fresh with our life. Celiac forces you to do that.

    And it forces you to start fresh in more ways than one… you learn who your real friends and family are…and sometimes, you are forced to find new ones. You learn what it really means to be loved unconditionally by someone. You learn the real pleasure of someone taking the time to learn who you are and everything that “you” entails. You learn the real pleasure of truly being accepted for who you are, and that real friends and family do not view keeping you health as an “inconvenience”. You learn that having Celiac may be your life but it doesn’t have to become your life, take over it and destroy it. You can life with joy as a Celiac, healthier than you’ve probably ever been in your life (some days) with a clear mind, with true friends and true family who care for you so deeply they will do whatever you need in order to be safe, happy and comfortable.

    Celiac causes you to be grateful for food you can eat, for people who love you and for life in general… because you know that it could have killed you if you hadn’t discovered what was wrong. You are grateful for a second chance at life, at love and for food that will truly strengthen and nourish your body. You become amazed at the normal workings of your body… things you never knew your body was supposed to do, but your body was never in a health enough place to do those things. You discover what “normal” really is.

    Is it true that there are days I wish I could trade my body in for a new one? Of course, but isn’t that life? Life isn’t fair, we don’t always get what we want. There is joy and there is sorrow. There is laughter and there is pain. Each balances the other out. If you want life, you have to take the good with the bad and learn to remember the good…it always outweighs the bad if you let it.

    Celiac is life, its my life. Embrace it, accept it, learn to love it and go on living life to the fullest.

    Reply
  64. 64

    Sarah M

    I loved reading everyone’s reasons, and I agree with all of them. From escaping potlucks to becoming a health advocate, this disease is a blessing and a curse.

    I’m thankful that I have celiac disease because it has made me a role model for those around me. I changed my life and made myself healthy because I HAD to – but watching me has inspired my mother and sisters to do the same by choice. They see how much better I feel and it inspires them to take control and do what it takes to feel their best, too.

    I’m also thankful because celiacs know their bodies better than just about anyone else. I know if I’m going to get sick, if I’m low on a certain vitamin, if its a stomachache or a real issue. I can read, communicate with, and take care of my body in a rare and wonderful way thanks to celiac forcing me to get to know it.

    Little known side effect: celiac disease also makes you a great judge of character. You want to rant about my “fad diet” choices while I watch you eat bread? Something tells me we won’t be the best of friends. You’re going to mock me for not drinking that beer? Neato, see you never. I had a first date a few years ago where the guy restaurant hopped with me until I found a place I felt comfortable eating. The poor dude had to help me read through menus and quiz waiters before he even knew my last name, but he was so gracious and kind about the whole thing. We’re getting married in a few months. Thanks, celiac!

    Reply
    1. 64.1

      Katie

      Lol, what an awesome viewpoint! (And congrats!)

      Reply
    2. 64.2

      Mary K

      What a precious first date story! Congratulations!

      Reply
    3. 64.3

      Mary K

      Love your first date story! Congratulations!

      Reply
    4. 64.4

      Mary K

      Love the story of your first date! Congratulations!

      Reply
  65. 65

    Jane G.

    Finally getting to put into practice all the wonderful information I learned as a teen in Home Economics classes. Meal planning, measurements/equations, how to choose the ripe vegetable or fruit, the different cuts of meats and ways of preparing them, and the best is all the wonderful substitutions that are available. In 2001 when I was told that gluten was a NO-NO I thought I would starve, but now I just look for a better alternative which is usually a healthier choice. Also it has meant meal time is an event rather than a hurried panic.
    I believe I’m truly blessed to be able to distinguish good food from over processed crap.

    Reply
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  67. 67

    Cindy H

    It has forced me to expand my taste buds. I joined a CSA last summer and tried kale for the first time. It’s great in homemade chicken soup. I’m also learning to try new recipes that are grain free. Today I made a “burrito” using eggs as the base filled with pepper jack cheese, black beans, and mozzarella cheese. Turned it over like an omelet and then topped it with salsa and guacamole. It was something I would have never tried before and it was sooo good. It’s also truly opened my eyes to all the chemicals that are put into our food. Making my own from scratch has made me realize how awful most of our food supply is! Now I only buy nonGMO, pastured meat and eggs, and organic produce as much as possible.

    Reply
    1. 67.1

      Meagan

      I love your burrito idea. I’m definitely trying that!

      Reply
  68. 68

    Eileen

    While I don’t have celiac disease, I have 3 children that do. I have loved seeing our family of 6 work together to make our house gluten free and safe. I love that when times got tough, we pulled together as a family. I love that my children (11, 13 and 19 at the time of diagnosis) are so appreciative of the people in their life that have made accommodations for them. While somewhat disturbing, I love that we were able to weed out the people who really didn’t care. Life is so much better when you are surrounded by supportive people.

    Reply
  69. 69

    Christine

    What do I love about having Celiac Disease?
    I love how the diagnosis amd steep. Learning curve put me in touch with my body, my jeart and my brain in numerous different ways. It is just me and my body now, no drugs, no treatments, few Doctors and other medical professionals. It is just me and my celiac damaged 58 year old leaky gut riddled brain fogged body finding our true strength. Because when you are diagnosed, you are alone with your body like never before.

    You alone control what you eat, what you eliminate, how much you learn and how pro-active you become. I know more about CD than any ten doctors put together. I know more about cross contamination, gluten like reactionary foods, pre, pro and all biotics, fibre, allergens, binders, auto immune issues, triggers, yada yada yada. I lobe that I have this control over my destiny. I can heal myself and feel better simply by researching, reading, studying and using great care in everything that goes into my body.

    Yes it is a huge burden at times. But if I react to a food, I have the power to eliminate it instantly. It may seem weird, but think about it. With many health issues your physician will tell you to take this drug, go for that therapy, take this combo of toxic pharmaceutical mixture that no. Insurance will pay for, have this surgery. So really, if I was going to have to pcik an auto immune disease, I guess CD is a good choice.

    I love learning who my true friends are. Who understands and who rolls their eyes. Whom I trust to cook vs the people who I don’t even want to sit beside. I once had an excruciating first date with a guy who spot breadcrumbs across the table as he ate. After my long explanation about how important it was for me to not have contact with gluten. Think you are getting a good night kiss?? HAH! But I digress.

    I love looking back over my evolution and feeling the strength of my resolve in my energy levels, feeling of wellness and ever increasing resolve to continue to become healthier.

    I have Celiac amd I love me. So I guess I love being Celiac.

    I look forward to your article! Please email me a copy? Thanks

    Reply
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    kim

    It forces me to eat healthier.

    Reply
  71. 71

    Christine

    PS I love not caring about small things like typos. I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore :)

    Reply
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    Brandi

    Good things:
    1. Healthier eating
    2. Less eating out, saves money
    3. Able to educate people who don’t know what gluten is (scary, but they exist)
    4. Less temptation at birthday parties
    5. No temptation to snack on kid’s leftovers
    6. Excuse not to eat what certain people cook…

    Reply
  73. 73

    Rachel

    I love the fancy toilet paper. I just don’t skimp on the good stuff. And hey, I’m saving a ton on not eating out, so why not! :) I also love that I don’t feel like I’m dying 95% of the time, because for a while, there didn’t seem to be a light at the end of that tunnel. I’ve seen the light people, and it tastes like whole foods and New Grist. :)

    Reply
  74. 74

    Luna

    I like that it doesn’t require drugs to treat it. That it’s treatable entirely through diet. That it’s actually treatable. Pretty much the best autoimmune to have, if you *must* have one. :)

    Reply
  75. 75

    Leslee

    What do i love about celiac disease? Everything.
    EXCEPT how gluten free has become a fad diet! That makes me sooooo angry…

    Anyways, I completely changed my life when I found out. After being incredibly sick for four years, I was RELIEVED to finally find the answer. Yes, it was hard to stop eating gluten. Yes, I did survive. But I quit eating gluten, quit smoking, started exercising and started paying attention to what I was putting IN and ON my body. And I can’t forget one of the most important points – my cooking/baking skills have gone from “okay” to “holy crap this is gluten free?!?! amazing!”

    Not only am I healthier than EVER – I am healthier that most people I know. I always hear about my friends/family talking about their new diets and cutting back on this and that. Do you know what I don’t eat? Gluten. Do you know what I do eat? Anything I want. Contradiction? Not really…

    My diet is mainly meat, fruits and veggies. I am not a fan of processed gluten free “goodies.” So, when I go “crazy” and eat half a tub of GLUTEN FREE ice cream, I have absolutely no guilt. Or when I am watching TV and see people stuffing their faces with croissants covered in chocolate sauce – I head to the kitchen and whip up some homemade gluten free croissants, and you can bet your a$$ I eat most of them.

    I <3 Celiac Disease

    Reply
  76. 76

    adrienne

    Hey I love your blog! My 20 y.o. daughter was diagnosed with Celiac in November last year. She’s lost 5 kg since her diagnosis as she’s not eating so much crap ie, donuts, mc cheeseburgers, kfc etc. We live in australia where the m+m’s contain gluten but we are heading to NYC next weekend where she is planning on doing m+m laybacks in the times square store lol cos apparently usa m + ms are gluten free. So excited to visit america and mexico soon as Australia is a bit behind on the dining out options for celiacs. We just found out our fave local mexican deep frys their corn chips in the same fryer as their churros wtf :( no wonder my daughter was getting sick :(. anyway thanks for your blog we both love it, hilarious :) xxxx Adrienne

    Reply
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    Kristin

    For me, Celiac Disease has really helped me become a healthier and more independent person all around. I am very grateful to have Celiac Disease for a variety of reasons. The main reason is that I now eat so much better than I used to eat. The word “vegetable” was not in my vocabulary a year ago! After determining that I had Celiac Disease, I began to experiment with vegetables, started cooking, and now am a healthier person with a wider variety of food that I like.

    Celiac Disease also gave me my voice! I am able to stand up for what I need and I can share my trials and tribulations with others who are having similar issues and in turn assist them with accepting and managing their new lifestyle.

    One of the best results of my year long journey is being able to independently control my disease. I educated myself and now find great pride in being able to go into a restaurant without a gluten free menu and make what they have there work for me. For example, if tacos are served I know to ask for a corn shell or a large piece of lettuce to wrap the meat in. Many people feel that Celiac Disease is a hindrance and cuts their options down…I think it is a blessing and has allowed me to expand my circle of friends, my food likes, and my understanding of cooking and nutrition!

    Reply
  78. 78

    Anne

    You have a great attitude! So happy to see this. I have several family members with this so I wasn’t too surprised to learn that I had it too, even tho I was undiagnosed for quite some time (but not with great problems) but I wasn’t very upset. . So I try to have a good attitude as well.

    Reply
  79. 79

    Kali

    It helped me not eat processed foods
    it helped me stop drinking pop
    Its stopped me wasting money on any snack that I felt like trying
    it helped me realize my diet was more than “feed when hungry with tasty stuff” but keeping a balance of nutrients to give me the energy to get through the day.
    It made me realize I need to care more about my health while others my age abuse theirs.
    Despite my despise for the disease, It made me a warrior in a way to be able to fight battles like never before.
    I kinda like that.

    Reply

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