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Monday, September 30, 2013
Team Gluten-Free NYC 2013 Marathon Pledge-a-thon
For the second year in a row, the NYC Celiac Meetup group is hosting a virtual pledge-a-thon for Team Gluten-Free runners in the NYC Marathon. Sadly, last year's marathon was cancelled due to the devastating Hurricane Sandy, but fingers crossed that this year we are storm free. Read on for more information about CDF, Team Gluten-Free runners, and how to donate (and get a t-shirt!)




Join CDF Team gluten-free™ at the 2013 ING NYC Marathon and help raise more money than ever before! On Sunday, November 3, five amazing athletes will be running for CDF Team gluten-free™ to help promote awareness for celiac disease and non-celiac disease gluten sensitivity. This online pledge-a-thon is to help raise money for CDF Team gluten-free™. This is not an in-person event.
Please support this year’s CDF Team gluten-free™ runners at the 2013 ING NYC Marathon. Your RSVP and donation will go directly to CDF Team gluten-free™. Everyone donating $25.00 through this page will receive a T-shirt of your choice.
To donate $25.00, please RSVP here and pay on the event page using PayPal. All $25 donations and RSVPs on this page will get a t-shirt or tank.
For a limited time, you will get TWO t-shirts with your $25.00 donation! Don't delay! 


Wear your shirt with pride on November 3 when CDF Team gluten-free™ runs through the streets of New York City and cheer on the runners!
  


Since its inception in 1990, Celiac Disease Foundation has been at the forefront of celiac disease education, information, awareness, advocacy and support services. Charting a territory not ventured by any other official celiac disease organization, CDF was instrumental in bringing attention to the disease at a time when the word celiac, much less knowledge about it, was far from most people's consciousness. In the two decades since opening its doors, CDF stands as the "go to" resource organization for anything and everything celiac.
CDF Team gluten-free™ is a fundraising program that provides a simple way for athletes and non-athletes alike to raise awareness and funds for celiac disease and non-celiac disease gluten sensitivity. Fundraising efforts may include any event from marathons to triathlons, or even bar mitzvahs, wedding favors and virtual fundraisers! The money raised by CDF Team gluten-free™ participants goes directly towards summer camp scholarships for children on the gluten-free diet as well as celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity research, support and awareness programs. CDF Team gluten-free™ is the fundraising arm of Celiac Disease Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, public benefit corporation. Visit the website for more information.

Please remember, if you would like a t-shirt you must make your $25 donation through this Meetup event page by RSVPing YES. Once you have made this $25 donation, I will contact you for your mailing address and t-shirt size.
Any donation helps CDF Team gluten-free™ and Celiac Disease Foundation. 
Thank you in advance!

If you would like to donate less than $25.00 to CDF Team gluten-free™ please do so using this link: http://www.crowdrise.com/tgfNYCrun

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Monday, September 23, 2013
Gluten-Free Fun Review: Luce's Gluten-Free Artisan Bread
I am not a baker. When I have to bake, I would rather open up a mix than measure, weigh, and level off gluten-free flours. There are many wonderful gluten-free bakers out there, like my friends Elizabeth Barbone of GlutenFreeBaking.com and cookbook author Annalise Roberts, but I am not one of these bakers. That said, when I was contacted by Luce's Gluten-Free Artisan Bread company about their gluten-free bread mixes I was nervous. How was I going to bake bread and then write a review? I don't bake and didn't want to be a fraud. Then I opened my free samples of Luce's Gluten-Free Artisan Bread and my fears disappeared.

Open package, dump in bowl, add water. That's it?? Well, there are a few more instructions on the Luce's website but that is about all I did to bake this bread. I didn't even let the bread rise more than 5 minutes. I was so eager to pop my loaf of Italian bread in the oven that I barely even waited for it to rise. This is my type of baking! Simple prep time, no ingredients to measure, and easy clean-up. I was one happy baker.

I was even happier when this lovely loaf of gluten-free bread came out of my oven. I managed to polish off that loaf in only 2 days and I was left wanting more. This Luce's Gluten-Free Artisan Bread was delicious. I would definitely make this bread again and share it with gluten-free and gluten-eating friends. I honestly don't think the gluten-eaters would know the difference. It is that good.



I had the pleasure of meeting Charles Luce and his wife Leslie at the GFAF Expo a few weeks ago and they were super friendly and excited to learn that a non-baker (Me!) loved their bread and found it so easy to make. Charles has celiac so he not only needs to eat gluten-free but he also wants to feed us safely and deliciously. The mixes are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility and the company takes the FDA gluten-free labeling laws very seriously. 

Luce's Gluten-Free Artisan Bread mixes can be found in a handful of stores and also online on their website. Online the mixes are $7.95 each or $13.50 for a bulk bag. This is bulk rate is a great bargain, making each bag only $2.70 each! I am definitely going to buy this bulk bag in the future.

Find Luce's Gluten-Free Artisan Breads here: 


Financial compensation was not received for this post. Free samples of the Luce's Gluten-Free Artisan Bread mixes were gifted from the company. Opinions expressed here are my own. 



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Friday, September 20, 2013
Gluten-Free Fun on Facebook
So this happened yesterday....




I am beyond excited to announce that my Gluten-Free Fun Facebook page hit over 2,500 likes yesterday. This is HUGE and I am very flattered by this number. Thank you all so much for continuing to be amazing friends, fans, and a support network. I appreciate each and every one of you!


Not a fan on Facebook yet?  
Head over to http://www.facebook.com/GlutenFreeFun and "like" my page today! 

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013
My GFF (Gluten-Free Friend) Kristen

What's a GFF? It's like a BFF (Best Friends Forever) but someone that is part of your gluten-free support system. It's your Gluten-Free Friend. Your #GFF is that go-to person who lets you vent about being gluten-free, goes out for a gluten-free dinner and/or drink with you, or celebrates being gluten-free and embraces everything that the Celiac Disease curveball has thrown your way.

The new "My GFF" program from Udi's is "aiming to help connect the gluten-free community and provide tools, recipes, and support for maintaining a healthy and joyful gluten-free lifestyle." Udi's recognizes that many deep friendships have been made over the years through a shared gluten-free bond and I couldn't agree more.

Through my eight years organizing the NYC Celiac Meetup group, my six years of blogging, and my obsession with social media, I have made a TON of gluten-free friends and I feel truly blessed about all of those connections. Out of all of the people I have met, there are only a small handful of people that have left the gluten-free friend world and have crossed over to "the other side." My friend Kristen is one of those people!

winewithkristen.com

Kristen, of the famous Wine with Kristen, is a Certified Sommelier with Celiac Disease living in New York City. We "met" via email in April 2010 about a gluten-free retreat in Vermont. Shortly after the emails started, a mutual Meetup group member invited us both to lunch. To say the meal was interesting is being very kind. (wink wink, Kristen!) Less than a month after meeting, Kristen offered to open up the doors of her lovely NYC apartment for a gluten-free snacks and wine pairing event. With her great personality and her kindness to volunteer an event in her home, I instantly clicked with Kristen .

Kristen and I on the porch at Good Commons

Over the past three years (which actually seems quite longer) Kristen and I moved from "Meetup friends" to real life friends. We started inviting each other out for dinner or drinks and talking less about our gluten-free lives and more about family, friends, and life in general. Towards the end of 2011, Kristen and I decided to work together to help plan a gluten-free retreat at Good Commons in Vermont. It was during this time of planning, emailing, and coordinating lots of gluten-free goodness that our friendship grew even stronger. It was a no-brainer to me that we would be roommates during the retreat weekend after all of the hard work we both put into coordinating the event. We ate well, drank well, and decompressed in the woods in Vermont together with 12 other gluten-free friends.



It was also at this time that I realized Kristen was truly someone I could count on. Not only was she stellar in helping to plan the Good Commons weekend, but I was dealing with a lot of stress in work and life in general and Kristen was an awesome listener and advice giver during this time. I trusted Kristen and confided in her, which was quite different from any other people I met through the Meetup group. I guess that is when Kristen officially became my GFF.

Kristen helping me celebrate my 34th birthday

Kristen and I meet regularly for food, drinks, and gossip in New York City. She lets me vent about the Meetup shenanigans on a regular basis yet stays out of the gluten-free drama. One thing I always admired about Kristen is that she dines out all the time, travels the world, and never lets Celiac stop her. This is how I try to live my life so Kristen's attitude towards Celiac resonates strongly with me. We are planning a fun-filled overnight in Atlantic City this fall and I am sure we will be friends for years to come.

I saw Kristen just last week at an Omission Beer and Udi's party here in New York City. Since Udi's is featuring #GFFs, I figured it was most appropriate to end this post with a picture of us at the Udi's party.


Cheers to you Kristen and thank you for being such an awesome GFF!


Do you have a #GFF? Share your story in the comments below and then head over to the Udi's Facebook page to share your story there too!

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Friday, September 13, 2013
Happy Celiac Awareness Day 2013

Today is Celiac Awareness Day. We recognize Celiac Disease today, and not in Celiac Awareness Month which is in may, because according to the NFCA "the 13th is the birthday of Samuel Gee, a pediatrician who published the first complete clinical description of celiac disease in 1888. Gee was the first to recognize that the symptoms of celiac disease are related to diet."

I have been living with Celiac Disease since 1981. Having Celiac Disease is an integral part of who I am today. It has lead me to this wonderful (and sometimes crazy) world of social media. It has introduced me to amazing friends and a wonderful support network. It has encouraged me to spread awareness and hope to the newly diagnosed. It has also inspired me to overcome my limitations and to travel the world. Honestly, I have no clue what my life would be like without Celiac Disease since it is so much a part of me. 

Celiac Disease has made me the person, advocate, blogger,
and support group leader that I am today. 


It may sound strange, but for that I am thankful.  There are so many things I would never have done if I didn't have Celiac Disease and one of those things is write this blog. While I might have had challenges over the years, I honestly cannot imagine my life any other way.

HAPPY CELIAC AWARENESS DAY EVERYONE! 

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
In Rememberance
I had a post ready for today but just didn't feel right putting it up. I am a New Yorker. I was in Manhattan watching in disbelief from the fire escape of my office building the day of the terrorist attacks. I felt numb that day. My heart still breaks when I think of magnitude of tragedy our country suffered that day, weeks, months, and even 12 years later.

Never Forget.

My sister and I on top of the World Trade Center in the late 1980s

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013
NYC Launch Party for The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center
I'm really excited to announce this event to my New York City readers! I will definitely be there.



BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY!


EVR Lounge
54 West 39th Street New YorkNY 10018

Friday, October 18, 2013
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)



We have celiac disease. We eat gluten-free. But that doesn't mean we don't know how to PARTY! 
You're officially invited to The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center's debut fundraising bash in NYC!
It's a night you'll want to be part of, and your ticket INCLUDES:
  • An hour-long open vodka bar hosted by Devotion Vodka (6-7pm)
  • Delicious, hot, gluten-free Margherita pizzas served by world-renowned pizza chef Roberto Caporuscio of Don Antonio's
  • Live music by AJ Smith
  • Celebrity Host Miss New Jersey Jenna Drew
  • A silent auction/raffle with fabulous prizes from the best NYC gluten-free hotspots
  • Your favorite gluten-free finger foods
It doesn't matter if you have celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, or have no idea what gluten is. Party among friends and make new ones that share one simple thing: they eat gluten-free or know someone who does!  
Come support your friends or family and the cause in honor of one of the least understood but most widespread (and growing) health problems of our age at the largest gluten-free party in the city.
100% of the proceeds - yes, every single cent raised - goes toward supporting The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center's awareness and outreach programs. Learn more on the right sidebar and at http://cureceliacdisease.org.
***
MAJOR SPONSORS
EVR Lounge
Devotion Vodka
Don Antonio's
AJ Smith
Jenna Drew, Miss New Jersey
Nora Zelevansky, Author
WithumSmith + Brown

LOCAL SPONSORS
Whole Foods Market
Bistango Ristorante
Rosa Mexicano
Tu-Lu's Gluten-Free Bakery
Palà
Hu Kitchen
Pip's Place Cakery
Babycakes
S'MAC
Sun In Bloom
Be Well With Arielle
Get That Healthy Feeling
***

BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY!


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Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Gluten & Allergen Free Expo Coming Soon to New Jersey


On Saturday, September 7 and Sunday, September 8, the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo is coming to the Meadowlands Convention Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. This is going to be a HUGE event for the tri-state area and I am excited to be attending as a blogger and leader of the NYC Celiac Meetup group. While these events tend to be very crowded, it is always an exciting experience to walk through a showroom floor and know you can eat EVERYTHING on the tables. I also love seeing old blogger friends and meeting new ones. I will be at the expo on Saturday wearing my GF alphabet shirt and a Meetup button, so please stop me and say hello. 

Here are more details about the event from the NYC Celiac Meetup website:


Gluten & Allergen Free Expo: Meadowlands
Sat, Sep 7 2013, 9:00a.m. - Sun, Sep 8 2013, 4:00p.m.

Meadowlands Expo Center
355 Plaza Drive
Secaucus, NJ 07094


GIVEAWAY ALERT: Want to win two free tickets to this weekend's event? Here are the requirements:
  1. Leave a comment below with your email address (Mandatory)
  2. Follow GFAF Expo on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/gfafexpo (Complete this or #3 or #4)
  3. Like GFAF Expo on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gfafexpo (Complete this or #2 or #4)
  4. Let your family and friends know that the GFAF Expo is coming to Secausus, NJ: http://www.gfafexpo.com/locations/secaucus (Complete this or #2 or #3)
I will pick a winner on Thursday at 12pm EST. 


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