How many of you have followed through with your New Year’s Resolutions?
I have and, as promised, I am following up with my readers regarding my gluten free New Year’s Resolutions! On December 30, 2011, I decided I would come up with 3 New Year’s Resolutions that would improve my gluten free life, making it easier and more enjoyable.
As most seasoned Celiacs know, there are various levels of “gluten freeness.” You have the people who are comfortable scraping the cheese/toppings off of a pizza or the icing off of a cake, the people who avoid gluten but don’t ask questions about cross contamination and, finally, the people who avoid gluten as if it is the plague and we are living in 1349. Though I strive to be the latter, I do find that on occasion I just don’t feel like doing the gluten free dance when ordering, so I order something I am pretty sure is safe. My NYR was to STOP DOING THAT! I am happy to report that I have been super gluten free since January 1st.
Results? I find that I am much less stressed at restaurants, though not always as pleased with my meal. For example, instead of ordering the burger on the “specials menu” at Red Robin (now offering GF buns!), I chose the classic cheese burger that was listed on the “gluten free menu.” In my head, I know that the specials aren’t on the GF menu because they are new and are probably GF but I stuck with the simpler and safer choice. Not only is dining out less stressful but I do believe that I have been “glutened” fewer times this year compared to previous years.
Though very active in the GF blogosphere as a writer, my second NYR aimed to increase my activity in the GF blogosphere as a reader. I have started following a couple GF blogs and have discovered that not only are there many GF blogs out there but they are all very different. If you started following one or two blogs and simply felt it was not meant for you, I encourage you try one more time! I realized that there were some blogs that I really liked in terms of content, frequency of updates, visual style and writing style and others that just weren’t a good fit for me.
You can check out my post Which Gluten Free Blogs Should I Follow? for a list of suggested blogs to check out. The GF blogosphere is, with all due respect, cluttered. There are tons and tons of blogs out there. I suggest picking three to follow: CC Gluten Freed, for updates about the social aspects of being gluten free and how to manage tricky social situations, Simply Gluten Free, for close-to-daily recipe posts, and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) newsletter for monthly email updates about Celiac Disease and the Gluten Free Diet.
Steps to being GF literate:
1. Follow CC Gluten Freed by submitting your email in the box on the right hand side of the screen
2. Follow or bookmark Simply Gluten Free for GF recipes
3. Sign up for the NFCA newsletter
My third and final NYR was to start using my iPhone (Androids work for this as well) to help with being gluten free. This has been a huge success for me. I used Find Me Gluten Free to choose where to eat. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I ate at a restaurant NOT listed on this phone app. It is great for finding a quick place to eat when out with friends in an area that I am not familiar with. The app takes your GPS location and then tells you where the closest GF friendly restaurants are, how to get there and what they offer. I highly recommend downloading this app. I actually bought my first smart phone for the sole purpose of downloading this app. It was the best, strategic phone decision I have ever made.
What was your New Year’s Resolution? Have you been true to it? We are officially half way through the year! If you haven’t been following your NYR, it isn’t too late — get started now. Either create a new NYR’s for the mid-point of the year or choose to follow mine. Either way, I find that the New Year gives us an opportunity to better ourselves and reaffirm our commitment to health. I look at the mid-point of the year as a great opportunity to renew my commitment to my health and make being GF easier and more enjoyable.