Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gluten/Allergen Free Expo: Hit List!

So, in one day I have to hit a vendor fair of over 70 companies that I'm interested in. Because of that I did a lot of research this week to make sure I hit my top interests. I thought I'd share them with you all too in case you have any information or thoughts!

·         Kim Koeller
o   GlutenFree Passport:
·         Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery - Love the outreach
·         San-J – On front page of website:
·         Schar – great use of technology and web interaction - 
·         Living Without - love it, want to learn anything and everything I can about getting involved with them 
·         Enjoy Life 
·         Happy Baby – organic baby food, focus on allergens and keeping them out – this is awesome!
·         EZ Gluten – definitely…who knows they could be the next big thing – test strips for gluten in food -
·         Lovegrown Foods - would love to discuss their expansion plans
·         CrunchMaster
·         Udi’s
·         Namaste Foods –
·         GF Coupons -  anyone looking to buy them?
·         Allergy Free Foods - their CEO Kellie would be a great person to get to know…15 years in marketing and business development
·         Gluten Intolerance Group
·         The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center – what is their main focus? Awareness, testing, FDA? 
·         Natural Grocers - they have a challenge on their hands, what is their marketing and business development strategy for differentiation??
·         Subway – pure curiosity, I would love to know how a non-gluten focused restaurant chain like Subway is going to make the switch
·         Dr. Stephen Wangen – Healthier Without Wheat - Try to see him!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

eHow Article: How to exercise with Celiac

This article was shared with me by a friend and I found it fascinating because I'm an avid exerciser. I definitely ignore instructions #3 and #4 with my love of water sports, running and tennis but I do believe that extra attention must be paid to the level of calcium that I'm taking in. Check it out and realize that this is extreme!! I have to assume that these issues would be most relevant to someone who went un-diagnosed for many many years or is elderly....

How to Exercise With Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a disorder where the immune system is triggered after eating gluten, causing it to attack the lining of the stomach. This can lead to malnutrition, weight gain or weight loss, decrease in bone and muscle strength, an increased risk for osteoporosis, arthritis and muscle soreness. Exercise can help celiac patients greatly if patients are aware of the risks and precautions at all times, before starting a new routine.

Moderately Easy


    • 1
      Start exercising with celiac disease by realizing the importance of physical fitness for anyone’s health. By consistently exercising 4 to 5 days per week (doing something you enjoy), you will help your body function and become stronger with celiac disease than if you skipped physical activity altogether.
    • 2
      Increase calcium in the diet. Many people with celiac disease have weakened bones from malnutrition and years of misdiagnoses. Even if your bones and body seem stronger, damage can still be done without your knowledge. So, start taking a gluten-free calcium supplement and eat a variety of vitamin rich foods like kale, spinach and dairy (or soy products if allergic).
    • 3
      Be aware of the dangers of high impact exercise on bone strength, if you're suffering from celiac disease. Consider minimizing exercises like running or high-impact aerobics and switch to gentle walking, Pilate’s or water activities. If forfeiting your running routine is just too hard to bear, than strongly consider visiting a chiropractor or physician on a regular basis for consistent evaluation of bone health.
    • 4
      Watch out for unexpected injuries or broken bones. Celiac disease patients are more likely to harm themselves because of weakened muscle and skeletal systems, so try skipping dangerous sports (like skiing or football) for gentler activities (like swimming). When in doubt, simply wear all of the appropriate protective gear needed if you're participating in any extremely physical activities.
    • 5
      Whether or not you are trying to lose, gain or maintain weight with physical fitness, listen to your body at all times. If you have recently been contaminated with gluten and are still recovering, then let your body rest with some gentle Yoga or stretching. If your bones are brittle and you feel that physical fitness is difficult, then simply try 15 minutes every day instead of pushing yourself too far.

Read more: How to Exercise With Celiac Disease |

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The truth about salads...

There is a misunderstanding among those who do not eat gluten-free that salads are a perfect go-to to feed us when there are no other options. I have to admit, this is not always true and kind of frustrating...

First off, salads are not universally gluten-free! Lettuce is...therefore, just asking if I want a salad is not enough information. I need to know what is on that salad:

- Is there meat? If so, what kind? Most deli meats have gluten fillers and many cooked meats have seasonings or are in danger of being cross-contaminated in the kitchen

- What about cheese? Celiac patients cannot have the "moldy" cheeses so if they are sprinkled in that's a no-go

- If croutons are automatically on included (pre-packaged) then forget it; and also don't accidentally put them on and take them off because that's cross-contamination too

- Less likely, but still a concern, how did you cut up and prepare the vegetables? Did you cut something glutenous with that knife first?

- Finally....dressing. MOST dressings are NOT gluten-free. I would pretty much need to know the brand and check with them or read the label in order to feel comfortable with it. Oil & vinegar is an option but...that gets old fast.

Secondly, salads are not that good, especially with all the goodies that have to be left off from above. I understand it seems easy and safe but I mean come on...I can't eat glorified lettuce every meal of the day. The hunger comes back about 30 minutes later and I end up reaching for some plain potato chips. 

For those of you who have made this mistakes time and time again, this is not to blame would you know? Please just be aware that if we do get a salad it has to be specific and if we have to spend more than one meal with you, get creative and try to provide something different next time around :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Great Resource: Gluten-Free Passport

As I prepare for the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo in less than a month, I realize that attending just won't cut it, I would love to meet, and if possible sit down, with influential individuals within the market. Kim Koeller, President and CEO of GlutenFree Passport, is presenting both days of the conference and I look forward to hearing more about her business and outlook when it comes to the special dietary market. She runs the very successful, which highlights chain and fast food restaurant menus, international chains for pizzas and bakeries that cater to gluten-free and much more that you can only see to appreciate (including information, changing  landscapes, etc.)

Please check it out and share with your friends, she has developed an amazing resource. In addition, she has agreed to sit down with me so I can explore the field and learn from one who has come before me! I cannot wait to just listen to her story and pick her brain.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Symptom: Migraines...

To start I just want to tell myself "I told you so...". This weekend while tailgating for the UT football game I decided to have what were claimed as "gluten-free" fries from the food trailer sponsoring our MBA tailgate. I spoke with the cook before ordering anything (it was all free) and they explained that the fries were only fried along with tofu, so I could get them plain. Well when they came out they were not just plain but had a spice on them...

My gut screamed MSG, MSG at me but of course I didn't listen this one time. I have never had a slip-up with MSG before but I know as a Celiac we are supposed to stay away from it. About half-way through the game I started getting a terrible headache and by the ride home (3rd quarter) I could hardly stand it. There were no digestive problems oddly but I was up until 5am with a knife sticking out of my head...and now a couple of days later I'm getting a bit of a red rash on my hands.

I inquire to other Celiac and gluten-free patients out there - have you had these types of reactions? If so, are there are ingredients that specifically cause symptoms other than those that are digestive? Please help!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gluten & Allergen Free Expo - Coming to Dallas October 1-2, 2011

As I was doing research on potential career paths that match my MBA and my gluten-free lifestyle I decided that I needed to further explore the business side of the special diet industry. So instead of attending a national career fair with large, fortune 500 companies, I've received permission to attend the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in Dallas to refine my internship search, learn more about the growth within the market and simply network with others who really understand what I go through.

I couldn't have been more excited to come across the Expo during my search: There will be so much going on I don't know if I will be able to fit it all in, but my main goal is to really extend my hand to those at the vendor fair.

Some of the offerings...

  • Gluten-free cooking classes
  • Speakers
  • Vendor Fair
  • Prepared lunch (both Sat. and Sun.)
  • and much more!
The price of entry for each day is $20 - and if you want to experience an awesome meal, totally gluten-free AND cooked for you, there is an optional $20/day lunch. 

I love that this is so close to home, although I will be sure to follow it yearly now that I'm tuned in. My thoughts are running wild with ideas on what to ask these companies, including "do you need an intern next summer :)". I encourage all of you to consider going one of the two days and checking on what they have to offer. If nothing else I'm sure you will learn even more about the lifestyle.

Hope to see you there!