Posts tagged ‘gluten-free stadiums’

Take Me Out to the Ball Game! Family Fun & a New Gluten-Free Stand at the Phillies’ Stadium

Spring is has sprung and that means baseball is here!  All of us at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) have started following our favorite teams and are ready for a great season of America’s favorite pastime. And, we are preparing for our annual night out at the ballpark.

This year, Celiac Awareness Night with the Philadelphia Phillies is on Friday, August 16that Citizens Bank Park as the Phillies host the Los Angeles Dodgers. This will be NFCA’s 6th Celiac Awareness Night and we are looking forward to a great night of great baseball.

This year, we are excited to have a special free raffle to offer visitors to our information table near Section 210.   Thanks to the Phillies and Aramark, the basket will include Phillies memorabilia, two tickets to a 2013 regular season game in section 116, a preferred parking pass and a complementary food coupon valued at $30. Better yet, there will be an expanded menu at the gluten-free concession stand that is set up for NFCA’s night out.

Last Friday, I went to the Phillies Home Opener.  I either am a terrible influence or a great grandmother as I snuck my grandson Zachary out of school for the afternoon so he could cheer on the home team. The weather was perfect, the seats were good and we were all set to start a winning season.  Unfortunately, the Phillies weren’t quite as ready as we were and lost to the Kansas City Royals. As the crowd streamed out at the 7th inning stretch, my grandson refused to lose faith and declared, “I am a Phillies fan and I am staying!”

Grandson at Phillies Game

My grandson checking out the new gluten-free concession stand at Citizens Bank Park. Such a dedicated fan!

We did have a great chance to check out the new permanent gluten-free concession stand in Section 136. What a boost to the Phillies experience! We had delicious hot dogs and cheesesteaks and watched as people who were thrilled to find gluten-free food so available ordered pizza and chicken fingers. Sweet Christine’s furnished brownies and other sweet treats, along with the hot dog rolls.  Of course, you can get a gluten-free brew with that dog—Redbridge beer and Woodchuck Hard Cider.

Gluten-Free Phillies Fans

I had the pleasure of meeting Teddy and Caitlin, two fans stopping by the gluten-free concession stand.

No matter what the final score, it always is a good day at the ball park. With more gluten-free food, it is even better.

See you at Celiac Awareness Night!  You can grab your tickets here.

Play ball!

- Nancy

April 9, 2013 at 11:53 am Leave a comment

Take Me Out to the Gluten-Free Ballgame: Celiac Awareness Night with the Philadelphia Phillies

Citizens Bank Park (home of my beloved Philadelphia Phillies) is my happy place; there is nothing better than hanging out at the ballpark, rooting for my team and trying to catch hot dogs from the Phillie Phanatic’s surprisingly powerful hot dog launcher.  So you can imagine my excitement when I joined the NFCA team and was told to grab a ticket for Celiac Awareness Night at the Phillies game.  Raising celiac awareness and watching the Phils? Count me in!

Fun Fact! The Phillie Phanatic was voted #1 mascot in the country by Forbes Magazine in 2008 and 2011. 

On the day of the game, Cheryl, Suzanne, Nancy and I made our way to the ballpark to set up our display tables.  We were fully equipped with brochures, flyers, and giveaways and ready to talk to people about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.  We set up near the gluten-free concession stand and were joined by two enthusiastic NFCA volunteers, Cecilia Bonaduce and Rebecca Urbano.  Despite gusty winds and the strong possibility of rain, we managed to stay dry and keep our flyers on the table…well, mostly.  It was an unseasonably cold night (everyone was wearing jackets in July!), but over 600 NFCA supporters still came out to celebrate Celiac Awareness Night.

Fun Fact!  A portion of ticket sales for the game benefitted NFCA and will be used to help continue our programs and services. 

Take Me Out To The Gluten-Free Ballgame- NFCA Staff and Volunteers

Rebecca, Suzanne, Nancy, and Cecilia getting ready before the gates opened.

While the tables were getting set up and the gluten-free hot dogs were cooking on the grill, Cheryl had the chance to take a tour of Citizens Bank Park with Michael Savett of Gluten Free Philly and his family.  With “Celiac Awareness Night” lighting up the scoreboards and NFCA Board Member Joe Jacovini gearing up to throw out the first pitch, Cheryl and the Savetts hung out on the field and watched the Phillies’ batting practice.  Michael’s son even got to meet the Phillies’ center fielder, Shane Victorino!

Fun Fact! While on the tour, Cheryl learned that the baseballs that line the walls of the Hall of Fame Club are screwed in the wrong way so they say “Rawlings,” not “Major League Baseball.”

Take Me Out to the Gluten-Free Ballgame- Shane Victorino and Drew Savett

Drew got to meet Shane Victorino!

Take Me Out to the Gluten-Free Ballgame- The Savett Family

The Savett Family on the field before the game

After Joe tossed a great first pitch to the Phillie Phanatic, the park played a public service announcement on the jumbo-tron featuring pro-golfer Sarah Jane Smith talking about celiac disease.  The PSA wasn’t the only gluten-free action on the jumbo-tron; check out these kids who hoped to get their fifteen minutes of fame on the big screen.

Fun Fact! Weighing in a 84,420 pounds and7,372 square feet , the jumbo-tron is so big you can see it from the highway!

Take Me Out to the Gluten-Free Ballgame- Proud to be Gluten-Free Kids

Love this sign!

Not surprisingly, the gluten-free concession stand was a major hot spot throughout the game.  Unfortunately, some fan favorite foods were missing this year, so we are working with Aramark and Citizen’s Bank Park to improve gluten-free options for next year’s Celiac Awareness Night and throughout the season.

Take Me Out to the Gluten-Free Ballgame- Gluten-Free Concession Stand

The line starting to form at the Gluten-Free Concession Stand

Although so many exciting things were going on at the ballpark, my favorite part was getting to meet the people who came out to show their support for NFCA.  Every day, I get the opportunity to talk to the celiac community through social media, but this was the first time I had the chance to physically meet the people on the other side of the computer.

I was particularly struck by a woman who came up to the table just as we were about to leave.  She started talking to me and Suzanne and told us her story of diagnosis.  It turns out she had only been diagnosed with celiac about a week before the game.  She was still unsure of what the gluten-free diet entailed and was barely eating for fear of becoming sick.  We talked to her for a little while and loaded her up with brochures, information and other free resources.  She was so grateful for the information.  Meeting her was such a strong reminder of why NFCA is here, doing what we’re doing.  To know that we were able to help her on the path to learning the gluten-free diet was an amazing feeling.  Ironically, she bought tickets to the game before she was diagnosed, not knowing that it was Celiac Awareness Night.  I guess sometimes, you’re just in the right place at the right time.

-          Alicia

July 27, 2012 at 8:57 am Leave a comment

Phightin’ All-Star

[As you know, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members are big Phillies fans. So when one of our newest volunteers, Nadina Fraimow, told us she shared the same passion for sports, wellness and all things Phillies, we had to get her on board. Nadina will be sharing her gluten-free experience throughout the 2011 Phillies season.]

Phightin’ All-Star

A Phightin’ to Be Gluten-Free Blog

Cliff Lee is an All-Star. In an entertaining All-Star Game last Tuesday evening, the National League won 5-1 against the American League and obtained home field advantage in the World Series.  Good news for the Phillies!

Lee followed Halladay on the mound, impressively the sixth time in All-Star Game history that teammates were the first two pitchers in the rotation.  Cliff Lee gave up a homer in the fourth.  All-Stars have errors too, and Lee is no exception.  As an All-Star, Lee Phights for his team, Phights for himself, and even set a personal record in July.

July 3:  Phillies 4-7 loss against the Toronto Blue Jays

Error: Lee gave up a season high of seven runs—three were homers in the 8th inning.  Another Phillies All-Star, Shane Victorino, had a baserunning error during the same inning when his cleat got stuck in the turf.

Highlight: Lee’s overall game performance included 0 walks and 9 strike outs.  Victorino doubled and scored on Ben Francisco’s single in the second inning.

July 9: Phillies 1-4 loss against the Atlanta Braves   

Error: Lack of offensive support

Highlight: Lee hit his first professional career home run and allowed one run in over 8 innings.

I strive to be a Phightin’ Gluten-Free All-Star each time I advocate for healthy, tasty and safe dining options. I Be-LEE-ve the recipe for a Gluten-Free All-Star is to combine the right ingredients of confidence, clear articulation, command and heart when in a dining establishment.

July’s dining experiences and product reviews are quite un-Be-LEE-vable.  Take my lead and try something new with a few tips.

  1. Ask for food allergies and/or intolerances to be listed next to your name and reservation at the time you call.
  2. Call the day of your reservation and speak to a chef or manager about food allergies and/or intolerances, accommodations and dining options.
  3. Clearly articulate dietary restrictions and always inquire about dish ingredients.  I never regret asking too many of the right questions.
  4. Thank the waiter and send compliments to the chef in the kitchen for creating a comfortable dining experience and (hopefully) delicious meal.

As a reminder, my dish and product reviews are on the following baseball-inspired scale:

Single- Fair
Double- Good
Triple- Very good
Home Run- Must try
Grand Slam- Sublime

Grilled Wild King Salmon topped with arugula in lemon vinaigrette at Steve and Cookie’s- Home Run  

A must try dish for vacationers and diners at the Margate shore in New Jersey. The fish was fresh and rich in the pigment that distinguishes the premiere wild-caught salmon from farm raised.  Cooked with precision, the layers of salmon peeled away with the soft touch of a fork.  Each layer was just as moist as the next with locked in juices and Omega 3 oils.  In addition, the grilled char added flare and nice texture to the overall dish and was accompanied by fresh arugula. The lemon vinaigrette both on the plate and mixed in with the greens on top of the salmon was too creamy and heavy in flavor for a naturally rich and oily fish.  Note: This was the chef’s gluten-free alternative for the Fish of the Day.  

The result:  The Wild King Salmon is the All-Star on the plate.  The paired lemon dressing did not support the dish; instead, it overpowered the natural juices and zest.

The scene:  A July 4th weekend dinner outing at the Margate shore.  Home to Lucy the Elephant, the Atlantic City Surfs and the boardwalk— I love to return every summer.  After spending my day at the beach reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and watching Lee pitch, I had worked up an appetite.  I was ready for a delicious meal at Steve and Cookie’s, a restaurant that evokes fond childhood memories of dining at with my grandparents and family.

www.steveandcookies.com

Steve & Cookie's Gluten-Free Wild King Salmon

A Home Run: Wild King Salmon at Steve & Cookie's

Mista verde salad with balsamic vinaigrette and grilled chicken at Seraphina- Single

A fair dish marked by average grilled chicken and an assortment of greens.  The leafy salad and balsamic vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar, herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper) was fresh and quite enjoyable, especially for a summer lunch.  The grilled chicken that I added to the salad was small in portion, cut in very fine strips and resembled a pre-packaged chicken cutlet from a grocery store.  However, my lunch guest recommended the gluten-free pasta on the menu.

The result:  Disappointing grilled chicken at a restaurant in a prime location, Rittenhouse Square.  The good news—gluten-free pasta options are available.

The scene:  A lunch meeting with a highly respected blogger in the gluten-free community, Michael of Gluten-Free Philly. Of course, we discussed all things gluten-free.  According to a local food blog, Cliff Lee walked into Seraphina (but did not stay to dine) on the same afternoon we were there!

www.serafinarestaurant.com/serafina/philadelphia.html

Flamous Falafel Chips (Original)- Grand Slam

A sublime allergy friendly chip free of wheat, dairy, lactose, trans fats, cholesterol, MSG, hydrogenated oil, GMO, preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial flavors, available for purchase at Whole Foods and ACME.   A simple bite into the crisp falafel chips elicits savory Mediterranean flavors and spices.

The result:  Tastes exactly like a falafel with a chip twist.  A great alternative to the typical party or game day corn tortilla chips.  Spice up a meal and eat plain or pair with dip of your choice.

www.flamousbrands.com

A special shout out to NFCA’s successful Celiac Awareness Night, with a Phillies 3-2 victory against the Atlanta Braves.  An almost 2-hour rain delay didn’t keep my family and other Phillies fans away from Citizens Bank Park.  The game highlight was a gluten-free Raul Ibanez’s solo homer with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning.  Very timely!

Tune in tonight and cheer for Cliff Lee and the Phillies at 8 p.m., as they play the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.  It’s time to Be-LEE-ve!

- Nadina

About Nadina:
Nadina Fraimow began volunteering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in April 2011, and will be happy to answer messages sent to the info@celiaccentral.org email account. Nadina learned that she has gluten sensitivity in February 2011, and is grateful for having been diagnosed promptly and correctly by a knowledgeable gastroenterologist. She enjoys running, shopping for gluten-free sweets and creating recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Nadina is a Marketing and Communications professional living and working in Philadelphia. Nadina is also a proud Penn State alumna and an avid fan of the Phillies.

July 19, 2011 at 11:16 am Leave a comment

The Comeback Kid

[As you know, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members are big Phillies fans. So when one of our newest volunteers, Nadina Fraimow, told us she shared the same passion for sports, wellness and all things Phillies, we had to get her on board. Nadina will be sharing her gluten-free experience throughout the 2011 Phillies season.]

The Comeback Kid

A Phightin’ to Be Gluten-Free Blog

It’s all about the curveballs— just look how Cliff Lee rebounded with a 3-1 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday night.  Lee threw 117 pitches in seven shutout innings, allowing 1 walk and 10 strikeouts. Quite the comeback kid, after enduring his worst start of the season with a 10-2 loss against the Washington Nationals.

Lee’s comeback did not look easy.  In fact, it took Lee three innings and several pitches against a strong Dodgers offense to reclaim his mojo—the curveball.  Here is the Lee we remember—confident and fearless on the mound, as he throws one powerful curveball after the other.  Here is the Lee who shows us Phightin’ to be gluten-free fans why it’s time to Be-LEE-ve.

For me, I am quite the comeback gal on my journey to a happy, healthy gluten-free life.  I feel back on track, confident and adventurous after a productive follow-up GI appointment.  Fully embracing a game changing curveball, I am ready to experience new restaurants, try new products and experiment with new dishes.

My restaurant, dish and product reviews are on the following baseball-inspired scale:

Single- Fair
Double- Good
Triple- Very good
Home Run- Must try
Grand Slam- Sublime

Vegan/gluten-free hot dog from The South Philly Market at Citizens Bank Park, Section 128- Home Run
A must-try game day food, perfect for even the hottest of days at the ballpark.  The sweet roll absorbed the juices and light finish from the hot dog.

The result: great texture and combination of flavor for an all-American summer treat.

The game highlight: My boyfriend and I snacking on our vegan/gluten-free hot dogs, as we cheered Cliff Lee and the Phillies to a 10-4 win against the Cincinnati Reds. Lee pitched eight innings and hit a bases-loaded double and RBI single that sent three runners home.  Great game, great company, and great food!

Summer lovin’ at Citizens Bank Park

Summer lovin’ at Citizens Bank Park

Note: Many thanks to ARAMARK, the Phillies and World Wide Concessions for investing in gluten-free food options at Citizens Bank Park.  For a full listing of concession stands with gluten-free meal or beverage options, visit: mlb.mlb.com/phi/ballpark/information/index.jsp?content=concessions

Rice Dream Organic Cocoa Marble Fudge- Double
A good gluten-free, dairy-free alternative to ice cream purchased from Whole Foods. Resembles Tofutti in both texture and taste, with hints of cocoa marble fudge throughout.

The result: Good consistency and a solid base for a sundae; light finish for a frozen dessert. However, not enough chocolate flavors to satisfy the palate.

Recommendation: To enhance chocolate, add Enjoy Life’s semi-sweet mini chips (dairy, nut & soy-free), also found at Whole Foods.
www.tastethedream.com/products/product/1486/204.php

Wild Striped Bass in a ginger sauce with shallots and shitake mushrooms at Morimoto- Grand Slam
A truly sublime dish, both a visual art and culinary masterpiece. The wild striped bass was cooked to perfection with the balance of a slightly crisped top and softly textured inside.  Topped with shitake mushrooms and surrounded in a ginger, shallot sauce.  Note: This was the chef’s gluten-free alternative to Wild Striped Bass in Black Bean Sauce, shaved ginger and hot oil from the menu.  

The result: Eruption of rich flavors and natural juices sealed into the fish.

The scene: During Memorial Day weekend, my boyfriend and I dined at Morimoto. I experienced first-hand what I had been told ahead of time by others; Morimoto’s chefs are well versed in gluten-free dining. To my initial disappointment, the wild striped bass was not gluten-free because of the black bean sauce, which according to our waiter was vital to the dish.  After successfully communicating to the waiter my interest in the wild striped bass, the kitchen was able to accommodate my dietary restrictions with a dish that far exceeded my expectations.
www.morimotorestaurant.com

A Grand Slam! Wild Striped Bass dinner at Morimoto

A Grand Slam! Wild Striped Bass dinner at Morimoto

Sautéed Branzino at Davio’s- Triple
A very good entree; simple presentation, simple flavors and simply cooked well. There was a nice dynamic of the crispy texture and Mediterranean flavors absorbed in the skin.  I did need to squeeze extra slices of fresh lemon to moisten the top of the fillet.

The result: Enjoyable, healthy dish that successfully captures extracting dynamic flavor from basic ingredients.

The scene: My boyfriend and I celebrated a special occasion at Davio’s this past Sunday.  I love dining at restaurants that have gluten-free menus, and this was no exception.  In fact, there are gluten-free options for every course and category of food on the menu, including gluten-free brown rice pasta, meat, fish, sorbet, etc. Kudos to Davio’s and its great supporting staff that helped to create a memorable evening for us. Our waiter was both extremely attentive and familiar with the gluten-free food industry, as we discussed a recent article featured in the New York Times.  
www.davios.com/phil/gluten-free.php

Beautiful sorbet dessert at Davio’s

Beautiful sorbet dessert at Davio’s

With my curveballs, I dare to try new restaurants and experiences, challenge existing recipes with my own, and refuse to allow my food intolerances to hold me back. If my family team has learned anything this week from Lee and the Phillies, we are ready to throw curveballs right back at the curveballs life throws at us.

- Nadina

*Get your tickets to NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Night at the Phillies by visiting www.CeliacCentral.org»

About Nadina:
Nadina Fraimow began volunteering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in April 2011, and will be happy to answer messages sent to the info@celiaccentral.org email account. Nadina learned that she has gluten sensitivity in February 2011, and is grateful for having been diagnosed promptly and correctly by a knowledgeable gastroenterologist. She enjoys running, shopping for gluten-free sweets and creating recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Nadina is a Marketing and Communications professional living and working in Philadelphia. Nadina is also a proud Penn State alumna and an avid fan of the Phillies.

June 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm Leave a comment

Celiac Awareness Night at the Mets 2011

It was a sunny and beautiful day when Whitney, Kristin and I arrived at Citi Field for Celiac Disease Awareness Night at the New York Mets on May 27. We battled the BQE (that’s the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, for those fortunate enough to avoid driving it) and hauled a massive shopping bag full of handouts across the parking lot and then back the other way. But, we were there and ready for action!

As a first timer (I joined NFCA just after Celiac Awareness Night at the Phillies 2010), I didn’t know quite what to expect. Would our tables be easy to find? Does anyone actually stroll over? Despite this, I agreed to man the table just inside the ballpark entrance while everyone else greeted the crowd at our main outpost in Left Field Landing. Now, this did mean that I missed the first few innings of the game, but I also got a chance to talk with people who weren’t sitting in the Left Field Landing (aka, a lot of non-gluten-free folks).

I was amazed by the range of awareness among the people I spoke with. There were celiac supporters who gobbled up our literature; people who said their mom or cousin is gluten-free; and people who asked me to repeat myself three times before they finally grasped the word ‘celiac.’ Fortunately, almost all took an interest in what I had to say. Fans who had relatives with celiac cringed and nodded when I told them to get tested. Another fan had no clue what gluten was but listened attentively and gave me an earnest “thank you” after I gave him a crash course in celiac disease. Of course, there were others who shrugged it off saying “I’ve never had those types of problem,” but that’s all part of the process.

Kevin Burkhardt with Cindy of Shabtai Gourmet

Kevin Burkhardt with Cindy of Shabtai Gourmet

Upstairs, the silent auction and raffle gathered plenty of interest among gluten-free fans. NFCA’s Nancy, Kristin and Whitney sold tickets and offered information along with our fabulous co-organizer and partner Randi Albertelli of R.O.C.K. Long Island and R.O.C.K. Long Island volunteers. Whitney reported that Kevin Burkhardt, field reporter for SNY and fellow celiac, was a fantastic host, plugging celiac information in many of his reports and checking in frequently to make sure volunteers and attendees were enjoying themselves. Mr. Met and Mets third baseman Nick Evans also stopped by to sign autographs and take pictures with fans.

Randi Albertelli

Our partner, Randi Albertelli of Long Island R.O.C.K.

Of course, Celiac Disease Awareness Night isn’t complete without plenty of food, and the gluten-free concession stand was packed with hungry supporters. Gluten-free hamburgers, hot dogs, beer, and more. “Did you see the Kozy Shack cart?!” one fan shouted in passing. Yes, even pudding was available. Kudos to Rick Grey and his very capable ARAMARK team for making gluten-free extra accessible to the crowd.

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Raffle

We raffled off a free copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring

Before the game, we had a chance to honor several advocates from the celiac and gluten-free communities with the Mets Spirit Award. Kevin Burkhardt of SNY, Elisabeth Hasselbeck of “The View”, Erin Smith of Gluten-Free Fun, Gabrielle Simon of NYNJ R.O.C.K., and the Albertelli family joined Whitney Ehret from NFCA on the field for the special award presentation. The Mets announcer gave the fans an overview of celiac disease as he introduced the honorees.  Huge thanks to Mets Group Sales for making this all possible.

So how was the game? In the end, the Phillies beat the Mets 6-4, and while we were thrilled to root on both teams along with their fans, we couldn’t help feeling some pride as we packed up the car and headed back to Philadelphia.

Next up, we’re ready to watch the Phillies take on the Atlanta Braves during Celiac Awareness Night at the Phillies on July 8, 2011. If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, order them today: philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/phi/ticketing/group/splash.jsp

For more recaps of Celiac Disease Awareness Night at the Mets:

- Cheryl

June 3, 2011 at 3:51 pm 3 comments

A Blogger A Day: Gluten Free Philly

A Blogger A Day, the Gluten-Free Way logoName: Michael Savett
Lives in: Cherry Hill, NJ

Blogs at: www.GlutenFreePhilly.com
Tweets at: www.twitter.com/GFPhilly
Like him at: www.facebook.com/glutenfreephilly

Why we’re fans: Michael is NFCA’s local celiac awareness champion. He blogs about anything and everything gluten-free in the Philadelphia region – restaurants, bakeries, events – plus new products that are often available across the US. On top of that, he helps NFCA at the drop of a hat, whether it’s posting information about our upcoming events or speaking alongside Alice Bast at a support group meeting. Quite simply, Michael is awesome.

Gluten Free Philly

Gluten Free Philly

Michael’s Story: Our 10-year-old has celiac disease, and I wanted to share my knowledge and be an advocate for celiac awareness in the Philadelphia area.

According to Michael: Most unexpectedly, our son has easily adapted to a gluten-free diet and has embraced it rather than see it as a challenge.

A taste of Gluten Free Philly:

For more of NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Month celebration, visit www.CeliacCentral.org/awarenessmonth.

May 17, 2011 at 7:42 am Leave a comment

Unsung Heroes

[As you know, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members are big Phillies fans. So when one of our newest volunteers, Nadina Fraimow, told us she shared the same passion for sports, wellness and all things Phillies, we had to get her on board. Nadina will be sharing her gluten-free experience throughout the 2011 Phillies season.]

Unsung Heroes

A Phightin’ to Be Gluten-Free Blog

The celebration of great milestones continues from April into May with National Celiac Awareness month, Mother’s Day and Wednesday night’s Phillies game.

The 5-3 victory against the Florida Marlins was not a walk in the ballpark for Cliff Lee and the rest of his teammates.  Though Lee threw 82 pitches in six innings and ranked third in the National League with 64 strikeouts, there was not enough offensive support to keep him on the mound past the seventh inning.

As the Phillies rallied together in the last three innings, the true unsung heroes of the evening were the relief pitchers and pinch hitters.  Kyle Kendrick pitched a scoreless eighth with a home run by Shane Victorino, and Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth save with extra batting support from Dane Sardinha, Pete Orr and Jimmy Rollins.

The unsung heroes off the field (in conjunction with May’s highlights thus far) are celiac and gluten intolerant advocates, and Moms.

For starters, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), under the leadership of Alice Bast, has made great strides in education, diagnosis and awareness.  NFCA’s highlights include, but are not limited to:

  • Offering a free continuing medical education program about celiac disease – the first of its kind, designed for the primary care community.
  • Informing food industry executives of the growing market for new products, which helped to expand gluten-free snacks at sporting events in Philly (Phillies, Eagles, Sixers and Flyers) and other major cities.

The May 1st Phillies home game against the New York Mets was a historic night at Citizens Bank Park, as the fans rallied in support of patriotism and the U.S.A. In addition, the game itself was thrilling, as Lee allowed 1 run in seven innings, and the six-pitcher game spanned 14 innings over 4 hours and 44 minutes.

Like the team and fans at Sunday’s game, my family rallied together to help me fight for a healthy, happy gluten-free life. This past weekend, I had a wonderful dining experience at the Pub of Penn Valley in Narberth. Since this was my first time at the Pub post-diagnosis, I was a little skeptical of my gluten-free options.  However, my food preparation concerns quickly diminished when I learned that the owners, their chefs in the kitchen and my waiter were educated in gluten-free dining. With encouragement from my family, I was able to enjoy gluten-free grilled chicken on top of fresh romaine lettuce with a tasty Redbridge gluten free beer.

Tonight, as I lay awake in bed replaying the eighth and ninth innings from last night’s 5-3 game, I cannot help but dedicate this blog to my Mom. She is my advocate, my extra support and my hero—all season long!

-Nadina

*Get your tickets to NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Night at the Phillies and Celiac Awareness Night at the Mets (vs. the Phillies!) by visiting www.CeliacCentral.org »

About Nadina:

Nadina Fraimow began volunteering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in April 2011, and will be happy to answer messages sent to the info@celiaccentral.org email account. Nadina learned that she has a gluten sensitivity in February 2011, and is grateful for having been diagnosed promptly and correctly by a knowledgeable gastroenterologist. She enjoys running, shopping for gluten-free sweets and creating recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Nadina is a Marketing and Communications professional living and working in Philadelphia. Nadina is also a proud Penn State alumna and an avid fan of the Phillies.

May 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

Going the Distance

[As you know, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members are big Phillies fans. So when one of our newest volunteers, Nadina Fraimow, told us she shared the same passion for sports, wellness and all things Phillies, we had to get her on board. Nadina will be sharing her gluten-free experience throughout the 2011 Phillies season.]

Going the Distance

A Phightin’ to Be Gluten Free Blog

April celebrates great milestones, and this year is no exception. Among the highlights: my birthday, warmer weather and the Phightin’ Phils. Yes, Victorino’s inside-the park home run against the San Diego Padres was worthy of all my cheers and DVR replays. However, I am referring to the Phillies’ back-to-back complete games – a feat we haven’t seen since 1999, according to the Associated Press.  Cliff Lee pitched a 12-strikeout, three-hit shutout in a 4-0 victory over the Washington Nationals, precisely a day after Roy Halladay pitched nine victorious innings.

Today, Cliff Lee’s record is 2-2 after he gave up four runs on five hits over seven innings to take the 0-4 loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Much like Lee’s season thus far, my journey and fight for a healthy, happy gluten-free life includes both wins and losses.

gluten-free birthday dinner

Gluten-free birthday dinner at Distrito

My April success stories combine my love of family and delicious food/beverages, as I enjoyed two Passover Seders, a birthday dinner at Distrito and a cold brew at Citizens Bank Park. If you’re Phightin’ to be Gluten-Free like me, even a few gluten-free options can go a long way. For instance, my enjoyment (and that of my family) was elevated to a whole new level with gluten-free matzoh and cakes at our Passover Seders, Iron Chef Garces’ flavorful los karne beef, pollo and and nopales tacos at Distrito, and refreshing Redbridge gluten-free beer at Citizens Bank Park.

Gluten-free Los Tacos at Distrito

Gluten-free Los Tacos at Distrito

This month, Cliff Lee and I share an even ratio of wins to losses (a.k.a., my setbacks). The more serious moments along my journey included a stomach study at the Hospital University of Pennsylvania (HUP) and uncomfortable bloating episodes.

Shortly between Cliff Lee’s shutout against the Nationals and one of my setbacks, I read an article on espn.comwhere Lee shared: “I want to be a guy who throws complete games every time.  That’s not really realistic, but going into each game, that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Gluten-free beer at Phillies game

Enjoying the Phillies game

Lee gets it. I get it. Now, it’s your turn. Sure, I want to be 100% healthy, happy and gluten-free every day. That may not be realistic, but going into each day, that’s what I’m striving to do – all season long!

- Nadina

*Get your tickets to NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Night at the Phillies and Celiac Awareness Night at the Mets (vs. the Phillies!) by visiting www.CeliacCentral.org »

About Nadina:

Nadina Fraimow began volunteering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in April 2011, and will be happy to answer messages sent to the info@celiaccentral.org email account. Nadina learned that she has a gluten sensitivity in February 2011, and is grateful for having been diagnosed promptly and correctly by a knowledgeable gastroenterologist. She enjoys running, shopping for gluten-free sweets and creating recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Nadina is a Marketing and Communications professional living and working in Philadelphia. Nadina is also a proud Penn State alumna and an avid fan of the Phillies.

April 29, 2011 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

Free to Be Gluten-Free

[As you know, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members are big Phillies fans. So when one of our newest volunteers, Nadina Fraimow, told us she shared the same passion for sports, wellness and all things Phillies, we had to get her on board. Nadina will be sharing her gluten-free experience throughout the 2011 Phillies season.]

Phightin’ to Be Gluten Free

As Cliff Lee throws his first pitch of the 2011 baseball season, I think about the 162 games and long journey ahead to the playoffs. The Phillies, with players like Roy Halladay and Chase Utley, succeed because of their true grit.  Collectively, they are our Phightin’ Phills.

As I watch the team, I can’t help but reflect upon my personal 162 day plus gluten-free journey, and the fight for a healthy, happy gluten-free life. Much like the Phillies 2010 season, my journey contains highs, lows and – my favorite – the breakthroughs.

I am not a gluten-free expert, but after 9 months of a full food diary, 3 GI consultations, 3 nutrition consultations, 3 probiotics, 28+ bottles of myralax, 1 digestive enzyme, 4 self help books and 1 supportive family, I feel passionate about sharing my season highlights with other fans fighting to be gluten-free.

Hypothetically, if ESPN were to compile the top plays from my season thus far, the highlights would feature:

  • Enjoying a Flyers game with my family (the stadium has gluten-free concession stands!)
  • Finding a GI doctor who recommended an alternative to Myralax
  • Getting involved with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
  • Establishing my voice in the gluten-free community with this first blog entry

Over the course of the next 162 games to the playoffs, I will share with Phillies fans and the celiac & gluten intolerant community alike, why it’s time to Be-LEE-ve!

- Nadina

*Get your tickets to NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Night at the Phillies and Celiac Awareness Night at the Mets (vs. the Phillies!) by visiting www.CeliacCentral.org »

About Nadina:

Nadina Fraimow began volunteering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in April 2011, and will be happy to answer messages sent to the info@celiaccentral.org email account. Nadina learned that she has a gluten sensitivity in February 2011, and is grateful for having been diagnosed promptly and correctly by a knowledgeable gastroenterologist. She enjoys running, shopping for gluten-free sweets and creating recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Nadina is a Marketing and Communications professional living and working in Philadelphia. Nadina is also a proud Penn State alumna and an avid fan of the Phillies.

April 14, 2011 at 3:17 pm 2 comments

Whitney & Kristin’s Week Long ‘Opening Day’ Celebration

Phandemonium at the Phillies Game

While my baseball fandom (particularly when it comes to the Philadelphia Phillies) has already been well chronicled on the staff blog, last week marked the beginning of what is sure to be four months of rabid insanity and delusion…MLB Opening Day!

Kristin and I chose to celebrate the entire week in style by attending not one, but two Phillies games – a Tuesday, March 29th pre-season game verses the Pittsburgh Pirates, and on Saturday, April 1st, to watch the Fightin’ Phils face off against the Houston Astros.

For Phillies fans, the 2011 World Series campaign is already off to a great start, our home team swept the Astros and will start the season at 3-0 for the first time since 1970.

Needless to say, we’ve got some rather ‘High Hopes’ for our team at the moment.

Opening Day Phillies Fever

On a related note, it seems that more and more MLB teams are welcoming gluten-free baseball fans this season by ramping up their stadium food options. Here’s just a smattering of teams that have already made headlines this year:

St. Louis (Cardinals)

Florida (Tampa Bay Rays)

Chicago (Cubs)

San Francisco (Giants)

And of course, the entire NFCA office is looking forward to hosting TWO Celiac Disease Awareness Nights with MLB Teams this season – Friday, May 27th with the New York Mets, and Friday, July 8th with the Philadelphia Phillies.

So much gluten-free fun to come this summer!

-Whitney

April 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

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