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. Click here for the updated images of Certified Gluten Free symbols (March 2020).
|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 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. 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 "GF Options"):
- Fount Coffee + Kitchen (advertises 100% GF, everything but a few drinks are GF, casual atmosphere) NEW!
- Bull City Ciderworks (local friendly bar with games and big tables, 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. (Not Local, haven't tried it.)
Fresh Levant (100% GF, nice atmosphere, reservations for dinner)CLOSED! Hopefully, temporarily due to Covid-19.(September 2020) Pizzelle Bakery at Blue DogwoodCLOSED!
Restaurants that are not 100% Gluten Free but they have some gluten free options:
- 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:
- 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.
I may or may not have tried these locations.
- Traveling? You might want to use a professional service such as Bob and Ruth's.
- Sweet Tea and Wheat Free - local blog, resources page
- Triad Moms on Main publishes a list of kid friendly restaurants that offer gluten free options near Winston-Salem (not sure how many are fully GF, so you'll have to call first).
- 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.
Local gluten free beer reviews blog - Greensboro, NC, now gone
- 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
In no particular order:
Need a gluten free wedding cake? Gluten Free Galley offers them!
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
- 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 - organic and local produce (delivery).Gone
- 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 - Western NC, 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.
Drug stores that careThese are my experiences with local drug stores. Your experience may vary.
- Target, their store brand for pharmaceuticals is Up and Up. It often has clearly labeled Gluten Free OTC drugs.
- More gluten free labeled OTC drugs can be found at CVS.
- Note that Walgreens has refused to check prescription drugs for gluten free status for me. I don't know what their current policy is, but I've stopped going there.
- Compounding pharmacies offer many more options than chain stores.
- If you find a remnant of Rite Aid someplace, they also used to check carefully for gluten free.
- The rule of thumb is, usually a liquid filled gelcap is gluten free, EXCEPT for name brand Advil, in which case the liquid filled gelcap has gluten and the coated tablets don't have gluten. Liquid gelcaps are often 6-10x the price of ordinary tablets. So use the pharmacies that care, and find cheaper alternatives which are labeled GF.
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).Closed!
- Looking for safer spices? Spicely has the highest quality organic and certified GF spices I've found so far. Badia brand is good too, often certified GF, but I can't seem to get clear communication from them when I ask questions, so I'm not sure what to think.
- 24 Mantra - Organic and often Gluten Free items directly from India, specialty shop on Amazon. Look for the green Gluten Free label and double check that the item says "Produced in a gluten free facility" before buying. They have both a gluten and gluten free facility for processing. Especially if you love Indian food or if you are vegetarian, I recommend them.
- 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 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.
- Self testing for gluten in urine or stool: Gluten Detect Can detect if you've been exposed to wheat only.
- 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
"If practitioners believe that a disease is rare they are less likely to test for it" - from a 2003 newspaper article about Celiac. Right on.
- Gluten in medications and supplements is a real problem, this guide from Celiac Disease Foundation can help you make better choices.
- 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!
- Enterolab stool tests for gluten antibodies.This is not a new idea, I have found ads for it in newspapers as long as 15 years ago.
- 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/
- 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.
- Celiac Disease Foundation Practitioner list within 50 miles of Durham
- An index of Durham Celiac Disease practitioners on MedicineNet.com
- WebMD list of practitioners who treat Celiac Disease in Durham NC
- Dr. Daton-Bethea in Greensboro NC (functional MD with affordable pricing)
- Functional medicine chiropractor in Charlotte, NC - focus on neurology and gluten, Dr. Akiba
- 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.
- 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.This vaccine has been discontinued, but the search for new treatments continues.
- 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.
- Organic is important for recovery in deficiency diseases because well grown food has been shown to have higher antioxidants and nutrients. The mineral content of our food has dangerously plummeted.
- Want to meet a functional medicine doctor? A Functional MD is one who has a medical degree just like any other doctor, but they do not take Insurance, which frees them from the restrictions imposed by the Insurance industry. Here's an interview that really gets to the heart of the matter. Not all Functional MD's have this particular viewpoint, but here's one example of where medicine could be, if we freed the doctors to be doctors again.
Historically these have happened and may return:
- Nourished Festival - Aug 2020 Charlotte NC
- Kaleidoscope Fest celebrates women entrepreneurs in the Triangle and is a fully gluten free event. September 14th Noon to 7 PM, Tickets.
- Living Free Expo (formerly GFAF Wellness) August 10, 2019 in Raleigh, other dates also in the local area.
- 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.
- GFFA Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest (Enjoy Life) -- Richmond, VA August 18/19 2018 now defunct
- GFAF Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event -- Raleigh, NC August 11, 2018
- Taste - Dinner event, GF dinner is hosted by Primal April 18, 2018- the event no longer has food appropriate for people with Celiac
- 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
- 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.
- Simple Kneads bakery bakes gluten free bread without gums or standard dough conditioners, that many people react to. They are a local business. Available at many local supermarkets including Lowe's Supermarket and Whole Foods.
- Millefiori Bakery homemade sourdough bread, made when you order it, for pick up in Durham.
- I've known for a few years that part of my problem is a condition known as ME/CFS. An article here explains more about it. It's a serious impediment to getting well.
- Considering where to go for college? NCSU has a good reputation for GF dining accessibility.
- Need a dairy free cheese, but they're all either full of gluten or not organic? Buy some organic almonds and try this recipe.
- Two varieties of quinoa have caused gluten like reactions. I'm hopeful that they are not in cultivation. But I don't truly know and that's concerning.
- From my fashion article, this is a good website to look up gluten free, allergen free cosmetics.
- 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.
- Modern varieties of plants may be less nutritious than older "heirloom" varieties. Some research is being done to try breeding more nutritious plants from the ancestors of modern varieties, and even the antecedents of heirloom food crops. The study: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-10757-1
- Looking for organic coffee? Here's a list. I also love robusta coffee beans. But those are small production items and you'll probably have to sign up for an email alert or use a specialty web site. If you're into roasting your own, you can often get unroasted robusta. Organic black tea is easier to find.
- 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.
- There's a movement to use a pure carnivore diet in cases where elimination of foods is necessary due to complex food sensitivity. Especially if you can't tolerate rice (the usual elimination food), take a look at some recipes, and if it appeals to you, seek out the doctors that are involved in it, such as this one.
- 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.
- Fact sheet on Glyphosate/Roundup herbicide health effects from US Right to Know, with references to studies, government documents, legal challenges. Farmers have won cases alleging that it caused their cancer. There are thousands of legal cases pending against Bayer. This is not smoke without fire.
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:
- 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."
Inspiration for businesses I'd like to see more of locallyLooking for ideas for your gluten free business? These 100% GF businesses, that are not local, are rocking the GF world. Updates will be added as I find more superstars.
- Lawrenceville, NJ bakery, Wildflour
- and news about it: http://hiddentrenton.com/highfalutin-sans-gluten/
- Essex Junction, VT bakery West Meadow Farm Bakery
- New Jersey food delivery service Eat Clean Org has a dedicated GF kitchen and pickup locations around the state.
- Food pantry in Maryland that contains gluten free and allergy free items. SAFE Food Pantry
- Gluten sniffing dogs!? Really? Sounds too good to be true. But it's real. There's a self taught course you can do from home. Note that nobody's ever studied it scientifically, but a well trained dog is not a bad goal anyway. Even if the only thing you get out of it is anxiety reduction. The anxiety part is studied and it's part of Celiac disease.
(tell me about yours and I'll consider adding it)