When I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, a common occurrence for someone with Type 1 diabetes, I very suddenly wanted the chocolate chip cookies my mother had been baking for my family for years. But I swear, until Celiac disease, I genuinely never even cared for those cookies!

Learning how to stop seeing my gluten-free diet as something that's being forced upon me and actually embrace what it offers my life has evolved gradually. I realized, towards the end of my years in college, that the difference lies in believing that Celiac means I "can't" eat something versus believing it just means I technically "shouldn't" eat it.

In fact, I can eat whatever I want, right? I'm the one who puts the food in my mouth. But I can also choose to make a better decision. I can choose to not eat gluten, and instead choose the many other options at my disposal.

Today, I actually appreciate my gluten-free lifestyle because it has helped me eliminated highly processed flours and junk food from my diet. I don't have to restrain myself from eating Twinkies and fast-food; I simply know I don't want that kind of food in my body. Not just because it has gluten in it, but because they are highly processed, low in quality "foods" that have nothing positive to offer me.

Sure, I eat a gluten-free diet today, but in my eyes, I'm really just eating whole foods and a clean diet. And that happens to mean there's no gluten in the food I eat. I choose to eat this way. It is not being forced upon me, and no one else can control what I eat. It is my decision and mine alone. Just like it's your decision and yours alone what you choose to feed your body.