Going Gluten-Free

People Power: We Can Make a Difference in the Gluten-Free Marketplace

Here’s a true story (it's not over yet) about the power of food-sensitive consumers if we speak with one voice. There are many restaurants that claim to be gluten free in name only but, in fact, are not completely gluten free because their kitchen practices introduce opportunities for cross contamination. A recent example is California Pizza Kitchen (CPK). With more than 265 locations in 30 states, CPK recently announced that it is offering gluten-free pizza. A resounding "Yippee!" came from gluten-free consumers everywhere, including me. Closer examination of the restaurant's efforts to eliminate cross-contamination, however, leaves me feeling that CPK needs to do more.  More...

I Think My Dog Has Food Allergies

In an ironic twist that isn't lost on me, it turns out that Buster, my mixed-breed dog, has started reacting to something in his dog chow. I say it's ironic because, as editor of Living Without magazine, I'm writing, thinking, reading, talking about and living with food allergies and sensitivities every day. I'm so attuned to the possibility of someone having celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or a food allergy that my adult children regularly tease me that I tend to think everyone may have a food issue.   More...

Ten Things: What Every Kid with Food Allergies Wishes You Knew

Living Without just published an essay by Gina Clowes ("Ten Things," August/September 2011) that struck an emotional chord with many readers. Living Without contributor Wendy Mondello read it with her son Joseph, who has multiple severe food allergies. "I feel like I’m the only one sometimes," he told his mom with tears in his eyes.   More...

The Eyes Have It

A new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology reports an increased risk of developing cataract in patients with celiac disease. Upon reading this, I wanted to throw up my arms in frustration. Most of the time I enjoy covering the current research on celiac disease - but this one hit me as just too much. Celiac disease is linked to cancers, other autoimmune diseases, heart disease, infertility, osteoporosis, depression. When will it stop? I had thought - hoped - the eyes might be spared. It’s true that signs and symptoms of celiac disease can affect just about any part of the body - from tingling in the toes to tooth enamel defects. But, enough already! Then I consulted my favorite eye expert - and here’s what he said.  More...

True Confessions

Are there ever days when you want to whine about being on a special diet? Well, join the club! Gluten free has been all the rage lately. With so many new products coming out and restaurants touting gluten-free menus, it seems like gluten free is everywhere. Yeah, okay. So does that mean that I'll get better at looking away when my friend eats her Caesar salad with yummy croutons while I eat my lettuce and two slices of cucumber? Plain. No dressing. No croutons.   More...

Food Allergies on the Rise

1 in 13 kids has food allergies — and almost 40% of them have severe to life-threatening reactions. The news has been all over the mainstream media. Almost 6 million U.S. children - 8 percent of kids under age 18 or 1 in 13 - has food allergies. These latest stats, twice the government’s standard estimate, are from a new study published online earlier this week in Pediatrics. The research confirms what we already know. Food allergies are a big deal. They’re a major public health problem. And they’re serious.   More...

Do You "Bubble Wrap" Your Child?

Too much protection - or not enough? Finding that healthy balance is an age-old problem faced by all parents - but especially those raising food-allergic and celiac children. How do we raise our kids to enjoy a normal, active childhood while still keeping them safe? This week, Living Without contributor Sharon Wanunu, mother of two, honestly shares her conflicted feelings about the emotional aspects of having a child with serious food issues.   More...

We're on a Roll!

When May melted into June, I hardly noticed. After all, the first of the month landed mid week and I had flipped my calendar before the week began. What I did notice was the quiet. There were no more Celiac Awareness Month activities. Okay. As a celiac, I am aware of this disease all year long. But this May was filled with special excitement and promise for those of us with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Just look at some of the highlights.  More...

It’s Time to Eat

We're in an unseasonal heat wave here in Virginia, with temperatures reaching into the high 90's - and it's just barely June. Time to dig out the shorts and flip-flops and surrender to summer. I say bring it on. Welcome fresh vegetables and fruit, especially the blueberries!   More...

Does the Gluten-Free Diet Lower a Baby's Risk of Type 1 Diabetes?

Celiac disease is related to other autoimmune conditions, like type 1 diabetes. Both diseases are inherited and genetically linked. If you're a new parent with a family history of celiac disease or childhood diabetes, you might be wondering whether a gluten-free diet could lower the risk of your infant developing either disease. Now a new study by German researchers looks at this issue.   More...

Get Tested!

I've spent five years - yes, five years! - trying to get my family members tested for celiac disease. After I was diagnosed with the condition in 2005, I urged my mom, dad and two brothers to get tested. (Approximately 10 percent of first-degree relatives are affected.) I made a point of talking up how much better I felt gluten free, cooking great gluten-free foods and maintaining a really positive attitude. But no one got tested. Now a new study strengthens my case.  More...

Day in DC Already Producing Results

Last week Living Without Food Editor Beth Hillson went to Capitol Hill with Editor Alicia Woodward to join a large gathering of gluten-free manufacturers and representatives from support groups and medical centers as part of an effort to support the enactment of gluten-free labeling standards. The work done last weekend is already showing results, as a number of Senators and Congresspeople have expressed support for the effort. Want to help too?   More...

A Capitol Day for Gluten Free

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Washington, DC. and I'm not talking about the weather. The gluten-free community came together in a beautiful way to push forward a common cause: gluten-free labeling standards. And finally, we have been heard.   More...

Food and Food Sensitivities Can Build a Bridge

Good community and good food go together. Take, for example, the background story about our allergy-friendly peach cobbler, the recipe featured this week. Madalene Rhyand, director of Living Without's test kitchen, was on a road trip when she spotted peach cobbler on the restaurant menu. No, it wasn't gluten free, egg free or dairy free, but her questions resulted in a long conversation with the restaurant server, who had her own list of food sensitivities.   More...

Grassroots and Gluten Free: A Labeling Summit

Something very special, very important is happening in Washington, D.C. on May 4. It will affect all of us who are gluten free, know someone who needs this diet, or work in a supporting role in celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. I want to be part of this. What about you?   More...