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#ygkChallenge: Go Gluten-Free!

celiac disease, gluten-freeWelcome to Kingstonist’s weekly challenge, dare, resolution or whatever you prefer to call it. Each week we establish a new and ambitious community goal, encouraging our readers, followers, friends and families to step out of their comfort zones and do something great, and hopefully a little out of the ordinary. Consider this your official and personal invitation to join us in completing a small but meaningful achievement. By taking part in this community-wide initiative, we hope to make Kingston a slightly better place to live, work and play. And of course, we also hope that you will feel proud of your contribution and achievement.

This week’s challenge encourages you to:

Go Gluten-Free! The month of May is dedicated to spreading awareness about celiac disease, so this week I challenge you to go gluten-free. For those of you who don’t know, gluten is a protein found in foods containing wheat, barley, rye, kamut, spelt, oats, triticale, and also in many processed foods and personal care products. Celiac disease is a condition where the absorptive surfaces of the small intestine are damaged by gluten leading to symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue, cramps, bloating, chronic diarrhea, and anemia to name a few. In Canada, it is estimated that 330,000 people have celiac disease while only 110,000 of those cases have been diagnosed. For many Canadians, going gluten-free is a big change from the standard North American diet and if you accept this challenge, it should open your eyes to the daily struggles of those who suffer from it. If you have an intolerance going gluten-free may improve your energy, benefit your mood, improve your skin, and promote better digestion. There are many alternatives to gluten filled grains including amaranth, chickpea, brown rice, and tapioca flours but for a complete list of options you can visit this website. If you suspect you might suffer from celiac disease, please consult your Naturopathic Doctor or other medical care provider.

Sign up and commit to completing this week’s challenge by commenting below with an “I’m in“, “challenge accepted“, “en garde” or something along those lines. Further, help us spread the word via Twitter and Facebook by using the hashtag: #ygkchallenge. As you work towards completing this week’s task, please feel free to lend others a helping hand by providing tips on how you achieved success.

Thanks and credit to Elana’s Pantry for supplying the gluten-free photo associated with this week’s ygkchallenge.

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Alanna Kuhn

Alanna Kuhn has retired as a contributor to Kingstonist. She is a Naturopathic Doctor and co-owner of Kingston Natural Route Health. She regularly contributed to Kingstonist's weekly #ygkchallenge, encouraging Kingstonians to explore healthier lifestyle options.

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