In December 2010, Sarah Stolp and Juli La Porte, decided to create a website to help those with celiac disease and food allergies. Both Sarah and Juli have celiac disease and have been more than frustrated at the lack of information on “safe restaurants” available. After seeing the need for one website to be the “go to “ website for those with food allergies and special diets, the two women decided to take matters into their own hands. www.CanIEatHere.com will be live by January 2012. In the meantime, get to know them and their backgrounds, experiences, and tips they’ve learned along the way.
In 2006, I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I’ve been gluten free ever since. My first stomach ulcer was at the ripe young age of 8 years old. I’ve had acid reflux and stomach issues for as long as I can remember. During my junior year of college, my reflux became so painful, I constantly found myself in the doctor’s office and hospital trying to find a cure. I was finally referred to a gastroenterologist who scheduled an upper endoscopy and diagnosed me with celiac disease. I’ll never forget when I received the diagnosis: I was studying for my nutrition classes in the living room, snacking on Wheat Thins. When the doctor told me over the phone that I had atrophy of the villi in my small intestine, I instantly knew what she was saying. Time to go gluten free! I took one last sad look at my crackers and put the box away.
I went to the kitchen and looked through the cupboards. All of the products I had previously believed to be good for me (oatmeal, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, etc) were actually the exact reason I had been feeling so sick. At the time, gluten free was far less common. It was difficult to find gluten free food products that didn’t have a texture similar to dirt or sand. If finding gluten free food was difficult at the time, finding a restaurant that understood cross contamination was almost impossible. I look at how far gluten free products and dining has grown in the last five years and am very excited to see how much better it gets.
I will be blogging about first dates and explaining your food allergy to your suitor, healthy tips for dining out, my favorite recipes, products, planning a wedding with food allergies (gluten free wedding in Maui), and a gluten free pregnancy.
-Sarah Stolp: Co-founder of www.CanIEatHere.com The Premier Allergy Friendly Restaurant Guide.
The Birth of a Website….
CanIEatHere.com is a brand new website dedicated to providing information to people with food allergies and special dietary needs a one stop place to get restaurant information/reviews, recipes, community forums, allergen related products and much, much more .
How did this brain child come to be? My partner and I both have Celiac Disease…..so we understand the difficulty in finding delicious, dining options while maintaining a gluten free lifestyle. My daughter, who is 8, and I were diagnosed with Celiac Disease at the same time. Setting a good example and following a strict gluten free diet became imperative.
With our health problems, it was not a complete shock when we were positively diagnosed. I quickly realized how overwhelming dietary changes can be within a family. I also now had total respect and admiration for mothers of children who must deal with multiple food allergies. Being just gluten free is one thing, having a peanut free, soy free, and gluten free household is another thing completely. Eating out is treacherous and frustrating for me at times, I can’t imagine having to deal with multiple allergies. I get anxiety just thinking about it.
In a nutshell (no pun intended), my partner and I asked each other, “What do families and people with multiple food allergies do when they have to eat out?” How difficult and scary that could be for someone who could actually have a life threatening allergy? Our aim is to help alleviate some of that stress when choosing a restaurant. The heart of http://www.CanIEatHere.com is its allergen friendly restaurant guide. In addition we provide users with recipes, experts, products, cookbooks and a community to help you with your allergy free lifestyle.
I will personally be blogging about raising a child with celiac disease, products, information, experiences, or just about anything related to food allergies or a gluten free lifestyle.
-Juli La Porte, co-founder of www.CanIEatHere.com, The Premier Allergy Friendly Restaurant Guide