Category Archives: News

DC Gluten Free News Round Up

1. Meridian Pint is hosting a Crispin Cider dinner on 12/4

I love me some hard cider. The chefs at Meridian Pint in Columbia Heights are going to be pairing five Crispin ciders, including the new Bourbon barrel-aged release “Bird On A Wire” (bring it on!), with gluten-free seasonal dishes like steamed bronzini with kaffir lime and lemongrass. Plus they’ll have lavender honey goat cheese cake for dessert.

I’ll be there, and you should come too!

You can purchase tickets on Eventbrite here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4804647831

2. A new DC gluten free restaurant-rating blog launched

I’m all for spreading the gluten free love to every inch of the District, so I’m excited to see a new blogger who is providing rankings and reviews of restaurants in DC from a celiac’s perspective. Check her out at out Glutie Foodie!

3. The Gluten Free Muffin Man is now selling in Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant 

Pick yourself up a walnut date bar or cookie at Columbia Heights Coffee from a new gluten free baker in town: The Gluten Free Muffin Man!

Anything else going on around this fair city that I should know about? 

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Find DC gluten free eats on my Facebook page!

I’ve taken the plunge: I started a Facebook page! So often I’m out to eat, or just roaming around DC and I find great gluten free food that deserves to be shared! On the page I’ll be posting pictures and news specifically for my gluten free folks in the DC area. I’m excited to see what happens!

And thanks to my first two followers, Sue and Hope! 🙂

Click here to Like Gluten Free in DC on Facebook!

Click to Like!

 

Celiacs unite! My take on the gluten free community

I love the gluten free community – in person and online.

When I meet someone in person who has Celiac Disease we have an instant friendship and endless topics to discuss. It’s so refreshing to talk to someone who understands exactly what you’re talking about – someone to gripe with, to share tips with, ask for advice, and to try new gluten free foods with. As much as non-celiacs can try to empathize – really, they just can’t fully understand.

The online celiac community is such a great group of people. Some are experts in the kitchen, some are advocates for research, some review gluten free companies and products, and some just wax poetic about the trials of living gluten free. Every day I learn something new from the celiac community, and can’t imagine navigating this disease without the help of my fellow bloggers and tweeters.

I’ve got love for celiacs – but our community has also come under attack from many people. Those who think that we’re faking it – that Celiac Disease doesn’t need to be taken seriously. Companies that exploit the gluten free label to increase profits (I’m lookin’ at you – California Pizza Kitchen and Dominos!). Or celebrities who don’t realize that they are harming people with a legitimate disease when they casually adopt a gluten free diet in an attempt to lose weight.

So what can we do about it?

  1. Focus on Celiac Disease, not gluten-free eating.

While it’s much easier to talk in terms of “gluten free” foods – I think it’s really important for us to move toward a “Safe for Celiacs” mentality. If we can get greater recognition/understanding of Celiac Disease, and the difference between gluten intolerance and Celiac disease, I think that we will all be better off. While I believe there definitely is a spectrum of levels of gluten intolerance – if we can work toward making foods and restaurants safe for celiacs, then they will be safe for everyone eating gluten free!

  1. Don’t shut up.

I love seeing the celiac community united in fighting something that we feel is hurting us. I loved the flurry of tweets at Domino’s or the barrage of WTF blog posts on our latest celebrity “spokespeople”.  By making our voices heard, we can make sure that we’re letting them know that it’s not okay, and that we will not support them as a community. (While I’m on the topic – go sign the petition on the NFCA Amber Designation).

  1. Bring on the men!

While Celiac Disease is more present in women than men, I’d love to see some more celiac studs join our forces! I think in some ways “gluten free” has become too closely associated with girly bakeries (not that I’m not hopelessly devoted to Babycakes), complicated recipes, or general healthy-living/dieting. I think having a few more good men on our side would help diversify opinions and bring new perspectives. So – if you have a gluten dude of your own in your life – tell him to start a blog or join the Twittersphere!

What do you think the celiac community could benefit from? Where do we go from here?

DC Gluten Free News Round Up

Here are a few cool things going on in the gluten free scene here in DC, as well as a few new finds around the district!

1. Tasti D-Lite just opened in Columbia Heights

Now, in addition to the one in Dupont Circle, there is a Tasti D-Lite in Columbia Heights. Tasti D-Lite clearly marks their flavors as gluten free on their website. Nutella, Brownie Batter, PB caramel, and Rocky Road sound right up my alley!

2. Less than a month until the DC gluten free expo!

June 15th at the Four Points Sheraton there will be 70 vendors sharing delicious gluten free treats! Tickets are only $15 and you can buy them here! (All proceeds from the event will benefit the patients and families of the Celiac Disease Program at Children’s National Medical Center).

3. Roti has gluten free pita bread

I’ll file this one under “WTF”. How have I not known that Roti has gluten free pita bread until now? It’s $2.00 extra, but still awesome! With locations all across the district (including one coming to Union Station this summer), I’ll be heading there ASAP for lunch.

4. Macaron Bee opens in Georgetown

Macaroons are naturally gluten free, so I’m assuming that at least most of the flavors on the list at Macaron Bee will be as well. I haven’t checked it out myself, but exciting to have a macaroon place in the district to help balance out the millions of cupcakeries.

Exciting stuff! Anything else going on that I should know about?

Youtube videos about Celiac disease that are actually good

I don’t think it’s quite a bandwagon yet, but I’m jumping on board with the Gluten Dude and Erin from Gluten Free Fun in commenting on the “Sh*t gluten-free people say” video that Cappello’s made (which they have since removed from Youtube).

I’m not going to spend too much time belaboring how lame the video was. But I will say I was not happy to see my gluten free people depicted as bitchy, needy, and frivolous. There’s a lot of work to be done in raising awareness that Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder. You don’t see anyone making a “Sh*t people with Lupus say” video, now do you?

So, here are a few videos on Celiac disease that made me laugh. Ones that were created by people actually living with Celiacs, not a company trying to increase sales.

1. The Quinoa Song:

These guys are great, and this song is actually really catchy/informative! “If you have Celiac Disease, allergy to wheat, the Inca Gold will save you – it’ll get you off your feet!”

2. Royal Empire Celiac Awareness

Gluten Dude shared this video and I loved it so I’m sharing it to give these guys some more views!

3. The Rap on Celiac Disease:

And this one had me cracking up. “Celiac disease, all the way!”

4. Celiac Disease: What kids have to say

This one didn’t make me laugh, but I love these kids. They aren’t following any fad and eating gluten free is hard for them, but they can always find the good in things.

Hopefully more funny, silly, heartfelt, and *hilariously awful* videos will start coming out soon!

Celiac side efects: anxiety

There are hundreds of symptoms and side effects of Celiac disease, and each person who’s diagnosed seems to be affected by a different cocktail of them. Even once you start following a gluten free diet, there are still plenty of lingering side effects that may come and go, be triggered by accidentally ingesting gluten, or just be an ever-present thing you have to deal with (worst case scenario).

One of the side effects that doesn’t get as much attention is anxiety. A German study showed that female adults following a gluten free diet for celiac disease show higher levels of anxiety than do members of the general population. These are women on a gluten free diet, not undiagnosed.

Since our physical well being and the effectiveness of our digestive system is so important to our mental well being, it makes sense that gluten can cause all kinds of issues in your head as well as your tummy (like the link to eating disorders and depression).

I’ve been known to have really high anxiety in certain situations – top on the list is when I’m hungry and know that I won’t be anywhere with food in the next few hours (like at the beach, in a movie, waiting for a table at a restaurant, etc.).

Over the last couple of years I’ve been much less anxious and generally calmer about managing my Celiac’s, which I can attribute to a few things:

  1. I’ve gotten better at packing a snack for myself though, even when I’m sure I won’t need it. Just having it in my purse helps reduce the anxiety. And I’ve gotten over thinking that other people will think I’m weird/a pig for eating at random times. So what if our dinner reservation is in 30 minutes? I’m hungry now. Plus I won’t be able to eat the bread basket, so I’ll be eating at least 30 minutes later than everyone else anyway.
  2. Making sure I get a ton of vitamins, minerals, and nutritious food every day. Your body thanks you when you eat well and your mind follows.
  3. This might be cheesy, but yoga has been a lifesaver for me. It’s a time to clear your mind, concentrate on yourself, and relieve stress. I go to yoga at least once a week, and it works wonders.
  4. For immediate relief from anxiety, running is my cure. Running or cleaning. I like to put on some really obnoxious rap music, sprint as long as I can, and then when I feel like my heart is going to explode, stop and walk it out. Sometimes I’ll even do a little Rocky-style punching in the air…if no one’s around to catch me.
  5. Keeping Celiac in perspective; it’s not cancer, it’s not MS, it’s Celiac disease. Sure, it’s not curable, and it’s a total bitch to deal with, but it’s not the end of the world. I’m strong and I can handle it.

Gluten free Valentine’s Day Candy

As Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, here are a few sweets that are safe to give to your gluten-free sweetheart. Obviously your first line of defense is chocolate – something heart shaped or chocolate covered strawberries. Just steer clear of truffles unless you know they’re gluten free because I’ve found that most of them have barley or malt in them.

Something new I learned today = Godiva and Lindt chocolate makers explicitly say not to consume their products if you have a gluten allergy.

Godiva says “ALL of our products including solid chocolate pieces may contain gluten. Any person with a gluten allergy should NOT consume ANY of our products.”

Lindt says “Gluten can be found in several premium chocolate products that Lindt & Sprungli produces; either as a cereal ingredient or as a barley component… trace amounts of these gluten ingredients and components may have the opportunity to come in contact with non gluten products.”

I’ll admit, I totally eat Lindt truffles. The ingredients are just cream, chocolate, and butter. It also doesn’t say “may contain wheat” on the nutrition label, just that it may contain nuts. Stupid gluten free labeling. Or non labeling in this case.

Anyhoo – I guess steer clear of Godiva and Lindt to be safe, and go with one of these less classy options. Or just buy flowers 🙂

Surf Sweets Fruity Hearts
I’m not really into gummy things, but since basically all licorice is filled with wheat, these could be a good alternative.

NECCO Sweethearts conversation hearts
On NECCO’s website they have a full list of their gluten free products. Something I didn’t know was that Clark Bars are gluten free as well, I don’t think I’ve ever even had a Clark Bar because they seem like they’re for old people? I’ll have to pick one up.

Valentine’s Day M&Ms
They’re adorable, they’re pink, and besides the pastel Easter ones, they’re my favorite holiday M&Ms.

Happy Valentine’s Day!