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A Letter to a Celiac Chapter Member

Hi Ellen!

I wanted to go to the meeting but there’s no way I can make it. However, if I could have gone, these are the things I would have mentioned:

To start and most importantly I think the CCA is a very necessary organization, and I support everything they already do to help their members. The Victoria chapter especially is active and inspiring. I have truly enjoyed working with members, who are kind, dynamic, and energetic people. The following ideas are not at all criticisms. They are just ideas for conversation.

My understanding is that ultimately, the goal of the CCA should be to increase the number of accurate celiac diagnoses in Canada. In turn, we need more members to fund our efforts. The simple premise of these ideas is that a lot of younger people won’t pay $40 a year to a membership program based purely on a medical diagnosis. Unless local CCA committees apply visible activism efforts, young people won’t be very interested in joining.

To increase members, specifically young members, I would increase the local CCA’s efforts regarding

  • national and international gluten-free labelling laws, 
  • public awareness and education efforts, 
  • gluten-free food accessibility issues. 

When I joined the CCA, I naively expected letter-writing campaigns (with hand-written letters) to MPs regarding labelling laws. I am surprised the association doesn’t already do that - celiac disease is a political issue!

You and I talked about meeting with home economics classes in high schools. If being a member also meant having the opportunity to go with a small crew of people with CD to schools for 30 minute presentations, I would be all over it. CD often develops in teenagers; the practical implications of this simple effort would be enormous.

I’ve been a student for the last 5 years. Food off and on-campus is really difficult when you pay for so much else without a normal income. A by-donation gluten-free food bank, or more gluten-free items in food banks, would have helped a lot. Seriously, a lot.

I’m a CCA member, young, and reasonably defiant. When I was diagnosed I didn’t want education about gf food - I had the internet. However, I could have used a push to get diagnosed earlier, and I really could have used some practical help getting food on my table. In turn, I would happily renew my membership if I thought that other people would get the kind of services that I would have been thankful for.

Please know that I am thankful already for the work that the Victoria celiac chapter has done. The newsletter is a great service, the website looks good and is easy to use. These ideas are not original, I’m sure, but I hope they help a little.

My very best to all the members at the meeting, if you choose to bring any of these up.

Claire

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"Eat Potatoes to Save Wheat!" 
I’d like to say “Celiacs: The Ultimate Potatriots!” but I think I eat more corn and rice than potatoes. 
Hahaha potatriots.
Some beautiful Food posters at the American National Agriculture Library.

"Eat Potatoes to Save Wheat!" 

I’d like to say “Celiacs: The Ultimate Potatriots!” but I think I eat more corn and rice than potatoes. 

Hahaha potatriots.

Some beautiful Food posters at the American National Agriculture Library.

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Do You Wish You Had an Immunotherapist?

Celiac Disease. I’m starting to come to terms with it. I’m starting to not think about it so much, just like the participants in the study I conducted last year said I would. When I go shopping I know what to buy. When I invite my friends to dinner I know where to go and who to trust. For the most part, I’ve even had the chance to slow down a bit with explaining it to people - most of my friends know all about CD after the last three years of listening to the recounts of my new discoveries.

So you can imagine my surprise when my friend Richard sent me this articleIt’s about the three specific toxic peptides associated with CD. They are important because they are what people with CD react to the most - they are the toxins that create the autoimmune reaction.

Immunotherapy exposes people with CD to small amounts of the toxins to encourage the development of natural tolerance, just like for other allergies. The article doesn’t name the peptides, or any scientific information really, but it does say that they expect important headway in immunotherapy for CD after this discovery. 

So the question remains… would you do it?

 

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I was at this market looking at these vegetables yesterday. Aix-en-Provence (near Marseilles) is, if I have anything to say about it, my new second home.
Throughout my travels (April until now) I have had only one gluten mishap, at a restaurant on the port in a town called Cassie. It was a salad, and I still don’t know what was in it.
French households have been overwhelmingly easy to manoeuvre, though. They put the bread on one side, whip out the plastic cooking utensils and go. We cut vegetables and meat on plates if I forgot my mini plastic cutting board, and ate like queens and kings every night without problems or complaints.
Now I’m in London and things are a little more difficult. If anyone has any tips for the rest of my week here, please send them to our e-mail at the top of the page.
Upcoming: The Irish Celiac Curiosity, and My French Friends’ Food Customs 
La vie est belle, mes amis sans gluten!

I was at this market looking at these vegetables yesterday. Aix-en-Provence (near Marseilles) is, if I have anything to say about it, my new second home.

Throughout my travels (April until now) I have had only one gluten mishap, at a restaurant on the port in a town called Cassie. It was a salad, and I still don’t know what was in it.

French households have been overwhelmingly easy to manoeuvre, though. They put the bread on one side, whip out the plastic cooking utensils and go. We cut vegetables and meat on plates if I forgot my mini plastic cutting board, and ate like queens and kings every night without problems or complaints.

Now I’m in London and things are a little more difficult. If anyone has any tips for the rest of my week here, please send them to our e-mail at the top of the page.

Upcoming: The Irish Celiac Curiosity, and My French Friends’ Food Customs 

La vie est belle, mes amis sans gluten!

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Breadywhaaaa?

This is an amazing contraption, there’s no doubt about it.

But I thought the point of making gluten-free bread at home was to eat cheaper bread? Each packet costs $7-9!

That said, I was in awe of the machine by the end of the video. It’s too bad I like making good economic decisions.

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First Thrifty’s gluten free list, then Safeway’s gluten free labeling, and now Thrifty’s is stepping it up again?  http://www.thriftyfoods.com/EN/main/cooking/nutrition.html#gluten

Go ahead, Safeway and Thrifty’s, keep battling for my patronage!

Love it.

Thank you Tim for the heads up on the Thrifty’s website.

First Thrifty’s gluten free list, then Safeway’s gluten free labeling, and now Thrifty’s is stepping it up again? http://www.thriftyfoods.com/EN/main/cooking/nutrition.html#gluten

Go ahead, Safeway and Thrifty’s, keep battling for my patronage!

Love it.

Thank you Tim for the heads up on the Thrifty’s website.

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Sex and the Celiac

This little gem of an article came into my mail box just now. It talks about semen, sex drive, and self-confidence in the bedroom. Now that’s my kind of breakfast reading!

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Estrogen

From The New York Times:

MAGAZINE PREVIEW: The Estrogen Dilemma

New science is showing that estrogen’s effects on women’s minds and bodies may depend upon when they first start taking it. What should you do?

Estrogen and osteoporosis are highly linked to each other, and people with celiac’s disease are highly succeptible to osteoporosis.

Just saying.

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