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Cleveland Convention Center – Don’t Do It

I have been in Cleveland, OH for the past week for a conference that was going on at the Cleveland Convention Center. Like most conferences, they offered a “box lunch” option for the attendees. As I always do, I let the staff of the conference know of my celiac disease in advance and they let me know that there were gluten free meals available. I clarified that my condition made it that it needed to be made with extreme caution and they confirmed that I was not the only one with celiac disease. The staff was aware and making us a gluten free option for lunch that would be labeled accordingly. Great!

Or so it seemed. I had to leave the conference early that day (which is a total bummer because I missed the session I was most excited about) and barely made it back to my hotel in time before I had the pleasure of vomiting several times and being sick for the rest of the night. Ugh.

The next day when I was back at the conference, I let the staff of the event know that the GF meal was anything but. Apparently, they had already had multiple complaints from others who got sick from the “gluten free” option at lunch. The staff said they spoke with the staff there, but would recommend I make my decision for what was best for me. I chose to have lunch at Au Bon Pain (which was great and I will outline in a separate post). And, man, am I glad I made this decision. I heard from other conference attendees that the staff “mislabeled” the ham and turkey options (obviously, there are many people who don’t eat pork products so this is also a problem) and when the attendees showed their lunches saying, “This isn’t turkey.” they were told, “No, it’s just smoked which made it that color.” Really? Last I checked smoking turkey doesn’t turn it pink.

So, my advice? Whatever you do, avoid eating food at the Cleveland Convention Center if you have celiac disease or a serious sensitivity to gluten. Or, apparently, any other dietary need. They don’t appear to know what they are doing or care when they get it wrong.

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Easter Chex Mix Recipe

Chex has posted a recipe to their Facebook page for an Easter mix! The original recipe is almost gluten free. Just substitute the Honey Nut Cheerios (not GF) with Honey Nut Chex (GF) and you’re good to go! Also, be sure to read the packaging on your chocolate candy closely to ensure it is gluten free.

Here is the original recipe from Chex. Enjoy it and happy Easter!

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Guest Post: Why Good Nutrition is Important to Cancer Patients

This guest post is provided by Jillian McKee.

Common Types of Cancer

The National Cancer Institute lists 12 more common cancers as bladder, breast, colorectal, endometrial,
kidney, leukemia, lung, melanoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, pancreatic, prostate and thyroid. Whether a
person has been diagnosed with any of these types of cancer or is undergoing mesothelioma cancer
treatment, there are guidelines concerning nutrition that may help before, during or after surgery and
treatment. Watching food and drink intake is not intended as a cure, but it is a way to keep up your energy
and minimize side effects while the cancer is being treated.

Before Surgery

Helpful guidelines for a person who has been diagnosed with cancer and must prepare for surgery are given
on a web site called Markey Menu: Nutrition for You. Karina Christopher, Registered Dietitian at the UK
Markey Cancer Center, recommends increasing high-quality proteins, adding foods rich in Omega-3 fatty
acids, and keeping fruits and vegetables in the diet. She also lists foods to be avoided including high-calorie
desserts.

Stocking the refrigerator and freezer ahead of time with easy-to-prepare meals will help maintain nutrition at
a time when energy levels are lower. Asking friends and family to help you shop for food when you can’t
handle that task will help you get all the items necessary for good health.

During Cancer Treatments

A person going through cancer treatments may not always feel like eating. Small, frequent meals when
appetite is increased is a good decision. A person who is involved in cancer treatments may need more
high-quality protein than at other times. Some of the good sources of protein include dried beans, dried
peas, nuts and eggs.

Avoiding fats are not as important as selecting the right ones. The right kinds of fats are helpful in storing
energy and insulating against chills. These include such foods as olive oil, corn oil and seafood.

Carbohydrates provide fuel for physical activities and are a well-spring of the energy your body
needs. Important sources of carbohydrates are whole grains. Some of the more common ones are whole
wheat, brown rice and rye (on a gluten free diet, brown rice is the only option in these three that would qualify as wheat and rye are not gluten free). Fruits and vegetables also provide needed carbohydrates. Other sources are
pastas, potatoes and bread (again, gluten free whole grains can be available for the pastas and bread, read your labels!).

Water is essential to any diet. Some water is included in the foods eaten, but more is needed to be sure
your body gets all it requires. The American Cancer Society recommends eight 8-ounce glasses of water
per day to be sure you get the water your body needs.

When Treatments are Finished

A well-balanced diet is essential to health for everyone, but may be more important when recovering from
cancer. As appetite increases, stay with the essentials that helped keep energy and well-being strong while
going through treatments. Maintaining a healthy weight may be more important than dieting. If under-
weight, consider adding sour cream to a baked potato or indulging in a milk shake. Keep whole grains and
plenty of water on the menu.

NOTE: Italicized items in parenthesis were added by Melina Young.

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Been a While

Alright, sorry followers, I have been MIA for a while. Really focusing on work and family recently, but I am coming back! I have plenty of items to write about that I have been stocking up on. I will post at least once a week and be a dedicated blogger moving forward!

Have you had any gluten-y problems since my last post? Any questions you have thought up and would like to ask? I would be happy to dedicate a post to any questions you may have…

Thanks for sticking around!

-Melina

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