Q & A with Dietitian, Dean Schillinger

I sat down with Hy-Vee’s Certified Dietitian in pursuit to learn more about Celiac, Gluten free

Imagefoods and how he has adapted in his career to the changes in those industries. After the Q & A session, I was given a tour of the Health Market of Hy-Vee containing sections of organic and gluten free, and other food-allergen foods. While touring, Dean informed me they are going to beginexpansion of the Health Market as they feel the increase in food allergens and healthy food choices is something that could change the grocery store industry in major ways.

Q: How did you decide on this career path?

A: I was always into running, started training for trialthalons and realized I needed to be putting the right things in my body to keep up my energy. I was 23 before I started college though so I was a non-traditional student and chose to attend the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for my Undergrad, then attended Iowa State University to complete my Dietetic internship.

Q: How often do you meet with people with gluten intolerances or people who have Celiac disease?

A: It varies. Some weeks, I may not talk to anyone with it, some weeks I may talk to 6 people. I also recommend gluten free diets to people who may be having stomach problems or problem losing weight, so it comes up in a lot of my conversations.

Q: What changes have you had to learn to adjust to in the gluten free or allergen industry?

A: Simply put, there’s a lot more people being diagnosed so a lot of changed had to be made, awareness being the biggest thing. I now go to yearly conferences and a lot of meetings in the community about celiac awareness and the gluten free lifestyle. We also have a much more accurate listing of GF ingredients and cookbooks for people since 1 in 133 people will be diagnosed.

Q: Why do you think it’s important for people with celiac to meet with a dietitian?

A: Since the statistic is so high for people who will get celiac or an intolerance, it is important for them to fully comprehend what it means to be gluten free. Also, people are diagnosed so much later in life sometimes, so people have been consuming foods their entire life that are hurting them. We are able to provide them with resources and support of how to make that lifestyle change and make them feel worlds better.

My tour with Dean can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jaum_cfFTbo&feature=youtu.be



I’m Gluten-free, You’re Gluten-free, We’re all Gluten-free!

I was diagnosed with Celiac disease two years ago after fighting severe Anemia for years, and after a bout of sickness that left me 20 lbs. lighter in a matter of a month. Being diagnosed in college was one of the hardest things because after nights out on the town and many cheap meals, bread, pasta, and other carbs, which were my staple foods, suddenly became completely forbidden. I was forced to find alternatives in a world surrounded by gluten “abled” people. Or so I thought.

After hundreds of pamphlets, cookbooks, and statistics were thrown at me, I found out that Celiac was a lot more common than I thought, even though I personally knew no one at the time with it. I discovered that 1 in 133 people are living with Celiac disease and unfortunately, the numbers keep growing.

What also keeps growing though, is the number of people going gluten-free who surprisingly, don’t even have Celiac! The recent growth (and in my opinion, obsession) of health, fitness, and eating right have led people to search for new resources. Cutting gluten out of your diet, not only eliminates a lot of the big carbs that lead to fat storage in your body, but it forces you to find other food you possibly weren’t getting enough of before eating gluten-free. Fruits, veggies, most dairy, meats and other proteins are naturally gluten-free.

With this rise is obviously the use of celebrity status to gain Celiac and Gluten-free lifestyles some big awareness. Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Zoey Deschanel, and Chelsea Clinton are just a few of those celebs suffering from Celiac themselves. Hey look, they are real people! I like to think that having Celiac myself makes me a little more celeb-like then….right? Ha, well not exactly. But this brings me to my next point.

There are multiple celebrities and ya know, normal people, who are going gluten-free too and do NOT have Celiac. As I mentioned above, the gluten-free diet is just that. A diet. Cutting gluten will honestly help in losing weight if that is your ultimate goal. Or maybe your goal is to simply get healthy. I promise, going gluten-free is not as hard as it seems. Though it is really difficult, you will find your body reacting in positive ways to what you are doing.

My push here is for everyone to try it. Try going gluten-free for a day, a week, a month. Take it one meal at a time, and challenge yourself. Though your stomach may take some adjusting time, you will soon begin feeling healthier, have more energy, and may surprise yourself with the pounds you could shed. With Celiac becoming a more common condition, the food industry is responding. There are numerous gluten-free brands and companies coming out with foods, even including gluten-free breads, pastas, and pastries! In my honest opinion, I think the gluten-free industry is really going to take over. Don’t be afraid to try it. Here’s something mind-blowing: Though 1 in 133 people, or about 3 million Americans if we’re talking about this lovely USA, have Celiac disease, only 1 in 4,700 is ever diagnosed. YOU COULD BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE! So try the gluten-free thing. You may be thrown off your feet in amazement with how you feel. A little self-diagnosis never hurt anyone.