The purpose of my app is simple: to better the lives of those living with celiac disease and anyone else who must eat gluten-free; to create a close-knit community where people in the gluten-free community come to discover, to learn, to share, and to connect, all to make their lives easier and healthier. Living a 100% gluten-free life certainly has it challenges: physically, mentally and socially. Using the Gluten Dude app will help alleviate those challenges. CHALLENGE: EATING OUT SAFELY Eating out is one of the more stressful parts of having celiac disease. One crumb is all it takes to set off the autoimmune response. Everything that is fun and spontaneous about eating out can be overshadowed by the anxiety of whether you can get through your meal unscathed. Solution: A directory of only 100% gluten-free restaurants, guaranteeing you a safe meal. Each restaurant includes images, a description, reviews, ratings, directions, etc. The app currently covers the US, Canada, Paris, Italy, London, Spain, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia, with more locations coming. Eating without fear. What a concept. CHALLENGE: FINDING GLUTEN-FREE BEER Beer, sadly, is not gluten-free. The most popular "gluten-free" beers on the market today are actually "gluten-removed" and are not safe to drink. There are a handful of amazing 100% gluten-free beers out there, but they can be difficult to find. Solution: The Gluten Dude app shows the stores, bars and restaurants where people can purchase gluten-free beer. The user will be able to search by any location and each location will show which specific gluten-free beers each establishment carries. Cheers! CHALLENGE: GETTING BAD/WRONG ADVICE The internet is littered with falsehoods and dangerous information regarding celiac disease. People are looking for answers to their problems, quickly and accurately, and they are not sure where to turn or who to trust, putting their health in jeopardy. Solution: A forum where fear mongering and misinformation will be strongly discouraged. Varying opinions? Absolutely. But no "McDonalds French Fries are gluten free" kind of stuff. There are a number of topics where you’ll be able to chime in with questions, answers and advice. The forum includes Ask the Community, Ask Gluten Dude, Newly Diagnosed, Is THIS Gluten Free?, Share a Recipe, and more. You also have access to videos from yours truly (Gluten Dude), where I answer reader emails, throw out some celiac rants and talk about the world of celiac disease. CHALLENGE: ISOLATION Celiac disease is a very misunderstood disease and can be quite isolating. I've received so many emails over the years from people whose own friends and family don't take their disease seriously; who don't get invited out to eat because they're "too difficult"; who are bullied at school simply because they can't eat gluten. And most of the time, there is no one there to turn to, to listen to you, to understand you. SOLUTION: Live chat. This app will connect you with others in the celiac/GF community, allowing one on one private chats. You’ll even have the option of providing your zip code, allowing people to search for others by location. Imagine traveling to a new town and not knowing anybody. Pull up the app, search your zip code and make a new friend! AND LASTLY...WHO THE HECK IS GLUTEN DUDE? My real name is Scott but within the celiac and gluten-free communities, I'm known as Gluten Dude, a popular, passionate and outspoken celiac disease advocate. I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008 and I launched my blog in 2011. Here are a few kudos from my fellow celiacs: "Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You changed the journey for me." "You make me smile, you make me cry, and you make me mad. But most of all, you make me grateful that I don’t have to figure this all out on my own." "Your latest post is why my son wants to be Gluten Dude when he grows up."
If you’re frustrated trying to find *actual* gluten free restaurants, this is the app you want. Unlike Find Me GF (another popular app) this one highlights GF Restaurants only — and each are individually vetted. The app also includes a forum to ask questions from other Celiacs, opportunities to interact with Gluten Dude, and helpful videos on how to navigate those first few months with Celiac disease. The app is clearly laid out and has fast navigation. Excellent graphics as well. If you aren’t familiar with Gluten Dude and you have celiac, hit up his website for excellent information, check out his book, and then get this app. He doesn’t take money or sponsorships from big name GF companies so you can trust his unbiased information (unlike some other GF social influencers). You can’t beat Gluten Dude’s blend of helpful information, honesty, frustration, and humor of walking through this tough disease called Celiac Disease.