Celiac disease and gluten intolerance do not have a lighter side. We all know that, but we also know that our only options are to laugh or cry. I choose to laugh and to share some laugh-inducing items I have found on the internet.
These people poked loving fun at people who live gluten free and also at the people who make our lives unbearable if we allow them to do so. These cleverly-captioned photos and cartoons appeared on Pinterest.
Fred Meyer provides many options for the gluten free shopper. You’ll need to enter a ZIP code to locate a specific store. If you are ‘just browsing’ use my ZIP code, 97224, to activate the system. If you are looking for bargains, click here to read their weekly ads or click here to look at the their coupons.
The Abuelos restaurant chain presents itself as “the taste of Mexico” , and has a ‘gluten sensitive menu. (Is that the same as a ‘gluten free menu’?) They serve the gluten free communities in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Whole Foods offers a wide variety of gluten free products, gluten free food lists customized for use in specific stores or groups of stores, and a resource called ‘The Gluten Free Bakehouse‘ which provides ‘safe’ products for all the stores in this nationwide chain.
Oktoberfest is the ultimate celebration of German food and beer. I lived in Germany for 22 years and I am reasonably sure that Oktoberfest’ s food and drink was at least partial responsible for aggravating my then-undiagnosed celiac disease. This year as every year, I will be attempting to reproduce the menu (but not the stomach distress) of the real-thing.
“Are grits gluten free?“ is the most popular question received by this web site. Grits are gluten free, but there are made from corn, thus making them off-limits to many of us. The good news is that grits can also be made with amaranth, buckwheat, millet, soy, teff, or quinoa. Here are some links that may be of value to you.
Finding a gluten free meal served in an inviting and well-run restaurant is an event that seldom occurs by lucky chance. The most important step, of course, is physically check out the restaurant, but there are at least two things that can be done before you take that final step.
Bravo Cachina Italiana was named by Consumer Reports as one of the top eight chain restaurants in 2012. This list includes both restaurants with gluten free menus and those who are more conventional.
For specific locations, enter an appropriate ZIP code in the box on the first page.
The gluten free menu is attractively photographed and describe. There are no comments on what has been done to insure our ‘safety’. That makes me cross this prize-winning restaurant off my list of possibilities. If you wish to look at the men, click on ‘menus’ on the first page then scroll down and click on the words ‘gluten free’
Hannaford Supermarkets serve the gluten free community in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. Click here to find a specific location. If you are just browsing and are thus unable to enter a specific ZIP code, try 12553. that will give you a general idea of the situation. When I checked while researching this article, there were 600 items on the gluten free grocery list. Fortunately, it is a searchable list. For information about bargains, click in the upper right corner of this page.
Gluten free food is not healthier or inferior to traditional wheat-based food. Problems occur when (1) we feed wheat-based foods to people who react badly to those foods and (2) we assume that gluten free foods will automatically boost our energy level or trim our waist-lines.
We accept this principle in most cases. We know that peanuts are “healthy food”. We also know that some people are fatally allergic to them.
If you need other examples, read these articles on MSG, pink slime, or potato chips. All these products are gluten free. That is probably the only positive thing that can be said about them. Does that make them healthy?
Here are the links you need to shop for gluten free food at the Meijer stores.
LOCATIONS: Stores may be found in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio
PRODUCTS: When I checked this link, I found 622 items displayed. Fortunately, there is a search engine. Some items are found in the store, some must be ordered on-line, and some are available in both situations.
BARGAINS: The right column on the home page is titled “Top Ways to Save” and links you to six different possibilities.
Here are the links you need to find out about the Raley’s ‘family of stores’:
LOCATIONS: primarily in California with a few stores in Nevada. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on “Store Locator”.
PRODUCTS: this six-page list includes all store brands and many other gluten free items.
BARGAINS: click on “Two Ways to See What is on Sale”. Since there is literally thousands of items, you’ll be happy to that there is a search engine.
Bucca di Beppo is a chain of home-style restaurant where foods are served in large dishes (designed for two or four people) are passed around the table family style. Obviously, things are a lot simpler if everyone agrees to order gluten free food. This restaurant chain is active all over America. Click here for specific locations.
Can I safely eat (fill in the blank)? People who live gluten free spend large amounts of time and energy on this question. Hopefully, this website will help.
As you may have noticed, the system described in the original version of this article worked “once in a while” but is not reliable. Fortunately, I have found an alternative.
“Gluten free diets are the new black. They are a bit mysterious and sexy with hints of secret benefits.” Congratulations to The Miami Herald for summarizing the situation so elegantly. These two sentences have been reproduced too-many-times-to-count on the internet, but few have tried to tackle the key questions: How on earth did this happen? What (if anything) should we do about it? Since there are so few facts available, here are some personal opinions:
On the Border Mexican Grill is an option for people who live gluten free. Click on the name for an overview.
Click here for the gluten free menu, which is rather unique in that menu is updated monthly. All special diets are covered on the same page and gluten free items are at the bottom of the page, so you will need to do lot of scrolling.
The Claim Jumper restaurants offer a discount to persons who are AARP members. Click on the restaurant name to get a general impression. Restaurants may be found in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin.
I’ve just received “The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide” from Triumph Dining. Now in its fifth edition, it lists and evaluates 44,000 products from 3,300 different brands. The first chapter is a summary of the art and science of shopping gluten free.
‘Back to School’ is a challenge for everyone involved, especially a child who must live gluten free. I was an elementary teacher, administrator, and counselor for 38 years. I did not know what celiac disease was at the time (very few educators did) but I can share some thoughts that might be helpful.
The Olive Garden is one of my favorite places to dine gluten free — great food, locations almost everywhere, and reasonable prices. The website cautions us to ask for the gluten free version of the menu. That’s a great idea anywhere, of course — its one more way to emphasize the fact that a special diet is needed. The gluten free menu is complete and detailed and even includes nutrition information.
Austin Grill restaurants are located in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. It’s gluten free menu is attractive and does not require the numerous substitutions that we face so often. The gluten free menu has the title ‘gluten free’ but no qualifications, disclaimers, disclaimers, etcetera — nothing but the title ‘gluten free menu’. They want us to take their word for it. Is that good news or bad news? I have no idea but I hope that I have the opportunity to check it out.
Whey is gluten free. It is the liquid part of milk that remains after cheese has been made. The only concern is that many people, especially those who are new to gluten free living, also avoid dairy products. In those cases, whey would be off-limits.
Carregeenan is also an acceptable gluten free food additive. Both these ingredients are on the ‘safe foods list’ published by Celiac.com. The list published by Gluten Free Living.com OK’s whey but does not mention carregeenan.
How do we survive a natural disaster without making things worse by abandoning our gluten free diets? I’ve written about this before, done some planning, and decided that fires, floods, tornadoes, etc., are bad enough without adding to my pain by abandoning my gluten free.
Last year, my wife and I worked out a plan for dealing with dealing with emergency situations. At that time, the problem was tornadoes. Today, it floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. I added a few new ideas to bring our plan up-to-date. I’m glad to say that we have not had to implement our plan.
The Boston Market has a gluten free menu. While reading it, I noticed that “Boston Market does not guarantee that cross-contact with with gluten containing products …” I like the terminology they use — mere contact causes problems for some of us.
When the Food and Drug Administration announced its definition of ”gluten free”, I was one of thousands of gluten free bloggers who rushed to their computers to read the ‘final solution’, collect their thoughts, and get their ideas flowing on the internet. I read reports from The New York Times and USA Today, as well as the official announcement from the Food and Drug Administration.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill serves the gluten free communities in 32 states and is part of a restaurant group called Bloomin’ Brands which includes The Outback Steakhouse and The Bonefish Grill. These restaurants captured three of the five top spots in About.com’s effort to name America’s best gluten free restaurant chains for 2012.
The Bonefish Grill placed second in About.com’s listing of the best gluten free restaurant chains for 2012. Two other restaurant chains operated by the same corporation — Carabbas Italian Grill and The Outback Steakhouse — also won awards in this contest and will be reviewed in the next few weeks.
Three different groups of people call themselves (and their diets) gluten free:
People with celiac disease. These folks need a lifelong commitment to a rather strict version of the gluten free diet. If they follow their gluten free diet diligently, they will become symptom free in a relatively short time. Originally, the term ‘gluten free diet’ had a very specific meaning — it was the regimen that they required.
General Mills announced in May 2011 that its “Hamburger Helper” might contain gluten and did not reformulate the item, but several recipes are available for people who live gluten free who wish to continue continue enjoying this convenience food.
Caramel coloring is almost certainly gluten free. To quote the statement from Gluten Free Living: “Corn is used to make caramel color in the US. The FDA permits the use of barley malt, but all the major caramel color producers say corn makes a better product.”
Wine is probably — but not certainly — a naturally gluten free product. Back Country Wines does not officially declare the ‘safety’ of its wines, but it does ask two pertinent questions:
♦ If wine is unsafe, it is because the sealant that is used on the barrels has contaminated the wine. But that would spoil the taste of the wine as well. Would any competent vintner allow this to happen?
I embraced the gluten free lifestyle on August 2, 1999. I still celebrate that date! Going gluten free is not an easy process, but it has become easier during the past decade. It’s too much to cover in a single article so I have begun a special page which I have entitled “Going Gluten Free”. I published the first chapter yesterday, ‘Making the Commitment’ yesterday (Monday) and will publish one chapter every week. Next week’s chapter will be ‘Surviving the First Week’.