By Kayla Lafi, age 16, Miss New Jersey Teen 2011
Hi! My name is Kayla Lafi. I'm 16 and I LOVE being in pageants. I also have celiac disease, but I never let that stand in the way. In fact, I was crowned Miss New Jersey Teen 2011, and now I'm going on to the national competition! I believe every gluten-free kid should be confident and feel good about themself. Here are some things to help you do that:
5 Tips For Being Gluten-Free and Confident
1. Don’t let food run your life.
Gluten doesn’t define you. You define you!
2. Gluten-free food tastes amazing.
We all have had tried that one gluten-free product that just doesn’t agree with our tastebuds. All you have to do is do a little searching through your local grocery store, the Internet (with parent’s permission, of course!), and your local health food store to find the products that you like.
3. Always have a back-up snack with you.
You never know when you are going to get hungry! I always carry a gluten-free snack with me just in case practice runs a little late and there aren’t any gluten-free options near me.
4. Having celiac disease or being gluten-free, you are now given the opportunity to share what being gluten-free is to your community.
I hosted a fashion show to raise awareness in my community. You can do the same! Host a gluten-free bake sale, talk to your favorite restaurant and ask them to go gluten-free (if they aren’t already), or host a gluten-free pasta party! The options are endless. Start brainstorming!
5. Keep your head up high, always smile, and never be afraid to try new things!
You are lucky to be one of the very few who know they have celiac. Gluten-free is beautiful because you are beautiful. The more you embrace this lifestyle, the happier and healthier you will be!