Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bloom Where You're Planted...

It's been quite some time since I last posted anything on this blog - sorry. This new year has brought with it an abundance and overload of change, travel, moving, new career opportunities, moving...did I mention moving?? Ugh. All positive and transitional happenings, however, yet still daunting enough (at moments) to cause me the need to stop and "smell the roses" in order to find adequate space to be present and aware of all that's actually transpiring. Truth be told, I'm in a growing spurt! 

In the midst of this crazy time I had the opportunity to attend the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo that was held in San Francisco this month, representing the University of Chicago and our board. As I had mentioned in a previous post, I'm serving now as their only out-of-state board member. Attending and working the event was very interesting and enlightening, to say the least. Since I was diagnosed with celiac disease close to 13 years ago, it was impressive to now see the sheer volume of GF-founded businesses being represented at the Expo vs. back in my day of diagnosis. During both days of the event my colleague and I would take turns walking the expo floor and I found myself almost in awe of just how many GF products were being represented! From cookbook authors and magazine publishers to an abundance of bakery mixes, cookies, cupcakes, crackers (a lot of products beginning with the letter "c")...and even one hyperbolic chamber! Yes, you did read correctly! All those years my best friend has suggested that I "live in a bubble," well, now that can actually become a reality! 

Be sure to visit the GF Expo site - they offer expos throughout the U.S. and are a great place to pick up tons of sample products, information and emotional support from fellow celiacs who seem to always want to share their stories and tips. 

Another interesting article that just came out in today's New York Times Opinion Page titled, "Who has the guts for gluten?" This second sentence is what really caught my attention, "But the rapidly increasing prevalence of celiac disease, which has quadrupled in the United States in just 50 years, is still mystifying." I have my own personal theory on this rapid increase of CD but I'll keep it to myself for has something to do with the massive amount of chemicals and fillers pumped into our foods, but of course, I'm not a doctor! The other interesting mention in this article was around the idea of "faster diagnosis time" in the U.S. could be the cause of seeing such rapid increase. I do know to some degree this is true, however, on a more real and humanistic level I still receive calls and speak with people all of the time who have been struggling with blatant CD symptoms yet their "highly-trained" docs delay and delay testing for CD. It's astonishing to me that the average newly diagnosed person has still suffered for years prior to finally receiving an answer. It's a very frustrating conversation and reality.

One final and very exciting note, GlutenFreeTravelSite has launched their new iPhone and Android apps giving users direct access to the site's dining and travel reviews from their handheld smartphones! 

Now, fans of GlutenFreeTravelSite will be able to access the site’s thousands of dining and travel reviews when “on the go” using either iOS or Android powered devices. The user-submitted reviews of restaurants, bakeries, markets, hotels, resorts, and B&Bs throughout the U.S. and around the world are searchable by town or zip code and can be mapped and shared with others. A special reminder service within the Dine Gluten Free app also allows users to save “must try” establishments in areas they’ll be visiting – and then receive an alert on their mobile phone when they’re in close proximity.

Be sure to download one of the FREE apps today and start using them to find your favorite GF restaurants and submit your reviews. 

Have a great week everyone - I promise to write soon!