Tips for a Schmaltz-Free, Gluten-Free Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. It’s not exactly my favorite holiday, but every time I go to the pharmacy or the grocery store I’m reminded that luvvvv is in the air, or at least that it’s supposed to be.

(This is why I prefer the much-less-commercialized Talk Like a Pirate Day.)

Even though I’m not much for Feb 14, I recognize that it’s unavoidable. Accordingly, here’s a list of tips, tricks, and did-you-knows for a lovely, gluten-free Valentine’s Day:

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Product Review: Liz Lovely Gluten-Free Cookies

There are lots of reasons why my favorite local coffeeshop is my favorite. The coffee is good, I always get a seat near the window, the cute boy who works at the gym down the street always smiles at me when he comes in for some caffeine…but that’s not all.

This is also where I first encountered Liz Lovely cookies, in a basket with a big GLUTEN-FREE sign. I got hungry, I got some cookies, and then I wrote an email to the folks at Liz Lovely and asked them to send me some more – all in the name of research, of course.

Nice people that they are, Liz & co sent me a beautiful box filled with their fair-trade, organic, vegan, gluten-free cookies.

“All those adjectives, and the cookies were still good?” you ask.

Oh yes. They were. Let me tell you:

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Labeling Debate Brewin' Up North

picture of beer bottle caps
Image via Maggie Hoffman at Serious Eats

Canada is joining the ranks of countries who are amping up their recognition of gluten-intolerance – and for some industries, that’s not necessarily a good thing.

There’s a debate raging in the Great White North over new labeling regulations proposed by the Canadian Celiac Association and Health Canada, the Canadian federal health department. These new regulations are designed to help people with food allergies identify dangerous ingredients more readily and reliably, and are similar the standards we already have in place in the U.S. The plan has been in the works for about a decade, but now that it’s ready to be implemented, one industry is mounting a last-ditch resistance.

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Call to Action: GF Labeling and the FDA

A little bit of hump-day activism, from our friends at the American Celiac Disease Alliance:

...all those letters really do add up.

Because of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), top allergens are now clearly labeled on foods. I’m sure I’m not the only one who sends a big mental “Thanks!” to the FDA every time I can easily see if a food has wheat in it.

But, as we all know, wheat and gluten have a square-rectangle relationship: all wheat has gluten, but not all gluten comes from wheat. FALCPA had another component, specifically to address this:

It was supposed to finish standardizing labeling requirements for gluten-free foods. By 2008. Which was 3 years ago.

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Losing Pounds by Losing Gluten? A Look at the Growing Gluten-Free Diet Craze

woman's feet on scale
Image via Instanta News Blog

A few days ago we asked our Facebook followers to weigh in (terrible pun intended) on the rising trend of going gluten-free to lose weight. This trend can be traced, at least in part, to celebrities like Gwenyth Paltrow, who sang the praises of a gluten-free cleanse in her January newsletter, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, whose gluten-free recipe book claims weight loss as one of the many benefits of her “g-free” diet.  Even Oprah got in on the gluten-free game, eliminating gluten (among other foods) in a 21-day cleanse back in 2008.

Looking at the growing number of gluten-free celebrities who also happen to be thin and smile-y, you can see why this trend would appeal to those of us who have tried everything to shed unwanted pounds. But there’s a pretty significant flip side: the American Dietetics Association does not endorse the gluten-free diet as a means to losing weight.

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