Interview with Clare Galterio: Gluten Free Chick
As the host of hit show “You & A,” and the first face of the Music Choice Play, Clare Galterio gets the scoop from the biggest artists on the scene. “You & A” airs in over 16 million homes.
And while Clare may be a fresh face on TV, she has entertainment in her blood hailing from what could certainly be called a sports and entertainment dynasty. Her great grandfather Art Rooney, founded the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1940s, and the Steelers are still owned and operated by Rooney Family. Meanwhile, her uncle Chris Mara, is the Senior Vice President of Player Personal for the New York Giants, and Mara’s family owns and operates NY Giants. Her cousins are actresses Kate Mara and Oscar-nominated Rooney Mara.
We were elated when this busy gluten-free beauty agreed to interview with FG and share her most recent labor of love, “The Gluten Free Chick” an amazing series in which Clare hits the pavement- featuring her favorite gluten-free eateries. Find out why she opted for a gluten-free diet, what’s her weekly go-to workout, one of her favorite gluten-free restaurants, recipes and more.
FG: How did “Gluten Free Chick” come about?
CG: I’ve always been obsessed with everything food and sweets. A few years ago, my mom and sister were both diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Shortly after, I found out I was gluten intolerant. I immediately became obsessed with finding gluten free foods that actually tasted good. I found myself eating at every gluten free place and trying every gluten free thing. Some good…some not so good. After searching high and low, I finally found the best gluten places to eat and I wanted to share all of my favorite places that had gluten free food. Everything from cupcakes and muffins to bagels, gluten free pizza. Tomorrow, we’re shooting at this adorable place called Treat House and they do all sorts of yummy, gluten free rice crispy treats. My favorite part about doing this series is that everybody has a story, every person, every owner of a restaurant or whoever created the menu-has a reason for creating gluten free options. There are wonderful stories behind a lot of the places I visit and I love having the opportunity to share the great stories that are linked to these great gluten free establishments.
FG: That’s awesome Clare! I’m so excited about sharing your series with our readers. We have a lot of gluten free people that visit our site, looking for new gluten free options, especially good ones.
FG: What were some of the symptoms that you noticed, as well as your mom and sister, that signaled you might have gluten allergies?
CG: From my personal experience, I always had a sensitive stomach which I thought was normal to eat whatever and twenty minutes later to be in the restroom for half and hour. I just thought that was so normal because it was so common for me. I also had really bad migraines. I was constantly tired. We always thought I might have an iron deficiency. And I had really bad indigestion which was weird, especially if I drank alcohol. My doctor recommended that I do a two week “gluten free” trial and he assured me I would feel better. I was like “yeah whatever, this has been my life and this is what I’m so used to.” I noticed the difference almost immediately- I was so mad.
CG: … And I work in television, so doing what I do, I really need to be to be quick on my feet, clever and charming. So if you’re in this exhaustive state all the time, it makes it very difficult.
FG: Right, I can only imagine…..
CG: It’s unbelievable the change I felt almost instantly. I felt more energized and focused. But being gluten free is not fun by any means. So if anyone says that, they’re lying or better yet, they don’t love to eat like I do… (laughter)
FG: (Laughter)…So when you say immediate, how soon did you notice the changes days or weeks?
CG: I would say almost within a couple days, I noticed I could go out with friends and not have to pop a pepto-bismol because of my digestion issues, I’d developed a taste for the chalky taste of pepto bismol. And then I found myself not having to run to the bathroom or grab a pepto-bismol after a meal.
FG: What type of test did your doctor do to determine if you had an allergy to gluten?
CG: They did a blood test and then the lab did this like mouth swab thing, so basically they like swabbed the inside of my cheeks – some people find that it’s not super accurate. So they use the blood test checked to see if you have the gene to have Celiac disease, they might go to the next step which involves them sending a camera down to your intestines to see if there’s any damage. I didn’t do it, but my sister did and I’m considering it now because I just want to see what it looks like.
FG: That would be kind of interesting! I’ve always considered seeing intestinal track too!
CG: My sister had been gluten free for two years, but she had a little bit of damage to her intestinal tract and wanted to see if it was any better. What’s crazy is the studies show that even small amounts of gluten can potentially cause damage to the intestine if you have the allergy.
FG: Yet another reason why your show is so important and will be appreciated. Like we mentioned, gluten free items are not so hard to find, but tasty ones can be extremely difficult to find. Your series is truly bridging the gap and helping people connect with the foods they need and may eventually love.
FG: How has your weight been impacted by a gluten free diet?
CG: My weight and energy levels have definitely stabilized. My favorite workout is jumping. I enjoy doing urban rebounding.
CG: My mom turned me on to urban rebounding which is like a mini trampoline and you jump up and down like a jazzarina. So I took a couple classes with my mom and then I actually bought my own trampoline.. like a small one. It’s a fold up and it conveniently fits in my apartment.
FG: How does urban rebounding differ from traditional rebounding or does it?
CG: It doesn’t really differ-just a generic name for it or a variation.
CG: I do everything on my rebounder- I jump, I run, I do high knees. It’s perfect for all types of workouts. It’s low impact, it’s fun and it’s so easy on the joints which is ideal for me being a former dancer.
FG: How long do you typically work out on the rebounder?
CG: I do a total of 45 minutes – 1 hour, depending on how much time I have in my day. I do 30 minutes regular and then I get 2-3 lbs. weights and I do the last half hour with weights. And then I do the whole routine again with weights.
FG: You look great! Have you noticed significant changes in your body with this form of exercise combined with your gluten free diet?
CG: Yes absolutely! I’ve been prone to cold sores my whole life and whenever I’m jumping like constantly which is like 3-4 times a week, I’ve noticed I don’t have any cold sores or my allergies are not that bad.
CG: It helps rebounding and my gluten free diet helps me stay healthy all the way around. If someone’s entertaining it, I recommend trying a gluten free diet for a week or so- to see if you notice any changes then you can determine whether it’s something you want to do indefinitely.
FG: Do you have a favorite gluten free recipe and restaurant? Please share?
CG: My mom makes these unbelievable cookies. I’d love the to share the recipe (see recipe below).
CG: Pala is one of my favorite places to eat Pala (see episode below). It’s restaurant on the lower east side of New York City. You can make almost everything on their menu gluten free… pizzas, pasta. all types of dishes… they even have vegan options. It’s absolutely one of my favorite gluten free places to eat.
See episode 3
FG: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us. We’re looking forward to watching “Gluten Free Chick”. How can our viewers access your amazing series and stay posted on updates? What’s next for the series?
CG: Your welcome! And yes, absolutely, they can watch the series on my site thegfreechick.com. I’m also looking forward to extending the series to reach more cities and states. Stay tuned!
You can also follow Clare on Twitter
Photos by: Sean Hamrock