Do you remember when you were 1st diagnosed with Celiac Disease? I most certainly do, as it was almost five years ago just as I was getting settled in Austin, TX. My rheumatologist in San Francisco changed my life, she figured out what so many other doctor’s hadn’t. I’d spent two years back and forth between various doctor’s at Cedar Sinai and UCLA, having multiple doctor’s tell me I was just stressed out. I knew my body better than that, especially after having all of my car accidents, you learn to become your own advocate.
Over the last 5 years there have been so many organizations that have been instrumental in my living a gluten-free lifestyle, as well as countless others living with Celiac Disease. With today being National Celiac Awareness Day, I wanted to one, share a list of resources I’ve found invaluable and two give away one of my favorite Cookbooks (read more on the cookbook giveaway at the end of this post). Here is a list of organization that are fighting the good gluten-free fight and a little about what they do:
1in133.org is an organization started by Jules Shepard and John Forberger, and the American Celiac Disease Alliance.
In 2004, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) tasked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop and finalize standards for gluten-free labeling. Due in 2008, the celiac community is still waiting for FDA to fulfill that mandate. To the millions of Americans who eat gluten-free food, the lack of a standard is a big deal.
In January 2011, frustrated by the lack of progress on the labeling front two gluten-free activists, triathlete John Forberger, and Jules Shepard author of “The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten-Free,” devised a plan to build the world’s tallest gluten-free cake. They rallied leaders throughout the celiac community and beyond to join them in May, in the nation’s capitol, to kick-off Celiac Awareness Month. The goal — refocus attention on the overdue labeling rules. That effort, along with the weight of the world’s largest gluten-free cake, had an impact that resonated across the country.
National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is a 501c3 organization started by Alice Bast after struggling through doctor appointment after doctor appointment. NFCA is dedicated to increasing diagnoses of celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders and improving quality of life for those on a lifelong gluten-free diet.
With resources such as Celiac Symptoms Checklist, recipes, most current news and research on Celiac Disease, training and education for restaurant owners, NFCA is paving the way for the gluten-free community and helping so many along the way.
Whole Foods Market – This was my 1st stop in my gluten-free journey after I left my doctors office, and luckily I hit up the Lamar location, which happens to be Whole Foods Flagship Store. With such a vast array of gluten-free products, their staff is armed with a list of gluten-free products, as well as tips and tricks to help get you started cooking gluten-free!
Their quality standards team works tirelessly to bring the you the best gluten-free products. Whole Foods Market also has a dedicated gluten-free bakehouse, creating some of the best gluten-free products on the market. Sign-up for one of their many gluten-free cooking classes as well at their culinary center (check your local location for events & cooking classes).
The mission of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America® is to support persons with gluten intolerance, celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, and other gluten sensitivities, through consumer and industry services and programs that positively promote healthy lives.
With local branches, make sure you reach out to your local GIG branch and get involved. You will make some great friends but you’ll also learn so much from others who are living a gluten-free life and it will be a good support system for you.
Conferences & Food Expo’s:
Nourished Food Bloggers Conference is really the mecca of food blogger conferences for those with Celiac Disease, Gluten-Intolerance and just about any other food allergy. This year the inaugural conference was held in April in Chicago. Mark your calendars now as the next Nourished Conference is slated for Dallas, TX – 2013’s date to be announced soon so subscribe for announcements.
Amy Green of Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free and Jen Cafferty of the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo realized there was a need for such a conference and brought in some of the leading experts in the gluten-free community, as well as several top-notch vendors who provided conference attendees with samples of their products.
Gluten & Allergen Free Expo is a traveling road show of the best gluten-free products in the industry. Plus they host various cooking demos from some of the leading experts in the industry, such as Karen Morgan of Blackbird Bakes, Dates for 2013 are set so look at for this food expo coming to your city!
Magazines – Yes there are a handful of gluten-free magazines I love & here is a list:
And now for the cookbook giveaway! I will be giving away a copy of Michael Natkin’s cookbook Herbivoracious.
I’ve been a big fan of Michael’s book since he came to Austin back in April and I’m sure you will enjoy it also. Head over to Blinded by the Bite! Facebook Page, “Like” our page and share with us what’s been the most influential gluten-free resource for you, as well as “Like” Michael’s Herbivoracious Facebook Page. Michael will be back in Austin to teach a class on October 24th at Whole Foods Culinary Center!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post and find in helpful. These have been such great resources to me. One area I didn’t cover in detail here is the numerous gluten-free food blogs I read. These are also one of the most useful and informative resources! Find your favorite blogs, post comments and you will find it such a great resource and you will be delighted with the recipes shared and the knowledge you’ll gain – Wishing you a very happy National Celiac Awareness Day!