Kristen LaVerghetta spoke with some celiac sufferers who don’t let their dietary restrictions rule their life.
Ann Delaware was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 15 years ago. In order to stay healthy, Delaware is on a gluten free diet.
She can’t eat many of the foods others enjoy, but she doesn’t feel deprived at all…
in fact, she says she’s never eaten better.
":Cooking gluten free is just a matter of practice. Little habit, and the worst thing you can do is make it hard.":
Avoiding foods that have gluten isn’t always easy, but Ann Delaware and others in her Celiac support group say they’re up for the challenge.
":So there’s always for me, something I can eat everywhere.":
JaImi Royer works at the Natural Living Center in Bangor.
":I’m definitely noticing, I’d say in the past two years a huge increase in the gluten free business.":
She says many companies are picking up on this trend.
":They’re coming out with more fun stuff instead of like the plain old boring basics, they are coming out with treats for people who have allergies – finally I can have a good tasting cookie!":
A lot of companies now make great tasting gluten free mixes for cookies, brownies, and cakes.
":Unfortunately the mixes are still expensive. That’s why I try to teach people to make their own mix.":
To do that and save some money, you can buy gluten free flours – like rice, tapioca, and bean flour.
":It’s just a matter of kind of adapting and being like I said a little more creative and doing a little more home cooking unfortunately.":
For those who aren’t so crafty in the kitchen – many restaurants now offer gluten free menu options.
":We started with the gluten free pizza about four months ago, when friends of ours suggested something of the sort because they had an allergy to gluten.":
Pat’s Pizza in Hampden and Orono make pizza night possible again for gluten free diners.
":They can put whatever they’d like on it.’
And after dinner, everyone needs a little dessert.
":I’ve had a number of people come in and say, oh this is so good, I really appreciate it.":
Bernadette Gaspar makes gluten free pastries at Frank’s Bake Shop in Bangor. She says her gluten free business has taken off recently and her selection of products has grown.
":I make pizza crust and bread Everybody around here loves the brownies, because they’re really moist.":
Frank’s and Pat’s are both very careful when they make their gluten free products to keep regular flour away and prevent cross contamination. Growing awareness of Celiac Disease and expanding gluten free product lines makes it possible for someone to maintain a gluten free diet, without sacrificing any of the treats they’re use to.
The Bangor area Celiac Support Group meets every third Tuesday of the month at 7 p-m at the Saint Francis center in Bangor across the street from Saint Joseph Hospital.
Bangor Area Celiac Support Group Contacts
Ann Delaware 827-2733
Katherine Musgrave 866-4240
Celiac Disease Foundation
Celiac Sprue Association/USA, Inc.