Saturday, May 27, 2006


Bloom's is back--at least that's the skinny at The New York City Celiac Disease Meetup Group, which plans to dine there on June 8!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


A celiac vendor fair will be held June 11, 2006 on Long Island--and Michael Thorn (mthorn at BNL.GOV) of Suffolk County Celiacs has announced that the group will help train travelers get to the event from the LIRR's Pinelawn station!

Comfy Cuisine, the fair's host, will give out free food samples. So will Kinnikinnick. There will also be discounts on Celiac Disease: The Hidden Epidemic (by Dr. Peter Green and Rory Jones) and the new edition of Gluten Free: A Comprehensive Guide (by Shelley Case). Also expected: Mr. Ritts Bakery--all the way from Philadelphia!

Here are the basics:
Celiac Vendor Fair
100 Nancy Street, West Babylon
June 11, 2006 from 11am to 5pm
Train fare is $8 each way off-peak, or $7.60 each way if you order a web ticket that will be mailed to you in advance. (That's about $60.80-$64.00 for four, so one could make a case for celiac carpooling.) You can find the LIRR train schedule for Pinelawn here; double-check it on the weekend of the event.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Legal Sea Foods recently retooled its gluten-free desserts (at least in Huntington, NY) to include a soft nougat with nuts and berries and raisins on the side that add to the flavor when mixed in with the fluff. It's pictured above, kinda blurrily.

Photo: David Marc Fischer

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I just got another rough estimate for the re-opening date of Bloom's Delicatessen: late May. I'm told that the restaurant will still be a GFRAP participant, with the same staff returning.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Yes, that's right! Risotteria is currently serving New Grist Beer as well as Ramapo Valley Brewery Passover Honey Lager. I just had two bottles of NGB a little while ago....

I also tried the olive appetizer for the first time--super tangy!

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Celiac disease and gluten are not mentioned in Lisa Kron's play Well, but its portrayal of sickness and wellness should resonate with many people with gluten intolerance (and people familiar with those who have gluten intolerance).

Recounting a childhood in Lansing, Michigan, Well toys with theatrical conventions as it explores themes related to community integration and mother-daughter relations as well as health. Several characters suspect that they suffer from disabling food allergies with symptoms that include profound fatigue. One seems to recover, another lives a life that fuses exhaustion with activism, and others seem overwhelmed by their conditions.

If you're interested in this well-received play, see it right away: Well is scheduled to end its run tomorrow, May 14! Discount tickets for the play, which features Jane Houdyshell in an acclaimed performance, have been readily available through Theatermania,, and, quite possibly, TKTS. Many fine low-priced balcony seats ($26.25) seem to be available, too.

Friday, May 12, 2006


The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has issued this press release about the House episode "Forever" (discussed in Gluten-Free NYC's preceding post):
Celiac is Diagnosed, but Distorted, on Fox's ''House''; Sensationalized depiction of common autoimmune disease diverts attention from actual warning signs

AMBLER, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 11, 2006--Millions watch Fox's popular drama House every week for the fascinating storylines about mysterious illnesses--some of which may hit closer to home than many realize. Celiac, the autoimmune disease marked by a person's intolerance to the food protein gluten, was highlighted in the May 9th episode as a contributing factor in an infant's death and the mother's stomach cancer. Viewers at home weren't told, however, that this condition--portrayed as seemingly rare on the show--actually affects nearly 3 million Americans, and most of the time, the warning signs are as common as bloating and fatigue.

"Celiac is a perfect subject for a show that deals with challenging medical diagnoses," says Alice Bast, executive director and founder of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, and a celiac herself. "About 97% of celiacs don't know they have it because they and their doctors misread the warning signs, or because they never present with symptoms, despite the damage the disease is causing to their bodies."

If left untreated, celiac can lead to other autoimmune conditions, malnourishment, fertility complications, and even cancer. There is currently no pharmaceutical or medical treatment for celiac. The only proven way to manage the disease is to adhere to a strict gluten-free diet, which has been shown to alleviate symptoms within weeks.

Bast, who serves on an ad hoc committee formed by the National Institutes of Health, and whose organization is leading a national public awareness campaign, cites bloating, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, anemia, delayed growth, and unexplained weight loss as common indicators of celiac, and encourages individuals who have experienced these symptoms, particularly over time, to consult a doctor. Bast also notes that celiac is hereditary, so those with a family member who has been diagnosed with celiac should be tested immediately.

A comprehensive guide to celiac, including a downloadable symptom checklist, is available online at

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, founded in 2003 and headquartered in Ambler, Pennsylvania, is the only national organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds for research toward a cure for celiac. Visit for more information.
Photo: David Marc Fischer

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


There's buzz that "Forever," tonight's episode of the Fox medical drama House, will involve celiac disease.

Discussions of the show take place at, the House website, and Television Without Pity.

After the Show

Well, it did turn out to be undiagnosed celiac disease--for both the mother and the baby. Here's how it played out: The mother had damaged intestinal villi from eating gluten. Her malabsorption led to a severe niacin deficiency that caused her to have fits and delusions. The untreated celiac disease also caused her to have gastric cancer. The baby's condition prevented the little one from absorbing its oral medication.

All of that strikes me as a very rare and dramatic instance of celiac disease running in a family. House typically involves solving challenging medical emergencies, so that shouldn't be surprising. However, it's worth noting that a far more typical situation would involve a mother suffering from profound fatigue and gastrointestinal distress, a baby that isn't thriving, and doctors who might not diagnose for a long time, at which point it would turn out that the mother also has osteoporosis as a result of the untreated celiac disease. Once both patients switched to a gluten-free diet, they would both feel much better, with the mother's bone density improving and the baby's bone formation being relatively normal.

High praise for Dr. House on Television Without Pity: "Celiac takes an average of 11 years to diagnose; he did it in 47 minutes, including commercials."


I hear Kara (you know, the baby-killing celiac mother) will appear on the next House episode. I wonder if she'll be able to get gluten-free food in the hospital.... (May 11, 2006)


I watched the subsequent episode and didn't see Kara anywhere. I also rewatched some of the Kara episode and noticed that House said that she should be put on an IV because it's gluten-free. (May 22, 2006)

Photo: David Marc Fischer


Today's New York Post includes Chris Erikson's article "Celiacs: Gluten for Punishment."

Here's the kickoff to the article: "For the average patient, the road to Dr. Peter Green's door is marked by unexplained symptoms, misdiagnoses and accusations of hypochondria." Erikson goes on to write that the average celiac suffers for nine years before figuring out what's wrong, according to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. That's at least one year shorter than the typical cited time span, so maybe it's a sign that people are becoming better-informed.

The article also quotes Ann Whelan of Gluten-Free Living, Bruce Bassman of the Brooklyn-based caterer Everybody Eats, and Kelly Courson of the Celiac Chicks.