May 8, 2014

My Top 5 Celiac Disease Facts

Share these facts for Celiac Disease Awareness Month this May, and leave a comment with what facts you would add to this list. Let’s fight the countless gluten-free myths and insensitive jokes by sharing the facts! 

1. I have an autoimmune disease, not a food allergy.

2. A 100% gluten-free diet is medically necessary for me. It is not a fad, weight loss diet, celebrity trend, or a joke. 

3. Please get tested for celiac disease before experimenting with eating gluten-free.

4. If “gluten-free” food comes in any contact with gluten while cooking or serving, it is not safe for me to eat. 

5. I love that there are tons of delicious certified gluten-free products. I am not deprived or suffering!

Apr 29, 2014

Review: Russo’s Frozen Gluten-Free Mozzarella Sticks

On a recent trip to Wegmans, I was pleasantly surprised to find Russo’s frozen gluten-free mozzarella sticks. I was so excited to eat mozzarella sticks for the first time in seven years! These gluten-free mozzarella sticks cost $6.99 and were in the gluten-free Nature’s Marketplace freezers at Wegmans, right next to another great gluten-free find, Tonya’s gluten-free soft pretzels. They are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility.

After heating the mozzarella sticks in the oven for eight minutes, they were absolutely fantastic dipped in marinara sauce. They satisfied my craving for mozzarella sticks. Despite the calories and the fact that there are only three serving in the package, I will certainly be buying them again! It is definitely worth driving for 30 minutes to Wegmans to buy them and other gluten-free products.


Mar 24, 2013

My 10 Favorite Gluten-Free Foods

After six years of eating gluten-free, a long house hunt, finally becoming a homeowner again, and recently moving, this is the perfect time to share my current list of ten favorite gluten-free foods. These foods, in random order, were essential during my recent move and most are staples that I usually have on hand. While I was packing to move, I found a list from six years ago of gluten-free products I tried and rated as good or bad. It sure was slim pickings back then compared to the plethora of gluten-free options available today!

1. Moo Goo Gai Pan at P.F. Chang’s – Is there anything better than a gluten-free meal at PF Chang’s of Egg Drop Soup, Moo Goo Gai Pan, and the Chocolate Dome? I always say light on the sauce when ordering, which significantly cuts back on the sodium content.

2. NuGo Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Protein Bars – Yes, I work for the company, but this is one of several NuGo Dark and NuGo Slim flavors that I regularly buy. REAL Dark Chocolate plus protein equals a yummy satisfying snack!

3. Blue Diamond Almonds – A perfect low glycemic snack or addition to any meal.

4. Gluten-Free Rice Krispies – As much I love these, I never eat them plain. It is a must to add fruit, granola, or mix with Nature's Path Whole O’s.

5. Udi’s Whole Grain Buns – These are a staple for quick dinners with Sunshine veggie burgers or Trader Joe’s or Jennie-O turkey burgers.

6. Amy’s frozen entrees – Sometimes you just need something quick to nuke, so Amy’s mac and cheese or veggie lasagna are our favorites.

7. Uncle Ben’s Instant Brown Rice – Combine with frozen veggies for a quick Meatless Monday meal.

8.  Smart Flour Foods Pizza Crust - This is our favorite crust for adding our own toppings. It is sold at Whole Foods in a pack of two for a reasonable price.

9. Conte’s Cheese Ravioli – These ravioli are so yummy, it is hard to believe they are frozen in a bag, ready so quick, and lower in sodium than similar products. 

10. Chobani Greek Yogurt – Pineapple, Blueberry, Black Cherry – I can’t pick a favorite, so I get them all!

This list was updated in February 2015.

Oct 3, 2012

Celiac and Emeril: New Cookbook from Gluten-Free Daughters

Celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse has two adult daughters who are gluten-free! Jilly has celiac disease and was diagnosed in 2004, while her sister Jessie was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity in 2001. The Lagasse girls have a brand new cookbook, The Gluten-Free Table: The Lagasse Girls Share Their Favorite Meals. Emeril wrote the forward to their book and makes gluten-free gumbo for his daughters.
Remember how exciting it was too see gluten-free episodes of Emeril Green in 2008? Now, we know why Emeril had a special interest in doing these shows. Is a gluten-free cooking show from the Lagasse girls coming soon?


Jul 27, 2012

Gluten-Free Olympic Athletes Go for Gold in London 2012

Wondering what US Olympic athletes are gluten-free and may win a gold medal in London 2012? Pole vaulter Jenn Suhr was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2011 and is the world’s top ranked female pole vaulter. Swimmer Dana Vollmer is gluten intolerant and also can’t eat eggs. She will compete in the 100m butterfly and 4x200m freestyle relay. Dana is the new spokesperson for Crunchmaster Crackers. To read about gluten-free Olympic athletes from other countries, visit About.comView the Olympic schedule for these gluten-free athletes.

Update July 30, 2012 - Dana Vollmer won a Gold medal and set a world record in the 100m butterfly!

Update August 4, 2012 - Dana Vollmer won a total of three gold medals and set two world records! She competed in the 4x200 free relay and 4x100 medley relay.

Update August 6, 2012 - Jenn Suhr won a Gold medal in the pole vault!

May 19, 2012

How to Get SAFE Gluten-Free Food at a Restaurant

How do you determine if the gluten-free food at a restaurant is truly SAFE for someone with celiac disease to eat? There has been tons of news coverage about Domino’s launching a “gluten-free” pizza that is not SAFE for those with celiac disease.
Since May is Celiac Awareness Month, it is the perfect time to implement an easy technique that people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can follow at restaurants. We need to ensure restaurant employees understand the importance of SAFE gluten-free food, and don’t confuse our order with a weight loss fad!
Use my SAFE technique before taking a bite! 
Shared cooking equipment, serving spoons, or fryers? Don’t eat it! 

Alert the chef that you will get extremely sick if your meal is not 100% gluten-free.

Follow recommendations and reviews from gluten-free websites, blogs, and support groups.

Examine their knowledge of gluten-free ingredients and cross-contamination.
Help keep the gluten-free community SAFE by sharing this blog post!

Apr 13, 2012

New Resource for Gluten-Free College Students

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) has a new digital publication for gluten-free college students called GREAT U. The terrific resource is a must read for gluten-free high school students applying to college. Those already in college will find the guide handy not only for themselves, but for helping roommates and friends understand the gluten-free diet. Parents will enjoy reading GREAT U, especially the tips on how to make the ultimate gluten-free package.  
GREAT U was created to build gluten-free students’ confidence and empower them to take action on their own behalf while on campus. All students deserve a GREAT college experience, and this publication helps them do just that.”
Here are my favorite articles in GREAT U:  
  • Gluten-Free No-Nos in the Dining Hall 
  • Gluten-Free One Liners
  • Hurdling the Obstacles
  • Dating Dos and Don’ts 
  • Great Stories from Our GREAT Schools (Emory University, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and University of Colorado Boulder)
  • How to Start Your Own Gluten-Free Advocacy Group on Campus
Thanks to Kelly Clayton, NFCA’s college intern, and Udi’s Gluten-Free for making this resource possible! Click here to download GREAT U. When you are done reading it, be sure to click the reader feedback button at the bottom to let NFCA know how great you think it is.

Jan 20, 2012

Review: Feel Good Foods Gluten-Free Egg Rolls

I was so excited when I found the new Feel Good Foods gluten-free egg rolls at Whole Foods. Trying them is a great way to celebrate five years of living gluten-free and three years of blogging. As many of my blog readers and Twitter followers know, gluten-free egg rolls are the one food that I have been craving for years.  

When I picked up the egg roll box, I was immediately impressed with the nutritional information: low fat and approximately 100 calories! One box of egg rolls is $4.99 and contains three egg rolls. They are available in three varieties: chicken, shrimp, and vegetable. They are dairy-free and contain eggs and soy. I purchased chicken and shrimp.

As soon as I got home, I popped one in the microwave and one in the oven. No matter how eager you are to try them, I don’t recommend microwaving them. Seriously, I waited five years for a gluten-free egg roll, so you would think I could wait an extra 15 minutes for them to cook in the oven before trying them, but I couldn’t. The box offers three cooking options: microwave, quick oven, and conventional method.

The egg rolls are long and thin and look more like a spring roll than an egg roll. If you are expecting a spring roll, then you will enjoy them. However, if like me, you are expecting a traditional egg roll, then you will be disappointed. They have a nice plump filling, but are missing the egg pieces, taste, and texture normally found in egg rolls. The chicken ones have too much black pepper, so I like the shrimp egg rolls best. I greatly appreciate that new gluten-free products like this exist, but unfortunately, they did not satisfy my egg roll craving.

Dec 19, 2011

Help Send Children to a Gluten-Free Summer Camp

Here is a special holiday fundraiser to benefit the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) gluten-free summer camp in Southern California. Simply donate $2, and your donation will be matched this week only! All donations go directly to the CDF for camp scholarships. The camp is for any child age 7 to 15, who follows a gluten-free diet. It will be held in San Bernardino, California from July 30 to August 3, 2012.
This week only, giving just $2 of your hard-earned money will go toward providing scholarships for children to attend a gluten-free summer camp hosted by the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) next summer in Southern California.

But this week, donating $2 doesn’t mean you’re just donating $2…

This week through Sunday, December 25,
Gluten-Free Saver has partnered with Van’s Natural Foods to raise money to send children to next summer’s CDF-sponsored summer camp, and Van’s is matching all donations up to $1,000!

The goal is to raise $2,000 – and when you donate $2, you’re really contributing $4.”
You can read more about the fundraiser and make a $2 donation now on the Gluten-Free Saver website. Visit the Celiac Disease Foundation website to register for the camp or to make a future donation. Gluten-Free Saver is a great new gluten-free deal site, offering "limited-time promotions on your favorite gluten-free products at 37-80% off retail price." Happy Holidays!

Dec 18, 2011

Gluten-Free Cupcakes Finally Win Cupcake Wars!

Kyra Bussanich of Crave Bake Shop returned to Cupcake Wars and this time, her gluten-free cupcakes won! In December 2010, Kyra first appeared on Cupcake Wars and her gluten-free cupcakes almost won.

On tonight's episode, The Closer 100th Episode, Kyra said that this is a "win for the entire gluten-free community." I couldn't agree more! After watching three seasons of Cupcake Wars, it is fantastic to finally see a gluten-free winner on the Food Network. Cast members of The Closer loved the cupcakes and said "we are all going to gluten-free."

Season four of Cupcake Wars airs Sundays at 8 pm ET/PT. This episode reairs on Tuesday, December 20 at 8 pm ET/PT.  If you missed the episode, watch this clip of the ending to see the first gluten-free champion.