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).
Need some advice now that you're diagnosed with Celiac Disease or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity? It can be hard to find my older articles that are of special help to those starting out, but I've collected them on This Page for your convenience.
MeetingsRaleigh Celiac Support Group (Rex Hospital) -- TBD, third Thursday every other month (next, May)
GIG WakeMed Celiac & Food Allergy Support Group -- Next meeting will be on June 17 at 6:30 pm at WakeMed Cary Hospital, 1900 Kildaire Farm Rd, Cary 27518
Wildcraft - Want to try some foraging? This June 23rd, there will be a donation-only event in Chatham County to help you identify trees and improve wildcraft skills. http://abundancehealingarts.com/events/
|Photo by Matthew Henry|
I recommend that, for your health, you do not eat at restaurants that you don't know. At least 30% of labeled gluten free restaurant items are contaminated with gluten. More than half if you include pizza and pasta! It's not worth the risk.
If you're stuck somewhere without a safe choice for a meal, head tot he local supermarket, and buy some Boar's Head GF lunchmeat, or some gluten free bread, plus some gf condiments and make yourself a sandwich. I've found that organic gluten free corn chips are safer than potato chips, in general.
I've tried these, they were OK:
Primal (100% GF, fine dining, CLOSED!)
- Fresh Levant (100% GF, nice atmosphere, reservations for dinner)
- Blue Dogwood - a food market in Chapel Hill that includes a fully GF bakery. Be careful, not all businesses at BD are gluten free there.
- Akashi (sushi bar, has ServSafe certification for hypoallergenic food service, specify GF when you order)
- Bull City Ciderworks (bar, cider is GF, the food truck nearby is not GF though)
- The Southern Olive south of Charlotte, NC is 100% Gluten Free - a cafe, a bakery and a cooking class location just over the border into SC, south of Charlotte, NC. 100% Gluten Free, all events, cafe, and products.
- The food trucks in Durham are the true superstars of local gluten free though... here's an "everything is Gluten Free" food truck you might want to check out:
- Bella Monica has a great system for preventing Cross Contamination and is highly recommended by people I've met with Celiac.
- PF Changs is an American Chinese restaurant chain that has methods in place to prevent cross contamination.
- Zenfish (Pokebar - a Hawaiian tradition based restaurant) I haven't eaten there yet. I emailed with the owner and she had this to say:
- Jersey Mike's has begun a GF bread option with a separate station to prepare sandwiches. I am unable to follow through on testing it because I'm sensitive to many things such as meat glue. Please let me know if you have tried it and are celiac and it worked out. I'm really excited that a ubiquitous deli sandwich joint has made GF available. There is also a table to help people avoid food allergies of many kinds here... overall I think they're doing a good job.
- CleanEatz is a franchise that provides ready to microwave foods that you pick up (once a week?) from their location. I haven't tried it, but legend has it, gluten free is an option. There is a similar Paleo "fast casual" option, but it isn't local. However, if you're in Virginia Beach, ask around for Paleo to Go.
- CAVA - a Mediterranean and Greek franchise that offers options for avoiding gluten if you notify them in advance of ordering. You may need to be careful of cross contamination when ordering. There's a location in Chapel Hill according to a local gluten free blogger who reviewed it recently.
I may or may not have tried these locations.
- Sweet Tea and Wheat Free - local blog, resources page
- Worldwide 100% Gluten Free Restaurant List (new in March 2019) - This is a work in progress but I love the concept. You might want to sign up for her blog too, very helpful articles from an MD and RD, in practice.
- Find Me Gluten Free Website - this can be helpful, but it's become spammed with one line reviews that don't tell you anything you need to know, losing helpfulness every day
- Local gluten free beer reviews blog - Greensboro, NC
- There is a roundup of 15 best gluten free locations in Durham published by Foursquare. I would encourage you to be cautious, but it has many options that may fit many lifestyles. Not all are Celiac safe though.
Chef Services, Meal Prep Services, Catering
These are the unsung heroes of the local GF world! In no particular order:
Medley Food truck (see website for location) 100% GF
https://www.facebook.com/ncmedley/ (can send a message on FB to ask questions)
Arepa Culture http://www.arepaculturenc.com/menu
Food truck, Venezuelan Arepas 100% gluten free.
The Good Kitchen, cooked Meal delivery service
order online, they make the food and FedEx it to you
100% gluten free and peanut free, organic and local sourcing of ingredients
Not sure where they are located, but possibly Zebulon
Fresh N Lean - cooked meal delivery service
Their facility isn't GF, you may need to ask more questions about allergies too. They have many options other than GF, so if you have a mixed household this may be a good choice.
Green Chef Cooked Meal Delivery service (GFCO gluten free food service certified)
Green Chef - Gluten Free Choices
Priscilla Cooks, personal chef service
Cozinha, Personal Chef Service
She does Celiac Coaching and helps you get started if you're recently diagnosed too.
Triangle Gluten Free LLC, Catering
*dedicated gluten free kitchen*
P.O. Box to 504, Butner NC 27509(919) 225-9582
P.O. Box to 504, Butner NC 27509(919) 225-9582
- Sprouts in Raleigh. Falls of Neuse Rd - Sprouts in Durham, Fayetteville Rd.
- Nahunta - Fresh Local Pork
- Farm markets close to Durham, NC
- Family farms
- Mediterranean Deli - their frozen section includes locally made certified GF pita bread
- The Produce Box - Fresh local produce delivered to your door!
- Nature's Garden Express - Large selection of organic and local produce (delivery).
- Remember to check ethnic markets for organic and naturally gluten free choices.
- Food Lion - has a GF section, selection and knowledgeable staff
- Aldi - an alternative supermarket that has its own line of GF products
- Lowes - has GF section, with an online GF product list
- Kroger - seems very focused on the subject, I hope they will post a GF products list
- Trader Joe's - food list available, possibly the best place to find micro brew GF cider or beer
- Whole Foods - be very careful to check labels for "made in a facility that also processes wheat", surprisingly I've been fooled more often by products at WF than elsewhere
- Ingles - not local, but there are some in central and western NC if you're traveling. Ingles has an excellent track record of trust with gluten free North Carolinians due to excellent customer service.
- A Walmart GF Food Guide can be found here.
These don't seem to have have any online gluten free resources, but they may have GF products.
- Harris Teeter - since they have been associated with Kroger, you can find the Store Brand, Simple Truth, from Kroger in some HT stores as well. Online it doesn't seem as GF friendly as it actually is. I saw several Simple Truth items on a brief visit which were GF, but not certified. That's par for the course in store brands which are GF, since the point is to save money, but I'd still feel better about it if a store certified their GF brand.
- Charlie C's IGA
- Earthfare - although they have many products, they are tricky because many have a "facility that processes wheat" disclaimer or are from countries that do not have GF laws (be careful of Ramen noodles).
- Gold Mine - macrobiotic specialty store, Japanese foods, and gluten free seaweed
- Natural Import Company - Traditional Japanese foods, and macrobiotic supplies(seaweed, shiitake mushrooms that were really grown on wood, not sawdust with possible grains in it)
- EnerG Foods - one of the oldest and most respected suppliers of gluten and allergen free baked goods, Tapioca Loaf, Croutons, Certified GF products. Has Xanthan free Tapioca Loaf.
- Starwest Botanicals - wildcrafted and organic bulk herbs and spices, herbal teas, turmeric, ginger, chamomile...
- Cultures for Health is the best place to find yogurt, kefir and cheese making cultures online. Some of their products can be found on Amazon, but you might want to research their "how to" documents before you try them.
- Food bars can really help when you're out somewhere and at a loss for a safe place to eat. GF food bars B-corp is an option. Their food bars are roughly $2 per bar, I'd even call them affordable. Not all are B-corps, but other ones I like are WildZora, GoMacro and ThinkThin (contains milk).
Kitchen Tools and Clever Gadgets
- Toaster Bags - these are usually made of fiberglass and can be used to protect you bread from gluteny or suspicious toasters, great for traveling, and for restaurants.
- Purity Protocol Oats are truly gluten free. Most people with Celiac aren't made ill by oats, just the contaminated oats, but be warned, some people with Celiac do react to oats regardless of contamination.
- Food testing electronics: https://www.ezgluten.com/ and https://nimasensor.com/ these two are well known but there may be others. Warning: Don't use Nima as your only source of information, use multiple sources to decide whether a restaurant (or food) safe for you.
- Vitamix - high power professional blenders that can be used also as a wet grinder for traditional Indian cooking, can make hummus, smoothies and more.
- Want to be Tested? Requestatest is local and has discounted Celiac options. They are a direct to consumer testing company and can open the door to conversations with your doctor even if you don't have insurance, or if you prefer not to wait until a doctor orders the test.
- Any Test Now - In Durham, mainly allergy, but very comprehensive, plus they offer B12 shots!
- Direct to consumer lab online: http://directlabs.com/
- Health Check - MN based, offers very complete Celiac panel, but Allergy tests are comparatively expensive. Affordable monitoring of Thyroid, vitamin D and other Gluten-associated conditions.
- Lab with a food allergy focus: https://www.everlywell.com/
- Another food sensitivity lab: http://www.immunolabs.com/products/
- Functional medicine chiropractor in Charlotte, NC - focus on neurology and gluten, Dr. Akiba
- An index of Durham Celiac Disease practitioners on MedicineNet.com
- WebMD list of practitioners who treat Celiac Disease in Durham NC
- Also in Charlotte, ME/CFS and Fibro health center (functional medicicine), Hunter-Hopkins Center. Functional medicine doctors are normal MD's but they do not accept insurance because that would limit their options for using medical tools in complex health cases.
- Prime IV Center in Brier Creek (near intersection of Rt. 70 and Rt. 540). Offers OTC vitamins via IV treatment. This place has a real RN, and has hired other phlebotomists to meet demand in the area. If you prefer to discuss your health with an MD, ask for PrimeMD's "Dr. Joe".
- Vaccine for Celiac Disease news: http://www.biopharminternational.com/amgen-and-provention-bio-develop-celiac-disease-treatment Don't get too excited, the sample size is very small. But it's worth watching to see what happens.
- If you're looking for dietary advice and want to hire someone who is respected and teaches Paleo and Ketogenic concepts this is the place to go first.For some people, a simpler way of eating (real foods, high in plant foods and high quality proteins, has great benefits.
- Taste 2019 (Full Gluten Free Dinner event) June 30, 2019 At Primal, a 100% GF restaurant.NOTE: This is not likely to happen this year because Primal has closed.
- Living Free Expo (formerly GFAF Wellness) August 10, 2019 in Raleigh, other dates also in the local area.
- Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest (Enjoy Life) -- Richmond, VA August 18/19 2018
- Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event -- Raleigh, NC August 11, 2018
- Taste - Dinner event, GF dinner is hosted by Primal April 18, 2018
- Need a dairy free cheese, but they're all either full of gluten or not organic? Buy some organic almonds and try this recipe.
- From my fashion articles, this is a good website to look up gluten free, allergen free cosmetics.
- Historical fact (2009-2011), a man was sentenced to jail time for selling fake gluten free foods that actually were based on wheat. It happened in Durham, NC. We're a pretty happening place. https://www.celiac.com/articles/22522/1/Paul-Seelig-Found-Guilty-of-Selling-Fake-Gluten-Free-Bread-Gets-11-Years/Page1.html
- Please avoid pizza and pasta in restaurants that aren't 100% gluten free. Such restaurants do exist, as do restaurants that take cross contamination seriously and can be trusted. If you're stuck somewhere, and hungry, you can always use the local supermarket to buy a safe hummus and some veggies to dip, or make yourself a safe (prepackaged deli meat) sandwich.
- Looking for pasta but don't want a lot of carbs? Here is a clever Kelp based noodle that fits my low carb and high iodine diet.This would be best described as "ramen" pasta, but it works in a lot of places where I miss pasta, like soups.
- Do African Americans get Celiac Disease? If so, is the presentation different? Information on minority groups is very much lacking, but I did manage to find a US centered study about it here.
- It is possible to lie with food labels, especially "absence claims" (gluten free, cage free...), many of which are completely unregulated, for some sobriety on this matter, see: http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20180126-gluten-free-water-and-absurd-labelling-of-whats-absent
- Going Gluten Free in the Bull City - 2017 article about GF restaurant accommodation in Durham, NC.
- A 2015 article about Gluten Free living in the News and Observer: http://www.newsobserver.com/living/food-drink/article22390989.html
- Cleveland.com has a blog on GF matters, and a recent news roundup (2018) here.
- NIH Pubmed article about upcoming lab test from Norway that can be used to detect Celiac disease EVEN if you're already Gluten Free: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29146521
- Clinical Trials - use the Map tab, it makes it easy to locate local ones.
- Suspect mold in your home, worried your brain fog is not from Celaic but from mold allergy? This company has a good local reputation: https://ietbuildinghealth.com/blog/
- Consider learning to make simple homemade tofu from store bought soy milk and nigari, or applying the same principle to hemp-fu or other sources of vegetable protein, especially if you need to avoid meat because of that temporary tick-borne illness. You have more control and it saves money.
- Speaking of saving money, how about a side job for making a bit? Ideas For Earning About $200/mo If you have limited mobility it can be hard to get a regular job. Even when you're recovering in bed from a medical procedure, you can still take surveys. Here are some decent and not too scary ideas to try. Everyone can use a bit of cash. (This article is dated June 2017, some of the ideas may no longer work. Such opportunities are inherently a bit risky. Bu so is financial fragility. Be careful while being courageous.)
- Please be careful if you're new to gut illness, advice that's good for average healthy people is dangerous for people with gut illness. Listen to your body if you are having bad reactions to probiotics or high fiber foods.
- Here are some reasons why you may be having bad reactions: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/probiotics-side-effects
- The histamine reason is the most likely one for me.
- See "Flora Gardening" if you want to work on recovering your flora methodically.
- While you're recovering, consider cooking your greens instead of having salad, and avoiding sushi, even if you love it... more tips on the FDA site: https://www.fda.gov/food/foodborneillnesscontaminants/peopleatrisk/ucm352830.htm You can return to less vigilance later, but it's best to be cautious at first. This is no time to take a risk.
Links to more general Celiac, Allergy and GFD informationSome of this is technical. I figure the non technical stuff is easy enough to find, so I'll stick to links that are detailed and specific.
- Today's Dietician magazine publishes a list of special diet Apps
- NIH National Library of Medicine, Celiac Disease Resource
- University of Chicago Celiac Disease Research Center
- Celiac Disease A Clinical Chameleon if you see the author on youtube he has some good lectures there (PDF)
- Mayo Clinic Wheat Allergy Page
- UNC Patient Education handout for Gluten Free Diet (PDF)
- Oregon State University patient education comparing the various forms of gluten related gut illness. I feel like I should comment that they see it as a bit either/or, but good info nonetheless.(PDF)
- University of Virginia Guidance for Medical Practitioners for Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity(PDF)
- There's another gluten free diet, which is less well known and much more limited than the GFD. It's called SCD and information on it can be found here: http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/home/ You might find it useful if you're also dealing with other issues that seem to be more large-intestine oriented.
Other bloggers, podcasts and encouragement:
- https://chewonthis.life/ Podcast from a woman who had a very hard time healing from Celiac disease. Very uplifting and chatty.
- Gluten Dude - Blog that interprets gluten free in a strict way and focuses on how to truly heal from Celiac disease through a healthy diet.
- Casey the College Celiac - A college girl with an amazing Celiac story and she shares so much of what she learned about being socially active while Celiac.
- Let's Feel Better - the blog of a frequent speaker on chronic illness, book author and member of several boards associated with rare disease. Her main subject is dysautomnia, but her book covers any chronic illness and how to survive it socially with your friendships and romance intact. I also like her very logical view of "dangling" that is, being left hanging without any help in medicine.