Join the Team Gluten-Free Week Without Wheat (Barley and Rye) Challenge to Raise Awareness of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF), today released a 7 Day Gluten-Free Meal Plan to help individuals diagnosed with celiac disease or other gluten-related disorders and their families ease the transition to a gluten-free diet.  The gluten-free meal plan provides a clear and concise 7 day menu of three meals and two snacks per day with easy to make recipes and “Quick-Fix” options for those on-the-go. This free meal plan, developed with CDF Medical Advisory Board member, Alicia Calvo, MPH, RD, CDE, can be accessed at

The 7 Day Gluten-Free Meal Plan is the newest addition to CDF’s toolkit to help people with gluten-related disorders monitor and manage their disease. The toolkit includes a symptoms checklist designed to help facilitate communication between patients and their healthcare practitioners, and a nationwide directory of practitioners specializing in celiac disease and gluten sensitivity who can review checklist results to determine a patient care plan. Patients diagnosed with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders must adhere to a strict gluten-free diet, which means the elimination of wheat, barley, rye and their derivatives from their everyday meal choices.  Research has shown that ingestion of more than 1/8 of a teaspoon of gluten daily can result in intestinal damage to individuals with celiac disease, which can lead to serious health complications.

“As the parent of a child diagnosed with celiac disease at age 15 and told to immediately eliminate all gluten from his diet, I found that first week to be overwhelming,” said Marilyn G. Geller, the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer. “The only information our physician provided about the gluten-free diet was to tell me to look it up on the internet. When I did, I found complicated recipes with unfamiliar and difficult to find ingredients.  My son required a medically necessary gluten-free diet, and I did not have the culinary skills to make him gluten-free options from scratch. With this nutritionally balanced and simple to follow meal plan, it is our intent to provide for a smooth first week transition to a gluten-free diet.”

In honor of Celiac Awareness Month and to showcase the 7 Day Gluten-Free Meal Plan, CDF is encouraging celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity advocates to participate in its Team Gluten-Free Week without Wheat (Barley and Rye) Challenge.  Participants will join CDF Board of Directors’ Treasurer Christopher Holland in committing to eating entirely gluten-free for at least 7 days in the month of May to raise funds and promote awareness of celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders.  Those already on a gluten-free diet, may commit a family member or other loved one, even a pet.

Participants who join the Team Gluten-Free Week Without Wheat (Barley and Rye) Challenge agree to raise $100, and receive a Team Gluten-Free t-shirt and a Team Gluten-Free fundraising page. Participants are encouraged to post their progress in following the 7 Day Gluten-Free Meal Plan, and rally the community by posting on CDF’s Facebook page and tweeting @celiacdotorg, #tgfchallenge.

“I am committing to the CDF Team Gluten Free Week Without Wheat (Barley and Rye) Challenge for as long as it takes to get the message out about celiac disease worldwide,” said Christopher J. Holland, the Foundation’s Board of Directors Treasurer. “That means none of my favorites (i.e. pizza, bread, pasta, beer) unless it’s gluten-free. And I am asking for your support in my efforts. Keep me in line, tempt me, join the Team, spread the word, and donate.”