Celiac Awareness Month {giveaway}

Happy Celiac Awareness Month!! (CAM)

I’ve been writing Creative Cooking Gluten Free for 8 years as of next month, I can’t even believe it has been that long since I was diagnosed. I was 26 and looking back on my medical history and general health in those 26 years, it still amazes me that no one thought of Celiac Disease before that. I was one of the 83% of individuals living with Celiac Disease that was misdiagnosed for many years.

Lets talk some numbers and facts for a bit…

  • Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease, NOT a food allergy
  • It is estimated that 1 in 133 Americans have Celiac Disease, that is about 1% of the population.
  • There are over 300 signs and symptoms of Celiac Disease – not everyone has the same symptoms
  • Many individuals with Celiac Disease are asymptomatic, which means they do not show or experience any signs and symptoms
  • Undiagnosed Celiac Disease can lead to a whole host of other medical complications including other autoimmune disease and even certain cancers

Do you have a relative with Celiac Disease? If so you might want to get tested…a great place to start is having a genetic test. According to Beyond Celiac “About 95% of people with celiac disease have the HLA-DQ2 gene and most of the remaining 5% have the HLA-DQ8 gene. Genetic testing can determine if you have one or both of these genes.” Having these genes means that you are at risk for Celiac Disease, it does not mean you will automatically have it. Now keep in mind, if you do not have these genes…you will never have Celiac Disease.

The ONLY treatment for Celiac Disease is a strict 100% Gluten-Free diet. Gluten-free meas NO wheat, rye, or barley. Oats, depending on how they are process can also cause some issues for individuals with Celiac Disease. I look for certified gluten-free products, oats, etc.  Wheat Free does not mean gluten-free; as some products can still contain rye or barley!

I HIGHLY recommend seeing a DIETITIAN (not just because I am one), to help after your diagnosis. One of the main reasons I pursued the field of dietetics was to help those, who were like me, diagnosed with no information or resources available.  I didn’t have a dietitian, or the option to see one, and I wanted to change that for others. I know there are a million and one hits when you google Celiac Disease or Gluten Free, but having a dietitian is extremely helpful, and our experience is backed by science. Look for a dietitian, like myself who specialize is Celiac Disease. Coming soon (I promise), will be my new website called The Creative RD.

There are so many amazing gluten-free companies out there that we love, and love working with. This would be an extremely long post if I attempted to post them all here, but today I want to highlight two of them for you, two that you have have not heard of just yet.  And there is a giveaway below as well 😉

Gratify Gluten Free Foods

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They kindly sent me a box of all of their goodies to sample…yum yum yum! I even shared with some of my new co-workers and Bryan of course. They offer covered pretzels, crackers, pretzel crackers, and cracker bites. We were both really impressed with the selections they offered. Read more about Gratify Gluten Free Foods here.

My favorites were the dark chocolate covered pretzels (also dairy free!!)…so good. Also the peanut butter and chocolate covered pretzels, seriously the best combination, sweet, salty, crunchy goodness. What could you not like about that?

IMG_0983As for the crackers, oooh boy. These are good on their own, topped with cheese (or cheeze), tuna salad, etc. I LOVE the Tuscan herb so much that those did not get shared with anyone!

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Click here to see where you can buy these awesome products! Thank you Gratify Gluten Free Foods for the delicious samples and opportunity to try your products. You’ve got two more fans.

The next company is The Real Company {giveaway!!}

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The Real Co. is the first single origin global food company, and believes that “good comes from good.” As a pioneer in 100% single origin food products, The Real Co currently has three products hitting market nationally online and in stores – Basmati Rice, Himalayan Pink Rock Salt and Organic Raw Cane Sugar. All of these are sustainably harvested from either a single farm or family with products that can be traced back to their exact origins.

The model is to help the farms, offer them distribution they could never have achieved and eliminate the middle man thus offering these organic and non-GMO certified foods at a fraction of the cost from other products. I love all of their products, great quality and flavor. The Real Company, Jarlsberg, and Garden Lites have offered an awesome giveaway for three lucky CCGF Readers…three winners will each receive a reusable bag filled with Pink Himalayan Rock Salt, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Bastmati Rice (all full size!), and coupons for Jarlsberg Cheese and Garden Lites (see below!).

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Giveaway is open to all those in the continental United States – the giveaway will end on Tuesday May 31st at 11:59pm EST.

All you have to do is comment below – tell me a story. tell me about your diagnosis. tell me how you celebrated CAM. your favorite gluten-free product. etc.

Winners will be chosen randomly via random.org and must respond by e-mail within 48 hours. If the winner(s) do not respond, another winner will be chosen. Good luck and Happy Celiac Awareness Month!!

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