Monthly Archives: May 2012

Mayor Adams Carves Out May 16 as “Gluten-Free Beer Day” in Portland

By Zach

May it be known that May 16th is now officially “Gluten-Free Beer Day” in Portland, effective as of yesterday morning at 9:30 via mandate by Mayor Adams at the City Hall. In honor of Celiac Awareness Month and the gluten-free efforts demonstrated by three Portland-based companies of Craft Brew Alliance, Mayor Adams stamped a new part of gluten-free history for Portland.

To our knowledge, Mayor Adams has no connection with the Boston beer company, Samuel Adams, so there’s isn’t any kind of conspiracy going on here nor are we trying to pull your leg, but it does make for a comical coincidence.

Omission Beer line as well as Deschutes Brewery and Harvester Brewing are the three conglomerates that make up the tri-force bringing Portlanders a gluten-free remedy they can enjoy. Omission Beer launched their gluten-free line earlier this year, Deschutes has been brewing gluten-free beer since 2007, and Harvester Brewing established themselves in 2011 with their gluten-free exclusive ales.

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, not all of these gluten-free beers are 0 parts per million, which also goes for gluten-free beer throughout the U.S. and worldwide. For instance, Omission Beer uses malt and barley in their formula and even though it is significantly lower than the international standard of 20 parts per million, It does exempt a lot of gluten-intolerant consumers. Therefore, people with Celiac Disease and/or high sensitivity to gluten should research the parts per million and/or contact the brewing company before indulging in these products.

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How Gluten Can Affect Your Mood

By Bridget

Literally, one of the most upsetting symptoms of gluten intolerance for some people can be how it affects our moods. For me, personally, one of the biggest changes I saw about myself (and my friends and families can attest to this…) is that my mood completely evened out after I cut out the gluten. After doing a fair amount of poking around in the gluten-free discussion boards and research studies, I have found that I am not alone in noticing a personality change along with my changing dietary choices.

With gluten sensitivities comes the ability (or lack thereof) to process the foods that fuel our everyday lives. So while this means that gluten can’t be digested by our systems (leading to some painful digestive consequences), it also means that essential nutrients are not being absorbed. Without these essential nutrients, our mind and ability to use cognitive reasoning is often one of the first functions to suffer (it’s as if you haven’t been eating in a while – of course you’d get irritable!). Interestingly, many psychiatric disorders have been found to be prevalent in untreated Celiac Disease patients. One study found that 21% of patients in a psychiatric clinic were being treated for depression, when their true problem was suffering from Celiac Disease! Click to continue reading »

Wegmans Food Markets Announce New Line of Gluten-Free Favorites

By Zach

Here we go, gluten-free eaters. There’s another company trying to make a rift and a ruckus in the gluten-sensitive community, and it’s name brand is Wegmans Food Markets. Alright alright, all joking aside, I just want to state as a disclaimer that this post is simply an informative news report about a new “gluten-free” line of foods at Wegmans. Wegman’s has informed Triumph Dining that all gluten-free mixes and gluten-free pastas are being produced in dedicated gluten free facilities. They also mentioned that “gluten-free ingredients are investigated and verified, including processing aids and incidental additives and manufacturing environment, processing, scheduling, and  also that good manufacturing practices are evaluated for the potential for cross contact/cross contamination with gluten.”

Since the Domino’s Pizza gluten-free crust didn’t go over very well with a lot of you, this may not please everyone either, but we feel compelled to bring you up to speed whether you love it or hate it.

Without further ado, Wegmans Food Market, a Northeastern grocery chain with about 80 stores, has just announced that in honor of National Celiac Disease Awareness Month they have introduced, what they’re calling, four new gluten-free favorites into their stores. One of these is their corn-based pastas, which supposedly have an appetizing texture and hardly tastes any different than regular pasta. As an added bonus, shoppers can download a dollar-off coupon for the pasta from the Wegmans’ website. All four family favorites are Wegmans’ own brand and include:

  • Gluten-free spaghetti, fusilli, penne and elbows, in one-pound boxes that sell for $2.49.
  • A vanilla cake mix and chocolate cake mix. Each mix makes one 8-inch round cake layer and sells for $3.49.
  • A gluten-free sugar cookie mix, which sells for $3.49 and makes 22 cookies.
  • A double chocolate brownie mix for $3.49 that makes one 8-inch square pan of brownies.

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Undiagnosed Celiac Disease and Obesity Often Linked

As so rightly points out, weight loss is considered a common sign of undiagnosed celiac disease. After all, the intestines of a person who is erroneously eating wheat are not going to absorb nutrients, and at least in theory food is going to pass through them much quicker / without time to be digested.

And, of course, there are all the other GI troubles that are often linked to undiagnosed celiac disease / accidental glutening – among them one that starts with a big D. So, when a team of researchers set out to look at Body Mass Index at the time of celiac diagnosis, it would seem logical that they would find a high rate of thin people.

It would have, at least…but of course this isn’t what they found at all.
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Chuck-E-Cheese Tests Celiac-Safe Gluten-Free Pizza and Cupcakes

Amid all the hubbub about Domino’s gluten-free (but not celiac-safe) pizza, another very exciting gluten-free offering seems to have gotten a bit lost.

If you’re in Minnesota and have a child, you can now go to Chuck E. Cheese’s and enjoy a celiac-safe gluten-free pizza and gluten-free chocolate cupcake. Hearteningly, Chuck E. Cheese’s is going to extreme effort to ensure that these menu options are safe and uncontaminated.

As the press release explains, “the personal cheese pizza, manufactured by USDA/FDA-approved, gluten-free facility Conte’s Pasta, will arrive to stores in frozen, pre-sealed packaging. The bake-in-bag pizza will remain sealed while cooked and delivered and until opened and served with a personal pizza cutter at families’ tables by the adult in charge.”

There are also single-serving, pre-sealed chocolate fudge cupcakes from Fabe’s All Natural Bakery. You can see both options in the video above, and both are made by GFCO-certified companies.

Kudos to Chuck E. Cheese’s for going above and beyond to ensure a safe experience for all gluten-free children (in Minnesota). As with other test markets, if this one goes well we can expect to see more Chuck E. Cheese locations around the country offering gluten-free pizza and  cupcakes.

Have you tried the pizza? How was it?

Some Gluten-Free Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day

By Zach

Mother’s Day is May 13th, which is just around the corner. There’s a million and a half options to give our mothers this year, but when it comes to candies, brunch, and gestures, what’s the best gift for our gluten-free moms?

First off, we’d like to dedicated this article to our (gluten-free) mothers out there. I’m sure most moms would rather spend sentimental time with their family or receive a card with flower rather than be surprised with a boat load of indulgent food that will make them wish they hadn’t eaten it the day after, but that’s not to say there isn’t room for a little bit of both thoughtful tokens of appreciation.

Okay, enough with the sappy stuff, let’s get down to brass tax about the glutenless gestures and the sticky sweets you can share with your mom this Sunday

• Cook your mother a nice gluten-free meal at home (maybe even breakfast in bed?)

People who are restricted to a gluten-free diet are practically pushed into having to cook a lot of their meals due to safety’s sake. Gluten-free moms and moms of gluten-sensitive children are no different (of course, this also applies to you dads out there, but you’ll have to wait another month for your empathy). If you don’t already know your mom’s favorite food or meal, maybe you can conspire with others who may know. Otherwise, you can just improvise and whip up a meal full of gluten-free goodies that you know she’ll enjoy. It’s a Dinner-fit-for-a-Queen gesture that’s bound to make her feel appreciated. If you go with breakfast in bed, it can be a Breakfast-fit-for-a-Queen gesture. Click to continue reading »

Zenbelly: A Shared Kitchen to Help Find Your Gluten-Free Inner Peace

By Bridget

While we all love to see gluten-free items pop up on the menus at our former favorite restaurants, it always makes me a little weary to see that gluten-free pasta as an option, served right alongside the gluten-filled versions. It’s like when people say you can just take the bun off the burger and, voila, it’s gluten-free. For people suffering from full-blown Celiac’s disease, this “solution” is hardly an acceptable remedy. The risk of cross-contamination means that devoted gluten-free restaurants are often the only acceptable eating out options. Just as gluten-free products need to be processed in dedicated facilities, so too should our prepared meals. This means separate, “gluten-free” cookware, down to the meat thermometers and cutting boards!

Well, people living in San Francisco may soon be getting an answer to all their hopes and dreams when it comes to gluten-free eating out. Simone Shifnadel, a trained chef, nutritionist, and fellow gluten-free eater has big plans for the gluten-free community. Her plan is to open a gluten-free shared kitchen, café, and community space, called Zenbelly Kitchen, where bakers and chefs can come together to create gluten-free products in a completely devoted environment. No gluten will ever cross the threshold of the kitchen’s doors!

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Domino’s Announces Gluten-Free Crust: One Cheesy Leap for the Gluten-Free Kind

By Zach

Let’s see what’s on the gluten-free dinner table this evening: maybe it’ll be rice noodle spaghetti and meatballs, or maybe a zesty quinoa salad with chicken, or perhaps…a half veggie, half sausage gluten-free crusted pizza from Domino’s! Wouldn’t that be exhilarating? Well, now you can have your own whack at any kind of pie from Domino’s now that they have gone on the record to claim that their glutenless crust is “appropriate for those with mild gluten sensitivity,” however, it is not suggested for people with Celiac Disease – discouraging we know.

Before we get your hopes too high, yes, of course, there’s always some kind of catch or folly with such good news as this. I’m sure this progressive step for the pizza industry isn’t as piquant to those who don’t get to reap the benefits, rather it just keeps you a bit cynical and on the edge. The fact that Domino’s only recommends this new concoction to people with mild gluten sensitivity almost nullifies half the gluten intolerant demographic.

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Burger 21, Family of The Melting Pot, Launches Gluten-Free Menu

Two years ago for Celiac Awareness Month, we wrote a post about The Melting Pot‘s new Gluten Intolerance Group-approved gluten-free menu. We can only imagine that you all have been eating a lot of gluten-free fondue, because A: fondue is delicious and B: The Melting Pot’s gluten-free menu is still going strong (in fact, they’re participating in the GIG’s Chef To Plate initiative this month).

However, we’ve got even more reason to think that The Melting Pot is happy to have a gluten-free menu. The company that owns them, Front Burner Brands, also owns a fast-casual concept called Burger 21.

Guess who’s gotten a GIG-approved gluten-free menu this Celiac Awareness Month?
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Alba Therapeutics Recruiting Volunteers for Celiac Disease Drug Trial

I know sometimes it can seem like we post news of a potential new treatment for celiac disease, promise to keep you updated, and then drop the topic for a while in favor of delicious gluten-free things, or new studies, or anecdotes from my slightly awkward childhood or what have you.

Rest assured, we’re constantly checking for updates — sometimes it just takes a while for something worthwhile to happen in the life of a potential drug therapy. Today, case in point, we’re revisiting a post from 2009, titled Cure for Celiac Disease?. Why? Because we FINALLY have something exciting to say: Alba Therapeutics is going into phase 2b clinical trials, and they’re looking for volunteers.
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