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Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Gluten-Free Fun Giving Thanks
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and as I reflect on the past year, I am extremely thankful. I have a wonderful family, great friends, and I am an advocate for a part of a very dynamic celiac community. My health, while not perfect, is better than it has been and I have a good job with excellent health benefits that allow me to follow-up with specialists when I am sick.

Being 2013, I thought I would list thirteen things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.

  1. I am thankful for a family that fully supports my Celiac Disease and for a sister that has it too! Our Thanksgiving table will have 5 out of 8 people eating gluten-free; 5 out of 8 people (not the same people) who are dairy-free; and three gluten-eating folks that support us and love us no matter if there are Silly Yaks at the table! Read about my Celiac sister here. 

  2. I am thankful for my friends who don't think me asking to eat at gluten-free friendly restaurants is weird anymore. They usually let me choose where we eat and make sure if they choose, there is something safe for me to eat wherever we go. I am especially thankful for my #GFF (gluten-free friend) Kristen who has crossed over from Meetup member to a great friend who invites me to free trips to Atlantic City and goes to the Pink concert with me (2 more weeks). WOOHOO! Read about my #GFF Kristen here.

  3. I am thankful that I have the means and guts to travel the world. This year, I went to Portland (Oregon) four times for work, went to Wales and Scotland with my mom for ten days, and took a solo trip to Thailand right before my 35th birthday. I rode elephants, pet tigers, and met some amazing people from around the globe. I pushed myself beyond my comfort zone, left my comfortable surroundings in NYC for two weeks, and seriously had the adventure of a lifetime. Here are pictures from my Thailand adventure.

  4. I am thankful I was diagnosed with Celiac almost 33 years ago. I am thankful for my early diagnosis and a really progressive (and young) resident who recognized all the way back in 1981 that I had Celiac disease which could be controlled by a gluten-free diet. Read my Celiac story here.

  5. I am thankful for the amazing community I lead here in the big apple, NYC Celiac Meetup group. I have been part of this group for more than 8 years and this group officially turned 10 years old in October. The group has grown to more than 1700 members and I feel lucky to be the lead organizer of such a dynamic group of gluten-free people. Click here to join the NYC Celiac Meetup group. Membership is free!

  6. I am thankful for social media. It is through Twitter and Facebook and commenters on this blog that I have met some amazing people. I am always so flattered when a fellow blogger wants to meet in person. It's like a gluten-free blind date when I meet up with these people, but we never fall short of things to talk about. I feel honored they want to connect with little ol' me. Recently, I got coffee with Heart of Queens and had an amazing dinner with Winning Without Gluten. Check out their blogs!

  7. I am thankful that I have been a part of some great fundraising efforts for the Celiac community. Every year for the past few years, I have been a part of the Paul Taylor Dance Company fundraiser for the Celiac Disease Center for Columbia University. This is a beautiful, cultural event with a gluten-free pre-party now being held at Lincoln Center in NYC. Buy your tickets now for the 9th Annual Paul Taylor Dance Company event in March 2014!

  8. I am thankful to be nominated for the 4th Annual Gluten-Free Awards at in two categories this year. I am also thankful I got to meet the founder of the awards, Josh, and his entire family after he ran the NYC Marathon this November. Go vote today. Vote for me and I will be extra thankful!

  9. I am thankful for all of the amazing research that is being done on Celiac Disease by experts from around the globe. We are getting closer to understanding celiac, but we still have a long way to go. Read up on research here. 

  10. I am thankful for the FDA finally passing some gluten-free labeling regulations that will help keep me and my fellow celiacs safe! By giving definition to gluten-free, this will force companies to start adhering to these regulations or take the words gluten-free off their labels. Read more about the FDA gluten-free rulings here. 

  11. On a related note, thank you to all of the restaurants that provide me with safe, gluten-free meals. I love to dine out and I am so thankful for the restaurants that keep me safe. I have gotten to know some really wonderful chefs over the past few years. These chefs who not only try to cater to the gluten-free customer, but do it deliciously are my celebrities!  Enjoy some of my favorite restaurant reviews here.

  12. I am thankful for this blog and my travel blog, Gluten-Free Globetrotter. Being able to write these blogs, share my opinions openly with the world, and connect with readers has been amazing. This blog is fun at times, a hassle at times, and therapeutic at times. This January, my blog will be seven years old. This is ancient in terms of gluten-free blogs. I am also thankful for all of the amazing bloggers that are out there. There are too many favorite bloggers to mention but you can read about a recent gluten-free bloggers dinner in NYC here.

  13. Most importantly, I am so thankful for you all. My dear readers, you have kept me writing this blog for almost seven years. Your comments, your emails, your Tweets and Facebook comments, and your support mean the world to me. THANK YOU ALL!


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