Celiac Disease Awareness Month 2016

Celiac Disease and Food Allergy advocates-
Keeley McGuire, Kelly Kurzhal, ME, Cindy Gordon and Lauren Kossack
Those of us with Celiac Disease are part of a community, part of a family. When we share our burdens, our passions and our advocacy, we can accomplish so much more.

This is why the Celiac Disease community celebrates a campaign of awareness during the month of May, This is not just a United States thing. Celiac Disease Awareness is happening across the world too. It's no coincidence that May is also when the same month as  Digestive Diseases Awareness. Doctors across the world focus on advances in gastroenterology, including in Celiac Disease.

May also shares the spotlight with Food Allergy Awareness Week occurs, which is traditionally the second full week of May. While Celiac Disease is not an allergy, many also suffer from additional food allergies. This allows all of these awareness groups to be highlighting causes dear their hearts, and allow us to interact as a stronger community.

During Celiac Awareness Month, I'm trying some unique ways to share awareness.

* Test Yourself - I can't tell you the number of random quizzes there are on Facebook and Twitter. Instead of asking you questions to help you decide what state you should be from or which superhero you're most like, I'll let you share with the world how Celiac Aware you are! Share this quiz with your friends and family, and let them see if they're a "Celiac Superstar" or "Barley Boggled."

Gluten-free meals don't have to be hard. It's a the same as before, just with a few tweaks! 
* #CeliacIsNotASalad - Celiac Disease drastically affects how we eat. Way too often I get frustrated by dining choices and the phrase - "At least there's salad." And sometimes, salad really isn't a choice because they've put croutons on it, which cannot just be picked off.
As a support group chair, the question I get asked most is what to cook. When you're newly diagnosed, it can be overwhelming. So I'm asking you to take pictures of the awesome meals that you cook, tag it with the hashtag #CeliacIsNotASalad, and share it on Twitter & Instagram, or on my Facebook page. If sharing on Twitter or Instagram, make sure to tag it with @miglutenfreegal as well so I can share it! Also, if there's a favorite brand you used, feel free to tag them as well.
At the end of each week, and again at the end of the month, I'll compile collages so we can show the world just how delicious gluten-free food can be!

* Giveaways - Let's be honest, we all love free stuff. I'm collaborating with some great bloggers, writers and companies to share tips and tasty treats to make this Celiac Disease journey a little bit easier. Here's a sampling of just SOME of the prizes I'm giving away:

- Cookbooks from Cindy Gordon and Hope Comerford
- Books from Erica Dermer and Beth Hillson
- Subscription boxes from Send Me Gluten Free, Gr8 Box and Love With Food
- Goodies from The GF Bar, Canyon Bakehouse and Enjoy Life

Check my blog each day for the latest giveaway. Each giveaway will run for one week. All winners must live within the continental USA. Winners will be notified via email.

* Beyond Celiac Blogger Force -
I'll be sharing information from the Celiac Awareness Month campaign on Beyond Celiac's website. Share the awareness video and use the hastag #60forCeliac on your social media channels. Make sure to download their free e-cookbook full of great recipes too!

That's a lot of things to follow along with, huh? I've got an easy solution. Sign up for my newsletter, and I'll send an email out each Friday, recapping the week. I'll also attempt to list giveaways from other bloggers and Celiac Awareness campaigns that are going on in May. Plus, I'll be making a few upgrades to my website in May. Signing up for my newsletter will help you stay in the loop!

As always, thanks for reading and thank you for sharing what I do here. When we all work together, we can truly make things better for everyone!