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Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Things I Can Do With Celiac Disease
When people are diagnosed with celiac disease, they often focus on things they can no longer eat or things they think they can no longer do anymore. In honor of Celiac Awareness Month, I thought I would focus on things I CAN do with Celiac disease. This list is in no particular order, just as these things popped into my head.



I want to hear from you. What are things you CAN do with Celiac Disease? Let's show the world that we can live our lives while being gluten-free!




Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Let's Tweet About Gluten-Free Travel
Tomorrow night I am co-hosting a Twitter chat all about gluten-free travel. I am teaming up with Be Free Village for this live Twitter event. Be Free Village is a cool company that will send gluten-free snack packs directly to your travel destination. What's better than having gluten-free food waiting for you when you check into your hotel?!

If you read my Gluten-Free Globetrotter® website, you know I am obsessed with traveling the world gluten-free. As a life-long celiac, all of my vacations have been completely gluten-free. I will share my best tips, top gluten-free destinations and more during our #GFreeTravel chat.






GLUTEN-FREE TRAVEL TWITTER CHAT
#GFreeTravel
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
9pm EST/7pm MST


Follow our Twitter chat using hashtag #GFreeTravel. Don't forget to follow both @GFGlobetrotter and @BeFreeVillage on Twitter too!

GIVEAWAY ALERT!!
Be sure to follow and tweet to @BeFreeVillage on May 6th for a chance to win a 5-day voyage gluten-free snack pack delivered to your destination of choice!

Can't make the live Twitter chat? You can search #GFreeTravel the day after the chat for a discount code on your next Be Free Village purchase! 


Friday, May 1, 2015
Happy Celiac Awareness Month Plus PF Chang's Giveaway
Happy Celiac Awareness Month everyone! 

This is truly a month to celebrate our gluten freedom. Our celiac community has come a long way and there is more advocacy than ever for research about celiac disease. I applaud all of the doctors, research, bloggers, Tweeters, Facebookers, Instagrammers, and more for sharing the positive word about celiac disease.

In honor of celiac awareness month, I am hosting lots of exciting giveaways during May. Be sure to follow me here and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to enter to win. Now is my chance to thank you all for being faithful readers of Gluten-Free Fun and give back with exciting gluten-free prizes.First up... a $25 gift card to PF Chang's.

Instead of filing a silly lawsuit, let's thank PF Chang's for feeding us delicious gluten-free food. PF Chang's has extensive gluten-free options and recently launched a new website all about their gluten-free food and preparation. You can learn more at: http://glutenfree.pfchangs.com/

Ready to kick off Celiac Awareness Month and to enter to win? Let's go eat some lettuce wraps!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, April 24, 2015
New Gluten-Free Bread at Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's just launched two new gluten-free breads trying to meet an ever-growing demand for gluten-free products at the store. A few of my readers mentioned this bread to me and then my sister bought the new white sandwich bread at her local Trader Joe's. She said it was most similar to Udi's Bread and was happy to see it readily available and on the shelves. 


I was very curious to understand how the bread was produced and if it was made in a dedicated gluten-free facility so I contacted customer service. It took a few days, but I finally received this response from Trader Joe's:

Thank you for contacting us with your product inquiry.  However, our bread product selections and suppliers may vary by state and/or region (as we do source our bread products locally).  Therefore in order to provide you with accurate allergen information for the specific facility that makes the bread for your area, we would require the specific product SKU number or UPC code from the packaging. 
We can share with you that as a standard any products that state “gluten-free” on the labeling will have undergone testing to validate the claim. 
GLUTEN FREE — Per the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gluten free labeling regulation, a product that displays a “Gluten Free” claim on the label has been validated to contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. If you see “Gluten Free” on a Trader Joe’s product, this means that the product has been validated to contain less than 20 ppm of gluten. Individuals with Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity must avoid gluten for their health. 
So, we do also invite you to contact us directly at (626) 599-3817 anytime Monday through Friday during the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (PSt) with the specific product SKU or UPC code for further clarification.  However, you can be assured that the product is indeed "gluten free" per the above standards.

It looks like Trader Joe's understands the FDA gluten-free labeling regulation, but I still do not know how the bread is produced or if the production facility is dedicated gluten-free. It seems strange to me that the gluten-free breads would be produced in different factories across the country, but this email implies that it does just that. Once I get a loaf of this bread in my local Trader Joe's, I will inquire about the particular SKU and it's source facility and report back. .

In the meantime, here are the ingredients for the new gluten-free breads at Trader Joe's.

INGREDIENTS

GLUTEN FREE WHITE SANDWICH BREAD: Water, Tapicoa Starch, Potato Starch, Brown Rice Flour, Cane Sugar, Modified Tapioca Starch, Rice Flour with Cultured Rice Flour (for freshness), Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Whole Grain Sorghum Flour, Xanthan Gum, Yeast, Egg Whites, Tapioca Maltodextrin, Baking Powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Potato Flour, Monocalcium Phosphate), Sea Salt, Calcium Sulfate, Enzymes. CONTAINS EGGS.

GLUTEN FREE WHOLE GRAIN BREAD: Water, Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Brown Rice Flour, Cane Sugar, Rice Flour with Cultured Rice Flour (for freshness), Modified Tapioca Starch, Whole Grain Sorghum Flour, Whole Grain Amaranth Flour, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Whole Grain Teff, Xanthan Gum, Yeast, Egg Whites, Tapioca Maltodextrin, Baking Powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Potato Flour, Monocalcium Phosphate), Flaxseed Meal, Sea Salt, Molasses, Calcium Sulfate, Enzymes. CONTAINS EGGS.

Has anyone tried this bread yet? What do you think? 

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Thursday, April 23, 2015
#TalkTellTest: Seriously, Celiac Disease


The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has kicked off a new campaign called "Seriously, Celiac" that urges you to talk to your family about celiac disease. They even provide you with a video about the campaign and tools to have the right conversation. They are ask you to TALK to your family, TELL them about celiac disease, and then encourage them to get TESTed for the disease.

You can download the NFCA's free discussion guide which gives you tips on having the right conversation with your family about celiac disease testing. You can also download a guide with tips on how to talk to your doctor about celiac disease testing.

I have at least two relatives that I have told multiple times that they should be tested for celiac disease. They know my thirty-four year history of the disease, my sister's history with the disease, and even another relative's history, yet both people tell me they don't have it. I don't know if they have actually been tested or not but I see continued symptoms in both. I am definitely going to reread these tips from the NFCA and have another conversation with the family when the time is appropriate.

Visit www.SeriouslyCeliac.org for more information.



Thursday, April 9, 2015
Birthday Reflections: Being an Authentic Celiac
AUTHENTIC (adjective) 
au·then·tic 
\ə-ˈthen-tik, ȯ-\
  • real or genuine 
  • not copied or false
  • true and accurate
source

Today is my birthday and it is time for a little reflection on my celiac life, my gluten-free blogs, and my position as an advocate within the community. As I sit here, the word "AUTHENTIC" keeps popping back into my brain.

I have always tried to be 100% authentic. I blog how I think and how I talk which is usually stream of consciousness, honest, raw, and real. I greet readers and Facebook friends with a wide genuine smile and usually a hug, which is how I want to be greeted by people I like and admire. I leave honest comments on other blogs that aren't always in favor of what the author is writing, but it is my honest opinion that I want to share.

Recently, I had some interesting questions thrown my way by others in the gluten-free industry. One person asked me why I bother with two separate blogs. (Different topics, different missions.) Why I quit my job to do freelance work? (If not now, when?) and why do I do what I do or don't do XYZ with my websites.... in a less than friendly tone. (Um, this is me, take it or leave it!)

But these questions made me think, are there that many bloggers not being truthful to themselves and their audiences? Are they selling out their personal style and opinions just to make money? Why would I not do what I love, follow my passion, share my experiences while remaining authentic and true to myself? I honestly cannot imagine being any other way.

I may not be the gluten-free blogger with the biggest following. I never expect everyone to love me, my blog, and my opinions. But I can tell you from the bottom of my heart, I am real. I am genuine. I am authentic. I have been living with celiac disease for almost 34 years. I am not trying to be trendy by eating gluten-free for three decades and writing this blog for the past eight years. I am trying to share my life long experiences in hopes that I can help just one person in this world navigate their new celiac diagnosis. I will continue to be real as I start this next year of my life. This is my birthday promise to you.




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Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Gluten-Free Museum on Tumblr
Have you guys seen this new Tumblr blog yet? It's called Gluten-Free Museum and basically all of the gluten has been Photoshopped out of famous pieces of art (and some cartoons). This site is probably a joke poking fun at us, but it really puts things into perspective.

We all know that almost all of the removed foods below can now be made gluten-free, but I think this puts our gluten-free diets into an interesting perspective. It shows you exactly how much gluten is embedded into our diets, culture, and history. Gluten is an integral part of human culture. It is only the special few that must eat gluten-free. (Yes, that's us!)

Here are some of my favorites. Visit Gluten-Free Museum for more.








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Monday, March 30, 2015
Gluten-Free Easter Recipes


It's almost Easter Sunday, so it's time to start thinking about your menu for the day. If I had my choice, it would be all chocolate all day. Others like to bake a ham or roast a lamb. However you eat on Easter, it's a time to celebrate.

Here are some top bloggers with their own Easter recipes:

Gluten Free Easter Recipe Roundup from GFJules

Gluten-Free Easter Feast from Williams Sonoma

Gluten Free Easter Recipes from Elana's Pantry

25 Fabulous Gluten-Free Easter Recipes from Boulder Locavore

A Fuss-Free, Gluten-Free Easter Dinner from Living Without


What's your favorite gluten-free Easter recipe?

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Friday, March 27, 2015
Toffee and Ice Cream Making Class in New York City


Ok, stop licking your monitor and sign up for this class right now! 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
NYC

Join the NYC Celiac Meetup group for a tasty toffee tutorial and ice cream lesson while getting a behind-the-scenes look at the new gluten-free commercial kitchen space in East Harlem’s historic La Marqueta building. 

Laurie Pauker from Laurie & Sons Candy, proves why she has a toffee pedigree lauded by The New York Times by demonstrating how to make toffee in a professional toffee maker, as well as how you can make it on your own stovetop. Each attendee will get to dip their own toffees in chocolate and finish them with sea salt or other spices and take their creations home in a box. 

Catherine Oddenino from Luca & Bosco ice cream - recently selected as one of The Village Voice's top 100 dishes in NYC - will show how a professional ice cream machine (batch freezer) works, and explain the science of ice cream. We'll churn up some gluten-free Cookies & Cream ice cream, taste other ice cream flavors and take home a pint. Wine will also be served.  

The kitchen is entirely gluten-free. Note, the toffee and ice cream both contain dairy. 

Cost per person is $42 which includes a PayPal processing fee. Buy your tickets here.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Gluten-Free Friends and Celebrities in Texas
Two weeks ago, I went to Texas for the very first time. I had a great time enjoying the weather and the sites of San Antonio before heading to the GFFAFest in Austin. My favorite part about this event was all of the smiling, gluten-free faces. I saw old friends and met new ones. I connected with longtime readers and Facebook friends that I only ever "met" online. I learned about new products and new blogs that I never heard about before. Meeting people is always my favorite part of writing this blog and attending events. You already know that I think these are the real gluten-free celebrities in our community. They aren't on TV (well, some are!) and they aren't in movies but they are the people that day in and day out advocate for our celiac and gluten-free community. This isn't everyone I met during my few days in Texas, these are the only people pictures I have.



Me with  the lovely Anne Barfield, owner of the gluten-free bed and breakfast Chicken Paradise
in San Antonio, Texas




Me, Erica Dermer founder of Celiac and the Beast and (a book with the same name), and Brandy Wendler, nurse practitioner and founder of Spoonful of Wellness getting a sugar high at the 100% gluten-free restaurant Wild Wood Bakehouse in Austin, Texas




Me with Amy Fothergill, author of The Warm Kitchen and founder of The Family Chef
(also my partner-in-crime for the weekend!) 




Me with the Shireen Yates and Scott Sundvor, the awesome co-founders of NIMA Sensor




Me with long-time gluten-free advocate Beth Hillson, author of Gluten-Free Makeovers




Me with Kimberly, author of The Food Allergy Mom, and my blogger tablemate for the weekend




Me with the one and only Jules Shepard, celiac advocate and founder of GFJules.com




Nerissa Oden, author of Bread-Free Bread












Pam Jordan, founder of I'm A Celiac and author of Family Approved Gluten Free Recipes





And last but not least, the amazing Shelia Cafferty, the founder of the GFFAFest

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Saturday, March 14, 2015
Happy (Gluten-Free) Pi Day!
Today is March 14, also known as Pi Day. According to PiDay.org, "Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159."

One of my best friends is getting married today and instead of wedding cake she's having PIE! She even went as far as ordering a gluten-free pie to make sure I had something to eat. If that isn't a good friend, I don't know what is.

In honor of Pi Day, I thought I would post links to recipes of some of my favorite bloggers.

GFJules: Gluten-Free Pie Crust

Gluten-Free Easily: Easy "Crustless" Apple Pie

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: Gluten-Free Coconut Cream Pie

Against All Grain: Grain-Free and Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie

And for those of you (like me) that don't bake at all, I recommend Molly's Gluten-Free Bakery in Wisconsin. They had one of the best gluten-free apple pies that I have ever eaten. Good news is that they ship nationwide!



What's your favorite gluten-free pie recipe? Feel free to post the link below.


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Wednesday, March 4, 2015
March 2015 Gluten-Free Events in New York City
It's been a busy few weeks for me and I have been neglecting my blog. I am so sorry and hope to do better in the next few weeks. Then again, I look at my gluten-free calendar and I have a crazy schedule. One of the things keeping me busiest is the NYC Celiac Meetup group. We now have more than 1,900 members and 369 past events. No wonder this blog gets neglected! I do hope you will join me at one of our upcoming events!



March 8, 2015
Syosset, New York
7th Annual Bowling Bash to Benefit the Celiac Disease Center
A fundraiser for the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. Enjoy three hours of unlimited bowling, gluten-free snacks and a silent auction

March 23, 2015
New York City
Senza Gluten Chef's Tasting Menu with Wine Pairings
One of my best friends, aka Wine with Kristen, is hosting this wine pairing event at Senza Gluten, a brand new 100% gluten-free restaurant in New York City.

March 24, 2015
New York City
10th Annual Paul Taylor Dance Company Celiac Disease Center Fundraiser
A wonderful evening of gluten-free food and dance at the David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center. A portion of the ticket sales go to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

March 31, 2015
New York City
Toffee and Ice Cream Making Class
Join Luca & Bosco and Laurie & Sons Candy for this delicious gluten-free class. 

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Gluten-Free Smoothies for Everyone with Nutri Ninja
I recently received my favorite kitchen appliance ever! The generous people at Ninja Kitchen asked me to review their Nutri Ninja with Auto iQ and I happily agreed. I have a very old and very crappy blender so when this new Nurti Ninja arrived, I felt like it was Christmas morning!

I am kind of a smoothie addict. I usually do not start my day without a fruit smoothie. I usually add bananas, strawberries, and any other sweet fruit I have in my kitchen. Some days I add gluten-free hemp protein and other days I throw in a handful of spinach. I always use almond milk! This is a naturally gluten-free breakfast that is simple to make. Less than one minute later, I have a few servings of fruit and veggies ready to drink. Simply add your ingredients, screw on the cap and let that Ninja do it's job.

Banana, blueberries, strawberries, and spinach

The thing I like best about the Ninja is that it comes in three sizes. I tend to shove as much as I can into my smoothie. With three different cup sizes, this let's me make a huge smoothie. I also like to make soup in my blender so I think with the biggest Ninja cup, I could make a few pints. The other thing I like about the Ninja is the suction cups on the bottom of the machine. This machine is powerful and the suction prevents the Ninja from rattling off the counter. I also like the screw-on covers that you can add to the cup to drink directly from it after making your smoothie in it. One less dish to wash! 

The thing I like least is the noise. This thing is loud. There's no late-night smoothie making if you have a sleeping baby, roommate, or spouse. It's too loud. But at just 45 seconds or less to make your smoothie, the sound doesn't last too long. 

Time to make the smoothie


The Nutri Ninja with Auto-iQ came with two recipe books and I am excited to change up my usual smoothie routine a little bit. There are also tons of resources online with recipes from devout Ninja users. I want to make everything.

What is your favorite smoothie or juice recipe? I would love some more inspiration.

Screw on the cap, ready to drink

Thank you Nutri Ninja for the awesome gift! It will go to good use in my kitchen. Smoothies for everyone! 

Note: Ninja Kitchen sent me this complimentary product for a review. Views expressed in this post are my own. 

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Austin Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest Ticket Giveaway

A few weeks ago, I announced that I am a presenter at Living Without's Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest in Austin, Texas. I am sharing my Gluten-Free Globetrotter knowledge with the attendees including expert tips about gluten-free travel around the world. I am thrilled to share the stage with some wonderful and prominent members of the gluten-free community including Beth Hillson, Dr. Samantha Brody, Laura B. Russell, Debbie Adler, Jules Shepard, Brandy Wendler, Kristine Kidd, Karen Morgan, and the Bona Dea team.

Find me on Saturday and Sunday morning at 10:15am in meeting room 9C for my discussion about gluten-free travel. I will also be walking the expo, sampling all of the gluten-free food like the rest of you. As an official blogger of the GFFA Fest, I will also be sitting at the Official Blogger Booth (#104 and #102).


Gluten-Free Globetrotter®: How to plan your gluten-free vacation
Austin Convention Center
500 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78701
Location: Meeting Room 9C

February 28 and March 1, 2015
10:15am

Planning a gluten-free vacation and eating far from home can be a daunting experience. During this session with Erin Smith, founder of Gluten-Free Globetrotter®, she will share gluten-free travel tips, suggest planning resources for your gluten-free vacation, explore gluten-free travel questions at the end of the session.


Tickets for the Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest are on sale now or you can enter to win below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Walkers Shortbread Goes Gluten-Free
IT'S FINALLY HERE!!

If you read other gluten-free blogs, you might have already heard this news. Just in case you missed it, the famous Walkers Shortbread has introduced three, brand-new gluten-free options to their shortbread line.




When I was in Scotland, Walkers Shortbread was EVERYWHERE! I guess I never noticed it at home before since I couldn't eat it. My mom brought home tins of this Scottish shortbread as gifts for family and friends. She was raving about how good it was, but as a celiac I could not enjoy this traditional Scottish shortbread. Until now! 

According to the Walkers Shortbread website, "Our shortbreads contain the same butter and sugar content as our regular shortbreads, but the wheat flour is replaced by a blend of rice flour, maize flour, and potato starch. As is the Walkers custom, they contain no artificial flavorings, colorings, or preservatives." In addition when I asked about the production of the new gluten-free shortbread, the Walkers representative said The gluten free line is made in a dedicated part of the Scotland facility."

The new gluten free line includes three shortbreads:

  • Gluten Free Pure Butter Shortbread: The classic pure butter gluten free shortbread offers a crumbly "melt-in-your-mouth" texture and all butter taste.
  • Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread: A generous helping of chocolate chips provides a rich and luxurious complement to this classic shortbread.
  • Gluten Free Ginger & Lemon Shortbread: This crumbly shortbread combines the best of traditional Scottish baking with the exotic tang of Lemon and Stem Ginger.
I wanted to stick with the original so I tried a sample of the Gluten Free Pure Butter Shortbread. This new gluten-free cookie from Walkers did not disappoint. With a cup of tea, this was the perfect dessert or afternoon snack or both in my case! It's really delicious.







Walkers Gluten Free Shortbread will appear at retailers across the country in the coming months and is available for purchase online at http://us.walkersshortbread.com/.

  
Or you can win your very own box of gluten-free Walkers Shortbread right here! Enter by leaving a comment at the end of this post or through the Rafflecopter widget below. Don't delay, giveaway ends on February 6th.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Note: Walkers Shortbread sent me this complimentary box for a review. Views expressed in this post are my own. 

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