alvine pharmaceuticals, a company that has made the move to treat celiac with a pill (ah, how 21st century), has just received 2 patents for a new drug therapy for the disease. from what i can gather from the press release, the drug that's currently in testing is composed of a protease and endopeptidase, whose jobs it is to break down gluten and render it powerless. in other words, it digests the protein and makes it into something that your immune system isn't going to react to. in my mind, this is similar to a lactaid pill, which provides your body with digestive enzymes which break down those irritating milk sugars that can bother individuals that don't produce sufficient amounts of the enzyme on their own. while a lactose intolerance isn't an immune intolerance or allergy issue outright (it can be caused by such a problem at its root, but it is not --in and of itself-- an immune-related response), this concept of supplementing enzymes to break down an offending substance is similar to what i believe is the function of the gluten-digesting pill.
Posted by madeline at 11:30 AM
got a post from a very concerned chef...
the thai lobster soup and the french fries previously listed below are NOT GLUTEN FREE!
the first contains fish sauce (always avoid this one, gluterinis) and the second shares frying oil with the onion rings.
a very sincere THANKS for these corrections! we need people like you looking out for us from the inside, and it means the world! and in my opinion, despite the fact that the PR person made an error, knowing that there's a chef at the restaurant who really truly knows what they're doing when it comes to preparing GF food (and then goes out of their way to correct this blog!) makes the restaurant that much more appealing. now if there was only a way to ensure that we ate there on a night when you're working...
i've been emailing what i call the superlative restaurants -- those that have earned the title of "most popular" and "favorite" on resources like the zagat guide. not all (in fact, most) do not include GF options on their websites, and since it appears that you crazy chicagoians love them so much, i've decided that i need to do some digging of my own. first to reply was...
whole foods market north evanston (1640 chicago ave) is hosting a gluten-free education series which is aimed to "help you lead a healthy, happy and delicious gluten-free lifestyle." the remaining 2 classes take place on february 28th, topic: gluten-free at home, and march 27th topic: gluten -free dining out. both run from 7 - 8:30pm. classes are a steal at $15 each, and my past experiences trying to sign up for whole foods cooking classes tell me that you should register right away if you're interested! for registration info click here.
i'm hoping that fellow chicagians are aware of what the university of chicago's got going on. they have one serious celiac disease center, where they not only offer help for those with the disease, but they have annual seminars to educate doctors about the issue and how to properly diagnose and treat celiac in patients. another annual event is their free blood screening for individuals that are at risk for the disease. this is a pretty big deal, because most people have health insurance that will not pay for this testing and/or doctors that don't deem it necessary. i know that i had issues with these at the start, and in the end i needed to have blood testing, an endoscopy and intestinal sampling done to analyze those sneaky little microvilli. there is no date set for 2008's blood tests, but the 2007 one was in october -- plan to wait a few months for it. the registration for the last test was in august, so make sure to check back on the site if you or someone you know might be interested.
sushi is one of those things that i can eat for every meal, day in, day out, and never get sick of it. i just love those raw fishies. i also love how going out for sushi is just so easy, and common sense seems to go a long way towards enjoying a fabulous meal and making it through the whole thing without chowing down on some gluten. through my numerous hunts for the best tasting sushi at a price that i can afford, i have discovered what i believe to be a general truth about the food -- the super high-end places aren't the best. maybe i'm just a sushi purist and i don't like those crazy deep friend, cream cheese filled, and otherwise fancy-pants-ified rolls that are common at more formal joints. I like to taste my fresh salmon for what it is, and it's pretty damn tasty.
this post is going to be rather short. i plan for it to act more like reminder or a heads-up, if you will. if it doesn't make much sense, please let this one go by. i was hit full-force by a viral sledgehammer and high doses of cold meds render my brain useless.
Posted by madeline at 2:13 PM
i had no idea that you could tag someone over the internet. sure, facebook.com provides options to slap, trip, hug and throw a sheep at someone, but tag? no no. and yet, i find myself after having been got.
i did a google news search this morning for "gluten" just to see what's new in the world of celiac and xanthan gum. to my (not) surprise, about 90% of the gluten-related news articles posted in the past 24 hours were from canada, the UK, germany... almost none were from the US. i've always known we were behind the times -- especially since not one single doctor in this great country of ours could figure out what the heck was wrong with me, and it took a stroke and luck and a move to england before i met people that knew what was up. and weren't even phased by it. so very unlike america at the time, and that time was only about 10 years ago. let's get on the ball, people...
last night dan and i went out to dinner. our celebration of his new-found freedom continued from that afternoon, and about a week before he told me that he really wanted some mexican food because it had been a while. fine. so i did my research and found a place with a GF menu and that's where we went.
oh joy of joys. i have my boyfriend back.
are you sitting? i'm just going to assume that you're firmly planted in a desk chair or sofa and continue. ready?
if you look closely enough at the photo of stanley after a successful stalking, you'll notice that the dumplings are not, in fact, polish. they're russian. (good thing stan can't read!) but potato dumplings are potato dumplings, right? i don't know. don't ask me. i can't remember ever eating any. but the reason i bring this up is because dan had his heart set on finding a place that could serve him up some nice, fresh homemade pierogies for his birthday. as it turned out, there was a little russian restaurant right in our neighborhood, so i made a reservation and we went.