Making The Journey Your Way Or My Way

At times we have made jokes about some of us in different lifestyle changes due to dietary restrictions being like ex-smokers who recently quit and feel we have to change the world. I think from the outside looking in, we could say that is true for the majority of lifestyle changes. Those who are fitness addicts, or someone who is a supplement advocate, perhaps another type you can think of is a friend selling one of the newest holistic distributorships that it seems like so many people have signed on for - They all are visuals of the same passionate type of individual we were referring to.

Sometimes we have to remember that our journey in health isn't everyone's journey. We have to step back and realize that just because we now belong to a group of individuals who voice our frustrations and commonalities doesn't mean we have the right to shove our journey down their throat. Most of all, we need to constantly remind ourselves that not every generalized attack or statement made is an attack on our kind. This super sensitivity to any reference of gluten free in a negative way can be absolutely ridiculous in the way it spreads like a wild fire and takes shape in the form of an angry mob.

There are times though when this mentality has been something I am thankful for. Times are indeed there when we have to ban together on Facebook/Twitter/Blogs to expose a grave injustice taking place in the allergen free world. And this group dynamic has formed due to the unfortunate preying of some corporations/individuals who see our group as a profiteering opportunity.

I get this issue fully, and also at the same time, I see the other side. I know how easy it is to unleash my passion against gluten on someone. And yet, we all have that experience of enlightening someone to this new found healthiness and feel the sheer happiness of sharing to help someone with their health. We have also many times felt like an alien while speaking our gluten free health when someone just doesn't get it. The key, is of course, not to come off as the ranting lunatic that a gluten eater might think of you as being.

I still don't get why a celiac will discount those with only gluten sensitivity as being less important in their complaints. And in the minefield of dietary change, we now have to add followers of the Paleo Diet, which has splintered off from many who suffer from refractory celiac disease or severe gluten reactions and other food allergies, as well as many who had to switch to this lower carb version from gaining too much weight due to finally eating all the things we shouldn't have, to replace what we miss...Before the emails start pouring in, I am not against the Paleo Diet, merely referring to supporters who claim it is the only way to health.

And if that's not confusing enough, try juggling multiple food sensitivities like dairy-free, soy-free, etc.-free on top of gluten-free! If you have ever stood at a Starbucks and order a Grande Soy Latte with 2 raw sugars and a sprinkle of cinnamon, "oh and I am Gluten Free so please don't get around wheat", then you understand what I mean. We now share a commonality that could be turned into an argument against dairy drinkers...Is my point coming across yet?

Borrowed from GFreek.com

One of the best presentations I have listened to in a while was Dr. Jaffe at the Houston Glutenology Expo, when he said "You cannot diagnose someone with commonalities of a disease. They need to be individually examined and diagnosed." In that light, if we look at how we spread our newest found cure that works for our journey to health, we should remember that we are all individuals and have a path to take. Your disease is not my child's disease and what works for her may not work for you.

We are all as unique as our DNA.

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