Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness: Gluten-Free Holiday Ideas, Tips and Recipes

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has given those of us on a gluten-free diet the best gift in the world this holiday season… the Gluten-Free Holiday Tips & Recipes feature on their website.

This series is about everything gluten-free during the holidays. Whether you are newly diagnosed, or you’re a seasoned veteran of the gluten-free lifestyle, this holiday feature is worth checking out.

Here are some of my favorite parts of this series. Make sure that you click on the links to check them out:

Tip of the Day: I LOVE this! Everyday a new tip or trick on enjoying the holidays gluten-free is featured on the NFCA website and on their Facebook page. Contributed from fellow bloggers, health professionals or the team at the NFCA team, you can think of this feature as advice from your best GFF’s (gluten-free friends)! The result? A ton of sharing and idea-swapping that will have you looking forward to the next day’s tip!

Gluten-Free Holiday Blogger How-To’s: In this feature, I and a group of gluten-free bloggers have shared our best holiday how-to’s. Find out how-to save money while on a gluten-free diet during the holidays, how-to travel during the holidays gluten-free style, how- to pull-off a delicious gluten-free dessert, how-to survive the holidays as a gluten-free newbie… and more!  (Note… this How-To feature is sponsored by Crunchmaster. And speaking of saving some money… Check out this link for a $1.00 OFF coupon on a Crunchmaster product!)

TONS of Holiday Recipes! A whole bunch of gluten-free holiday recipe resources are featured on the NFCA website. Some of my favorites? The NFCA Pinterest Board featuring holiday recipe ideas (CAUTION: Do not look at this board if hungry!) and the NFCA Holiday Recipe Box which is jammed packed with tons of gluten-free holiday dishes.

ENJOY!!

Free Webinar: What You Need to Know About Cross-Contamination in Restaurants

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

I wanted to let everyone know of a great webinar that is being offered this week on Thursday, 08/16/12. It is being sponsored by the good folks over at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) and is focusing on cross-contamination in restaurants and what we need to know.

This is an on-line webinar (aka: easy to attend) and is FREE! (What’s not to love about that?). The session will focus on three components: Education, Empowerment and Advocacy (which are also the cornerstone of the NFCA mission).

Cross Contamination in restaurants is such an important topic to learn about and take control of, yet it is something that many with celiac disease and other food allergies or intolerances fail to recognize as an enormous and significant threat when it comes to our health.

I am excited to attend this webinar and invite you to join me!

Want to attend? Click this link to sign up.

Rudi’s Spread the Bread Campaign… Talk about Spreading Gluten-Free Love!

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Don’t you just love it when you find out that a company is doing some good? Giving back to the community and recognizing others that are also doing good?

I was smiling from ear-to-ear when I heard about Rudi’s newest campaign in honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month.

Their campaign is called Spread the Bread (I just love the name!) and the concept is easy:

Rudi’s Gluten-Free will donate $1 to your favorite celiac organization when you download a $1 OFF coupon good towards any Rudi’s gluten-free bread.

It’s simple. Easy. And a win-win for everyone. Talk about spreading around some gluten-free love!

The celiac organizations that you can designate as the recipient of your $1.00 donation include:
Celiac Disease Foundation
Celiac Sprue Association
Gluten Intolerance Group of North America
National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

To get your $1.00 OFF coupon and designate the national organization to be the recipient of your $1.00 donation from Rudi’s, click on this Facebook Link.

On behalf of the gluten-free community – thank you, Rudi’s for this fantastic campaign!

Let’s hear your comments… What is your favorite national celiac organization? How about any local organizations?

Gluten-Free “In the News”… Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s new cookbook, Gluten-Free on Dr. Oz, Gluten-free pizza… & More!

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

The last couple of weeks have been packed with tons of gluten-free news to muse over… here are a few of the highlights that have come into my inbox:

A new cookbook To View: There’s a new gluten-free cookbook out by Elisabeth Hasselbeck, fellow celiac and co-host of  The View: Deliciously G-Free: Food So Flavorful They’ll Never Believe It’s Gluten-Free. I don’t have a copy of this cookbook yet, but the “look inside this book” option on Amazon.com highlights a comprehensive content page listing breakfasts, appetizers, main courses and dessert sections, along with chapters on organizing a “G-Free” kitchen and “Getting Fit with G-Free”. Looks like it might be worth checking out. Get it on Amazon.com for only $18.00 and eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25.

Pizza in the DC Sky: Check out this great write up on gluten-free pizza being offered at Washington, DC area restaurants. I love the writing style of the author, a gentleman whose wife is gluten-intolerant. This article also lists pizzerias in the DC area that carry gluten-free pizzas. One restaurateur who was interviewed for this article, Fuel Pizza, a North Carolina-based chain that began offering gluten-free crusts two years ago notes “We went from selling 50 [gluten-free pies] a week at eight cafes to selling 300 a week” and continues that offering a gluten-free pizza, “helps our bottom line”.

This is a good article to send to your local pizzeria that you’ve been trying to convince to carry gluten-free pizza.

Are you kidding me? When I read the first line of this article I laughed out loud. Here it is: “The gluten-free diet is not only for people with Celiac disease, but also for people looking to lose weight.” Ahmmmm… the person that wrote this article obviously hasn’t checked out the oodles of gluten-free goodies and snacks that I’ve discovered over the last few years. =) The article continues to say that it is “impossible to eat out” with celiac disease, and the gluten-free diet is “beneficial to everyone”. Arghhh.  Misinformation! I hate reading articles like this!

On the other hand -  here is what Dr. Oz has to say about eating gluten-free to lose weight…
In Part 1 of these videos from the Dr. Oz show that were shown a couple of months back,  Dr. Oz  warns people who believe a  gluten-free is the answer to loosing weight, “Gluten free diets do not help you lose weight,” and continues to say, “They actually can cause you to put on more weight.”

However, in the other parts of this video series I wish that Dr. oz encouraged folks to get tested for celiac disease before tackling  the gluten-free eating challenge.

Forget the Superbowl… Udi’s heads to the Sundance Film Festival
Udi’s Gluten-free bread headed to the Sundance Film Festival this past week to hand out gluten-free goodie bags and to score a touchdown with the celebs at the big event. Udi’s went to the festival to “promote the message that switching to gluten-free foods can be seamless and that those with a gluten intolerance aren’t alone.”

Tips for Hosting an Informal Gluten-Free Dinner Party
Carol Fenster was written up this week in the San Francisco Chronicle in an article that reviews how to host an informal gluten-free dinner party. Some great ideas on keeping the menu basic, having dairy-free as an option too, and remembering to keep things simple… so the hostess can enjoy the gathering too.  Carol Fenster is one of the foremost experts on gluten-free cooking and the author of several popular gluten-free cookbooks including: 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes, Gluten-Free Quick & Easy, 1000 Gluten-Free Recipes, Gluten-Free 101, and 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes. Carol also consults worldwide and speaks frequently at national conferences.

Vic’s Gluten-Free Bagel Bar: A celiac’s dream come true

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Imagine going into a bagel shop, being able to get a fresh-baked gluten-free bagel and then selecting your cream cheese along with gluten-free “add-ins” (think Cold Stone Creamery style) to make the bagel exclusively your own.

Add-ins that would pack a flavorful punch like basil, bbq sauce, wasabi, roasted red peppers, and cilantro; or add-ins that are fresh and healthy such as carrots, red onions, cucumber, raisins, broccoli, corn and chickpeas; or even add-ins that are on the indulgent side, including sprinkles, chocolate chips and potato chips?

This is not a dream my friends. This is Vic’s Bagel Bar in NYC.

Vic Glazer, the owner of this Bagel Shop (aka: my gluten-free idea of heaven) was diagnosed with celiac disease six months after opening his bagel shop.

But instead of throwing in the towel with the bagel holes and calling it quits, this Harvard pre-med student is no dumbie. He decided to switch grains and developed a gluten-free bagel mix that could only add to his repertoire of customers.

Customers like me that really, really, really appreciate every single gluten-free bagel he bakes.

After stumbling across his website searching for the newest and greatest in the gluten-free culinary world, I am seriously thinking about a Vic-Trip. Yes, a trip to NYC to meet this ingenious gluten-free bagel maker. I seriously think it will be worth the trip.

Until then, I’ll be dreaming up my gluten-free bagel topping combos.

Note: Please feel free to comment and share if there is a bagel shops near you that offers gluten-free bagels and add-ins like Vic’s Bagel Bar!

National Foundation of Celiac Awareness (NFCA): The Go-To Resource for Celiacs

Monday, May 16th, 2011

There are many resources on the internet to learn more about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet, but one of my all-time favorite go-to websites is CeliacCentral.org – the homepage for the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness (NFCA).

And for the month of May, the NFCA has featured a really great segment called “Blogger a Day”. In this segment, the NFCA features a gluten-free blogger highlighting what the blog is all about, why they’re fans of the blog and bits-and-pieces of fun info about the voice behind the blog.

The NFCA asked me to be featured in this column, and I was thrilled to become a part of this fun series (read the blog post here). I have also loved reading about fellow bloggers too – including: The Spicy RD, The Gluten-Free Travel Blog and the Gluten-Free Cerealizer. I feel like I have made 30+ new friends because of this program! Check out the Blogger A Day series… I think you’ll like it too.

And if you haven’t checked out NFCA website, or you haven’t visited for awhile, make sure that you click-through for a visit. It’s amazing to discover all the great programs designed for the celiac community the NFCA has spearheaded. Some of these programs include free webinars on managing the gluten-free diet; free videos on cooking & baking gluten-free, celiac disease segments featured on TV and information on the disease; and a section dedicated to celiac event listings. Last, there is also a phenomenal section devoted to celiac disease and women’s health.

Cheers to the NFCA and Happy Celiac Disease Awareness Month to fellow bloggers and the whole celiac community!

P.S. Also, make sure you check out the NFCA on Facebook and Twitter.

Discovered: CeliacSure – A Test to Diagnosis Celiac Disease at Home

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

This past weekend I got a chance to bond once again with everyone at my local Greater Boston celiac support group, the Healthy Villi, during our spring conference. Like many folks around the country I find that these local celiac support groups give me the chance to re-connect with like-minded people, as well as share and discover new ideas, concepts, and solutions for living the gluten-free life.

And at every one of these meetings I always take home such a wealth of knowledge & information from Dr. Daniel Leffler, the Director of Clinical Research at the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Lucky for us at the Healthy Villi, Dr. Leffler (who is also  the co-editor of the book, “Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting & Thriving Gluten-Free”) has become our “resident” go-to celiac expert -  always willing to help us,  give us answers, and most importantly support us.

But at this last meeting it was our time to give back… to support Dr. Leffler. The team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center asked us to help with a research study. To potentially help celiacs everywhere. For once it was our chance to give back.

The research study we were asked to participate in involves having our first-degree relatives test themselves for celiac disease using a new “finger-stick” test kit. Research results of this testing will hopefully be beneficial in two ways: First, family members who tested positive for celiac disease will be assisted in arranging appropriate medical follow-up to lead to an earlier diagnosis & care of the disease; and second, this research will hopefully get these tests, which are currently approved in Canada, on the fast-track to get the final nod of approval by the USA so the medical community can more readily reach & treat more potential people with celiac disease, and allow these medical researchers the ability to conduct more efficient studies of the disease.

The test kit being used in Dr. Leffler’s test is distributed by GlutenPro and is called Biocard/CeliacSure. It is similar to the standard celiac blood test TTG used in doctor’s offices, but is super consumer-friendly. It involves using just a finger-stick and is able to be read directly by patients in less than 10-minutes right in their own homes. (Note: they can also be purchased on-line through the GlutenPro website).

My thoughts? The Biocard/CeliacSure tests will be a phenomenal help in getting more people diagnosed quickly & more efficiently with a celiac disease diagnosis. For years I have begged my Dad to go to the Doctors and get tested for celiac disease once I and other family members were diagnoses with the disease. He has every symptom in the book. But to get an old Italian guy, set in his bread-and-pasta-loving-ways to the doctor for this test is next to impossible. Begging, pleading and praying have yet to yield a trip to the doctor’s office to get the test and results of celiac disease that I suspect.

Maybe he is scared of going to the doctor? Maybe he is afraid of letting his traditional Italian bread and pasta recipes go? Maybe he is afraid of the change the disease demands? Maybe his positive diagnosis would be his way of feeling responsible for my, and other family members, celiac diagnosis?

Whatever the reason, I am going give my Dad one of these test kits so he can test himself – no doctor, no stress, no appointment needed. Then, regardless of the results, I’m going to treat him to a big delicious gluten-free Italian pasta dinner… and a great big thank you hug.

Just wondering… Your thoughts? Why won’t your relatives get diagnoses with celiac disease?

Gluten-Free & Allergen-Free: IN the NEWS!

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Is Gluten-Free the new SEXY? Can you build strong bones while eating dairy-free? Is Tenley gluten-free?

Wheww… who turned up the heat in here? The weather may have been chilly and snowy, but the past several weeks have proven to be hot and steamy ones when it comes to gluten and allergen free being in the news!

Here are a few of my favorite finds – and, as always, please pass along any news stories you find that are fit for print!

Gluten-Free is the new S-E-X-Y? Yes, folks you heard me right… that is the name of this first editorial piece that was found on CNN’s eatocracy.com. The author, who has celiac disease, discusses the positive side of gluten-free going main stream.  Written in a cute Sex-In-The-City-Carrie-Bradshaw type of way, the author proves her point on how, “the super-trendiness” of this “diet” has worked in her favor.

Five Dairy-Free Foods That Build Strong Bones: Bone boosting nutrients just ain’t in milk anymore! Read this article and find out how to include bone-healthy foods into your diet, san the dairy!

Another Celeb Gluten-Free? It looks as if Tenley Molzahn, from The Bachelor and Bachelor Pad, is toting the gluten-free diet. According to this article, Molzahn, a former dancer who maintains a healthy and active life, turned to eating a gluten-free diet after years of dealing with health issues. The article continues that Molzahn will be at Kinnikinnick Foods booth at the Expo West trade show next week “fulfilling her passion to create awareness for the gluten-free lifestyle and sharing gluten-free eating tips and advice”. Hmmm… and all this time I thought her passion was to get the final rose and find a man! Cheers to Kinnikinnick – here’s to a successful show!

Gluten-Free Momentum Accelerating: Found on MediaPost.com, this report explains the reason why the boom in gluten-free food products is even higher than predicted by industry professionals. The highlight of this article? One brand marketer is quoted as stating gluten-free products are becoming “just a regular grocery item.”

NY Councilman Calls On FDA To Force “Gluten-Free” Labeling: How a member of the New York City Council is trying to take matters into his own hands… by asking the FDA to make “gluten-free” labeling on foods mandatory. Love the photograph included with this article (Big Gluten Balls? Yup… I guess that would be another name for a dinner roll!)

The Perfect 10-Day Fix: The Livefreeda $229 Starter Kit

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

I am currently planning a visit with my parents this winter in Bonita Springs, Florida (YES…. I have had ENOUGH of this New England Snow!). And for those like me on a gluten-free diet planning the trip involves more that making airlines reservations and packing-up bathing suits and warm weather clothes.  I also have to be concerned with planning what I am going to eat once I get there. But now, instead of packing up gluten-free foods, or shipping it down ahead of time (and spending tons of shipping fees), LiveFreeda has come to our rescue!

LiveFreeda has just come out with a Starter Kit that includes 10 full days of great tasting gluten-free products, like Amy’s Enchiladas, Applegate Chicken Nuggets, Gluten-Freeda oatmeal, and Udi’s Multigrain bread. In total there are about 23 items for anytime of day… breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and snacks.

These kits are not only great for those who are traveling, going to camp, or students – they are also great for those who have just been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and don’t know where to start; a nutritionist or dietician who needs to refer a easy-to-follow “starter plan” for someone just new to the gluten-free diet; or even someone who has been on the gluten-free diet for awhile, but needs about a weeks worth of convenient meals due to a upcoming hectic schedule.

The Livefreeda Starter Kit contains a range of products that can be integrated with your regular meal planning to provide you with ten full meals, lunches, breakfasts and snacks.

The meals are also between 1500-1800 calories per day and are shipped for free – just a couple of extra bonuses worth mentioning.

The Gluten-Free Diet: The Newest “(Don’t Get) It-Diet”

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Yesterday I had lunch at PF Chang’s in my local mall. Jammed packed with tons of shoppers off from work and school for Veteran’s Day, there was a 20 minute wait for a table. Luckily a couple had just left the bar, and I was able to grab one of the two side-by-side seats they vacated.

As I settled into place, I envisioned the mouth-watering Lettuce Wraps & spicy General Tsao like-chicken I was soon to devour. Glancing up at the TV, I caught the tail end of CNN showing a clip of that Carnival Cruise boat docking in California, packed with those poor folks that had nothing to eat for the past several days except for Pop Tarts & Spam. Guiltily, my soon to eat feast felt that much more sacred.

Suddenly a gal impeccable dressed in Burberry and made-up like a run-way model, barged her way into the empty seat next to mine all the while wrestling with several shopping bags bearing the names of Gucci, Juicy Couture and Louis Vuitton.

As she plunked herself down, she loudly and immediately asked the bartender to change the TV station to “anything but the news” since, “she never watches it because it’s so depressing”. Her commanding presence had that TV channel changed in no time flat.

Suddenly that 20 minute wait for a table didn’t seem like the eternity in which my much craved lunch was surely about to become.

As I ordered my gluten-free meal, Ms. Gucci squealed in delight proclaiming “O’ma Godddd! I’m on that new ‘It-Diet’ too! Just like Gwyneth and all those others in California!”

Thinking that maybe, just maybe, it might be worth trying to explain, I clarified that I was on the gluten-free diet, not because it was the new “It Diet” but because I had something called celiac sprue disease. In a flash, Ms. Gucci backed her stool away from me as if I had some kind of catchy flesh-eating disease that if contracted may keep her penned-up and away from the mall for months. Although I was grateful for the extra elbow room in such tight quarters, I kept my composure, and in my most simple and childlike language I could muster, I assured her that celiac disease  is not catchy, and further went on to explained that the “cure” was a life-long adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. I also explained that those with celiac disease can’t eat anything with gluten, even the things you wouldn’t imagine would, but do; things like the regular soy sauce served at most restaurants.

It was then that she let me know that she and “hundreds of her friends” just don’t eat things that have “real gluten” in them… things like bagels, pizza, pasta, cakes and cookies.

Really? I mean… Really?

It was then I realized that this whole deal of the gluten-free diet being the “It Diet” really should be called the “Don’t Get It” diet.

After finishing up my lunch, in which (thankfully) Ms. Gucci was so enthralled with texting on her newest smartphone that we didn’t find the need to converse any longer, I gathered up my shopping bags from Sears and JC Penney, and bid my goodbyes to my haphazard dining companion.

But before leaving, I decided to mention to Ms. Gucci today’s newest “It Diet”. A new diet that surely she hadn’t heard about yet. A diet that has been covered by every news station. The newest diet craze that thousand of folks in California have just discovered. Yup… the “Pop Tart & Spam” diet.  I told her to give it a try, and leave the gluten-free diet to those of us who “get it”.


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