Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Going Gluten Free

What do you regret from your early days of having celiac?  When you first went gluten-free, what mistakes did you make? How overwhelmed were you?  What are you happy you did?

Five things.  For today, I have just five things that I wish I'd known.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


My sister is pregnant.  Also, my mom has celiac.  These two facts are relevant because my mom and I have a bet on when my sister will give birth.  I bet that she would have the baby yesterday.  Clearly, as she is still pregnant, I lose.  The terms? I owe my mother a pizza.  But not just ANY pizza.  Oh no.  The pizza worth betting on has to come from zpizza.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gluten-Free Expo

Get ready! The third annual DC Gluten-Free Expo is scheduled! The Celiac Disease Program and Children's National Medical Center is hosting the expo on June 2, 2013.  Tickets are already on sale.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

When Were YOU Born?

An article in the NY Times online is headlined thusly:  Really? Celiac Disease is Influenced by Season of Birth.  It concludes, not surprisingly, that there are studies suggesting that the season of birth may influence incidence of celiac, though more research is needed.  The article cites to three studies -- one recently published -- that have found a correlation between spring/ summer births and an increased incidence in celiac.  One theory about the correlation is that typical introduction to gluten occurs around 6 months and, in babies born in spring or summer, that coincides with the winter and an increase in colds and flus.  Another theory is that vitamin D exposure may play a role.  I am clearly no scientist and these theories seemed truly odd to me -- how does it occur to someone to investigate this??   However, I am loving that studies are being conducted.  It gives me hope that there may be some conclusions drawn during my lifetime.  Perhaps even a way to prevent it.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A gluten-filled, gluten-free beer?

Have you heard of this O Mission beer? It's allegedly gluten-free, yet made with malted barley and put through a "deglutenizing" process.  I haven't tried it, but it's picking up market shares all over the states.    I can't wait for this storm to be over so I can test it out! And for other reasons.  Obviously.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Preparedness

We're all battened down here in DC, waiting with a mix of skepticism and anxiety to see what Sandy will rein upon us.  We have water in abundance.  We've brought in the Halloween decorations, lest a jack o'lantern become a missile.  We've even tackled the mountain of laundry so that we'll have some clean clothes if the power is out for any extended period of time.  We have diapers and formula.  We have flashlights and batteries.  And we have a kerosene heater sitting in the basement.  We learned some lessons from the derecho! These were the easy things.   The tough part was the food.

I think we generally have the gluten-free thing down in our house.  Like every other family with two working parents, we've got a solid rotation of meals that can be thrown together.  But we definitely eat "fresh."  (And, to a lesser extent, local and organic).  Which means that if the fridge goes down, I'm kind of at a loss.

I've stocked up on gluten-filled snacks and nonperishables for the husband and kids.  But what am I going to eat?

I started with fruit.  Fruit is easy.  And I've got some chips.  Some almonds.  Some Mary's Gone Crackers.  That was about it.  Not terribly sustaining.   So I went to MOM's and had a peek around.  I've been generally unsuccessful at finding canned goods that are labelled gluten-free.  Sadly, I didn't find much more here.  I got a couple of cans of soup that will work in an emergency (kind of the point, huh?).  Then I got some new crackers.  I was kind of striking out.  So I got some KIND bars -- which I love and frankly rely on for meal substitutes in every-day "emergencies."   And I got some Flamous chips.  They're made of chickpea flour, which is relatively healthy.  That's pretty much it.

I gave up on finding some magic, non-perishable sustenance.  Living gluten-free is great for forcing you to eat relatively healthy, fresh foods.  Not so great for Armageddon   I've got a lot of snacks.  And wine.  I have a ton of wine.  I think I'll be ok.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Reasonable Accommodations

Jennifer Esposito is just one of the ever-growing list of celebrities diagnosed with celiac and/or living a gluten-free lifestyle.  Diagnosed with celiac in 2009 after an apparently long struggle with the illness, she has become a vocal advocate for celiac awareness.  She has a blog and has started a foundation -- called the JW Foundation-- to fund research, advocacy and awareness.  And apparently she was recently effectively fired for having the disease.