Author Archives: Jennifer Slack

Overcoming Gluten Free Social Isolation: Part I Communication

Jennifer Leeson Gluten Free Works

gluten free cooking friendsThe phone rings…it’s my friend calling to see if I would like to come over to dinner.  Little does she know that I have just been diagnosed with Celiac disease and I’m now nervous about eating at other people’s homes… 

I’m still learning what to eat and how to read labels.  I feel my heart beat increase, and my palms start to sweat.  “What is this weird feeling,” I ask myself.  I feel like I’m going to panic…and all over a social invitation.  “What’s wrong with me, this shouldn’t be a big deal.  It never was before, I’ve always just done what I wanted.”  Oh yeah, I remind myself, it’s because I don’t know if I will be able to eat if I go over.  Maybe I just shouldn’t Read More »

Stand Up for Your “Gluten-free” Self!

Interesting experience over this past weekend.  I went to a restaurant that offers gluten free pizza and buns and inquired with the bartender if they had gluten free beer. 

He proceeded to inform me that there is no such thing as gf beer because gf beer isn’t REAL beer and was a bit jerky about the whole thing.  He informed me that he brews his own beer, so he knows what real beer is. 

I was quite offended at this response, as I was ordering gluten free beer out of necessity, not out of Read More »

Helping Kids With Food Allergies Overcome Anxiety

When you have a child diagnosed with a severe food allergy it can be extremely challenging to help them feel comfortable and safe in social situations.  While living with food allergies may always present challenges there are a few things you can do as a parent to help your child manage their fears and anxieties. 

First and foremost…you must try and remain as calm as you can, while still watching out for them.  When you get very worked up  and anxious in front of your child, they feel this and it passes on to them.  Teach them to be cautious and what to watch out for, but Read More »

Tips for Overcoming Social Anxiety

Photo Source: buzzle.com

1. Validate your emotional experience. Don’t tell youself that you shouldn’t feel the way you do or that how you feel is stupid.  Talking negatively to yourself will only increase your anxiety because negative self talk is not effective in changing emotions.  Say to yourself, “It’s okay that I’m nervous.  It makes sense.  Despite that, I can do this!” Approaching, not avoiding is what helps us deal with intense negative emotions.  It helps us learn that despite their presence, they are Read More »

Staying Focused on Thanks!

As we approach Thanksgiving, I encourage you to spend a little time each day reflecting on what you are thankful for. 

It’s easy to get caught up in our life challenges and to start focusing on unfairness and negativity.  We often discount the positive and over analyze and give importance to the negative.  Even when struggling with life’s challenges, if we can Read More »

Don’t Let Fear And Anxiety About Gluten Steal Your Joy!

Once you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it is easy to become wrapped up in fear and anxiety about food.  This is absolutely normal as now there is an apparent “evil” out there just waiting to get ya. 

However, reality is it’s been getting you on a regular basis prior to being diagnosed or figuring it out on your own.  While the symptoms definitely suck, and for some people, can be debilitating at times, you Read More »

The First Step in Accepting a Gluten-free Diet

Finding out that you have to eat differently than you have your entire life can come as a complete shock. Receiving a diagnosis of Celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or sensitivity and being told that you can no longer eat gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, may seem overwhelming, confusing, frustrating, and impossible at first. This can especially be true if you are not accustomed to reading labels, if you Read More »

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