Tag Archives: living with celiac disease

Jacksonville Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event November 3rd

gluten free jacksonville allergen free wellness eventHey guys!  There is a really great event coming to Jacksonville where we can feel safe and try all kinds of yummy gluten Free Foods!  The event is November 3rd from 10-3pm at the Aloft in Tapestry Park.

Here are the Details:

Jacksonville Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event
November 3, 2018
10 am – 3 pm
Aloft Jacksonville Tapestry Park
4812 W Deer Lake Dr,
Jacksonville, FL 32246

Admission is $10 for Adults
Children under 13 enter for FREE
Military ID & Senior Citizens ID over 55 admission $8

FEATURED SPEAKERS
Chef Bob Aungst:
Chef Bob Aungst is a New England native, growing up in New Jersey, and launching his career in upstate New York. He was classically trained at Schenectady College, graduating with a Culinary Arts degree, following a successful career as a real estate broker. In his 20+ years in hospitality, he has worked some of the largest sporting, political, and private events, including the Kentucky Derby, Presidential Inaugurations, and the Super Bowl. He’s had the pleasure of serving three U.S. Presidents, numerous members of Royal Courts, and countless political leaders. On average, he overseas the service or preparation of 2 million meals each year.

Chef Bob’s private label gluten free flours, coffees, “Heat ‘N Eat” holiday dishes, and handcrafted meat rubs and serving sauces. Items are shipped within the US, or delivered by courier in the Winter Park, Florida area. .

Enjoy hand crafted gluten free flour blends, produced in a gluten free facility with dedicated equipment. CBGFree flour can be used cup-for-cup in place of regular flour, or instead of other gluten free flour blends. Chef Bob’s flour performs identically in terms of taste and texture.

Carolanne LeBlanc:
Carolanne LeBlanc freely admits that she is an un-diagnosed Celiac. Getting diagnosed with Wheat Allergies over 30 years ago was only the beginning in a lifelong journey of understanding and discovery. A very social person herself, Carolanne manages a web-based Support Group called “Gluten-Free in Florida” designed specifically for people living or visiting in the Sunshine State. The group gives people across the state an opportunity to talk to others, exchange recipes, share information and education as well as find support. She also maintains an active web-page with contacts around the Globe and sees first-hand how Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance can affect all kinds of social interactions, making it difficult to navigate even the most common gatherings. Carolanne is a big advocate for taking control of our own health, listening to our body’s needs, speaking up for ourselves, and of course attending local Support Groups.

Group:https://www.facebook.com/groups/GlutenFreeforLife
FaceBook:http://www.facebook.com/​G​luten​F​ree.in​F​lorida

Jen Cuevas:
The Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet supports delicious eating that is gluten, grain, soy, and poultry free. Jen Cuevas experienced her own journey to wellness by eating this way, and desires to share the message that life can still be delicious!

Just a few short years ago, Jen was ill with a multitude of issues (although not typical “Celiac” symptoms), including high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, sudden weight gain [over 60 pounds], Hashimoto’s, and arthritis (read more of her story here). After more than seven frustrating visits with various doctors, she finally learned about her gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease. In becoming well, she found that life without gluten was really great from a health perspective, but affected everything else that had a social factor.

Jen went completely grain and soy free in 2012, and became a certified coach under the direction of Gluten Free Society. She uses her own health journey to coach and inspire others to consider dietary changes as a way to achieve optimum health. In 2013 she established a support group, and found that food availability continued to be the biggest barrier to success. She began developing food products that support a grain-free, soy-free and even dairy-free lifestyle; many items are allergy-friendly and are free of refined sugars. She also offers allergen-free Communion to churches, raising awareness about the effects of gluten exposure.

Nikki Everett:
Nikki Everett founded ECHO Event Solutions, LLC in 2011 to oversee educational events and trade shows for the gluten/allergen free community. Her mission to plan events started in Charlotte, NC, her home town, in 2009. Nikki uses her vast knowledge as an advocate for the gluten/allergen free community on behalf of her daughter who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008. She recognized her daughter’s grief process through her support group background as a teenager. After the unfortunate death of her older brother, Nikki’s mother became a regional leader for Compassionate Friends, a national support group for bereaved families, when Nikki was only 11 years old. Nikki went on to become a youth peer support group leader by 14 years of age. Her presentation to the NC State Board of Education helped open the door for peer support groups throughout Middle and High Schools across the state. Nikki carried on this legacy as an adult by chartering R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids) for Charlotte, NC in 2009. Her positive approach to the journey of dietary change makes each event a celebration of community wherever they are held.

Mary Herrington:
Mary Herrington has been featured in Gluten Free Delights, has 2 internationally published gluten free cookbooks (with a third GF How To book being revealed at the GFAF Wellness event), won numerous awards for her gluten free baked goods, and is a keynote speaker on living well with several life threatening allergies. She works with area doctor’s in Charlotte NC assisting their patients adjustment to their new diet through menu and recipe creation.

Mary suffers from two rare disorders: Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome and Mastocytosis making eating anything gluten a life threatening activity.

See you there!

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FLA Juice and Bowl

Gluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and Bowl
Ever since Florida Juice and Bowl opened up over a year ago I have been wanting to try it. Not only is it super close to where I live it just puts off this really cool beachy and healthy vibe that I wanted to be a part of. Florida Juice and bowl is located in Jacksonville Beach and was recently voted best Acai bowl in the 904. In addition to acai bowls they have fresh juices, coffee (including nitro brew), kambucha on tap, smoothies, pitaya bowls and poke bowls.

My husband and I stopped by to get kambucha, cold pressed coffee with macadamia milk, tuna poke and a salmon poke. I loved all of the add ons for the poke and they let you choose all lettuce, rice or a mixture of lettuce and rice. Add ons include things like macadamia nuts, avocado, seaweed salad, cucumber, ginger, wasabi, spinach, avocado, etc. I opted for the spicy aioli on the side and my husband opted for the Shoyu Wasabi sauce which he said was much spicier than mine.

It was delicious and I felt really safe because I didn’t see gluten anywhere except in the sauces that contained soy sauce and those are optional. It is a little pricer than most lunch spots but you definitely get what you pay for. Everything we had tasted so fresh. In talking with one of the staff they pretty much make everything in house and try to avoid refined sugars or sugar at all. The constant sound of delicious fresh smoothies being made filled the air during lunch. I also liked that almost all of the disposable items were biodegradable.

This is definitely the kind of place I will crave and I will be back!
Gluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and Bowl

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7 Things I Have Learned Since My Celiac Diagnosis

gluten free jacksonville celiac disease I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in November 2017. Since then the gluten-free world has changed and so have I.  I feel a little more confident about how to eat, I am comfortable talking with restaurant staff in front of friends and I have learned not to hold up the entire tables order when giving my specific instructions. But there are some other big things I have learned. Let me share them with you!

1. Gluten-free does not always mean healthy. It is so easy to get caught up in the gluten-free breads, desserts, pastas and other processed foods. Many times those foods are high in sugar, fillers, fat, etc. that are not always good for you. While I am not perfect and I enjoy breads, cupcakes (icing is my weakness) I am trying really hard to stick to whole foods and have even tried to eliminate sugar and carbs completely. It is really important to read labels.

2. Gluten-free does not always mean celiac safe. In my early days, I thought if it was on a gluten-free menu it was safe. Many times restaurants will label fries and wings as gluten-free. Many times those items are fried in the same oil as chicken fingers or other breaded items. I try to always question items that I know will be fried or I avoid them all together and stick with salad and grilled items. Even a few tortilla strips on top of a salad can be agony for someone living with celiac disease.

3. I have gotten a little bit boring with my food. I eat at a lot of the same places because I feel safe. I feel like when someone asks me where I want to go it is one of these restaurants: Tacolu, Bonefish, PF Changs, Kamiya 86, Moxie, Epik Burger or Sake House. All places #1 are close to my house and #2 are places that make me feel safe. However, I am always up for trying something new even if it means I may have to spend extra time talking with my server before I order. More and more restaurants are educating their staff on the needs of gluten-free patrons.

4. I always have snacks on me. There is nothing worse than going to a work meeting and seeing that everyone is given a sandwich or wrap and I am stuck there for 3 hours or being on a plane where the only snack options are pretzels or cookies. I always keep some sort of nuts in my work bag and when I travel I like to bring peanut butter, gluten-free crackers, gluten-free pretzels and apples or grapes because no one wants to sit next to someone who is hangry.

5. I have a huge fear of being stranded without anything to eat. This is similar to #4; when you live with celiac disease the convenience factor is taken away. Fast Food restaurants are not always available and able to accommodate, gas stations have limited availability and coffee shops and other quick stop places don’t always have gluten-free items available. This has caused me to perhaps overeat at times and has got me into trouble with my weight. It is hard to find that balance between eating before you go somewhere and not having any options when you get to the event. This happens mostly when I go to weddings, dinner parties, on trips, and going to a friend’s house that doesn’t know I have celiac disease.

6. I make mistakes. I sometimes get lazy and it has come back to bite me in the you know what. Sometimes at certain restaurants that I trust I forget to tell the server that I am gluten-free and dairy-free . While most of the time I am fine, there have been times when other ingredients that are not gluten-free end up on my dish. This is not only annoying for me it is annoying for the server and those dining with me because they have to re-make my food
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7. I need support. It is easy to feel like the odd man out when you are gluten-free and dairy-free. I occasionally get comments like “oh my gosh what do you eat” or “don’t you just want to cheat.” But overall my friends and family know that I am gluten-free and they are very supportive. My husband is extremely supportive we don’t have any gluten in our house. On Monday nights we rotate houses for dinner with some of our friends and it is amazing to see how friends say “gluten-free really isn’t that bad.” When I was diagnosed I felt like such a weirdo but now my friends will call and say “I am making dinner and here is the menu what can’t you have” or “what do I need to avoid for this recipe.”  People don’t realize just how happy this makes me.

What have you learned on your gluten-free journey? What advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed?

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