Home

Are You in a Celiac Menu Food Rut?

6 Comments

Good day to you.  Many of us live fast-paced lives which causes us to put an important part of our lives, eating, on the back burner of priorities.  This causes a lot of us to purchase the same food items week-to-week and not exploit the many nutritional food choices out there.  For celiac disease survivors this can be especially problematic as nutrition is more important due to eating gluten prior to diagnosis causing malabsorption issues

So how do you raise the priority of creating nutritional meals with variety without compromising any other aspect of your life?  In my experience, I think you can accomplish this in many ways.  Initially, however, I feel you should outline a plan for yourself on paper by answering these questions:

  • How often do I want or need to go to the various food markets I shop at?
  • Do I shop for food items based upon sales advertisements?
  • Do I shop for food items based upon coupons I’ve collected?
  • How many specialized diets (i.e. gluten-free, non-dairy, vegetarian, etc.) am I shopping for?
  • Do I have specific food item cravings often?
  • How much time can I dedicate to cooking each meal?

There may be additional questions you may need to ask yourself depending on your personal and family  lifestyle.  Feel free to write those down with corresponding responses as well.

Now, what do you do with this information?  The information you gathered may be used in several ways.  I would start by setting up your grocery shopping to be the same day every week or however often you need to go to the markets.  Pick the day when your grocer has published new sales advertisements, for example.  By going the same day you are establishing a routine.  This routine will ultimately allow you to “schedule” yourself time to create the grocery lists of food items you need the day before.

Why do I mention scheduling time for yourself to create your grocery lists on the day before you do your food shopping?  So you can make a food plan, or create a menu, for the coming week or other time duration until the next grocery shopping day.  Remember the questions you answered above?  Based upon those responses, you can make outlines of what you’ll need to purchase on grocery shopping day.

Now here’s the bonus, positive part of creating a menu for yourself and your family.  This is the part where you can pull yourself out of your “menu food rut!”  Remember I recommended you “schedule” the day before grocery shopping to create your grocery lists?  Well, if you are creating a menu, then you can find new and interesting foods and recipes to try so you are not purchasing the same foods over and over!  If you are a celiac survivor, you can also take this time to confirm “new to you” food items needed are gluten-free.  When you have planned your menu, guess what?  You now have a stress-free grocery list with no forgotten items!

By creating menu plans and then grocery lists, you are guaranteeing yourself and your family variety, nutrition, and health. 

Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free.

Peace be with you.

Healthy Ageing Prevents Rapid Decline in Fitness

3 Comments

Good day to you.  Today I have the pleasure of offering you a great guest blogpost by an awesome Fitness and Nutrition coach, Mrs. Gillian Stephen, who I’ve recently met via Twitter.

Here is Mrs. Stephen’s biography in her own words: 

I’m a Fitness and Nutrition coach and also a mother of 2, a 1 year old and a 3 year old that keep me very busy.

The main areas that I focus on are weight loss and pre and post natal. The latter certification was brought about by my own pregnancies. I realised the importance of my own diet and fitness through pregnancy and post natal, to regain my shape and prior fitness levels.

I support individuals by helping them put together a strategy for weight loss. It incorporates making better food choices and fitting exercise into their busy schedules such that they lose the weight and keep it off, a lifestyle change.

Contact information for Mrs. Gillian Stephen:

I hope you enjoy Mrs. Gillian Stephen‘s educational thoughts on ageing, exercise, and good health.  Please read on …

Let’s face it none of us are getting any younger, so the old adage of,”Use It or Lose It” with regards to your fitness levels, becomes even more crucial as we age.  I personally don’t fear getting older but my wish is that I am healthy, so as not to be over reliant on others.  At the same time maintaining a healthy lifestyle does not guarantee no ailments but you reduce your risk and your body is more able to fight disease.  Your fitness levels are not a given and as you age if you are not actively working at maintaining your fitness levels it will decline. This is something that I have experienced at first hand after both my pregnancies, where it took time to regain my prior fitness levels having not trained as intensely or as frequently because of physical and time constraints.

A study done in 2010 at the German Sport University Cologne and published in the journal Deutsches Arzteblatt International found that a decline in fitness is less as a result of ageing but more attributed to a sedentary lifestyle.  It looked at a group of marathon and half marathon runners ranging in age from 20 – 79.  It found that, when the older athletes continued to train for the same duration and frequency as the younger athletes, there was a very gradual drop off in their performance.  Another study done last year at the University of Missouri-Columbia and published in the Journal of Applied Physiology appears to reinforce this.  It also found that an active lifestyle reduces age related risk factors whilst a sedentary lifestyle can in fact accelerate ageing, with a loss in muscle mass and a decrease in bone density and strength.

So what does this mean for you?  How regularly do you currently exercise?  You should be doing moderate amounts of aerobic physical activity for at least 150 mins a week or vigorous physical activity for 75 mins a week and at least 2 strength training sessions per week.  Try to aim for 30 mins a day, 5 days a week of physical activity.

Your workout routine should consist of cardio to get your heart rate up, burn calories and increase the efficiency of oxygen consumption e.g. walking, running, cycling, swimming.  Strength training to boost metabolism and help build muscle and tone e.g free weights, body weight, gym machine.  Flexibility and balance work e.g. yoga, pilates, stretching.

The benefits will be:

• Increased lean muscle mass to burn fat

• Maintain bone density to prevent diseases like osteoporosis and arthritis

• Weight Management

• Maintain mobility

• Maintain strength

• Prevent Cardiovascular disease

• Maintain flexibility

Don’t wait until you start to feel the effects of ageing or you need to exercise, start now laying down a good foundation to reap the many rewards.

Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free.  Educate yourself on the benefits of being with Fitness and Health so you may enjoy a more active lifestyle longer.

Peace be with you

Celiac and Glutenfree 101: Resources for Newly Diagnosed Celiac Survivors

Leave a comment

Good day to you.  I want to go back to the beginning and Day 1 of the diagnosis you received – celiac disease.  Do you remember that day?  Personally, I don’t as I was diagnosed at the age of 5 1/2.  Many celiac survivors, however, are diagnosed in their early to mid-adulthood of lifespan.  What emotions do you remember?  How did you feel physically in coming days, weeks, and months after your diagnosis?

The reason I want to go back to the beginning of celiac disease diagnosis is because many of us forget what the initial emotional and physical shock felt like when we were diagnosed.  Not to mention the anxiety of always wondering:  “Did I get glutened, or is that gas?”  Imagine the person standing next to you on the sidewalk or in the subway as being newly diagnosed with celiac disease.  It would be a rather formidable experience to repeat wouldn’t it?

For the reasons above, and many more, I decided to compile a resource of links  which should be very valuable to the newly diagnosed celiac and maybe even to more experienced celiac survivors.  Please “click” on: 

I hope you find the weblinks above helpful to you.  These links were found by me typing “celiac disease and newly diagnosed” in my favorite search engine.  If you require information specific to your celiac diagnosis, type in what you’re looking for and chances are you’ll find the information.

In closing, I would highly recommend newly diagnosed celiac survivors  join the Twitter conversation if you haven’t already.  There, you can meet like-minded Tweeps who can be a very valuable resource for you with any questions you may have.  You may follow me via @GFDougie on Twitter.

Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free.

Peace be with you.

Summer Time Celiac: Gluten-free Grilling and Cookout Safety

5 Comments

Good day to you.  We, TR Crumbley  and GFDougie, are collaborating on a joint blog post in regard to summer grilling and cookouts with safety and health in mind for you, the gluten sensitive and celiac survivor.  We hope you find this information beneficial for your own social summer cookout event or in attending another’s as a guest.

Memorial Day has just passed a few weeks ago, ushering in the beginning of summer.  The incoming summer season brings all the fun, classic outdoor activities we all love; amongst them outdoor grilling and the equally important side dishes at these cookouts.

Those of us with gluten sensitivity or surviving with celiac may assume that grilled foods are easily gluten-free.   However, the possibilities of cross contamination  exist even when cooking on a hot grill.  For those of you who may not know, cross contamination is the instance where gluten-free food is exposed to gluten through actions such as cooking on the same surface of or using the same utensils on foods containing gluten.

Today we want to share some practical tips to help minimize the risk of cross contamination while enjoying the experience of a great summer grill and the neighborhood cookout for you, gluten-free.  Social outings such as these for those of you with gluten sensitivity and celiac survival needs will make such outings easier for all of us; that said here are some tips to live by:

(Note: Even taking these precautions does not guarantee 100% prevention of cross contamination. Always be cautious and aware when cooking in the presence of gluten.)


1.  On a day before you attend the cookout, please talk to the hosts and let them know you’ll need to eat gluten-free and let them know why.  Depending on how comfortable you are with the hosts, and how knowledgeable they are of your gluten sensitivity or celiac survival needs, be sure to have a detailed dialogue so the hosts knows of your food restrictions.  They may be even flexible enough to use a dedicated grilling surface just for you, gluten-free.

2.  Clean the grill or have the hosts clean the grill thoroughly before cooking.  By having the grill cleaned beforehand, you’ll reduce any amount of any residual gluten from the cooking surface and reduce gluten cross contamination chances.

3.  On the day of the cookout, do not assume your hosts remember everything about gluten cross contamination.  Provide your hosts with a friendly reminder to dedicate a portion of the grill for gluten-free grilling or have them cook your foods first.

4.  Wrap your food to reduce the risk of gluten contamination. For foods such as corn-on-the-cob that can be cooked while wrapped, wrap the food in aluminum foil and then cook on the grill.  You’ll get that same grilled flavor without any potential cross contamination of gluten.

5.  Keep cooking and serving utensils and serving platters separate for gluten-free.  By doing so, gluten can’t cross contaminate from one food to another.

What about the side dishes, gluten-free, at the cookout for the gluten sensitive and the celiac survivor?  Baked beans via Carol Kicinski, Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Creamy Broccoli and Carrot Slaw  via yummly, and Three Bean Salad are some of the many comforting dishes you can easily make gluten-free.  Other gluten-free suggestions are gluten-free chips and salsa or dip.  Be as creative as your wallet and mind will allow you to be.

In closing, we think education and dialogue are important tools in regard to the gluten sensitive and celiac survivor in having a positive experience at the grill and neighborhood cookout this summer.  With a little preparation and communication, a gluten-free and cross contamination free cookout can be enjoyed by you.

Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free this summer.

Peace be with you.

TR Crumbley and GFDougie

What Causes a Celiac to Mimic A Gluten Diet?

Leave a comment

Good day to you.  We all know surviving Celiac Disease is no easy task.  Despite that, I’ve decided to raise a very thought-provoking question to my fellow celiac survivors:  “What causes a Celiac to mimic a gluten diet?”  What caused me to raise this question?  The short answer is the feed I receive daily from celiac survivors on Twitter.  I see all kinds of gluten-free cookie, bread, scone, french-toast, dessert and other glutenesque recipes.  I keep asking myself – why are these tweets so popular and/ or so well-responded to?  How are celiac survivors leading a nutrition-filled Life devouring tweets like these as if they are candy?

To educate myself, I went to the Stuffed Pepper website to ask that very question:  What Causes Celiac to Mimic A Gluten Diet?.  To say the least, the responses I received were stark in contrast in regard to what I expected to receive.  Glutenesque recipes are very popular on the internet.  That said the reasons behind them are as diverse as the originating celiac survivor tweep.  Many celiac survivors, I’ve found, are new in their celiac journey and find gluten-free pasta familiar to substitute with what they already knew in regard to gluten pasta recipes.  Other celiac survivors, now gluten-free, use their education with different wheat flours and gluten recipes and transpose them with gluten-free flours and create great gluten-free recipes for us on that end.  Additionally, many celiac survivors create recipes for us solely based upon the celiac survivor need at large.

In that research, I’ve found one common denominator.  Celiacs want to help themselves and each other.  While celiacs like to mimic gluten ingredients, they don’t always depend on those same ingredients to be gluten-free.  Familiar ingredients do create familiar or similar dishes whether with or without gluten.  In general,  I feel celiac survivors want to educate others with gluten-free options which may be similar to the gluten diet, but with their own twist or touch.  Celiac survivors want their cake and eat it and want nutrition as well.

Anecdotally, I do observe savory recipe education is on the rise with the celiac survivor on Twitter.  This is a trend I hope will continue to expand in coming months and years.  Nutrition is of up most importance for the celiac survivor as a result of absorption issues and damage previous gluten ingestion has caused us.  Nutritious, meal-time recipes for celiac survivors are a needed educational resource which all should share.  If you have such ideas, please don’t be afraid to tweet on Twitter or blog on.

Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free.

Peace be with you.

Emotions in Regard to Celiac Disease

8 Comments

Good day to you.  My name is Dougie and I’m a Celiac.  How many times have I made this or a variance of this greeting to people I’ve interacted with?  I wouldn’t be able to count.  The more important question I would like to ask is this – how do you feel when you make that greeting?

Celiac disease is an emotional autoimmune disease.  When I was younger, I felt like cringing when I had to announce my disease.  Why?  It alerted others I was different, not the norm, and high maintenance.  I would then have to go into my spiel of what celiac disease is and what I can eat (yes, I can eat potatoes) and cannot eat (no, I cannot eat just the cherries off of the pie crust), gluten.  It can be very frustrating, especially if my audience doesn’t get it.  Having to explain myself, and my disease, only intensifies my feelings of difference.  Now that I’m older and have a better understanding of the disease, I embrace it.  As a result of embracing celiac disease, I’ve found my emotions and self-esteem has improved for the positive.  I no longer cringe when I say “Hi, my name is Dougie and I’m a Celiac.”  Why?  Because of my attitude change and how I feel about myself and my disease.  I own who I am and what I have.  While celiac disease is not the whole of me, it is a part of me.

Besides the social element of emotion in regard to celiac disease, there is another important emotional aspect – the food itself.  Yes, for the normal diet, food brings about many emotions as a result of memories, comfort, and well-being.  For the celiac survivor, food also brings about these same emotions but I feel there’s more to it.  Negative emotions and feelings can abound if the celiac survivor focuses on what they can’t eat or make.  On the flip side, the celiac survivor can achieve the same emotions as those on a regular diet by focusing on what they can eat or make.  What can celiac survivors do to focus on what they can eat or make?  Learn how to cook gluten-free by making substitutions for gluten flour in recipes.  Focus on natural vegetables and fruits without using flour.  Get delicious recipes from other celiac survivors.  What is the celiac survivor left with?  Emotions brought on by positive memories, comfort, and well-being.

I do not have a medical background or education.  That said I feel many celiac survivors are not in touch with their emotions enough to validate themselves and what they are up against as a survivor.  Acknowledging the feelings and emotions, I feel, is one of the first steps for the celiac survivor to recover mentally and then physically and truly be gluten-free.  I feel until these first steps are understood and completed, the true celiac survivor does not exist.  What do you think?

Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free – and Celiac Disease Awareness for May.

Peace be with you.

How do I envision living in a better gluten-free world?

2 Comments

Good day to you.  My vision of living in a better gluten-free world is rather simple:  Having gluten-free food choices and being able to enjoy all of those choices in all settings.  That’s a simple enough statement isn’t it?  But where would or should those same gluten-free food choices and settings be?  That, my friend, is the more difficult question isn’t it?

Currently, food choices have greatly expanded in the main-stream Grocery store and the Health Food store for gluten-free food items.  Choices have also expanded with gluten-free menu items with National restaurant chains and with some Independent restaurants as well.  We celiacs, and gluten-free, are also making progress in regard to being able to purchase gluten-free food items more conveniently and at a cheaper cost than in the past.

However, I’m going to turn the silver-lining of the cloud of optimism upside-down.  There is a stigma of celiac, gluten-free which exists with family, friends, acquaintances, and co-workers. I only state ‘stigma’ as there is no knowledge easily accessible out there, without specifically researching “celiac, or gluten-free diet” in regard to celiac, gluten-free on the Internet.  Eating gluten-free in settings such as your family, friends, acquaintances, and co-workers without risk of cross-contamination is no small undertaking.  Education in regard to how your personal involvement with family, friends and acquaintances, and co-workers react to your gluten-free world is paramount in regard to your survival and health.  Most do not know the consequence of you even eating a crumb of gluten and how it will affect you.  It is your job to educate others.

A better gluten-free world?  People close to you will have to educate for themselves on what a gluten-free, celiac world means to you.  But others will not.  It’s up to you to figure out who is your advocate, and who is not.

Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free.

Peace be with you.