GF News Alert: FDA Approves New Test

New Blood Test May Make Celiac Disease Easier to Diagnose

Blood test. Endoscopy. Biopsy. Process of elimination. Consultation of astrological charts and the reading of omens. Diagnosing celiac disease hasn’t exactly been easy.

For me, the blood test was enough. My doctor pointed to some funny numbers on a paper and told me to stop eating gluten. I felt better, and I count my lucky stars for it. Medical tests and I never got along so good, and just saying the word “endoscopy” makes me shiver.

Happily for squeamies like me – for everyone really – the blood tests detecting gliadin antibodies continue getting better. I’m happy to report that Phadia, a US company that makes a variety of different blood tests, just got FDA clearance for an even more specific test for celiac disease.

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The Problem of the Gluten-Free Pastry…and Some Solutions?

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One of my favorite things to sink my teeth into is a nice pastry. Something about that rich, flaky texture that melts in your mouth goes perfectly with a latte in the morning or as an afternoon pick-me-up. Pastries are also yet another set of gluten-free enigmas. It seems that replicating that same texture and taste without using any gluten-containing ingredients is a feat seldom accomplished but always in high demand.

First, some good news: There are tons of gluten-free baking mixes out there, and some very good ones at that. The is a great resource for finding the best mixes available at grocery stores near you. Some of our favorite gluten-free mixes around here are made by King Arthur. Experimenting with the gluten-free pastry thing in the comfort of your own kitchen is easier now than it has ever been.

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No Need to Fear Airports: Gluten-Free Air Travel, Part 2.

From the comments on the last post about gluten-free flying, it seems that most of us are members of the Better Safe Than Sorry school of thought. With good reason, too, as mix-ups (and unhelpful flight attendants) are still out there.

What happens, though, when your best-laid plans have gone awry? Maybe you

  • brought food for a four-hour journey, but it turned into a nine-hour odyssey.
  • packed the most delicious bag of snacks – and left it on the counter at home.
  • just plumb forgot.

Point is, there are plenty of ways to find yourself hungry on the go, whether or not your airline offers a gluten-free meal.

Tables, tables everywhere -- but not a thing to eat?
Tables, tables everywhere -- but not a thing to eat?

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Still Riding Pizza Crust is a Hit at The Lost Dog Café

LostDogCafeI love pizza. I love dogs. Why not combine the two? No, I do not mean pizza with poodle pepperoni on top. I mean a restaurant that serves excellent pizza while helping to find homes for lost dogs. And did I mention, also serves the gluten-free community?

Yes, such a gem exists. The Lost Dog Café has two locations in Arlington Virginia, and, according to their website, a third location is coming soon to McLean. We visited the South Arlington location on Columbia Pike, which sits in a strip mall next to its sister establishment, the Stray Cat Café. Both restaurants donate some of their profits to the Lost Dog and Cat Foundation (although the seating hostess was a bit vague on percentages when we asked). The restaurant uses gluten-free pizza crust from Still Riding, a company which partners with local pizzerias across the country to provide gluten-free pizza crust to customers. The Lost Dog Café is also known for its wide beer selection, and the wall-length beer fridge includes gluten-free New Grist beer as well as naturally gluten-free Woodchuck cider. That’s right, at the Lost Dog Café, you can get gluten-free pizza and beer with the gluten-eaters!

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No Need to Fear Flying: Gluten-Free Air Travel Does Exist!

airplane-windowGluten-free travel requires some extra thinking, sure. So does gluten-free living in general. And while airplane food may strike fear into all our hearts, there’s really no need to fret: with some advanced planning the friendly skies can be yours to fly.

Last week I flew from New York to Madrid, and then onwards to Milan, on Iberia Air. Iberia is one of the many carriers who offer gluten-free airplane meals, and so the process was quite easy. All I had to do was select the gluten-free option from a pull-down menu as I was booking my ticket, when prompted. Still, some pointers to ensure the best possible airline experience:

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