Fueling the Journey

Someone once told me, ‘you eat like an 8-year old!’

It’s true.  I am a junk food junkie.

It is one of my constant resolutions; to EAT HEALTHIER.  After all, this 33-year old metabolism is NOT what is used to be!!

I want to eat smarter to look better, to feel better, and to set an example for my boys.  I want to set reasonable goals, still allotting for a little (or a lot) of cheating from time to time.

Today’s featured Miss Nebraska contestant doesn’t have that luxury.  For a decade, food led to endless pain and discomfort.  Everything she ate contributed to a puzzle that took ten years to piece together.  Now, she’s determined to save others from the same struggle.


Miss Crane Festival, Lianna Prill

Lianna has Celiac Disease, a genetic autoimmune disease which causes damage to the lining of the small intestine, preventing absorption of parts of food important for staying healthy.

“Since the first grade, I would lie on the bathroom floor every night with constant migraines, sinus infections, stomach issues, etc,” Lianna told me recently.  “After countless tests, MRI’s, CAT scans, chiropractic treatments, you name it, no one had any answers for me.”

Ten years later, Lianna’s father was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. (He suffered similar problems for 25 years.)  Lianna discovered she also matched the criteria, like the 1 in every 133 people in America living with the disease.  Lianna says on average, it takes 6-10 years to be properly diagnosed.  She encourages all to check out the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness online, on Twitter and on Facebook.

“Three years later (and for life), I still adhere to a strict gluten and dairy-free diet and am a new woman,” said Lianna.  It likely comes as no surprise, ‘Celiac Disease: Experiencing Gluten Freedom’ is Lianna’s personal platform of service.

“Currently the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness Gluten Free Industry Initiatives Intern for Nebraska, I share life-saving information with Lincoln Public Schools, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the state,” said Lianna.  “Last spring, I became a D.J.’s Hero from this platform, and am proud to be a part of NFCA’s GREAT Kitchens and Schools program, training universities, campuses and restaurants across the nation to safely prepare gluten-free meals for customers and students.”


Lianna’s work also contributed to her winning the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen title in 2012.  She first sought out the program with a passion for singing and performing.

“Where there’s a stage, there’s Lianna Prill,” she said.  “Integrating my 4-H sewing fashion modeling, my work ethic from showing cattle, speaking skills from speech team, fitness from a medically necessary healthy lifestyle, a platform to save lives and a need for scholarships for college, it was a no-brainer.”


Lianna also has a personal connection to Miss America’s community partner, Children’s Miracle Network.

“This hits close to home as my younger twin sisters were born at one and two pounds,” said Lianna.  “Years later after their micro-preemie survival, our family was involved in the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon in Omaha.  Miss Nebraska was made for me.”



Lianna’s personal triumphs have also helped shape the woman she has become.  Shortly after her Celiac diagnosis, she survived a car accident near Bertrand, Nebraska.

“A pickup blew a stop sign, hit me (I was driving) and we spun several times landing in a ditch and totaling my car,” said Lianna.  “I crawled out of the passenger seat, because I was trapped in the driver’s seat.  Struggling with an undiagnosed genetic autoimmune disease for ten years and surviving a possibly fatal car crash both made me fight as an advocate for my health and cherish every moment that’s given to me with steadfast faith and spunk.”

They say life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how you react to it.  Here’s a young lady who hasn’t let chronic illness or adversity get her down; she’s used every challenge as fuel to be BETTER.  And Lianna is hungry for a new title in North Platte.

“This is a place for women to grow, flourish and bloom into the person they were created to be,” said Lianna.  “Miss Nebraska is a chance for young women to push themselves to become the best version of themselves possible, while representing our state with a good head on her shoulders, class and a hint of sparkle.”


Connect with Miss Crane Festival, Lianna Prill

on Facebook, Instagram and by email at lprill@celiaccentral.org


The Miss Nebraska pageant takes place June 5-7 in North Platte, Nebraska.  For more information, visit the Miss Nebraska website.


PREVIOUS POST.. ***SPECIAL FEATURE*** The Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen contestants!

NEXT POST.. Miss Lake McConaughy, Chrissy Townsend!

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