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Thursday, January 25, 2007
NYC Restaurants
There is an awesome site called Menupages.com that lets you review the menus of tons of restaurants in New York City. Rachel F., a member of the NYC Celiac Disease meetup group, recently told me that "gluten-free" is now a drop-down search item in various neighborhoods. Apparently, it only shows up as a choice when there is a restaurant in that neighborhood that has a gluten-free menu or that is aware of gluten-free needs.

Here is a list of the restaurants that Menupages.com indicates have gluten-free items available. These menus can change and some NYC restaurants (especially/unfortunately gluten-free restaurants) have a high turnover rate, so please call before dining.

Asia de Cuba
237 Madison Ave | Btwn 37th & 38th St

Bloom's Delicatessen
350 Lexington Ave | At 40th St

Tropica
200 Park Ave | At 45th St

Candle 79
154 E 79th St | Btwn Lex & 3rd Ave

Lumi
963 Lexington Ave | At 70th St

Slice, The Perfect Food
1413 2nd Ave | Btwn 73rd & 74th St

Peter's
1606 1st Ave | Btwn 83rd & 84th St

Cafe Fiorello
1900 Broadway | Btwn 63rd & 64th St

Sambuca
20 W 72nd St | Btwn CPW & Columbus Ave

Bistango
415 3rd Ave | At 29th St

Chennai Garden
129 E 27th St | Btwn Park & Lexington Ave

Risotteria
270 Bleecker St | Btwn 6th & 7th Ave

Sacred Chow
227 Sullivan St | Btwn Bleecker & W 3rd St

Gobo
401 6th Ave | Btwn Waverly Pl & 8th St

Flor's Kitchen
149 1st Ave | Btwn 9th & 10th St

Viva Herbal Pizzeria
179 2nd Ave | Btwn 11th & 12th St

Babycakes
248 Broome St | Btwn Orchard & Ludlow St

teany
90 Rivington St | Btwn Orchard & Ludlow St

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Gluten Free Girls Recipe Contest Winner: ME!!

In the summer of 2005, I entered an online gluten-free recipe contest on a whim. I have always enjoyed baking and one of my favorite recipes is making simple peanut butter cookies so yummy that most people cannot even tell are gluten-free. I brought them in for a baby shower at work one day and then started getting requests for me to bake the cookies for other events. Since it was such a big hit both in the gluten-free and gluten world, I figured I would submit this recipe. In November 2005 the winners were announced and I was one of them!! It was so exciting to hear that I was going to have my p.b. cookie recipe in a cookbook, it was just as exciting to win a $100 gift card to Whole Foods.

In the summer of 2006, The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and Author Vanessa Maltin released Beyond Rice Cakes: A Young Person’s Guide to Cooking, Eating & Living Gluten-Free. I finally got my copy of the book today and I was absolutely THRILLED to finally see my name in print. Not only do I have award-winning cookies, but I am now a published recipe chef. ;-) You can find my name on page 40 and my recipe and name (again!) on page 149.

Beyond Rice Cakes page 40

Beyond Rice Cakes page 149

WOOHOO!!


Please visit the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness at http://www.celiaccentral.org/ for more information about purchasing the book.

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Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Jules Thin Crust Pizza
I had the pleasure of ringing in the new year with some delicious gluten-free pizza from Jules Thin Crust in Doylestown, PA. There are hundreds of combinations of toppings with only one topping to avoid (the sausage is not GF). The gluten-free pizzas only come in medium which was enough for dinner and two meals of leftovers. I had a pizza with tomato, basil, arugula, garlic, mozzarella, and tomato sauce which was outstanding!!!






If you are in the area, definitely check out:

Jules Thin Crust
78 South Main Street
Doylestown, PA
www.JulesThinCrust.com

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Monday, January 8, 2007
The New York City Celiac Disease Meetup Group (part 2)
I realize that many of my readers are not in the NYC area so I thought I would post all Celiac Disease Meetup Groups here. I find these groups to be much more casual than other support groups I have participated with in the past. Most of the groups seem to focus their meetups around eating (don't we all!) and information sessions.

Please check them out!

New York City: http://celiacdisease.meetup.com/1/
Atlanta: http://celiacdisease.meetup.com/11/
Northern New Jerseyhttp://celiacdisease.meetup.com/49/
North Idaho: http://celiacdisease.meetup.com/78/
Seattle: http://celiacdisease.meetup.com/90/
PA/DE/NJ: http://celiacdisease.meetup.com/91/
Bay Area: http://celiacdisease.meetup.com/93/
Morristown: http://celiacdisease.meetup.com/89/
Marietta: http://celiacdisease.meetup.com/92/

If you are interested in forming a meetup group in your area, please click below for more information
http://celiacdisease.meetup.com/about/

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The New York City Celiac Disease Meetup Group (part 1)
Please visit us at:
http://celiacdisease.meetup.com/1/

In June 2004 I found myself looking for a group in Manhattan similar to the support groups I had been active in with my mother while growing up on Long Island. I happened upon the MeetUp.com website which seemed to have a variety of activities for people all over the world. There was a Celiac group in Manhattan that I decided to join. My first meetup with this group was a disaster. The website organized the meeting in a location that served pastries and cookies and everything WITH gluten. The group was less than five people and I only found one of these people to be friendly and inviting. This was quite the opposite of the Nassau County group I had been a part of since childhood. Quite disappointed, I decided to not attend another meetup.

In late 2006, I figured I would give the group a second chance. I noticed that there were many activities planned at gluten-free or gluten-aware establishments but a very enthusiastic woman named Shanel. Shanel always sent out upbeat emails announcing her events and brought a new life to the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup Group.

Shortly after my first dinner with this group, I knew this was exactly the kind of group I was looking for. There are only so many dinners that you can go out with your friends and spend more than half of the meal explaining why you eat the way you do. The people in the NYC CD Meetup know exactly why you spend so much time ordering and talking to the waitstaff, why you won't go to particular restaurants, and why you bring your own buns for a hamburger. I was extremely excited about this group and decided to help Shanel with planning.

In the summer 2006, I became assistant organizer to The New York City Celiac Disease Meetup Group. I began exploring different venues around Manhattan to have our gluten-free dinners. I became more active on the message board and began friendships with many others with Celiac Disease. It was an awesome way to feel like a strong part of a community who understands my eating habits and lifestyles. It always makes me laugh to talk to someone about a food reaction and to say "Me too!!" and makes me laugh harder when you are talking to a stranger for the first time that openly admits about their gas and diarrhea problems. Who else but someone with Celiac Disease (or IBS or Chron's) would talk this way.

So now is my blatant self-promotion of this amazing group. I am working hard in 2007 to have more creative meetups and find new venues for our group. I am active on the message board and have been trying to share my knowledge as fast as I get it with the group. If you are anywhere near NYC and would like more information, please consider joining our group. Even if you do not attend one of our events, our messages boards are quite active and our members are friendly.

Please visit us at:
http://celiacdisease.meetup.com/1/

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Thursday, January 4, 2007
My Life as a Celiac
I have decided that one of my New Year's resolutions for 2007 is to start a blog dedicated to Celiac Disease and living gluten-free. I read many blogs on these subjects daily and often find myself wanting to share the information I am learning. From new restaurants, to new product announcements, to gluten-free vendor fairs, there is just so much information out there for people with Celiac Disease to learn.

I, in no way, consider myself an expert on Celiac Disease but I do have a very long history of eating gluten free and living a healthy life with CD. I was a very sick toddler. I stopped growing, was extremely underweight and considered malnourished, and clearly was not thriving as a child that age should be thriving. I was diagnosed with celiac disease before my third birthday in 1981. I believe that my parents and I were quite lucky to have found a "radical" doctor suggest a gluten-free diet more than 25 years ago. Within weeks, I started acting like a normal 3-year-old and starting developing normally. My doctor's belief at the time was that I would probably remain on a gluten-free diet for the rest of my life.

In kindergarten, my gastroenterologist decided to give my parents the option of giving me a gluten challenge. During this challenge I would be able to ingest any foods I wanted, even ones containing gluten. I vaguely remembering talking to my teacher and telling her it was ok for me to eat pretzels and cookies for one day only. Needless to say, I was extremely sick and bed-ridden for the days following. My parents agreed to keep me on the gluten-free diet forever and started actively looking for products that were gluten-free every chance they got. My mom started ordering my breads from Ener-G Foods and I still buy bread by the case from them to this day.

Throughout adolescence, my teens, and my college years, I found sticking to the gluten-free diet to be very challenging at times. I would be out with my friends and I would want to taste "normal" food like pizzas, cookies, bagels, etc. I would take small bites thinking that this would do no harm. Yes, I know this "cheating" is a very taboo subject in the celiac world but I guess I see it as any part of growing up and life. People know that they shouldn't smoke, but they still do. I knew gluten was bad for me, so I ate it. I was probably worst during my college years because I felt like a college cafeteria would never cater directly to me. I was one in thousands so why should I ask the kitchen to prepare special foods for me. I got terribly sick with mono at the end of freshman year and I fully blame it on my poor diet. I was constipated for days on end and sophomore year I lost a ton of weight because I was so sick. By junior and senior year, I no longer had a meal plan and I was getting back to being healthy again.

In the past year or so I have become extremely active, again, in Celiac Disease message boards, meeting groups, and event planning. I have learned so much in the past few years, mainly from those of you who have been newly diagnosed with celiac disease. It is amazing to me how (to this day) many of you are the ones who suggest that you might have this to medical professionals after doing extensive research to diagnose yourselves. I recently met a woman who was literally told by her doctor "I don't know about celiac, why don't you read up about it and come back to me with what you have learned." I was floored when she told me this story, but it is unfortunately all too common.

As I mentioned earlier, I am NOT a medical professional or a celiac expert. I am just a 28-year-old female that has been celiac for more than 90% of my lifetime. I enjoy surfing the web to find new gluten-free products, gluten-free recipes, and read stories of other people with celiac disease. I love trying out restaurants and bars that have actually heard about gluten and know how to cater to someone who is avoiding it. I also love to share my story in hopes that this will bring more awareness to the community we all live in. I welcome all feedback and suggestions and will regularly monitor my comments and emails from anyone that reads this blog.

Please enjoy and live a happy, health, gluten-free life in 2007 and for the years to come.

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