Sara Vollmer – GIG Educational Conference – Fargo/Moorhead 2011

Sara Vollmer
Co-Manager, Gluten Intolerance Group of Fargo/Moorhead
Co-Chair of the Conference

“I am a delicate flower”

Has Celiac, and DH

Has stumped teams at major medical centers including Mayo.

Talking about what it means to be Celiac.

The case of the crabbies, that newly diagnosed Celiac patients get.

You are the captain of this ship!

It’s ok to mourn, this is an EXTREME change. Cry, have a fit, whatever, then get up go. “Buck up, buttercup.”
Get support.
Educate yourself. (Websites, resources, support groups, blogs, newsletters, etc.)

No Cheating.

Not one little bit. You can’t be a little bit pregnant. You can’t eat just a little bit of gluten. According to Dr. Joseph Murray, eating 1 cookie in a month does the same damage as eating gluten all month. The longer you go Gluten Free, the less it takes to affect you.

Flying solo.

If you’re the only Gluten Free eater in your house, isolate your food. Have utensils of your own. Use paper towels to clean. Rags and sponges can cross-contaminate.

Don’t get in a cooking rut. Try new recipes, batch cook, eat at home more often. Gluten sneaks in. Gluten on the lips is gluten contamination. Sex is GF! Gluten on hands, dig in bag of chips, or dip gluten in dip.

Eating GF is cheaper than before.

New mainstream products help.
Buy in bulk at stores and online.
Buy with a buddy and split the cost – coupons for GF items.
Sign up for newsletters
Coupons sites, like

Family Gatherings

Keep GF items separate.
Talk to the host regarding your dietary needs.
Offer to bring a dish to pass that is safe. Go first in line.
Make a GF treat that will amaze the masses, proving that you don’t have to give up taste to be GF!

Don’t struggle alone!

Join a listserv, read a blog (like this one!), create a blog, and find a gluten intolerance support group.
Make sure your bosses and co-workers are educated
Ask HR if your employer participates in FMLA
Have open discussions of understanding and expectations
If you don’t like your doctor – Get a new one!
Be your own advocate!

The Gluten Challenge is Diagnosis Suicide

Take out the gluten, see how you feel?
Body is glad you took out the gluten and will let you know that.
Pros of Gluten Challenge
-medical diagnosis/deduction
-if a “cure” comes out
-likely covered with insurance.
-family history
-dna profile
Cons of Gluten Challenge
-Might not stomach being back on gluten for 6 weeks to get the diagnosis

Some items will never be enjoyed again.
Some will surprise you and show up GF.
Manufacturers change recipes to accommodate the GF community, by 2015, GF industry will top $15 Billion.
Be in contact with a manufacturer and ask that they tweak the recipe for a product to make it GF, case in point – Rice Krispies became GF after General Mills created GF Chex.

Don’t throw away recipes.

There are flours, buns, muffins, premade and mix pizza crusts, candy, crackers, cookies, Bisquick, Chex, Betty Crocker, soups, soy sauce, salad dressing, alfredo sauce.

Gluten Free Labels

Read every label every time!!!

Label doesn’t say? Find the contact info and contact manufacturer. You’ve gotta know! (Grocery shopping guide by ingredients)

Road Tripping and Travel.

Pack ready made food, for easy meals.
Be aware of Airport rules & regulations
Research places along the route
Websites like lists GF restaurants by city and suburbs
Visit you can have gluten intolerance dietary needs translated into different languages. (almost 29 languages)

Eating Out

Dine out during a lull time
Call during down time, 2:00 pm is best.
Ask about the ingredients, and prep.
Check the website, for GF menu online.
Bring hand sanitizer when using anything community. Shakers, ketchup, mustard, etc.
Keep silverware on a napkin and not the table.

Be an advocate. For yourself. And for others.

Crazy statistics

Average time for a symptomatic person to be diagnosed is 4 years!
A child will see an average of 8 pediatricians before being diagnosed.
Only 35% of newly diagnosed patients had chronic diarrhea, proving it isn’t the prevalent symptom as assumed.

It would take 935 cruise ships to hold every American with Celiac Disease
4,400 Boeing 747 planes
US Cellular park would be filled 55 times
3 million people have Celiac Disease. 97% don’t know it.

Educate those around you.

Good friends and family WANT to help, WANT to learn
Creat a GF favorites list
Give them amended recipes
Help educate them on how to cook GF
If someone makes something you can’t eat, or that makes you sick, take the time to tell them. They want to help, help them help you.
Workplace understanding.

Maintain your humor!

Seriously, when can you talk about poop this much and not get weird looks?
We know how to say quinoa right!
Who else would understand “I have been glutened so bad, I am afraid to sneeze?”
You can tell someone this gluten free food product sucks, you are saving them alot of money.
Who else can buy a $9 brownie mix, spend an hour mixing and baking it, take one bite, and throw it out?

At the end of the day.

It could ALWAYS be worse
You have an answer and new GF friends, recipes, ingredients, cookbooks, and knowledge
Someone knows what Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance is because of you
maybe other family members have been diagnosed
It is challenging and expensive, but manageable and cheaper every year!

Thanks Sara!

Chef Aaron Flores – GIG Education Conference – Fargo/Moorhead 2011

GIG Education Conference
November 4th, 2011

Speaker: Chef Aaron Flores

Chef Aaron is from Finn & Porter and Embassy Suites Washington D.C. Convention Center.

Started as Sous Chef as Disney California.

One person who has a food allergy, is “worth” 7 other customers. Through word of mouth, etc, they will bring 7 others to the restaurant.

Was the Chef in charge of the beta program for the Disney Worldwide Gluten Free program.

From video: (

What they use for GF cooking.

Independent grills, for bread items. Isolated prep-kitchen area for GF that includes pans and tools that are isolated based on allergy. Isolated pans specifically for casein-free as an example. Area is only used for the allergy fee cooking.

I eat what I want Hospitality. Restaurant chain that Chef Flores is starting that will be entirely Gluten Free. (and Cupcakery!)

He’s showing us some of what will be on the menu. Crab cakes, Steak with fried onions, filet mignon on the fire, pear and walnut salad.


In a blender
1 clove of garlic
1 shallot
2 cups olive oil (or canola oil)
1 cup white vinegar
salt & pepper
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

Blend to emulsify

Optional additions for Chicken
fruit juice

Add chives and use as a marinade for beef.

Talking now, about creating the world’s largest gluten free cake for 1 in 133 (see banner in sidebar). Cakes were baked at Whole Foods and trucked in to Finn and Porter. Started build at 9pm, finished layers and frosting at 5am. 5pm, last piece put on the cake. The head of the FDA attended and admitted to making a mistake. Started the discussion that is ongoing on what the regulations will be to certify for Gluten Free. Guinness world record at 17 feet and one inches.

He and his sun are writing a book, Gluten Free with my Daddy and me. Portion of proceeds to go to GIG kids camp.

Dessert time!

Rocky Road Peanut Bar

In double boiler (pot with hot water, with mixing bowl over top)

1lb chocolate chips
1lb butterscotch chips
1/2 cup butter
2 1/2 cup peanuts
1 1/2 package mini marshmallows
1 small jar peanut butter

mix until melted. In a pan, line with parchment paper. Put in pan and press down.

You can be jealous now. We all get one!

Thank you Chef Flores!

We Support - Support Gluten-Free Food Labeling



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