Tag Archive | national foundation for celiac awareness

Wonder Woman

I have a confession to make.. I am a JUNK FOOD JUNKIE.  Some days I run, stay focused, and feel like Superman.. and then my Kryptonite, peanut butter, takes me down. (mmm.. peanut butter..)

With the help of my friend and coworker, KETV First News Anchor John Oakey, I lost about 8 pounds this winter.  My husband and I spent a few GORGEOUS days in sunny Cancun, and I felt like a new woman!


I came home.. and within a few weeks I not only fell off the wagon.. the wagon ran over me a few times.  Easter baskets, Girl Scout Cookies.. and NUTTY BUDDIES. (Be still my heart..) I kept saying ‘I’ll start again tomorrow.. I’ll start again Sunday..’ and before you knew it, I got on the scale and had gained several pounds back. Even THAT didn’t push me back on the wagon…


..but Gal Gadot did!  Gal is the new Wonder Woman in the DC Comics movie franchise.. and SHE. IS. AWESOME.  I left Batman Vs. Superman (which isn’t terrible, by the way!)  DETERMINED to rediscover the self-discipline and drive to become the physically fit, healthy woman I know I can be.  Sometimes you just need a little motivation.. and sometimes change is forced upon you whether you want it or not.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln student Lianna Prill altered nearly every facet of her diet and lifestyle because of a debilitating medical condition.


Photo courtesy Jenn Cady Photography

“I suffered for a decade without answers,” Lianna told me recently.  “After finding I had Celiac Disease my sophomore year of high school, a strict, gluten-free lifestyle was needed.  I was a new woman within days.”

Lianna does a GREAT job explaining what Celiac Disease is (CLICK HERE to read my interview with her in 2014).  The skinny of it is that certain foods cause Lianna INTENSE pain including migraines and abdominal issues.  She says once she eliminated those foods from her diet, namely gluten, her health was restored.  Still, Lianna was not content improving just her own life; she set out on a personal crusade to help others.


Photo courtesy Corbey Dorsey for the North Platte Telegraph

Lianna, who also loves to sing and perform, was crowned Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen 2012, and later competed at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen.  The following year, Lianna was chosen as a recipient of the prestigious DJ’s Hero Award for her work with Celiac Disease, including her time as an intern with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.  Despite double majoring in broadcast journalism and advertising/public relations, Lianna competed for and won the title of Miss Kearney Crane Festival 2014, giving her another venue to spread her message.  She’s a titleholder again this year, crowned last summer as the first Miss Queen City of the Plains.

“Competing in the [Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen and Miss Nebraska Organizations] revealed the beauty of Celiac,” said Lianna.  “It’s a blessing, a motivation to always carry out a healthy lifestyle.”

That is because not only will Lianna compete once again for the title of Miss Nebraska, she is a very public representation of her cause, ‘#EatWellBeWell’.

“I understand that not everyone has Celiac, but I want people to realize the crucial link between diet and wellness.  In other words, what you put into your body directly affects how you feel,” said Lianna.  “Some do not know what it is like to truly feel well, because it’s their ‘normal’.  I challenge everyone to evaluate his or her lifestyle.  if you are constantly sick, ill after eating a certain food, tired after you eat (you should not be, because food is your fuel!) or don’t feel as healthy as you think you could be, find the root of the problem and do not cover your symptoms up with some kind of bandage!”

Lianna not only makes appearances across the state spreading her message, she also fills her Facebook page with information and tips on how to be healthier.  With childhood obesity forever on the rise, many of the groups Lianna talks to include kids.


For anyone doubting the power of Lianna’s story, there’s this… instead of lying on her bathroom floor in pain, this future journalist is also the Engagement Editor at UNL’s newspaper The Daily Nebraskan, she hosts a radio show on campus every week, she volunteers with her sorority, Children’s Hospital and the Miss Amazing Organization, and she works here at KETV two days a week as one of our news interns.


Now working with Lianna, I see her drive and ENERGY.  I see the water blueberries on her desk instead of Mountain Dew and chips from the vending machine.  I see Associated Press and Daily Nebraskan articles on her computer instead of TMZ or Candy Crush.  Lianna credits much of this to her years of participitation with the Miss America system.

“The Miss Nebraska Organization also gave me the drive, poise and work ethic to fulfill my dream of becoming a news anchor,” said Lianna.

This girl is on the right track.. and she’s pulling my new wagon onto that path with her.  Gal Gadot may be my screen saver, but Lianna Prill is the Wonder Woman hoping to promote health and wellness across all of America.. as the new Miss Nebraska.


“I am so grateful to have an opportunity to share this message,” said Lianna.  “Listen to your body, because your health and life is so worth it.  #EatWellBeWell.”


CLICK EACH LINK to follow Miss Queen City of the Plains 2016 Lianna Prill



CLICK HERE * 2014 * Fueling The Journey

For more information about the Miss Queen City of the Plains Scholarship Pageant, visit THEIR WEBSITE or  FACEBOOK PAGE.  For information on becoming a contestant, contact Director Angie Trausch at (402) 984-2690 or angie.trausch@gmail.com, or contact Director Angela Keiser at (402) 578-8621 or angelakeiser@gmail.com.


The 2016 Miss Nebraska Scholarship Pageant takes place June 8-11 in North Platte, Nebraska.  Learn more on THEIR WEBSITE, FACEBOOK PAGE, or follow ON TWITTER and ON INSTAGRAM.


PREVIOUS.. Miss Douglas County’s Outstanding Teen 2016 Adella Smolsky!

NEXT.. Miss Kearney’s Outstanding Teen 2016 Shelbe Stroh!

To read more about this year’s contestants, or the Miss Nebraska/Miss Nebraska’s OT classes of 2015 & 2014, click the THERE SHE IS link at the top of the page!

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.


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