Going Gluten-Free

Have You Heard This One?

If you're living gluten free, chances are you've received interesting feedback about your special diet from friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances and dining companions. Even well-meaning relatives can chime in with choice statements like: Come on now. A little gluten won't hurt you!   More...

Are You Anxious?

Did you know that gluten can prompt anxiety in certain people? The psychological implications of ingesting gluten for those with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease are not well known. Yet celiac experts report a connection between eating gluten and experiencing mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, mood disorders, cognitive problems and even autistic behaviors. Why bring this up now? The tragic news about Whitney Houston and her purported use of benzodiazepines, prescription drugs commonly prescribed for anxiety.   More...

Take a Bite!

This is the third report by cookbook author Jules Shepard about the wonderful, new gluten-free foods hitting the market. Jules scouted the Winter Fancy Foods Show (in San Francisco) for us a few weeks back. Look for these products in your favorite grocery stores or online. Remember that you - the customer - can influence much of what's on the store shelf, simply by inquiring.   More...

The Beauty of Substitutions

Did you catch the news about Paula Deen, the Southern queen of high-calorie cooking, being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes? She confessed that she’s had the condition for three years yet she doesn’t plan to change her cooking style to accommodate it. Just eat smaller portions, she told Matt Lauer in her interview on the Today show. What a golden opportunity she had to tell the world about the beauty of ingredient substitutions!   More...

Fabulous, Exciting, New Gluten-Free Products!

Living Without contributor Jules Shepard just returned from scouting out the Fancy Foods Winter Show, the West Coast's largest specialty food and beverage event. Jules put in a lot of hard work hunting down the latest and greatest products for us. Here's the first of her several reports on the most innovative, healthy, allergy-friendly new foods on the market today.   More...

Young Life Lost Needlessly to Food Allergy

Little Ammaria Johnson was allergic to peanuts. The 7-year-old student at Hopkins Elementary School in Chesterfield, Virginia, died last week after ingesting the allergen and suffering an anaphylactic reaction.   More...

What's on Your Plate in 2012?

Every January 1st, do you make well-intended resolutions that seldom last? Me, too. But this year, I swear it's going to be different. Here's how I'm going to try to put the extra-special into my special diet.   More...

Is There Gluten in Your Meds?

A few weeks ago, The Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association posted a study where manufacturers of 41 nonprescription medications were contacted to see whether or not their products contained gluten.   More...

Counting Your Blessings

Although each member of the Living Without team has different food issues, there's one thing we have in common - we are all "glass-half-full" type of people - or at least we try to be. We recently received an inquiry from a distraught mother. Her teenage daughter had just been diagnosed with celiac disease and the girl was moping about all the things she couldn't have. What would we advise?   More...

'Tis the Season for Feasting: How Do You Say "No, Thank You"?

So you ate before you left the house. You brought a safe dish for the potluck. You packed an allergy-friendly snack in your pocket or bag. You may have talked to the host earlier about the menu ingredients and even arrived early to unobtrusively check out the kitchen for cross contamination. There's one more thing you have to do before party time: Practice saying no.   More...

A Kickoff to Holiday Baking

"Empty." That's what the sign on my snowman cookie jar said when I took it out with all of the other Christmas decorations. Every day since, that blasted snowman has stared at me from the kitchen counter, silently demanding that I start baking. My kids, however, have not been so silent.   More...

All I Want For Christmas …

I love Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukkah but, honestly, sometimes the holiday season can feel overwhelming. Demands and expectations can take over our lives and make everything seem a bit more difficult. Little things suddenly become bigger. Like stopping by on a regular visit to see an elderly aunt but now you think you should bring a gift. Do you need to buy something for the neighbors? For work colleagues? For the kids' teachers and coaches? Should you take part in that gift exchange even when you're pinching pennies this year? Go out for that expensive group lunch? And what is it that people really want, anyway? I'd like to forgo the shopping mall marathon and opt for homemade gifts instead. I love the sentiment but what will people say?   More...

Happy Thanksgiving!

In my large, extended family, more relatives each year are getting used to living with special dietary needs. Food sensitivities and intolerances run throughout my family tree - but it's just been recently that there’s been much awareness. This year brings an added twist with a couple relatives in the early stages of recovery from alcohol abuse. This presents new meaning to the concept of "living without," doesn't it?  More...

Can You Afford Your Special Diet?

As we approach Thanksgiving, it doesn't hurt to take a look at some of the things we can be thankful for. We receive many letters from readers who, if born just 50 years earlier, might have died in infancy. The diagnosis? "Failure to thrive." But these readers are thriving now because they are gluten free. In addition, there are tons of readers who are living without other key ingredients that trouble them, whether that's dairy, soy, nuts - doesn't matter. They are alive and well and interested enough in food to be looking for recipes and information that allow them to live fuller, richer, healthier lives. But there's another group living without. They are living without nutritious food.  More...