Resources Page

Frequently updated.  Resources and a network of local providers, meetups, conferences and food sources.  I will add to this post as often as I confirm new information.  It should be Featured (pinned to the top of the blog).  If it's not, please let me know. General Information on Celiac Disease and related links are found at the bottom of the article (very long page, and yes it needs some reorganization).

Safe Restaurants - If it's in this list, I've eaten there personally.  NOTE:  Although it's not something I've seen locally, it is possible to certify Gluten Free food service.
Primal  (fine dining, call ahead or reservations)  Akashi (sushi bar)Bull City Ciderworks  (bar, cider is GF, the food truck nearby is not GF though) Fresh Levant (welcoming atmosphere, in good weather, can sit outdoors, reservations recommended for dinner)

Photo by:Matthew Henry
Haven't tried these, but probably good restaurants:
 With any mixed GF/nonGF restaurant, please call first…

Raleigh-Durham-Triangle Deserves a Celiac Safe Gluten Free Event

I've had a long standing frustration about the GFAF Wellness Event that runs regional conventions.  When I first attended, I thought, "Great, these are curated businesses that cater to my needs."  Not so.  These vendors are businesses that say they cater to my needs, but might not.  And the event isn't safe for Celiacs or people with Wheat Allergy.  

So where are we?  We're back to claims being made that we as consumers with an illness have to carefully evaluate.  I was hoping for an event that would make me feel safe and feel that there is an abundance of options.  Instead, I felt like I was participating in a marketing experiment..  "Will the gluten free customers buy  your claims?"

So let me clearly answer that question.  No.  Not unless your food or product is Celiac safe, and if you claim Wheat Free, it had better be allergen safe.

I'm sure it's difficult to find local Celiac Safe vendors to participate in any  GFAF Event.  But when I we…

Why Insurance Meddling in Doctor Decisions and Pharmacies Must STOP

On July 16th, 2018, HHS took down the guidelines for doctors website,  I'm pretty sure that's who made it not-ok for ER's to give vitamin IV's, which have helped me a great deal. So I hope it's obvious why I'm glad it's gone. I'd be even happier if guidelines written by insurance companies were also repealed. Clinical Practice Guidelines, published by insurance companies, and many other government bureaucracies bind doctor's hands so that in some cases it's impossible to give you proper medical care.  Here's more of them.  They're not going to go away easily. 
Their original purpose was to help people identify correct treatments.  But in effect it has merely helped identify when they've been treated with a non standard treatment so if it turns out badly, they have some basis on which to sue for malpractice and hopefully that way they can afford to have the correct treatment or be compensated for a loss they can&…

Intravenous Therapy to the Rescue!

In the past month I've had 4 Intravenous treatments with 0.9% saline and nutrients. I have now slowed down to once every 3 weeks, which is what I noticed was the maximum time for a good effect from one IV. Each one is around $200 so I'm glad the big push is over. I also feel "worlds" better!
Recap: I get these IV's because it's hard for me to generate that initial burst of energy that is required to do anything important like stand up our of a chair, have good reflexes, or even recover from an exertion. 
This fatigue type could be caused by one or more of four doctor diagnosed conditions I have, but the two I focus on are ME/CFS and Celaic (officially Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, but I've been told to just say Celiac). The other two are Osteoarthritis and Fibro. I'm very suspicious of the Fibro diagnosis even thought it fits, but that's another story.
My recovery and my energy levels, despite the stress of the recent politica…

The Children in Cages - The Families Torn Apart

I've taken a sabbatical from my blog because something urgent needs my attention.  As Americans we have to reckon with our government's increasingly draconian declarations against immigration.  Once we were seen as the free world, the hope of the world, the leaders of the free world.  Now we should be ashamed of the images and all media showing our treatment of migrants is similar to concentration camps. Our collective pride is wounded.  The trust the world placed in us has finally crumbled. 

France called, they are repossessing the Statue of Liberty!
There is still a silver lining.  Leaders on both sides of the political fence have spoken out against the practice of separating parents and children after they turn themselves in close to the border in the southwest.  On May 7th the practice was announced and the country exploded in outrage.  We have had enough of the step-by-step evils.  This past Sunday there were Father's Day rallies and speeches in the southwest and many…

Immunoglobulin A, Aflatoxin and the Celiac Screening Test

The Celiac Disease screening test most commonly used is IgA-anti-tTG, and it should be used with an IgA deficiency test, both together.  If IgA is high enough, it means the anti-tTG (tissue transglutaminase) test is valid.  Yet in some cases it is too low and then an IgG-anti-tTG may be used (again with a check for deficiency in IgG).

But what does it mean, in general, if IgA is low?  IgA deficiency (or at least functional deficiency) is a possible explanation, for some of the complications of Celiac Disease, including the development of certain cancers like Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  The mechanism would be that a lowered IgA leads to chronic immune insufficiency and erratic immune activation.  After a period of time, it could lead to a disordered immune response that looks a lot like autoimmune disease.  It's so simple, it's almost simplistic.  But we must begin at the beginning, at aflatoxins.  
This post is long and very dense.  If you're not into the sticky details o…

Gluten Free Sunny & Sweet Egg Bake Breakfast

Here's something you can make to speed up busy mornings or to wow your family on a Sunday at brunch-time.  if you have eggs but are tired of the quick scramble, you can make an egg bake.  There are many recipes for them, from savory to sweet to themed.  But of course you must convert them to gluten free if they aren't.

Today I just took what fruits I had, combined fruits and bread, and poured some well beaten egg over it.  I often do this at the beginning of a week and refrigerate portions to eat on other days.  Each week I just use what I have.  It's a great strategy if you don't know what your energy level will be like on any given day.

-- Dates and Cinnamon Sweet Egg Bake --

Into a frying pan or baking pan, place:

Two slices of gluten free bread you like.
Four dates, pitted and cut into 4-8 pieces.
A few cubes of a neutral vegetable like zucchini.

In a bowl blend together:

8 eggs (I used 5 chicken, and 2 duck eggs)
1 tablespoon flour (I used potato flour)
1/4 tsp of…

The Most Notable Nutrition Scientist in the USA

If you haven't heard of him before, then it's my pleasure to introduce you to Dr. Bruce Ames (please take a moment to view his achievements over a lifetime in science) who is and has been a nutrition warrior for 50 years.  He has a distinguished record of publication and still occasionally speaks about health today in his 90s!  Dr. Ames came to my attention when the San Diego Stein Institute for Research on Aging featured his videos on mitochondria and other metabolism subjects.  He speaks with humor and insight and everyone interested in good health should hear him out at least once.

His videos and those of others fell victim to the budget crisis in California and were later moved to Vimeo or Youtube, so now you have to know about him and search for him on the general internet, it's not quite as easy as pointing people to the UC-SD website, which is what I did for a few years after discovering his videos. On the other hand, the momentary loss of his videos was a blessing…

BCBS Insurance Rules for Infused Drugs in NC Have Changed - what this means

Now for some local news:  Blue Cross Blue Shield has changed some rules that affect many chronically ill patients.  If you have an illness that requires the infusion (at a hospital) of certain drugs, you may be affected by this change.  It also has some interesting implications for those of us who are hoping for more IV services from our doctor's office. The rule also includes other non-outpatient settings such as a larger role for urgent care and in home care.

I think this is significant because it affects teachers and state workers (we love them, don't we?) and BCBS can often prompt similar actions from other insurers because it's such a large insurer (the "follow the leader" effect). 

I've mentioned before that you can get IV vitamins  in some places in North Carolina.  However some chronically ill patients, including those with Multiple Sclerosis and anyone who takes a list of medications outlined in this document (PDF) need an IV of certain drugs to co…

Looking Good, Feeling Confident

I didn't add "in every size" because it's irrelevant.  Everyone deserves to feel good right now, the way they are.  We can all spend some "spoons" on grooming each day.  It will only go toward making the day nicer for us and those around us.  Fashion and beauty is not irrelevant as soon as someone gains some weight.  It's actually even more important to maintain the narrative that you're attractive and fun to be around, when you're ill.  People react strangely to the ill.  They don't know what to say.  They wonder if you're the same person they joked with last year.  They miss you while they're sitting 3 feet away.  Paying attention to your looks is a good way to signal that you're still the same person, and can be there for your loved ones.

There are several resources online for looking good while obese.  There are even websites that strongly refute the idea that people must lose weight and attempt to lose weight until they succe…

How To Shop for Someone Who is Gluten Free

There are so many instances where someone is in need of shopping help.  An accident, an illness or old age can make someone reach out and ask for help, sometimes temporarily.  It's important that we all know how to do that if we have a loved one with gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease.

A dietary restriction like gluten free or allergen free can be very taxing on a family.  It's expensive and very inconvenient.  Sometimes families leave the person in question to fend for themselves, buy their own food, prepare however they want, and keep their own utensils separate.  That's fine while you're young and not injured.  It's better if the whole family knows how to do this, so that people can support each other in times of crisis.  Just think of it as an interesting talent.  
In this presentation, I talk about how to shop at the grocery store for gluten free items.  It's not as simple as just looking for the words gluten free or a certification label.  There are pitf…

Healing Cream of Mushroom Soup with Ajwain Seeds

When I was a child I couldn't stand mushrooms, but as I got older, I started to crave them.  The earthy smell of them which once repulsed me became interesting and it made me curious. Now they're a favorite. Mushrooms have some unique features and if you understand how they work, you can enjoy them.  If you aren't aware of their pitfalls, you can end up with your food turning black or the mushrooms becoming rubbery at the wrong moment.  Let's explore a simple use of basic mushrooms, the homemade version of canned cream of mushroom soup - with a kick!

WARNING:  Many mushrooms are grown on gluten containing media!  I am usually fine with mushrooms but today (May 15th, 2018) I was glutened by sliced mushrooms.   I thought I was going crazy or imagining it, but I wasn't.  Here is more on how that happens.

General Principles when Cooking with Mushrooms
1.  If you boil them, they will be chewy, even rubbery, so keep boiling to a minimum unless you want a chewy texture.