Sunday, January 30, 2011

California Pizza Kitchen, Restaurant Review

Recently at Southpoint Mall in Durham with some friends, I ended up at California Pizza Kitchen to talk about the movie we had just seen. I figured I would just order something to drink, knowing that they did not offer gluten free pizza. I was surprised to learn that they are now offering a New Gluten Free Menu! While there still is no gluten free pizza, I was pleased to find a nice offering of soups, salads, fish, chicken and ice cream sundaes for dessert. I tried the white corn guacamole and chips listed under their "Small Cravings" section. This was a nice post movie snack!

Note: the menu does contain the following disclaimer:
to these circumstances, we are unable to guarantee that any menu item can
be completely free of allergens, and we do not assume responsibility for
a particular allergy or sensitivity to any food provided in our restaurants.
These statements seem to becoming common place in restaurants that want to capture the gluten free market, yet limit their responsibility to gluten free diners.....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Puffins Multigrain Cereal, Product Review

Kroger continues to expand its gluten free offerings. While stocking up on my usual supplies in the Nature's Market area of the store, I noticed an end cap with Puffins Multi Grain Cereal. Puffins Multi Grain cereal is labeled Gluten Free and is verified to contain less than 20 ppm gluten. In addition to being gluten free, each 3/4 cup serving also provides 3 g of fiber, is low sodium 80 mg, and only has 6 g of sugar (which is 1 1/2 teaspoons). And the price was nice too, only $2.49 per box; I do think the usual price is $4.49 and not sure how long the promotion is available. Note: The Barbara's cereal line contains three gluten free offerings: Multigrain, Honey Rice, Brown Rice Crisps. They also have other cereals, so be sure to read the label and choose a GF option. You can download a coupon for $1.00 off at Barbara's website.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jason's Deli-Disclaimer Label

I have previously posted a restaurant review on the gluten free sandwich option at Jason's Deli, see this post here. I wanted to bring attention to the fact that it now seems like Jason's Deli is "protecting itself" by the labeling placed on my order yesterday. In case you cannot read the label clearly it says: "Please note your gluten free menu choice may come in contact with ingredients containing gluten on your sandwich. Our management teams and service staff are not trained on the intricacies of Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance and cannot be expected to provide recommendations or other advise on this issue."
The issue of law suits and responding to market demand of gluten free items seems to be a tough issue for restaurants. I personally wish large chains like Jason's Deli would find it worthwhile to connect with the Gluten Intolerance Groups, Restaurant Awareness Programs that would help provide the information needed to adequately train staff.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Brunch Box, Restaurant Review

Although I live in Durham, my office is located in the Morrisville area. I'd like to give a a quick review of the family owned restaurant: The Brunch Box They specialize in "Fresh and Fast Favorites" to include deli sandwiches, salads, eggs, hummus, and homemade soups. While the restaurant does not have a gluten free menu they are very accommodating to my questions and requests during my lunch orders. I have enjoyed some delicious salads and sides and look forward to trying one of their gluten free soup options. Note: ask about the ingredients in the soup when ordering. The small family business offers excellent customer service. They also provide corporate catering.

At times I have found myself at a catered event without any good options. Be proactive if you know your company will be catering an event and call and ask what options they can provide for someone on a gluten free diet. This is a request that is becoming more common and many restaurants are happy to provide a healthy alternative for someone on a special diet.

The Brunch Box
10970 Chapel Hill Rd, Suite 120
Morrisville, NC 27560

Hours: M-F 6:30 am-3:00 pm

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Evalutating Your Gluten Free Diet in the New Year

As the New Year begins it is always a great time to evaluate your health and your gluten free diet. Speaking from my perspective as a dietitan and nutrition coach I encourage readers to ask yourself the following questions:

Am I satisfied with my current diet?
Are there areas in my eating patterns that I should improve?
What foods do I miss from my previous diet? Have I found adequate substitutes? Do I need to find a new recipe?
How did I feel about eating during the holiday season? What could I do now that would make me more prepared for holidays 2011?
Am I satisfied with my current weight, is it within a healthy BMI (body mass index range)?
Besides being gluten free how nutritious is my diet? Do I consume enough calcium? What about fiber? Other nutrients?
How many servings of fruits and vegetables do I eat each day? What are some ways to increase the amount?
What new foods would I like to try?
What resources do I need to better equip me in navigating the gluten free diet?
When is the last time I had a physical? If I have Celiac Disease does my doctor check my celiac labs on an annual basis?
In addition to following a gluten free diet, what other steps do I need to take to maximize my health?
What is the one thing I can do today that will help me improve my overall health and gluten free diet?

Happy New Year, Debbie