Tag Archives: celiac

Seeing a Celiac specialist for the first time

Recently I decided that it was high time for me to get a check up on how my poor ole intestines and body are doing. The last time I got blood work /a physical done was about two years ago and it was normal, but I have never been to a Celiac specialist since my diagnosis in 2007, so I figured they would be much more helpful. Awhile back I decided to give up the majority of dairy products, which seems to have helped, but I have ongoing symptoms that I’m hoping this new doc can help with.

I went to the George Washington Medical Center, and my experience couldn’t have been better. The doctor (a gastroenterologist) was extremely knowledgable, and presented me with a few options for a course of treatment.

One option included eating gluten for two months to test my diagnosis. While it was tempting to have a doctor-approved gluten binge, I declined and went with the other option: a endoscopy and colonoscopy to see what damage there is to my intestines and if I have IBS or something else on top of my Celiac Disease.

celiac blood test results

Good news is I got my blood work back and the Celiac Disease Comprehensive was clean!

Bad news is (see above) I have to get an endoscopy/colonoscopy, which sounds like just about the least pleasant thing I can imagine. But, if there’s something I can do to get my health back in top form, I’ll just have to power through it.

I’d love tips/advice on my upcoming procedure – I plan on stocking up on jello and tea for the day of fasting, but any help is appreciated!

And a resource for those of you in the DC area – the DC Celiac Support Group keeps a list of favorite doctors in the area if you’re looking for one! Find it here.

Recommendations for a Gluten Free Inauguration Weekend

This is my first inauguration in DC, and boy am I excited! There’s a buzz of excitement in the air and as hundreds of thousands of people descend upon the District, I thought I’d compile a few recommendations for gluten free travelers!

1. Eat like the Obamas

On the following list of the Obama’s favorite restaurants,I recommend you try these gluten free options:

#4: Fries at Five Guys

#5: My favorite kale salad from Lincoln

#9: Tacos from Oyamel

#18: Cupcake at Georgetown Cupcakes 

2. Try a specialty inauguration cocktail 

154 bars in DC will be open until 4:30am during inauguration weekend. Way past my bedtime – but here’s a map of where they are!

3. Go to brunch on Monday

If you haven’t experienced a true DC brunch, this is your opportunity! There are quite a few restaurants opening on Monday for brunch, and my recommendation is Firefly in Dupont, since they have a gluten free menu, and are a bit removed from the action on The Mall, but still very accessible. Get yourself some grits, drink some mimosas, and celebrate four more years!

 

DC Gluten Free News Round Up

1. Tickets are now available for the DC Gluten Free Gala

This year I am finding a way to pay the $250 to go to this. A cocktail reception and a three course meal, plus getting dressed up and wining and dining in a completely gluten free environment sounds like total bliss. (Although what’s with the poached pear for dessert? Can we get Happy Tart in there or something?)

2. B.J.’s Restaurant and Brewhouse coming to Tyson’s Corner

According to Eater DC, there will soon be a B.J.’s restuarant opening. Their gluten free menu has thin crust pizza and broccoli cheddar soup! And gluten free beer!

And (stop the presses) a gluten free chocolate chip pizookie! It’s a pizza-sized cookie topped with ice cream. Completely unnecessary in its size, but perfect for the moment you give up your New Year’s resolution.

pizookie

3. Gluten free pasta making class from LivingSocial

There’s still time to sign up for one of these classes, where you will learn how to make gluten free ravioli!  I’ll be going to the January 23rd class!

Sign up here!

Anything else going on around the District that I should know about?

Check out what I’ve been eating lately on my Facebook page: Gluten Free in DC!

Meryienda cookies

I was so excited to try cookies from the adorable Elvira at Meryienda Gluten Free Bake Shop . While she’s new to the bakery business, you’d never know it from the amazing chewy cookies she’s created. I’m definitely a “thick and chewy” rather than a “thin and crunchy” kind of cookie-lover, so I was excited to see that they were nice and plump when I opened my package.

cookies

You know you’ve found a superior gluten free baked good when you find yourself saying “How did she do that?” after you try it. That and the fact that I had to force myself to freeze the cookies so I had a chance at not eating them all in one day.

The oatmeal raisin were by far my favorite. They were full of whole rolled oats and sunflower seeds (which I think were the secret ingredient – when they bake they get all covered in brown sugar and add a great crunch to each bite).

You can order online, or have them delivered within 24 hours if you live in Manhattan. It’s times like this when I miss living in the city…cookies on demand!

Do you have a “secret ingredient” that you put in your cookies?

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? 

Crios loves celiacs

This weekend I had brunch at the recently-opened Crios Modern Mexican in Dupont. Crios is the sister restaurant to one of my other favorite places for hangover brunch: Scion. It’s also conveniently located right next door in case you wanted to do some kind of brunch-crawl.

Our waiter was adorable, and also very knowledgable about what menu items were safe. How much of a relief would it be if you saw this on every menu you opened?

Nearly the entire menu is gluten free, but I went with the huevos rancheros and yucca fries. The waiter said that the chorizo and yucca hash was his favorite, so I think I’ll try that next time, only made with the soyrizo (which he confirmed is also gluten free and made in-house).

Yucca fries are so amazing. Soft, slightly sweet, salty and spicy. We ordered a second round for the table so we could continue to fuel ourselves through the flowing $13 bottomless mimosas. The huevos rancheros were spicy, cheesy, with a perfectly crispy tortilla bed.

If you’re into flan, they have coffee and coconut versions for dessert.

Crios Modern Mexican
2120 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20037

Boston gluten free eats

I was recently in Boston for the weekend, and I was able to find some great gluten free food, especially in the semi-crunchy Cambridge area. In no particular order, my favorite places were:

1. Tavern in the Square

I went here to watch the Michigan football game, since it’s the local alumni bar. They also happen to serve Bard’s and have a gluten free menu (winning!) I got a huge plate of nachos, and it was the perfect way to watch a Michigan victory!

2. Stone Hearth Pizza

This place is right up my alley: local ingredients, unique gluten free beer, and great gluten free pizza. Their menu is marked with what items are gluten free. The beer I tried is called Celia, brewed by The Alchemist Brewery. Not my favorite, as it’s a sorghum beer, and therefore tastes a bit like grass. But it wasn’t horrible.

The pizza was stellar though – chewy with that stone-fired taste. Although the crust was a bit burnt, I kind of liked it better that way. Mine was topped with a butternut squash sauce, fontina, and sage.

4. Veggie Planet

This place served me the best lunch I’ve had in quite awhile. You can take any of their entrees and put it on top of brown rice or coconut rice, giving us celiacs tons of options. I had the weekly special, which was butternut squash, beets, feta cheese, basil, and a fennel apple puree (the real star). It came out piping hot and I scarfed it down.

5. Violette Bakery 

While walking around Harvard’s campus, I happened upon Violette Bakery at a farmer’s market. They had so many sweet and savory options, but I just had to have a gluten free danish with homemade blueberry preserves. I haven’t eaten anything like this in six years: heaven.

How good does this look?

6. Uno Due Go

Move over Panera, there is finally a fast/fresh lunch place that is celiac-safe! Gluten free sandwiches, pizza, and soups are all on the menu. The staff was very knowledgable and took my sandwich to a separate area to make it. I can’t say that it was the best sandwich I’ve ever had (the roll was a bit dry), but it was nice to have so many options.

I also got a Congo Bar, which was superbly buttery and riddled with chewy, chocolatey, coconutty yummies.

And thus concludes the story of how I ate my way through Boston. So much fun to try out new places! Any other recommendations of places to check out in Beantown? 

Pulpo: all you can eat and drink brunch

Last weekend I had an utterly delightful brunch at Pulpo in Cleveland Park. It was delightful for three major reasons:

  1. They have gluten free eggs benedict.
  2. Our waitress knew what was up.
  3. All you can eat. All you can drink.

After getting a mimosa in hand (you can choose unlimited bloody mary’s, mimosas, champagne, and I think mixed drinks or beer as well), I informed the waitress that I can’t have gluten. She didn’t even blink an eye – just assuredly said, “No problem,” and helped me choose a few dishes. It was so extraordinary to have a waitress who was confident in her ability to navigate the menu and answer any questions I had.

Pulpo is a Spanish tapas restaurant, so all of the plates are shareable. I started with patatas bravas with garlic aioli. Perfectly spiced, greasy in a good way, and there was a surprise red sauce in the bottom. Couldn’t stop eating this.

Then I ordered smoked salmon benedict. Really unique in that it’s served on a pile of soft rice, which was almost at a thick risotto-like consistency. Then the egg yolk and hollandaise mix with it and makes it really rich.

To round out the meal we ordered some grilled podran peppers. These were also served at Churchkey when I was there last, so I’m declaring them the new “it” pepper.

I left with a full belly and it was worth way more than the $25 for this brunch. The laid back atmosphere, stellar service, and gluten free-friendly food will definitely bring me back here often!

Pulpo
3407 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC

French Meadow Bakery breakfast pizza two ways

This week I had the opportunity to try out the gluten free pizza crust from French Meadow Bakery as a part of a recipe campaign run by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. French Meadow has a variety of gluten free products available on their website, and their products come shipped to you packed in dry ice and totally frozen (even after a FedEx delay mine was solid as a rock!).

The recipe that I was testing out was for “Breakfast Pizza”. Besides my patented hangover pizza, this isn’t something that I would normally make, so it was great to try something new!

Since the gluten free pizza crusts come in a package of two, I made one with more traditional toppings, and another one with a healthier spin.

Classic breakfast pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 French Meadow Bakery Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
  • 1/2 medium potato, shredded and squeezed in a towel to remove moisture (or use 1/2 cup of frozen hashbrowns)
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Topping of your choice (most would love bacon, I added spinach to half)

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Bake crust for 5 minutes on the bottom rack, set aside.
  • Cook hashbrowns over medium heat in buttered pan for about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown.
  • Layer crust with hashbrowns, egg, cheese and toppings.
  • Bake for another 10 minutes on the middle or top rack, until cheese has melted.

Sweet potato and pesto breakfast pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 French Meadow Bakery Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
  • 1/2 medium sweet potato, mashed
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg whites (or 3 egg whites), scrambled
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 T. pesto
  • red onions, thinly sliced

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Bake crust for 5 minutes on the bottom rack, set aside.
  • Scramble eggs, mixing in pesto at the end.
  • Layer crust with mashed sweet potato, egg, cheese and onions.
  • Bake for another 10 minutes on the middle or top rack, until cheese has melted.

I had a slice of the sweet potato one for breakfast this morning at the office and the crust held up great in the fridge over night. The crust is about 1/4 inch thick and a bready and chewy consistency. It kind of reminds me of the crusts that were included in the pizza lunchables that I loved as a kid. Because they’re made with rice flour they have a bit of sweetness to them. It also took me 20 minutes from start to finish to make both of these pizzas, so you can’t beat the convenience of having the crust pre-made!

As a part of the recipe campaign, French Meadow is giving away  two gluten-free prize packs! You can enter to win by submitting the form on the NFCA website. They will announce the first winner on Friday, October 26, and the second on Friday, November 2.

Enter the giveaway here.

You can also find more recipes using French Meadow pizza crusts on celiaccentral.org. I’m so excited to see what the other bloggers tried out!

The worst things you can say to someone who’s gluten free

People who don’t know a lot (or anything) about Celiac disease can often say some hurtful, ignorant, or just plain annoying things when the topic comes up. So here are my top four things you should never say to someone who needs to eat gluten free, and four that you should say (or that I appreciate when they’re said to me).

Never say:

4. “How much weight have you lost?” or “Well no wonder you’re so skinny!”

3. “Come on, just one bite won’t hurt! This is so good!”

2. “Well have you gotten tested? How do you know you have it?”

1. “I could never do that. I love bread too much! (giggle)”

Okay to say:

4. “Wow, that sucks. But I’m glad you’re feeling better now!”

3. “You know, I just saw a new restaurant with a gluten free menu!”

2. “That’s good to know, thanks for telling me about it. I’ll make sure to have some gluten free snacks on hand next time you come over!”

1. “I don’t know much about Celiac disease. Can you tell me more?”

Any other things that people have said to you that were either helpful or hurtful (or made you just want to punch them in the nose)?