Showing posts from May, 2015

Mindful Eating: Stop Minding (Gluten-Free Celiac Recovery)

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”                                                                 --Aristotle

I learned to live life sans gluten quite happily and ably by doing it.  Not by thinking about it, not by planning it even -- but by the grungy, sometimes exciting, sometimes confusing, often weird steps of cooking, talking, shopping, learning food. Part of what I learned was: I had never learnedfood.

Pre-Celiac-diagnosis, I hadn't the slightest idea of what food meant, or could mean.  I rarely thought of its effects on my body, or its source.  I grew up with gardens occasionally.  I grew up with a mum who cooked.  But I didn't grow up with a solid base in self-care.

...or in the sense that food was a natural, normal, and unearned right.

In the stress of the last few months, I have been re-learning it all over again.  Because another fact I've learned about growing up, and adhering to a gluten-free food-plan (oy, diet …

Words: They're Gluten Free, Or All Those Weird Food Words

When you have Celiac Disease, sometimes you begin to have food on brain as much as on the plate.  I need a gluten-free plate prescription after all to have a life.  But I also tend to have books and words on the brain.  I'm an inveterate reader, and I love just as much to read in Italian, pick up some additional Japanese, or mash-up a murder of portmonteau words as I enjoy mashing up a new batch of peculiar ingredients into a meal.

Exploring:  It's what we do when we're alive.  Exploring -- it's the opportunity I got when I got the Celiac diagnosis, a bump into now you'd better try new things because old things may not be working anymore.

That said, I love language, and in light of Celiac Disease, and humanity's general need-for-food regardless, I traipsed into food-words recently.

But are they gluten-free?  Pshaw.  Words are always gluten free.

Even gluten is free of gluten, you know.

How we speak about eating forms quite a lot of how we actually eat too, and i…

Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo in Chicago Recap, 2015

When you walk in, the lights blaze, and the buzz hits your ears: echoing feet, echoing voices, gluten-free chatter and the in-flux of attendees.  It's a battle for attention.  It's an all-out mix of national brands and local start-ups.  It's a blend of the whole food, local-and-sustainable mindset and the faux-gluten mimicry of large-scale gluten-free conglomerates like Udi's.

But it's all gluten-free; and it's all celiac safe -- and the floor is packed both days.

This is the Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo in Chicago that I attended this year as a featured blogger.

Why Expo-it?  Simple: For exposure.  Living with Celiac Disease is not a do-it-alone equation. The best part of expos isn't the food -- it's the community.

Without more ado, here are the highlights from Chicago, which showcased those local and organic, small-business powerhouses right alongside the large-scale brands.

And this Expo had some seriously keen local (and semi-local) standouts.

Here …

Probiotics Labeled Gluten-Free? Nope, They Aren't

Probiotics: The little bugs are touted to Celiacs as the silver bullet. Swallow the pills, heal your gut.  But what if those pills aren't just filled with healing microflora, but also full wee above 20ppm of gluten?   A recent investigation has discovered two high profile probiotics, tested positive above the 20ppm celiac-safe threshold.

Worse than that, the brands and bottles are labeled gluten-free.

So are you poisoning yourself trying to heal yourself if you're out there downing probiotic pills?

The study identified more than half the probiotics on the market in the United States contained measurable amounts of gluten.

In the press release from Columbia University Medical Center, study author Dr. Samantha Nazareth said, "Many patients with celiac disease take dietary supplements, and probiotics are particularly popular[...]"  The gastroenterology team at the medical center had earlier concluded that patients taking dietary supplements often had more symptoms than …

Food Rules: There Are No Rules, But If There Were Rules...

Food should never have rules.  Food isn't a privilege or a reward; nourishment is a right, and so is our particular taste. But if food did have rules, these would be them.


The difference between a secure child and an insecure child: The former thinks they should eat "healthy"; the latter enjoys getting to eat and try a variety.  The difference between a happy individual with Celiac Disease, and an unhappy one:  The former thinks they should eat gluten-free, the latter enjoys eating freely now that they know what to leave out.


If food causes shame, it's been linked to emotions.  Food isn't about feelings, and certainly not about identity. Your value is never a matter of what you eat, how well, what you weigh, or how you look; and food isn't about any of those things either.  Food is a matter of nutrition and community.  Food is also a matter of taste.  No one deserves to be shamed about what they lik…

Shoestring Budget, Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies (Gluten-Free)

I've got a recipe for traveling sanely and on a shoestring with Celiac Disease. Actually, I literally have a recipe.  But the attitude -- and planning -- are the recipe under the recipe. Doesn't it cost you, like, a million dollars to eat all that gluten free stuff? asked a friend before I hit the trails for Chicago and the Gluten Free Expo.

Er, yes.  If I bought the whole shop of highly overpriced bread-stuffs at the market.

But I don't.

I make Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies instead.

Celiac Disease:  It can takes a load out of your pocketbook on the road.  So can any travelling sans solid meal-packing plans.  I travel light when road tripping, except for the sack of provisions perched precariously in my passenger seat, spilling foodstuffs over my arm when I swerve onto the shoulder after driving 14 hours straight.

I got across state lines sailing free -- or tumbling free -- of any expense but FUEL.

Because I packed a huge sack of gluten-free cookies.

Save coin, travel long …

Up Next Gluten Free Wellness Event, St Louis!

Win Free Tickets  |  Get First Looks at New Gluten Free Products |  Build Community, Get Educated  | Have Fun!
On May 16, the Gluten Free Allergen Free Wellness Event hits St Louis, MO!   For me, it comes up on the tail of a mad-flash roadtrip -- and that's an interesting bird of a challenge with Celiac Disease -- from Boston to Chicago for the GFAF Expo and then down into Missouri for some freelance work, and the event in St Louis.

Rather a good line-up for Celiac Disease Awareness Month!

I met the bloody most brilliant people in Chicago.  From Don't Go Nuts, Lily Pinto and her cousin to MerTerese, Goya Food's dietitian, to Kate who created the NICE Bar ("Be Nice to Your Guts"), a low FODMAP edible for Celiacs and beyond, the aisles were full of resource.  And  I don't mean food. I mean people.

I'll be tossing up a post-Chicago wrap-up shortly (and some excellent gluten-free giveaways), but for now, it's Celiac Disease Awareness Month -- are you look…