Catholic Celiac: Got Communion?

The recent dust-up regarding Pope Francis's remarks (and decision) regarding the use of so-called gluten-free hosts has rather a crowd of celiac and non-celiac alike up-in-arms. Some -- affronted. Others -- non-plussed. In between, most people seemed at the very least miffed that the pontiff has re-iterated the Catholic Church's always-stance that the Eucharist (and its substance, the communion bread) must be made from -- wheat.

This means gluten.

Perhaps the miffery is high because of the use in some parishes of actually gluten-free hosts.

Celiacs could receive them.

I'm Catholic.

So what would I think if I couldn't receive the Body and Blood of Christ, the "source and summit" of my faith (as the Catechism states)? 

We Catholics do not simply see the act of reception as a communion with the greater Church; as fellowship; as tradition. This is literally God's flesh, and God said to take, and eat, if one wanted to live and be in relationship with Him.

So a…

Gluten Free Expo Worcester Re-Cap!

Meeting others with celiac, or similar dietary prescriptions -- people who understand. Discovering new options in the food-sphere, naturally gluten-free goods or fun re-takes on traditionally gluten-filled foods. Finding new resources, and listening to entrepreneurs and food allergy experts.

That's the Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo. What a blast! I always love especially meeting friends, clients, and fellow writers and celiac advocates, because an enormous benefit of these events is the connections they build.

We live better by finding our community. (This is why I love Freedible too.) Celiac Disease can seriously isolate.

I was disappointed to miss a few of the local brands and food curators who are such Boston-standouts for the allergen-free and celiac community!

So check out the highlights below -- (and find the highly recommended local and national no-shows this event, who attended last year):


A favorite, and a company that knows celiac and…

Going to a Safe Camp When You Have Celiac

Camp with celiac disease? I thought, this is probably the beginning a joke. Camp with a gluten free diet?  Actually, yes: 
I never went to camp with celiac disease. But how could a child -- or adult -- attend camp with a medically prescribed gluten free diet? This year, as an adult and, really just as a big celiac kid, I connected with the founders of Celiac Strong Camp based in upstate New York, to volunteer.

The camp runs this year from August 9th to August 12th in Hunt, NY: and it is wholly and completely gluten-free.

It delights me off the map. If I couldn't go as a kid, I can go as an adult -- and make the opportunity available to heaps of kids who wouldn't otherwise get a chance to experience all the adventure. Er. Sometimes inconvenience too. But what is an adventure but one great inconcenience we've decided to enjoy?

Anyhow, Celiac Strong Camp, founded 4 years ago by Sabrina DeVoss (who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003 as a six year old)…

Gluten Free Sunflower Seed Butter Coffee Flapjacks (& Giveaway)

Say that five times fast! It's like dodging traffic in Boston. The 4-8 year olds I skyped into a New Me Gluten Free workshop giggled like koala-bears-on-helium when I tried it, and told them to follow along. They probably would have had just as much fun dodging traffic. But that would have been life-threatening; whereas learning to eat gluten free and enjoy it, for me and these kidlets, is life-saving.

Celiac Disease (and a wheat allergy or NCGS) requires a medically prescribed abstinence from gluten, including any accidental contact with gluten. I may not take a pill, but I do take my prescription. It isn't a diet. It's a new way of living entirely. It isn't about food so much as it is about the entire orientation of a life post-diagnosis.

That's not generally very fun. I have found numerous opportunities for growth in the process of taking care of myself, and developing strategies to eat with joy despite the high-risk vigilance and restriction. (Oy, I can eat a h…

GFAF Expo Worcester/Boston, 2017 Giveaway

A weekend away, with food you can eat, and educational seminars on all things gluten-free and allergen-friendly -- isn't that a break and more than a half? The Gluten Free Allergen Friendly Expo is back in New England, July 22-23, and I'm giving away 6 tickets!

Join me?
10:00 am – 4:00 pm on Saturday the 22nd 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on Sunday the 23rd To purchase tickets: Purchase here (click the link)

Either for one day or both, the conference hall is well worth a day if you have celiac, or other food restrictions.

But what I love most about these events is the human connections I make.

From vendors, to fellow celiacs, and the experientially and professionally qualified speakers (Chef Emeril came out last year!), I encounter some of the most amazing people. Those connections are priceless in the long-haul. Recovery, and joy, living with a custom-diet prescribed for life, come hugely through our relationships! and it's doubly important I, personally, have a relationship …

5 Ways to Troubleshoot Distracted Reading

If you have celiac disease, you may know what nutritional-deficiency can do to your attention span. Hangry pre-gluten-free recovery is a description that goes beyond bloody ticked and aching gut pangs. For me, and for rather a lot of celiacs, a symptom of the disease is brain fog. Hyper-activity or attention-deficit. High distraction.

But what happens when the gut heals? You may still have a habit. I became so used to distraction and hunger, even when my body settled, my mind hopped. It was like a muscle memory. It was used to having no attention, so I still sometimes rattle like a rat on a hamster wheel.

Here are 5 ways I've used to trouble-shoot distracted reading. If you find you have a million books to read, or article stacking on top of article, bookmarked on your phone or browser -- if you just can't focus long enough to get a full-book-meal down, and dart off into daydreams or phone-scrolling at the slightest jolt, you're probably not clinically ADHD (although you …

[ Recipe] Gluten-Free Thin Mint Smoothie

w00t! What's better, Boston, than Spring? Well, if it's edible, a smoothie that tastes like a thin mint, and is celiac-safe.

This smoothie is  a flash-in-the-pan freelance whirl that turned out mad-good, quite accidentally. I threw in what I had -- and what I had is exactly what I needed. Though crivens knows, I don't always know I have everything I need until I start pulling all the bits together; and I suppose that's as good a metaphor for living life in the present moment as any.

It fits my life, too. This Spring, I've pulled together quite a lot of pieces -- from my nutrition consulting and graduate study, to putting in the time to speak Welsh, and to travel -- to  a new position editing a human-rights-based advocacy journal and surrendering to the disappointment in my health. Inumerable odds and ends. But each odd and end is what I had and have; and each experience, talent, and  challenge -- including celiac disease  -- have been all-kinds valuable.

For this …