Monthly Archives: April 2009

Gluten-Free Summer Camps

Camp Celiac A while back we mentioned one gluten-free camp with specially written gluten-free music. It turns out that there are many, many gluten-free camps to which you can send your child. has a great list of those camps. I’d like to add to their description of eating and safety environments with some details about the sort of activities your child would do all day. Even in the small subcategory of GF-friendly camps, parents and children have a wide range of options.

Camp WeeKanEatit!! offers:

” a ropes course and rock climbing, canoeing, fishing, arts and crafts, campfire cook out, sports, swimming, and a special Mother’s Day celebration Sunday morning.”

Great Gluten Escape Camp offers:

“all the normal camp events and activities.  Each camper will experience all of the excitement of a summer resident camp, including S’mores by the campfire!”

Camp Kanata and Kamp Seath support gluten-free and non GF campers simultaneously in the same camp. Camp Kanata offers:

    >> Water Activities

  • Swim lessons (instructional)
  • Canoeing (instructional or recreational)
  • Kayaking (instructional or recreational)
  • Water games (instructional)
  • Basic water safety (instructional)
  • Fishing (instructional or recreational)
  • The Blob (recreational)
  • The Iceberg (recreational)
  • Tarzan swing (recreational)
  • Waterslide (recreational)
    >> Land Activities

  • Sports (soccer, basketball, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, Aussie rules football, street hockey, rugby, lacrosse–instructional)
  • Archery (instructional)
  • Riflery (instructional)
  • Dance (instructional)
  • Cheerleading (instructional)
  • Drama (instructional)
  • Nature appreciation (instructional)
  • Low ropes (instructional)
  • Challenging high-ropes course (instructional)
  • Climbing wall and zip line (instructional)
  • Bouldering walls (recreational)
  • Arts & crafts (instructional)
  • Horseback riding* (instructional)

*Campers must register in advance for horseback riding.

Neuse River Canoe Trip

The canoe trip is an all day (6 hour) trip down the Neuse River. The trip begins at the Falls Lake Dam and ends at the Buffaloe Rd. take out. The trip is reserved for our campers who are 12 years old and above.”

Camp Sealth offers:

“Classic camp, archery, crafts, outback, splash camp, wacky science, canoe and kayak, horseback riding, geocaching, guitar camp, photo fun, animals, nocturnal, climbing, and construction corps.”

Camp Westminster, a Presbyterian camp, offers:

  • swimming (we offer Red Cross-certified swimming lessons during most camp sessions, supervised by a WSI)
  • canoeing
  • kayaking
  • sailing (our fleet includes a variety of boats)
  • archery
  • sports- soccer (or football!), basketball, tennis, frisbee, rugby, softball, kickball, etc.
  • arts and crafts
  • drama classes
  • creative writing opportunities
  • making music (bring your instrument and we’ll use it in vespers or a Talent Show!)
  • nature exploration- stream discovery, shoreline hikes, nature trails, peeking under rocks (and putting them back, of course!), catching minnows
  • climbing the Lighthouse Climb (3 levels of climbing surfaces on Higgins Lake’s only lighthouse!)
  • Initiatives (group building course) and High Ropes Courses
  • fishing
  • walk the labyrinth
  • hikes; GPS hikes
  • walk the Prayer Trail
  • Outdoor Living Skills
  • parachute play (it’s a big one!)
  • indoor game room
  • checkers on the stump
  • churn ice cream (and the best part: taste- testing!)

What is a typical daily schedule?

7:15am     Rise and shine
7:45am     Morning Watch on the beach
8:00am     Breakfast
8:30am     Capers (chores in wakeyas and assigned community spaces- remember, ‘caper’ means to frolic joyfully!)
9:15am     Bible Quest (discussion and activities on theme for week)
10:15am   Cabin Choice (decisions are made as a group for each day of the week and options include all of those above!)
12:15pm   Lunch
1:00pm     FOB (Flat on bunk)
2:00pm     Camp store time for ages 7-11
ChooseIt! activities begin for ages 12+ (campers choose a focus activity to improve their skills each day during the
week; options are available Sunday afternoons)
2:30pm     ChooseIt!/ afternoon activity/ swim lessons
3:30pm     ChooseIt!/ afternoon activity/ swim lessons
4:30pm     All Camp Swim (everyone at beach area)
6:00pm     Dinner
7:00pm     Vespers (short evening worship in outdoor chapel; camper-led!)
7:30pm     Evening Program (age-appropriate)
9:00pm     Good night to ages 7-11
Camp store time for ages 12+
Lights out!

Camp Celiac at Camp Arroyo offers:

The 3500 square foot pool is the heart of summer camp activities and is large enough for wading, games, and team sports.  The pool was designed to allow campers in the shallow area as well as in the sports area.  All campers will be required to take a swim test before being allowed in the pool.  No campers will be allowed in the pool area without a YMCA Camp Arroyo approved lifeguard on duty.

The Challenge Course consists of multiple challenge elements facilitated by the Fort Miley Adventure Challenge Course staff.  There is a 36’ X 36’ rock wall, a 210’ zip line, as well as other high and low climbing elements.
Camp also includes a day trip to Lake Del Valle for boating and swimming; an arts and crafts center; bocce ball; basketball; soccer and other field sports; movies; and a campfire amphitheater.”

Camp Celiac at Camp Aldersgate offers:

  • low ropes
  • high ropes
  • swimming
  • boating
  • canoeing
  • arts and crafts
  • hiking
  • sports
  • nature
  • singing and group initiatives”

The Gluten-Free Camp at Camp Manitou-Lin is having its first summer, and no activities are posted as yet. For more information:

2009 Gluten Free Camp @ Manitou-Lin in Middleville Michigan

Date: Aug 16 (Sunday) – Aug 21 (Friday)
Cost:(includes meals)
Register by August 3, 2009 – $450.00
Last day to register August 3, 2009
Full amount due by August 3, 2009

Deposit:$75.00 non-refundable required to reserve space for the camper. This deposit comes out of the full amount for the camp.
Once full payment is received you will receive additional information on activities, list of items to take to camp, additional forms, etc.
Please make checks payable to “YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin”.

Send completed Registration Form and Deposit to:
Nicole VanZwoll • 3614 Ridgefield Rd. Lansing, MI 48906

For more information email [email protected] or see
the below links.

**** Gluten Free Camp coming at Manitou-Lin in Middleville MI***

Cel-Kids (Michigan kids with celiac)

Join us on Facebook!

Triumph Dining is now on Facebook, and we’re so excited about it that we’re using an exclamation mark! Come check out our new profile.

We’ll be answering your questions on gluten-free restaurant dining in the discussion session. Yesterday we touched on Madison, WI and Plano, TX. Come help shape the discussion, get your questions answered, and find a recommendation for a restaurant near you.

Visit Triumph Dining’s Facebook Profile.

Catholicism and Celiac Sprue

communion wafers Attending Catholic mass is not necessarily complicated by Celiac disease, but in many cases problems arise. Normally a layperson who cannot eat gluten can simply drink the wine instead of eating the wafers. (If a person is also alchohol intolerant or an alcoholic, there is a type of low-alcohol grape juice, mustun, that the congregant may request in advance to have blessed in a separate chalice.) According to (Catholics United for the Faith):

Because the entire Body, Blood, soul and divinity of Christ is present in each species individually, a person may receive only the host or only from the cup and still fully receive Christ.”

However in some services priests dip a wafer into the wine. Even if this is not the case, a communal cup can be contaminated with gluten by other congregants before reaching the person with Celiac disease. Several people have solved this by talking the priest beforehand. Various agreements include:

  1. The people with celiac disease sit in the front and drink first from the (uncontaminated) chalice.
  2. Celiacs get their own separate chalice.
  3. Celiacs bring their own GF wafers to church (completely wheat-free wafers are invalid according to Catholic doctrine).
  4. People can eat the officially sanctioned low-gluten host (100 ppm) made by the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Missouri. Celiacs can request these wafers from the priest or buy their own.

Controversy arose in 1995 around the problems of priests with celiac disease. According to

Because celebrating Mass is central to the priesthood, the 1995 norms added that men who are affected by Celiac Sprue disease or suffer from alcoholism or similar conditions may not be admitted to the priesthood. In his 2003 letter, Cardinal Ratzinger noted a modification to that norm, saying “Given the centrality of the celebration of the Eucharist in the life of a priest, one must proceed with great caution before admitting to Holy Orders those candidates unable to ingest gluten or alcohol without serious harm.” The Cardinal’s 2003 letter also provides norms for the celebration and concelebration of Mass when the celebrant or concelebrant suffers from gluten or alcohol intolerance.”

For those who are not Catholic, gluten-free wafer recipes abound. Check out the Catholic Celiac Society for more information.

Gluten-Free Biscotti

Elana\'s biscotti It’s wonderful that celiacs can soon go into Starbucks and get some cake with their coffee (or in my case, chai latte). But have you ever eyed those handsome almond biscotti? Biscotti are an elegant, crunchy Italian treat that go perfectly with any hot beverage, so why should you be denied? You shouldn’t! Here’s a roundup of some of the gluten free biscotti recipes that the gluten-free community has lovingly devised:

  • Scott Adams at presents crunchy, zingy Walnut Orange Biscotti that garnered rave reviews from recipe testers. He recommends gluten-free flour, sweet rice flour, GF baking powder, xantham gum, and baking soda to make these delicious gluten free biscotti.
  • Karina of Karina’s Kitchen presents sugar-free chocolate biscotti. She created an inventive mix of millet flour, buckwheat, quinoa, cocoa, and xantham gum.
  • Elana of Elana’s Pantry (pictured above) devised a rich recipe for Double Chocolate Mocha Biscotti with almond flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda (gluten-free), dark chocolate, and espresso. It sounds utterly amazing.

Which gluten free biscotti are you going to try?

Team Gluten-Free

Team Gluten Free If you or someone you love has celiac disease—and you also want to get a lot of exercise—consider getting involved in Team Gluten-Free. A project of the Celiac Disease Foundation, Team Gluten-Free trains volunteers to walk, run, or cycle in races all over the United States. The participants raise awareness about the disease wherever they compete. They also fundraise for the CDF. The money raised goes into research, awareness programs (both for physicians and the general public), and camp scholarships for Celiac children to gluten-free camps.

Participants receive:

  • Comprehensive training schedules.
  • Race day team tank or t-shirt.
  • Fundraising materials and ideas.
  • Nutrition, hydration and clothing advice.

Sponsors of Team Gluten-Free include Rice Chex, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Blue Diamond Natural, Jones Dairy Farms, Pamela’s products, Bob’s Red Mill, and many other brands familiar to the gluten-free community. Go to Team Gluten-Free’s website to download their information packet and read more about the work of the Celiac Disease Foundation.

GF cooking classes in Portland and LA

HipcooksGluten Free in Portland has tipped us off to a unique cooking class opportunity for celiacs. Hipcooks Portland at 3808 N Williams in N Portland (and also available at  2838 S. Robertson Blvd in LA and at Main St and Moulton Ave near downtown LA) offers an impressive list of gluten-free cooking classes. Each class is $55 and that includes all the ingredients plus beverages and wine with dinner. All the classes are small, hands-on, adult only, and end with a dinner party. Hipcooks proudly claims, “We ban measurements and encourage tasting to tease out your inner chef.”

Hipcooks is very welcoming to celiacs as this FAQ shows:

“Do you have gluten-free dairy free classes for Celiac peeps?
Yes, the whole Spring into Life series was pretty much MADE for you. Please check it out, it is very, very, very worthwhile. Otherwise, we can made certain adjustments to classes for you. Again, just let us know WELL in advance! The following classes can/may apply:

  • Healthy Fresh and Zingy – except for the ice cream sandwiches, but you can have just the ice cream!
  • Healthy Fresh and Zingy 2- as long as the pan for the cake is not dusted with flour.
  • Dinner for 15 – no crust on the chocolate tart. It is still SO good, though!
  • Elegant Intimate Dinner Party – same thing – no flour dusted in the pan of the cake.
  • Persian Immersion
  • Hot Soup Focus Group (yum!)”

The Spring Into Life Series, mentioned above, is a 4 workshop series, each class costing $130 and lasting 5 hours. They give you a $70 discount if you sign up for all 4 workshops. The second class is of particular interest to celiacs:

“Spring into Life! Class 2: I’m Freeee!

(See Class 1 for a full description of the series. Click here to purchase the entire series.) THIS CLASS COSTS $130 to attend! (the website may prompt you incorrectly)

Wheat Free, Dairy-free, Gluten Free! Lucky you….you have a jumpstart into a very happy and healthy life by eliminating (or even just restricting) these common allergens. This class will be tailored to those with wheat, gluten and dairy sensitivities or those who suspect they might have sensitivities. What are the causes of food sensitivities, physical symptoms of food sensitivities, how to test for food sensitivities. What the difference is between wheat-free and gluten free and how to decipher labels. What are dairy substitutes that are not freaky? This class will have a HUGE cooking portion with Monika, and will include LOTS of items as well as entire dinner party menus that are “Free!”, yet non-“Free!” people will not notice.”

It all sounds pretty delicious to me, so if you are looking to acquire Persian cuisine or master the art of gluten-free dinner parties, go ahead and sign up. Classes are running all the time.

Let them eat cake…er…as long as it's gluten-free.

Starbucks Goes Gluten-FreeEspresso brownies and chocolate chip cookies will take a backseat to a gluten-friendly treat next month when Starbucks Corp adds a gluten-free pastry item to its U.S. menu at the request of its customers, The Associated Press reported Friday.
The coffee-chain will debut the Valencia Orange Cake–a non-white flour snack baked with as few as seven gluten-free ingredients. The cake will be the first of what has the potential to become a long line of Starbucks desserts made available to customers with wheat allergies, cd or a health-nut bug.
As celiac awareness grows, popular food chains like Starbucks seek to expand their offerings to accomodate different diets and lifestyles.
A product manager in the food category said, “One thing we’ve learned is that our gluten-free customers can’t eat away from home easily. Cake can be hard for them to find.”
“Hard to find” is correct. Grocery store shelves are often chock-full of prepared desserts and miscellaneous baking products containing white flour and sugar. Still, a few commercial groceries are entering the gluten-free fray. lists Kroger, Ralphs, Dillons, Gerbes and Food 4 Less as some of the relatively well-known supermarkets currently making the leap.
Starbucks, the most popular coffee-chain the U.S., will no doubt set a precedent for its competitors, challenging them to offer gluten-free snacks that compliment their java blends.
Starbucks will offer the Valenica Orange Cake for $2.25 a piece beginning May 5.

Campbell's Gluten Free Products, Updated List

Campbell\'s tomato juiceThanks to Gluten Free Raleigh for the information! The company writes,

Every effort is made to avoid cross-contact with our ingredients and products that have gluten ingredients. This includes sanitation controls, storage controls, manufacturing controls and product rework controls.”

Gluten-free products now include several of Swanson broths and stocks, Prego Italian sauces and Prego Heart Italian sauces, Campbell’s tomato juices, V8 Splash smoothies, V8 (and Diet V8) Splash juice blends, V8 vegetable juices, and V8 V-Fusion Blends. This is a big deal because dozens of juices, broths, and sauces are available to the gluten-free community through Campbell’s at every supermarket in the country. However there are no longer any Campbell soups available in the U.S. that are gluten-free.

  • has posted the updated March 2009 list from Campbell’s on this site.
  • Gluten-Free in SD has a specific list of their gluten-free products updated in February 2009 so that you can compare.
  • The Grocery Guide includes all of Campbell’s gluten-free products along with 1,100 other brand names.

To contact the company for more information call 1-800-257-8443.

Lundberg Organic Rice gets on the gluten-free bandwagon

Lundberg Organic Porcini RisottoMy family loves Lundberg’s brown rice, so this is really great news for celiacs who eat a lot of rice products (show of hands, anyone?). According to the Sacramento Bee, people with celiac disease asked Lundberg Family Farms “to consider developing more rice-based convenience products, allowing them to eat more ‘normal’ foods.” The California company has more than 150 organic and whole grain rice products on the market and because of the request are working to ensure that more are certifiably gluten-free. Go here for a list of Lundberg’s currently GF foods: all varieties of their rice and flour, 4 kinds of pasta, 8 flavors of rice crackers, 11 kinds of organic rice cakes, 7 kinds of eco-farmed rice cakes, 3 varieties of “heat and eat organic rice bowls,” 2 kinds of rice syrup, 9 flavors of risotto, and one hot cereal.

Online Gluten Free Cookbook

Easy to be Gluten Free recipe The other day I stumbled upon a fantastic resource for celiacs, Easy To Be Gluten Free. It’s basically a free online cookbook for celiacs that’s continuously updated. All the recipes are designed to be affordable, easy, and made with basic ingredients that are easy to find at your local grocery store. The anonymous author is a celiac who found it too difficult and expensive to keep finding specialty ingredients and products for a gluten-free diet. The author went through all his/her recipes at home and weeded out the ones that were naturally gluten-free, and Easy To Be Gluten Free was born.

The author writes,

“I’ve made most of these dishes only with the ingredients listed so if a recipe calls for heavy cream, I haven’t tried it with skim, soy or coconut milk.  I’m sure there are many variations that could be done but I’ve learned from experimenting that it’s time consuming, sometimes costly and requires willing taste testers to try every variation suggested.  I would encourage you to do what I’ve done and make these recipes your own and by all means, share your results so that even more variations can be made available to people like you and me who just want quick, easy and yummy gluten free food to eat!”

Some recipes that looked attractive to me: Baked Salsa Omelet, Cannoli Pudding, Chai Tea Mix, and Pinto Bean Dip. All are made with simple ingredients, and where the author modifies the original recipe there’s a polite asterisk with an explanation at the bottom of the page.

The site also has links to gluten-free bakeries in the United States, Celiac Resources, and an extensive Gluten Free Store which has several cookbooks, food products, and kitchen equipment.