Gluten-Free Vacation Experiences

By Bridget

Summertime can be filled with shorter workweeks, long weekends, and extended vacations. But, according to a recent study, as many as 17% of families with children suffering from Celiac’s Disease have reported skipping family trips because of the anticipated difficulties they will face. While Laura, The Gluten-free Traveler, can probably speak most closely to overcoming any gluten related travel anxieties, there are certain travel destinations that are making it their mission to be gluten-free!

A huge trend in travel, in general, is to seek out unique and enriching experiences beyond the general allure of a given destination. A trip to Colorado is no longer just to see the mountains, but to take on a weight-loss goal. Travel to California has become a quest to learn from the best wine-makers. Well, now you can add gluten-free travel to the list.

Members of the California Association of Bed & Breakfast Association have added gluten-free pasta-making to their list of classes that guests can explore over a number of hours or days.

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Vaccinations Not Linked To Celiac Epidemic

By Laura (The Gluten-Free Traveller)

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Between 1984 and 1996, Sweden saw a huge rise in celiac disease amongst children under the age of two. On average it is thought that celiac disease affects around one percent of the population, but at this time Swedish children were being diagnosed with celiac disease at four times higher than the normal rate. This bizarre rise in babies and children being diagnosed ended just as suddenly as it had begun, not surprisingly leaving researchers to ask why this could have happened.

 At first many wondered whether infant vaccines could be the culprit. As vaccines stimulate the immune system perhaps the vaccines were triggering an abnormal response to gluten. It was found, though, that there was no real link between the vaccinations and the risk of developing celiac disease. A number of factors showed no link including the fact that changes in Sweden’s vaccine program did not match up with the timing of the rise in celiac disease.

Could infant nutrition be a factor? Could the age at which children were first given gluten containing cereals be a factor?

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Celiac Sprue Association and Gluten Free Travel Site Team Up

Grove Restaurant Food Photo Shoot April 12, 2012 3Thanks to the San Francisco Chronicle for bringing this to my attention: there’s a new partnership between the Celiac Sprue Association (or CSA) and the website

The partnership will, in essence, aggregate the existing knowledge of local CSA chapters on the GlutenFreeTravelSite’s platform. Because the CSA has 120+  chapters all across the country, their collective knowledge promises to be vast. While CSA members will have a dedicated page on which to search for CSA-specific reviews, the reviews will also be accessible by anyone who is using the website to search for safe gluten-free dining ideas.
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It’s Still Hot Outside: Let’s Make Some Granita

When I was still a little-ish girl I somehow convinced my parents to buy me an ice cream maker. I was sure I’d use it, use it all the time, make so much ice cream, blah blah blah…

Well let’s all be glad that I hadn’t asked for a puppy, because I got bored of that ice cream maker pretty gosh-darn quick.

So, as a big-deal fancypants grown-up in possession of her own kitchen shelves to fill with nearly-useless gadgets, I know better than to pretend I need to make my own ice cream. And let’s be real: I also don’t need the danger of a whole batch of ice cream in my freezer, calling out to me and begging to be reunited with it’s long-lost loves (chocolate sauce and whipped cream).

That’s where granita comes in. It’s light, and cold, and pretty, and forgiving, and doesn’t require anything more special than a freezer and a fork. Have you ever made it?
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Chefs Lack Basis Celiac Awareness

By Laura (The Gluten-Free Traveller)

How aware is the chef or the staff at your favorite gluten-free restaurant? Can you be certain that the person preparing your meal fully understands what celiac disease is and what you can and cannot eat? I would certainly hope so, but recent research suggests that this may not always be the case.

When you’re celiac, eating out is about trusting a stranger to keep you safe. It can be a pretty anxiety filled experience so we need to know that whoever is cooking for us is taking it seriously and that they know what they are doing. Personally I have a whole bunch of questions I ask when eating out to ensure I get a safe meal, but I would hope that the chef at any restaurant offering gluten-free options would have more than a basic understanding of celiac disease.

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) are a non-profit organization who work to raise awareness and improve the lives of those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. At the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago last month, the NFCA decided to find out what the awareness of chefs and restaurateurs is like when it comes to celiac disease by quizzing them on some of the basics of celiac disease.

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