The speaker’s enthusiasm, competence, and passion for gluten free cooking comes through loud and clear in this video-dvd “All You Wanted to Know About Gluten Free Cooking” presented by Connie Sarros. Ms. Sarros is not celiac or gluten intolerant. She got into gluten free cooking to assist her father when he was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 70 and became so enthusiastic about the topic that she went on to became one of America’s best-know experts in this field.
In this video, she seems to be talking to an audience of enthusiastic and competent cooks who wish to transfer their skills into the world of gluten free cooking. She encourages experimentation, gives suggestions that increases chances for success, and states that gluten free cookbooks (including her own) are simply “cookbooks in which all the mistakes have already been made for you”.
Connie Sarros has a message for all us — embrace your gluten free lifestyle, learn from your mistakes, strive for excellence in your gluten free cooking but do not fear errors or imperfections! The dvd can be ordered from the speaker’s website.
Celiac disease is hardly a blessing, but if a person has to have a chronic disease, I’m glad I have this one.
I have absolutely no symptoms as long as I stick to my diet.
I have no expenses for drugs, medical tests, physical therapy, or surgery. This more than offsets the fact that my food costs more.
Whenever we eat out, I get to choose the restaurant.
People still ask me specific questions about the gluten free diet, but there are no more blank stares like the ones I faced when I was first diagnosed ten years ago.
I have the privilege of overseeing this internet site, which I totally enjoy doing, gives me the feeling that I am contributing something useful to the community, and is source of income and personal satisfaction.
I plan to write more articles like these. Celiacs — like everyone else — really need to lighten up these days. Help me out. Share ideas with me so that I can republish them for the benefit of America’s gluten free community. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This month’s survey asks how our gluten free lifestyles has changed in the last three years. You can share your ideas by using the form below if you have not yet responded to the survey.
You can also sign up for our giveaway of four copies of Triumph Dining’s “Gluten Free Restaurant Guide”, which lists 6500 U.S. restaurants that provide gluten free options. Just write your name and mailing address in any or all of the comment spaces in the survey.
Here are more ideas about supporting gluten free children as they transition back to school.
Kids who need encouragement might appreciate this video about a high school student who not let celiac disease interfere with becoming a tennis star.
“You’re allergic to beer?”, an article from USA Today, deals with all those questions that celiacs have to deal with, sometimes for what seems like the thousandth time. Hopefully, the young person reading this article will realize that the people asking these questions are sincerely interested in knowing the answer, and will answer the question with words rather than by downing large quantities of beer, gluten free or otherwise.
Here’s an offer for a free “Back to School’ e-book containing recipes and suggestions. This book is free right now, just type in the code 2011BTSEbook. This offer expires on August 26.
Our “Back to School” series will continue on Saturday. To read all the articles, scroll down past the ads and click on the red tag.
The Food and Drug Administration is once again considering the issue of labeling gluten free food. We are invited to submit our comments this month or during the month of December. Here is a link to the FDA website with information about how to submit a comment.
I plan to submit two sets if comments to the FDA — one being my personal opinions and the other giving my point-of-view as a writer on gluten free topics. I’ll make my submissions in mid-September, thus giving me a month to get my thoughts in order. I have two major concerns:
The FDA is recommending that a product must contain less than 20 parts-per-million gluten in order to be labeled ‘gluten free’. Where did that number come from? The information from the FDA suggests that lower concentrations of gluten can’t be measured accurately, and yet we know that the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO) requires that the product contain less than 10 ppm and the Celiac Sprue Association carries this a step further by only certifying products with less than 5 ppm gluten.
Is this number based on any scientific evidence as to the amount of gluten that a celiac can tolerate? I know that I have never read any such evidence. The 20 ppm figures seems to be for the convenience of the testing organizations.
My second concern is that their is no mention of the word “oats” in the FDA material. Actually, this can be fixed by changing a few words in the guidelines, since products that contain non-certified oats will almost certain exceed the 20 ppm limit. I presume (but don’t actually know) that companies who qualify would be free to label their products “oat free”.
I’d be privileged to publish your thoughts on this matter. Your ideas may help other members of America’ gluten free community make up their mind, thus making their comments more valuable to the FDA and to all who will be reading gluten free labels in the future.
This week I updated our website by
continuing to publish the series “Gluten Free Coupons and Bargains” and changing the procedure slightly so I am the only one who has to place his or her name on many mailing lists.
upgrading the “Gluten Free Supermarket Shopping” power page to make it easier to find the gluten free list published by each the supermarkets.
adding information about using tags to the “Finding Gluten Free Information” power page.
learning about and informing you that the Gluten Free Grocery in the Chicago area has closed its doors.
Your gluten free child will probably need a new “back-to-school lunch box. There so many choices that all I can is that you take your child shopping for something that he or she considers ‘cool’ or whatever the word for this year is. It is important that your child has sandwich containers like the one shown above. I put the graphic up there just to give you the idea of what I have in mind. You’ll find these in all the stores for half-the-price. The important thing (from the adult point-of-view) is that your child has a sandwich container that is sturdy enough to keep the gluten free bread from crumbling.
My reactions to these articles are
obviously, if the food program is not already in place in your school, it will not be available for at least most of this school year. A project this takes a great deal of planning and co-ordination
I wonder if a hot lunch served in the school cafeteria is always better than a cold lunch provided by a parent. Of course, the school should provide the same services to all children and their parents, but….
I can visualize a school cafeteria that provides gluten free options but I can’t see how cross-contamination could be totally in that environment.
I wonder how a gluten free child would feel receiving a different meal than the other children in the lunch-line. Would this increase or decrease feeling of isolation?
On Tuesday of this week, I published the first part of this article on gluten free school lunches.
Here are three links to coupons that will cut the costs of your gluten free lifestyle:
TGI Friday. This coupon entitles you to a $5 discount when your table runs up a bill of $15 or more. The expiration date is 10/31/11.
French Meadow Bakery. $1 off on any purchase.
Crunchmaster Crackers. This is one of my favorite snack foods. $1 off on any purchase.
Why would anyone in their right mind want to create any of these things? I can think of several reasons:
it’s almost certainly cheaper than the original product.
You are in total control of cross-contamination issues that might arise from consuming “the real thing”.
It allows us laugh at the reality that wheat-based food has a distinctive flavor and texture that we can’t duplicate exactly. ‘Real food’ does not mean the same thing as ‘wheat based food’.
It sounds like fun! These items would probably make a big hit at your next gluten free support group meeting. We need to lighten up occasionally. Gluten free living has its challenges, but….
I’ll be publishing these “lighter side” articles on Wednesday’s as long as people seem interested. I’d love your suggestions.
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Here is your opportunity to take part in our monthly survey. We’re attempting to get a handle on how our gluten free lifestyles have changed in the past three years. The company that processes our surveys has come up with a new method that allows people to complete the survey without ever leaving the site.
The survey document also provides an opportunity to register for our drawing for a copy of the fifth edition of Triumph Dining’s “Gluten Free Restaurant Guide”. Register by entering your name and mailing address in the comments section of the survey. You are welcome to triple your chance of winning by entering your name in all three of the comment sections. Scroll down to complete the survey and enter the drawing.
“Parents of gluten free children will have to pack at least 175 lunches (per child) this school year. Our goal is to make sure that the lunches we pack are envied (or at least not scorned) by other (wheat-eating) children, and will be eaten (not traded or thrown away) by the child.” I wish I knew the source of that quotation. It sums up up the situation pretty well — I added the words in parentheses to emphasize how this relates to gluten free families.
Fortunately, the internet provides us with plenty of ideas and specific recipes. Start with this general article. It includes a lot of very sensible suggestion of always packing “something extra” in the lunch box. Gluten free children can’t trade food with their classmates, but they give their classmates a taste of their food to to demonstrate that people who live gluten free are not ‘weird’ (or whatever the current term is) and that our food is ‘awesome’ (or whatever that current term is).
Here are two collections of lunch box recipes. Not all the recipes are gluten free, but the necessary substitutions will be fairly obvious. If you don’t already have TMI (Too Much Information), try this article. Older children who can read these posts want to study them and make requests. This will also give them more of a feeling of responsibility for their gluten free lifestyle.
This is the first in a series of articles titled “Gluten Free School Lunches”. On Saturday, I did another article on different aspects of this subject and will continue to write back-to-school articles on Tuesdays and Saturdays for the rest of this month.
How do we deal with people who go gluten free for reasons that have nothing to do with diagnosed celiac disease or gluten intolerance? There are God-knows-how-many people out there who experiment with our way of life because they believe it helps them lose weight or in an effort to emulate Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, or even Celsea Clinton.
When I was diagnosed with celiac diet in 1999, the gluten free diet was definitely not a fad simply because too few people had heard about it. Besides, the food was so expensive and tasted so much like cardboard that nobody stayed on the diet for the wrong reasons. I’m glad things have changed.
As you can see, I’m expressing personal opinions tonight in the first of a series of articles I’m calling “Food for Thought”. I’ll publish these editorials every Monday. I’m eager to read your reaction.
Every diet is dangerous if not properly supervised. I think it is possible for people to supervise their own diet through reading, talking with experts who have experienced the diet, and by attending support groups. People who do any of these things will learn
• that the gluten free diet is not a magic formula for losing weight,
• that the diet is not easy to follow (even though the food tastes much better than it tasted ten years ago),
• and that there is a tremendous difference between a short term ‘gluten free cleanse’, or ‘cutting down on their intake of gluten free food’, and the life-long commitment to total abstinence that is traditionally the major concept underlying gluten free living.
There will always be a group of pseudo-celiacs who ignore what I said in the last paragraph. I wish them well, and thank them for increasing public awareness of the gluten free diet and creating a demand for more and better ‘safe’ products. If any of them ask for advice, I’ll express my point-of-view to the best of my ability.
During this past week, I “grew” the website by:
adding a new power page “Finding Gluten Free Information“. Right now, it contains two search engines that should make it easier for you find gluten free information on our site and on the internet. More tools will be added during the next few months.
realizing that the weekly schedule I published last Sunday was totally unworkable. We need a weekly schedule. I’m experimenting now and will announce the new schedule as soon as possible.
beginning a series of “back to school” articles meant for parents of gluten free children. I’ll be publishing these articles on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Children living gluten free need all the support we can provide. Click here to go to the first article in the series. To read the entire series, click on the tag “back to school gluten free”.
adding a new pizza restaurant chain to the “Gluten Free Pizza Restaurants” power page. Extreme Pizza offers ‘safe’ pizza in 13 states.
Children living gluten face many challenges in school. It’s no exactly a (celiac-friendly) piece of cake for the parents who are responsible for them. August is “back to school” month, so lets consider the plight of a celiac or gluten intolerant elementary school child who is about to enter a new school.
Danna Korn, author of Living Gluten Free for Dummies and founder of R.O.C.K,(Raising our Gluten Free Kids) has written a very useful introduction to this subject. I suggest you read that as a general introduction.
This article addresses the question of how to brief the child’s teacher, the Principal, and the school staff on the issues involved in dealing with a student who lives gluten free. It also includes links to letters written by others. The writer suggests that these letters be hand delivered and discussed with the school staff. I heartily agree.
I’ll write on this topic in the weeks before school starts. I’ve scheduled an article on school lunches for next Tuesday.
One major issue for every parent of a gluten free child is how to deal with school parties, birthdays, etcetera. The video below was made by a parent who has discovered a wonderful solution to this problem.
These coupons will help you in thriving on a gluten free diet without needless expense . Our coupons and bargains roundup is published each and every Friday and includes at least three recommendations.
Whole Foods publishes a magazine called “The Whole Deal” which includes coupons for a variety of products (gluten fee and otherwise). This link is particularly valuable since it will work continually, always taking you to the coupons in the most recent edition of the magazine. Whole Food offers a great variety of gluten free products, but it is not an inexpensive place to shop. These coupons will help.
Kettle Cuisine offers offers a coupon for $1 off for purchasing their soups, many of which are gluten free. The downside of this offer is that you have to sign up for the mailing list before you receive any specific information. Unfortunately, most coupon offers work that way. Click here to read my article about the two ways to avoid having your computer in-box inundated with unessential e-mail.
Cascadian Farms also offers discount coupons but requires you to join their mailing list to find out what is available. The link in the last paragraph describes how to sidestep this issue.
All of our articles about gluten free couponing and bargain hunting are tagged “gluten free coupons and bargains”. Scroll down the page (past the ads) and look for the red tag-words at the bottom of the page. Click on the tag and the computer will immediately prepare a list of excerpts from every article on the site that has the same tag. The most recent articles will be displayed first.
How is a gluten free life style changed in the last three years? That’s the subject of our August survey. You will be asked to respond to fifteen sentences dealing with shopping habits, dining habits at home, and dining habits outside the home. You will have ample opportunity to make comments.
You will also have a chance to win a copy of Triumph Dining’s newest restaurant guide which lists 6500 restaurants that have thoroughly ‘checked out’ and judged to be ready to meet our needs. Actually, you will have three chances, one in each section of the survey. Click the box in the upper right corner of your screen.
The company that conducts our surveys has changed its procedures a bit so that now we can complete the survey without leaving this page. Obviously, the three page survey can’t fit on the screen all at once, so you will have to do some scrolling. There are 18 questions on the survey and you should be able to complete the whole thing in less than fifteen minutes. Thanks for sharing your life with America’s gluten free community.
Today I launched a new power page called “Finding Gluten Free Information“. My goal is consolidate everything to know about this topic in one place. Right now, it contains two search engines that enable you to search this web site or to generate a list of every article on the internet that includes the terms ‘celiac’ and/or ‘gluten free’ or even to search every article on the net.
To access these search engines, click on the link above or click on the tab at the top of the page.
I plan to add at least one more search engine as well as other information that will help you find and evaluate the huge amount of information that is available on the internet.
During this month’s survey, people living gluten free expressed 89% confidence in that were certified gluten free by either the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) or the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO). a project of the Gluten Intolerance Group.
85% of these people felt confidence when purchasing a product labeled “produced in a gluten free facility” felt comfortable eating food items from a box labeled “gluten free”.
This data underscores the importance of GFCO and CSA certification. There was less than 1% difference between the two organizations despite that fact that CSA has a stricter standard (5 parts-per-million compared to 10 parts-per-million for the GFCO.)
This question should have been asked on the survey. How do we feel about the manufacturers of products we purchase? Do we feel better purchasing from national companies that have armies of lawyers making sure that no false promises are being made? How about firms that produce only gluten free products and are very dependent on our good will?
As you may know, this site conducts a survey each month to give us all a better idea of what people who live gluten free actually do. I’ll announce August’s survey on Thursday, both here and in my weekly newsletter.
This week, I “grew” our website by
adding another special search engine to enable you to search for gluten free information on the entire internet. This is a companion to “Successful Celiac Search“, which enables people to search for information from a dozen carefully selected websites. I pledge to have all my search information consolidated in one place by next Sunday. That will make things simpler and more effective for all of us.
establishing a weekly schedule to help me “stay organized” and perhaps help some of you know what to look for:
→ SUNDAY: “Gluten Free Weekly Roundup”, a summary of what I accomplished during the past week. FYI, I write this on Saturday. I am “unplugged” on Sunday.
→ MONDAY: “Food for Thought”. The gluten free diet is based on firm scientific principles but there are certainly areas where there are differences of opinions. I will declare my point-of-view on Mondays.
→ TUESDAY: “The Gluten Free Internet”. The internet is a marvelous tool for obtaining information for gluten free living and for millions of other topics. Hopefully, the articles published on Tuesdays will help you make the best use of that tool.
→ WEDNESDAY: “Gluten Free Living”. Currently, I am writing about attitudes that help us thrive gluten free.
→ THURSDAY: “Gluten Free Products”. Articles about ‘safe’ products that are available to us
→ FRIDAY: “Gluten Free on a Budget”. Currently featuring a series on coupons for gluten free food as well as other bargains.
→ SATURDAY: “Gluten Free Children”. During August I plan a series of back-to-school articles.
Traveling with children is difficult at best and vacationing with gluten free children requires special preparation. Here are some articles that you may find helpful or at least reassuring.
♦ This article deals with day trips with children who live gluten free.
♦ We seldom think of claustrophobia as a symptom of celiac disease, but in this case it seems applicable if not technically correct. This article is written by a mother who was not able to leave the secure area of an airport to get her child a gluten free meal. She felt trapped and penned in. I imagine the child felt the same way. Learn from this family’s mistakes. Do everything you can to avoid similar situations.
Saturday is “children’s day” at this site. Since our kids are going back to school next month, I’ll write about back-to-school issues on the next few Saturdays.
This roundup of gluten free coupons and other bargain opportunities is the first of many. I will be publishing the newest available information every Friday. Here are my recommendations for today. Please be sure to read the information at the end of the this article.
P.F. Changs offers the “Warriors Card” which entitles you to a 10% discount on all meals.
Applegate Farms also provides money-saving coupons. Here again they make you join their mailing list before giving you any useful information. Learn how to avoid an overflowing in-box by following the link given in the last paragraph.
REMINDER: These links may lead you to coupons for several different products, not all of which are gluten free. Also, most coupons have expiration dates but that does not mean that the coupon will disappear from the internet. Be sure to check.
I enjoy a tasty gluten free hot breakfast that I can prepare quickly and easily, even if my eyes are not fully open. I’ve reviewed three cereals that meet this criteria.
Oatmeal by GlutenFreeda, made with certified gluten free oats and other ingredients to provide variety and flavor.
Eco-Planet Hot Cereals, also combinations of certified oats and other ‘safe’ grains.
These two products have the advantage that they come in single-serving packets. When I am traveling, I usually stay at places that offer the usual “continental breakfast”. I can take these packets with me to the dining area and use motel’s microwave, hot water, and paper bowls.
When I am at home, I often breakfast on the microwave pancakes available from Trader Joe’s. These pancakes are one of the few frozen convenience foods that are equivilent to their home-made equivalents.
People who live gluten free have the time and the skills to cook. Home cooked food is invariably better than “convenience food”. It tastes better, it is less expensive, it is healthier. We all know that, but we also know that our time is precious, our skills may be limited, and many of us are cooking for one.
The book “Gluten Free in Five Minutes” has solutions to all these issues. Everything is cooked in the microwave. All directions are clear and simple. There are instructions for preparing a single bagel, one sourdough roll, or a chocolate cake for two. All the ingredients are available in any grocery store. Obviously, I recommend this book! Click on the graphic at the top of the page to order it from Amazon. It is available as a paperback book or as a kindle book.
Attitude is everything in living gluten free. Last Wednesday I talked about three other attitudes. I made the mistake of titling the article “gluten free in the new economy” and it is certainly true that attitude is the essential ingredient of getting our nation’s current financial and political predicament in order. Attitude is always essential. I will write about one more attitude next Wednesday.
Last Tuesday, I introduced “Successful Celiac Search“, a tool that enables you to find information about gluten free living in a dozen carefully selected web sites. I embedded the words ‘celiac’ and ‘gluten free’ into the search engine to make things simpler.
Today I am taking this one step further. Now the entire internet is at your fingertips. The search engine works in two different ways. You can choose to search the internet with the terms ‘celiac’ and ‘gluten free’ without any strings attached. At the top of the page, you will see the words “Internet Gluten Free” and “Web Search”. Click on the appropriate button. You’ll see the words “Google SafeSearch is On”. Click it off if you prefer to include sites that are inappropriate for children.
Obviously, you need to see — in one place — all my search engines as well as all my information about searching this site. I’ll publish that next Tuesday.
This week I “grew” our gluten free website by:
adding bakeries in Colorado, Montana, New Jersey, and Texas to our “Gluten Free Bakeries” power page.
completing the first phase of our “Gluten Free Supermarket Shopping” power page. We now have links to sixteen supermarkets that provide lists of the gluten free foods they make available. I will be adding more and more information soon.
launching “Successful Celiac Search“, a customized and streamlined search engine that simplifies your task of finding gluten free information on selected websites.
publishing a weekly roundup, highlighting some of the articles published during the past week. Sorry I am a day late this week. I plan to publish this every Sunday.
“There is a sizable, but still decided minority population that can benefit in terms of feeling better by excluding gluten, entirely or mostly, from their diets. There is a population–an order of magnitude smaller — for which it is vital to do so, and potentially even a matter of life and death. For everyone else, going gluten free is at best a fashion statement.”
First of all, this author is not claiming that our diet is a fad, he is just saying that some people are using it for the wrong reasons. I agree completely. He also points out that wheat is evolved in the past million years from a wild plant with seeds so small that our ancestors probably never noticed them or considered eating them. After centuries of cultivation, wheat developed into a plant with larger seeds and more gluten. Plants evolve faster than humans. Some of us are able to digest gluten, some of us are not.
Another article begins with the sentence “A gluten free diet is as trendy as the latest purse.” I disagree with that statement, but the important thing to consider what all this means to people like us whose health and wellness depend on the gluten free diet?
People like Oprah Winfrey and Gweneth Paltrow have gone on a short-term “gluten free detox”. At least they are acknowledging that gluten is a problem. They certainly got lots of publicity for their efforts, but was the detox helpful in any way? A detox is much different from my lifetime commitment to total abstinence from gluten.
I’ve read articles about people who are ‘cutting down’ on gluten. ‘Cutting down’ is not the same thing as ‘totally eliminating’. Is ‘cutting down’ helpful?
What does all this excitement mean to us? It means that more gluten free food will appear on our store shelves and on our restaurant menus. The taste will probably improve and the price will probably drop. But will all these items be labeled correctly?
The bad news is that our hosts and personnel in restaurants may become less concerned about cross-contamination. This precautions are totally unnecessary when serving someone perceived to be on a fad diet.
Another potential problem is that people who are having problems staying gluten free may give up and justify their behavior by saying “it’s only a fad”.
There are more questions than answers in this article. The gluten free diet is grounded in scientific facts, but there are issues that are matters of personal decision. I’ll write about these issues every Monday. Have a great week.
Children who live gluten free (like everyone else) have lots of time for snacking during the summer and burn so much energy that they need at least some of those snacks. The snacks described here are ideal since they contain neither gluten or refined sugar. This article on home-made granola bars provides something for the kids to do as well as something for them to eat. This article provides 30 snack ideas. Click here if you need 12 more ideas.
Snacks are sometimes an issue when children are vacationing or traveling. I’ll write about this next Saturday. Every Saturday is “children’s day” at this site.
The most important question is this — am I motivated to use this book? Again, the answer is ‘yes’. I like the tremendous variety. This book contains recipes for everything from corn muffins to an Algerian fruit bowl to lobster newburg. I appreciate the line-drawings which were obviously the work of a food-lover rather than a photography who has the skills to make almost anything look delicious. The first two chapters are a great introduction and/or review to the art of gluten free cooking.
The back cover states that this book is “not a weight loss cookbook…(it is) a life-maintenance book…your ticket to better living and better eating”. I agree, but I should point out that each recipe contains a calorie count, a carbohydrate count, exact data about sodium, fiber, and sugar and all the other numbers that anyone could need to control his or her diet.
Books make great gifts for the holidays. Click here for answers to many of your questions about Christmas and all the winter holidays.
The current economic crisis is making gluten free living even more complicated, expensive, and stressful. This is the beginning of a series of articles dealing with this crisis. I’m not sure how many posts will be involved. We have at least five major goals:
SPECIAL NOTE: I blundered when I stated that I would cover this topic in five articles. It is much more complicated than that. I will continue this series of articles! It is a key issue for everyone (celiac or otherwise) who needs to feed themselves and their families in these challenging times.
What do I mean by “the new economy”? Food prices are growing rapidly and show no signs of leveling off. This is particularly true of gluten free food and we do not have the option of using cheaper gluten-toxic foods. Our future income is not as certain is not as certain as it was a few years ago.
The first step in solving any problem is an “attitude check”. We must:
The next article in this series will talk more about our attitudes and how they affect our food purchases. This article will be published on July 27, one week from today, and I will publish weekly articles until we have covered this topic
As I mentioned, this is the beginning of a series of articles. All will be connected by the tag “gluten free in the new economy”. Scroll down to the end of this article and click on the red tag. The computer will create a special page for you giving excerpts from each of the articles in the series. Click to read the whole article.
Here’s a fast, easy-to-use, and efficient way to find the information you need on the internet. I have selected twelve powerful and highly respected websites for you to search’ I have embedded the words “gluten free” and “celiac” into the structure of the site to help focus your search. Here are the sites you will be searching:
NOMINATE SITES THAT MERIT BEING INCLUDED IN THIS SEARCH ENGINE. E-mail me at email@example.com. I’ll take it from there!
BLOGGERS AND SITE OPERATORS: E-mail me at the same address. We’ll talk about your site’s qualifications for being part of this search engine.
I enjoyed a gluten free sandwich at Subway, which is currently testing products in northern Oregon. The bun was excellent and held together well, especially considering the fact that it was stuffed full of meat and vegetables. My only criticism is that the bun was in the shape of a hamburger roll rather than the submarine rolls that we are used to.
Cross-contamination was not an obvious problem. My server washed her hands before beginning and wore fresh gloves. The bun was individually sealed. My server placed the roll on a napkin in such a way that precluded crumbs falling into the meat area. (I hope that everyone is equally conscientious about how they place any of the rolls.) My sandwich was grilled on top the same napkin so there was no contact with other products.
I also devoured a fudge brownie from French Meadows Bakery. I bought one for pure enjoyment (I’ve already reviewed it.)
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Reminder: Our July survey is designed to tell us more about how people shopping for gluten free bead deal with the clues they find on food packages. Please click here if you haven’t had the chance to share your thoughts.
Celiacs want to shop using discount coupons. To meet this demand, this website suggests three strategies:
→ use the tag “gluten free coupons and discounts”. Your computer will immediately create a special page including excerpts from each of the tagged articles. There are two types of articles — posts like this one which explains the use of coupons and articles that include coupons for the products highlighted in the article.
→ remember that the merchants who issue coupons want your name on their mailing list and will make you “sign up” before giving you any useful information. Keep in mind that it is always possible to “unsubscribe” from a mailing list. Use your option when your become bogged-down in messages.
→ my strategy for dealing with the flood of e-mail is to set up a separate web address using google or one of the other search engines that do not charge a fee. That way, you can feel very free to delete the messages. You won’t be deleting anything very important.
→ some coupon makers have devised methods that limit the number of copies of a coupon you can print. I have sidestepped this problem by logging off and then back on to the site using a different internet address or computer.
I recently enjoyed Puffin’s Multigrain cereal. I enjoyed the rather unique taste and texture. The shredded wheat shaped pellets of cereal soaked up some milk without turning soggy. The cereal is made from “pure oats” — I hope that means the same thing as “certified oats” and I wonder why they did not use the more common term. I noticed that several items that were made from “oat flour” (not designated as being ‘pure’) and that these items were not labeled “gluten free”.
“If I went off the gluten free diet and kept my mouth shut, could I join the military with celiac disease?” I found no really ‘official’ answers to that question, but I do have a strong personal response based on three years in the Army and 22 years overseas as a civilian employee of the defense department.
Obviously, a person can do anything if they successfully “keep their mouth mouth”. But if the military discovers that a person has lied about things that are already in their civlian medical records, that person is in big trouble.
Millions of Americans are suffering from as-yet-undiagnosed gluten intolerance intolerance or celiac disease. It stands to reason that there are thousands of these people in the military. Some of them are serving on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. No one in the military is concerned about supplying them with gluten free food. No one is thinking about preventing cross-contamination. The person who made this comment at least has identified his problem.
I can’t think of many things worse than having a gluten reaction while patrolling the front lines in combat or being in a barracks and unable to get away from the military post to get a respite from a gluten toxic diet.
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REMINDER: There is still time to participate in our July survey. How do you react to the ‘clues’ found on many food packages. Click here to take this five-minute survey.
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.
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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.