Meet Taylor Miller, NFCA Blogger Ambassador and author of the blog GlutenAway.
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is proud to call Taylor Miller of GlutenAway a Blogger Ambassador. Learn more about Taylor and the work he does for people living with celiac disease.
Keep an eye out for more Q&As with our Blogger Ambassadors. Meet the rest of the Ambassador Team at www.beyondceliac.org/bloggerambassadors.
Why did you decide to be a blogger for NFCA?
I’ve always been a huge supporter of NFCA, all the way back to when I started blogging at the age of 15. Their biggest mission has been to help the gluten-free community and I couldn’t be more proud to help contribute to such a great cause. I already get to interact with so many great people online, so I’m glad to be able to help many more people through what I do! As a teenager with celiac disease, I really enjoy being able to offer my voice to even more people around the U.S. by blogging for NFCA.
How has celiac disease personally affected you or your family?
Celiac disease hasn’t always been a part of my life. Five years ago I was a normal kid living a normal life, free to eat whatever I wanted. It wasn’t until age 13 when I learned that I had to go gluten-free because of celiac disease. It’s affected my family in every way since then. They know that I can’t have certain foods and that I usually have to have something specially made. They’re aware that I can get severely sick if I do eat gluten or if cross-contact happens. But surprisingly enough, it hasn’t affected myself or my family in a negative way. If anything, it’s showed me that my family will always love me and support me no matter what obstacles I face with my diet. Sure, it’s not as easy to have food readily available wherever I go. But they still accommodate me, support me, and do whatever they can to make me feel “normal.”
What makes your blog different from others?
My blog, GlutenAway, is one of the few blogs run by a teen with celiac disease. I started my blog three years ago at the age of 15 and have been sharing my tips, advice and life stories as teenager with celiac disease ever since. My main goal is to offer a positive perspective to show that if a teen can go gluten-free and be happy, you can too! I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon so hopefully at some point it’ll be a blog that has information to help people of all ages who are gluten-free.
What goals do you hope you achieve with your blog?
When I first started my blog, my main goal was to help kids and teens who just got diagnosed with celiac disease. Since then, I’ve noticed that the majority of my readers are actually the moms of these kids and teens who do have celiac disease. My main goal would be to reach the kids/teens who do struggle with being gluten-free since I know there are many of them, but even if I can help one person who is gluten-free, teen or not, I know it’ll make me happy.
If you could only tell people one thing about celiac disease and living gluten-free, what would it be?
I would tell people that you’re not just changing your diet, but you’re changing your entire lifestyle too. I know it’s not easy at first but it does get easier! Like anything, it takes practice and you’ll get the hang of it to the point where you become a pro over time.
What is the best advice you can give to people who are diagnosed with celiac disease in their teenage years?
Keep a positive attitude and don’t let people get you down. There’s so many things in your teenage years to look forward to and you don’t have to let being gluten-free take away from that! Sure it’s a lifestyle change and it does make certain situations a little more difficult. But just be prepared and enjoy life while you can because your teenage years don’t last forever. There are a lot of great friends and people out there who will understand that you can’t eat gluten. You’ll start to notice that you can still do a lot of normal things with your friends even when you are gluten-free. Bringing your own snacks every now and then helps too, but I can promise you that your teenage years will be just as fun, with or without gluten.