Welcome to 2019, friends! For me, 2018 was a year of adventures, trial and error, experimentation and new endeavors. I hope that yours was equally full of excitement, learning, and joy.
One of the most meaningful things I did in 2018 was to start this gluten free blog. As someone who was originally very skeptical about blogs in general (and entirely ignorant on how much I use them in my life - check most of your google searches if you don’t believe me), I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be a blogger. But here I am, not quite one year into gluten free blogging, and I have to say that I absolutely love this journey.
What I love most about having a gluten free blog has to do with the connection with the broader community, empowering others, feeling empowered myself, and the continued healing I experience by sharing with others. I never thought of myself as a writer and I never thought of myself as a photographer. I can hardly believe even now that I take photos of food, or that I have fun doing it! It’s been a wild ride and I found so much value in the process.
What’s most important here, however, is that I know you can get equal value and joy from starting your own gluten-free blog this year!
Here are 4 amazing reasons and unexpected joys you’ll discover as a gluten free blogger:
1. Each unique gluten-free perspective is important.
Not every gluten-free eater is going to connect with every gluten-free blogger. In my opinion, that’s a wonderful thing! As somebody with a unique perspective on travel and as a super sensitive celiac, I’m not going to connect well with somebody who eats at restaurants for all of their meals. Likewise, not everyone will feel connected to me with my unique perspective, and not everyone will feel connected to you either.
The goal of having more gluten free blogs is to create a sea of support for the overall community. It’s also to get the word out about gluten intolerances and celiac disease, and to help those experiencing it feel less alone. Rest assured, there are many people out there that will feel connected to you through your shared experiences. The best way to find and support other people is to get yourself out there. It may seem scary, but that brings me to my next point...
2. Gluten free blogging is a unique journey to get to know yourself.
Who knew I would love writing? Who knew I would love food photography? The fact that I love both of these things has been a wild surprise. I never thought I would sit around in my living room thinking of delicious new recipes or new strategies for traveling to far off destinations like Africa. In fact, I truly believed that some of these destinations were off-limits to me.
Having a blog has been a way for me to sort through old misconceptions about celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Rather than accept my fate, I’ve fully embraced finding new creative ways to help myself and others get past these hurdles. I know you can do this too, my friend! You won’t know the lessons you have to learn or the gifts you have to offer unless you give it a try!
If I’m not enough proof in the value of getting to know yourself through blogging, pop on over to the creative gluten free recipes on the Naturally Nu blog or the amazing food photography and recipe videos created by Create Cook Share! I’m willing to bet that their creativity has already reached beyond their own personal expectations.
3. The support you’ll give and receive from connecting with the gluten-free blogger community is AWESOME.
As somebody who was not big on social media prior to this experience, let me tell you that I was majorly missing out. I felt alone with my dietary restriction most of the time. None of my friends in Seattle were gluten free eaters and I felt like I was on my own little island.
Fast forward to less than a year of gluten free blogging and I’ve met Tulika from mykarmaeats.com, my new gluten free Seattle friend, and many other amazing people around the globe that want to connect and live fantastic gluten-free lives.
Sometimes when I’m feeling alone at a non-gluten-free-friendly event, I sneak a peek on my vibrantlygfree instagram account and realize there’s a whole world of people with the same challenges as me. We are all putting ourselves out there to support each other. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?!
4. You get to inspire yourself and others to live amazing gluten free lives.
I took some gluten-free risks this year. The scariest one included traveling to Namibia and South Africa. There was no gluten free information online for Namibia and I was on a service trip to South Africa that was fully catered (and not gluten free). In South Africa, I was also advised not to venture off to purchase food for safety reasons.
I truly almost said no to these travel opportunities because I was scared. However, having the support of the online gluten free community not only gave me courage, but also gave me the feeling that I’d be letting everyone else down if I didn’t take the opportunity to explore a new region and method of gluten free travel.
Also, to be honest, I was just tired of being limited by having a dietary restriction. In that moment, it felt like now or never; I either choose to be bold and go farther, or I choose limits and travel only within the realm of known “gluten free destinations”.
I was so nervous when I got on the plane to Namibia that I thought I would jump right out the window! I even unbuckled my seatbelt and stood up just as the plane began rolling out. However, if you've been around this site a while, you know there’s a happy ending to the story. The strategies I developed prior to the trip kept me completely safe and gave me the confidence to travel anywhere in the world, with or without gluten-free information. Better yet, I got to fill the internet holes and provide information for others with similar aspirations.
Related: Gluten Free Travel Guide to Namibia
Gluten Free Blogger Inspirations:
I know I’m not the only gluten-free blogger who feels this way. One of my favorite gluten free blog inspirations includes Erin Smith of GlutenFreeGlobetrotter.com. Erin has been inspiring gluten-free travelers to explore for years. Her site was a valuable resource for me when I was first diagnosed with celiac disease. Carrie of forglutensake.com inspires gluten free eaters to travel in Asia. Tayler Silfverduk inspires gluten free eaters to prepare healthy gluten-free meals and provides full menus for hosting gluten free events. I highly encourage you to check them out for inspiration!
The big takeaway from this post?
5. Remember that you receive an abundance of support when you belong to a community of like-minded individuals!
I want you to experience that feeling too, my friend. While it seems scary to put yourself out there, there is far more support than criticism in the gluten free and chronic illness community. In fact, I’ve experienced almost no negativity at this point in my time as a blogger.
Yes, a gluten free blog can require a lot of hard work to get started. You may find yourself knee deep in personal development to improve your time management or find yourself sneaking moments of blogging during your kids' naps or breaks between classes. Also, putting yourself out there in a very public way requires courage. But in the end, I know you’ll experience more confidence, more motivation, and a happier gluten free existence while you’re working at this blogging thing!
I want all of this for you and more this year, my friend. If you try blogging and find that it’s not your thing, that’s OK too! The fact that you’re involved in gluten free blog communities, interacting with like-minded people on social media and learning to live your best life will offer you many of the same benefits and is something to celebrate as well. If you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to connect with the community through social media. We are most active on Instagram for gluten free chit chat and Facebook and Pinterest for sharing new great ideas.
If you have new blog content or start a gluten free blog, tag #vibrantlygfree on instagram and I’ll feature you in my stories!
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