Friday, January 19, 2007

GF newbie day at the Mustard Seed Market

A regional natural and organics food market called the Mustard Seed Market & Cafe has a neat little program every month for newly diagnosed gluten-free / celiac persons in the region, where the store conducts a GF specific tour. The idea is to familiarize the GF newbies with where the various gluten-free baking ingredients and finished products are throughout the store, and answer some basic questions the people may have.

The person giving the this month's tour tomorrow morning asked my wife and I if we'd stop out and meet the newest members of the celiac community, and provide some insight into glutenfree baking. Of course, we were delighted to accept the invitation. Although we are planning a more formal event there in the next couple months to demonstrate some of our gluten-free dessert recipes in action (by baking a few samples up and showing along with our book), this monthly event is certainly a good way to gain insight into what others faced with this condition have gone through, and what they see as challenges moving forward.

Hopefully we'll be able to help people understand that they can lead a very normal life even without gluten. My wife did bake up some lemon cookies for the attendees (I had to resist eating all of them today. he he he) to give them a little taste of what is possible when baking without wheat - that is, anything is possible! We'll be sure to help them find the various ingredients in the store required to bake their own breads, pizza crusts, cookies, cakes, and so on. Of course, I can point them to this blog for a source of recipes now and in the future while I am at it. If I get inspired yet tonight, maybe I'll print off a few recipes to hand out too.

I'm not sure how many other stores around the country have such an introductory program for the newly diagnosed Celiac Disease patients, but it is a nice way to help anyone that is sorta "shocked" into this new eating and baking lifestyle. I expect attendees to also be able to form some bonds with persons in a like situation, and this makes it easy to meet those that may otherwise never be known to you.

So, here's hoping the snow stays away in the morning so that everyone can make it to the event. Depending on the level of attendance and interaction, we'll probably start attending each month. And, with a bit of planning, we should have time to bake up some samples of different desserts and other recipes each time too. Certainly beats sitting around wondering what to do on a Saturday morning - especially in the winter time.

Speaking of Winter, we had a fair dose of it today. I got my exercise shoveling. I don't mind actually, since it beats riding the exercise bike in the basement. I let an inch or two of snow build up, and then go out and shovel the whole driveway. Let it snow more, and repeat. I figure I'm getting some fresh air, burning off some calories (those cookies I just had to sample), enjoying the outdoors (and staying warm from calorie-burning), and letting my brain relax between more mentally challenging tasks. Keeping the shoveling to an inch or two of snow at a time also keeps the workout rather low impact, and a bit more aerobic as I keep the pace up. It's gotta be a bit easier on the body then straining to lift heavy piles of snow at once too.

So, time to wrap this blogging up for the night, get some sleep, and be ready to meet all the gluten-free newcomers in the morning.


Lynn Barry said...

Looking forward to reading all about your meeting. The support of others means much to those of us who have to think about everything we put into our mouths.


Dianne said...

Wow! Well done to the food market, to hold introduction sessions for the newly diagnosed! I can see the business sense, it must be so very usefull for the newly diagnosed though


Mike Eberhart said...

I'll write more about my observations soon, but I can say this: it was interesting. It furthered my views of why so many people are absolutely confused about Celiac and GF diets.

Yes, it would seem that such an event would be a good thing for newly diagnosed persons. There is so much contradictory information flowing, and much of it completely unsubstantiated info, that it is amazing anyone can figure out what is safe to eat and what is not, what Celiac prevalence is or isn't, etc. Amazing. And, that's not a good thing.

This meeting today just confirmed my suspicions about how differing of views people have of EVERYTHING surrounding CD/GF.