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L&R Fine Fashions, Inc., a Garden Grove, Calif., establishment, is recalling approximately 2,182 pounds of raw pork paste and ready-to-eat fried pork loaf products because they contain an undeclared allergen, wheat, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. Wheat is a known allergen, which is not declared on the label.

The products subject to recall include:
  • 11-ounce packages of "KIM LOAN GIÃ’ SÔNG PORK PASTE FISH SAUCE ADDED," bearing a lot number between"10-022" and "10-3351."
  • 14-ounce chubs of "KIM LOAN CHà CHIÊN FRIED PORK LOAF FISH SAUCE ADDED," bearing a lot number between "10-270" and "10-335."
Each product bears the establishment number EST. 40074 inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products subject to recall were produced between Jan. 22, 2010 and Dec. 6, 2010. These products were distributed to retail establishments in Southern California.
The problem was discovered by FSIS during a labeling review at the establishment. FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an allergic reaction should contact a physician.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Consumer and media with questions about the recall should contact the company's treasurer, R. Miller at (714) 971-5626.

I just saw that Elisabeth Hasselbeck has won her lawsuit that was filed against her by Susan Hassett. The U.S. District Court in Massachusetts could find no evidence that Hasselbeck had plagiarized Living With Celiac Disease by author Susan Hassett when writing her book The G-Free Diet.

I predicted this outcome some time ago, and am happy that Elisabeth won. Some people believe that any publicity for celiac disease is good publicity, but in this case I disagree.

Hopefully Elisabeth still has the desire to continue publicizing her book and celiac disease to the public, as there is really nobody else that I can think of who can command the kind of media attention as she can.
Update from Sarah Ann Harwick 12/03/2010:

"Because we seemed to be getting different answers from the MARS company, I decided to call back and speak with a manager about the recent "may contain wheat" warming I found on the Mint M&M's.

Only the Mint and Speckled (both holiday specials) are produced on the same lines as the pretzel M&M's, and although they do clean the lines between production, there is the possibility of cross contamination, which is why they now have the wheat warning on them.

She said all of the other M&M's are still gluten free."

Original Blog Post:

I just got this bit of bad news today. Unfortunately I've received some warnings from celiacs who have found that M&M's may no longer be gluten-free. A call to their customer service line still indicates that all M&M's are gluten-free (except for the new Pretzel M&M's), however, when you actually speak to a real person they will indicate that all M&M's are made on shared lines and may be cross-contaminated due to the fact that the pretzel M&M's are made on those lines.

I certainly hope that this is not the case, but early indications lead me to believe that this may be so.

I urge everyone to share your disappointment with this by calling them directly at: 800-627-7852.
For the past two years I've been busy writing something called, "The Better Bladder Book - A Holistic Approach to Healing Interstitial Cystitis & Chronic Pelvic Pain". IT is now OUT, AVAILABLE, and thankfully, getting GREAT Reviews! This makes me very happy, not because I'll make a bundle (I won't), but because people who need help can now find it. IC is a terrible disease affecting up to 8 million people in the US alone, but millions more suffer from chronic prostatitis, over-active-bladder, pelvic floor dysfunction, and chronic pelvic pain. Finally, the connection between between gluten intolerance and chronic inflammation in the body, which often leads to these kinds of problems, has been docoumented in two separate studies. My book tells you WHY, HOW, and what you can do about it. You can find more information on the book at the following website: The best in health, Wendy Cohan, RN
I am very encouraged to see that the Huffington Post has written a new article on gluten sensitivity and its impact on the brain. The new article is correct in pointing out that gluten can have a severe impact on certain individuals who are sensitive to it. Hopefully this article will be covered by other papers around the country, as it is very important to convey this message to as many people as possible.

I've been writing about the gluten-brain connection for many years on this site, and you can find more information on this topic in this category:
Dr. Rodney Ford has also written extensively about this, most notably in his book The Gluten Syndrome - Is Wheat Causing You Harm?

Last, I include much about this topic in a book that I co-authored with Dr. Ron Hoggan called Cereal Killers:

I am very glad to see that these ideas are finally becoming more mainstream!
This just in from Jodi Walen:

"I just wanted to let you know that tonight I went to go buy my daughter the Milk Chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast. As always, I read the label every time. Sad to say, this time the last ingredient listed now states 'wheat starch.' I can't tell you how upset I was to read this. Their website as of tonight does not list this as an ingredient. I have emailed the company. Please pass this on."

Let's all contact the company and let them know what a bad choice this ingredient change is!

Well whether we like it or not, the holidays really are upon us.  Many of us are already thinking about Thanksgiving dinner — some may be contently planning knowing they’ll be cooking their own gluten-free dinner, while others may be “white knuckling” it until Thanksgiving, worried they’ll get glutened by a well-meaning friend, family member or co-worker.  I, myself do not have celiac disease, although my daughter and brother do, and my dad eats gluten -free, and when I attended the General Mills blogger summit this week, I was really struck by a common word people were using: fear.  Fearful to get glutened, fearful (in some cases) to allow others to cook for them, fearful (in some cases) about being impolite and speaking up  if they can’t eat something.  It’s one thing to avoid a food because you’re on a diet for weight loss, it’s another thing to be scared of eating anything from a spread that could have a hidden “landmine” of gluten.

This post is for the people who want to cook for celiacs and the celiacs who want to drop them a casual hint :)

I have complied a list of things for these well-meaning family and friends to consider when offering to cook gluten-free for a person who has celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

1. If you don’t understand it, please don’t do it.  We are okay with it!

It took many of us months and years to understand the gluten-free diet, cooking strategies and ways to prevent cross contamination before we really felt comfortable with it.  We don’t expect anyone to be an expert in a day.  And as a result that makes us fearful that any gluten-free food you make will actually contain gluten.  This is something some folks will never say to you for fear of being impolite.

Gluten-free means no wheat, barley, rye, oats (that aren’t guaranteed gluten free –hint if the ingredient label only says “oats” or “oat flour’ — it’s not guaranteed gluten free), spelt, durum, brown flour, malt, and more as reported by the Celiac Sprue Association. Corn, potatoes and rice are okay (unless the person is particularly sensitive to that as well).

2. If it’s baked and found in a mainstream grocery store, it’s probably not gluten-free

Yes, our grocery stores have come a long way when it comes to carrying gluten-free products.  But the only actual grocery store chain that is baking its own gluten-free bread is Whole Foods.  Any other grocery store is bringing in gluten-free bread or baked goods.

IF they have gluten-free bread, you usually will find it in the health food section freezer –not the bakery and not the bread section.  Pita bread, English Muffins, pizza crust, Italian bread, baguettes, bagels, cakes, pies (crusts have gluten), cupcakes all have gluten.  Bottom line:  unless you’re going to a specialty gluten-free bakery, you will likely not find any fresh-baked gluten-free goods at a mainstream grocery store.  And if you ask bakery people about it you’ll likely get a confused look or a quick no that they don’t have that available.

3.  How do you know your ingredients and utensils in your home aren’t already cross-contaminated with gluten?

Please honestly think about your cooking practices when I pose these questions:  Do you regularly double dip when cooking or baking?  In other words, do you use the measuring cup in your all-purpose flour and then just dip it  into the sugar?  If you’re double dipping, the sugar is contaminated  and no longer gluten free.  You can say the same for Crisco, butter, peanut butter, mayonnaise and anything you’re reaching in and scooping out. You may want to make divinity (which is inherently gluten free — eggs, sugar and corn syrup are the main ingredients I believe), but if your sugar is cross contaminated — a gluten-free person will get sick (or have damage in their gut) if they eat it.

What about while you’re cooking?  Do you use one utensil to stir up the gluteny turkey stuffing and then use the same spoon to scoop the sweet potatoes?

Your wooden or plastic cutting boards and your colanders are also off limits to people who eat gluten free– they harbor gluten in the nooks and crannies, that even when cleaned in the dishwasher, they aren’t “clean” for us.

4. I just won’t make stuffing and I’ll get an ice cream cake!

Whoa, you’re still going to have to look at your ingredients for cross contamination.  Plus you’re going to have to check to make sure you turkey or ham is gluten free (they can be injected with broths that contain gluten), and gravy is an issue.  Most premade gravy has gluten and anyone who makes it from home usually uses their flour as a thickener.  Corn starch is a viable option to make gluten-free gravy with turkey drippings, but just a forewarning — it’s clear and gelatinous– basically tastes fine, looks funky.

And if you’re doing an ice cream cake, you better make sure it’s gluten free.  Dairy Queen’s ice cream cake has crumbles in the middle which contain gluten. Have those removed and double check the other fudgy stuff in the center to make sure it’s gluten free and you’re set. Other places may have cookies or something inside their ice cream cakes too.

5. Let’s barbecue some ribs!

Again you must check the gluten contamination factor of your grill.  Do you put gluten on there?  In other words, do you put hamburger on there that has bread crumbs in it or grill your hamburger buns, or put steak on with a gluteny marinade?  If you don’t know– the only way to use the grill in this case is to put the gluten-free item on aluminum foil.  But also look for a gluten-free barbecue sauce.  We use Sweet Baby Ray’s.  Please keep in mind not all BBQ sauces are gluten-free.

6. Don’t assume

Read labels. Example:  Tostitos are gluten free— the label mostly talks about corn, oil and salt, but if you grab the one kind of Tostitos made form flour tortillas– that’s a problem.  Double check the label.  That one will say wheat in it.

Potatoes aren’t always just potatoes.  You’d think they should be, but if you’re getting something out of the frozen section, check ingredients!  Wheat will be listed if it’s in there — but gluten is NOT required to be put on a label if it is in a product.   Some frozen potatoes are just that, potatoes, go for the simple ones and stay away from the fancy flavored stuff.

Rice Krispies cereal seems simple enough, but in actuality it has malt. Gluten-free folks cannot eat this.

So what can you have around the house for a gathering?

Wine, coffee, Blue Diamond Nut Thins, cheese, or veggies with Wishbone Ranch dressing as the dip. Check out Trader Joe’s for some goodies:  They have a great list here which includes some sweets too!

None of us actually wants to think that our cooking would make someone sick.  But it is possible in this case — even to the cooks with the best of intentions.  Please be open to talking with your gluten-free family member or friend to see what they can do to help you make this as great experience as possible.

Dr. Peter Green and Elisabeth Hasselbeck will be featured in a piece on ABC News Nightline looking at celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.  The segment will air tonight, Thursday, November 4, Channel 7, 11:35 pm EST.  Check your local listing.

On Saturday October 16th the second annual Gluten Sensitivity & Celiac Forum will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Palo Alto, CA.  The event begins at 9 a.m. and ends at  4 p.m.  A light lunch is provided plus you can enjoy the many gluten-free delights from vendors around the area.

Our speakers are four national and international experts in the field of gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.
A new breakthrough in gluten laboratory testing will be presented by Dr Tom O’Bryan.  The new tests will provide higher sensitivity as well as a window into which systems of the body are being affected by gluten.

Dr Rodney Ford, pediatric gastroenterologist and prolific author from New Zealand will be joining us to share his most recent research and insights. Dr Ford will be presenting some startling information on the true nature of gluten and whether, in fact, it should be consumed by anyone.

Cynthia Kupper, registered dietician and founder of the nationally known Gluten Intolerance Group, will be providing valuable information on how best eat a nutrition-filled and healthy gluten-free diet.

Yours truly will also be speaking and I am excited to share some of the latest research about how gluten affects hormonal balance and predisposes us to various chronic degenerative diseases, plus what exactly can be done about it.

We have a larger venue this year as we were filled to capacity last year, but I would encourage that you reserve your seats early.  Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the door – you can reserve them at There is a discount for small groups so please call us at 408-733-0400 for more information.

This Forum is only presented annually so don’t miss it! We hope you will be able to join us. 
No more delays.  America's children deserve healthier lunches and students with celiac disease need access to gluten-free meals. 

Tell Congress to pass S. 3307, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act TODAY!

Take action at:
This will be my shortest blog. After a decade on The Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I am once again able to eat occasional moderate amounts of restricted sweets and starches with no apparent consequences. Since my celiac disease was never formally diagnosed, I cannot claim it is curable or was cured but it is now six weeks since I resumed eating foods I have not had in ten years as well as foods purported to be cross reactive with Latex Allergy. Ultimately I decided to be very cautious and not push the envelope since the SCD has been enjoyable and a great asset to regaining some resistance to chemical sensitivities. I also developed a real enjoyment of SCD recipes and still prefer many of them over their conventional counterparts. I am not suggesting others digress from their gluten free diets, just reporting what has happened in my case so far. Scott has suggested I monitor my maintenance with periodic blood tests for anti bodies and I plan to investigate that as it makes good sense. Finally, I do feel it is easier to maintain a proper weight with SCD although it is not a weight control program.

You may not be enjoying the gluten-free food to it’s fullest at Target Field.  The brand new home for the Minnesota Twins is complete with a gluten-free concession menu, but I’ve tracked down additional, more kid-friendly items that are gluten-free and — so far — aren’t on the list.

This list posted on my website has been about 5 months in the making.  I actually started drafting this post with a different title and all back before the first pitch of the season, but when I saw the special concessions list on the Twins website, I had so many questions that it has taken this long to get most of my questions answered.

If you go to the Twins website, you’ll find this page with gluten-free and vegetarian food items listed.  It is a very healthy list –with everything from fresh fruit to shrimp skewers and turkey legs.  Great!  It’s fantastic I am so glad there is something like this out there.  But I had some questions.  What about the junk?  What about the fun?  What about kid food?  I sent an email off to Pia McDonough, Operations Manager of Delaware North Companies, the company that runs the concessions.  I wrote in my email, that I was inquiring about

“kid-friendlier items — which are pretty important to parents trying to feed their kid gluten-free food — Mom and Dad probably like Shrimp Skewers but my 11-year-old celiac child would skip it.”

Here are my questions– with the answers:

Additional Gluten-Free Foods at Target Field

  • Are the nacho chips and cheese sauce gluten-free? Yes.  The chips are Old Dutch and the cheese sauce is gluten free as well. It is made by Gehls.
  • Cracker Jacks are gluten-free.  They should be on your list. And I gave her the FritoLay web address.
  • Would it be possible to find one stand that can serve gluten-free french fries?  A stand that doesn’t deep fry anything except for plain old fries? The answer on that one — NO.  So the fries are NOT GLUTEN FREE.  Hey — I gave it a shot!!
  • What about your ice cream novelties, have those been investigated for their gluten-free status?  A lot of ice cream is gluten-free if it doesn’t have cookies, malt or a cone. Confirmed the Push Up Fruit Bars and Premium Bars (vanilla ice cream on the inside, chocolate on the outside) are indeed gluten free.  — DO NOT get any novelties on a cone or cookie sandwich.
  • Kettle chips? Yes — they are gluten-free.  Brand is Rachel’s
  • North Shore Creamery, is that a company I should go through separately to ask about ice cream? Answer from McDonough:  “The North shore creamery is a branded name for our ice cream stands. They sell Land O Lakes soft serve which is gluten free.”
  • What about regular popcorn and cotton candy? (My popcorn-eater wouldn’t want Angie’s Kettle Corn). These two things she is still getting back to me on.

McDonough also confirmed the hot dogs are gluten-free without the bun, but THE HAMBURGER PATTIES ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE! I write that in caps because I often think that is so basic it should be gluten free, but McDonough says the ingredient label says “less than 2% wheat flour”.

As soon as I hear more about the popcorn and cotton candy I will update this post.  I really hope I hear soon.

The Gluten-Free Baseball Trend

The Gluten-Free food accommodations at ballparks is growing.  This spring the Sports Business Journal talked about the need to accommodate gluten-free diets at the Nation’s ballparks.  The high-profile gluten-free menus at Coors Field in Denver, Citi Field (home of the NY Mets), are done by the Aramark food service company.  You can see more about this company’s effort to make gluten free accommodations here.  Aramark even includes gluten-free buns with their gf hot dogs!  Now that’s nice.

Delaware North Companies doesn’t appear to tout its gluten-free concessions as much.  I’ve had to go to each team’s individual website to learn more.  And there wasn’t much out there.  While I didn’t ask McDonough about anything other than Target Field, I did do a separate email to Delaware North back in the spring and never heard back about the company’s gluten-free reach in other ballparks.

The gluten-free trend at ballparks and other major event venues is fantastic.  My only suggestion– When you’re researching and publishing your list, look more closely at things like popcorn, Cracker Jacks and other treats.  They may be easier than you think to confirm as gluten-free.

*Keep in mind these gluten-free food items in the above list could change.  If in doubt contact to the Twins or Delaware North. Be sure you allow enough time for a response.
(Note: The live recording of this show is now linked below)

Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan will once again be on the live radio program "Love By Intuition Show" with host Deborah Beauvais (Dreamvisions 7 Radio Network) this Saturday (8/28/2010) at 8AM Pacific. The focus of this show will be our new book "Cereal Killers: Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free A to Z," and especially the areas that cover the psychiatric effects of gluten, and the obesity and gluten sensitivity connection.

To listen to the show live via the Internet go to: - Saturday (8/28/2010) at 8AM Pacific

The show is broadcast live from Boston, MA on 1510 AM Revolution Boston, a progressive 50,000-watt station reaching 5 states locally, and on Energy Talk Radio in San Francisco, and it reaches over 1,000,000 listeners. The show will be re-broadcast several times and will hopefully reach many more listeners.

Dreamvisions 7 Radio Network is holistic healing radio network with an eclectic group of radio hosts all with the common goal to help humankind by offering different modalities or programs combined with tools to bring awareness, joy and love to their listeners. Their vision is to continue to syndicate the Network of shows by having additional affiliates both terrestrial and Internet.

More information about them can be found on their Web sites:

The Grill of It All

Everything old is new again, at least it is in my kitchen. The neighbor passed along a lovely little George Foreman grill she had no interest in and although I can't take photos, text or place phone calls with it, the shiny little white griddle looks fine next to the juicer and food processor. It cooks a range of foods in no more than ten minutes and they are done on both sides with the juices dripping into a little tray placed at the front. Pluses: The food is juicy, cleanup is relatively quick and easy, the house doesn't smell of cooking, the grill marks are attractive. Shitake mushrooms come out ready to substitute for tofu. Steak and burgers are tasty. Zucchini slices are tender and juicy. Minuses: Breast of chicken is breast of chicken and no matter how I season or marinate it, it still tastes like styrofoam. The grill is a good hurry up tool for weight loss diet but once winter comes, I want to do my favorite more detailed recipes that I use for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet on the stove or in an oven Finally, I tend to use very new gadget on a daily basis for about two weeks and then rarely. Meanwhile, I'm letting George do it!
Taken directly from the FDA website:

Bay Valley Foods Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Egg and Wheat in Cans of Mislabeled Chef's Cupboard Chicken with Rice Soup

Sallie Gaines
Hill & Knowlton, Inc.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 28, 2010 - Westchester, Ill. - Bay Valley Foods is voluntarily recalling 10.5 oz cans of Chef's Cupboard Chicken with Rice Soup because some cans are mislabeled and may contain Vegetarian Vegetable Soup. The mislabeled product contains undeclared egg and wheat. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to eggs or wheat run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.

No adverse reactions have been reported to date. In addition to working in cooperation with the FDA, Bay Valley Foods is issuing an alert through the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. The recall was initiated after receipt of a consumer complaint.

The recalled product labeled as Chef's Cupboard Chicken with Rice Soup is marked with "BEST BY 01 05 12" that can be found on the bottom of the can. Product affected by this recall may have been distributed to Aldi stores nationwide. No other products or brands are affected by this recall.

Consumers who have purchased the recalled Chef's Cupboard Chicken with Rice Soup can return it to an Aldi store for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Bay Valley Foods Consumer Response Department at (1-800-236-1119) between the hours 9:00 am and 5:00 p.m. (EDT).
Directly from the FDA website and hot off the press!

DeBoles Nutritional Foods, Inc. Voluntarily Recalls One Lot Code of DeBoles Kids Only! Gluten Free Tubettini Corn Pasta Due to the Presence of an Undeclared Allergen, Lot Code 30JUN11D1

Company Contact:
Mike Miller,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 21, 2010 - DeBoles Nutritional Foods, Inc. announced that it is recalling one lot code of DeBoles® Kids Only! Gluten Free Tubettini Corn Pasta because it may contain undeclared whole wheat alphabet pasta. People who are allergic to wheat run the risk of an allergic reaction, which may be serious or life-threatening if they consume the recalled product.

The recalled lot was distributed to stores nationwide and through internet orders. 

The product comes in a cardboard box, 8.5 ounce, with a clear plastic window. The expiration lot code is on the top of the box and the UPC Code 087336638305 appears on the bottom of the box. No other lot codes are affected. This recall only affects:

Deboles kids only! gluten free tubettini corn pasta

Lot code:        30JUN11D1
No illnesses have been reported in connection with this product. It appears that certain product boxes in lot code 30JUN11D1 may contain whole wheat alphabet pasta mixed with the gluten-free tubettini corn pasta in packaging that did not declare wheat as an allergen and, as a result, the product is being recalled. The alphabet pasta is clearly visible and is a darker color and characteristic alphabet shape compared to the yellow corn small-tube pasta. 

Consumers who have purchased 8.5 ounce packages of DeBoles® Kids Only Gluten Free Tubettini Corn Pasta with Lot Number 30JUN11D1 are urged to return such packages to their place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-434-4246 during extended hours from Monday to Friday 9 am to 9 pm EDT, and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm

The Start

One day, I was doing some roofing and I got a fairly sharp pain in my chest, left side. It was not a jolt like you hear a heart attack would be like. However it did hurt, it hung around for about 30 minutes then it went, I thought I may of pulled a muscle. After all I was doing physical labour, which I was not used to.

A few days later it came back again, this time it lasted about 20 minutes. I had been taking it easy as I figured it was a pulled muscle.

After about a week of this on and off, I decided to go and get it check out at the hospital. I am not the sort of person to visit the doctors very often, I think it was about 5 years since I had seen one, after all I was a healthy male aged 30.

The visit to the hospital was rather quick, I went in, said I was having chest pains, they rushed me out back and hooked me up for a heart scan, there was nothing. My heart was very well by all accounts. The doctors agreed it was a pulled muscle and told me to go home, take it easy and it should ease within a few weeks...

Going gluten-free can be very difficult for some people, depending on their levels of sensitivities. It took practically a life-time for me to discover my own food intolerance's so when they were finally revealed to me, so much damage had already been done that I was very ill. Because of all the damage I caused my body from misdiagnosis, I am now very sensitive to gluten contamination, even the slightest cross-contamination can make me very ill for days or weeks.

It has taken me over a year to finally start feeling remotely “normal” and it has been a very long and often lonely road.  However, there are so many wonderful, caring people out there and thanks to, I feel fortunate to be blessed with insights from many of those caring people. Over the course of a year I have found out more about gluten sensitivities than most doctors know! I have learned the hard way for many things, but I have also picked up some wonderful  tips and tricks  for dealing with severe gluten intolerance. It would be selfish of me not to share these tips with others, so here they are and I hope they help you as much as they have helped me.

  1. Paper Towels – It is my opinion that paper towels are the most undervalued accessory you can have in your house as a person suffering from food sensitivities. While it may not be the most Eco-friendly product, it can be a real lifesaver! I use paper towels for just about everything. In my daily use, I use paper towels to dry off silverware, cups and plates after I rinse them. Even if the dishes I am rinsing are already clean, I rinse them again.  I do not live in a gluten-free household, so I choose not to take any chances with gluten crumbs contaminating my dishes. I use paper towels to dry my hands after I wash them 5 million times a day, because using a cloth towel in a gluten household can take a bad turn if the towel was used by a gluten loving person toweling their hands after handling gluten. If I am at a friends house and I am not sure how clean their house is, I use paper towels to open doors, microwaves and even to cover a cutting board before preparing my food. If I have to touch something with gluten for any reason, I pull off a trusty paper towel and use that as a buffer between me and the gluten. Paper towels are my new best friend and I buy them in bulk.
  2. Beans and Rice – Rinsing my dry beans, rice, and other such dry goods, before preparing them reduces my chances of getting contaminated by gluten. Even though rice and beans are naturally gluten-free, I was getting sick from them repeatedly prior to realizing that beans and rice can be harvested and/or manufactured alongside wheat, rye and/or barley. Rinsing and soaking your beans (even the canned beans) will minimize the possibility of getting glutened from your gluten-free food.
  3. Stamps/Envelopes – Stamps and envelopes are another source of gluten-contamination. The glue used in stamps and envelopes often contains gluten ingredients. I learned this the hard way after licking some envelopes and getting very sick.  Now I use the no-lick stamps and the no lick envelopes; they are a bit more expensive, but to me it's very worth it.
  4. Produce Stickers – Produce stickers, like stamps and envelopes are also said to have gluten containing ingredients in them. To avoid the chance of gluten contamination, I try to find produce without the stickers on them. If the sticker is unavoidable and the produce has a peel, I remove the sticker, and peel and wash my produce. If the produce does not have a peel, I remove the sticker and wash very well with my produce scrub brush.
  5. Ice-Trays – Ice trays are one of those things that most people never consider when thinking about gluten. However, I have gone to houses where it is common practice to keep food in or near the ice tray, especially ice trays within the automatic refrigerator ice dispensers. I have seen people put everything from ice-cream and bread, to alcohol in their ice tray's to get it really cold. Ice trays are very exposed and it is just too easy for crumbs to fall into them unknowingly so, I usually avoid ice in my drinks when I go out or go to a friends.
  6. Door Handles –  Everyone knows that door handles spread germs. But does anyone ever think about door handles spreading gluten? I keep my handles as clean as possible at home, but what about public places? Consider this: a person eats a gluten pizza, does not wash their hands and then opens the door and leaves the restaurant. If I open the door after that person, I run the  risk of getting contaminated by gluten and becoming very sick. Short of wearing gloves everywhere I go, (which isn't a bad idea) I do take precautions and I use my sleeve and/or immediately wash my hands after spending time in any public place, or at a friends. The same holds true  for other public things including light switches, public phones, and even video rentals. Think of all the  pizza loving hands covered in gluten  that have held movie rentals before you rent them. Considering most people watch movies while eating, I wash my hands after handling any movie rental, and especially before I touch anything else. Time permitting, I try to wipe down my video rentals with disinfectant as soon as I get them.
  7. Silverware Tray - Believe it or not, silverware trays are a major source of possible gluten contamination, especially if you are not living in a gluten-free household. Crumbs fall from the counter into the silverware tray and until you clean it, there it will remain. I wash my silverware tray frequently and I rinse and dry my silverware with a paper-towel before each use-just to be safe.
  8. Glass Containers – Plastic containers are a source of contamination because they often maintain a residue from the food you store in them. Therefore if you store gluten containing food in a plastic container, then there is a likelihood that your gluten-free food will get contaminated the next time you store gluten-free food in it. Additionally, things like soaking your plastic containers in dishwater with gluten contaminated dishes can also contaminate your plastic containers. Scratches in the plastic can also create a new haven for gluten residue. That is why I don't use plastic to store my food any longer. All the plastic containers in my house are dedicated to the gluten eating people and I bought all new glass storage containers for my food. They have plastic lids, but I don't cook with them on and my food rarely touches the lids anyway.
  9. Stay Connected – It is easy to get depressed about being on a restricted diet. Especially if you are (like me) surrounded by friends and family that don't take your gluten intolerance seriously, or simply don't understand. That's why it is so important to stay connected with other celiacs and gluten sensitive individuals. Join a support group, take a weekly walk with a celiac friend, talk to someone who understands you, all of the above.  It might take time to find a support network that works for you, but it is worth the energy you spend. You will find that most people in your boat are more than  happy to help you. There is nothing worse than feeling alone, so don't do it. Like the old phone commercials used to say, 'reach out and touch somebody'.
  10. When in Doubt, Do Without - Many of you have probably heard this saying already, but it is very true. Anytime I feel myself second guess the food I am about to consume, I immediately think to myself, ' when in doubt, do without,' and I do without. Prior to realizing my gluten-sensitivity, if I was preparing a meal and a piece of food dropped on the counter I would wash it and put it back with the rest of the food. Now, I don't think twice, I  throw it away. I don't care if I just cleaned my counters, I do not take any chances. If my rice toast accidentally touches something else in my kitchen, I tear off the piece that was contaminated. I  don't wait to find out the hard way if my food has been contaminated with gluten, I assume it has been and act accordingly. This may sound wasteful, and it does go against everything I believe in, but my health and well-being are more important to me than wasting a piece of bread or throwing out something because it may have gluten on it. Likewise, if I am out and about and come across seemingly gluten-free food that is not labeled as gluten-free, I will not eat it until I contact the manufacturer.

Celiac Disease Foundation is pleased to announce that UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) is now offering a Celiac Clinic.

Adult gastroenterologists, Eric Esrailian MD and Shannon Lewis MD will see patients on Tuesday mornings at 100 UCLA Medical Plaza, Suite 700, Los Angeles CA.

The UCLA Celiac Clinic will serve anyone who requires testing, is seeking a diagnosis or who is already diagnosed and needs follow-up care or a referral to another specialist.

For more info:

I have bee gluten-free for at least 2 and a half years now. And I really miss broccoli casserole, and green bean casserole. Of course both those recipes use the Durkee french fried onion rings which are definitely NOT gluten free. Don't you just wish the Durkee company would wise up?!

So I was absolutely delighted when I found a new product on the shelves of my local Giant: "Crisp Onions" made by Seneca Farms. They smell and taste much like Durkee's french fried onions, but just don't have flour on them. Here is the list of ingredients for "Crisp Onions": "Onions, Canola, Sunflower and/or Safflower Oil, Maltodextrin, Sea Salt."

My only question was whether the maltodextrin was free of gluten, so I wrote an email to the company asking. And here was the reply of Jan Stouch at their company:
"I have verified with the supplier of the maltodextrin that it is wheat/gluten free.  Seneca Foods Consumer Affairs"

I also know that Progresso now also makes a gluten-free Creamy Mushshroom Soup. Or I may use Classico's new gluten free "Mushroom Alfredo Sauce." Decisions, decisions! :) It's going to be broccoli casserole tonight, and quick and easy as it used to be! Yum! Can't wait.
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