Minimalism and Celiac Disease

At first glance, minimalism and celiac disease may seem like a strange pairing – after all, the first thing most people are facing on the tail of their diagnosis is having to dramatically alter their way of eating, and let’s be really honest, their way of living along with it. For most people, that represents a very major loss.

Along with that reality come a complex set of emotions: relief at identifying what has been making you so sick; trepidation at having to rethink your way of eating; panic over thoughts of cross-contamination and how to avoid it; grief and loss since food is such an integral part of our world’s cultures. There may be many, many more emotions and struggles than just those. Often along with this huge life shift comes a feeling, whether lingering or fleeting, of deprivation. A whole category of food has all of a sudden become forbidden – unless you want to suffer the excruciating short (and long!)-term consequences. So why, in the face of that loss and potential feeling of deprivation, should a person consider minimalism in the face of that? You have already removed something pretty large from your life!

After 8 years of adjusting my life to my diagnosis, I’ve come to realize that, for me, turning to minimalism as a way to cope and thrive with this disease has been key. The key to thriving will of course be somewhat different for every individual, and minimalism certainly has much to offer to anyone interested, not only to those with a celiac diagnosis. My central aim with this blog, however, is to reach out to those in my own community – those celiacs who are struggling with the issues that the disease brings that can severely impact our quality of life – because I believe that minimalism can bring great value to the individuals in our community. That being said, I still want to hear from those who may have a different diagnosis that impacts their way of life, and those who are healthy and maybe love someone with a chronic illness or who feel a connection to this blog and community for any reason.

I have found that as I’ve cleared out the excess in my life, whether excess possessions, excess commitments, excess voices telling me what is right for me without knowing me well, that I’ve been able to more clearly identify what I need to invite into my life in order to heal and move towards the life that I truly want to have. With all the loss that I’ve experienced, which I will talk about in later posts, it’s been absolutely necessary for me to find that focus on what is important to help anchor me and provide for me the space to move forward. Minimalism has been the path to living a more expansive life; there is no deprivation in it, nor should there ever be.

My hope is that you will find something of value here, whether you have been recently diagnosed with celiac disease or were diagnosed 20 years ago. Welcome to this space: please comment freely and respectfully, email me with your stories or concerns, and let’s begin the conversation about how focusing on the things that we value most in our lives can aid in our healing and help us build lives in which we can thrive.

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