Going Gluten Free

Gluten Free 101 at the #GFFAFest

The Gluten Free Food Allergy Festivals from Gluten Free and More magazine are more than just expos full of yummy and safe treats. Every festival, there are several sessions of cooking demonstrations and educational lectures throughout each day by those in the top of their field. However, I understand that getting to one of these festivals is not always geographically feasible. I’m hoping to get you some of the information learned at the lectures and demos directly to you in a post and an additional link to watch the session on YouTube.

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Recent Blog Articles

Gluten-Free Snacking for “Normal” Eaters

Posted by Erica Dermer on September 10, 2014

Last week, my partner launched the Adventure Video Club. The AV club is a collection of epic-adventure seeking individuals all brought together to watch outdoor movies about hiking, surfing, cycling, camping and anything outdoors meant to raise adrenaline. If you know me, you’re wondering why I’m a part of this group. Since I am terrified of adventure (especially outdoors) because I usually end up hurting myself, I’m in charge of snacks. In fact, at the last town hall-style meeting, I was elected vice president of snacks.

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GREAT Kitchens: Making Restaurants Celiac Safe

Posted by Erica Dermer on September 2, 2014

With the recent FDA “gluten free” labeling regulation going into effect this month, some celiacs might feel like they can let their guard down a little on packaged goods. While this ruling is a fantastic start to the community, keep in mind that it does not necessarily regulate restaurants and food service. With the National Restaurant Association ranking gluten-free 5th among “What’s Hot” food industry trends, and gluten-free menu claims increasing 275% (according to Mintel from 2009-2012), our risk for a fad diet hype compromising our safety is growing. While all restaurants are urged to comply with the regulation via the FDA when purchasing gluten-free packaged goods to serve, we know that isn’t where all of cross-contact can occur. Gluten contamination can often come in the actual preparation of the food, and mistakes can be made even after the food is prepared (like the server putting the wrong dish on your table).

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I’m Ready to Party! Are You?

Posted by Alicia Woodward on August 21, 2014

We’re super-excited about attending the Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest in Indianapolis this weekend. That’s because we love having lots of food, friends and fun—all in one place. Come party with us! #GFFAFEST

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Missing The State Fair

Posted by Erica Dermer on August 21, 2014

I’ll admit it. I really wish I could try out a deep-fried Oreo. And I’d really like to try a deep-fried Snickers. I eat a mostly clean diet – lots of healthy fruits, vegetables, low-fat proteins, no red meat, etc. However, I do love my gluten-free cookies, cupcakes, and pies (and totally not ashamed about it). Since the fair is a once-a-year experience, I figured that eating these unhealthy foods once a year could potentially still fit into a healthy diet. But, alas – I am a celiac. Since 99.9% of these fair foods are fried with gluten-containing ingredients like white flour, or the food being friend is gluten-full (like the Oreo), it’s pointless to even see if there’s something I can eat at the fair. I haven’t been to a fair since I’ve been gluten-free, but I have been to outdoor events that host the fair-type booths like the “deep fried” ones found at a large fair. The smell of deep-fried everything left me feeling sad. Sad, and a bit nauseated.

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Telling a Restaurant You’ve Been Glutened

Posted by Erica Dermer on August 19, 2014

Within minutes of eating the pasta dish at your local gluten-free Italian joint, you feel queasy. And then the stomach pains hit. And you run to the bathroom. You’ve finally figured it out – you’ve been glutened. Since you’re still at the restaurant, it’s easy to point the finger at the dish that did you wrong – or is it? Was it the pasta? The veggies? Regardless, someone screwed up and now you’re paying for it. But when you regain your composure, how do you go about telling the restaurant what went wrong?

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Gluten-Free Dining In Airports

Posted by Erica Dermer on August 13, 2014

On my recent trip to San Jose, I was surprised and delighted to see that one of the kiosks in the airport called out their gluten-free offerings. I often scroll through endless airport websites to search for safe places to eat while I travel. I’m often left disappointed and eating out of my own bag of goodies. However, there are several airports that have impressed me with their gluten-free offerings. Below are some that stand out to me (with some help from my readers).

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Independence Day: Gluten Freedom

Posted by Beth Hillson on August 12, 2014

Last month we celebrated Independence Day, aka the Fourth of July, marking the day the Declaration of Independence was signed.  That historical document paved the way for a democracy that has given us the individual freedoms that make us proud to be Americans. On August 5th, we celebrated another kind of independence day, freedom from gluten.  That’s when the gluten free labeling rule takes effect and millions of us who are seriously gluten free can be…

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Gluten-Free Mobile App Reviews

Posted by Erica Dermer on August 5, 2014

Finding a safe, gluten-free restaurant can be difficult, and sometimes impossible. As I return from yet another conference a plane flight away, I’m reflecting on just how I could have possibly survived navigating a gluten-full world without mobile apps. I use gluten-free apps at home and when I travel – basically anytime I find myself in a new neighborhood and want to check out the gluten-free scene. While there are paid apps available with (potentially)…

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Gluten Free Travel & Packing Mistakes

Posted by Erica Dermer on July 30, 2014

I’m off again soon to yet another conference. Some months I travel every weekend – and it does take its toll on my battered-but-thriving celiac body. However, there are certain tips and tricks that I’ve learned over my years that will help with your travel plans. Please, learn from my travel and packing mistakes!

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How To Best Use Food Allergy Dining Cards

Posted by Erica Dermer on July 23, 2014

Dining out is one of the greatest fears for those with food allergies, sensitivities and/or celiac disease – and for good reason. Putting your health in the hands of others is a scary thing. I never even get to see the people I put in charge of my health, as they are often in the back of house, grilling, sautéing, and hopefully keeping my food as far away from gluten as possible!

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My Love Affair with Bread

Posted by Beth Hillson on July 16, 2014

I'm a sucker for a good slice of gluten-free bread. I've professed my undying love on multiple occasions.

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Navigating a Gluten-Free Workplace

Posted by Erica Dermer on July 9, 2014

Donut parties. Pizza lunches. Bagel Fridays. We don't need horror movies to get our blood chilled. We just need to hear these words uttered during the workweek. It can be hard out there for people with celiac disease and food allergies - both personally and professionally. Here are common challenges you might face at work and how you can overcome them and thrive.

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I Miss Cheap Pizza

Posted by Erica Dermer on June 25, 2014

Pizza is one of my favorite things in the universe. I grew up on it. I had pizza parties throughout middle school and high school. I’'order it from local mom-and-pop shops and from national restaurant chains. I loved pizza nights at home and pizza out with friends. Pizza was my BFF (best food friend). But since I've gone gluten-free, I miss the pizzas I used to enjoy. The texture of gluten-free pizzas is different - and they aren't cheap.

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Stand Up for Yourself!

Posted by Erica Dermer on June 18, 2014

I'm a type A personality who says whatever I think (within social norms, of course) and I'm fairly outspoken about living a gluten-free lifestyle. I'm often asked, "How do you go out to eat and tell people you're gluten-free?" My response is usually, "Just stand up for yourself." I've met far too many people who are shy, nervous and don't like to make a big deal about their food issues. Here are some pointers to help get you out of your comfort zone.

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Confession: I Miss Fast Food!

Posted by Erica Dermer on June 11, 2014

Celiac disease interrupted my love affair with the local drive-thru. Before my diagnosis, I was the take-out queen. I practically grew up on McDonald’s. I lived off Papa John's pizza in high school and Wendy's chicken sandwiches and Whataburger breakfast burritos in college. As an adult, having fast food on every corner gave me a high. So what's a fast-food geek like me to do?

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What's the Price of Beauty?

Posted by Gluten Free & More contributor Erica Dermer on June 3, 2014

Are you getting glutened by your personal care products? Anything that goes on your lips or inside your mouth - lipstick, lip gloss, toothpaste - can trigger a gluten reaction. But what about your make-up, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and facial soap? Here's how to keep your bathroom from turning into a war zone.

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This Isn’t a Joke

Posted by Gluten Free & More contributor Erica Dermer on May 28, 2014

Have you noticed the recent onslaught of gluten-free jokes in popular culture? Between Jimmy Kimmel convincing the world that gluten-free people don't actually know what gluten is and Charlize Theron proclaiming gluten-free is "BS," there's been a lot of negativity toward gluten-free eaters. So why does this matter to me? Why should this matter to you? And what can we do about it?

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Confessions of a Food Hoarder

Posted by Erica Dermer on May 20, 2014

When gluten-free and food-allergic shoppers find a product we like, especially a new item or one that's on sale for a limited time, we approach the store like the vintage game show, Supermarket Sweep. I admit I've used the whole "sweeping items into the cart with an outstretched arm" tactic without shame. However, this behavior can have a dark side: I’m a gluten-free food hoarder. Sometimes I forget that I should shop for what I need, and not what I just think is a good deal. If you're faced with the same predicament, these two ideas can help.

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Happy [Allergy-Friendly] Birthday!

Posted by Gluten Free & More contributor Wendy Mondello on May 13, 2014

My childhood was filled with amazing birthday parties, thanks to my mom. I envisioned that I'd create the same type of fun celebrations for my children. But when my son was diagnosed with multiple food allergies as a baby, those dreams faded. My task was to keep him safe and alive. Pulling off a birthday party was secondary and, frankly, seemed impossible.

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