Gluten Free Singles is an online dating, networking, and informative website where you never have to feel alone, awkward, or a burden because you are gluten-free. Our website is a welcoming place where people can find gluten-free dating partners, friends, and activity groups.



Dec 27 2016

The Five Things You Need to Do to Fall In Love In the New Year

Couple piggy back ride.

2016 is behind you! Time to let go of the past and fall in love in the new year.

This year is almost over, and considering how weird, horrible, and downright depressing the political scene has been (and, as a result, every single person’s Facebook page), good riddance! If you don’t have anybody to kiss under the mistletoe or on New Year’s Eve, don’t let yourself drown in the holiday blues. This year is practically history. You’ve got a brand new year (with no presidential elections!) to look forward to. Anything can happen in the new year, but only if you keep your mind and heart open. In the waning days of 2016, start putting yourself in the right frame of mind to go back out there and find true love in 2017. Here’s how to prepare to fall in love in the new year:

  1. Forgive Yourself For Past Transgressions

If you are human, then it means you’ve probably screwed up more than a couple of your past relationships due to your own personal failings. That’s totally normal. Rather than beat yourself up about it, change your mental frame. Look at past mistakes not as failures, but as opportunities to learn. What hurt you in your last relationships and how can you fix these parts of yourself? Forgive yourself, and then get to work to improve yourself.

  1. Treat Yo’ Self

Have you been a sad sap throughout the holidays, trudging around in your flannel PJs, going weeks without shaving, and shoving whole villages of gingerbread men into your gullet each day? Time to snap out of it and pick yourself back up. While you work on improving your inner self, make sure you take care of your body as well. Get a nice new haircut, start hitting the gym with a friend, buy a few new outfits. It may sound shallow, but looking good on the outside does help us feel better on the inside. You are worth pampering, so treat your body well, and others will take notice by the New Year.

  1. Get Over Her/Him

You know who we’re talking about. The one who broke your heart. It’s finally time to get over him or her. Stop comparing all your new relationships to the one you had before or assuming whatever sunk that past relationship is bound to happen again. If he or she cheated on you, that doesn’t mean you need to be insanely jealous or protective in your next relationship. It is time to peel that person’s iron grip off of your heart. Don’t let them control your happiness any longer. Leave them, like 2016, in the past and look at 2017 as a new start.

  1. Believe In Love Again

We know, this sounds totally sappy, but too bad. Success doesn’t come to those who expect failure, and neither does love. You may have been battered or bruised by love in the past, but if you give up hope or try to protect yourself by being cynical, you’ll never be brave enough to ask out that cute girl or hit up that trendy bar where you’ll meet him. As corny as it sounds, just making the decision to believe in love can change your mindset, and when you change the way you look at the world, everything else can change too!

  1. Put Yourself Out There

Okay, if you’ve followed all of the above tips, then you are ready to fall in love in the new year. Now all you have to do is act! The next love of your life isn’t likely to just stumble into your arms. You have to put yourself in the position to find love. Consider joining an online dating website. There are a lot of huge sites where you’ll find a big, generic group of singles that you’ll need to whittle down. You can also take the opposite tract and sign up for a niche website like GlutenfreeSingles.com, where you’ll only be matched with other people who embrace the gluten-free lifestyle. Obviously, we hope that you’ll give our site a chance if you are gluten-free and want to find a gluten-free partner, but the point is to put yourself out there in the way that you feel more comfortable. Just taking this action will make all the difference.

We believe in you and in the power of new beginnings. We know that this is your year to fall in love in the new year!

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Dec 13 2016

The State of Gluten-Free in America

Cart in grocery store

We’ve come a long way since gluten-free foods were nearly nonexistent in grocery stores.
Photo credit: Caden Crawford via VisualHunt / CC BY-ND

As we say goodbye to 2016, it’s useful to reflect on how far the gluten-free movement has come in just a few years. It really wasn’t that long ago when gluten-free products could only be found on half a shelf in the back of specialty food stores. Over the past couple of years, conditions like celiac disease have become much more visible, as well as gluten-intolerance. Many people (and celebrities) without these conditions are embracing the gluten-free lifestyle just to try to improve their overall health and energy levels. Let’s see where the non-gluten lifestyle is in American right now.

Sales of Gluten-Free Food Are STILL Growing

Perhaps the biggest change we’ve seen over the last five years is an explosion in the amount and variety of gluten-free foods available. Food manufacturers are bending over backwards to offer gluten-free alternatives to everything from pasta, to cereal, and even brownies and cookies. It’s paying off big time for them. While we don’t have data for 2016 yet, the firm Packaged Facts found that sales of gluten-free products rose to $1.57 billion in 2015. That’s an 11% increase from the prior year!

You Can Go Out to Eat Without Fear

Food manufacturers aren’t the only ones jumping on the no-gluten bandwagon. Consumers have probably noticed more gluten-free options popping up on the menus of their favorite restaurants. That means no more risky gamble when ordering a new dish. According to DataSsential Menu Trends, 23.6% of restaurant menus now offer gluten-free options. That’s even more than organic options! It’s also an 8% rise since 2015.

More People Are Going Gluten-Free Even If They Don’t Have To

Those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance have long been forced to adopt a gluten-free lifestyle simply to protect their health. One of the most interesting trends over the past few years is the amount of people who are kicking gluten simply to improve their health. In 2016, a Euromonitor survey found that 53% of consumers were actively trying to avoid specific ingredients in the foods that they purchased. Of those, 22.4% were looking to avoid gluten, more than a 7% increase from the year before. What’s even more interesting is that according to a recent report from Packaged Facts, only 15% of consumers choose gluten-free foods because a member of their household is sensitive to gluten. Almost 30% of respondents said that they buy gluten-free products because they think these foods are healthier.

What Can We Expect in 2017?

It’s difficult to predict if all this interest in gluten-free eating is just another diet fad, or if it is here to stay. Certainly, we’ve seen growing skepticism about the health benefits of eating a gluten-free diet if you do not have a sensitivity to gluten. However, for those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, a gluten-free lifestyle is definitely not a fad. We hope that food manufacturers and restaurant owners will continue to offer healthy, great-tasting gluten-free alternatives for those who cannot or choose not to eat gluten.

Here’s to a happy and gluten-free 2017!

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Nov 22 2016

Five Reasons the Holidays Are the Perfect Time to Start Dating Again

Published by under Dating,Holidays,Relationships

male and female legs under a table.

Oh, it’s definitely time to start dating again!

It’s easy to convince yourself that the holidays are the WORST time to try and start dating again. You’ve got a thousand extra things to do, your parents are in town, and maybe you’ve been scarfing one too many pieces of leftover Halloween candy after your last breakup. Stop with this nonsense! The holidays are actually the perfect time to start dating again. Don’t you dare cheat yourself out of connecting with someone special just because you’re a little too busy. That’s an excuse, and not a very good one. Here are five reasons why the holidays are absolutely the very best time to light that flame of love again:

  1. Showing Up At Parties Alone Sucks

You’ve got about a million and a half parties to go to over the holidays, and walking in alone is its own form of torture. Think about how fun it is to go to parties with someone new and exciting. You have someone to dance with, sit next to during dinner, and someone to drive you home if you get a bit more than tipsy. Having a new someone special means you won’t end up in a corner watching everyone else dance while you guzzle another glass of egg nog by yourself.

  1. There Are So Many Amazing Date Opportunities

Dinner and a movie? Ugh, lame. The holidays offer tons of unique dating opportunities that you can’t do (or get away with) any other time of the year. How about going to a haunted house together so you can cling to each other when some freaky zombie jumps out at you? Or what about ice skating outdoors in November and laughing with your boo when you take a tumble. Christmas can mean rocking out to Christmas music while you wrap presents together, watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas in front of the fire, or making gluten-free Christmas cookies, which you plan to bring to a party but end up eating together. Yeah, those are some tasty date options!

  1. You Get to Buy Each Other Presents

New love is full of ooey gooey romance, and there’s no better way to express your feelings than with a well thought-out gift. Christmas or Hanukah allows you to do some creative brainstorming and to buy your new partner-in-crime something truly special. It’s so wonderful to watch her eyes light up when she reads your sappy poem and slips on the necklace you got her, or when he jumps up and down waving his football tickets in the air. Don’t forget that there’s a flip side to the gift-giving coin. You get a gift too! What will it be?

  1. You’ll Have Someone to Kiss at New Year’s

There’s no bigger bummer than having no one to kiss when the clock strikes midnight on the old year. It’s not just about having no one in your arms in that single moment; it’s about looking back at the year and realizing your missed opportunities. This isn’t about just finding someone so you have a person to kiss. It’s really about opening your heart and inviting someone special into your life. Which brings us to our final point…

  1. There’s Never a Bad Time to Start Dating Again

Here’s a little secret that really isn’t a secret at all – any time of the year is the perfect time to start dating again. That’s because you never know when you are going to find that someone special who is going to sweep your heart away. Love has no season or expiration date. When you are ready, get out there and start looking. The love of your life could be looking too.

From us at GlutenfreeSingles.com, we wish you much love and joy in the holiday season!

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Nov 09 2016

Do You Promise to Keep Her Gluten-, Corn-, and Diary-Free for as Long as You Both Shall Live?

gluten-free couple getting married

You may kiss the bride! Photo courtesy of inspirephotoart.com.

Our First Gluten-Free Couple Gets Married!

Think that it’s impossible to find the gluten-free love of your life? Dale Graff and Pia Strobel are a gluten-free couple that prove that love can transcend any distance and eating restrictions! Last year, we told you the story of Dale, who had trouble finding love in his small town of 40,000 in Montana. Dale, who has been living with celiac disease for almost ten years, was skeptical when he signed up to GlutenfreeSingles.com. However, it wasn’t too long before he received a message from Pia, who lived over 2,300 miles away in Connecticut.

What can we say! Love was in the air, and less than a year later, Pia was packing her bags and heading to Montana to live with Dale.

Dale and Pia Tie the Knot

On August 26, 2016, the happy, gluten-free couple bound their lives together forever in matrimony. We were so thrilled that we were invited to the beautiful ceremony! The wedding took place at a secluded cabin in the middle of the Montana forest. As two children played the violin, Pia walked through the tall grasses, toward Dale with a big smile on her face. In a solemn voice, the minister said, “Dale, will you honor and keep her gluten-, corn-, and dairy-free for as long as you both shall live?” The crowd chuckled as Dale gave an enthusiastic “Yes!”

“Pia, will you honor and keep him gluten-, and diary-free as long as you both shall live?”

Gazing into Dale’s eyes, Pia said, “Yes.”

When the couple kissed, the crowd of family and close friends cheered. Then it was time to eat, drink, toast, and party! We all enjoyed the gluten-free and diary-free dinner, and the delicious gluten-free and diary-free cake was to die for! As the campfire crackled and popped, we danced throughout the night, swept away on the powerful currents of love.

Never Give Up On Love

Finding true love may seem nearly impossible, even on a good day. If you are living the gluten-free lifestyle, you may think that there is no one in the world who will understand, support, and appreciate you and your lifestyle habits. Pia and Dale had to look across the entire United States to find their match, but they did it, and you can too! Dale and Pia’s story is a reminder to never give up on love and to never stop looking.

One way to increase your chances of finding someone who shares your gluten-free lifestyle is to sign up for GlutenfreeSingles.com. Here, you can find people who really do understand you and who are looking for love, too. Sign up today. Maybe your future bride or groom is already here, waiting for you.

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Nov 08 2016

Need Help Getting Through the Holidays Gluten-Free? Hang Out with More Gluten-Free People

snowman dolls

Want to make it through the holidays gluten-free? Your gluten-free friends can help!

It can be hard to stick to gluten-free holidays. Mmmmmm stuffing and fluffy rolls, and pumpkin pie over Thanksgiving. Gingerbread cookies in the breakroom at work. Homemade lasagna at your boss’s holiday party. The holidays have a way of throwing us off our game. Not only are we surrounded by more gluten-free food than ever, but the holidays are often a time when we find ourselves attending many different parties and dinners where we have no control over what food is served. Even the staunchest gluten-free eater can be tempted to grab a serving of that amazing looking lasagna, despite the uncomfortable consequences that are sure to follow.

How can we gluten-free eaters possibly survive the holidays? You’ve probably already learned the trick of keeping a few of your favorite gluten-free snacks in your pocket so that you always have something to munch on if you find yourself at a gathering with no gluten-free options. You may even be adept at politely mentioning your gluten-free needs to party hosts so you can make sure at least one dish will be gluten-free.

However, the goal is not just to survive over the holidays, but to thrive! Sticking to a gluten-free diet can be a lonely road, and the holidays are the time of year where your differences can seem starker than ever. What to do?

Find Some Gluten-Free Friends

The best way to survive the holidays without falling off the gluten-free bandwagon is to find and invite other gluten-free people into your life. Other gluten-free eaters will totally understand your gluten-related stresses. Sometimes it’s just enough that someone is willing to listen.

We all know that it is easier to go on a diet or stick to an exercise goal when our friends or family members do it with us. The same principle applies when it comes to staying gluten-free. Spending time with other gluten-free people can help strengthen your resolve and also make you feel part of a larger community.

Where to Find Other Gluten-Free People

Well, if you happen to be single, why not kill two birds with one stone and find a new gluten-free best friend who can also be your little cuddly wuddly bear at the same time? Check out GlutenfreeSingles.com and start looking for a new romantic partner in your area today.

Already in a relationship or so not ready for a new romance right now? We get it. GlutenfreeSingles.com isn’t your only avenue to find gluten-free friendship. Check out the Gluten Intolerance Group. This online platform not only includes tons of great information about the gluten-free community, but you can also find and join local GIG groups, which hold meetings, events, and fundraisers to advocate for the gluten-free lifestyle. You are sure to find some great friends in these groups. Join a local group today, and stay strong during the holidays!

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Jun 21 2016

Does Online Dating Make You Mean?

Hands on a keyboard

Never forget that there’s another person on the other side of the screen. Photo via Visual Hunt

If you’ve tried out online dating for any length of time, you’ve almost certainly been on the receiving end of what I’ll call, “the disappearing act.” Someone catches your eye. You message them, and bingo! they respond back. The two of you send a few messages back and forth, and you start to feel those first fluttery butterfly wings in your stomach. …And then nothing. Poof. Your Prince of Princess Charming is gone. He or she doesn’t respond to your next message or the one after that. Your new budding relationship is over before it started, leaving you feeling frustrated, angry, and self-conscious.

Internet dating, for all of its conveniences, also puts us at a distance from the people on the other side of the screen. When you’re messaging someone who is only a profile and a few pictures to you, it is much easier to walk away without a second thought. You would never stand up in the middle of a first date and walk out of the restaurant without a really good reason, but many of us do the equivalent all the time online. The thing to remember is that the person on the other end of the messages is a real human being with real feelings. I think it’s time that we buck the trend of the disappearing act and try to add a little more kindness to the realm of online dating.

Respectful First Message

The first step towards creating more civility online is to stop it with all the gross, objectifying come-ons. Every girl appreciates a compliment, but if every first message you send is something along the lines of, “Hey girl, when can I slap that fine booty?” you are going to reel in a lot of nothing. Worse, these types of pick-ups are just icky. A simple hello and a quick question related to that person’s stated interests from their profile is a great way to kick off a new message.

Don’t Disappear

It’s fine not to respond to a first message from someone you aren’t interested in, but if you start a conversation with another single, then you officially owe them an explanation if you decide to bail. You don’t have to give a long goodbye or even the whole truth. It can as simple as sending them a quick note that you have become too busy at work and can’t focus on dating right now or that you started seeing someone and want to give that relationship a try. This at least doesn’t leave the other person forever miffed at what went wrong.

Stick it Out Through the Date

Sometimes a person can come off as brilliant and suave online or over the phone, but the reality is something completely different. Even if a first date reveals that your hot new dating prospect is ten years older and 20 pounds heavier than he implied and that his great job is actually kind of a freelance thing he does after he gets home from his fast food shift…try to stick it out. Leaving in the middle of a date or cutting it short is a cruel thing to do to someone else. Consider this an opportunity to meet someone new, try out some icebreakers, and put one down to experience. Of course, if your date is a true monster, it’s okay to call it quits early.

Avoid the Slow Fade

A lot of people, especially my fellow millennials, have developed the habit of the slow fade. You aren’t really interested in someone, but instead of just ending the relationship, you answer their texts less and less often, find excuses to turn down dates, and finally stop responding altogether. Those who use the slow fade technique will claim that this saves the other person’s feelings. I call B.S. on this excuse. The slow fade is a cowardly and/or lazy move that allows the fader to avoid the difficult breakup conversation. Being on the other end of a slow fade is confusing and hurtful; much more so than a quick and polite breakup. Be a confident person and show your partner respect by letting them know up front that you don’t think a relationship will work between the two of you.

Handle Rejection Maturely

Rejection happens to us all, and it can be extremely painful, especially if you don’t see it coming. As hard as it is, try to accept rejection with maturity. If your ex tells you upfront instead of playing the ghosting or slow fade game, then they are doing you a solid. Don’t make the process more difficult by throwing a tantrum or lashing out. After all, the online dating world means you have more people than ever to choose from. Give yourself a couple of days to drown your sorrow with your favorite brew or ice cream flavor of choice, and then get back up on that dating horse!

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Jun 07 2016

It’s Okay to Start Online Dating Slow

turtle

If you need to take online dating slow…then take it slow. Photo via Visualhunt

You love the idea of being in a sizzling, fun relationship, so why can’t you find the time to write that killer profile? Why do you keep putting off answering messages from interested singles? You know that you have to strap into the dating rollercoaster if you want that relationship your dreams. However, that doesn’t mean online dating has to become your new full time job or that you need to book a date every night of the week. You can dip your toe into the online dating waters and take it at your own pace.

Why Online Dating Is Scary

There are a lot of reasons why online dating may feel overwhelming, scary, or just plain weird. Maybe you’ve never tried online dating before, or you’re still hurting from the breakup of a long-term relationship. Many others have trouble sticking with online dating, because they simply feel pulled in too many directions. Work just picked up; a celiac health crisis put you on your back for a week; you’re trying to get your band off the ground.

All of these reasons are valid, but they don’t have to keep you from finding true love. Here are a few tips to help you tackle online dating…at your pace.

Make Small Goals

Just because you sign up for an online dating service doesn’t mean you immediately have to drop all your evening plans and fill them with dates. If you look at online dating as a zero sum game, it may feel too intimidating to even start. Instead, create small, reasonable goals that you know you can hit. For example:

  • Check messages once a day
  • Send three personalized messages a week
  • Go on one date a week

When you look at online dating as a series of small, no-pressure steps, it seems a lot more doable, no matter how busy you are!

Take Your Time Getting to Know Someone

If your heart is still mending from a serious relationship, or if you feel like you just don’t have time to squeeze tons of dates into your already overbooked schedule, don’t freak. If you meet someone interesting online, you don’t have to make dinner reservations the next day. Instead, spend some time messaging, so you can get more comfortable with each other. When it feels right, exchange phone numbers and switch to texts and calls. If this person is as awesome as they initially seem, you might forget all about your ex and somehow find room in your schedule for a meet.

The bottom line is don’t bow to pressure from the other person to meet right away if you don’t feel ready. That is a recipe for a disastrous date. The right person will be just as into you as you are in them and will know that you are worth waiting for.

Don’t Date if You Aren’t Ready

There is a big difference between someone who simply needs to take the dating road a little slow to get acclimated and someone who truly isn’t ready to date. If, even after setting small goals, you still can’t bring yourself to message interested suiters back, then it just probably isn’t the right time for you to be dating. Don’t waste your money on a dating service or string any unfortunate singles along. It’s okay if the time isn’t ready quite yet. Figure out what’s getting in your way; whether it’s your schedule, your emotional readiness, or both. Maybe you just need to finish up a stressful work project or let time heal old wounds. You can always jump back into the dating pool in the future when you are truly open for the right person to sweep you off your feet.

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May 17 2016

Should You Be Tested for Celiac Disease?

Doctor's stethoscope

Your doctor can perform a simple blood test to see if you have indicators for celiac disease.

For a disease that can so drastically harm an individual’s quality of life — and even cut it short! – celiac disease remains stubbornly difficult to diagnose. In fact, one resource suggests that an estimated 95% of Americans with celiac disease haven’t been diagnosed. Do you experience common symptoms associated with celiac disease or have a close family member with the disease? It may be time for you to get tested.

Why is Celiac Disease so Difficult to Diagnose?

Autoimmune diseases, like celiac, are notoriously difficult to diagnose. Unlike a straightforward disease like the chicken pox, celiac doesn’t present with clear-cut and consistent symptoms. When your immune system is out of whack, your symptoms may wax and wane and present in all sorts of different ways. It is easy to overlook consistent fatigue as too much job stress or to blame an episode of diarrhea on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Many people with celiac disease don’t present symptoms at all, or their symptoms are not debilitating enough to raise a red flag at the doctor’s office. Even when a patient IS experiencing significant symptoms, celiac disease is often misdiagnosed as lactose intolerance or IBS.

When Should You Be Tested for Celiac Disease

Too often, a test for celiac disease is a last resort after symptoms become extreme and all other tests and treatments have failed. I’ve read far too many stories of people who suffered with the terrible symptoms of celiac disease for years longer than necessary, simply because their doctor never thought to test them.

If you are experiencing any of the most common symptoms of celiac disease, you should consider asking your doctor for a test. Remember, everyone experiences celiac disease differently. You may experience some, all, or none of these symptoms and still have celiac. Additionally, just because these symptoms go away doesn’t mean the disease is gone. Celiac is incurable.

Common Symptoms of Celiac Disease:

  • Regular episodes of diarrhea (especially after eating gluten)
  • Weight loss or difficulty putting on weight
  • Anemia
  • Chronic or regular episodes of fatigue
  • Depression
  • Constipation

Autoimmunity also has a strong genetic link, which means you are at an increased risk of celiac disease if someone in your immediate family has celiac disease or any form of autoimmune disease, including: rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or Hashimoto’s disease. According to Quest Diagnostics, you have a one in 22 chance of having celiac disease if an immediate family member has also been diagnosed.

Get Tested for Celiac Disease

It is impossible for you to know if you have celiac disease until you get tested. Fortunately, the available tests can answer this question with finality. The first step is usually a blood test (most likely a tTG-IgA test). If this test indicates the possible presence of celiac, your doctor will then likely biopsy the small intestine, which can confirm the diagnosis.

Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for the initial blood test, especially if you have a family history of autoimmunity. Not every doctor understands celiac disease or how contrary the symptoms can be. Sometimes it is up to the patient to be their own best advocate!

* Note: In case it wasn’t clear from the lack of “MD” after my name, I am not a doctor. This article represents my opinion, not medical device. If you think that you might have celiac disease, only a licensed physician can make that diagnosis. Speak with your doctor.

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May 03 2016

I Tried Out a Gluten-Free Resort and Here’s What I Thought…

Written by GlutenfreeSingles Co-owner Marcella Romaya

sandals and hat on a beach

I was so excited to take my first trip to a gluten-free resort.

Living the gluten-free lifestyle can be a challenge even on your home turf; now imagine how hard it is when you’re in a strange place, don’t know any of the local restaurants, and may not even be able to translate the menu! For someone like me who lives with celiac disease, going on vacation is like skinny dipping with sharks!

That’s why I was so thrilled when Lesley Hock, an amazing travel agent, invited me on a five-day trip to an all-inclusive, gluten-free resort in Cancun, Mexico. Imagine, a vacation where I didn’t have to worry about accidentally eating gluten and spending my time abroad curled in the fetal position on the bathroom floor. Plus, Cancun! I told Leslie to sign me up.

My Trip to a Gluten-Free Resort

My destination was the El Dorado Royale Resort, which was every bit as beautiful as

Gluten-free meal at El Dorado Royale Resort

Just one of the amazing meals I got to enjoy at the El Dorado Royale Resort in Cancun.

you would imagine a Cancun destination to be. The resort sits right on the beach, so you can catch a tan next to the crashing waves. Unfortunately there are concrete barriers next to shore, which makes swimming difficult. They are building the world’s largest artificial reef in Mexico to restore valuable habitat for marine life. I didn’t let that stop me from having fun! You can also enjoy a dip in the pool and swim your way up to a poolside bar and ask for a gluten-free cocktail.

My favorite amenities, however, were the meals, amazing presentations from all eleven restaurants, and excellent service from the staff. On the very first morning of our trip, the gluten-free group met at the Santa Fe Restaurant, where the entire staff and the chef greeted us. All I can say about that incredible breakfast is – Yum!

Leslie kept our group busy throughout the days with a long list of activities. Some of them were typical of a Cancun vacation, like pool volleyball, garden tours, and my personal favorite – pool-side yoga. Other activities were tailored to our group, including private gluten-free cooking demonstrations and gluten-free cocktail events.

I got to work on my tan and learn some nifty new gluten-free recipes. Pretty cool!

Meeting a Gluten-Free Superstar

Marcella Romaya and Dr. Alessio Fasano

Me and one of my gluten-free heroes, Dr. Alessio Fasano.

The very best part of my trip was the opportunity to meet Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD, Founder and Director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also the author of the book, Gluten Freedom. I attended a private dinner event where Dr. Fasano spoke and then met with him one-on-one for a consultation about my gluten-free lifestyle. I learned a lot!

Ready For Your Gluten-Free Trip?

If you are like me and often feel so worried about traveling that you wonder if it’s even worth doing, then consider taking a gluten-free vacation at El Dorado Resort. Shoot an email to my friend Lesley Hock at Travel Leaders at lhayden@travelleaders.com, and she will give you some great trip ideas.

Donate to find a cure

Finally, if you are interested in supporting Dr. Fasano’s efforts at the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, you can make a donation at: https://secure.massgeneral.org/celiac-center#.Vt8bWJMrKYU.

*Please be cautious when traveling to Mexico; always go with a group when leaving the resort.

*Please read El Dorado Resort reviews before booking a vacation at the resort.

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Apr 19 2016

Michael Pollan Thinks That Gluten Might be a “Social Contagion”

Published by under Diet,Gluten Free

Person wearing flu mask

Is gluten really a social contagion? Photo credit: jasleen_kaur via VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

Michael Pollan, the well-known food journalist, author, and activist once surmised that the gluten-free craze might be a “social contagion” in a free-wheeling interview on HuffPost Live in 2014. You may know Pollan from his blockbuster book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma or his strong advocacy of the slow food movement. He has studied food and the American diet long and hard, and he isn’t exactly sold on the gluten-free trend.

In the interview with Josh Zepps, Pollan casts doubt on the value of a gluten-free diet, though he does make an exception for people with celiac disease. “There are people who feel better when they get off gluten,” he tells Zepps. “It may have to do with the fact that maybe they’re getting off carbs.”

Why is Pollan so suspicious of the gluten-free movement? “The number of people that are genuinely gluten-sensitive cannot be growing as fast as the market niche is growing,” he proclaims.

Instead of focusing on cutting gluten, Pollan advocates for a diet that avoids as many processed foods as possible. He points to the fact that many gluten-free eaters turn to highly processed gluten alternatives. “Some people get off gluten and then they get onto this highly processed gluten-free category,” he says in his interview. “Look at the ingredients in those gluten-free products. I mean, it’s a lot of xanthan gum and a lot of food additives that, I don’t know, I wouldn’t want to eat.”

Is Gluten Really a Social Contagion?

Pollan brings up some interesting points in his interview. Certainly the number of people who claim to be gluten sensitive has skyrocketed over the past few years, and food producers have rushed to keep up. In many ways, the social contagion accusation might be accurate. Hearing about a close friend who discovered she had a gluten sensitivity may make you begin to wonder if your own gastrointestinal symptoms are related to gluten. More awareness of a condition usually results in more diagnosis.

Could the same thing be happening with gluten sensitivity?

Pollan also makes another good point, which is that processed gluten-free food is not necessarily a healthy alternative to its gluten counterpart. Gluten-free cookies are still cookies, after all. Even on a gluten-free diet, you need to pay close attention to what’s in your food. If you want to eat healthy, the best way is to consume fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Perhaps you might even want to try more fermented foods, which Pollan raves about in his interview! “I really fell in love with fermentation and working with these microbes, which are just so miraculous,” Pollan admits.

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