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).

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.

Meetings

Raleigh Celiac Support Group (Rex Hospital) -- Third Thursday every other month - next, September (with Millefiori Bakery, discussing Sourdough bread and gluten free baking).

GIG WakeMed Celiac & Food Allergy Support Group --   at WakeMed Cary Hospital, 1900 Kildaire Farm Rd, Cary 27518

Wildcraft - Want to try some foraging?   http://abundancehealingarts.com/events/ Or mushrooming?  https://www.hawrivermushrooms.com/new-events


Safer Restaurants 

Photo by Matthew Henry
It is possible to certify Gluten Free food service. If you work in food service you might want to see this and this.


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 to the local supermarket, and buy some Boar's Head lunchmeat (all Boar's Head is gluten free), 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, especially when the ingredients say "masa flour" or "masa". And Cedars and Hope brands of hummus are certified gluten free (look for the symbol).

Every restaurant should allow you to eat your own food if you have Celiac, or otherwise require allergen free food. It should be a relief for them to have you walk in with chips and dip instead of having to worry about serving you properly. 

I've tried these, they were Safe for Celiac (as opposed to just having "Options"):

  • Fresh Levant (100% GF, nice atmosphere, reservations for dinner)
  • Bull City Ciderworks  (local friendly bar with games and big tables, cider is GF, the food truck nearby is not GF though)
  •  Reason to Bake - dedicated gluten free kitchen, local baker, baker with disability, delicious cookies!


*  There's no charge for being in this list, if I missed your 100% gluten free restaurant or business, in North Carolina, and especially local Durham, Raleigh or nearby areas,  please let me know at the email address on the left, or leave a comment. I don't run my blog as a business but as an online diary of my experiences with Celiac. *

* I also want to know about businesses that serve gluten  as well as gluten free but,  if your business has a ServSafe certification and trains all staff for allergen conrol, or a GIG food service certification, then you can be on the next list. * 

Restaurants with gluten free "options" only:

     I really can't risk my health to check these out.  But they have a good reputation.  If I have eaten there and I was fine, then I have noted it. But that's not really evidence of anything.

    • Akashi (sushi bar, has ServSafe certification for hypoallergenic food service, specify GF when you order) I eat here occasionally, I stick with the classic rolls, and have never felt bad after.
    • 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:  
     "Thank you for reaching out. We have tons of gluten-free options at ZenFish. We use different utensils for every item on the line. All our sauces are gluten-free and made in house besides the eel sauce. We use tamari gluten-free soy sauce in our sauces and gluten-free miso. Our aioli's are made with mayonnaise. We do not use any wheat soy in production at Zenfish and our cutting boards are all segregated for purpose. The only protein that is not gluten-free is our krab meat (what's in California rolls). All our toppings are also gluten-free besides the crunchy toppings such as our fried shallots, wonton chips etc. Hope this helps!"

    •  The food trucks are superstars of local gluten free, though some use a commissary (a rented community kitchen which is not a gluten free space), so be cautious and ask questions. 
    •  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.  
      Other Restaurant lists or apps
      I may or may not have tried these locations.
      •  Traveling?  You might want to use a professional service such as Bob and Ruth's
      • 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.
      • 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:

      Need a gluten free wedding cakeGluten Free Galley offers them!
      The Good Kitchen, cooked Meal delivery service
      https://www.thegoodkitchen.com/
      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
      https://www.freshnlean.com/gluten-free-meal-delivery/
      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
      http://www.priscillacooks.com/work-with-me/sample-meals/


      Cozinha, Personal Chef Service
      http://www.mycozinha.net/index.html
       
      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
      Bakery
        
      Specialty Markets
      Note:  You might like to look at my advice on how to shop for someone who is gluten free, particularly if you're shopping for someone else (caregivers, etc).  There is a video from Beyond Celiac on this subject here.  And a food list here.
         Supermarkets  and Specialty Supermarkets
        • 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
         Local supermarkets (general)
        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.
        • 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). 
        Not local, Online Specialty Stores for Nutritious Eating

        • 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 Shanti Bar, WildZora, GoMacro and ThinkThin (contains milk).  
        • Mushroom Tea can be very helpful for a rundown system, however, ensure that the source is not using barley leftovers from beer making to grow their mushrooms, or other gluten grains. Since reishi grows so well on wood it's not quite as risky, but still, double check. 

        Kitchen Tools and Clever Gadgets
        • Toaster Bags - these are usually made of fiberglass and can be used to protect your 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.

          Medical Practitioners and Resources

          • What if you can't afford the gluten free diet?  What if it doesn't work?  Did you know that 1/4 of Celiac patients aren't adequately protected from the effects of Celiac by the GFD alone? Research into better treatment for Celiac is ongoing, here are some of the future therapies being considered. 
          • 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! 
          • 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. 
          • Need to "do your research" on an obscure subject?  Besides PubMed, there is Google Scholar, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, TOXNET and more. Many universities have lists of these databases, you can find one here:  https://researchguides.uic.edu/publichealth  You'll have to search for them separately on google, because UIC requires that you log in.  But the list is helpful for knowing where to look. Each is tricky to use, but you'll get the hang of it. 
          • The only symptoms for people with 'silent Celiac' may be  fatigue and vitamin deficiency.  Which means that if they're glutened, the disease will continue with no warning. Men have a higher rate of silent Celiac than women.
          • 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".
          • Do you seem to react to every food?  Do you also react to pollen?  Pollen on food may cross react with harmless food proteins producing multiple food allergies.  The fix seems to be to cook all your food.   If this is a problem for you, you might want to look into Macrobiotic cooking which doesn't serve any food raw and focuses on nutrition.
          • 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. 
          • It seems that Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is linked to Neuropathy.  Idiopathic neuropathy is a common diagnosis for the elderly, and occasionally in other age groups.  If you have unexplained neuropathy, you might want to find the study this article is based on and discuss it with your doctor.
          • Do you have Type 1 Diabetes also?  Type 1 and Celiac Disease are linked.  People respond in different ways to that diagnosis, so if your mainstream treatment isn't working, you might want to read this moving story of a young woman who switched to a keto diet because conventional advice wasn't helping her.

          Local Conferences past and present:

          •  Kaleidoscope Fest celebrates women entrepreneurs in the Triangle and is a fully gluten free event. September 14th Noon to 7 PM,  Tickets.

          Older:
          Miscellaneous
          • I hope you never need a lawyer, but you should know that food safety lawyers do exist and if you're knowingly injured by a restaurant or vendor I think you're within your rights to explore legal options
          • Need a dairy free cheese, but they're all either full of gluten or not organic?  Buy some organic almonds and try this recipe.  
            • Some people want to downplay the importance of GF cosmetics, but think about it, if my hand cream contains "hydrolyzed wheat protein" and I bite my nails, or eat a sandwich...  or if I use a powder with unrefined wheat starch, or lipstick with gluten to make it stick, there's a good chance I'll get sick.
          •  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
            •  Cleveland.com  has a blog on GF matters, and a recent news roundup (2018) here.
            •  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.  
            • Consider getting on the mailing list of Farm Aid if you are concerned about GMOs and the viability of family farming in general.  Buy local whenever you can.  For one thing, you'll have amazing tomatoes in the summer again!
            • Wondering if Organic farming can be done on a large scale?  The entire state of Sikkim in India has been converting to Organic farming since 2015!  This is their products page.  Sign me up for some of that ginger. 

                Links to more general Celiac, Allergy and GFD information

                Some 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.  

                Other bloggers, podcasts and encouragement:

                • 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. 
                • Crazy About Mushrooms - a local blogger covering wild mushroom hunting, great articles and info.  Mushrooms from a grocery store pose a risk to people who are very sensitive to gluten because some of them were grown on grains. Mushroom hunting isn't for everyone, and the Celiac safe alternative to it is to grow them from a kit at home.  But some people might enjoy the challenge of learning some wildcrafting as well.
                • Appalachian Voices - Broader environmental news, with a local focus.  In their own words, "we build enduring partnerships with local leaders and organizations, and forge strategic relationships with state and federal officials."





                Comments

                1. In my country, Gluten Free or dieting is not in their "vocabulary" (yet) -- but it should! Hopefully with information like this could open up consumer awareness here... ;)

                  Thanks for the share.

                  ReplyDelete
                  Replies
                  1. Thanks so much for visiting! In some countries, such as in northern Africa (Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, etc), you must travel to the largest nearby city and go to the teaching hospital to get proper treatment for Celiac disease. The prevalence of Celiac in the USA is actually moderate. Many countries have a higher rate than we do, Ireland, Finland, and Algeria have much more Celiac, but in Algeria, for example, diagnosis /treatment is so difficult that many people die of organ failure after enough damage has occurred. Their cause of death is then listed as "liver failure" or "ulcerative colitis." So, even though the incidence is very high, the incidence looks lower than it really is.

                    Here is a resource that can be used to find help in your own country: https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/resources/travel-resources/celiac-associations-around-the-world/

                    Best wishes for good health to you!

                    Delete

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