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Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Gluten-Free Fun is Thankful
This has been a really crazy year for me. I was very sick at the beginning of the year and had no clue what was going on. I traveled to Eastern Europe alone, something I never imagined I could or would do less than 5 years ago. I met countless gluten-free fans and friends in New York City and beyond. I am sure I can make a list of a thousands things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, but here is a list of 5 things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Gluten-Free Fun Thanks
  1. Family. My mom and my sister are my best friends. The laugh with me, cry with me, vent to me and let me vent in return. They are truly my biggest fans and I am beyond thankful to have them in my life. My sister also has Celiac disease so after almost 30 years of being the lone Celiac in the family, I now have someone to commiserate and celebrate Celiac with! I am also thankful for my dear Aunt who had been secretly following my blog and Tweets for months without me knowing. I now know you are reading and appreciate and love you for that! Thank you for your support and encouragement.

  2. Friends, Near and Far. I have grown closer to a friend over the past year by sharing some pretty awful experiences. It is amazing how the worst can bring out the best! I had friends offer up their homes and couches during my mold epidemic. I've had some friends that stood by me while others turned into middle schoolers. Also, I connected with some really amazing people over the internet who I am happy to call my friends. (See #5) I feel blessed for the friends in my life.

  3. Persistence. In the beginning of the year, I was sick. I was achy. I was having nose bleeds every day. I couldn't breathe. I dropped my gym membership and stopped riding my bike which I love to do. I had migraines... the list goes on and on. I was put on 14 different medications.  I had 27 medical insurance claims in a 2 1/2month period of time, yet I still had no answers. I could not accept that there was nothing wrong with me. I know my body and I know myself and I knew I was sick! With my persistence, I was finally diagnosed with mold poisoning. It was awful and I had to move. I am still not 100% but I needed to know what was wrong with me and I didn't give up until I got a diagnosis.

  4. Gluten-Free Travel. I try to go on a minimum of three vacations a year. This year, I went to Las Vegas in February for a friend's debaucherous bachelorette party. I went to the Czech Republic in April for my birthday and to get out of NYC which I thought was making me sick (it was!). Finally, I went to Port Stanley, Canada with my family in August. Too many people are scared to travel once they are diagnosed with Celiac and change to a gluten-free diet. I understand their fear, but this actually makes me really sad. I love to travel and I have been traveling and eating gluten-free my entire life. There was never a question of not going on vacation because I have Celiac. If I let Celiac stop me, I would not have had the pleasure of drinking my first gluten-free beer ON TAP in the heart of Prague or eating a muffin and sipping iced coffee bridge-side in Port Stanley, Ontario. I also would have also not launched my Gluten-Free Globetrotter website in April from the Czech Republic which promises some really exciting things in 2012!

  5. Gluten-Free Community. The power of community on the Internet is truly amazing. In the past year, I have met some really amazing gluten-free people that I admire and felt like I already knew from reading their blogs, Tweets, and more. I met gluten-free celebrities and brand new gluten-free bloggers both online and in person. Putting a face to a name is invaluable. Also, as leader of the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group I have become friends with many of my members and now socialize with them outside of our regular events. This gluten-free community is so supportive and I realize that even while being gluten-free for more than 30 years, I still need a supportive group of Celiacs in my life each and every day. I am so thankful to have all of these amazing gluten-free people in my life, both in-person and online, including (but totally not limited to) Andrea S., Candice C., Chris C., Craig P., Gabrielle S., Janelle P., Jill B., Kathleen D., Katie S., Kristen S., Lauren-Lucille V., Lindsay F., Selina T., Sloane M., Sue M... and so many more!


Happy Thanksgiving to all
of my Gluten-Free Fun readers and friends! 

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    5 Comments:

    Anonymous Tanner Taylor said...

    Sounds like quite a year Erin, and a lot to be thankful for. Mold poisoning, crazy! That's good to hear you're doing better now though. Thanks for all your GF efforts and I hope you stick with it.
    Take Care,
    Tanner

    Blogger ackdavis said...

    What a open, caring declaration of appreciation of family and friends, Erin. You show everyone that living fully is essential to well-being, celiac or not. Here's to giving thanks, thus the essence of Thanksgiving. Life IS richer with others sharing with us.

    Blogger Erin Smith, Editor said...

    I am uber thankful this year. Another pick-up by the Wall Street Journal!

    http://onespot.wsj.com/2011/11/23/efc1d/gluten-free-fun-is-thankful

    OpenID gf4hm said...

    Erin, I'm thankful for our twitter conversation months ago that instantly connected us! You're real, unlike so many of the other gluten free bloggers. Thank you for giving me the chance to guest blog on Gluten-Free Fun - that was just the jump start of confidence I needed to stick with blogging and the online gluten free community. You're real, you're smart, you're awesome, you're gluten free!! Thankful for everything you do for our community.

    Anonymous Adriana said...

    Very interested to hear about your up coming trip to Colombia. I am from Colombia, but have not been back for many years and was thinking of taking my daughter who is a coeliac to visit. I agree with you about the importance of holidays and travelling and how we must no let the food side, get in the way of normal life. As a family we try really hard to get on with normal everyday things, but also do lots of research to ensure that we are making reasonable and safe decisions. It's fantastic to hear that Colombians are on board with the whole coeliac gluten free diet. You will find the most wonderful food (most of which should be gluten free), delightful people and gorgeous scenery. Best of luck with your trip and can't wait to hear about it. Adriana (www.glutenfree4kids.com

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