Archive for March, 2009

You Know You’re A Celiac When…

Monday, March 30th, 2009


~ You know that Kinnikinnick and Namaste are not the names of characters from the new box office hit “Monsters vs. Aliens”…

~ Someone says “GF” and you know what they mean…

~ Your purse starts to look like a shopping bag because it’s full of food that you “just might need”…

~ You know that “WBOR” does not stand for the call-letters of your local radio station…

~ You insist that any relative that shows any celiac symptoms get tested right away…

~ You know brown bagging it isn’t a fad. It’s a reality…

~ Santa is uncannily starting to look a lot like Bob from Bob’s Red Mill

~ Preventing cross-contamination takes more than just sanitizing cutting boards and countertops…

~ You sometimes eat before going to a cocktail party or buffet function…

~ You’ve found the need to explain more than once that you are NOT on the Atkins diet…

~ You know that rice cakes are not just for hippies anymore…

~ Anyone that thinks that celiac disease is a good thing since it (may) prevent you from gaining weight really has no idea whatsoever what the disease is about…

~ You look at pictures of yourself before you went gluten-free and realize how much better you now look… and feel.

~ You go on vacation and one of your suitcases is full of food…

~ Hotel rooms with kitchenettes are a necessity – not a convenience…



How do “You Know That You’re a Celiac?” …???

Please Share!


This is the first of three blogs in the series of “You Know You’re A Celiac When….”
The next two will be coming later this week! ~ Be Free! Kathleen

Uno, Dos, Tres! Three Cheers For Uno! $1.00 OFF COUPON for GF Pizza

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Since sending out the $1 OFF coupon  for Uno Gluten-Free Pizza on Friday to all BeFreeForMe members, I have received many member emails telling me they were excited about visiting their local Uno Chicago Grill to try out the gluten-free pizza.

All weekend I’ve been so excited – hoping that the members visiting Uno Chicago Grill for the first time for their gluten-free pizza will get as giddy and excited as I did. It is such a fantastic feeling to go into a national restaurant chain known for its pizza and actually be able to order one gluten free… it’s hard to explain, but it was very emotional! Cheers to Uno’s! Finally a national chain really, really “get’s it”!

I was also pleasantly delighted that the Manager of the Uno restaurant took a vested interest in me, my pizza – but most important my health. When he asked me if “everything was o.k.” with my gluten-free meal, I knew he was there to answer any questions, or quell any disbeliefs that this round disk of crunchy crust, sweet sauce and gooey cheese was indeed fair game for this gluten-free gal to truly enjoy. 

And truly enjoy I did. My original intent was to eat half and bring the second half home for leftovers. That never happened.

Honestly, I don’t think that I ever enjoyed a pepperoni pizza as much as I did that night.

And… maybe, just maybe, it was just me, a celiac excited that gluten-free pizza was available on a national restaurant chains “regular menu” but I swear that Pepperoni Pizza was smiling back at me…

NY Times Report: Misdiagnosed Food Allergies are Far to Common

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

A recent article in the New York Times states that misdiagnosed food allergies are on the rise and many of the 11 million people, including 3 million children, are needlessly avoiding certain foods and spending hundreds of dollars more on non-allergenic supplements.   

Ouch… for many peoples health and pocketbook.

The article states that many of these misdiagnoses are occurring because of the widespread use of a quick, convenient, and often unreliable, simple blood test for antibodies that could signal a reaction to food, rather than having the painful skin testing and time consuming “food challenge” testing.

My first thought after reading this article was “better safe than sorry”, but further reading explained that avoiding certain foods in the mistaken fear of an allergy may be making many children at risk of malnutrition and more sensitive to certain foods when they finally do eat them (Which brings up a whole different issue: What happens to siblings that don’t eat peanuts, wheat or another foods, because another sibling is allergic to them? Does that MAKE the non-allergic one eventually sensitive to that food?). 

Any thoughts? How were you (or your child) diagnosed with your food allergy or celiac disease (blood work? Skin testing? Bioposy? Food challenge?) ? Do you feel it was accurate or the best way to determine a food allergy / celiac diagnosis in your case?

What Really is the Next Best Thing Since Sliced Bread?

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Since going gluten free I don’t eat that much bread. I know that there are plenty of gluten-free breads out there that taste just fine and could fool even the savviest of gluten-eaters – but I still don’t eat much of it.

What I do love is finding creative ways to wrap, roll and stack my deli meats, cheeses, nut spreads and jams.

Some of my favorites? Rice spring rolls, corn taco shells and really big lettuce leaves. Read more of my favorites in my article, Use Your Head for Substitutes for Bread.

Post to this blog and share your ideas and thoughts about your “next best thing since sliced bread” too… We all need some more lunch ideas!

Secret Weapon: Spinach

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Just one single can of spinach did the trick for Popeye. One can is all he needed to tackle the biggest problem to the bitter end.

Was Popeye onto something? Is it possible to learn from Popeye’s problem solving spinach strategies? Could spinach possibly be the secret weapon in the kitchen that all food allergic and gluten free folks have been searching for?

Spinach may well indeed be the secret weapon of the century. High is calcium, iron, Vitamin C, fiber and magnesium it is a power packed super food. Economical too.

Spinach is also the cleverest vegetable around when it comes to changing appearances and reappearing in different disguises. Souffléd, sautéed, steamed, or as a foundation of a salad, spinach is by far one of the most versatile vegetables around. It can be incorporated into every meal – as an omelet stuffing for breakfast, greens for a mid-day salad, and as a side dish for dinner.

So, let’s learn from Popeye – roll up those sleeves, flex a little muscle and dig into your favorite secret weapon spinach recipes today.

Marconi Infused Oils

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

This week I am featuring recipes using one of my all time favorite products, Marconi Infused Oils. Since being diagnosed with celiac, I always keep a small 1.75 ounce bottle of an infused oil in my bag – it is great for when I eat out and need a flavorful salad dressing or need to spice up a piece of plain chicken, or veggies that are lacking and flavorless.

Now with the scare of allergens being found in olive oil (Read more here), it is even more important for those of us with allergies and intolerances to be weary of the olive oil served in restaurants.

Marconi Infused Olive Oils are made by Catania-Spagna Corporation. Their quality assurance program far exceeds industry standards and they pride themselves on superior quality oils.  I have had the pleasure of meeting the close-knit family that runs the company, which is over 100 years old and now has a fourth generation learning the business. They are all passionate about what they do, and it shows in their products.

I just love these infused oils!  They come in five flavors: Rosemary, basil, garlic, oregano & jalapeno (My favs are the rosemary and basil!).  I’ve been told that these products are made by placing herbs in a huge vat of oil for over a month at a time. This allows the herbal flavors to soak right into the oils. This infusion process makes the Marconi oils far superior than the cheaper copy-cat and less flavorful “flavored” oils. 

When I asked them if I, their biggest fan around, could feature the recipes found on their website on they were thrilled!  They wanted to offer the members special savings so for a limited time all purchases made through the Catania website will be 10% OFF when using the coupon code “Marconi” at check-out. Give them a try! But watch out – you may become addicted like me!
Use Coupon Code: Marconi

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