Thursday, December 31, 2009

10 New Year's Resolutions to Improve Your Gluten Free Lifestyle


1.EAT BREAKFAST: It's still considered the most important meal of the day. There are plenty of gluten free options for breakfast including: eggs, gluten free oats, gluten free cereal,Greek yogurt and fruit, or gluten free meal replacement bars. You can even try a peanut butter and jelly on gluten free waffles.
2.CHOOSE AT LEAST 5 SERVINGS OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES A DAY: These are naturally gluten free and provide,fiber,vitamins and minerals to your diet.
3 EVALUATE THE FIBER CONTENT OF YOUR DIET: The goal for most adults is 25g/day. Make sure to increase your fluids as you increase your fiber!
4.CHOOSE WHOLE GRAINS: At least half of your grain sources should be whole grains. Gluten Free Whole Grains include: popcorn, quinoa, buckwheat,amaranth, millet, montina, brown rice, wild rice, sorghum, and teff.
5.EVALUATE THE FAT CONTENT OF YOUR DIET: Current recommendations suggests avoiding Trans Fats, and limiting total fat intake to 25-30% of your total caloric intake. Saturated fats should be limited to 7-10% of total calories. Translated for someone who consumes around 2000 calories per day that would give them a total fat goal of 56-67 g total fat per day and 16 to 22 g of saturated fat per day.
6.EVALUATE DIET FOR ADEQUATE CALCIUM AND VITAMIN D: The RDI for most adults is 1000mg of Calcium per day. 8 0z. of low fat milk provides 290mg of Calcium. If you follow a dairy free diet, include the following to boost your calcium intake: sesame seeds, spinach, broccoli,kale, collard greens and sardines. You may also like to include calcium fortified orange juice. If your diet is lacking, it is important to consider supplementation.
7.MANAGE YOUR WEIGHT, KNOW YOUR BMI (body mass index)Normal Weight Range is 18.5-24.9. Go to the NIH BMI Calculator to figure your BMI.
8.LIMIT EXCESS REFINED SUGARS: The American Heart Association issued a statement in August 2009 recommending women limit their extra sugars to 6 teaspoons/per day and men to 9 teaspoons/per day. Note a regular 12 oz soda contains about 10 teaspoons!
9. CHOOSE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DAILY: Invest in a pedometer which will track your steps, aim for 10,000 steps per day which is 5 miles.
10.SMILE: A positive attitude and outlook contributes to a healthy lifestyle!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rosie's Plate Holiday Tasting and January Classes

If you are out looking at Christmas lights or holiday shopping tomorrow night you may want to stop by Rosie's Plate in Raleigh for their free Holiday Tasting Party:
Rosie's December
Holiday Tasting !
Tomorrow, December 18th
5~7 p.m.
Serving Lots Of Sensational Seasonal Samples...
Hope you can make it!


Rosie's is also offering several January classes that sound helpful and interesting to those following a gluten free diet:
Rosie's Classes...
Begin The New Year With
Health and Wellness!
_______________________________________________

Rosie's GF, Egg and Dairy Free Baking Class
Presented by Emily Ellis, Rosie's Executive Chef
A 2-Part Series $70
Part I: Informational Class
Meet in our studio to learn the basics
of baking gluten, egg and dairy free.
Sat., Jan. 9th 2~3:30 p.m.

Part II: In The Kitchen
Join Emily in our kitchen
to get the hands-on experience you've been waiting for!
Sat., Jan. 23rd 2 ~ 3:30 p.m.
We'll start by discussing how alternative flours work and how to make substitutions. You'll also learn about important stabilizers and natural sugars used in GF baking. Get an up-close demonstration of how to make
your own tasty GF, egg and dairy free baked goods.
And, of course there will be lots of samples to take home!
Only 6 people per class so everyone gets a front row seat!
_________________________________________________________________________

"Healthy Eating and Supplementation For The New Year" Workshop
Presented by Dr. Jennifer Kaumeyer, Naturopathic Physician
Saturday, Jan. 16th 10~12:30 p.m. $35
You don't have to settle for a decreased quality of life. Come learn how to change your habits so that you feel great in the new year!
You'll come away with helpful dietary advice, the low down on food additives,
the ins and outs of supplementation.
Plus... an introduction to Dr. Kaumeyer's
individualized 12 week weight loss program.

And...learn how Rosie's can help!
__________________________________________

Gluten Free 101 Class
Presented by Zach Becker
Saturday, January 23rd 1~3:30 pm, $35
Learn how to easily segue into a GF lifestyle from someone who's been there. Zach Becker of the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog will cover a myriad of topics from how to transition your kitchen and pantry to what resources are out there. This is a wonderful introduction to living successfully, and happily, without gluten!

Sign Up Today! ...Limited seating.
919.833.0505
Rosie's Plate
701 N Person Street
Raleigh, N C 27604
919.833.0505
www.RosiesPlate.com

Monday, December 14, 2009

Does Blue Cheese Have a Place in The Gluten Free Diet. .

During a recent episode of Dr. Oz, Elisabeth Hasselbeck included blue cheese as a source of gluten containing foods. There is conflicting information circulating around on this subject and I wanted to gather the most up to date information I could find to help you decide if you should include blue cheese in your gluten free diet. A search on the web finds variable food lists where blue cheese is listed as safe on some lists and prohibited on others. I contacted Tricia Thompson, MS,RD author of three gluten free books: The Gluten Free Nutrition Guide, Celiac Disease Nutrition Guide and The Complete Idiot's Guide Gluten Free Eating, for her recommendations. Tricia replied:
Hi Debbie,

This is the statement on blue cheese that Melinda Dennis (Nutrition Coordinator of the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess) and I contributed to and reviewed for Zeer.com (Read my earlier post on Zeer.com here):

Description: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) defines blue cheese as, "characterized by the presence of bluish-green mold, penicillium roquefortii, throughout the cheese." The requirements of the CFR also describe the process by which blue cheese is made. This process begins by placing curds into forms and adding the mold spores of penicillium roquefortii. As the cheese ages the forms are turned and drained. When the draining is complete, the shaped curd is removed and treated with either a dry salt or brine. At this point holes are made in the surface of the curds, and it is kept at a damp and cool temperature until the characteristic blue-green mold has developed. Blue cheese must be aged for at least 60 days.

Blue cheeses include Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola, and Danish Blue and are made from cow's milk, sheep's milk, or goat's milk cheeses that have been injected with mold. The resulting blue veining gives them their distinct flavor. At one time, most blue cheeses were made in caves by injecting the curds with bread mold. Some European blue cheese still may be injected with mold spores grown on bread made with rye flour or a wheat/rye flour mix. Blue cheeses are typically aged in a temperature-controlled environment including most blue cheeses produced in the U.S. today. Most blue cheeses in the U.S. are not started with a bread mold because it is not efficient or economical.

Gluten-Free Information: If blue cheese is produced through mold grown on bread it is still highly unlikely that it would contain significant amounts of gluten (20 ppm or more gluten). Penicillium roqueforti spores should be purified before being injected into cheese. Furthermore, blue cheese is an FDA-regulated food, and under the agency's Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) if a food includes an ingredient (in this case, penicillium roqueforti) that contains wheat protein, wheat must be declared on the label, either in the ingredients list or in the "Contains" statement. If the spores contained protein from rye this would not have to be declared.


Info Last Confirmed: May 8, 2009


Canadian dietitian, Shelley Case, RD, author of Gluten-Free Diet a Comprehensive Resource Guide. Includes a very detailed article on Blue Cheese with current research on her website. This article was written by Alex Anca, MHSc, RD and published in the March, 2009 issue of the Candian Celiac Association Celiac New. As with all information on the gluten free diet I encourage everyone to make sure you are making your decisions on up to date scientific evidence not out dated information.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dr. Oz and Oprah Giving Gluten Free Living Some Press

In case you have not read some of the GF news this week on other blogs. I wanted to mention what I read on Nancy Lapid's About.com. The Dr Oz show this week, December 10th, Thursday will be discussing Celiac Disease. Expected guests include Dr. Green and Elisabeth Hasslebeck. In our area this can be seen on Fox 50 WRAZ at 5:00pm Thurs. The Fox 50 description of the program reads:
The Dr. Oz Show Hidden Epidemic: When Bloating Is a Sign of Something Toxic (New, TVPG) Scheduled: Dr. Oz is joined by Elisabeth Hasselbeck in a discussion about bloating; a mother of three tells how she lost 80 pounds; ulcers and stress.
. The Dr. Oz site describes the show this way:
Bloating? Fatigue? Joint pain? Learn what serious disease presents these common symptoms.

Oprah.com is featuring the Gluten Free Girl and her husband with favorite gluten free holiday recipes.
Shauna James Ahern and Danny Ahern make up the husband-and-wife team of "Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef." Named of the best food blogs in the world by Gourmet.com and BonAppetit.com, Shauna and Danny create an amazing array of dinners, drinks, desserts and more, all without a hint of gluten!

Both sound interesting. I hope to check them out and to try the 36 hour chocolate chip cookies mentioned on Oprah's site!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mediterra Grill, Restaurant Review

I recently had lunch at Mediterra Grill, which offers authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Located in the Pavilion East, off Erwin Road, it is convenient for those who work at or around Duke University. There is casual sit down dining and take out is also available. The menu offers daily specials and a nice explanation of what ingredients are used to make an item. Example: Humus: chick pea, tahini, lemon juice or Chicken Hashwi: rice, ground beef topped with shredded chicken and nuts. The prices are reasonable ranging from $2.99 to $9.95. Take a detailed look at the menu here. The staff was very helpful in answering my questions and because you order at the counter you have a good look at the deli case and the items being prepared. As with all gluten free dining experience ask questions and make your requests known. I found this to be a good gluten free dining option. Note: They offer several gluten free dips, but bring your own crackers as pita bread is not gluten free!

Mediterra Grill‎
Pavilion East

2608 Erwin rd, Suite 136
Durham, NC, 27705
Phone:919-383-0066
Fax: 919-383-0061

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Product Watch: Quaker Rice Cakes Testing Gluten Free?


I call various companies from time to time to recheck the information on their products. Upon the request of a client, I called the customer service number on the back of the Quaker Oats Rice Cakes Package and have learned some information worth passing along. According to two different customer representatives (I called and asked the same question on different days to validate the answer)Quaker is in the process of testing all their products for gluten content. The Quaker rice cake ingredients are gluten free:
Lightly Salted Rice Cakes

Ingredients:

WHOLE GRAIN BROWN RICE, SALT

MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF PEANUTS.


BUT the concern in the past has been over the risk of cross contamination. According to my phone conversation the regular rice cake products are testing at less than 20 PPM. The company plans to start using the "Gluten Free" label on the rice cake products soon. I was told to be on the lookout for the apple cinnamon variety to be labeled first. When I asked if the products currently on the grocery shelves are gluten free, just not labeled that way yet, the representatives were hesitant to commit to a yes for sure, but advised me to look for the gluten free label. You can find further information on the Quaker Rice Cakes at their website by clicking here.
The variety of rice cakes are available in eight different flavors. Word of caution the information only applies to the regular size rice cakes, not the mini Quakes product at this time. I have emailed the company for further information and will update this product watch as I learn more.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Gluten Free Thanksgiving!


I am stepping away from my usual informative posts to reflect on the many things that I have become thankful since my diagnosis with Celiac Disease:

First to a great primary care doctor that was the first to consider my medical issues might be related to Celiac Disease.

For a disease whose sole treatment is diet alone.

Because of my diagnosis other family members were screened and their disease was caught in a timely manner rather than suffering years of tests and medical complications.

For my body responding to a gluten free diet and my anemia resolving so that my MD said "WOW, you have improved so much it looks like you have had a blood transfusion!"

For very supportive family, friends, and coworkers.

To already be working and trained in the field of nutrition and special diets as a registered dietitian. My diagnosis has truely given me new empathy and insight to those that must follow a special diet for a variety of medical needs.

For all the foods that are naturally gluten free.

For the exploding gluten free food market, the options seem to be endless.

For living in a great area that offers many places to shop for gluten free foods.

For the support of national and local support groups, that make following a gluten free diet so much easier.

For Zach's creating the Gluten Free North Carolina network and for giving me the opportunity to write for Gluten Free Durham.

We all have much to be Thankful for....

Have a Wonderful Gluten Free Thanksgiving,
Debbie

Monday, November 16, 2009

Teer House Community Education Presents: Celiac Disease: New Diet Options

I had lunch last week with a colleague of mine: Lesley Stanford. Lesley has worked at Duke University as a dietitian for the last 21 years and has staffed the pediatric G.I. clinic for the last 12 years. In fact she was the dietitian that spoke with me while my daughter was undergoing her endoscopy procedure and later diagnosis of Celiac Disease. As part of Duke's community education series, Lesley will be speaking at the Teer House located in Durham. Her talk is entitled Celiac Disease: New Diet Options. Lesley explained that she hopes to make this a practical talk with an exchange of ideas. While Lesley does not have Celiac Disease herself, she has much experience talking to families and children with Celiac Disease and other medical conditions. She has tried several gluten free products and gathers wonderful tips from her patients. This class is FREE and open to the public. The Class will be held Tuesday, January 19, 2010, 6:30-8:00 pm. Registration is required. I know January seems like a long time off but if you want to assure your spot in this class you can register now. For further information, directions and to register click here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gluten Free Cooking Videos from Kitchen Therapy

As a member of a group of dietitians specializing in gluten intolerance, I was given the opportunity to trial some cooking videos from Kitchen Therapy. Kitchen Therapy is run by Linda Simon, RD. She is a registered dietitian and a certified personal chef. Her Website, Kitchen Therapy, provides recipes, blogs and cooking videos. I previewed the After School Snacks Video and thought the content and instructions were easy to follow and simple to produce in my own kitchen. Linda's videos do not have a lot of "bells and whistles" but remind me more of my mom trying to teach me how to cook or maybe a class in Home Economics. In addition to cooking instructions, Linda offers sound nutritional information. If you are wondering how to navigate around your kitchen for Thanksgiving, you may be interested in checking out her "My First Thanksgiving and I Made it Myself" video series, which includes 6 gluten free videos. You actually purchase a subscription to the video series for $14.95 which is active for 4 months. For information on purchasing the cooking series click here. Linda is interested in meeting the needs of her clients and has a place for feedback and cooking video request on The Kitchen Therapy website.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gluten Free Dining at Duke Expands

Are you a Duke Student, Faculty, or Staff? Well the gluten free options on campus have just enlarged with the recent addition of Rosie's Plate gluten free products to The Great Hall on a daily basis. The Great Hall Dining Facility located on Duke's West Campus is also open to the public. I was contacted by Rose Waring, the owner of Rosie's Plate earlier this week and she asked that I let Durham folks know of this new option for gluten free dining. She explains "I wanted you all to be the first to know the latest greatest exciting news from Rosie’s Plate! Bon Apetit has invited us to offer Rosie’s Plate at the Great Hall Café on Duke’s West Campus. We just started this past Monday and we’re stocking a great selection of our baked goods and savory items. We’re especially excited because the Great Hall Café is open to all Durham residents, not just students, so it’s a really convenient way for people in Durham to enjoy Rosie’s Plate every day." According to Rose daily products will include:

In the Cold Case you will find:
  • entrees with sides, salads, soups, dips and desserts
The bakery display is right at the front of the café and includes
  • includes sugar cake doughnuts, pita, muffins, trail mix bars, single
  • cookies, cheese crackers, graham crackers, granola and cupcakes
Rosie's Plate, located in Raleigh, is a completely gluten, shellfish, and peanut free facility.
To help serve Durham customers they have been providing a weekly delivery service on Tuesdays at Duke Gardens, you can read more about this option from my earlier post. If you are wondering about parking on Duke's West Campus, click here for further information. Having a daily presence at the Great Hall is a wonderful convenience for Durham residents, Thank You Rosie's Plate!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Great Harvest Bread offers Gluten Free Bread

My gluten free UNC student alerted me to the fact a few weeks ago that the Great Harvest Bread Company in Chapel Hill is offering gluten free bread on Thursdays. I called and spoke with the owner, Rebecca McCorkle, to gather further information. She informed me that they offer both a plain sandwich loaf and a cinnamon raisin variety, each for $5.95. She also explained that they understand the importance of limiting the risk of cross contamination. Thus, the gluten free loaves are baked first thing in the morning in machinery that has been clean and sanitized. They are baked in disposable pans. The gluten free loaves are also stored with a paper covering over the top. I contacted the Dieitian, who serves as a nutrition consultant with with the corporate Great Harvest Bread Company and received the following information: That many of the franchise stores have begun to offer Gluten Free Bread, the basic recipe includes: Water, Cultured Buttermilk, Tapioca Flour, Honey, Brown Rice Flour, Eggs, Buckwheat, Flax Seeds, Cornstarch, Butter (Milk), Yeast, Xantham Gum, Salt, and White Wine Vinegar. NOTE The Chapel Hill Store is offering their bread as both GLUTEN FREE and DAIRY FREE. They have modified their recipe to substitute the buttermilk with rice milk and replace the butter with canola oil. So what about Cross Contamination? The email from the corporate dietitian reads: "Please keep in mind that Great Harvest is a whole grain bread company and that we have lots of flour dust in the bakery. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten free product." Rebecca, from the Chapel Hill Store, seems very motivated to meet the needs of those needing to consume a safe GF product and is willing to consider testing for the presence of gluten in their product. I plan to provide them with further information on reliable testing of products. My daughter and I have tasted both varieties of their bread without any noticeable negative reactions. The quality of the bread is very good and the slices taste good both toasted and freshly sliced. If these products test less than the 20 ppm level, they will make a nice addition to a gluten free diet.

Location and Hours:

229 S. Elliott Road
Chapel Hill, NC
27514

919-932-1112


Great Harvest is open:

Tuesday-Friday 7am-6pm
Saturday 7am-4pm

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Food Allergy Walk This Saturday

This Saturday, November 7th, 2009, there will be a walk to raise funds and awareness for Food Allergies held in Cary. The walk is sponsored by The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and NC FACES (North Carolina Food Allergic Children Excelling Safely) support group. This will be an excellent opportunity to shine the spotlight on food allergies and how they affect millions of Americans. If you have not seen my Food Allergen Restaurant Poster Petition, click here.

Walk Details
Date: Saturday, November 7, 2009
Time: Check-in begins at 9:00 a.m.; Walk begins at 10:00 a.m.
Location: Bond Park, 801 High House Road, Cary, NC 27513
Distance: 2 miles
Event Web site (visit this site to create or join a team or give
Email Contact: Christa Davidson
Restrictions: No pets, glass bottles, bikes, roller skates, or skate boards. Baby strollers and wagons are welcomed.
Target Fundraising Goal: $70,000 (currently have raised nearly $14,000)

About FAAN
FAAN is a national network offering support and education for people with food allergies. There is a ton a great information on their Web site. The group was established in 1991. FAAN’s membership now stands at close to 30,000 worldwide and includes families, dietitians, nurses, physicians, school staff, and representatives from government agencies and the food and pharmaceutical industries. FAAN serves as the communication link between the patient and others. FAAN focuses on awareness, education, advocacy, research and many other areas (a lot of the same goals for this blog). FAAN is (and has been conducting Food Allergy Walks all over the US for years now. Click here for the Walk Web site. There was also a race in Charlotte this past September which raised more than $25,000 and had over 300 participants.

About NC FACES
NC FACES was started by local parents in 2003 who had children with food allergies. The group began by getting together for play dates and has now grown to over 200 families. They focus on providing local social and emotional support for food allergic families. The group usually has quarterly meetings and other events like Easter egg hunts, Halloween fun and games at the Durham Bulls. They are also a big reason for the local FAAN Walk. Click here for the groups Web site or click here to email for more information. You can also check out the group on Facebook.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Armour Chili Recall-CONTAINS WHEAT

CHECK YOUR PANTRY SHELVES:
According to the USDA's Food Safery and Inspection site issued October 28, 2009
Pinnacle Foods Group LLC is recalling “ARMOUR Chili with Beans, Original” due to mislabeling in the packaging and may contain wheat.

The product was distributed to retail stores in Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, NORTH CAROLINA, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The 15-oz. cans come in a case of six with a plastic over-wrap that incorrectly states the product is "Gluten Free," while the product actually may contain wheat. The label bears an “EST. 2AD” number inside the USDA mark of inspection with dates ranging from August 26, 2009 to October 28, 2009. 91,125 pounds of chili is under recall.

Consumers with questions may call (800) 253-5882.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kroger-New Products


On a recent trip to the Kroger on Roxboro Road I was happy to see some new gluten free products in their Nature's Market section of the store. They had a wide variety of French Meadow Bakery products. I have written in an earlier post about how Kroger is a great place to find many products. Click here to review previous posts about Kroger. I had tried the French Meadow line of rolls and wraps but had a hard time finding them locally. Kroger had a nice display of many of their products. I tried a blueberry muffin and a loaf of their multi-grain bread. One slice of this bread provides 3 grams of fiber! Both were very good. To examine more specifics about the French Meadow line of gluten free baked goods click here.

Kroger
5116 N Roxboro Road
Durham, NC 27704
919-471-6263

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jules Shepard Gluten Free Thanksgiving Cooking Class @ Earth Fare










I've written numerous times about Celiac expert and Gluten Free cooking guru Jules Shepard before on Gluten Free Raleigh. Jules currently resides in Baltimore but has North Carolina ties and stops in for a visit every few months. Each time she stops in we are very lucky! I have had the pleasure of organizing 2 previous cooking classes with Jules (February & July) and she stopped by for another one in August. I have great news to report, Jules will again be back in Raleigh, this time for a timely Gluten Free Thanksgiving themed cooking demonstration. Thanksgiving can be like navigating a Gluten minefield, this class will be the perfect way to have a great GF feast.

See below for more information. I encourage you to sign up soon as space is limited and Jules' classes are in very high demand. As always, portion of the proceeds will go toward Celiac Disease research.
GF Thanksgiving With Jules Shepard
Earth Fare Raleigh

Sunday Nov. 15, 2-4:30pm


Jules Shepard returns to Earth Fare Raleigh to get us all ready for a delicious gluten-free Thanksgiving! Come experience firsthand how knowledgeable, entertaining and encouraging North Carolina native and gluten-free cooking expert Jules Shepard can be, at this in-person demonstration with the focus on Thanksgiving! Learn how simple it can be to prepare amazing gluten-free meals everyone in your family will enjoy this holiday season.

Dishes like gluten-free and dairy-free homemade casseroles, pie crusts, pumpkin pie, dinner rolls and stuffing! Sample a wide variety of goodies, ask questions and have Jules sign one of her two books at this limited-space class. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis.

As a special bonus, registrants in this Thanksgiving class will each get Jules' brand new 34 page Thanksgiving E-book full of recipes and tips for a great holiday (a $12.95 value)! See you there!

Class Fee is $40 (a portion of this registration fee will be donated to the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research)
To register, visit JulesGlutenFree.com or call (433-1390)/visit Earth Fare.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Treats


With Halloween just a few days away I wanted to direct readers to a wonderful resource compiled by Cheryl Harris, RD who is another Gluten Free dietitian like me. She lives and works in Virginia. Cheryl has a very informative website and her Gluten Free Candy List entitled "Rock"tober 2009 is 22 pages of updated information on tons of treats. You can access her website here and the direct link to the candy list here. Well Done Cheryl!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blue Corn Cafe, Restaurant Review

I had an awesome dining out experience the other evening at Blue Corn Cafe, located on Ninth Street in Durham. Blue Corn is owned by husband and wife team: Danielle Martini-Rios and Antonio Rios, the same owners of Tosca. See my earlier post on Tosca here. Blue Corn Cafe offers Latin American foods in a casual atmosphere. There are several options that work in a gluten free diet. Our server, Nala, was extremely knowledgeable and willing to accommodate my GF needs. In fact she just about new what questions I would ask, before I asked them. She assured me that the chips are made on site and prepared in a designated fryer. She made several recommendations on menu selections. Although my first choice was salmon, (which they ran out of that evening) I settled for Vegetarian Fajitas with rice and black beans. She offered to bring me corn tortillas instead of flour but I chose just to mix the veggies with my rice. The service, gluten free options and quality of food was excellent. I would recommend you try Blue Corn Cafe.


Phone: 919-286-9600
Directions:
Located on Ninth Street right near the University

From I-40, take Durham Freeway North, Exit #14 (Swift Ave.), turn right; 1st light - left on Main Street; next light - right on Ninth Street-1/2 block on the right.

Hours:
Mon - Thurs 11:30 to 9:00
Fri & Sat 11:30 to 9:30

Monday, October 12, 2009

Gluten Free Week at Camp Kanata-2010



Registration has opened for campers to sign up for Camp Kanata's Gluten Free Week. The 2010 camp week will be June 27-July 3 and "Olympics" will be the theme for the week. This camp is one of two guided by the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG) and is located in Wake Forest, NC. The Philosophy of the GIG camp is stated as:

GIG believes that kids following a gluten-free lifestyle need to learn to be kids in the real world. Therefore we operate GIG Kids Camps as a part of the mainstream camping programs. As a mainstream camp we are able to get to know every GIG Camper by name and better meet their needs because our total number of campers is less than the dedicated camp. To read more about camp from GIG click here.

This will be my fourth year as the Dietitian overseeing GF week and Camp Kanata! It is a great week for both volunteers and campers. To read my previous post about camp click here. Camp Kanata will have an information table at the Gluten Free Fair at Raleigh Whole Foods on Saturday, October 17th. Stop by to ask me questions or talk with other volunteers.

Note: camp usually fills very quickly. In past years most slots are full by the end of January. To register go to the Camp Kanata web site.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gluten Free Fast Food Guide

Wendy, who writes the Gluten Free Greenie blog in Durham, has posted a very helpful tool to her site. She has taken the time to compile 17 pages of information from various fast food restaurants including: Arby's, Boston Market, Camille's Sidewalk Cafe, Chick-fil-A, Fire House Subs, Panera Bread, and several others. She has put the document on Scribd. I was able to download the document once I signed up for a free account with Scribd. To access the resource click here. This is a valuable reference to keep in your car, so you have gluten free information on hand when you need it! As always ingredients can change so if you have any questions ASK and make sure you are using the most updated information for each restaurant. Thank you Wendy for sharing this with the gluten free community!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vita, Restaurant Review


I've found a Durham Restaurant that offers several gluten free options, delicious food and an affordable price: Vita Restaurant Although they do not have a special gluten free menu several offerings work in a gluten free diet. They have salads and the fillings of several sandwiches would make a nice meal. Some sandwiches fillings that could be served as an entree include: ground sirloin burger, portabella mushroom, flank steak, chicken salad. Unfortunately they do not offer gluten free pizza or pasta but I enjoyed a serving of their "Eggplant Parmigiana della Melanzana" which was made from eggplant, mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. Average price for a lunch item is $7.00 and $9.00 for a dinner entree. Our server was very helpful and happy to answer all my questions. If I am going to an Italian restaurant during a non-busy time I will often bring my own gluten free pasta along and ask if they would prepare it for me, (always noting the importance of a separate pot to boil the noodles and the need for a clean colander). Many Italian sauces are naturally gluten free. I hope to try this when I return to Vita for another meal. Vita offers indoor and outdoor dining. Reservations are recommended for large parties of 6 or more and take out ordering is available.

Located in Erwin Square next to Parizade Cafe at
2200 West Main Street
Durham, NC 27702
919-286-9755

Hours:
M-Th: 11:00-10:00
F-S: 11:00-11:00
Sun: closed
Bar open until 2:00

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hardee's Gluten Free Menu and Coupons

Nancy Lapid from About.com:Celiac Disease had a great post drawing the attention to the offerings at Hardees Fast Food Restaurant. Durham has four Hardees Restaurants. You can click here to review the Gluten Free information from Hardees and to download coupons. The coupons are good until November 30th and include a free side salad, Diet Coke, or Dasani Water with your Gluten Free order. You can get detailed allergy information which was updated as of 1/26/2009 by clicking here. The Hardees in Durham are located:


2721 Chapel Hill Rd
Durham,NC 27707
919-489-6958

1032 N Miami Rd
Durham,NC 27703
919-688-9508

3912 N Duke St
Durham,NC 27704
919-477-8830

4607 S Alston Ave
Durham,NC 27713
919-544-5362

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wendy's French Fries, Word of Caution

The summer 2009 issue of the GIG Quarterly Newsletter included an article on Wendy's french fries. According to this article and Wendy's company website "French Fries may be cooked in the same oil as boneless chicken wings, crispy chicken patty, crispy chicken nuggets and fish filets (where available) which contain a wheat allergen."
Not all Wendy's have dedicated fryers for french fries. The GIG article also recommends that if you do find a dedicated fryer to ask that the fries be taken with clean tongs directly from the fryer, to cut down on the chance of cross contamination. As always make sure you are looking at current information, the Wendy's allergen information was updated in June 2009 you can review it here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

PF Chang's China Bistro, Restaurant Review

One of my all time favorite gluten free restaurant options is PF Chang's. I recently enjoyed a nice dinner of "Singapoor Street Noodles" and "Egg Drop Soup" on their outside patio. When I asked the hostess for the gluten free menu, she informed me that the GF menu was now listed on back of the normal menu, so no need to ask for a separate menu any longer! It was also pointed out to me by our server that anything coming out of the kitchen would be on a plate that had the words "PF Chang's" on its brim, so that staff could easily identify the GF meals from the others. To check out the complete gluten free menu which was updated 7/09 click here. They also will bring you a dish of gluten free soy sauce upon request. I was excited to receive my PF Chang's warrior card in the mail today, that will give me 10% off all purchases through the end of the year; a good reason to go back again soon!

PF Chang's in Durham is located across from SouthPoint Mall
6801Fayetteville Rd
Durham, NC
(919) 294-3131

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Angel Food Ministry-Gluten Free Box-Update

I first wrote about Angel Food Ministries Allergen Free Box of food back in June. Click here to review that entry. I have received an update from the folks at Angel Food Ministries to remind users that Monday, September 14th is the last day to place an order for delivery in the month of September. They also pointed out some coupons that are available if you order on-line "10FALLSP1" gives 10% off the Special box #1 of Angel Food. "SeptSig5" gives 5% off a signature box of Angel Food Products.
It appears they have updated their website with actual pictures of the food products you receive in your order. Click here to take a look! As a reminder the allergen free box is free of the main food allergens including gluten. To locate a host site for order and delivery follow this link.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Alivia's Durham Bistro, Restaurant Review

I love finding a restaurant with outside seating this time of year. I often drive by a place and wonder "do they have anything I can eat there?". Well I decided to try lunch at Alivia's Durham Bistro the other day. While they do not have a designated gluten free menu, they did have several things to select that would work in a gluten free diet. The lunch menu listed salads, pork tenderloin, tuna, salmon, shrimp, burgers, you can see the complete menu on their website for brunch, lunch, dinner and late night. Brunch looks like there might be some gluten free options. It is my personal opinion that you can tell much about a restaurant by your interaction with your server. My server was very helpful and not bothered to answer my many gluten ingredient questions! I did learn that everything is fried in the same fryer, so french fries were out. I also learned that the walnuts that were going to be on my salad were tossed into this same fryer, so due to cross contamination issues those were out! I usually always ask about the coating on walnuts, but that they used the fryer was news to me. My server also informed me that they use a pre-made stock for their soups, so that would probably exclude soups as a safe gluten free option. After a little detective work the menu was narrowed down for me and I enjoyed a yummy salad. I remembered to bring my own rice crackers from home so that was a nice addition to the salad. If you are driving around the BrightLeaf area and want to dine at a casual bistro, you may find some gluten free options that will work for you at Alivia's.

Aliva's is located at:
900 W Main St.
Durham, NC 27701
919-323-9172

Hours:
M-F 11-3 Lunch
S-S 10-3 Brunch
Sun-Thur 5:30-10:00 Dinner
Fri-Sat 5:30-11:00 Dinner
Late night until 2:00 am

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Zeer Select-Gluten Free Resource

I wanted tell you about Zeer.com, according to their web page they are "a food information resource that makes it easy to find safe food. It helps people save time, stay safe, learn particular diets and live better lives." They have a very competent medical advisory board including two of the leading Dietitians in the field of Celiac Disease, Melinda Dennis and Tricia Thompson. The gluten-free service can be accessed with a Zeer Select Membership. Zeer Select provides the gluten-free status of over 30,000 food products found in grocery stores (500 new products added or updated each month). Each product page includes gluten-free status—labeled gluten-free, appears to be gluten free based on ingredients, may contain gluten, and contains gluten, as well as an ingredients list, any allergen advisory statement, and the Nutrition Facts label. To take a free tour of the site go to www.zeer.com and click on “learn more” in the center of the page. Then click on “take a tour.” A Zeer Select Membership is being offered for $4.95 per month and with 30 days for free.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Gluten Free Lunch Box-Class at Whole Foods




Just a reminder to register for my free workshop at Whole Foods entitled: The Gluten Free Lunch Box.It will be held from 6-7 pm on Thursday September 3rd at the Durham Whole Foods. The following information is a description of the class from the Durham Whole Foods Website:
Join us for a free workshop presented by Debbie Jongkind, RD, LDN who is a Gluten-free Health Coach for people with Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance. Debbie will guide you through the best ways to build a healthy and exciting lunch box for your youngster who is unable to enjoy gluten in his or her diet. And you'll take home a free goody bag of some of our favorite products as well! Space is limited, please sign up at the customer service desk or call 919.286.2290.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gluten Free in College

It is official I have sent my gluten free child off to navigate meals on her own as a college student! I thought my readers might like to know some of the foods and appliances she took with her to help her maintain a healthy gluten free diet while on campus.
Appliances:
1. Quesadilla maker
2. Toaster
3. Large dorm refrigerator/freezer
4. Mini smoothie maker
5. Microwave

Foods:
1. Corn tortillas
2. Cheese
3. Large jar peanut butter
4. Yogurts
5. Fruit
6. Peanuts
7. Glutino Bagels (purchased at Whole Foods)
8. GlutenFreeda Burritos ( breakfast, chicken and cheese, vegetarian bean and cheese)
ordered from The Gluten Free Mall.
9. GlutenFreeda Instant Oatmeal (ordered from The Gluten Free Mall)
10. Bell and Evans Breaded Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets (ordered from the Gluten Free Mall)
11. Bell and Evans Boneless Skinless Gluten-Free Grilled Chicken Breast (ordered from The Gluten Free Mall)
12. Glutino Frozen Cheese Pizza (purchased from Harris Teeter)
13. Pamelas Simplebites chocolate chips mini cookies (ordered from Amazon)
14. Quinoa Gluten Free Pasta(ordered from Amazon, also available at Harris Teeter, Kroger and Whole Foods)and gluten free pasta sauce
15. Lunberg Gluten-Free Risotto (ordered from Amazon, also available at some grocery stores)
16. Tomato Soup from Pacific Natural Foods(purchased from Kroger)
17. Gluten Free Pancake mix
18. Gluten Free Bars: Envirokidz Crispy Rice Bar (from Whole Foods) South Beach Living High Protein Cereal Bars Cinnamon Raisin (from Amazon)
19. Gluten Free Cereal
20. Gluten Free Bread and Buns-Dr Schar brand (ordered from The Gluten-Free Mall)

I also sent along a gluten free multi-vitamins and Advil!

Note: Amazon grocery is a great way to save some food dollars if you can use a large volume of a product or buy something that has a long shelf life. The Gluten-Free Mall carries many high quality products I had sampled and wanted to purchase but were unavailable locally. The Gluten Free Mall will ship frozen items as well as dry goods.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gluten Free Lunch Box-Class at Whole Foods

Join me for a workshop entitled "The Gluten Free Lunch Box" at the Durham Whole Foods, note the information below from the Whole Foods Calendar:


Thursday, September 3
The Gluten-Free Lunch Box: Free Workshop

6:00 - 7:00 pm FREE

Join us for a free workshop presented by Debbie Jongkind, RD, LDN who is a Gluten-free Health Coach for people with Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance. Debbie will guide you through the best ways to build a healthy and exciting lunch box for your youngster who is unable to enjoy gluten in his or her diet. And you'll take home a free goody bag of some of our favorite products as well! Space is limited, please sign up at the customer service desk or call 919.286.2290.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Worlds Best Carrot Cake

My sister, who lives in Asheville, recently visited us here in Durham and brought us a delicious gluten free carrot cake. Although this bakery "Worlds Best Carrot Cake" is located just outside of Asheville in the little town of Woodfin,NC, I just had to post about the awesome quality of this gluten free goodie! This company does both whole sale and individual sale of their products and may be found at Whole Foods and Earth Fare locally. You may also order a cake for delivery, but note: there is a hefty delivery charge. Their business is based on a single family recipe handed down through the generations and modified for their gluten free version. While the bakery produces both regular carrot cakes and gluten free cakes, in a phone conversation with the owner she assured me of their good manufacturing and cleaning processes. The bakery offers both a regular gluten free carrot cake that serves 12-16 for $35.00 and a chocolate gluten free carrot cake that serves 12-16 for $38.00. The cake freezes well, so you can savor this treat for several months!

The Cakery is located at
175 Weaverville Hwy
Suite V
Asheville, NC 28804
828-658-2738

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gluten Free Students at UNC Chapel Hill-part 2

From my previous post, some will recall that I will be sending my GF daughter off to college this year at UNC Chapel Hill. We have learned a few more tips for navigating a gluten free college experience this summer that may be helpful to others attending UNC or just visiting Chapel Hill. Although the dining hall staff was helpful in my email and phone communications it was evident during our CTOPS (freshman orientation) experience that a meal plan was not going to be a viable option, unless she wanted to live on the salad bar, and hope for no cross contamination issues. We were happy to see a gluten free/vegan peanut butter pudding dessert being offered one night on the dinner menu during CTOPS. I received some helpful comments from current gluten free UNC students who mentioned that if one chooses to join a sorority that the chefs cooking for smaller numbers are often very accommodating. One student also shared her favorite gluten free restaurants on Franklin Street including: McCalister's Deli and Chipotle Mexican.

So my daughter and I hit Franklin Street today and visited several restaurants, picking up menus and asking questions. The following is a brief review of some of the information we gathered:
Qdoba Mexican Grill: Order a naked burrito (note the corn strips, corn taco shells and chips may contain gluten due to them being fried in the same oil as flour containing products)
Jimmy John's: Order an unwhich (see my previous post about ingredient warning)
Panera Bread: some salads and some soups
Lime and Basil : Is a Vietnamese Restaurant, although we did not get to eat here today, this would be worth checking out, as Vietnamese cooking is often gluten free.
R & R grill: extensive menu with salads, burgers, steak, salmon options
Ye Old Waffle Shop: eggs
Biski's Tortilla Wrap Grill: Although their tortilla's are wheat, we were told if you brought your own GF wrap into the restaurant they would be happy to use it and you also could order the fillings without a wrap.
Artichoke and Basil: Chicken, burgers, salads
Pita Pit: no allergy information listed on their website or print media, but you can order their fillings "fork style" as a salad.
Sugarland: awesome gluten free gelato!
Locopops: several gluten free frozen treats

Options on campus at Lenior Main Street include:
Jamba Juice: all smoothies are listed as gluten free except for the Jamba Power Boost and the Cold Buster
Sushinara: all sushi listed as gluten free
Chic-fil-A: char-grilled chicken salad, waffles fries (if using designated frier as used in other Chic-fil-A locations), char-grilled chicken

I am sure we will learn of more options as time goes by, if you have a helpful tip please let me know. Also check out Lauren's updates over at Gluten Free Chapel Hill for other options in the Chapel Hill area.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Scientific American features article on Celiac Disease


Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is featured in the August 2009 issue of Scientific American. The article entitled "Surprises from Celiac Disease" contains some very good graphics. It also explains the history of the disease, the genetic links and discusses the leaky gut involvement in autoimmune disorders. Possible future treatment options are also highlighted. This is a good reference article with current information. I picked up my copy of Scientific American at Barnes and Noble at the Streets of South Point.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Go Picnic Ready to Eat Gluten Free Meals



This is an interesting new product that I was introduced to during gluten free week at Camp Kanata. We were happy to receive donations for all our campers to be able to take a "Go Picnic" meal home with them. This company offers a line of ready-to-eat meals. There are over 25 meals to choose from including meals that meet vegetarian, gluten-free, kosher and halal requirements. I count 6 different GF meals that are available on their website. Note some contents may come from facilities that also manufacture gluten ingredients in the same facility and this is noted on the website and the packaging. You can gather more information by checking out their website here . I also recently saw them in a Costco Ad! Perhaps a handy product for traveling or packing a quick school lunch.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Food Allergy/Gluten Free Talk at UNC Wellness Center, July 14

Just thought I would share with the gluten free North Carolina blog community that I will be speaking at the UNC Wellness Center at Meadowmont July 14, 2009 6:30-8:00.
The lecture is entitled: Food Allergies: Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity, Wheat Allergies. Providing practical advise for optimizing one's health while following a gluten free diet. These lectures are provided for the members at the UNC Wellness Center and also opened to the community. The event is free but preregistration is required, click here for more information

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Camp Kanata



What a week we had at Camp Kanata, serving our gluten free campers this past week. GIG's East Coast Camp hosted campers from Colorado, Florida, Virginia, South Carolina, Washington DC, Kansas, Washington, and North Carolina! We served 17 gluten free meals and lots of yummy snacks to campers and volunteers. A special thanks goes to several vendors and volunteers under the direction of GIG Camp Director, Alanna Conder. Serving as Camp Nutritionist for the week is easy when working with such great volunteers and the wonderful kitchen staff at Camp Kanata. We appreciate all those that walked and donated to the GF team at the recent Susan G Komen race which provided $915 to help with the expense of camp and to Zach for his efforts and donations of the green "gluten free" bracelets that all our campers and volunteers wore during our week at camp.

I had the opportunity to ask kids what they liked best about their week at camp; comments included:
"I love the food"
"I love the fact that I don't have to pack all my own food!"
"I am glad I don't have to go to a special allergy camp, but have the opportunity to go to a normal camp and not worry about my food."

Highlights of the week:
-Pineapple upside down cake made by a grandma of one of our GF campers
-Watching the smiling faces of the GF kids come through our serving line each meal.
-Zach and Trevor cooking and serving pizza to the kids for lunch
-Twins Cake Bakery "Camp Kanata" Chocolate Cake
-Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones on a hot summer afternoon
-Rosie's Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies
-Making homemade ice cream with the campers under the direction of Karen, from the Whole Foods Bake House.
-Working along side our teen volunteers to fill bags with samples of products and information for our campers to take home with them.

Plan to be a part of camp next year. Remember there will be one week designated as gluten free week and our spots fill up quickly. Although dates have not been determined yet; dates and registration information will be posted on the GIG website and Camp Kanata website as they become available.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gluten Free Raleigh Special Event: GF Cooking Demo w/ Jules Shepard

Click here for more information about an upcoming Gluten Free cooking demonstration with famous Celiac author Jules Shepard. The event will be held at the Earth Fare in Raleigh on July 12, 2009 @ 10am. Please sign up soon as only 40 spaces are available.

Friday, June 12, 2009

prep4md.com: Celiac Disease - A Podcast,useful resource

Check out this podcast on Celiac Disease featuring Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD,
from the University of Maryland. It is about 10 minutes long and features some good concise information.


prep4md.com: Celiac Disease - A Podcast

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Angel Food Ministries-Allergen Free Box

I have recently learned of a program that helps individuals by reducing their foods costs and offers assistance for those with food allergies including gluten intolerance. The following is an explanation of the program from the Angel Food Ministries website:

Angel Food Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing grocery relief and financial support to communities throughout the United States. The program began in 1994 with 34 families in Monroe, Georgia (between Atlanta and Athens), and has grown to serve hundreds of thousands of families every month across 35 states. Angel Food Ministries crosses denominational lines and has spread the good news of the gospel of Christ through salvation tracts that are placed in each food order.
Blessings by the box

Angel Food is available in a quantity that can fit into a medium-sized box at $30 per unit. Each month's menu is different than the previous month and consists of both fresh and frozen items with an average retail value of approximately $60. Comparison shopping has been done across the country in various communities using a wide range of retail grocery stores and has resulted in the same food items costing from between $42 and $78.

Generally, one unit of food assists in feeding a family of four for about one week or a single senior citizen for almost a month. The food is all the same high quality one could purchase at a grocery store. There are no second-hand items, no damaged or out-dated goods, no dented cans without labels, no day-old breads and no produce that is almost too ripe.

Also offered are specialty boxes such as steaks, chicken and pork. Many participants in this bonus program appreciate the expanded choices. Additionally, there is no limit to the number of units or bonus foods an individual can receive, and there are no applications to complete or qualifications to which participants must adhere. Angel Food Ministries also participates in the U.S. Food Stamp program, using the Off-Line Food Stamp Voucher system.
It's both a Bargain and a Blessing!


The Allergen Free Box for the month of June includes:
ALLERGEN-FREE BOX

Processed to eliminate the eight top serious allergens: Peanuts, Soybeans, Milk, Eggs, Fish, Crustacea, Tree Nuts and Gluten (wheat, rye and barley). Great for children and adults.

1 lb. Breaded Chicken Tenders


1 lb. Breaded Chicken Breast Chunk
(Boneless Wing)


1 lb. Breaded Chicken Nuggets


1 lb. Breaded Chicken Patties


1 lb. Breaded Steak Fingers

Battered with water, white rice, brown rice, modified tapioca starch, flax seed, sugar, salt, spices, dehydrated garlic, spice extractives and oleoresin paprika.
Breaded with white rice, brown rice, modified tapioca starch, flax seed, sugar, dextrose, salt, spices, dehydrated garlic, spice extractives and oleoresin paprika.
Breading is pre-browned in Canola oil.

$25.00

You can see the entire menu for June by clicking here
According to the website Durham has five different churches that serve as host sites. Once on the Angel Food Ministry website you enter your zip code and you will then be directed to locations near you.
In today's economy and with the increased cost of gluten free products this seems like an awesome ministry.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gluten Free Cafe' frozen meals


I am always on the lookout for new products to make living the gluten free lifestyle easier. I have recently found a line of frozen dinners in the freezer section of Whole Foods and the dedicated freezer section for foods in the Natures Market section at Kroger. *Note the Kroger Store had the widest variety. The Gluten Free Cafe offers four different entrees. The company mission statement reads: "Gluten Free Cafe is dedicated to improving the quality of life for gluten-sensitive consumers by providing delicious certified gluten free foods that meet their dietary needs by being rich in taste and nutrition." Follow the link to their website for coupons. Some of their selections are both gluten and dairy free. I like to keep a few of these "emergency meals" on hand so that when we are short on time there is something quick to grab.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gluten Free Fair at Whole Foods-June 2

I have just learned that Whole Foods in Durham will be hosting a Gluten Free Fair. Amy, the marketing team leader asked if I could help spread the word about this opportunity. The following is from the Durham Whole Foods Web Site:

Gluten-free Fair
Tuesday, June 2
3:00 - 6:00 pm
FREE

Does someone in your household live with a gluten allergy, wheat sensitivity or Celiac Disease?!?! We understand that feeding a family where different allergies exist can be quite difficult, but we're here to help you find ways to make it easier! Join us for this gluten-free fair to taste lots of different recipes and meet lots of vendors who offer gluten-free products here at Whole Foods Market in Durham. Bring along those with allergies so they can try before you buy to make sure they will like it! Take home recipe cards and feel good about gaining new ideas for how to feed those in your family who can't eat gluten. And we’re always excited to host the kind folks from the Whole Foods Market Gluten-Free Bakehouse as they offer many of their tasty gluten-free baked goods that are out of this world!


I understand Lee Tobin will be on hand. He is the fellow behind all the delicious gluten free bakehouse products in the frozen section at Whole Foods. I'm also hoping to be available for part of the afternoon, to spread the word about the Gluten Free Durham Blog and Gluten Free Guidance Consulting. See you there!


See the Durham Whole Foods website for more information.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ted's Montanta Grill-Gluten Free Update

I recently inquired about the gluten free options at Ted's Montana Grill. While in the past the restaurant would offer patrons a separate menu that listed menus and nutrition information for various health concerns including gluten free options, THIS HAS CHANGED. I was told by their guest relations representative that"While our restaurants are not gluten-free, we will make every attempt to accommodate our guests with special dietary needs. We are revising our gluten-free information as our products now vary by location. Please notify the manager prior to ordering so that we can check product labels for your guest. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that our products will not come in contact with gluten during preparation." This is a good example of why individuals needing to follow a gluten free diet must make sure information is up-to-date! Look at the date of posts you read on line. Review the copyright date of books that you are reading. Look at the handouts that you were given from your health care provider, are they up-to-date? As the gluten free market grows and research continues we will continue to see more information coming our way, stay informed and stay accurate!


Ted's Montana Grill often offers various specials and coupons you can access their current one for $10.00 here.



Ted's Montanta Grill is located:
6911 Fayetteville Rd., Suite 102
Durham, NC 27713
P: 919-572-1210
Hours: Sun - Thurs 11 AM - 10 PM • Fri - Sat 11 AM - 11 PM

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Souper!Salad Gluten Free Menu

I recently was alerted to a Durham restaurant called Souper!Salad. They are an 82 location soup and salad bar chain based in Texas. Click here to check out their extensive Gluten Free menu and here for more information on the Durham location.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cafe Parizade-Restaurant Review

My husband and I took advantage of the early bird special at Parizade the other evening before going to a play at the new DPAC in Durham. Cafe Parizade is an upscale Mediterranean restaurant located off main street. The early bird special may be a bit of a secret as I do not see it advertised on their web page, but the special is 5:30-6:30 and is $19.95 which includes: salad/soup, entree and dessert. While Parizade does not have a special gluten free menu, they are always very accommodating and careful in providing me with delicious gluten free options. The early bird special time works well, as you can dine in a nice restaurant for a good price and it is not real busy yet, so the wait staff and chef are able to take time to accommodate special dietary needs. I would recommend adding this to your list of restaurants to try.

Hours:
M-F 11:30-2:30 lunch
M-Th 5:30-10:00 dinner
F-S 5:30-11:00 dinner
S 5:30-9:00 dinner

Location:
2200 West Main Street
Durham, NC
919-286-9712

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, author of "The G Free Diet"-Interview on Fox News

There has been much hype and publicity around the publication of Elisabeth Hasselbeck's book "The G Free Diet". You can see her latest interview with Greta Van Sustern here
Elisabeth who suffers from Celiac Disease herself has been using her celebrity status to do a great job of spreading the news on Celiac Disease and Gluten Free Diets. I have read several reviews of the book and would like to share a statement and concern put forth by Elaine Monarch, founder and executive director of the Celiac Disease Foundation, she writes:

Celiac Colleagues:

I am writing to call your attention to the current publicity surrounding the new book, The G-free Diet, A Gluten-Free Survival Guide by Elisabeth Hassselbeck, co-host of The View. While it is important to call attention to celiac disease, the information must be accurate - the inaccuracies in this book are potentially dangerous and detrimental to celiacs and to those yet to be diagnosed if people self diagnose and start eating GF. Our mission is to assist in getting people accurately diagnosed and the message in this book could defeat this mission. It appears that this book is being marketed as a fitness diet - eat g-free and feel so much better. Celiac is incorrectly referred to as an allergy not an autoimmune disease.

The GF diet is the medically mediated prescription that controls the condition for a diagnosed celiac. Several items in the book are misleading and inaccurate and place further limitations on the GF diet. The gluten-free lifestyle is a lifelong commitment for the diagnosed celiac, not an option, not a fad diet - adhering to the GF lifestyle requires patience and persistence. This lifestyle can not be trivialized.

Thank you.

Elaine Monarch
Founder & Executive Director
Celiac Disease Foundation

While a gluten free diet can be a very healthy diet, eliminating whole grains and other foods for those individuals that do not have Celiac Disease, a diagnosed wheat allergy or true gluten sensitivity is not necessarily a healthy life style option. Before heading down the gluten free fad diet road, those with concerns that they may have Celiac Disease should seek appropriate medical testing.


Monday, May 4, 2009

May : Celiac Awareness Month?

It is the goal of most folks living with Celiac Disease and my professional goal as a Dietitan to increase the awareness of Celiac Disease. May is proclaimed by many organizations such as the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America and The American Celiac Disease Alliance and political leaders in various states to recognize May as "Celiac Awareness Month". The Celiac Sprue Association has recognized October as being awareness month for many years. I think we should take advantage of two months in twelve to really get the word out on Celiac Disease. What can you do?

IDEAS:

The Celiac Disease Foundation has a color brochure you can download and print to distribute.
Challenge Your family or friends to go gluten free for a day or a week
Bake a gluten free dessert and share with coworkers
Host a gluten free party: preparing only gluten free foods
Tell everyone you meet that it is gluten free awareness month
Thank restaurants for gluten free options
Write grocery chains and thank them for caring gluten free products
Support local gluten free businesses
Write your gluten free story and share with others

If you do something really creative to spread awareness this month let me know.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Duke Gardens Farmers Market

Spring is here and what beautiful weather we are enjoying in Durham! I stopped by the farmers market located at Duke Gardens, from 2-4 pm today, Tuesday, and came home with wonderful gluten free goodies. As mentioned in an earlier post Rosie's Plate delivers to Duke Gardens each Tuesday between 2-4, you can place your order ahead of time for delivery. I was negligent in placing my order on time but stopped by anyhow and was happy to snag some cookies and gluten free pita bread. There are about 4 local farmers selling their produce as well. I also loaded my basket with fresh strawberries, asparagus, lettuce and sugar snap peas. Fruits and Vegetables all gluten free, local, and help one attain the recommended 5-9 daily servings for a healthy diet! I love spring!

Chex Cereals

During the last two weeks increasing varieties of gluten free Chex Cereals have been popping up in Durham grocery stores. Two weeks ago I was able to buy the honey nut chex at the Willowdaile Harris Teeter. Sunday I was at the Kroger off of North Pointe by Costco and found Gluten Free Corn Chex. As mentioned on the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog: as General Mills phases in these new varieties there may be both gluten containing and gluten free varieties so look at the label carefully. My daughter and I are both enjoying the expanding variety of Chex Cereals, thank you General Mills!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kudos to the Gluten Free City Guide

I am just returning to Durham from a lovely spring break trip to West Palm Beach, Florida. I wanted to post a quick note to encourage you all to check out the Gluten Free City Guide that Zach has developed. You can hit the link at the top of the GFD site. Before traveling I spent just a few minutes on the Gluten Free City Guide looking to see what might be listed for the state of Florida. Lucky for my family the city we were traveling to had listed their support group link with the guide. After just a few clicks I was able to come up with a list for gluten free grocery shopping and a list of several restaurants that offered gluten free menus/options. The only disappointing thing is that we had to return home before visiting all the restaurants. We enjoyed some great GF pizza and GF brownies at a chain called Fusion Pizza. None in our area yet, but very good if you find one on your travels. The Gluten Free City Guide is a great asset when planning travels through the United States, maybe Zach will compile a Gluten Free World next for international travels!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Twins Kitchen Update: Local Farmer's Markets

Twins Kitchen/Twin Cakes Bakery recently announced the upcoming 2009 Farmer's Market schedule and which markets they will be participating in. Stop in to any of the markets below in Raleigh, Chapel Hill or Hillsborough to try out their awesome Gluten Free products if you have never tried them. They will be offering a wide range of products at the market this year and of course everything offered is gluten/wheat free and vegan.

Mid-Town Farmer's Market
(formally North Hills Farmer's Market)
8 AM - 12 PM every Saturday beginning April 11, 2009
Located by the movie theater at North Hills

Carrboro/Chapel Hill Farmer's Market (a.k.a. Southern Village Farmer's Market)
3:30 PM - 6:30 PM every Thursday beginning May 7, 2009
Located at Southern Village on Market Street

Hillsborough Farmer's Market
4 Pm - 7 PM every Wednesday beginning April 8, 2009
Located in the Home Depot parking lot on NC86 and I-85

If you have any special request or want to make a pre-order to pick up at the market please call the Twins at 919-306-5304.

Also, stay tuned for some more exciting news from Twin Cakes Bakery - they will soon have a brand new Web site up and running which will focus solely on their bakery products. They also will be offering dry mixes for you to take home and bake yourself. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Restaurant Review: Carrabba's Italian Grill

One of my favorite places to eat is Carrabba's Italian Grill. The quality of their food and service is always great. Although I try to navigate restaurants that do not have a specific gluten free menu sometimes, I would much rather choose my options from a restaurant that offers a designated gluten free menu. Carrabba's is part of the
Gluten Free Restaurant Program sponsored by the Gluten Intolerance Group on North America (GIG). It gives me confidence to know that the restaurant is having some oversight in the menu and in the materials for training employees.

Carrabba's offers a nice variety of chicken, steak and fish dishes. Their garlic mashed potatoes are gluten free and delicious. The gluten free menu offers suggested tips for ordering such as "ask that your salad be made in a clean bowl with no croutons" and "ask for no grill base" when ordering. You can take a look at their gluten free menu here.

The portions at Carrabba's are generous, we often share a meal like their Chicken Bryan with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and order an extra side salad. I have also used their take out to help cater a small dinner party.

5312 New Hope Commons Extension
Durham, NC 27707
(919) 401-5950

Hours:
Sun: 11am-10pm
Mon-Thur: 4-10:00pm
Fri: 4-11:00pm
Sat: 3-11:00pm

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Gluten Free Students at UNC Chapel Hill

It is getting closer to the time when I will be sending my daughter off to college to navigate the gluten free world on her own. With August only 4 months away I have begun gathering information to make this transition healthy and smooth. She is excited about her acceptance to UNC, Chapel Hill and I am happy to know it is a straight shot down 15-501! I have talked with the food service department about their menu options for gluten free students. I have also made contact with the dietitan who works in the student health area. Both, have been very supportive, but also very honest in the fact that there is not much in place for gluten free students and that as a UNC student you are not bound to have a meal plan. The cafeteria does have some type of rice bread, but no GF toasters. I am awaiting an email that is suppose to send me menus to review. So my focus and goal as a mom and a dietitian is to work with UNC to educate them, provide resources for others who may be coming to the school and feel confident that my daughter will not have to worry about what she will be eating. More to come on this topic.....

TAGS, Teens Advocating for Gluten Sensitivity

I have recently learned of a new Teen national support group under the umbrella of The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG). It is called TAGS: Teens Advocating for Gluten Sensitivity. This program will formally be debuted at the GIG conference in Seattle at the beginning of June. TAGS national will provide information for local teens to organize events in their own city. The website is in the beginning phases and can be accessed at TAGSatGIG.org
As a mom of an older teen with GF, I think this is a wonderful idea. It is important for children with gluten sensitivity to learn to advocate for themselves. As a teen feeling "part" of a group is a big deal. Thanks to Amy Fantozzi (15), Kelsey LeBard(14) and Sophia Mozena(16), who are the groups founders, under the direction and support from GIG national office.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Elmo's Diner, Restaurant Review

We ventured to Elmo's Diner on Ninth St in Durham last night for dinner. Elmo's is a great "neighborhood like" diner. It serves breakfast anytime, sandwiches, dinner specials, kids meals and wonderful milkshakes and malts. But what does it have for the gluten free patron? When we arrived I asked the hostess if they had any information on gluten and their menu, she said "no but that all the servers are very knowledgeable about gluten" and that they encounter this request often. I found this to be true and our server very helpful. If you have time before you go out to eat you can access Elmo's menus from their website, so you can take a look at the offerings before you arrive. A few items to note when ordering: according to our server all the chicken dishes contain gluten due to the marinade they use. Also many of the fish dishes have a similar marinade, but you might be able to request some fish made special. Although the enchiladas are with a corn tortilla, the sauce contains gluten. Their french fries are cooked in a designated fryer for only potatoes so that makes them okay. They offer several burgers that would be an option ordered without the bun. They also offer many salads that would be fine (minus the chicken). You have the option of a vegetable plate with the choice of several vegetables. I opted for a veggie omelet with home fries, and substituted applesauce for my toast. Malts would not be an option, because of the malt powder but many milkshakes would be okay (I would ask them to clean the mixing machine before they blended a GF shake). Elmo's has two locations the one in Durham and the other in Carrboro.

Hours of Operation:
Sun-Thurs 6:30 am-10:00 pm
Fri-Sat 6:30 am-11:00 pm

Locations:
776 Ninth St.
Durham, NC 27705

200 N Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC 27510

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Locopops: Cool Treats

What a beautiful Sunday afternoon. After meeting with a friend and walking the wall on Duke's east campus I decided to stop by Locopops for a cool treat. The Locopops on Hillsborough Road in Durham was busy with people eating their gourmet frozen pops. These treats are a sort of Mexican Paletas and come in 20 different flavors. The options are listed on a white board in the shop, about half are regular offerings and the other half are "guest star flavors" changing from time to time. When I asked my server about allergy information pertaining to gluten she informed me that the dairy based varieties "might cause some gluten reaction due to the thickening agent that is used." I was curious about the ingredient, but no list was available to review. I checked out the website also, but they do no list any nutrition information. I was told the non dairy varieties such as very berry and cherry hibiscus were gluten free. Locopops has locations in Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh and are now operating on their spring/summer hours 12:00-9:00 daily.

Locopops Locations:
2600 Hillsborough Rd, Durham
231 South Elliot Chapel Hill
1908 Hillsborough St, Raleigh

Locopops phone: 919-286-3500

Friday, March 20, 2009

Petition to the Raleigh City Council - Food Allergen Poster

Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking about new ways to improve the lives of those with Celiac Disease and/or another food allergies. Dining out in restaurants is a big issue for the estimated 12 million Americans with a food allergy. For those of us on a Gluten Free Diet, we are well aware of the dangers of eating out.

About this same time, I saw an interesting article about something the City Council of New York City did. The NYC City Council actually passed a law which requires restaurants to display a food allergy education poster and will fine locations $100 for non-compliance. I thought this was a great idea and would be a good starting point in the education of food service workers in the food allergy arena. Of course this does not guarantee that food allergy sufferers can have a safe meal, but it is a start down that path. Food service workers need to know what the allergies are and how to prevent cross-contamination.

So, I decided to email the Raleigh City Council about the issue and my proposal. I offered up my services on the creation of the poster and anything else they would need. I have not heard back as of yet. In the meantime, I created an online petition to gain a little more ammunition. Please take just a few minutes to read the petition and to sign it. The more signatures, the more the City Council will take this issue seriously. Thanks for your time and support!

Click here to sign the Food Allergy Education Poster Petition to the City Council of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Opportunity To Increase Gluten Awareness, Chef to Plate Program

I had the opportunity to meet with Cynthia Kupper, RD, executive director of The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG)this past week. She was in North Carolina doing some work in Wake Forest and made time in her busy schedule to meet me for dinner at Z Pizza in Raleigh to review some plans for the East Coast GIG summer camp at Camp Kanata this summer. During our time together she highlighted the Chef to Plate Program scheduled for May 3, 2009. (May is National Celiac Awareness Month.) This is a program sponsored by GIG celebrating restaurants that offer a gluten free menu. It is a free program that offers literature to restaurants to display in their establishments on May 3, 2009. Restaurants will be advertised locally and will also be listed on the GIG website. If you would like more information on how you can be involved as a campaign leader or if you are a restaurant and would like to sign up for this program click here. Mark your calendars for May 3rd and plan to eat out at your favorite gluten free restaurant on that day! As a side note, it was definitely worth the drive from Durham to meet with Cynthia and to try the gluten free pizza at Z's pizza, it was delicious!

15,900

15,900 - That's my estimate on the number of Celiac's in Triangle area.

15,423 - If you go by the NFCA's estimate that 97% of Celiacs are undiagnosed, this is my estimate of undiagnosed Celiac cases in the Triangle.

So here we are, 477 of us - with more coming each day thanks to increasing awareness and better diagnosis. From the statistics kept on visitors to this blog and the number of RSS subscribers, I would estimate that about 120-140 of the 477 are reading this blog each day.

I didn't just make these numbers up of course, new information was released today (see this article from the N&O) about Triangle population estimates. The Raleigh-Cary area now tops the nation in growth.
The Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area, which includes Wake, Johnston and Franklin counties, grew by 4.3 percent from July 2007 to July 2008, and is now home to close to 1.1 million people. It well outpaced its closest rival, the Austin, Texas, area, which grew by 3.8 percent, to become the national leader.

The national growth average was just under 1 percent.

The Triangle has been near the top of the nation's growth chart for more than a decade, as newcomers poured into the area to take jobs in technology, tourism and academia. The resulting building boom, and the jobs that came with it, drew hundreds of thousands of new residents.

The Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area, which includes Durham, Orange, Chatham and Person counties, didn't make the Top 10, but its population continued to swell at a steady 2.5 percent, up slightly from the year before. Just fewer than 490,000 people live in that area.
So there are 1.59 million Triangle residents. Some estimates say that 1% of the population in the US has Celiac. So what does this mean to all of us? The Triangle has a formidable number of Celiacs and this information should help drive the market for Gluten Free products. I hope to see more and more restaurants, grocery stores, etc... catering to us in the future. With almost 16,000 of the most loyal customers ever created, how could they not?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies, Recipe

With all the rain the past several days and lots of basketball games to watch we were in need of a quick gluten free treat. While I know the triangle blogs do not spend much time on publishing recipes this one is just a must have to keep on hand for those emergency munchies:

Flourless Peanut Butter Gluten Free Cookies
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon GF baking soda
1 teaspoon GF vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips, or M & M's

Stir together first 5 ingredients in a bowl using a sturdy spoon. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoon onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes (cookies will be soft in the middle). Cool 5 minutes, then remove. Yield= 1 1/2 dozen

Enjoy!