Mar 31, 2009

My Daughter's Review - Amy's Kids Meals Baked Ziti

The Amy's Kids Meals Baked Ziti was very good. It was even better than most of the school lunches I buy. I ate the entire thing, but I was still a bit hungry. I am in first grade and can eat gluten, but most of the food I eat at home is gluten free. This meal is gluten and dairy free. Mommy said it has 360 calories, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, and 460mg of sodium. Mommy tried a bite of the bread, pasta, and apple crisp and thought it was good.

The bread tasted good, except for the sun dried tomatoes on top of the bread. They were too strong for me. You can cut the top off the bread and just eat it plain. It tasted good plain too. The pasta was very good. The sauce was not too strong. They could have used more dairy free cheese on the pasta. The picture on the box is exaggerating the cheese.

The broccoli was great. The broccoli and pasta was cooked just right - it was almost perfect! The broccoli had a little bit of crunch to it. There was tomato sauce on top of the broccoli that made it taste great. The apple crisp tasted terrific. In fact, it was so good that I wanted more! My favorite food in it was the apple crisp. I can't wait to eat it again!

Mar 27, 2009

Terrific Things - Celiac You Tube Video with Fourth Grader and Shauna James Ahern

I just discovered this great video that was posted on You Tube on March 20, 2009. The video is called "Dominick Cura's Fourth Grade Presentation on Celiac with Shauna James-Ahern". Dominick's presentation is well written, thorough, and accurate. At the end, Shauna, who is well known for her book and popular blog, gluten free girl, answers questions and shares more information. It is so funny and great when Dominick suggests his class should take a field trip to get their blood tested for celiac disease.

Mar 25, 2009

Review: Simply Apple Juice

Simply Apple juice is actually more like apple cider than apple juice. It has a wonderful taste and is better than other brands of apple juice. It is available in two sizes – 59 oz and 13.5 oz. The only negative is that the apple juice does not contain vitamin C.

Here is the quote from the Simply Orange website, which is also used in the commercial.

“It isn't like the apple juice you've always known. It doesn't look like the
apple juice you've always known. Or taste like it. It tastes like biting into a
crisp, juicy, perfectly ripe apple.

Made from 100% pure pressed
apple juice, Simply Apple is never sweetened and never concentrated.”

Here is a quote from my daughter, who is in first grade.

“The Simply Apple juice is delicious and has a stronger taste than my juice
boxes. I like it better than the apple juice in my juice boxes.”

I also like the Simply Orange with Pineapple and the pulp free Simply Orange with calcium. I enjoy the Simply Lemonade, which is made with not-from-concentrate juices and natural ingredients. I am eager to try the new Simply Lemonade with Raspberry. There are six varieties of the orange juice, including one with mango, and also Simply Limeade and Simply Grapefruit. Here is a quote from my daughter about the Simply Lemonade:

“It is refreshing and has a strong lemon taste. I wish Mommy would buy it
more often.”

The company’s slogan is “Honestly Simple”. My honest opinion is that their products are simply the best tasting juices!

Mar 20, 2009

New Applegate Farms Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets

I just saw this exciting press release from Applegate Farms. They are introducing natural gluten free chicken nuggets in May. Here is a quote from the press release.

"The new chicken nuggets are frozen, fully cooked and may be heated in the
microwave or oven. The product will be available in 8-oz packages for $5.99.
Applegate Farms already has nearly 100 gluten-free products."

I will definitely buy this product as soon as I see at Whole Foods. By the way, Applegate Farms frozen chicken and apple breakfast sausage is great and they have many gluten free lunchmeats. I commend Applegate Farms on doing the press release early before the product hits store shelves and already having it on the website.

Mar 18, 2009

Amazing Awareness - General Mills Gluten Free Betty Crocker Mixes

General Mills is a great example of a large manufacturer offering inexpensive gluten free products. First, they made Rice Chex gluten free. Gluten free boxes of Corn Chex were spotted in some test market stores this weekend. Here is the blog post from Jay that started all the buzz. There will be five new gluten free Chex cereals available nationwide June 1.

Now, thanks to a tweet on twitter this morning, I discovered Betty Crocker will have three gluten free mixes - cookies, brownies, and a cake mix. The mixes were sent to a gluten free blogger who has "a friend in the business", but will not be in stores until June. She reviewed the cookies and said they were good. She said the brownies were awesome. Thank you General Mills! What will be your next gluten free surprise? Who will be the next large manufacturer to follow your amazing lead?

Mar 17, 2009

Gluten Free News

New PillCam video capsule endoscopy in the Middle East

Alba Therapeutics Corporation Announces the Next Clinical Trial of Its Lead Compound, Larazotide Acetate

More varieties of Chex will be gluten free. Read the latest at the Gluten Free Homemaker.

Senate & House Introduce Legislation to “ban insurance companies from denying coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions and chronic diseases”. Read the story at Celiac Princess.

Gluten free article and three recipes in "Martha Stewart Living" magazine - April 2009 issue

Mar 13, 2009

Terrific Things – Whole Foods and New IANS Breakfast Sandwich

I do the majority of my gluten free shopping at Whole Foods. I love living less than 5 minutes from the store. I sometimes drive the 20 minutes to Roots or MOM'S to get products that they don’t carry at Whole Foods, like Caesar’s gluten free frozen entrees.

I had a wonderful shopping experience at Whole Foods today. In addition to some great sales, I was shocked to discover that they now carry more frozen gluten free products. They added many gluten free bagels – 3 varieties from Kinnikinnick and two from Enjoy Life. I bought the Kinnikinnick plain bagels, which I am eager to try.

I saw a new Ian's gluten free product – breakfast waffle sandwiches. This product is so new that it is not on the Ian's website yet. Their phone customer service rep said she didn’t think it had been released to stores yet, so she was surprised I found it. There are two varieties of this waffle egg sandwich – one with sausage and one without sausage. There are two sandwiches in a box and the price was about $5.00. The total fat was around 18 grams. Here is a press release from Ian's about their new pastas, which hopefully Whole Foods will carry.

Whole Foods now sells several varieties of the Kettle Cuisine frozen soup. They have a good selection of gluten free frozen meals from the following brands: Gluten Free Café, Glutino, Amy’s, and Organic Bistro.

When I was first diagnosed 2 years ago, they carried most of the Foods by George products. Now, they only carry the plain English muffins and the pizza. I think they discontinued them to make more room for the Whole Foods gluten free bakehouse items. My daughter and I love their cheddar biscuits and pumpkin pie. I sometimes buy the sandwich bread. Their muffins and desserts look good, but I don’t buy them because of the fat content.

I find the prices at Whole Foods to be comparable to other stores. In some cases, the prices are cheaper. Please see my earlier post about everyday low prices for more details. I have noticed that Vans waffles and Kettle Cuisine soup are cheaper at Giant. I was amazed yesterday to find two Kettle Cuisine frozen soups at Giant and gluten free veggie burgers.

A Whole Foods in Virginia was the site for the three gluten free episodes on planet green. Here is some information about the safety of the Whole Foods gluten free bakehouse products.

“Every lot number of incoming ingredients and a sample from each pallet
of finished product is tested for the absence of gluten using ELISA (Enzyme
ImmunoAssay) and Lateral Flow (immunochromatographic) testing methods to less
than 5 parts per million gluten. This is a much greater degree of protection
than that offered by most other gluten-free producers.”

I just found this exciting news from the Whole Foods gluten free bakehouse:

“Coming Soon: Fruit & Nut Granola Made with certified gluten free oats.
Look for this item in the cereal aisle”

Mar 10, 2009

Gluten Free Snacks: Cinnamon

If you are looking for some cinnamon snacks, here are some good gluten free options.

Kinnikinnick cinnamon sugar donuts - These now come in a box, instead of a bag. The texture and taste has improved greatly. Just take one out of the freezer and put it in the microwave for 25 seconds to enjoy a warm donut with a yummy cinnamon taste and aroma!

Cherrybrook Kitchen Gluten Free Dreams Vanilla Graham Mini Cookies - Yes, the name is vanilla, but these taste like cinnamon teddy grahams. This is a great new product, but not the best name for it.

Jo-sef cinnamon graham crackers - These are basically cookies, not crackers. They have a good taste, but are very different from gluten graham crackers with regards to size, shape, thickness, and fat content.

Cinnamon applesauce

Cinnamon raisin bread - Whole Foods bakehouse makes a good gluten free one, although I haven’t seen it at the store lately.

Cinnamon sugar toast – Add butter and sprinkle some gluten free cinnamon sugar (I use McCormick) on your favorite gluten free bread, English muffin, or bagel.

Josef cinnamon cookies – I haven’t tried these, but they sound good.

Gluten Freeda Snicker Poodles – I haven’t tried these, but have read excellent reviews. You can read a review at the Gluten Free Post. It is only takes 20 minutes to bake this frozen cookie dough. Here is a funny quote from the directions:

Remove from oven and let cool slightly, then remove them to a rack or
directly into your mouth, pausing occasionally to breathe

Cinnamon rolls recipe from Linda at the Gluten Free Homemaker

Snickerdoodles recipe from Gluten Free is Life

Mar 6, 2009

DC Gluten Free Examiner

I am happy to announce that I am the new DC Gluten Free Examiner. I will be doing approximately 3 articles each week. I just published my first article, “Celiac disease: Have you been tested?”. My two weekly features will be:

Online resources: best gluten free sites from across the country
DC spotlight: gluten free resources in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia

Here are the links to the other two gluten free examiners.
Orlando Gluten Free Examiner
LA Gluten Free Examiner

Don’t miss any of my articles – signup for email subscriptions on both this blog and my Examiner page. Please email me at your ideas for Examiner articles as well as photos you give permission for me to publish with Examiner articles.

If you are interested in being an Examiner, checkout the opportunities here. You can also apply as I did for a position that is not listed. Examiners should write 3-4 articles each week to stay active and include photos with all articles. Please include my name from my Examiner page and this code -5121 on your application.

Mar 3, 2009

Recall - EnviroKidz Crispy Rice Peanut Choco Drizzle Bars

Here is the information on the recalled product in the USA.

Carton UPC - 058449430230
Bar UPC - 058449430223
Nature’s Path EnviroKidz Organic Crispy Rice Peanut Choco Drizzle, 6 pack, USA
Best Before Dates: 5 APR-09 through 22 JUL 09

Here is a quote from Nature's Path website.
"Please Note: Our EnviroKidz Peanut Butter Panda Puffs cereal, EnviroKidz Leapin’ Lemurs’ cereal and EnviroKidz Peanut Butter Panda Crispy Rice Bars are in no way affected by this recall and are safe to consume. The peanuts in these three products are sourced exclusively from an organic peanut processor in British Columbia, Canada. We have tested and continue to test the peanut products from this now exclusive supplier, none of which have come back positive for salmonella."

Please see the press release for the details on the recall involving the Envirokidz bars in Canada and the Nature's Path gluten products in both the USA and Canada.

Mar 2, 2009

Amazing Awareness - Dr. Wangen's New Book

Dr. Stephen Wangen’s new book is called “Healthier Without Wheat: A New Understanding of Wheat Allergies, Celiac Disease, and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance”. Here are some quotes from the press release,New Book Sheds Light on Gluten Intolerance Affecting Millions”.

"There are over 200 different maladies known to be associated with gluten intolerance, yet millions suffer due to the lack of proper diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Stephen Wangen's new book, "Healthier Without Wheat" finally cuts through the confusion to help people and their physicians identify and treat their wheat and gluten related health problems. This book explains, in down to earth language: wheat allergies, celiac disease, non-celiac gluten intolerance, the range of symptoms they cause, and how to test for and treat them."

"For physicians and patients alike, Dr. Wangen points out the pitfalls of testing and the common interpretation errors. His explanations go into all the detail needed by physicians, but with a simplicity easily understood by everyone else. He even addresses the doctor's biggest challenge: when treatment doesn't work."

Here is a quote from the Library Journal, which recommends books for libraries to purchase.

"Of the many books on celiac disease and gluten intolerance on the market today, this is one of the best for both patients and those in the medical field."

I recently looked at a public library branch in Montgomery County, Maryland and didn't see many books on Celiac Disease. I just discovered that they accept suggestions for books to purchase, so I will be submitting this book on their online form. I plan to submit other gluten free books as well. Please join me in making similar requests at your public library. They will not consider purchasing books that were published more than two years ago.

Dr. Wangen, who has Celiac Disease and a dairy allergy, founded the IBS Treatment Center and Center for Food Allergies in Seattle, Washington. He is also the author of “The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution”. He was originally diagnosed with IBS, and then while in medical school, discovered he had Celiac Disease. You can view a list of his upcoming public appearances on the IBS Treatment Center website and learn more on his blog. If you would like to request that he speak at your group, send an email to You can order the book here or from Amazon.

Update - March 3, 2009 - Here is a list of the gluten free books available at my public library. Now that their online search is working today, I see that they have more books than I originally thought, but only a few copies of some of them. This is one of the Celiac books they had at my branch: "Celiac Disease: A Guide to Living with Gluten Intolerance" by Sylvia Llewelyn Bower. They also have some of Bette Hagmen's cookbooks, including "The Gluten-Free Gourmet: Living Well without Wheat, Revised Edition".