Archive for May, 2010

Friday Favorites: Kraft Sandwich Shop Reduced-Fat Chipotle Mayonnaise

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Eating gluten & allergen free can sometimes make lunchtime at home ho-hum. That’s why I turn to condiments to help make my sandwiches as good as any sub shop!

Kraft Sandwich Shop Reduced-Fat Chipotle Mayonnaise is one of my new must-haves, and this week’s Friday Favorite on What’s my favorite way to enjoy this new gluten-free find? I love to spread this on my brown rice wraps and then pile on the roast beef, and low-fat Cabot Creamery cheddar.

Watch out Subway!

And with only half the fat and calories of regular mayonnaise I can spread the chipotle-love every day of the week.

It adds a kick that I love and a taste that reminds me of a typical sub shop sandwich spread, like the Chipotle Southwest topping at Subway, but with far less fat & calories. Plus making lunch at home saves tons of money!

I wonder if Jared has tried it yet?!


Note: This item is so new it’s not even listed on the Kraft website. However, if you want to find out more information about the Kraft Sandwich Shop Mayo Reduced-Fat Chipotle Mayonnaise, call Kraft at: 1-800-323-0768 to find out where to buy or to answer any other questions about the product.

Note: To see the gluten-free labeling statement from Kraft Foods, click here.

WIN-It-Wednesday: Kettle Cuisine Soups (Nominated for the 2010 Foodie Awards!)

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Kettle Cuisine Soups are some of my favorites. That why I was delighted to hear that their Tomato Soup with Garden Vegetables has received accolades from Vegetarian Times Magazine and has been nominated for the 2010 Foodie Awards!

Now the voting begins for the winners!

For years Kettle Cuisine has been making all natural soups that are full of fresh and healthy ingredients. Gluten-free is a way of life for the folks over at Kettle Cuisine since the founder’s (Jerry & Lorna) daughter, Kate, has been diagnosed with celiac disease for several years.

And if you have yet to try these soups, you need to give them a try. Kettle Cuisine soups are made just the way you or I would make them at home… with no shortcuts, no artificial ingredients. All ten varieties of Kettle Cuisine soups are gluten-free, and several are also dairy-free, low-fat and vegetarian too. Kettle Cuisine does not have that tin-canny mass-produced taste that many soups out there have. Kettle Cuisine is just good old fashioned soup – made the way we would ourselves.

I think it would be so very, very awesome if Kettle Cuisine wins the Vegetarian Times 2010 Foodie Award! Kettle Cuisine has been so supportive of the gluten-free and the food allergic communities. It would be great to see such a strong supporter of our communities win this ever prestigious award!

Soooo, I am asking every BeFreeForMe members to log on to VOTE for Kettle Cuisine! How can you vote? Easy…

• Click on this link
• Scroll down, enter your name and email address
• You can then cast your vote in as many categories as you choose but be sure to answer question 21 and pick Kettle Cuisine!
• Click submit.
• Forward this email to friends and family and ask them to vote too.
• Remember… You only have until June 9th to vote.

PLUS – This week Kettle Cuisine is offering five (Yes, 5!) LUCKY BeFreeForMe members a FREE Coupon for the Kettle Cuisine Soup of your choice!

How can you WIN?

Reply to this blog, and let us know which Kettle Cuisine Soup variety is your favorite, or one you would like to try the most.

Remember, all replies for the WIN-It-Wednesday must be received by 12:00 midnight EST on Tuesday, May 11, 2010.

Good Luck, May both YOU and Kettle Cuisine WIN!… and as always,

Be Free!

ASK BeFreeForMe: What are Probiotics? Are they helpful for people with Celiac Disease?

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Question: I’ve heard a lot lately about probiotics? What are they? Are they helpful for people with celiac disease?

When this question was asked by a BeFreeForMe member I decided to turn to one of my most reliable sources, Dr. Daniel Leffler, Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Division of Gastroenterology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. During our conversations I was thrilled to learn that Dr. Leffler has recently launched his co-authored book, Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten Free (AGA Press, May 2010), which is available now at or your local bookstore. Check it out and get your copy now.

Do you have a question for Dr. Leffler? Do you have a question for Shelley Case? Is so, email me at Your question may be selected for our next column.

Be Free!

Kathleen Reale
Founder –


What exactly are probiotics?

The intestine is filled with countless microorganisms, mostly bacteria, but also yeasts and viruses among others.  Generally there are few bacteria in the top of the intestinal tract (stomach and beginning of the small intestine) and huge numbers in the colon. 

Probiotics, commonly referred to as “good bacteria,” are living microbial food ingredients that, when ingested in adequate amounts, are beneficial to health. Even though the science behind them is relatively new, their use goes back to ancient times when, in many areas of the Roman Empire, people used products fermented by bacteria with the assumption they would be beneficial to health.

Scientists had long considered probiotics to be a popular remedy devoid of any real effect. But in the last 15 years, they have been the focus of a great deal of laboratory and clinical research.  As a result, we now have identified a number of microorganisms that can improve health in a variety of ways.  We are just beginning to learn about the ways our body interacts with the microorganisms that live within us.  Although our understanding of this exciting area is primitive, it is clear that there is are many complicated relationships between intestinal microbes and health


What are the benefits of probiotics?

There are many suggested benefits of probiotics but only a few are supported by scientific data at this time.  While the following section focuses on an area we are most certain of, it is important to recognize that this is a young science.  Little is known about the types of probiotics that are best for specific problems.  On the other hand, with the exception of individuals who have significantly impaired immune systems, probiotics appear to be very safe.  For this reason, there is little reason, in consultation with your health care provider, not to consider a trial of at least one or two types of probiotics for a symptom or issue.

I have celiac disease, can probiotics help me?

One of the most important functions of the intestine is to prevent ingested toxins and antigens from getting into the blood. This barrier function is largely the job of the ‘tight junctions’ which connect adjacent cells in the intestinal lining. With injury to the intestine, as in untreated celiac disease, tight junctions do not function as well causing what is known commonly as ‘leaky gut’.  Probiotics may be beneficial by improving tight junctions and reducing inflammation.  There is also some laboratory evidence that certain types of probiotics can make gluten less toxic. 

It is important to note that probiotics cannot replace the gluten free diet or even allows one to be less strict with the gluten free diet; however they can be very helpful for individuals who are still having symptoms despite a strict gluten free diet.


What are some quick and easy ways to get probiotics into my diet?

There are many types and preparations of probiotics on the market. They can come in pills, powders, yogurts, snack bars and, drinks and candies.  This is important because not all preparations contain useful or even living microorganisms.   It is impossible to give a comprehensive listing of the probiotics available, although the nonprofit organizations USprobiotics, ( and The American Gastroenterological Association ( provide helpful information on probiotics.

Adapted from:  Guandalini S, Felipez L.  ‘Probiotics in Celiac Disease’ from: Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten Free by Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN, and Daniel A. Leffler, MD, MS, published by AGA Press May 2010. Available at or your local bookstore.

This column is sponsored by Attune Foods (, a sponsor of the Celiac Disease Foundation. Attune makes gluten free chocolate probiotics bars that are a portable, easy way to get probiotics into your diet daily!

Spread the Word! May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Happy Celiac Disease Awareness Month everyone!

May has unofficially been the month to bring awareness to celiac disease. However, there are many states that have taken this monthly recognition of celiac disease a step further and have officially declared May “Celiac Disease Awareness Month”.

Just this weekend, I ran across some activities & actions that supporters are engaging in to bring awareness to celiac disease. If any of you know of any states / provinces that recognize May as Celiac Disease Awareness Month or any activities that are happening during the month to bring awareness to celiac disease, please share by posting a comment to this blog post.

The American Celiac Disease Alliance is campaigning folks to make sure all State Representatives know about celiac disease during the month of May. Check out this link for a quick and easy way to shout out to your state representative. (Note: It’s great! All you do is enter your zip code and it links you up with your state rep with an standard letter that can also be customized – so quick & so easy!).  

Here are some of the noteworthy activities regarding the celebration of Celiac Disease Awareness month that I recently became aware of:

New York Senate Declares May Celiac Disease Awareness Month & Proposes Two Bills Concerning Celiac Disease:

According to the, Senator Kevin Parker recognized various organizations and groups for their work in helping to raise awareness of Celiac Disease in the state of New York. Some of the organizations that were recognized include: The Greater New York City Celiac Support Group, NYCeliac, The New York Restaurant Association, The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, Sherry Lynn’s Gluten Free Restaurant, Wheatfield’s Restaurant, The Celiac Disease Foundation and The Celiac Disease Resource, Inc.

In addition to acknowledging May as Celiac Disease Awareness Month there are also two proposed bills in New York. One would raise awareness of celiac disease by creating a statewide educational program to train health care workers on the causes and consequences of celiac disease.

The second bill would require every cafeteria leased or operated by the state of New York to post information regarding which foods being served contains gluten.  My Take?: New Yorkers now need to rally and follow in Massachusetts lead to take this law a step further…  they need to implement this regulation to include ALL food allergens and to request it into law at ALL food service establishments.

North Carolina Governor Declares May Celiac Disease Awareness Month:

According to Zach at The Gluten Free Raleigh Blog, Governor Beverly Perdue has declared May 2010 “Celiac Disease Awareness Month” in North Carolina. The Gluten Free Raleigh Blog and Pat Berger, leader of the North Raleigh Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) Support Group brought the petition to the Governor’s office regarding the awareness month. Cheers to Zach and Pat!

In celebration of Celiac Disease Awareness Month, residents in the Raleigh N.C. area can participate in a gluten-free food drive at various locations or make a monetary donation to help stock the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Find out more on Zach’s website. 

And to sweeten the celebration, Bella Monica Italian Restaurant is hosting a six-course gluten-free dinner prepared by Vanessa Maltin, food and lifestyle editor for Delight Gluten-free Magazine. I Wish I lived closer so I could attend! I love Bella Monica pizza and everything Vanessa cooks-up, so I am certain this event is one of the most-happening & tasty celiac events this month!

Last, The Gluten Free Raleigh Blog worked with Sofia Noble of the design firm This Is Beautiful to create a poster featuring all of the top food allergens, including gluten. This poster is now available for download in English and Spanish at the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog.

Thanks, Zach for all you do for the gluten free / celiac community!

Again, please post a comment to let us know of any celiac awareness activities happening in YOUR area during the month of May!

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