Dec 28, 2008

Amazing Awareness - Celiac videos on "You Tube"

On "You Tube", you can search for celiac or gluten free and find hundreds of results, including many cooking demos, educational videos, and news reports. It is so nice to see all these videos together on one site.

I especially enjoyed this Liberty bakery commercial . You can order online from their website to try their products that are made in a dedicated gluten, casein, corn, soy, and nut free bakery in Florida.

I also was impressed with the celiac disease PSA with Heidi Collins. I found the video on the kids celiac camp interesting. This video is fuzzy on "You Tube", so the above link takes you to ABC to watch the clear video from August 2008. For more information on the camp, go to the celiac camp website.

Here are some other informative Celiac videos on "You Tube":

1. Heidi Collins on CNN first and second interviews
2. Cooking Spree Ad (with Heidi’s son in it)
3. Comcast Newsmakers Celiac Awareness Night - an interview with Alice Blast, founder of NFCA
4. The View - Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Dr. Peter Green
5. Dr. Aline Charabaty on gene testing. She has many videos explaining Celiac Disease.
6. Mystery Diagnosis Part 1 and Part 2- This aired on the first season of this popular Discovery Health channel show. There have been six seasons and this appears to be the only episode on Celiac Disease.
7. Mayo Clinic
8. Alternative Appetites - Vanessa’s Pizza from around the world - part 1. The entire episode and another one is on the NFCA's website .
9. Miami Pizza Fusion
10. Nearly Normal Kitchen - Jules Shepard makes graham crackers on Fox news - 2007. For more information, visit the Nearly Normal Kitchen website.
11. Enjoy Life on Food Network's Unwrapped

Please post in the comments below if you discover a gluten free cooking video you enjoy watching. Happy viewing!

Dec 26, 2008

A gluten free story written by my 7 year old daughter


When Mommy found out that she had Celiac Disease, I was 5 years old and worried that I would not like trying gluten free foods. I do not have Celiac Disease, but I do like to eat some gluten free foods, but not all the gluten free foods. I love trying gluten free foods with Mommy. First, we tried some foods that were bad. Then, foods that were okay. Finally, we found foods that were great.

Sometimes, it is hard to find gluten free foods. At some stores, they put gluten free foods on the same shelf with gluten foods. It is like an adventure going to stores and hunting for gluten free tags. Mommy and I get really excited when we see a new gluten free product.

Mommy still misses eating gluten foods, but not as much as she used to. I won’t be worried if I get Celiac Disease because I know many gluten free foods are yummy and there will be even more gluten free foods when I grow up. It was so cool watching Emeril Green and seeing him shop at Whole Foods like we do and cook gluten free foods.

My two favorite gluten free foods are turkey meat sauce with gluten free pasta and chicken parmesan. I absolutely love them! I drew a picture of myself eating chicken parmesan. Here are some other gluten free foods that I like: hot dogs, peanut butter on George English Muffins, Gorilla Munch cereal, blueberry muffins and waffles, Utz potato chips, Glutino pretzels, turkey and cheese wraps, Yoplait yogurt (key lime and peach are my favorite flavors), and scrambled eggs. Sometimes I get jealous of gluten free foods that Mommy is eating. I like eating gluten free foods. I am glad that eating completely gluten free made Mommy feel better!

Dec 22, 2008

Amazing Awareness - Gluten Free Search Engine

I just read on another blog, The Savy Celiac, about gluten free fox, the first gluten free search engine. It was just launched and announced in a press release today.

I did some searches using this new search engine. Instead of having to keep typing gluten free before whatever product you are searching for, you can simply type "snack bar" and results appear for tons of gluten free snack bars. While searches I did for "prescription medicines" and "hot dogs" still included some not gluten free results, I still quickly found lots of gluten free information. When I searched for "cookies", I was impressed to see that the results on the first five pages were almost exclusively gluten free. There were over 50 pages of search results for "cookies"and as page numbers increased, there were a lot more gluten results mixed with gluten free.

A search for "gluten free restaurants" produced over 50 pages of results that appeared to be exclusively gluten free, which is similar to the results I got on google. What amazed me the most was when I typed in "Advil", the first page of search results provided information telling me that it is gluten free. I will definitely be using this search engine for all my gluten free searches!

Dec 20, 2008

Amazing Awareness - Jones Dairy Farm

Jones Dairy Farm has over 50 gluten free products, which include many varieties of sausage, ham, and bacon. On December 4, 2008, the Celiac Sprue Association's press release announced that Jones Dairy Farm is now a corporate benefactor. Here is a statement from the Celiac Sprue Association's website - "In addition to financial support, Corporate Benefactor Members lend expertise and partner with CSA in special projects that further education, patient support/outreach and research for the celiac community."

I was impressed to see that on the Jones Dairy Farm homepage there is the logo from the Celiac Disease Foundation and a paragraph titled "Jones understands Celiac Disease" followed by a link to their gluten free list and gluten free recipes. Wow! How refreshing it is to not have to search a website trying to determine if a company has a gluten free statement or list. This information is often hidden in the frequently asked questions section or not mentioned at all. The numerous recipes are divided into the following categories: breakfast, lunch, dinner, appetizers, and glazes. I really appreciate that they took the time to make this separate gluten free recipe list. Jones products are sold in supermarkets across the country.

Dec 19, 2008

Review - Applegate Farms Hot Dogs

I just tried the Applegate Farms Great Organic Hot Dog. Although I have seen this beef hot dog many times before while shopping at Whole Foods, I never bought it because the package does not say gluten free like the other Applegate Farms products I buy (chicken and apple sausage and lunchmeat). I decided to go to their website and found out it is indeed gluten free as well as dairy and casein free. I have been buying the Wellshire Farms beef hot dogs for many years and enjoyed them even before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. After learning that some of their gluten free products actually contain gluten (see my posting on the Chicago Tribune investigation), I am not buying any Wellshire Farms products right now. My daughter was very sad when I told her this because the Wellshire Farms hot dogs are one of her favorite foods.

The Applegate Farms Great Organic Hot Dog is very similar to the Wellshire Farms one in size and price. It is a fat hot dog, about twice the size of a regular hot dog. It is expensive - $6.49 for 8 hot dogs, but it is a healthy hot dog with only 8 grams of fat, made from 100% organic grass fed beef, and no nitrates.

So how did it taste? Their website says it is “juicy, flavorful, and delicious”. As I was cooking them in boiled water, I smelled an aroma of onion, garlic, and paprika. Not only did it taste juicy, but I could also see the juice coming out when I poked it with a fork. It was definitely flavorful and the dominant taste was paprika and onion. Unfortunately, it was not delicious. Here is a quote from my 7 year old daughter, “It was spicy, juicy, and flavorful, but not the kind of flavor that I want in my hot dog. It was okay, but not great. I don’t really want to eat it again.” I agree!

Warning: Below is Applegate Farms statement on allergies from their website. It is made on shared equipment.
“Our production facilities also produce products that do contain allergens such as milk, wheat and soy. Our facilities follow strict food safety protocols that are also overseen by the USDA, which, are designed to prevent cross-contamination. This includes timing production so Applegate products are the first run of the day, physical separation of products at all times, and thoroughly sanitizing all machinery in contact with products between each run”


Dec 17, 2008

Everyday Low Prices - Rice Chex is $1.67 at Target!

Here are some everyday low prices that I think are great!

Target has Rice Chex cereal 12.8 oz (the only size they seem to make) for $1.67, which is extremely cheap! If you also use the $1.00 off 2 boxes coupon that has been appearing regularly in the Sunday paper, that makes the final price for one box an amazing $1.17!

Whole Foods has some surprisingly cheap finds. The 365 brand spring water 1.5 L is 79 cents. Compare that to Deer Park, which is approximately $1.39. The 365 brand half gallon milk is $1.99, which is 30-60 cents cheaper than all my other neighborhood stores. Envirokidz cereals are $2.89, which is now exactly the same price as Trader Joe's, but much cheaper than the regular prices elsewhere.

Giant has Mission White Corn Tortillas 36 count package for $2.29. Compare that to the other specialty brands where 10 wraps cost even more than this. Yes, they may be a little smaller, but they are ample to wrap a hot dog or lunchmeat.

I normally try to buy all my paper products on sale. However, if I run out of paper towels that I stocked up on while on sale, I buy the 8 pack Target brand paper towels for $6.99. They are very similar to the Brawny paper towels, so much so that Target has stopped carrying Brawny.

Vitacost has awesome prices on vitamins. The prices are generally at least 40% cheaper than list and they have many gluten free products. Check out this price - American Health Ester C 225 count vegetarian tablets for $11.77, 45%discount. Coromega Omega-3 Fish Oil squeeze packs 90 count is $20.75, list price is $39.99! If you don't have a free shipping code, $4.99 shipping on any size order is good. I did the $4.99 shipping and received my order via UPS ground within a few days.

Please post below any good store or online everyday low prices that you find. The stores I shop at are all in Montgomery County, Maryland, so prices may be different in your area. Happy savings!

Update - Feb. 25, 2009 - The price of Rice Chex at Target is now $2.99. The Whole Foods waters are now 89 cents.

Dec 16, 2008

Terrific Things - 100% Gluten free grocery stores and restaurants

I hope more places like these will open throughout the country. I dream of shopping or eating in a place where everything is gluten free like the ones mentioned below. It looks like these dreams are becoming reality for more people with Celiac Disease. If there is a 100% gluten free grocery or restaurant in your area, please post it in the comments below.

Gluten Free Trading Company, the first gluten free grocery store, opened in 2000 in Milwaukee. They now carry over 120 brands, including brands from many different countries. You can also order from their website.

The Gluten Free Grocery opened in April 2008 in Chicago and has more than 700 gluten free products. WOW! Although they don’t offer online shopping, they do ship orders placed by phone. All the brands they carry are listed online, but not the actual products.

Rose's Bakery in Chicago is open for lunch, Sunday brunch, and carryout pizza and single entrees from 3-7 Monday-Saturday. They can also accommodate multiple allergies.

The Balanced Kitchen in Chicago is a vegan and gluten free restaurant. It is also a green restaurant.

With at least three 100% gluten free establishments in Chicago, I think it is time for Oprah to do a show on Celiac Disease!

The Gluten Free Source in Dillsburg, PA (York County) carries over 700 gluten free products and has online shopping.

Laura’s Bistro and LAB are two totally gluten free restaurants in Texas. They are both mentioned on the glad to be gluten free blog.

G. F Cucina's recently opened in Detroit Michigan and their menu has a variety of entrees, including lasagna and meatloaf.


Happily, there are many 100% gluten free bakeries throughout the country and too many to list here. Thanks to these bakeries for all the wonderful baked goods we can buy!
Note: I have never been to any of these places, so this is just information sharing from Internet research, not reviews or recommendations.

Update - Jan. 29, 2009 - Simply Gluten Free is having a grand opening on Saturday, January 31, 2009 in Thousand Oaks, CA. You can also order online.

Dec 15, 2008

My own "You know you have Celiac Disease if..." list

Here is a list I just wrote “You know you have Celiac Disease if….” It is my original work based on my personal experience, but the idea for the list came from postings on other sites. Thanks to the others who have written these lists and links to them can be found in my true and funny section on this blog (some contain duplicate items). I would love to thank the originator of these lists, but I am not sure who that is. I would love to hear your comments and additions! I hope you enjoy it!

You know you have Celiac Disease if:
1. You wish you had amnesia so you could forget what regular gluten food tastes like.
2. You bring your own cereal to eat for dinner at a wedding.
3. You worst nightmare is a long power outage and starving because all your food has spoiled.
4. You wish you could buy more generic items and that stores would stop replacing the brands you can eat with their own.
5. When house hunting, your most important criteria is close proximity to the stores that sell your staple foods.
6. You wish you could live by P.F. Chang’s, so you can actually have Chinese takeout.
7. At your job, the most important benefit is where you can go for lunch.
8. The highlight of your week is finding gluten free foods on sale at Whole Foods.
9. The highlight of your month is discovering a great new gluten free food.
10. You are ecstatic to see that your neighborhood grocery store now carries one of your favorite gluten free snack bars. Then you go to your specialty organic store and are devastated to see the store discontinued your other favorite snack bar.
11. Your greatest risk of cross contamination is accidentally buying the gluten product that is next to the gluten free one on the store shelf.
12. You panic when you see the cashier or the person in front of you at the checkout eating cookies.
13. You think your waiter finally understands your gluten free order and then he brings you a loaf of bread.
14. You ask at a fast food place for them to change their gloves, use new tongs, and clean the grill before cooking your order and they give you a blank stare like you are speaking a foreign language.
15. You dream of eating egg rolls and pizza and having no reaction.
16. When others offer to cook for you, you say, “No thanks, it has been __days since I have been glutened.
17. You actually contact your local board of elections and ask “Does the provisional ballot envelope have to be licked sealed or is it self-stick? Can someone else lick it for me?” You will never again to forget to update your address with them when you move.*
18. You are content sitting in a mall eatery when you have a stuffy nose.
19. Your young non-Celiac child wants to open a gluten free restaurant when she grows up and explains to strangers what gluten is and recites a list of foods mommy can’t eat.
20. You believe the most important invention was Foods by George English Muffins!

*Envelope glue does not contain gluten. This is a myth based on old information.

Dec 13, 2008

Chicago Tribune investigation finds high amounts of gluten in "gluten free" Wellshire Farms chicken bites & corn dogs - Do not eat them!

I had the corn dogs in my freezer and ate them recently. Fortunately, I didn't get glutened. I saw the corn dogs still in the freezer at Whole Foods - DO NOT BUY - production was halted in June, but they did not issue a recall! I found this astonishing! Thanks to the Chicago Tribune for helping to keep consumers with Celiac Disease and allergies safe and informed! I am so glad I stumbled across this article. At the end of the article, they listed the actual gluten ppm it contained. If you still have your receipt, you can return them to Whole Foods. Otherwise, please throw them away and do not risk eating them.

Chicago Tribune article - "An alarming number of products sold as allergen-free actually contain harmful amounts, the Tribune found". They found "50: Percent of allergen recalls involving undisclosed milk or eggs." Use this link to read the full article.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/health/chi-081120-allergens-tribune-investigation,0,506031.story

A database created by the Chicago Tribune to search allergen related food recalls from the last ten years:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/health/allergen-database,0,7219804.htmlpage
Note: The database does not include gluten, only wheat. It appears that new recalls are not in the database. Remember, the Wellshire Farms chicken bites and corn dogs were not officially recalled, but clearly should have been.

To check for new and old food and drug recalls:
http://www.fda.gov/opacom/7alerts.html
You can also signup to have recalls emailed to you.

To check for recalled meat, poultry, and eggs - USDA:
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fsis_Recalls/index.asp

Dec 12, 2008

Thank you Emeril!

Emeril Green (a new show on Planet Green) has aired 3 gluten free episodes! Thank you Emeril for bringing gluten free cooking to a national audience!

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/emeril-green/episode-gluten-free.html

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/emeril-green/emeril-episode-gluten-style.html

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/emeril-green/wheat-nuts-problem.html

Gluten free label appears on more foods!

It is so wonderful to see more manufacturers printing the words "gluten free" on their products. There has been such an increase in this in just the last two years - imagine how it will improve in the future. It also saves a lot of time from having to call manufacturers to inquire if a product is gluten free. Contacting manufacturers took a great deal of time when I was first diagnosed. I was pleasantly surprised when I bought a new tub of Country Crock butter last week and saw gluten free on it! I find it reassuring to see this and how nice it is to not have to spend time in the grocery store reading all the ingredients to see if something has changed.

Update - Jan. 28, 2009- Unfortunately, there is no set standard in the US for labeling a product gluten free and some gluten free products may still contain gluten as was discovered by the Chicago Tribune (see my December posting). Please still use caution when seeing a gluten free label and question manufacturers.

My favorite gluten free foods

Foods by George English Muffins - plain
-I love them with Jif peanut butter, Philadelphia cream cheese, and as a crust for pizza. These are better than gluten English muffins!

Bell and Evans black box chicken tenders
-With some added Prego traditional tomato sauce and Kraft Italian blend mozzarella and parmesan shredded cheese, it is amazing how these taste just like the chicken parmesan I remember eating at a pizza place before being gluten free. Flip tenders after 14 minutes, add sauce and cheese and cook for another 9 minutes. Quick, easy, and delicious!

Dove chocolate
-I love the caramel filled promises and the positive message inside each wrapper is an added bonus. What a yummy replacement for gluten fortune cookies!

Hormel pepperoni

Kozy Shack pudding
- European rice is my favorite

Utz potato chips

Wellshire Farms Beef Hot Dogs
-Wrap in a mission corn tortilla wrap and add a slice of cheese. The steam from the hot dog with melt the cheese. Yum!

Nestle hot chocolate
-The label is funny - 99.9% caffeine free, 100% gluten free

Envirokidz peanut choco drizzle bars

Rice Chex
-It is so great that these are now gluten free!

Van's blueberry waffles
-You know they are really good when take a bite and run back to the freezer to make sure you bought the gluten free box!

Update - Jan. 28, 2009 - More Favorite Foods:
Cornito Noodles (see my January review)

Blue Diamond Nut Thins

Enjoy Life Cocoa Loco bars

Kunzler Chicken Hot Dogs (see my January 2009 review)

ANDI bars (see my January 2009 review)

update- October 15, 2009
McCormick taco seasoning

Old El Paso taco shells

Chobani Greek yogurt

Nature's Path Crispy Rice and Whole O's cereal

Kinnikinnick bagels and white sandwich bread

FruitaBu Fruit Flats and Rolls (see my October 2009 review)

Corn Chex

Jif peanut butter

Prego traditional sauce

Annie Chun's brown rice bowls

Julie's gluten free ice cream sandwiches (see my June 2009 review)

Shabtai Gourmet brownie bites

Silk soy milk - light vanilla