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National Celiac Disease Awareness

2010 September 17
by GlutenFreeDee

Monday, September 13
October National Celiac Disease Awareness Month

Loveland, CO  There’s reason to celebrate life with Celiac Disease in 2010!  Last month, one of the nation’s largest Gluten Free Vendor Fair’s was held right here in Colorado.  Nearly 2000 people enjoyed samples from 90 gluten free vendors in 3 hours.  A national movement to start gluten free food banks was founded in Colorado last December. Coors Field was the first major league baseball team to open a gluten free concession stand in the nation in July 2009.

More than 2 million people in the United States have Celiac Disease an auto immune disease cured only thru changes in diet.  This link between disease and diet is credited to Samuel Jones Gee, who once said, “If the patient can be cured at all, it must be by means of diet.” For the past 3 years Gee has been honored posthumously for making this important connection by celebrating National Celiac Disease Awareness Day on his birthday, September 13.

In honor of National Celiac Disease Awareness Day, Gluten Free Product Ambassador, founder of the National Movement to start Gluten Free Food Banks and Celiac Disease Advocate, Gluten Free Dee, is encouraging everyone to experience the delicious options offered by area bakeries, grocers and restaurants with gluten free choices.

“The gluten free selections are so vast, and tasty,” says Gluten Free Dee, “that everyone is urged to eat a meal out or pick up backed goods for the office this week and marvel at the great tastes in the gluten free marketplace. “  The gluten free veteran says, “My hope is that when people taste delicious food that is also gluten free, they will be more likely to be tested for Celiac Disease or commit to a gluten free diet to improve their health.”

Root Down Denver served up gluten free bread pudding at the Gluten Free Vendor Fair sponsored by the Denver Chapter of the Celiac Spru Association 2 weeks ago. Gluten Free Dee and friends will be celebrating there Monday night.   Root Down Denver is one of the many Colorado restaurants doing an excellent job serving the diner with Celiac Disease, a gluten intolerance or other allergies or preferences.  Diners eating off the gluten free menu and mentioning that Gluten Free Dee sent them will also leave with a goodie bag filled with a few gluten free favorites. “I’m deeply committed to introducing people to excellent gluten free options,” says Dee.  “For some people, all it will take for them to go gluten free, is knowing there are restaurants to serve them great meals and tasty grab and go foods to get them thru their hurried life.”

Colorado is known nationwide as one of the most progressive states for gluten free dining, buying readymade gluten free products at bakeries and delis and having extensive gluten free options at every grocer.  Colorado is also home to the top 3 gluten free breads widely distributed, Udi’s Gluten FreeRudi’s Gluten Free and Canyon Bakehouse and the best tasting gluten free flatbread, Sandwich Petals, which can also be used as a tortilla.

Awareness is growing everywhere.  Chelsea Clinton had a lovely gluten free wedding cake  dramatically increasing awareness about gluten free options.  And just a year ago, General Mills Betty Crocker brand rolled out the first offering from a major, mainstream brand in the cake-mix aisle.

Gluten Free Dee has seen things change dramatically over the 18 years after she was finally diagnosed with Celiac Disease after delivering her 3rd child.  It takes an average of 11 years to correctly diagnose the auto-immune disorder. “I truly believe the change in food manufacturers and restaurants’ catering to the gluten free consumer is not because 1 in 133 people have Celiac Disease.  I believe it is because 1 in 9 households want to eliminate or reduce their intake of gluten, as cited by General Mills,” she says.

Although only about 1% of the U.S. population has Celiac disease, General Mills says its research shows about 12% of U.S. households want to eliminate or reduce their gluten intake, although some doctors say it’s nutritionally important for those who aren’t sensitive to it. July 2, 2009

In addition to Celiac Disease, the symptoms of many diseases are reduced or diminished with a gluten free diet including:

  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Bi-Polar Disorder
  • Crones Disease
  • Downs Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • MS
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

“The small celebration Monday is only a taste (pun intended) of what is to come in October,” says Dee.  “Dozens of restaurants with gluten free menus will be featured on make it easier to eat out, or pick up a catered meal or baked goods for the office.”  According to Gluten Free Dee, “All of this will be worth it if at least one more person finds the courage to get tested for Celiac Disease.  It is worth all this effort,” Dee says, “if  just one person realizes how many flavorful gluten free options they have to eat, heals their leaky, painful gut and commits to eat gluten free for the rest of their life.”

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