I had the pleasure of meeting this great guy back in August for the Gluten Free Calendar’s annual celiac awareness night with the LA Dodgers. He attended the pre-game event as a special guest and was the MC as well. He was hilarious and so charismatic! He kept everyone laughing and enjoying their time there. He truly has a heart of gold and is dedicated to celiac awareness and helping those who so desperately need it. Brian’s great book, Defeat Wheat has been a bestseller! Defeat Wheat will give you the information you need as a newly diagnosed person with celiac disease. Brian has done his homework on so many things so you can just sit back with a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy this great book.
Brian was also recently chosen as Mr. May, celiac awareness month, for the 2013 print Gluten Free Calendar! Here is our interview with him, enjoy!
- Your book became an Amazon bestseller! Did you envision this would be the case when you began your journey of writing Defeat Wheat? I was first diagnosed with Celiacs Disease, I went to the library and checked out 3 books in order to immediately adapt to my new lifestyle. After 72 hours of reading, all I learned was how my lower intestine worked! There was not a book on the shelf that taught anyone how to live, work, and travel gluten free. That’s when I rounded up my trusted group of health experts and culinary advisers (who I worked with over my 20+ years in food marketing). Within a month, I had a complete outline and recently read a book called “How To Write a Book”. Never did I think I’d be a best selling author! I simply wanted to write a book that I wish would have been available that day when the doctor told me that I had Celiacs Disease. And now, people all over the world have a guide to “Defeat Wheat”.
- What has been your biggest challenge with having to live gluten free due to celiac disease, while doing appearances and book signings around the nation? We Celiacs have a true balancing act when we go to someone’s house for dinner. At one end of the spectrum, you don’t want to call before the dinner with too many mandates for what NOT to serve. Although I have always said that “I can navigate around any menu”, many hosts and hostesses can feel offended when they see that you only have 2 of their 8 offerings on your plate. And then the guilt sets in when you tell them about your issues with gluten. I really don’t think that it’s fair for an entire gathering to have to eat gluten free on my behalf. That’s when I have a snack before the event and even “smuggle” some gluten free goodies into the party.
- You are so full of life and true happiness! How do you “celebrate” the gluten free life and make it a more positive experience for yourself and others? My favorite compliment is when an unknown person or someone that you haven’t seen in awhile approaches you and says, “you look great…. what gives?” And then you tell them you have Celiacs and when they hear the word disease, they have a look on their face as if they are wondering how many months you have to live. That’s when I say “it means that I can’t eat gluten…. and you should try it sometime!”
- We are so excited to see what is next for the”Gluten Gladiator”! Speaking of what is next, what do you have up your sleeves for the upcoming 2013 year? When Superman isn’t flying faster than a speeding bullet, he’s Clark Kent. When Spiderman isn’t spinning a web, he’s Peter Parker. When I’m not the Gluten Gladiator, I am running a food development & brokerage firm that I founded years ago. As you can guess, we have several food buyers that rely on my guidance as a Celiac to make sure that they offer the right items for all of their customers. In 2013, my plate is plenty full with many retail and club initiatives. Although, many of my buyer friends are urging me to write another book. We’ll see.
- What are some words from the wise on those newly diagnosed with celiac disease? When I give my presentations and speeches, I tell many of the Celiac newbies to watch out for “The Aunt Bea Effect”. That goes back to the Andy Griffith days when Aunt Bea would show up at the Mayberry Courthouse with a whole basket of sugar and fat laden treats. In the show, it would help Otis get over a hangover, Floyd to forget about the slice he took off his finger while shaving someone, or the foot pain when Barney shot his foot. So newbies beware! When your friends and family find out about your gluten intolerance, get ready to be showered with processed foods and goodies that have plenty of empty calories. You’re better to load up on unprocessed foods that have been gluten free for thousands of years: Vegetables, fruits, dairy, eggs, meat, and seafood.
*I was not paid or compensated in any way. These are my opinions and my opinions alone.