Celiac Disease Foundation Annual Educational Conference 2011

I was honored to have been asked to speak at the Annual Celiac Disease Educational Conference in L.A for the third year in a row. As usual, it was a great event. Filled with tons information and people  from all over the country with Celiac Disease. After I spoke , I had a lot of people come up to me and tell me that I don’t blog enough, I don’t twitter enough, and they wanted to hear from me.  I was very complimented by their kind words and I realized they were right – I don’t. Some how with all  the different projects that I have had going on since January, the Children’s book, DVD, lectures, writing the new shows and running two businesses, I dropped the ball. So I’m back…… Now you’ll be sorry! Ha Ha

The highlight of the conference for me was having the pleasure of finally meeting Dr. Alessio Fasano and to hear him speak. He has a great sense of humor and doesn’t scare the life out of you when he talks about Celiac Disease. He also breaks things down in such a way that you don’t require a medical degree in order to understand what he is talking about. His Q & A was a riot! Laughter has amazing healing abilities!

I am totally on the same page with him; that if you are not feeling better after starting a gluten-free diet then stick to a gluten free diet, minus all gluten free grains for a few months. I was following a strict GF diet after being diagnosed – however, I didn’t feel any better. Then I went back to a simple, basic, clean GF diet and omitted all gluten-free grains, finally bringing me back to good health & feeling human again! Then I slowly reintroduced  gluten-free grains back into my diet.  I still continue to come off all gluten-free grains for one week a month as I find that it really helps keep my digestive system in optimal health.

This year I spoke about the importance of following a gluten-free diet but also how important exercise and learning how to handle stress are to staying healthy when you have Celiac.

I also spoke about all the hype around the gluten-free food industry and how alarmed I am by the gluten-free gold rush as I call it. I blogged about it last year and have been speaking about it for the last 5 years.  It’s great that more and more products are available to those of us with Celiac Disease or a gluten allergy, but are they all good for us? As I always say, “just because it’s gluten free doesn’t mean it’s good for me.”

Another thing I find alarming is that I am reading GF blogs written by people that have been properly diagnosed with Celiac Disease and they are telling people that they  feel so good now that they are following a gluten-free diet that they don’t want to call it a disease….. What!???  If we don’t remind the public, the FDA, food manufacturers,  and restaurant owners that we have a Digestive Disease and constantly remind them that gluten-free food is our  medicine & not a fad diet! Then how will we ever be safe?

I follow a gluten-free diet so I can avoid getting sick again and dealing with all the scary systemic complications that I had experienced. The reason I feel so strongly about talking about Celiac Disease and food allergies is that we need to educate the public so we can all stay healthy. This way restaurants, food stores and GF bakeries etc all understand that just a small amount of gluten gets us sick and causes damage to our bodies which takes months (if not years) to recover from. So please call it a Disease because – it is! Please spread your knowledge and give your information freely so we can help the non-GF public understand that gluten-free food is our “medicine”.

Stay  Positive , Stay Healthy.

It feels good to be back!

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