Gluten-Free Globetrotter at the Canadian Celiac Association Conference

Canadian Celiac Association

I am so excited to announce that I have been invited to speak at the Canadian Celiac Association 2016 National Conference to be held June 24-26, 2016 in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. This is my first international speaking engagement and I cannot wait to share my gluten-free travel tips to my neighbors in the north!

I am in excellent company with other speakers who will share their celiac disease expertise with the conference attendees. Additionally, I will finally get to meet some of the Canadian experts that I’ve only ever read about online. Click here for the speaker schedule for both days of the conferences.

Registration is now open and you can pay via credit card or mail in a check. Please visit for more information. Be sure to register before the early bird deadline of March 31st for a chance to win a great prize from the conference sponsors! If you plan on attending the conference, let me know in the comments below. I would love to meet you in Canada!

I’ve traveled to Ontario and British Columbia but never Newfoundland. I am thrilled to add a new destination within Canada to my travels. St. John’s looks absolutely gorgeous and is known as one of the most colorful cities in the world. It is also the oldest city in North America so it has a lot of rich history. I am definitely extending my visit beyond the days of the conference to explore St. John’s and the surrounding areas.

Do you have any recommendations for the St John’s area? Gluten-free food, activities in the area, etc.? I’m open to sugestions!

Brian Carey Photography
A Sunny Day in the City of 10,000 Colors by Brian Carey Photography 



Happy Canada Day and Canadian Celiac Association News!


Happy Canada Day to all of my family, friends, and readers up north! I have only seen a sliver of Canada during my trips to Port Stanley and London, Ontario and a 2008 trip Vancouver, BC and I cannot wait to explore more. In 2016, I will get that chance!

In honor of Canada Day, I am THRILLED to announce that I am speaking at the 2016 Canadian Celiac Association national conference. The conference is June 24-26, 2016 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. I am so excited to share my lifelong celiac experiences and Gluten-Free Globetrotter travel tips with the Canadian celiac community. I am also really happy to explore a new-to-me area of Canada.

Thank you so much to the Canadian Celiac Association for this opportunity. See you next year!


International Recognition of Celiac Disease


I received a very interesting email from Karla Zaldívar, the President of Asociación de Celíacos y Sensibles al Gluten de El Salvador (ACELYSES) last week. Ten international celiac associations from nine countries are joining together to ask the World Health Organization (WHO) to recognize Celiac Disease in the catalog of non-communicable diseases. They are also asking the WHO to declare February 15 of each year as the World Gluten Related Disorders Awareness Day.

If one thing is missing within the United States and the world it is a cohesive voice, vision, and mission for the advocacy of Celiac Disease. In countries such as the United States, Brazil, and the Czech Republic, there are multiple celiac associations. This makes it difficult when trying to pass legislation. In my opinion, these organizations work against each other and not together for the greater good of the people with Celiac Disease. Seeing an initiative such as this one with support from multiple countries seems promising to me. Let’s hope that more countries join in this international support of Celiac Disease awareness and advocacy.

You can read the email from Ms. Zaldívar below. I encourage you to share this with your country’s Celiac association. This is a very interesting initiative.

Dear Celiac Association members:

Please, receive warm greetings on behalf of the “Association of Celiac and Sensitive to Gluten from El Salvador” (ACELYSES for its acronym in Spanish, Asociación de Celíacos y Sensibles al Gluten de El Salvador), Central America.

Considering that:

  1. Experts around the world and the World Gastroenterology Organization (WGO) stated that the prevalence of celiac disease is 1% worldwide.
  2. The epidemiology of celiac disease has iceberg characteristics—there are far more undiagnosed cases (below the waterline) than diagnosed cases (above the waterline).
  3. Despite the efforts of the associations by educating and raising awareness about celiac disease even there is much ignorance of this condition, which is evident with the high deficit of early celiac diagnosis.
  4. In some countries, celiac associations have the establishment by law of the national celiac day. At this time, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no international or global day of celiacs, that day must be approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations or by a specialized agency of the United Nations, such as WHO, FAO and UNICEF.
  5. The spectrum of gluten-related disorders are:
    i. Autoimmune: celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis and gluten ataxia.
    ii. Allergic: allergy to wheat.
    iii. Not allergic not autoimmune: sensitivity to gluten.
    (Source: )
  6. One of the most remarkable moments in the history of celiac disease has been shedding light on the cause of autoimmune disease. There is consensus that celiac disease, belong to the category of autoimmune disorders and in this case, is the only one with known etiology. A Dutch pediatrician, Willem Karel Dicke (February 15, 1905 – 27 April 1962) who proved that gluten was the offending agent.

It is evident that it is essential and urgent to make arrangements to make visible, at the highest level in the whole world, the issue of gluten-related disorders and that prompt action must be taken to minimize the impact of this problem of public health which is currently unattended in the majority of countries.

At this moment, the following associations are also supporting this initiative:

In addition, renowned experts also support the initiative: Dr. Salvador Peña (Netherlands), Dr. Eduardo Cueto (Argentina) and Dr. Alessio Fasano (USA).

Therefore, a request to the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) has been sent so this organization adopts resolutions to:

  1. Include celiac disease within the WHO catalogue of non-communicable diseases (NCD)
  2. Declare February 15 of each year as the World Gluten Related Disorders Awareness Day. ACELYSES has proposed that date as a way to recognize the invaluable contribution of Dr. Willem Karel Dicke. Each country can continue celebrating the national celiac day. Regardless of that there is a world day for the entire spectrum of gluten disorders.

On behalf of associations that have come together for this initiative I kindly ask your support for by means of: 

  • Contact your World Health Assembly delegates in your country. Also, whenever possible, you can contact and request the support of the Board Executive national member (See ).
  • You can share and promote the initiative with other organizations or people who work for the benefit of people with gluten-related disorders and that can help with the support inside the WHO.

To read this entire initiative in Spanish, please click here.

Brazil, general

Gluten-free in Brazil (Sem Glúten da Brasil)


Last week was the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. I was never into soccer (known as football everywhere else) until I moved to Astoria, Queens. Astoria is probably one of the most diverse neighborhoods in all of New York City. This means there are World Cup fans from around the globe watching the games alongside of me. I get really caught up in the excitement of the games and try to see as many as I can during the tournament. New York City has some really amazing venues to watch the World Cup and I am spending the next month cheering on the teams and rooting for the world!

This year, the World Cup is in Brazil. While I have never been, Brazil is very high on my Gluten-Free Globetrotter bucket list! As with most places, I love doing research about eating gluten-free in that country. It looks like Brazil has a national Celiac organization with many small support groups across the country. Additional, there are labeling laws that have been in place since 2003

According to Brazil Law 10,674 of 16/05/2003, it “requires that all food products marketed to report on the presence of gluten, as prevention and control of celiac disease.” Brazil was TEN YEARS ahead of the United States in their gluten-free labeling laws!  The law currently does not set the maximum PPM of gluten in a product. There is a group called PROTESTE that is working to set the maximum amount of gluten in “gluten-free” products at 10ppm or less. I am impressed by the country-wide support of such laws.

Remember, Brazilians speak Portuguese NOT Spanish. I recommend you bringing a Brazilian Portuguese translation card with you if you are traveling to Brazil.

Here are some Brazilian Celiac Associations and links that will give you more information about living as a Celiac and being gluten-free in Brazil.

Associação dos Celíacos do Brasil – ACELBRA (Brazilian Celiac Foundation)

Associação dos Celíacos do Brasil – Mato Grosso do Sul

Associação dos Celíacos do Brasil – Minas Gerais

Associação dos Celíacos do Brasil – Parana

Associação dos Celíacos do Brasil – Rio de Janeiro

Associação dos Celíacos do Brasil – Rio Grande do Sul

Associação dos Celíacos do Brasil – Santa Catarina

Associação dos Celíacos do Brasil – São Paulo

Associação dos Celíacos do Brasil – Seção Distrito Federal

Rio sem Gluten

PROTESTE: Alimento seguro para os celíacos

Federação Nacional das Associações de Celíacos do Brasil (FENACELBRA)

Grupo de Celíacos da Bahia

Sem gluten
From the website.
New York

Meet Gluten-Free Globetrotter on March 25

Join me on Tuesday, March 25th at 6pm at Vassar Brother’s Hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York. I will be discussing tips about traveling the world while living with Celiac Disease, gluten-free travel tips, and how to research before you leave for your vacation.

Visit the CDF Hudson Valley NY Facebook page for more information.

Gluten-Free Globetrotter circles the globe!



Gluten-Free Globetrotter
CDF Hudson Valley NY meeting
Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Vassar Brothers Hospital
Conference Room B
45 Reade Place
Poughkeepsie, NY