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Wednesday, September 7, 2011
NYC Celiac Disease Meetup Group
In addition to having a day job in the educational technology world, writing two gluten-free blogs, maintaining multiple social media accounts, and attempting to have an active social life in New York City, I am also the lead organizer of the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group. WHEW! Yes, I stay busy!

As I mentioned in my June 2011 article "Gluten Free Support Groups" in Easy Eats magazine, support groups are an amazing way to build up your gluten-free community. When I "inherited" the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group almost five years ago, never did I expect the group to balloon to over 1,330 members. According to, there are 67 Celiac Disease Meetups worldwide and the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup Group is the largest by more than 900 members!

With more than 100 events under my belt, at least 10 events in the making, and new sponsorships every month, our group is stronger than ever before. Although hectic and even frustrating at times, I wouldn't give up this leadership role for anything. Our group is amazing and I learn something every time I hold an event. Whether it is a new gluten-free restaurant to dine in or an unfortunate"glutening" story, I can relate to (almost) all of my group members in one way or another. This group consists of people that are still waiting a Celiac or gluten-intolerance diagnosis to others that have been diagnosed for years, such as myself. This support community has been so helpful to me and I hope that others find my efforts helpful to them.

With 7 upcoming events on our fall calendar, I am without a doubt busier than ever. I have weekly calls with venues, tour operators, and sponsors; I exchange flurries of emails throughout the week from both vendors and group members; and I also try to moderate our ever growing message boards. If I can help just one newly diagnosed individual navigate their new gluten-free world, I feel like my efforts have paid off.

Membership to our NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group is free! We have group members that live in NYC or others that are simply passing through New York on a vacation looking for some gluten-free tips. We've have regular locals attend our events as well as guests from as far away as Australia. It is the virtual connections and the in-person meetings that keep me going.

Are you a member of the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group? How has the group helped you? Have you used our message boards to find restaurants in NYC and the five boroughs? I would love to hear from you in my comments section below. It's your feedback that helps shape our group and gives me ideas for future Meetups.

Visit the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group today.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a question for all you GF peeps. In 2000 I was diagnosed with 'Dermatitis Herpetiformis' (try saying that quick 5 times - lol!) and it is a sister to, and treated the same as a Celiac. Okay, at that time I was told not to use the regular things we are warned about but also not to use like Red # so and so, Yellow, blue etc etc etc. Then in 2008 I was diagnosed with regular Celiac. I have friends that are Celiac and they use those coloring additives. Does anyone KNOW for sure what the rules are. Also what is the best site to get a print out of the guidelines for non acceptable GF/Wheat free foods? Thanks.

Blogger Unknown said...

I would like to post this question to my Facebook group on Monday. Stay tuned for answers there.

You can find that page at:

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