Going Gluten-Free

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...

Is There Gluten in Your Moisturizer?

When it comes to personal care products, as a celiac I generally worry about things that go in my mouth (or have the potential to). That means I’m less concerned about shampoo or body lotion. Instead, I pay attention to the biggies - lipstick, lip balm and lip gloss, as well as dental floss, toothpaste and mouthwash. A recent study conducted by George Washington University researchers confirms something we already know - there's gluten in many personal care products that's not always apparent on ingredient listings. In the study, which was released this past week at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Washington, DC, researchers tried to identify gluten in products from the top 10 cosmetic companies in the United States.  More...

Look at Labels

We recently received a letter from a Living Without reader who's sensitive to gluten, casein (a protein in cow's milk and other dairy products) and soy. She was having inexplicable reactions to tuna and couldn't figure out why. Our reader wrote: "When I went back to read the label, it just says 'tuna and water.'" On the surface, this particular product looks pure and simple - "tuna and water." So what is the issue?   More...

To Get a Flu Shot... Or Not

Well, we tried. I took my son Joseph to his allergist to get a scratch test for the flu vaccine - and possibly the flu shot for the first time in his 8 years of life. My chest has been tight with worry since I made the appointment a week ago. I was concerned about the possibility of Joseph having a life-threatening reaction if he received the vaccine, yet also worried about yet another stressful flu season for my asthmatic son if he didn't receive the vaccine's protection.   More...

Not Just a Walk in the Park

My family and I will soon be taking steps toward finding a cure for food allergies. On Nov. 5, we'll lace up our walking shoes to participate in the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network(FAAN) Walk for Food Allergy. Why? So that one day my 8-year-old son Joseph and an estimated 15 million Americans, including about 6 million other children like him, might be able to live a life free from the danger of food allergies.   More...

Celiac Disease and Breast Cancer

A new study suggests that celiac disease may help protect against breast cancer. Researchers in Sweden have found that women with celiac disease appear to have a reduced risk of breast cancer - perhaps as much as a 30 percent reduction.   More...

Gluten Free, In Style

It's difficult to ignore the fact that gluten free is getting trendy. If the gluten-free menus and the understanding nods I get when ordering in urban restaurants haven’t clued me in, I can't argue with the numbers. Despite the slow economy, sales of gluten-free products in this country have more than doubled over the past six years, with market projections exceeding $1.6 billion by 2015.   More...