Five Tips on living with an autoimmune disease

celéac corner
Living with an autoimmune disease has definitely had it’s challenges. After getting diagnosed, it made me realize just how much we take our health for granted. There were definitely some major adjustments to be made but with that being said, I found that it is very possible to lead a happy and healthy life if you take the right precautions. Here are 5 tips that I believe are necessary and that have helped me in regaining my health back.
1. Adjust your diet 
Opt for organic produce and do your research for some gluten free alternatives.
I cannot stress this one enough. This is the first and most important step after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Adapting my diet based on a lifetime condition was overwhelming and not to mention emotional when I first started my journey. What I have to say is, do not let that discourage you as there are many gluten free options out there, you just have to look in the right places!
I personally found that smaller scale organic food stores such as Fresh and Wild worked best for me. Fresh and Wild really aligned with my lifestyle seeing as my diet requires me to eat a ton of fresh and organic produce. Fresh and wild is located in the Toronto area and has two locations. The first is located at King and Spadina, and the second is located in Bloor West Village. This grocery store offers a variety of organic produce as well as many gluten free alternatives such as Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flours, my personal favourite! You can also find your favorite comfort foods, such as gluten free breaded (I repeat, breaded!!) chicken wings. This is exciting especially because most restaurants cannot provide us with that option! This makes for a perfect one stop shop because you can get all of your groceries at once. To top it off, they have the cutest cafe serving organic and fair trade coffee! 🙂
2. Supplement adequately

Getting diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, it is more than likely that you will have many deficiencies. Therefore, it’s important for you to supplement with vitamins. I suggest following up with your doctor, a dietician, or a naturopath in order to run some tests and figure out which supplements you will need.

3. Get cooking! 
This is a big one! Seeing as you now have to be extremely cautious of what’s entering your body, the luxury of just grabbing any food will no longer be a thing. That being said,  I suggest experimenting in the kitchen. This may seem very strenuous for some of you when starting out, but fear not as this will help you learn which foods and flours work best for you and your body. To top it off, the feeling is also very rewarding once you get into the swing of things.

4. Exercise!
Although I loved exercising prior to my diagnosis, autoimmune diseases affect several bodily functions and thus, celiac’s amongst other autoimmune disease sufferers are more prone to other conditions such as osteoporosis. Therefore, it is extremely important to supplement a healthy diet with some exercise to keep them bones strong and healthy! I suggest at least 30 minutes of physical activity 3 times per week in order to reap the benefits. This will help you keep in tip top shape physically and mentally! 🙂

5. Last but not least, surround yourself with a great support group! 
What many do not know is that celiac also affects mental health which is why I believe that it is so important to surround yourself with a great group of friends and family who support you, help you, and love you when the going gets tough. It won’t always be easy, but with some positivity, it will definitely get better.

Bottom line, don’t surround yourself with people who make you feel bad about your lifestyle choices.

And that marks the end of my post! 🙂 On a final note, whether you are living with an autoimmune disease or not, I believe that we can all benefit from these tips in order to lead a healthier lifestyle! 🙂

I hope this helps some of you and encourages you to take charge and start making some healthy choices!

Much love,
xox Léa S.

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