Tag Archives: celiac

Fuel the Family: It’s Celiac Awareness Month!

Happy Celiac Awareness Month! The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has really outdone themselves this year. There are a ton of resources and ways to get involved on their website.

NFCA Fuel the family_550x297

I’ll be sending out my usual email to my family and friends encouraging them to get tested. The average person waits 6-10 years to get diagnosed, which can lead to a slew of health problems, some potentially serious, like infertility and cancer.

I also posted Gluten Dude’s sweet poster in my cubicle at work, and I’ll be talking to any one who will listed about celiac disease. Just casually drop in a few facts around the office like this: “Thanks for sending over that file. By the way, did you know that an estimated 1 in 141 Americans has celiac disease, yet 83% of those who have it are either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed?”

Watch this video, and then download the toolkit from NFCA to plan how you’re going to help raise awareness this month!

Happy CDAM! (I don’t think that’s an actual acronym yet, but let this be its birthplace).

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Not cool “The Book for Dangerous Women.” Not cool.

When I saw “The Book for Dangerous Women: A Guide to Modern Life” on the shelf at the library, I was kind of excited. I’d flipped through “The Dangerous Book for Boys” and “The Daring Book for Girls,” and I thought that they were cute, and encouraged kids to take risks, go outside, and be self-sufficient. I’m all for that.
photo (6)

I checked the book out, and flipped through the encyclopedia-like pages. It wasn’t the most enlightening thing I’ve ever read, but it was fun and had what I thought was good advice on some topics.

Then, when I got to the G section, this is what I found:

dangerous book for women

Apparently the authors have confused gluten intolerance or celiac disease with the Atkins Diet. Life’s too short to go gluten free? Actually it’s more like my life will be too short if I don’t maintain a gluten free diet, like the millions of people who need to stick to the diet to keep their bodies healthy.

I don’t know how stuff like this makes it to print.

How I got glutened when I ordered off of a gluten free menu

Once upon a time there was a waitress who glutened me. Here’s how it happened:

This weekend I was really excited to finally try Masa 14 with my dad. I’d tried to get in a few times for brunch, but they book up quickly and the wait is always really long if you don’t have a reservation. Masa 14 is a Richard Sandoval restaurant, which are are known for being gluten free-friendly. All of them have dedicated menus with clear directions on how to modify dishes to make them gluten free.

Being the great dad that he is, we both ordered everything from the gluten free menu so we could share. I love yucca fries, so those were at the top of my list. On the menu it says to order them with “no chimichurri”, but I just made clear that all of the dishes we ordered should have the modifications in place, so I didn’t pay attention to every change they were supposed to make. The waitress knew that I was the gluten free one at the table and my dad did not have to be, so I guess she took some liberties with our order so he could have the gluten-containing items that were left off of the dishes.

yucca fries

So the yucca fries are brought out by a food runner, not the waitress. There are two sauces with them, which I assume are both fine for me to eat, since we asked that all of our food to be made gluten free. I dip a couple of yucca fries in the green sauce (which I wouldn’t have been able to identify as chimichurri anyways). Then about 10 minutes later the waitress comes over and tells me that the green sauce is not gluten free. They usually combine the sauces, but she had them separate them into two dishes so my dad could have the green one.

Well, that’s just swell. Maybe you should have told us that you were bringing out gluten sauces before I had the chance to poison myself.

Sometimes I wish that the signs of a glutening were more visible to the outside world. No one will see me being tired, bloated, and having stomach cramps for the next week. No one can see the damage being done to my intestines or the brain fog that seems to linger for weeks. So when the waitress asked, “Are you okay?” I just said, “I guess so…” Because what was I going to do? I already ate it.

This is exactly what the celiac community has feared would happen since the “gluten free trend” has caught on. Wait staff don’t pay as close of attention and don’t take requests as seriously, and in most cases it won’t cause any consequences since they probably get a ton of orders for gluten free dishes from people who don’t actually need to eat gluten free.

I’m still looking for that perfect line to convey to wait staff that I really, truly need my food to be gluten free. I’ve been thinking about something like, “If you could tell the kitchen to be extra careful with my meal I’d appreciate it. I’m not on one of those fad diets; I’ll actually get really sick if I eat anything with gluten in it.” I just hate coming off as difficult, so I usually go with a softer approach. But after something like this I might have to grow some cajones and let them know I mean business.

What is your typical one-liner for wait staff to convey that you’re serious about your food being free of gluten? 

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?