May is Celiac Awareness Month

There are many events to celebrate 2012 Celiac Awareness Month. Many celiac/gluten free sites are participating in getting the word out about celiac disease. Here is a list of some of the places you can learn more about this:

  • What Health – Great article summarizing the goals of Celiac Awareness month along with a short list of events. The above graphic is from their site. Thank you!
  • National Foundation for Celiac Awareness – Central page for all of the events (in person and online), themed guest blogs from all of the “rock stars” of the gluten free/celiac community and more. They are the reason we have this month.
  • iamjtheblog – J has put together a very ambitious project called “Life with CD/GI/GS in Pictures”. Every day a guest blogger will submit a picture/collage describing their life with celiac disease/gluten intolerance/gluten sensitivity or from the point of view of someone who lives with them. Check it out daily and look for our contibution on May 11th!
  • East Bay Celiac – Has made a huge commitment to a daily posting of his life with Celiac Disease. As if that isn’t enough, he will also have guest posts from people living with GF folks AND he convinced some friends to live a week “as a celiac”. This is going to be good.
  • Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) – Their Chef to Plate 2012 initiative highlights restaurants that raise gluten free awareness worldwide.
  • Twin Cities Celiac Walk – “Making Tracks for Celiacs” is a Walk/Run for Celiac Disease Research & Awareness being held in Minnesota on Saturday, May 19, 2012.
  • I have Celi-Ac what? is posting daily during Celiac Awareness Month. These are excellent and well written posts. Note: As of 5/19, these have moved to her new site, Glamorous Without Gluten.

  • Updated 5/2/2012 – courtesy of wtfCeliac in our comments.

  • The Happy Gluten Free Vegan is doing a month of gf recipes.
  • The Gluten Free RD is writing a post-a-day for all of Celiac Awareness Month.
  • Ken Scheer is doing a post-a-day as well.

  • As always, if you are new to having to eat gluten free, check our sidebar for the “New to Gluten Free?” list of resources.

    These are just the ones I could type up tonight. If your event isn’t on here, please post a comment below, send an email to or let me know on twitter. More will be added as the month goes on.

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New to Gluten Free Update

We just added a link to our New to Gluten Free post.

Eating Gluten Free on a Budget — Jessica of wtf!Celiac has put together a great list of tips for eating well (and gluten free) without breaking the bank. Her point about eating gluten free for all meals if you have celiac/gluten sensitivity cannot be stressed enough.

This is really a must read post covering:

Being gluten free for life
Foods that are naturally gluten free
and a whole bunch of cheap and easy gluten free meals and snacks

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Another Gluten Free Kickstarter Project

We recently decided to support a Kickstarter project by Simone Shifnadel of Zenbelly Catering. Zenbelly Kitchen will be a shared gluten-free kitchen in San Francisco.

From their Kickstarter site:

The funds raised will go towards:

  • Purchase equipment for production, including prep tables, ovens, refrigeration, and storage
  • Obtain a Gluten-Free certification
  • Purchase initial supplies and ingredients

Zenbelly Kitchen will provide:

  • A workspace for gluten-free bakers and chefs.
  • A workspace for anyone with a naturally gluten-free product (jams, chocolate, raw foods, juice, etc)
  • An organic gluten-free catering company, safe for celiacs, worry free for those with gluten intolerance, and amazingly delicious for everyone.
  • A Paleo food to go & meal delivery service, serving local pasture raised meats from Fallon Hills Ranch and organic seasonal vegetable dishes sourced from local farms.
  • A neighborhood coffee shop, serving grain free and gluten free baked goods, and locally made artisan creations.
  • A place of education, offering assistance to those who are transitioning to a gluten free lifestyle.

While we are in the Bay Area, we are a bit far from SF, so we won’t be able to take advantage of this place very often. We still felt it was important to support this plan. There is a lot of “bootstrapping” going on in the Gluten Free Community. There are so many new small GF businesses starting lately. Software startups have huge support networks all over the country. This appears to be the same kind of support for new GF companies.

We weren’t able to give a lot, but every little bit will help them. Even if you aren’t in SF, please consider their proposal and give what you can.

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This is a good looking pizza

The gluten free pizza mentioned (From

As frequent readers of this site know (yes, all six of you!), I love me some pizza. I have had mixed results from several gluten free pizza mixes and my last attempt did everything but explode. This review of a pizza made with Bob’s Red Mill GF Pizza Crust Mix from Alissa at “Breaking Up with Captain Crunch” has made me want to give it another shot.

I will go grab a bag this weekend and go once again unto the cheese filled breach.

Thanks for the inspiration and, quite probably, the best name for a gluten free blog!

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Let’s Dish (Gluten Free)

Let’s Dish is a cooking show on the Live Well Network, a “lifestyle” channel. It is only available in about 60% of the U.S., but most of the shows appear to be on the website. Some good stuff there.

This episode, Gluten Free Recipes, has four segments. The embedded episode above is the full show.

Here are links to the individual segments and recipes.

Segment 1
Gluten-Free Mushroom Crepe Tortes

Segment 2
Gluten-Free Asian Noodle Salad with Sauteed Shrimp

UPDATE: In the video, he simply says “Soy Sauce” and, as you might already know, Soy Sauce is made with gluten. The recipe on the page, however, indicated that a gluten-free soy sauce should be used. Sorry I didn’t notice that sooner.

Segment 3
Gluten-Free Chicken Tortilla Soup

Segment 4
Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Can’t wait to try out the Mushroom Crepe Torte. That just looks tasty!

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I’m a Travelin’ Man (Gluten Free Remix)

Ricky Nelson fans, please forgive me for that title.

I have been going through a bit of a bad luck patch regarding eating in restaurants that aren’t 100% gluten free. This is very problematic when I travel. Recently, Kim and I decided to experiment with me not eating out during a two day cross country trip. Basically, I would need lunch, dinner and snacks for day one and all meals/snacks for day two. Now, technically, I have done this before, but I basically ate food in bar form (larabars, kind bars, pure bars, etc.) for two days. You survive, but two days of fruit and nuts when you aren’t hiking really isn’t that great.

5.8 cups of grass fed beef and rice

5.8 cups of grass fed beef and jasmine rice

We decided to go with a beef and rice dish along with a course of sweet potatoes and chicken breast. These would be divided up as my five meals and for snacks, I took peeled hard boiled eggs and carrots. Kim got these great 5.8 Cup Sterilite containers and 2 Cup Ziploc Twist N Loc containersfor the meals. The Sterilite containers are the ones in the pictures with the orange trim, the Ziploc have blue lids. They stayed cold, microwaved well and didn’t leak at all, regardless of how my bag got thrown around.

Travel food: beef, rice, chicken, sweet potatoes, eggs, carrots

In case you haven’t noticed by now, I am not a vegetarian. Do I like eating animals? No, not really, but this works for me. If you can deal with eating meat, this is a great way to get good meals without running the risk of getting glutened. If you are going to eat meat, do get the healthiest available. For us, that is 100% organic grass fed beef and 100% organic chicken, both from Trader Joe’s. Most major supermarkets now carry grass-fed beef and some will special order it for you. Since we are carrying something that we plan on eating a day (or three) after we leave the house, preparations need to be made to ensure that your food makes it all the way through your trip. The bag you choose is important.

REI Medium Lunch Cooler

We went with a Lunch Cooler from REI. REI sells outdoor and camping gear, so we figured it would be durable and effective while travelling all day. The containers fit perfectly, and got two of Sterilites, two of the Ziplocs and some ice. Speaking of ice. We refrigerated the items the night before I left. Placed the two large containers in, then a “sheet” of ice cubes. We used the Rubbermaid Blue Ice Blanket that we also picked up at REI. You have to balance how much you spend on these versus something like a reusable “Blue Ice” block. If you are flying and want to carry on the food, the TSA will not let any of the blue ice products through. Well, they say that if it is frozen solid, you will be okay, but I have about three hours between leaving home and getting to the airport, and my ice products are never solid by the time I get there. If have gotten ice packs through before, I would love to hear about it.

Our cat acted as the foreman on this project. Here he is checking the fit of the first container.

Now I was through security, but iceless. As I said, I was already three hours from home. I ate a hard boiled egg and some carrots. This opened up enough room to move the remaining egg to the carrot Ziploc and fill with ice. Most coffee places are fine with giving you a cup of ice. I always buy a coffee anyway, so asking for an extra cup isn’t a big deal. The one time I couldn’t get any extra ice, I ordered an iced coffee and put the ice (when I was done) into the Ziploc container. Once on the plane, there is never a problem getting ice. The cooler I used had side pockets for plastic utensils. I grabbed mine in airport, but you can also get them on the plane. The beef and rice dish is tasty cold, so about halfway through the flight, I had some of that. I polished off the carrots and replenished the ice. Next stop was the hotel.

Packed with ice and ready to close

Not all hotels have microwaves and refridgerators in rooms. It pays to call ahead. Since I started doing this, I have been able to ensure at least a microwave. Hotels will have ice machines, so, while not ideal, it will work.

This is certainly not the easiest way to travel, but if you plan ahead, you can guarantee a “gluten free” (and “bar-free”) trip. No suspect salads, no trying to explain your dietary needs while 20 hungry travelers impatiently stand behind you. Doing this has allowed me to have a lot less stress while on the road. Sure, the rental car often smells funny and the TSA guy is always too “handsy”, but not having to worry about eating is bliss.

Note: There are links in this post to and The Amazon links are affiliate links (which means I get a small percentage when you buy the linked item), the REI ones are not. I am trying this out to see if there is anything to this. I will do my best to disclose when I do this in the future.

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C Casa – Oxbow Public Market – Napa, CA Review

C Casa calls itself “An Innovative Kitchen” and Kim and I agree. It is rare to find a restaurant that is not only totally gluten free, but has grass fed meat (like buffalo!). Heck, it is hard enough to find grass fed meat locally as it is! They also offer vegan options on most of their dishes.

Located in the Oxbow Public Market in Napa, CA, C Casa is one of several artisanal food, wine and gift merchants in this charming market. After making a quick tour of the place, we discovered that we arrived during a welcome breakfast/lunch time overlap. Yes, if you arrive between 11 and 11:30, you can decide between breakfast or lunch. I had C CASA BREAKFAST (2 eggs cooked your way, served with roasted fingerling and new potatoes, and 2 fresh white corn tortillas with the grilled buffalo patty) and it was really, really good. I have never had buffalo and it was very tasty (and peppery). Kim had two tacos, the C CASA CHICKEN with cotija cheese, avocado, pico de gallo, chopped romaine, garlic aioli, cilantro & chipotle aioli and the AVOCADO with corn relish, poblanos, green onions, mixed greens & avocado crema. She liked them. We also liked the gluten free brownie.

We liked their food so much, that we ordered a WHOLE CHILE CRUSTED CHICKEN to take home for dinner. We also got a couple of more buffalo patties. The chicken was awesome. I would have taken a picture, but it kind of disappeared pretty quickly. The buffalo was great with breakfast the next morning.

There is so much dread that accompanies eating out when you have to absolutely avoid gluten. It was such a joy to be able to go somewhere and have someone else cook without worry. We drove about an hour to get there and it was worth every minute. On our next trip, we will try to go on a day that has their farmer’s market. We will also be trying Pica Pica Maize Kitchen, which is a 100% wheat and gluten free kitchen.

And we would be remiss if we didn’t give a huge thank you to Laura (@gf_traveller) from Gluten Free Traveller. She responded to my plea on twitter for a “clean” (GF only) restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area with a few suggestions, including C Casa. Thanks again, Laura. We really appreciated the tip.

Other reviews of C Casa and the Oxbow Public Market:

C Casa, An Innovative Kitchen — Karen in Real Life has a great review that mentions the buffalo and, frankly, has way better pictures than I took. Check out her site for reviews of the other restaurants at the Oxbow Public Market.

Gluten Free Napa, California — Gluten Free Travellers review of the Oxbow Public Market.

Vegan Napa — Thriving Vegan reviews a visit to Oxbow Public Market.

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These are some delicious cookies

Last week, I wrote about supporting gluten free small businesses. Well, the cookies have arrived from Mile End Bakery, and we couldn’t be happier. Seriously, these are some fine cookies. Kim was quoted saying:

“These are the best ginger cookies I have ever eaten.”

You will note that the third picture shows the box opening and only five cookies on the top layer. That first cookie disappeared quickly. Two more were soon eaten. It took some self control, but we did close the box and are saving the rest of the dozen for another day. Moderating sugar intake sucks sometimes, but we gotta do it.

Mallory and Anya made the process of ordering easy. They used the communication tools provided by Etsy to keep us up to date on the process, letting us know that the order was received and that they had been sent. The box was well padded and included a note.

Frankly, there are larger companies that aren’t able to deliver this well.

The cookies themselves are really, really good. They use “real butter, real sugar and the freshest eggs” and it shows. The flour mix they use was indistinguishable from “real” flour.

We look forward to trying more of their gluten free creations in the future.

Note: These cookies were bought and paid for by us. We did not receive any promotional consideration to write this review.

Extra Note: This does not mean that we aren’t open to free food. We like that, too.


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Supporting the Gluten Free Community

When a product that you need does not exist, you can either live without it or make it yourself. When it comes to prepared food that is gluten free, there didn’t used to be a lot of choices. If you read the stories of people who have had celiac disease for years, you will see that a lot of them ended up making the food they needed. Several of them are very active in the Gluten Free Community, online and off. Whether it is the book by Jules Shepard, The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten Free, that helps people get through the tough transition time of eating gluten free (and which spawned an entire Gluten Free product line) or the myriad of recipes offered by Shirley at Gluten Free Easily and Karina at Gluten Free Goddess, those of us who are just at the beginnings of our journey have a much easier time than they did because of their work.

The quality of prepared food has also gotten better. Breads are less grainy and don’t taste like cardboard. Of course, mass produced food requires ingredient shortcuts and substitutions. I lived on these substitutes for the first six months of being gluten free. They were tasty and I rarely got glutened. I also didn’t lose any weight or acheive lasting health gains until I moved over to eating mostly freshly cooked food.

I often struggle with finding prepared food that doesn’t contain ingredients I don’t want to eat. I couldn’t eat dairy for a while and I don’t want to eat soy. It makes travel and emergency “I am about to crash” eating fun. It also makes it hard to indulge every once in a while. I made myself sick recently just from worrying about what I could and could not eat. I lightened up a little, had some chocolate and felt better. My position now is eat well and have some gluten free treats every now and then. I finally understand why there are so many GF dessert recipes out there!

There are two new companies that I have taken an interest in that are producing food that would seem to match my need for good quality food I can actually eat.

We recently backed a company called “Squarebar” that is making a Gluten/Dairy/Soy free nutrition bar. We can’t afford much, but we backed them through Kickstarter. This allowed us to make a small contribution to a clearly stated goal. If you read our twitter feed, you have seen us tweet about them a few times. We will be doing it some more as their minimum funding deadline nears. Please check them out and consider adding your support. Even $8 or $20 would be much appreciated. I hope they raise their goal amount. I can’t wait to try one.

We also ordered some Gluten Free Ginger Cookies from Mile End Bakery tonight. Founded by two friends, Mallory and Anya, they produce Gluten Free and “Regular” cookies. Another Gluten Free Blog (Anya’s site) is one of the first places we linked to here and I was able to read her posts about experimenting with flours and deciding to “go pro.” It felt very good to support a community member that I have communicated with and I am sure the cookies will be fantastic.

Please take a look at Squarebar and think about hitting up Mallory and Anya for some cookies. You will get some food made by people who understand what you need and help them start their businesses. You really can’t go wrong.

I am sure there are other small companies producing quality eats for gluten free people. Please let us know in the comments.

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Gluten Free Canada

I recently came across a wonderful site called The Celiac Scene that has a guide to gluten free and celiac friendly restaurants across Canada. The search is very simple and extremely well done. The ability to breakout a city search into districts as well as see an overview at the city and province level is great. The results are uniquely presented with an integrated map and has the restaurants in a grid below. This isn’t a restaurant dump of every Outback Steakhouse and Wendy’s, but rather a carefully curated resource selected “by celiacs, for celiacs”. This level of detail is really unprecendented in US directories on the scale that is being done on this site. We do have some fine localized directories in the US, but, again, none at this scale and with this ease of use.

The US is not left out. We get a well laid out table of 100 GF friendly chain restaurants across the country. The list of printable and available as an RSS feed.

As if this weren’t enough, there are plenty of other resources and reviews as well as the events they sponsor, like the recent Gluten Free Expo in Vancouver. Their Celiac Facts section is also worth a visit.

Another thing that is very refreshing about The Celiac Scene is their design. Sure, there is advertising, but it is tasteful and integrated. There is nothing garish or jarring about the ads. They serve their purpose well. A pet peeve of mine is site owners who manage their articles and comments with an iron fist, yet allow simply awful ads.

I can say that if I could get Gluten Free City to be in the same class as The Celiac Scene I would be very happy, indeed.

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