Jeopardy is a fun board game and a great way to learn basic information about the gluten free diet. The format, as you probably know, is for the leader to present a statement that could be the answer to a question. The participants score points by giving the original question. For example:
This national organization has the strictest criteria for certifying America products gluten free. [What is the Celiac Sprue Association?]
This gluten free grain-substitute is related to rhubarb. [What is buckwheat?]
This grain is frequently used in brewing gluten free beer. [What is sorghum?]
This process removes gluten from liquids
that would be gluten toxic. [What is distillation?]
This company produces eight varieties of the same cereal.
Six of these are considered gluten free. [What is General Mills?]
Send me your suggestions. Perhaps we can turn this into a full-fledged party game and a way to communicate with our wheat-eating friends. add a comment to this or any article or send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
These gluten free bakeries serve California’s gluten free community. There are many more of course, but my rather ambitious goal is recommend gluten free bakeries in all 50 states. I will be publishing articles like this every Monday and Thursday and summarizing my results in a power page called “Gluten Free Bakeries”. Since I am publishing two articles per week, I can cover the United States in 25 weeks. Then I will start over! Eventually, we will have a complete list. Here are my California list:
→ Zest Bakery at 1224 Arroyo Avenue, San Carlos, California. This dedicated gluten free bakery was recognized by the magazine ‘Delight Gluten Free’ as one of the best gluten free bakeries in America. It is a dedicated gluten free facility.
→ Rising Hearts Bakery at 10836 1/2 Washington Boulevard in Culver City. It is also a dedicated gluten-free bakery that was honored by ‘Delight Gluten Free’.
→ Kara’s Cupcakes, with multiple outlets in the San Francisco area. All products sold are gluten free.
On Monday, I will list three gluten free bakeries in Washington and then use the California and Washington listings to begin the master list.
My favorite Fathers Day gift was a simple note announcing that all my children and grand children had been tested for celiac disease. No problems were uncovered, and I am happy about that. But the important thing is that celiac disease is now under control in our family. Looking back on the situation, I am fairly certain that my father suffered from undiagnosed celiac disease throughout his life. He deserved better.
On a lighter note, I’ll be having my Fathers Day dinner at The Outback Steakhouse. Their gluten free menu is great, but what I enjoy most is that they have gift cards with photographs on them. There is an extra charge for that, of course. I’ll enjoy the meal, and and the climax of the evening will be bragging out my grandkids when I pay the bill using that very special card.
Is this medication gluten free? Maybe so, maybe not! I hate to give that answer, but it is the only honest one. If there is a problem, it will come from the excipients, not the actual medicine. Excipients, also called fillers, give the medication its color, taste, or ability to be swallowed. The excipients are starches and we need starches may be derived from wheat!
“There is no substitute for contacting the manufacturer directly“. I’ve looked at at least a dozen websites and this phrase summarizes what they all seem to be saying. To further complicate matters, the article goes on to say that “generic forms of the same drug may or may not use the same excipients.
Since phone calls to manufacturers seem inevitable, I recommend that you study this article which gives background information that will be helpful when you are making these calls. Even the most carefully thought out call may not get you a suitable answer. The manufacturer’s representative may not know the answer since the company may not be aware of the acceptability of the materials they buy from outside suppliers. Cross-contamination is also a potential problem.
I was surprised to hear that The Gluten Free Pantry is no longer selling on-line. The website will continue to provide information and recipes, but people who wish to purchase gluten free mixes on-line can order from Drugstore.com, or Vitacost.com. In both cases, you will need to enter the search terms “gluten free” or “gluten free pantry”.
There are at least a hundred now-obsolete links on this website. It will take time to find them all. Sorry for the convenience. Even sorrier that The Gluten Free Pantry is no longer able to serve us on-line.
Pancakes are my top choice for a gluten free hot breakfast. They are relatively inexpensive, taste more-or-less like their wheat based cousins, and can be prepared by someone who is not yet fully awake (if they remember to prepare the mix the evening before). Click here to find gluten free pancake mixes on Amazon. Your most economical choices will be mixes from Bob’s Red Mill or Hodgson Mills. Check out this video demonstrating gluten free buckwheat pancakes or these videos or these links which involve pancakes made without any type of flour (the structure of the pancakes comes from egg whites. Click here for the second flourless pancake option.
Thousands of restaurants promise gluten free options. How do we find the restaurant that’s best for us, particularly when we are away from home and unfamiliar with the local area ?
Every student who lives gluten free needs needs at least 175 specially-prepared lunches every year. Adults who carry a gluten free lunch every workday probably require even more. Providing these meals is very difficult, particularly if most of these lunches include the same item — gluten free bread. Yesterday, I wrote about gluten free breakfasts. Today we deal with lunches.
Dispite the amazing progress made in the past few years, bread is one of the most expensive and least satisfying elements of our gluten free diet. I’ve been eating toast just about every morning for my entire life. I need ideas for cutting down!
Here are links to four articles filled with ideas for breakfasts. All the suggestions I’m linking you to to are gluten and most do not require bread. Unfortunately, I failed to find foods that met those criteria and could be prepared by a person (such as myself) who is not fully awake — toast and cold cereal is much simpler if less satisfying. Hopefully, you can modify some of those suggestions, do some of the preparation in the evening, and be ready to face the day ahead.
Later this week, I’ll post an article about gluten free lunches that do not require bread.
How much gluten is safe? This is the last of five articles wrestling with that topic. Personally, I reluctantly accept the expert’s decision that foods containing less than 20 parts-per-million may be gluten free. I will use that definition if necessary, but I will always give preference to items that have been certified according to stricter standard.
As a journalist, I will write about all naturally gluten free foods as well as about all other foods that can be reasonably considered ’gluten free’. However, whenever I talk about a specific item, I will insert a note such as [<20 ppm], [<10 ppm], or [<5 ppm] to make the information more useful to you. Click here if you wish to reread this series of articles. It contains a great deal of important information.
The Gluten Intolerance Group certifies foods to be gluten free if they contain less than 10 parts-per-million wheat gluten. This makes much more food OK for people who follow the gluten free diet.
This certification focuses on the amount of gluten in the finished product so that foods containing oats and/or wheat starch can be approved if the product contains less than 10 ppm wheat gluten. The GIG website contains search engines that enable you to find what you are looking for.
This is the fourth article in a series that I’ve called “Gluten Free Strategy”. The long awaited decision about what constitutes gluten free food will not solve all the issues of gluten free living but it will make them somewhat easier to understand. There will be at least one more article — a summary of what we have said in this series of articles. I’ll also step out of my usual role by discussing for my gluten free future as well as my objectives as a writer on gluten free topics.
Although the majority of experts define ‘gluten free food’ as food that contains less than 20 parts-per-million wheat gluten, some organizations adhere on a sticter standard. The Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) awards its seal of recognition to foods that test at less 5 parts-per-million wheat gluten. Remember that the parts-per-million number represents a maximum number, not an average. Manufacturers must give themselves a margin for error — some of the samples would have to contain very low levels of wheat gluten.
Here are examples of gluten free restaurant, bakeries, and food manufacturers who have overcome the challenge of producing products that contain less than 5 parts-per-million wheat gluten. The CSA website (mentioned in the first parahgraph) will lead you to many more.
♦ The Gourmet Girls, “Tucson’s only dedicated gluten free bakery and bistro”
♦ Gillian’s Foods, products are sold at Wegmans, Whole Foods, and other grocery outlets.
♦ Rising Hearts Bakery, products may be found in stores and restaurants in southern California.
These are wonderful examples of what clever people even when faced with a limit like <5 ppm wheat gluten. Tomorrow, we will look at products produced at websites that deal with a slightly-less restricted <10 ppm wheat gluten.
The terms ‘gluten free’ and ‘naturally gluten free’ do not mean the same thing:
The term ‘gluten free‘ was devised by physicians to treat people with celiac disease. Food is considered ’gluten free’ if it contains no more than 20 parts per million of wheat gluten. This definition is consistent with the definition of ’sugar free’ (less than 5 miligrams per serving) and sodium free (also less than 5 miligrams per serving).
Experts, including those at the University of Maryland, agree that most people who live gluten free can tolerate 10 milligrams of gluten per day.
Therefore, we can eat one pound of food that contains less than 20 parts-per-million gluten. The Food and Drug Administration has determined that food containing less than 20 ppm may be labeled “gluten free”. If we wish to eat more than one pound of food per-day and/or to give ourselves a safety margin, our options are:
→ augment our diet by eating lots of ”naturally gluten free” food. The terms ‘gluten free’ and ‘naturally gluten free’ don’t mean the same thing! I’ll post an article on that tomorrow.
Everything needed for successful gluten free living is available in abundance in Colorado:
The Celiac Sprue Association has published alist of gluten free restaurants throughout the state. The list is concise and convenient — you can even reorgnize the list so that all the restaurants in a specific area are side-by-side. For additional links and suggestions about ‘safe’ restaurant chains, click here.
Here is a list of Colorado restaurants that meet the strict certification requirements of the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO).
The internet search engines have indexed more than five million article using the key words ‘gluten free mothers day’. We have TMI (too much information) in making our choices. Here are a few ideas that caught my mind.
Breakfast in Bed. Young children can be part of planning an presenting the traditional Mother’s Day breakfast-in-bed You might want to combine elements of that plan with the information presented here.
Our website currently lists one hundred restaurant chains whose websites promise options for people who live gluten free. Some of the chains make convincing claims about their ‘safety’, and others make statements that vague and occasionally ludicrous. I have included all these restaurants because my mission is to alert you to all your options — the decisions are up to you.
The Food and Drug Administration is about to announce that America’s official definition of ‘gluten free’ will consider a product ‘safe’ if it is tested and found to contain fewer than 20 parts-per-million toxic gluten.
Here are the results of survey asking you reaction to this number:
Cinco de Mayo, a celebration of the America’s Mexican heritage, is a happy day for everyone, particularly since tequila and many tacos are gluten free. Watch these videos about gluten free tacos, gluten free enchiladas, and gluten free quesadillas.
Soy sauce is appropriate for people who live gluten free if they select the right brands and the apprpriate products. There are at least three different terms (soy sauce, tamari sauce, and tamari soy sauce) which may or may not mean the same thing. In most cases, each product has a regular version and a low-sodium version which makes things even more complicated. Most of the products involve artificial coloring matter of some sort and that can be controversial.
People who live gluten free need to understand the idea of parts-per-million. Some examples: One part per million is the equivalent of one inch in sixteen miles, one minute in two years, or one automobile in a line of cars stretching bumper-to-bumper from Cleveland to San Francisco.
The Food and Drug Admin- istration seems to on the verge of announcing that America’s official definition of ‘gluten free food’ requires that a food item contain less than 20 ppm (parts per million) of toxic gluten. These three organizations test and certify foods, but have stricter requirements for declaring them gluten free.
We are all waiting for the Food and Drug Administration’s announcement of America’s definition of “gluten fee”. Some of us are waiting eagerly and hopefully — some of us agree with the person who wrote that these rules “…about to make me and a lot of other people really sick.” I don’t agree with either group.
Hopefully, the United States will soon have an official definition of ‘gluten free’. I say hopefully because the definition is already five years overdue! Anyway, a major point-of-contention in the new regulations is that food items that contain less than 20 ppm (parts-per-million) of toxic gluten can be labeled ‘gluten free’.
The 20 ppm number is unlikely to change. Each of us must decide for ourselves how this number affects our gluten free lifestyle. We have complained that the absence of a definition made our lifestyle difficult. Will the new definition improve the situation?
These three websites enable you to instantly sort their huge collections of recipes to exclude those with gluten or other food sensitivities. This can be a real blessing if you are cooking for people with different food sensitivities. Thanks to these sites, you can usually serve exactly the same meal to everyone at your table.
Be sure to use quotation marks when you are entering your preferences. For example, if you enter the words corn free, the sites search engine might think you want a dish that is free and contains corn. Use the term “corn free” and there is no room for doubt. This is unlikely, but it is best to play it safe. Read and consider every item in the ingredients list to be extra safe.
The internet provides low sodium recipes, as well as sugar free recipes that are appropriate for people who live gluten free:
♦ BONUS: Click here for recipes that are gluten free + sugar free + low in sodium.
Corn is subject to cross-contamination but is otherwise safe for use by people who live gluten free. This subject is a bit confusing because the terms ‘gluten’ and ‘corn gluten’ do not mean the same thing. This article explains the problem more fully. Which ever definition you accept, you’ll probably agree that the most important definition is the one used by the Food and Drug Administration and by virtually every expert in the field of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. (Read points 6 and 7 carefully.)
There are other issues to consider:
♦ Remember to read every ingredients label carefully. A package using the word ‘corn’ in the title may contain toxic ingredients.
♦ Corn may cross-contaminated. To be absolutely safe, look for products that are labeled ‘gluten free’.
♦ You may have a reaction to corn that has nothing to do with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
I’m glad that gluten free sourdough bread is a possibility! I love it! I discovered that The Julian Bakery and The Canyon Bakehouse sell gluten free sourdough bread on-line and through the dealers listed on their sites. I’m also pleased to share this recipe from Bob’s Red Mill.
I’ve also linked to the Amazon.com search page that allows you to view cookbooks, products, and even bread machines that were indexed as “gluten free” and/or “sourdough”.
Bad news: apparently some people believe that fermentation neutralizes the gluten in a recipe. Sorry about that. Click here to read the article that debunks that myth.
Wheat is by far the most-used grain in the Americcan diet. Much of what we know about food and nutrition is based on the assumption that wheat will always be the grain-of-choice. We must now use different and unfamiliar grains. Here is some information that will help with the transition.
♦ Which grains are gluten free? amaranth / buckwheat / brown rice / corn / millet / oats /quinoa / sorham / teff / <wheat>
(I have arranged the lists that follow atarting with the item that has the least amount to the highest amount. I have included wheat in each list for comparison.)
♦ Calorie count for gluten free grains. buckwheat / corn & oats / <wheat> / quinoa / teff / brown rice / sorgum / amaranth / millet
♦ Fat count of gluten free grains. <wheat> & teff / brown rice / buckwheat & sorghum / corn & millet / quinoa / oats / amaranth
♦ Sodium content of gluten free grains. buckwheat & oats / <wheat> / millet / sorghum / brown rice / quinoa / teff / amaranth / corn
♦ Carbohydrates in gluten free grains. oats and millet and buckwheat / quinoa / buckwheat / corn / amaranth / <wheast> / teff /brown rice
♦ Fiber in gluten free grains. brown rice / quinoa / corn and sorghum / buckwheat and millet and oats / amaranth / <wheat> / teff
♦ Protein in gluten free grains. corn / quinoa and millet and sorghum / buckwheat / teff / oats / amaranth / <wheat>
Is (fill in the blank) gluten free? That is probably the most often-asked question in the gluten free world! The answer is almost always “Yes, if you take a few precautions.” I’ve written dozens of articles about various problem products …. I wrote those exact words last November but later — thanks to one of your comments — that there is much simpler way to find the answer to the question: just type the name of the product in question in search box in the top right corner of the page. Your computer will generate a special page giving you the title and the beginning sentences of any articles that contain the word you typed. Click on the button at the bottom of the excerpt to read the whole thing.
At least 91 restaurant chains promise gluten free service! Their names are listed on my power page “Gluten Free Restaurant Choices” with convenient links to them. (Find the page by looking in the sidebar.) These are not recommendations — my mission is to give you alternatives that will help you make your own decisions.
Your Easter celebration will include holiday brunches, festive holiday dinners, as well snacks and treats to make the celebration complete. Here’s the information you need to plan these events without violating the rights of your gifts who live gluten free or offending the taste buds of people who are used to consuming wheat.
Domino’s allegedly gluten free pizza was recently subjected to laboratory testing. You probably recall the uproar that ensued when Domino’s announced that they had developed a gluten free pizza crust but that — because of cross-contamination issues — pizzas made with these crusts were not recommended for celiacs or persons with severe gluten intolerance.
Eggs, of course, are naturally gluten free, but you be concerned about the dyes that are used to color them. Here is an article showing how to color eggs using natural ingredients such as oranges or lemons. Since the only other ingredient involved is distilled vinegar, there will be no problem.
I could find no information about commercially-prepared dyes. I have examined a label from a McCormick product and seen nothing inappropriate. Click here to read my article on the subject.
Another alternative is to fill the Easter basket with things like yo-yos, magic markers, marbles and other items that are attractive but not edible. Click here to read a list of possibilities. Keep the list. You can use it again on Trick-or-Treat night in October.
This is an updated list of events and expositions that serve America’s gluten free community by providing classes, workshops, samples of gluten free food, and opportunity to talk with others who live gluten free. Each entry includes the date, the city in which the event occurs which is also a link to the website that will provide more information.
The Weight Watchers program is OK for people who live gluten free. Everything is based on counting points and it is relatively easy to avoid choices that are gluten toxic. There is even a blog by a gluten free vegetarian who also follows the Weight Watcher diet.
People who live gluten free can adapt relatively easily to the Paleolithic diet, since both diets excludes wheat, barley, and rye. The paleolithic diet also prohibits milk, refined sugar, refined salt, and all other items that were not part of our diet before settled down and “invented” agriculture.
These recipes are all gluten free even those words may not be included in the title.
The Mediterranean diet, an option for people who live gluten free, is frequently recommended for losing weight or controling cholesterol. As with most diets, whole-grains are emphasized, but there is no requirement that those grains be wheat, barley, rye, or oats.
If you are learning more about all this, read this blog dedicated to “Uniting a Gluten Free Lifestyle and the Mediterranean Diet“, and this collection of recipes from ‘The Gluten Free Goddess“.
A member of our church has decided to “go gluten free” during Lent. I told her that I had been gluten free for 12 years and never thought about celiac disease and Lenten observance in the same breath. She had some health concerns that might indicate a need remain to live gluten free for the rest of her life, so I reminded her that it would difficult to get accurate results after being on the diet for forty days. I wished her ‘good luck’ and let it go at that.
I thought more about this later. I don’t really think of the gluten free diet as “giving something up”. For me, the diet is a blessing. The absence of pain is powerful motivation. It’s better now, since the food is no longer tasteless (at best), hard to find, and incredibly expensive.
I don’t think of the gluten free diet as a temporary way to develop self-discipline — it’s a lifelong commitment. People can deal with almost anything for 40 days.
I’m looking forward to talking to this person after Easter. She’s given me some interesting things to think about concerning the gluten free diet and the appropriate observance of Lent.
Use this (or any other website) from your Nexus or other electronic tablet. First, select your browser (I use google Chrome). Type this shortened web address in the space at the top: bit.ly/XjTTWF. You can use the conventional address if you prefer (or if you are linking to a different website) Then click enter. Things work better for me if I orient the tablet horizontally. Obviously, the screen image will much smaller than on a traditional computer, but hopefully a child or teenager will show you how to make the necessary adjustments.
Google now offers two ways to search for gluten free restaurant meals and other essentials of gluten free living.
♦ The traditional way is called “Google Search” and appropriately enough involves entries like “gluten free pizza restaurants New Jersey”.
♦ The newer method , called “Google Maps”, requires the same type of entry, but the results are placed on a map that pinpoints the exact location of potential restaurants, bakeries or whatever you have specified.
Which supermarkets are best for people who live gluten free? A supermarket is almost always less expensive than a health store or any other specialty store. Also, supermarkets are keenly in competition with each other and usually provide ‘special deals’ of one sort or another every week. Many supermarkets publish shopping lists or other information for people who require gluten free.
There are at least 85 American restaurant chains whose websites promise gluten free options. These restaurants are our convenient options for finding ‘safe’ Meals — they are located all over the nation, they have websites that help you find restaurants, and they are operated by large firms that have huge legal departments and quality control personnel charged with making sure that individual restaurants will not make promises that they can’t, or don’t intend. to keep.
These 85 potential gold mines are listed on my power page “Gluten Free Restaurant Choices” page. Since I know that you will want to return to this list regularly, I have placed the same link in the sidebar on the right side of this page. The restaurant links in printed in blue are ready-to-use. You will need to use google or one of the other search engines to find the others. I’ll get all the links in place as soon as I possibly can.
Virtually every elementary classroom has a Valentines party. There are many uncer- tainties in the life of a child, but every gluten free child and every parent knows that this is a good time to send a treat to scho0l. When preparing a ‘treat’, I think it is best to send something truly different, not one of the standard goodies doctored up to be gluten free. For example, you could send gluten free cookies that imitate traditional Oreo. But children will compare your cookies to the wheat-based ones and many of them will decide that they prefer “the real thing”. However, if you prepare these banana split cupcakes, the kids will probably enjoy them — they taste great and there is nothing to compare them to.
Here’s a list of gluten free candies that might be helpful in planning your gluten free Valentines celebration.
When a couple works together to prepare Valentines Day dinner, romance is in the air, even when one or both of the partners lives gluten free and neither is an expert cook. Here are three suggestions:
In this video, chicken is the main course. The meal tastes a lot different from the image that sometimes enters the mind when we talk about gluten free food, heart-healthy food, and food that is relatively easy on the budget. Watch the video alone and impress your partner with your cooking skills or watch together and cook as a team. I wish You-Tube had been available during my bachelor days.
This article will empower you to prepare “Chicken Francese”, which translates as ‘Chicken in the French Manner’.
My last suggestion is especially interesting because if because it comes — not from a cooking site — but a site dedicated to living well on a budget. Experience a “recession romance” in the form of a couple-cooked meal. (Be aware that the other recipes on this site are not gluten free.)