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Sunday, December 30, 2007
Team Gluten-Free Announces '08 Schedule!

Team Gluten-Free™, a project of the Celiac Disease Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, public benefit corporation, is a training program for runners, walkers and cyclists who participate in races across the United States to raise awareness and funds for Celiac Disease. The money we raise goes directly to research and awareness programs and camp scholarships for Celiac children.

Ways you can be a part of Team Gluten-Free™
* Select a race from the race calendar and complete registration form.
* Don't see a race near you? Find out about our Bring Gluten-Free To Your Town program.
* Recruit friends and family to participate.
* Donate to the team.

Here are just some of the cities where Team Gluten-Free™ participants will be running in 2008: Salt Lake City, Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles, San Diego, Long Beach, Phoenix, St. Louis, Fargo, Duluth, Dallas, Birmingham, Austin, Long Branch (NJ), Lake Placid, Virginia Beach, Columbus, Knoxville, Nashville, and Cincinnati.

Please visit the Team Gluten-Free™ website for more information about joining a running team or bringing Team Gluten-Free™ to your town!

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Monday, December 10, 2007
Alek's Controllable Christmas Lights for Celiac Disease

My friend found this on Gizmodo and I really don't have words for this website/house/event, so I am posting the article from the 12/6/07 posting on Gizmodo.

Web-Controllable Holiday Lights Setup is Christmas Spirit Overload
10:00 AM ON THU DEC 6 2007

It's the Christmas season, so you know what that means: completely insane, over-the-top lighting displays. Yes, they get crazier every year as front-yard hobbyists figure out how to put more and more tech into their shows to make them even more impressive. One of my personal favorites is "Alek's Controllable Christmas Lights for Celiac Disease," so named because they exist as a fundraiser for Celiac disease research and because you can actually control the entire setup via the Internet.

Yes, starting at 5pm MST every afternoon, Alek's entire setup becomes controllable via his website. You can turn specific sets of lights on and off, and you can inflate or deflate giant characters, such as Christmas classics Santa, Homer Simpson and Elmo. You can also type text messages in to be displayed on a monitor in "Santa's Workshop," which has its own cam.

The entire setup runs on 17 different circuits, has 17,100 lights, and uses 65 amps of power. Before you start ranting and raving about this hurting the environment, you should know that the whole shebang runs on wind power. In addition, Alek purchased a carbon offset to double the environmental friendliness of the setup. And as soon as they get cheaper (hopefully by next year), he plans to start using energy-efficient LED lights.

And it's all for a good cause! Both his sons have Celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder. So if you get some kicks out of playing with these lights, the least you could do would be to toss a few bucks to the U of Maryland in his name if you have the means. It's the season of giving, after all.


Alex's website is really quite a trip. I wasn't sure what I was looking at, where my cursor was, or when MST really starts so I can turn on the lights on his house. Anyway, here is the link and the a little blurb from his website:

Use the three christmas webcams to view live images of 17,000 christmas lights and also CONTROL them - heck, you can even inflate (or deflate) the giant Elmo, Frosty, Santa, and Homer Simpson - D'OH! The webcams are online 7x24 from Thanksgiving to January 1st and you annoy the neighbors by turning stuff on & off from 1700 to 2200 MST (GMT-7). Plus you can send "Instant Messages via Webcam" for everyone to see. HO HO HO! ;-)

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Sunday, December 9, 2007
Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program: Lilli and Loo
The Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP) facilitates a relationship between individuals with celiac disease and other forms of gluten intolerance, and restaurants. The relationship builds a win-win opportunity for restaurants to provide service to people following a gluten-free diet, and to gain increased patronage. Participating restaurants are able to provide gluten-free meals from their regular meals. GFRAP is a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America.

A recent add to the GFRAP is Lilli and Loo on Lexington Avenue, between 61st and 62nd Streets in Manhattan. It is a cute little chic Asian restaurant stuffed between a few bodegas, bars, and across the street for the New York Doll Hospital. Not an exactly hip location, but the Upper East Side of Manhattan is definitely becoming a mecca of gluten-free restaurants. Lilli and Loo has been getting some good press in the gluten-free blogger community (see Ms. Guide's posting here) so I figured I would take my friend Shawn in celebration of his new job.

We arrived around 5:45pm on Friday night and it wasn't yet crowded and was still happy hour (4pm-7pm). If it weren't for the ton of drinks at the company holiday party the night before, I would have definitely had joined him in a congratulatory drink. Anyway, we ordered the Saigon Roll and the Thai Chicken Lettuce wraps to start. We were not disappointed. I actually really enjoyed the Saigon Roll and thought it was quite different from the previous gluten-free wraps I have had at other gluten-free restaurants. For my entrée, I had Manchurian Beef with fresh broccoli and brown rice. Since we had filled up on the Saigon Roll and Thai Chicken Lettuce wraps, I was half full when the entrées came but managed to finish everything. It seemed like the staff was really trying and the waitress even asked me in some broken English "Gluten-Free can't eat fortune cookie, right?" I guess she didn't want to offend me when bringing the cookies with the bill. All in all it was nice to enjoy an Asian meal without the worry or the bloated feeling you sometimes get when eating "Safe".

Kudos to Lilli and Loo for becoming part of GFRAP. Give them a try if you are in Manhattan!

Saigon Wraps: Rice paper wrapper with fresh mango, avocado, iceberg lettuce, cucumber, rice vermicelli and spicy mint dipping sauce (served cool and not fried)

Manchurian Beef with Broccoli

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Lilli and Loo
792 Lexington Ave
New York 10021
Btwn 61st and 62nd St

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Gluten-Free Fuggedaboutit

Click image to download a PDF for more information or click here to visit the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup calendar.

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