Danna Korn is the author of “Living Gluten- Free for Dummies,” “Gluten-Free Cooking for Dummies,” “Wheat-Free, Worry-Free: The Art of Happy, Healthy, Gluten-Free Living,” and “Kids with Celiac Disease: A Family Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Gluten-Free Children.”
Respected as one of the leading authorities on the gluten-free diet and the medical conditions that benefit from it, she has been featured in People Magazine, on ABC’s “20-20,” and dozens of other national media outlets.
MEET DESIREE FICKER
I have been gluten-free since the winter of 2006 after a terrible year of stomach issues during my training and racing. I actually had years of stomach issues and always attributed it to others things...overtraining, "something in the water", even too much fiber!
Since eliminating gluten from my diet I have been much healthier and my racing has gone so much better. I still struggle with eating out and giving into temptation every once in a while, only to realize that I must stick to my diet in order to be healthy.
This off season I am working on baking new gluten-free breads and treats. A gluten free diet doesn't always have to be a downer!
My favorite foods while training and racing:
Food For Life rice bread (breakfast before rides and runs) with Justin's Nut Butter
MEET Carrie Willoughby
My name is Carrie Willoughby and I am a United States Paralympic Swimmer. I was born legally blind and with oculocutaneous albinism, a disorder where there is not any pigment in my skin, eyes and hair. Despite these challenges, I have won numerous medals, including two bronze medals at the 2002 World Championships in Argentina; a bronze medal at the 2003 World Championship in Canada; a silver medal in the 2003 Can Am championships in Canada; one silver and two bronze medals at the 2007 Pan Am games in Brazil; and five gold medals at 2009 IBSA Pan Am games In Colorado. I also hold the American record in the 50 meter butterfly event.
My road to a diagnosis of celiac disease was a long and painful one. It began with a headache and abdominal pain in October 2000 when I was at the Paralympic Games in Sydney. After two days in the hospital, I was discharged and told my symptoms were due to a virus. In April 2001, I passed out several times from vertigo. I was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance. During a training session in 2004, every movement I made was extremely painful. The doctor ran routine blood tests and my iron levels came back low. A year later, I was diagnosed with low Vitamin D. My primary physician referred me to an endocrinologist who tested me for a variety of conditions. About two weeks later, I received my celiac disease diagnosis. I was first relieved to know it wasn’t more serious, but then I realized I wouldn’t be able to have a lot of the foods I loved.
It has been four years since my diagnosis. My greatest challenge is the lack of knowledge about celiac disease. It is still uncomfortable to see others struggle to accommodate my gluten-free diet. After a hard workout I have to find the energy to cook a well balanced meal because I can’t just stop to pick something up from a restaurant. Being legally blind also hinders my ability to read ingredient labels. I stay strict to the gluten-free diet, but inevitably digest gluten on occasion.
With all the challenges I face in my life, each one has taught me a lesson. My albinism gave me distinguishing characteristics when many people fight to find their own individuality. My lack of eyesight has forced me to gain insight that supplements and benefits my artistic endeavors. Finally, my celiac disease has taught me to be careful of what I put in my body and staying healthy and strong so I can excel as an athlete.
I am currently training with the hopes of making the next cycling Paralympic team. With dedication and hard work I know I can make this dream come true.
MEET DANNA KORN
Danna has been researching celiac disease and the gluten-free diet since her son, Tyler, was diagnosed with the condition in 1991. That same year, she founded R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids), a support group for families of children on a gluten-free diet. Today, Danna leads more than 140 chapters of R.O.C.K. throughout the U.S. and Canada.
She speaks frequently around the country to health care professionals, celiacs, parents of celiacs, parents of autistic kids involved in a gluten-free/casein-free dietary intervention program, and others on a gluten-free diet. Twice she has been an invited presenter at the International Symposium on Celiac Disease.
Danna is founder of GlutenFreedom, which offers consultation services to large natural food companies, testing companies, dietitians and nutritionists, and people newly diagnosed with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. She also coordinates the International Walk/Run for Celiac Disease each May in San Diego. The San Diego event is among the largest in the country.
But what Danna loves best is teaching people to live -- and love -- the gluten-free lifestyle. One of her many mantras is, “Gluten-free is good for me!”
“Danna gets an A+ for accuracy in her knowledge of the gluten-free diet and the medical conditions that benefit from it.” - Cynthia Rudert, M.D.
Gaining an Athletic Advantage
by Being Gluten-Free From Living Gluten-Free For Dummies, Danna Korn
Some athletes are afraid to go gluten-free because they are worried they won’t get enough carbohydrates in their diets to sustain their intense energy needs. Carbs before, during and after training or competition are essential to maintaining energy levels and speeding recovery after the event.
Not only is getting the carbs you need as an athlete possible, but being gluten-free can actually provide an athletic advantage. After all, you’re not doing your carb-loading with pizza and spaghetti – those are relatively worthless nutritionally speaking. These foods also cause blood sugar peaks and valleys because they’re high-glycemic-load foods.
The gluten-freeness of the diet doesn’t deserve the credit in providing an athletic advantage; it’s more the high-protein, low-glycemic-load approach (that happens to be gluten-free) that counts. This approach has several advantages for athletes:
For more information about celiac disease contact the Celiac Disease Foundation
at 818-716-1513 or visit the website at www.celiac.org