Some days I certainly get caught up in the frustrations stemming from a lack of celiac (and allergy) awareness. I always cringe when any form of media suggests going gluten free without even mentioning celiac disease (nor the importance of being tested). However, yesterday, was not one of those days.
In fact, I often forget just how much those who love and care for me do to help me out. While both celiac and allergies have become second nature to me, there is a huge learning curve for my family and friends. And, once they learn, I’m still a pain in the butt!
This year’s Easter celebrations nearly melted my heart. I hope you enjoy these two Easter stories, and remember to thank those who make an extra effort to help you out too.
A Sweet Surprise
Today, there was a potluck at my aunt and uncle’s house for Easter. Potluck?! Upon hearing these words, I dashed to my computer and offered to bring the fruit salad. It’s simple, and something I can eat too. I’m so careful about cross contact/contamination that I wouldn’t eat anyone else’s food (including a fruit salad). Plus, it was one less item to fit in my lunchbox.
Upon arriving at the potluck, my sister gave my aunt the fruit salad while I placed my lunchbox down in a corner of the room. I then promptly began to tell my Uncle Jerry that I had passed my TTG test for the first time yesterday! I included all the boring details, and he seemed excited (or at least pretended to be). Next, I showed almost anyone who would look a picture of my Easter cupcakes that I blogged about two weeks ago. Remember this:
They were all so sweet. I learned that the smaller flowers also look like a sand dollar, so some of these decorations will work for a beachside cupcake this summer. 🙂
That alone sounds like a fantastic Easter gathering, but my aunt (who hosted) wanted me to feel included throughout the entire day. She took the time to read through my blog, and found two food items that I enjoy: Mango Tango Odwallas and Enjoy Life Rice Milk Crunch Bars. I found my blog post about these products, and that took a little bit of in depth reading!
Since she could give me these foods wrapped, she knew I wouldn’t have a million questions. While everyone walked around with their beverages of choice, I must admit I felt a little bit special with my own special (and favorite) drink.
Then, toward the end of the potluck, when everyone received a chocolate bunny lollipop, I had my own wrapped gift. It was even on top!
Today, my aunt went above and beyond with great care. She even knew that I needed the first helping of fruit salad. Her generosity and spirit might have just made my heart grow three sizes, and truly made my Easter special.
Easter Basket Love
I’m quite a handful of a child. Even though I wasn’t diagnosed with Celiac Disease until I was technically an adult, my family was still a huge support system. And, I didn’t try to be a simple case. While dairy and egg are common allergens, avoiding my more unique allergies (such as tapioca) in gluten free products is like going out on a wild goose chase.
Since I celebrate Easter with both my parents separately, I technically sent them out on two wild goose chases. And I must say, my easter baskets looked much like my younger sister’s that was filled with gluten, dairy, and more. My biggest surprise was my own EASTER BUNNY made by Premium Chocolatiers that had different shades of dairy free chocolate 🙂 (You should check them out. I’ll probably blog about them again.)
My parents came up with some other great ideas too!
I’ve really got to say there is no one sweetheart award because so many people in my life truly care about learning more and including me in food related events! These special moments and people are the ones I need to recall when I’m frustrated by insensitive comments or a lack of awareness.
While not mentioned above, I would be remiss not to mention my my friend, Trisha, and my sister who helped me through my first month as a celiac. Trisha bought me gluten free foods and picked up my medicines when I was sick. Since this was before I knew which brands I could eat, she had a ton of labels to read! At the same time, my sister flew across the country to set up a gluten free kitchen in my dorm room because I was still too weak to go shopping upon returning to school.
I hope you enjoyed a beautiful Easter, and Happy Patriots’ Day!