May 28, 2010

Video: Vendor Fair at the Celiac Disease Foundation Conference

Mondays Celiac just posted a terrific video of the many vendors at the 2010 Celiac Disease Foundation Conference. When you watch the video, you will certainly discover some new gluten-free products you haven't seen before. To view a video of the new gluten-free Bisquick, visit my Gluten-Free Social Media Tips blog.

The new gluten-free Asian Chicken Helper chicken fried rice is starting to pop up in stores, while the other two varieties of Hamburger Helper and gluten-free Bisquick will be available later this summer. Visit my DC Gluten-Free Examiner page for a review of Udi's Gluten Free cinnamon rolls.

May 23, 2010

New Gluten-Free Products from Hain Celestial and a Coupon

Hain Celestial makes over 200 gluten-free products, which are listed on their website called Gluten-Free Choices. They make my favorite gluten-free pasta - Deboles corn pasta.

I just received this email from Mambo Sprouts announcing their new products and offering a $1 printable coupon good on any gluten-free Hain Celestial product. All Hain Celestial products that are labeled gluten-free are tested to ensure they contain 10 ppm of gluten or less. Here is a list of the new products.
  • Almond Dream Non-Dairy Beverage

  • Arrowhead Mills Bake with Me Gluten-Free Cupcake Mixes for kids - chocolate and vanilla

  • Chocolate Dream Baking Chips - Dairy-Free

  • Deboles Gluten-Free Multi-Grain Spaghetti and Penne

  • Gluten-Free Cafe Canned Soup - Chicken Noodle, Veggie Noodle, Black Bean, and Cream of Mushroom

  • Gluten-Free Cafe Homestyle Chicken and Vegetables and Savory Chicken Pilaf

For an updated list of more new gluten-free products, checkout the gluten-free news page now found at the top of my blog. For more gluten-free coupons, register for Mambo Sprouts, which is partnering with NFCA to support Celiac Awareness Month.

May 20, 2010

How to Talk to Strangers to Increase Celiac Disease Awareness

One of the best ways to increase celiac disease awareness is simply by talking to other people. However, for some people, having a conversation with a stranger is not simple. First, we need to let go of what we were taught as children – do not talk to strangers. Furthermore, we need to explain to our children who will see us talking to strangers why it is okay for an adult to do so. I forgot to do this and my daughter said, “Mommy, you shouldn’t talk to strangers!” She also said, “Mommy, mind your own business. You are being rude!” (Okay, maybe I shouldn’t have gotten up to talk to someone at Bonefish when I heard him ordering off the gluten-free menu.)

Next, free yourself from worrying about how others will perceive you. Yes, people might think you are silly to be so excited about a new gluten-free product being carried in a store or they might not be interested in what you have to say, but who cares. Finally, keep the following tips in mind as you engage in conversations with strangers. Whether you are making small talk at a party or in the grocery store, remember you can possibly change a person’s life.

1. Keep it positive. The goal is to motivate someone to learn more about celiac disease, be tested, and for them to share it with others. This is not the time to complain about gluten-free life. Here are some options for what to say.
-“The gluten-free brownie mix from Betty Crocker is great, and people with celiac disease are very happy that soon gluten-free Bisquick will be in stores.”
-“I am excited to try the new gluten-free menu at the Melting Pot.”
-“My health is so much better after finally being diagnosed with celiac disease.
-When the cashier asks, “Did you find everything you were looking for today?”, you could say the following. “Yes, since I have to eat gluten-free, I am always happy when this bread is in stock.
2. Hang out in the over-the-counter medicine aisle. Don’t ask people why they are buying medicine, but you could say something like “Since I found out I have celiac disease and have been eating totally gluten-free, my migraines are gone.
3. Talk to strangers when standing in a line or in a waiting room. Not only will the person who you are talking to learn about celiac disease, but other people will overhear. This is easiest at the grocery store where you can start by talking about an item in your cart.
4. Provide a source for getting more information. If they seem interested, give them your email or refer them to a blog or website, like
5. Be appreciative. Thank customer service departments for carrying a certain product or speak to the manager about a great waiter. They interact with many people in a day, but may not understand about celiac disease.
6. Talk to others in the gluten-free section. Don’t assume because someone is debating about buying a gluten-free product that he or she eats gluten-free or is informed about celiac. I always ask, “Do you or a family member eat gluten-free?” If the response is yes, then I proceed to find out if the person is newly diagnosed and needs any assistance. Often, they aren’t gluten-free and are just trying a product.
7. Use a friendly and humorous tone when appropriate. This may be a challenge for some people, and the tone is the key to not sounding rude and making your statement memorable. When the waiter brings me a fortune cookie at P.F. Chang’s, I say, “Fortune cookies aren’t gluten-free (chuckle), and I do tip higher when I’m not given one.”

May 12, 2010

A New Gluten-Free Support Group for Teens

Teen Advocates with Gluten Sensitivities (TAGS) is a new support group, which is part of the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG). The president of the group is 16-year-old Mari Cleven, who was diagnosed with celiac disease last year. She lives in Kitsap County in Washington and is looking to connect with other gluten-free teens, both locally and nationally. Here is more information about TAGS.

"Our Mission:
Gluten Sensitive Teens advocating for support and awareness for themselves and others.

Our Goals:
1. Provide teen support through the internet
2. Provide a model for local support groups, event planning and Gluten Free Awareness activities
3. Tags helps to fulfill GIG's mission on a local and national level through programs tailored towards teens.

Our Local Goals:
1. Provide a social outlet for teens dealing with gluten sensitivities
2. Provide safe gluten free activities for gluten sensitive teens.
3. Provide positive support for teens to advocate for themselves.
4. Share stories

Support TAGS by buying a cool glow in the dark teen awareness bracelet for $2 from GIG. If you are interested in joining TAGS, complete this contact form. Share this article with others and help what may become the "teen version of ROCK" grow!

May 11, 2010

View the New Gluten-Free Menu at the Melting Pot

The new gluten-free menu at The Melting Pot is now available nationwide. Use the link above and select a location to view the menu. After working with the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), the regular menu includes GF labels and notes. The Melting Pot has 145 locations in North America and 13 new locations coming soon. According to the press release, here are some changes that were made to create the gluten-free items.

"Cheese course – Considering The Melting Pot cheese is normally floured, guests requesting the gluten-free option must request for the cheese to be made with cornstarch. Also, instead of the guest receiving bread, cauliflower, carrots and celery, he/she will receive more veggies and broccoli.

Salad course – All salads are gluten free. The only items that need to be removed are croutons.

Entrée course – Most of the items on the entrée list are gluten free. Items that need to be substituted out include the teriyaki sirloin and spring vegetable dumplings.

Dessert course – Two of the chocolate fondues contain gluten: Cookies n' Cream Marshmallow Dream and the Chocolate S'mores because of the Oreo cookies and graham crackers. A specialized dessert plate is also prepared to include strawberries, bananas, plain marshmallows and pineapple. Cheesecake, pound cake, Rice Krispie treats and brownies all contain flour and are not included on the GF menu.

Beverages – All wines and mandatory specialty drinks are gluten free. Red Bridge, a gluten-free beer by Anheuser Busch, is used as a substitution base for some of the cheeses."

May 5, 2010

Another Celiac Insert in the USA Today

This Friday, May 7, the USA Today will have a special celiac insert. Do you remember the fantastic insert published by Media Planet in November 2009? Well, this will certainly be another great one, and it might have gluten-free coupons too. This is a perfect way to celebrate Celiac Awareness Month. Unfortunately, the insert is only available in certain states and Maryland isn't one of them. Here are the details from Whitney Ehret, NFCA Director of Communications.

"Media Planet publishing Inc. will release a special celiac disease report this Friday May 7, 2010 in USA TODAY.

This comprehensive supplement seeks to raise awareness of the disease and the gluten-free diet, promoting resources available to help the suffering gain a diagnosis, and patients and families with celiac restore their health and reclaim their life!

Sarah Jane Smith, LPGA star and NFCA Athletes for Awareness spokeswoman, graces the cover of this special magazine insert. Smith, along with fellow NFCA Athlete for Awareness AJ Clemens, are profiled in the ‘stories of inspiration’ section which can be seen on pages 4 and 5. In addition, NFCA founder and president Alice Bast is a featured expert on the subject of celiac disease and infertility.

The latest celiac disease report published by Media Planet for USA TODAY will reach over one million readers nationwide, distributing over 442,000 printed copies nationwide.

Find out where you can pick up a copy of this special insert here:

Can’t get the insert in print? NFCA will post the 2010 USA TODAY celiac disease report online this Friday, May 7th

May 1, 2010

Hot New Gluten-Free Cookbooks Available for Preorder on Amazon

Preorder these new gluten-free cookbooks now on Amazon to guarantee the best price. Release dates range from June to November, with several being released in September.

American Dietetic Association Easy Gluten-Free: Expert Nutrition Advice With More Than 100 Recipes by Tricia Thompson and Marlisa Brown

Free for All Cooking: 125 Easy Gluten-Free, Allergen-Free Recipes the Whole Family Can Enjoy by Jules Shepard

Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef by Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern

Cooking for Isaiah: A Mother's Recipe for Delicious Gluten- and Dairy-Free Meals by Nardone Silvana with Foreword by Rachael Ray

100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Fenster

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Cooking by Jean Duane

Living Gluten-Free For Dummies, second edition by Danna Korn

Recently, Vanessa Maltin’s new cookbook was released and can still be ordered at a discounted price.

New McNeil Recall: Many Products for Infants and Children

McNeil is recalling all unexpired lots of certain Tylenol drops and suspensions, Motrin drops and suspensions, Zyrtec liquids, and Benadryl liquids. It appears that chewable forms of these products are not affected by the recall. For a complete list of the recalled products, view the FDA press release. Below is the reason for this large recall. Contact McNeil at 1-888-222-6036 or visit the McNeil recall website.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare is initiating this voluntary recall because some of these products may not meet required quality standards. This recall is not being undertaken on the basis of adverse medical events. However, as a precautionary measure, parents and caregivers should not administer these products to their children. Some of the products included in the recall may contain a higher concentration of active ingredient than is specified; others may contain inactive ingredients that may not meet internal testing requirements; and others may contain tiny particles. While the potential for serious medical events is remote, the company advises consumers who have purchased these recalled products to discontinue use.”