Saturday, May 2, 2015

Happy Celiac Awareness Month!

Greetings from Spain, where we are spending the first few days of May enjoying the sunshine on the Costa Brava before it's back to Paris on Sunday. What does travel have to do with Celiac Awareness, you ask? Plenty!

As a family that travels a lot, we try to bring awareness of the need for safe, gluten free food in every destination we visit. As the gluten free food trend grows, so does the impression that it's just that- a trend. I make a point to try and educate and inform people about what a medically necessary gluten free lifestyle truly means, and about how sick one can get by consuming foods that contain gluten if they have Celiac Disease of Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.

Spain is an incredibly aware country, and when something is labeled gluten free, it is typically accompanied by the words in Spanish that translate to "Suitable for Celiacs." The food is typically certified gluten free, and not just labeled that way to cash in on the trend. At the hotel we're staying at in the Costa Brava, my son has been served gluten free bread in the restaurant that is certified gluten free, and comes baked in its own sealed bag. That is gluten free done right, and it is the standard that we should be pushing for wherever we may be.

Awareness can come in many forms, but this year the NFCA is pushing for increased testing for Celiac disease for members of at-risk families. Since Celiac disease runs in families, there is a higher risk of developing the disease if a relative also has it. This is close to my heart. This past fall, I traveled to Italy and met my father's cousin, who was diagnosed with Celiac disease at age 73. A few weeks ago, my Uncle went in for testing because he developed a condition that his doctor in Chicago believes may be related to undiagnosed Celiac disease. It's important to get the word out, so I am supporting their campaign, called Seriously, Celiac.

For more information on how you can support it as well, please click on the links below:

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

Seriously, Celiac

Talk. Tell. Test.

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