Has America ever had a President who was gluten intolerance or diagnosed with celiac disease? Not officially, but it is interesting to speculate about Presidents John Kennedy and Bill Clinton.
President Kennedy was successful and energetic despite a number of physical ailments. Dr. Peter Green, the head of the celiac disease center at Columbia University has written at least two articles speculating on this subject. Click here to read the second article. Dr. Green mentions that he was regularly medicated for Addison’s disease, an auto-immune disease similar to celiac sprue. He wrestled various gastro-intestinal issues throughout his life. He had been ill enough to receive the last rites of the Roman Catholic church twice years before that fateful day in Dallas.
Kennedy always had excellent medical care and seemed to personify health and vigor. Why would a celiac disease go unnoticed in such a person? Dr. Green reminds us that physicians could not effectively diagnosed until the late 1040′s. World War II had given physicians the opportunity to observe the effects of wheat shortage during the war and the reintroduction of wheat after the conflict ended. These diagnostic techniques were unheard of when Kennedy was a child.
The 500 hundred pound gluten free wedding cake at Chelsea Clinton’s wedding cries out for an explanation and I found nothing on the internet. I see no reason for President Clinton to conceal celiac disease during his term as President and certainly not in recent years. If he was trying to hide his condition he certainly used a strange strategy. If any member of the Clinton family was trying to make a statement about themselves and/or about gluten intolerance, they made no effort to follow up. The Clinton family is far too politically savvy to believe they would actually do that.
I recently enjoyed cookies from a firm called Lucy’s. Dr. Lucy is an M.D. and the mother of a child with severe allergies. The website states that the gluten free cookies are “…made without milk, eggs, peanuts, or tree nuts. But you would never know it….they taste delicious.” I’ll take that one step further — you might know but you would not care!
These cookies are certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO). They are vegan and kosher. The bakery is dedicated gluten free.
These fudge brownies are individually packed which makes them a great on-the-go snack/dessert. I loved their moist and chewy texture and the rich taste. Recently, I have become a great fan of French Meadow’s gluten free products. I’ve already written about their chocolate chip cookie dough, their pizza crust, and their honey-multi-grain bread. The website features a $1 off discount coupon.
+ + + + + +
REMINDER: Our July survey asks how people who live gluten free look for when they look at a food package. We’ve already talked about the government-mandated ingredients list. But what about the “voluntary disclosures” and other clues that manufacturers put on their packages. Click here to take survey It will take you about five minutes.
According to the experts, Irish Setters can suffer from “true celiac disease”. The experts seem reluctant to apply the term ‘celiac disease’ to other types of dogs or to cats and monkeys but they seem to agree that these animals can have conditions that that so closely resemble celiac disease so closely that they can be used to test treatments for celiac disease.
Cold cuts can gluten free IF you choose carefully. Here’s a list of companies whose websites list gluten free cold cuts or deli meats:
♦Boar’s Head, “Our meats, cheeses, and condiments are all gluten free.”
♦ Hormel Foods, including Jenny-O Turkey Store, Farmer John, and diLuso Deli
♦ Thumann’s , “All Thumann’s meat, cheese, condiments, and pickles are gluten free” / certified gluten free by the GFCO
♦ Carl Buddig, “All Carl Buddig meat products are gluten free”
♦ Dietz and Watson’s, “99% of Deitz and Watson’s premium meats are gluten free”
♦ Honeysuckle White. / the website lists the relatively few products that are NOT gluten free.
Most supermarkets that publish lists of gluten free foods include some cold cuts. Click here to reach our “Gluten Free Supermarket Shopping” power page.
This article describes a friendly contest between two gluten free bakers to determine the best gluten free brownie mix. The article is well-written and details the differences between the two mixes very well. That’s the good news! The bad news is that their goal was to make a brownie that would “fool a non-celiac”. We are not obligated to “fool” anybody!!! I don’t think that is even what the contestants had in mind — what they wanted to do was simply to create a great brownie.
To be fair, this article dates back to 2005, when the goal was to camouflage our gluten free food rather than to convince skeptics (and ourselves) that gluten free food could taste good. In those days we actually used the term “real food” as if the only real food was wheat-based food. We’ve made a lot of progress since those days.
Hopefully, gluten free shoppers are in the habit of the government-mandated ingredients label on every package. But there is also information on many packages that the manufacturer is posting voluntary. How do we react to that? This includes information about what gluten-toxic products are produced on the same equipment, whether the Gluten Intolerance Group or the Celiac Sprue Association has certified the product, etcetera.
Our survey for July includes nine of these “voluntary disclosures” and asks how you customarily respond to them. The survey results will be announced at the end of this month. The survey should take about ten minutes to complete. Click here to share your thoughts with America’s gluten free community.
Yes, it is a gluten free dip made from garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas) that has been described as one of the world’s oldest recipes. It originated in ancient Egypt.
I looked at least ten hummus recipes and found none that contained gluten toxic add-ins. Here’s a video demonstration of a hummus recipe that includes tahini (ground up sesame seeds). Try this demonstration for more ideas for hummus with tahini. This recipe also includes yogurt
Udi’s has done it again! Their gluten free chocolate cookies taste like the ones I find at my gluten free bakery for twice the price. I just did some web searching and found a picture of his wife and found out that their two sons are involved in the business, which includes five restaurants in the Denver area, and a catering business. I also know from personal experience that this firm makes awesome white and whole grain breads, bagels, muffins, hot dog and hamburger rolls, and pizza crusts. They also produce granola and the wonderful chocolate chip cookies that I have been talking about. I understand that these products are sometimes sold frozen but may be found on the regular shelves. It all depends on how fast the products turn over in a particular store.
Ice cream is naturally gluten free (even cookie dough ice cream if you do it right). Here’s a recipe for maple roasted ice cream that your family should love. It is non-dairy as well as gluten free. This recipe comes from a blog called “gluten free cooking for a busy mom“. We’re all busy, so this recipe should have appeal.
The method for turning any gluten free ice cream into gluten free cookie ice cream is very simple. Just crumble up a few gluten free cookies and add them to the mixture.
Try making gluten free ice cream sandwiches. Most ice cream is naturally gluten free, so some writers concentrate on making the sandwich. This recipe uses gluten free rice krispies for that purpose. This article explains how to make the cookies as well as how to insert the ice cream between them.
Try these three trivia questions. You can on the gluten free lifestyle without any of this information, but quizzes like this can be fun. I put an advertisement between the last question and the answers to make this more interesting. For a real challenge, try to find an answer to each of these questions on the internet.
♦ QUESTION 1: Where can you purchase gluten food in Antarctica?
♦ QUESTION 2: Is zebra meat gluten free? What about elephant meat? What about porcupines or squirrels?
♦ QUESTION 3: Which if any of these products are gluten free? What do all of them have in common? bulgar, dinkle, farro, semolina, and triticale.
Answer #1. One of the camps in the Australian section of Antarctica that has small grocery store where scientists and tourists can buy food.
Answer #2. This is a trick question. All meat is gluten free unless it has come into contact with gluten-toxic materials.
Answer #3. They are all types of wheat and are therefore all gluten-toxic.
We recently completed a survey dealing with our responses when someone asks about our diet. If you have not completed the survey, please do so now. Your vote will not count because the polls are closed, but within 3-4 minutes you’ll know what you need to know to follow this conversation. I began reporting the results yesterday. Please read that post now if you’ve not already done so. Then we can proceed to the important thing — how does all this effect our lives as individuals and as part of a community that lives gluten free? Obviously, the rest of this article is strictly Paul’s Point-of-View.
♦ The two most popular responses on the survey were “stress that the gluten free diet requires total abstinence from gluten. It is not enough simply to cut down” and “stress that the gluten free die requires a life-time commitment to be effective”. Another popular response was “state that the gluten free diet is is a medical response that should be limited to persons diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance”. That view prevailed in 1999 when I was diagnosed. Judging from our survey responses, most of us still believe that. We need to remember that many people who are asking about our diet have something much different in mind.
♦ When people ask about our diet, some are making polite conversation and others are deeply concerned about some aspect of their health. We need to be better listeners. At the very least, we need to find out why the person is inquiring. If they do have serious questions, they are not the sort of questions that can be answered in one sentence. Many of you made comments to the effect that we need to be involved with people who are interested in the gluten free lifestyle.
♦ One of the people who commented quoted a phrase “try the diet for 30 days and then call me”. What a great idea. In one month. a person will learn that the gluten free lifestyle is not picnic but he will also learn about how the diet effects his body. We should be willing and able to support a person during that very challenging time.
Our survey question for the month asked what would you if someone considering the gluten free diet asked for your advice. Here are the results, beginning with the most popular answers: (a total of 132 people answered the survey. Respondents were encouraged to vote for all ‘pieces of advice’ they agreed with)
♦ (79 agreed/63.7% of the responses) “Stress that the gluten free diet requires total abstinence from gluten. It is not enough simply to “cut down. This was the most popular response.
♦ (60 agreed / 48.4% of the responses) “Stress that the gluten free diet requires a life-long commitment to be effective”. This was the second most popular response.)
♦ (48 agreed / 38.7% of the responses) “”State that the gluten free diet is a medical response that should be limited to persons diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.”
PAUL’S POINT-OF-VIEW: These statements were gospel truths when I was diagnosed in 1999. Most of the people who responded to the survey agree with them. Times have changed, our lifestyle is better understood, more frequently diagnosed, and more widely accepted. Should we change with the times??? Here are other responses:
♦ (44 agreed / 35.5% of the responses) “Point out that experimenting with the gluten free diet will make it extremely difficult to get an accurate diagnosis of celiac disease.”
♦ (43 agreed / 43.7% of the responses) “Point out that the gluten free diet may be deficient in fiber and other nutrients.”
♦ (46 agreed / 37.1% of the responses) “Discuss the relatively high cost of gluten free food”.
♦ (54 agreed / 43.5% of the responses) “Discuss the low quality and low availability of gluten free food.”
♦ (26 agreed / 21.0% of the responses) “Remind him that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that it is relatively easy to lose weight on the gluten free diet.
PAUL’S POINT-OF-VIEW. These are serious concerns that deserve to be part of serious conversations. Some of these concerns can be answered by people who live gluten free for several years. Some require expert intervention. All are solvable.
Some of the most useful information in this survey came from the responses that people made. I’ll write about those tomorrow.
Here’s how to set up a ‘home page’ that will help you unearth gluten free information on the internet. Much of what you read on my site was discovered (“mined” to use computer jargon) with the help of the ‘home page’ that I designed and installed on my computer. I’d like to walk you through the procedure for setting up your own ‘home page’. Use it to ‘mine’ the internet for whatever information you desire.
First, a disclaimer. There are dozens of ways to accomplish this goal. I’m the only method that I understand well enough to write about. I’m using google programs because they are popular, relatively easy to use, and free.
Your first step is set up a google home page with no ‘gadgets’ on it. I won’t go into detail on this because there so many options here. Much will depend the type of computer you are using, which browser you are using, and perhaps on the amount of memory you have available.
When you have accomplished this, begin filling the blank space with ‘gadgets’. (Users of smart cell phone call these ‘apps’. The big difference is that ‘gadgets’ are free.) I’ll walk you through the steps of my obtaining a gadget that will help you access my site.
Now return to your blank home-page where you will notice a box with the name of my site and the titles of the last three posts. You will also see two boxes in the upper right corner — one is a square and other a triangle.
Now click on the name on of the website. You will be taken immediately to the site. If you prefer, click on the name of one of the listed articles. You will be taken immediately to that article. The requested article will appear on the screen.
Four brownie mixes, two gluten free and one ‘classic’ brownie mixes were tested at Epicurious.com. Apparently, none of the judges were people who live gluten free, since every judge tried every product.
The winner was the Betty Crocker gluten free brownie mix. It was also the least expensive of the items tested. Second and third place went to Duncan Hines and Archer Farms, both ‘classic mixes’. The gluten free mix put out by Really Good Food Company came in last.
Paul’s Point of View: I was encouraged by the results of this study. The taste and texture of wheat-based baked goods is not always superior and wheat flour is not necessarily the least expensive. Articles like this one are not easy to find. I’ll pass on their information whenever I have the opportunity to do so.
Yes, gluten free junk food exists. It interferes with our weight control efforts, our budgets, and our attempts to be energetic and healthy. Obviously, this article needs to be clearly labeled Paul’s Point-of-View.
What is the definition of junk food? The junk food blog says that “…junk food is any kind of food that is not intended to be part of a balanced diet. It doesn’t have to be ‘bad’ for you, it just has to be something that was created for satisfaction…(rather than for) nutrition.”
Here are a few examples taken from my own life.
♦ I lived and worked in Europe for 22 years. I loved the wonderful barley-based German beer that was originally made by monks as a religious rite. Now, I occasionally drink American sorghum-based beer just to prove to myself that my lifestyle is not too limiting. That beer is junk food in my opinion. (People who grew up drinking American beer might disagree.)
♦ The gluten free pizza that I ate in the first few years after my diagnosis tasted like cardboard but at least it contained some nutrients and kept my hunger under control. That pizza can’t be defined as junk food.
♦ I wish I could buy a single gluten free doughnut to eat with my morning coffee. That’s impossible, gluten free doughnuts come in packages of six. The last five doughnuts are junk food as far as I am concerned, but as you can imagine, I will empty the package before the day is over.
Why is the idea of ‘gluten free junk food’ important? Avoiding junk food is important to anyone who is attempting to lose weight, live a healthy life, or save money. Celiacs have a lot on things to think whenever they are deciding what to be or eat, but we should not ignore the fact that this idea of junk food is a factor in many of our food decisions.
Today I relaunched my power page “Restaurants Serving Gluten Free Meals“. Finding ‘safe’ gluten free restaurants is one of the keys to successful living gluten free. For more about that idea, turn to the new-improved page.
I wrote the original power page four years ago and was absolutely amazed to note how much information had become obsolete or simply disappeared from the internet during that time. During the time since the original article was published, I have developed the strategy of linking you to information rather republishing it for you. This guarantees that you get the most-up-to-date information available on the internet. When a link does not work, the most likely reason was that the person who wrote it originally deleted it because he considered it impossible to simply not worth-the-effort to update it.
When I was diagnosed in 1999, the gluten free diet was the prescription used to control celiac disease. Since that time, there has been a dramatic change, brought on in part by the increased availability of gluten free food and the vastly improved taste and texture. When this website started in 2002, it was inconceivable that anyone would embrace the gluten free lifestyle if they had any viable option.
Earlier this month, I posted an article titled “Two Approaches to the Gluten Free Diet“, in which I stated that there are two groups of gluten free dieters;
I have recently realized that is a third group:
These people folks argue that reducing the amount of hard-to-digest is a great idea and that doing something is better than doing nothing. It is hard to disagree with this argument, but I think there is a danger here. They may be doing just enough to mask symptoms and that is never a good idea. Obviously, that last sentence is strictly Paul’s Point-of-View and should be regarded as such. Here are some more of my thoughts:
All this makes no difference to me because I know that I am in the first group. I know that my function as the author of this website is to present information about what food is and is not gluten free. People are welcome to make any adjustments or changes that seems to fit their situations.
The thoughts expressed in this article came to me while I was working on our current survey about how we deal with persons who are considering adopting the gluten free lifestyle. I’ll be announcing the results in my newsletter this Thursday (6/23) and introducing July’s survey the following week (6/30). If you haven’t had a chance to be part of the Click here to take survey You will see nine comments that might be addressed to someone who is thinking about going gluten free and asking you to mark the comments you consider appropriate.
Baking soda is a chemical (sodium bicarbonate) and is therefore naturally gluten free. Baking soda is a combination of baking soda and other food items and therefore may not be (but probably is) safe for us. Click here for more information on the science behind today’s questions.
The Celiac Sprue Association considers baking soda and baking powder to be gluten free. It advises us to stick to major brands “just in case”. Hains Pure Foods and Clabber Girl both state on their websites that their baking powder is gluten free. The Hains product is also sodium free.
If you want even greater control over your baking powder, use these instructions to make your own baking powder.
A “gluten free cleanse” involves abstaining completely from gluten as well as other foods that the dieter (and the ‘experts’ who guide them) consider toxic. Celebrities who have tried this procedure include Oprah Winfrey (whose ‘cleanse’ last three weeks) and Gweneth Paltrow (who ‘cleansed’ for seven days”. Click here for an article describing their experience. FYI, the article mentions that these celebrities used seatin, which is product made from wheat gluten as a meat substitute for vegetarians, and barley miso soup which is not gluten free because it contains barley.
USA Today summarizes the issue of ‘cleansing diets’ in an article titled ” ‘Cleansing Diets ‘Lure ‘Celebs’ but not Health Experts”. I recommend this article!
My research on this leads me to a OPINION, two QUESTIONS, and a CONCLUSION. The remainder of this article must be labeled PAUL’S POINT-OF-VIEW:
♦ opinion: The words ‘gluten cleanse’ and ‘gluten free diet’ are not interchangeable. I think this is confusing, particularly when are talking about a life-long commitment to abstinence from gluten toxic food.
♦ questions: Why do people decide that gluten is an item from which we need to be ‘cleansed’? Perhaps we know instinctively that gluten is a problem. Is there any reasons to believe that a ‘gluten’ free cleanse does any good unless it is a prelude to an actual gluten free diet?
♦ conclusion: Whatever good comes from a ‘gluten free cleanse’ comes from the fact that the person undergoing the cleanse is acutely aware of what he or she is eating, is being held accountable for his or her behavior, has not consumed any ‘junk food’ during the process, and is under the guidance of someone who believes that the process will succeed.
It’s possible to test the gluten free status of food at home. The single-use test strips, available from Elisa Technologies and other sources, cost about $10 each depending on how many you purchase. Why would anyone want to perform these tests?
PAUL’S POINT-OF-VIEW. These tests can be used by persons who suspect that a food has been incorrectly labeled ‘gluten free’ either as an error or as a method of increasing sales. People who believe this must deal with the reality that they are only testing a small sample. The test results are not necessarily more accurate than those obtained by the manufacturer. If we don’t trust the manufacturer, how can we trust the maker of the test or the person doing the testing?
Others use the home tests for the opposite reason. They feel that a food may be gluten free even though the manufacturer has elected not to use the gluten free label. And it is certainly true in some cases. For example, Trader Joe’s uses the term “no gluten ingredients”. This term does not mean the same thing as “gluten free”. Cross-contamination is always a possibility. If we do a home test, if we do a home test, the best we can hope for is to demonstrate that one small batch of a particular product is OK. The home test has not demonstrated that use of the product is totally safe.
As you can tell, I do not recommend the use of home testing kits.
Most barbecue sauce is gluten free. The Heinz website specifies that these varieties of barbecue sauce are ‘safe’ for us. The Honey Smokehouse, Hickory Brown Sugar, Original #7, and Masterblend versions of their Jack Daniels Barbecue sauces are gluten free. Annie’s Naturals indicates on-line that their chipotle, smokey maple, and sweet-and-spicy barbecue sauces are gluten free.
If these brands are not available. it is probably best to look at the ingredients label. Many barbecue sauces contain distilled vinegar. Most experts say that distilled vinegar is OK but some celiacs believe that it is toxic. For this reason, some manufacturers avoid labeling their barbecue sauces gluten free.
Preparing your own barbecue sauce is also a possibility. Click on this article for ten recommended recipes.
Coupons help shoppers (gluten free and otherwise) save lots of money. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any sets of coupons that include only gluten free items. You’ll have to browse through a number of lists and select the coupon you need.
In the process, you’ll also find coupons that will be important for the wheat-eaters in your household as well as useful non-food items or naturally gluten free food that will appeal to everyone. That is the good news.
The bad news is that the stores that send these coupons want you to be on their mailing list. If you sign up for all the newsletters that you need, you will absolutely swamp your mailbox and not be able to find anything.
The good news is that I have found a solution to that problem. Go to google of Yahoo and set up an e-mail address that you will only use for newsletters or other mailings that you intend to scan for coupons, recipes, or other ‘bargains’. Scan the content of this e-mail box when and only when you are in the inclination to do so. Be sure to avoid directing really important and timely information to that address. Delete the content of your special e-mail account whenever you want to.
Traditionally, the gluten free diet has been considered the treatment for those with celiac disease. Now, our diet has a much broader following. The experts disagree. Where do you stand? To find out, I have prepared a survey that I urge you to complete. In my survey, I am imagining that a non-celiac friend is considering the gluten diet and is asking your opinion. I’ve listed nine possible responses and asked which ones you consider appropriate. I am attempting to find out what gluten free people actually do rather than what they say. I will tabulate the results at the end of the month. Please click here to complete the survey.
Go Picnic has the solution for the celiac who is too busy to sit down to a traditional gluten free meal. Their strategy is to pack a variety of single-serving packets of gluten free foods into a small box that super-busy celiacs can carry with them to eat ‘on-the-run’. I’ve used these products on airplanes, at my grandchildren’s soccer games, and in hospital waiting rooms. Click on the graphic at the top of the article for more information about these products.
Go Picnic is offering two special discount coupon codes to help introduce their products. Click here to qualify for $15 off a purchase of $100 or more during June. Their “ “care packages” are discounted 20% this summer.
Here are suggestions for a gluten free Independence Day celebration dinner:
None of these recipes are specifically gluten free, but the substitutions will be easy and obvious.
Some people need to live gluten free. Others elect to live gluten free. When I was diagnosed eleven years ago, only the first group existed. Given the quality and cost of the gluten free food that existed at that time, it makes sense that few people — other than persons diagnosed with gluten intolerance or celiac disease — embraced the gluten free lifestyle.
Times have changed! Folks go gluten free because people in their social group are doing it, because it makes them feel younger and more energetic, or because they have swallowed the myth that it will help them lose weight. There are probably other reasons.
PAUL’S POINT-OF-VIEW. When people in the second group meet their goals, it is probably because the individual is now feeling better and almost everything works better when a person feels better. These “successes” may be a sign indicating undiagnosed celiac disease. It is virtually impossible to diagnose celiac disease in a person who is currently living gluten free. No one should begin any diet without competent advice and supervision — the thoughts expressed earlier in this paragraph should be shared with anyone who considers starting the gluten free diet, regardless of the persons reasons for beginning.
Shopping for gluten free food isn’t easy! How and where do we find what we need? How do we know that it is safe? How can we afford it? More and more supermarkets are making things easier by publishing lists of the ‘safe’ foods that they provide and/or by placing all their gluten free food in one area so that shoppers can find it more easily.
My power page “Gluten Free Supermarket Shopping” is designed to streamline your shopping chores. I’ve expanded it to include fourteen supermarket chains and more listing will be added daily. Each entry includes the name of restaurant chain, help in finding a convenient store, as well as links to printable information about available gluten free item.
Most stores offer coupons or “special offers” to attract customers. The third part of each listing includes links that enable you take advantage of these bargains. Be aware that these offerings will generally include some items that are taboo on the gluten free diet. As always, you must shop defensively.
As you may have a heard, the graphic shown above has just been introduced to replace the ‘food pyramid’ as America’s official definition of “the balanced diet”. If the graphic did not reproduce legibly on your computer screen, be aware that there are now four official food groups: fruit (red), vegetables (green), grains (orange), and proteins (purple). If you need more information, check out my article on the subject.
The four segments on the plate indicates the approximate amount of each type of food that we should be eating. Note that fruit and vegetable groups about half the size of our plate. The largest segment of our diet should be vegetables. Vegetables are healthy, low in calories, and relatively inexpensive. Eating more vegetables would make Americans thinner, healthier, and allow them to spend much less on food. That’s particularly important for celiacs — the gluten free diet is expensive at best. But how do we make this system work? How do we get Americans to eat more vegetables???????
‘My Plate’ does not require us to physically separate the four groups, and one way to deal with this situation is use recipes that combine proteins and vegetables in a single dish. Here are three suggestions with links to the recipes: vegetarian lasagna, zucchini pizza crust, and baked fish on vegetables. Enjoy!
This morning’s breakfast featured gluten free Rice Rice Krispies. The “snap, crackle, and pop” sound brought back memories of childhood. I don’t recall what the original version tasted like, but I know that I enjoyed this cereal although I definitely will use sweetener next time (which will probably be tomorrow morning).
I liked the packaging. The words ‘gluten free’ are very prominent — apparently Kellogg’s is actively seeking the support of America’s gluten free / celiac community. I also liked the fact that the gluten free rice krispies are no more expensive than their wheat-based cousins. I am curious about why this new gluten free cereal is not highlighted on the Kellogg’s website.
Since ‘My Plate’ was announced less than 48 hours ago, reactions are tentative and vague. Most of the comments I read suggest that this is not a new diet but rather improved teaching tool. And everyone agrees that a new teaching tool was desperately needed — American’s were simply not getting the message. The newly-announced diet says a great deal about the importance of whole grains, but does not require (or even suggest) that wheat must be the grain-of-choice. Perhaps it is significant that the White House chef chose demonstrate this new approach to dieting by preparing a meal using whole grain brown rice.
I’ll be writing much more about ‘My Plate’ in the very near future. I have successfully followed the gluten free diet for a decade. Now I need a diet and a lifestyle that is both gluten free and healthy in all other respects.
I recently enjoyed my first English muffins since I went gluten free in 1999, using the brown rice muffins manufactured by Food for Life. English muffins are one of my favorite memories from my pre-celiac days. My only complaints about the muffins was that there were no specific cooking directions on package or on the website. Given the cost of gluten free food, I really hate to experiment. This is particularly true when I have not yet had breakfast. I’ll keep trying, at least until this package is empty. Perhaps I will achieve the golden brown color that I remember from the-good-old-days and saw pictured on the package.
I urge you to watch these two video clips. The first is a segment from Nightline suggesting that the gluten free diet is valid as a treatment for celiac disease but is “dangerous” if used for any other purpose. direct rebuttal to the first, written and presented by a medical doctor who has a very different point-of-view.
I don’t usually express personal opinions in my articles, but I’m making an exception her simply because this topic seems to be ignored on the internet. My basic premise is that all diets are unsafe unless the dieter has professional guidance, access to reference books, support groups, and internet information.
For some, including myself, the gluten free diet is a treatment for celiac disease. I have made a commitment to remove all gluten from my diet for the rest of my life. I am concerned about cross-contamination since even minute amounts of gluten are dangerous. This is the classic definition of ‘gluten free diet’ and the only one adequately covered in books, on the internet, or in most physician’s offices
Other people see the gluten free diet as something that makes them feel better, have more of a certain type of friends, or lose weight. What will these folks do after they have achieved their weight loss goal, made different friends, and discover wheat-based foods that provide them with energy and enthusiasm?
A third version of the gluten free diet is practiced by such luminaries as Oprah Winfrey and Gwyneth Paltrow. Both these stars experienced a “gluten free cleanse”. Ms. Paltrow was on a strict gluten free diet for seven days. Ms. Winfrey lasted a full three weeks. Does three weeks count as a diet? I don’t think so! But these starts are at least acknowledging that gluten free food is an issue. The people who agree with them need our help and support.
These last two groups of dieters need professional support and advice. I hope that their needs can be met.
Happy Joe’s restaurants are a resource for gluten free pizza lovers in IA, IL. MN, MO, ND, and WI. Judging from what I saw on YouTube, it is a great place to enjoy ‘safe’ pizza. However, Happy Joe’s website has one foible that affects so many gluten free restaurants — the site mentions that gluten free pizza crusts are available but does commit itself by saying that the pies are gluten free in all respects — safe toppings, proper measures to prevent cross-contamination, etc.
I recently googled the key words +”gluten free diet” and +”weight loss” and read all the ten articles listed on the first page. I noticed that:
These gluten free cookies smelled great while they were baking and looked absolutely marvelous. I enjoyed the taste very much, but I would not advise serving them to wheat-eaters. They had a distinctive taste that screams ‘gluten free’ to wheat-eaters.
The cookies are certified ‘safe’ by the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO) a program sponsored by the Gluten Intolerance Group. They were manufactured on equipment that is also used to produce soy products. The website includes a coupon for $1 off on any French Meadow product.
I’ve recently added new restaurants to my power page “Gluten Free Pizza Restaurants” and checked every item on the page to insure that the links were still working. Gl inuten free restaurant pizza is tasting better each day and becoming more readily available. I remember reporting that it was impossible to obtain a gluten free pizza in any restaurant in Portland, Oregon. I couldn’t find that article — I assume that I deleted it in disgust at some point. Anyway, things have gotten much better.
One major concern I have is that some sites use the term “gluten free pizza crust“. We know, of course, that a pizza is not gluten free simply because it has a gluten free crust. I am a bit concerned about any restaurant that does not understand the difference and assure its patrons that the pizzas are have been prepared in a ‘safe’ environment and that all toppings are celiac-friendly.
Gluten free frozen waffles are available from Van’s Natural Foods and Nature’s Path. Be aware that these companies also sell wheat-based waffles. Everything is carefully labeled so there should be no problem if a shopper is really paying attention. Kinnikinnik Foods offers gluten free toaster waffles.
Ian’s Natural Foods takes this idea one-step-further by offering the “WaffleWich”, two gluten free waffles with a tasty filling in between.
This video shows a ‘different’ way to prepare gluten free waffles. This is a great trick to learn in the event that you are stuck in a situation where you fear that the only available toaster may be cross-contaminated.
I used the gluten free pizza crust from French Meadow Bakery for my first experiment in making pizza from a professionally made pizza crust and my own toppings. I chose this package because each crust came in a single-use metallic pan used in many restaurants to make sure that gluten free pizzas do not come into contact with other grain products in the pizza oven. There are no cross-contamination issues in my kitchen, of course, but that pan certainly made it easier to clean up after I had finished my project.
My pizza project was a success! The pie tasted thousands of times better than any of the frozen pizzas I have tried in the past and cost about half as much. Adding my own toppings took only a few minutes. The crust was firm enough to support the toppings without being difficult to chew. The taste was was subtle but effective. From now on, when I need a convenience-pizza, I will use a pre-made crust.
Dr. Praeger’s sweet potato pancakes taste great if you are eating them for lunch or dinner. My only problem is that I think of pancakes as breakfast food and my morning routine does not allow me to prepare them properly: you need to pre-heat the oven and then bake for eight minutes on each side.
Dr. Praeger refers to his products as “sensible food” and they certainly are IF you have the time to prepare them properly.
No, couscous is a wheat product and is therefore not gluten free. Lundberg Farms sells a couscous-like product made from roasted brown rice and I saw that item mentioned many times on the search engines. My internet research gave me little hope of finding ‘safe’ couscous dishes in restaurants.
Article updated 7/4/13
Katz Gluten Free products are shipped frozen from their bakery in New York state, produced in a dedicated facility, and certified gluten free by the Gluten Intolerance Group. Shipping is free on orders over $30. You can buy on-line or patronize one of the retailers mentioned on the site. ! recommend their challah rolls which come in two sizes and are among the very few ‘safe’ bread products that do not have to be toasted to taste good. They also feature pizza crusts and loaves of bread.
Most soy sauce is off-limits to us because its main ingredient is wheat. Soy sauce that does not contain wheat is called Tamari sauce. Personally, I now very few people who can tell the difference. Anyway, Kikkoman and San-J provide a ‘safe’ way to experience soy sauce.
Single-serving packets of gluten free soy sauce are available from The Gluten Free Pantry. Carrying a few in your pocket would make things tastier in situations where most diners are spicing up their meal with soy sauce.
Gluten free rice krispies will debut this summer. The celiac-safe cereal will occupy the same shelf as their traditional counterparts will be sold at the same price! (I wish more manufacturers and stores would follow that example).
Rice Krispies is much more than a breakfast cereal. For many, it is a key ingredient in many snack foods and treats. Click here to find a recipe for ‘lasagna for sugar addicts’ as well as other goodies.
Click here to learn how to make an edible Mothers’ Day holiday mug. This site includes several other edible-crafts ideas.
I have one concern about Rice Krispies. Rice Krispie Treats will continue to be extremely popular with children and adults. Some of those treats will be healthy and delicious because they are made from gluten free Rice Krispies. Other treats will be ‘gluten bombs’. How will we tell tehm apart?
My gluten free meal at Ruby Tuesday’s restaurant in Aurora, Colorado was real pleasure. I started with a trip to the salad bar. I usually avoid salad bars because of cross-contamination. I made an exception here because the food looked great, there were no obviously gluten toxic products with the possible exception of the salad dressings, and the gluten free menu stated that the salad bar was OK. The salad was a treat — I don’t have many opportunities to visit one.
My dinner consisted of shrimp skewers, a fully-loaded baked potato, and a vegetable. I made my selections from a gluten free menu which is part of a booklet that posts suggestions for diabetics, persons on a heart-healthy diet, and people who are allergic to any of the “big eight” allergens. A gluten free menu is available on-line (the gluten free information starts on page 8). I enjoyed the food, the service, and the general ambiance of the restaurant. I will be back.
Restaurant chains that serve the gluten free community are vital to our ‘good life’. It is sometimes good to eat in a restaurant that seems familiar even though it is far from home. Restaurant chains are large corporations with legal departments that will make sure that individual restaurants do not make promises they can’t keep. To find other gluten-friendly restaurant chains, scroll down to the bottom this article (past the ads) and click on the red tag that reads “chair restaurants”. The computer will create a special page that contains the first few sentences of articles that have that same tag. Click on the excerpt to read the entire article.
The Gluten Free Labeling Summit on May 4 was an important event. We got the attention of the public by building the world’s largest gluten free cake and informed, encouraged, and hopefully motivated our nation’s legislators.
Orzo is a pasta made with wheat. It resembles rice and it is usually OK to substitute rice or quinoa in recipies that call for orzo.
Triticale and bulgar are varieties of wheat. Some people who are on a wheat free diet report that they can tolerate triticale and/or bulgar but they are definitely not gluten free.
Whole Foods Markets offers gluten free bargains in its bi-monthly brochure ‘The Whole Deal”. The May/June has just been published on-line and promises $45 in savings. Not all the items are gluten free, of course, but the display on the web makes it easy to find gluten-friendly bargains.
For more information about shopping with gluten free coupons, scroll to the bottom this article (past the ads) and click on the red tag saying ‘gluten free coupons and discounts’. The computer will prepare a special page showing the first paragraphs on other articles similar to this one. Click on the article excerpt to read the entire text.
The American Heart Association urges all Americans (celiac and wheat-eater) to control their blood pressure. Before we discuss how this is to be accomplished, we need to talk about one essential difference between the gluten free diet and virtually every other diet. Celiacs must eliminate all gluten from their diet; “cutting down” on gluten is not an appropriate option. On the other hand, almost no one needs to eliminate all sodium from their diet — that would be extremely difficult and quite possibly harmful. Our goal is to decrease our sodium intake until it reaches an acceptable level.
Before we proceed, we need to debunk two myths. (1)Seasalt is NOT lower in sodium than regular salt. (2)The major source of salt in our diet is NOT the salt we use in cooking or the salt we add at the dinner table. The major problem is the salt that is used in processing food.
The American Heart Association recommends that we consume no more than 1500 mg of sodium daily. Fortunately, we probably don’t have to actually account those milligrams. (The people who do need more help than I can provide.) All we have to do is to choose low-sodium ingredients and products whenever possible.
My original plan was to close this article with a list of foods and recipes that are both low in sodium and devoid of gluten. There are thousands of possibilities so I will simply suggest that you use the google or some other search engine and use the terms “low sodium” and “gluten free”. You’ll find hundreds (maybe thousands) of choices. Let me know if you have personal favorites. I would welcome the chance to publish your ideas.