Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mellow Mushroom: New Gluten Free Pizza!

I've been away for awhile with a needed Christmas vacation and moving but will return soon... in the meantime, to give you something to wet your appetite, I'd thought I'd share some exciting breaking news.

Mellow Mushroom will soon be debuting it's brand new Gluten Free Pizza at one select location... can you guess which one? That's right, right here in good old Raleigh, NC. Out of over 100 locations (10 in NC), we are extremely lucky to get the first bite. The new pizza should be available sometime in January. I'm busy working on getting all the details and will share more soon.

Any Mellow Mushroom fans out there? One of my personal favorites before going GF. This adds to the already large amount of choices for GF Pizza here in Raleigh (ZPizza, Uno, Lilly's, Bella Monica, Rosie's Plate... just to name a few).

Stay tuned...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Poll Question: What Do You Call Accidential Gluten Ingestion?

If you select other, please leave a comment with your term.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Celiac Disease On Dr. Oz Show Recap

Not sure if you caught the Dr. Oz show this afternoon (12/10) but the first 25 minutes or so was all about Celiac Disease and eating Gluten Free. The show featured Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Dr. Peter Green and did as good a job covering the disease and diet as you can in 20 minutes.
As of yet, I have not been able to find the video anywhere out there but if I do, I'll update this post.

A couple thoughts on the episode...
  • Love or hate her, Elisabeth Hasselbeck is raising awareness for Celiac Disease. The more doctors are educated on this, the more diagnosed cases there will be and the more GF products there will be for us to eat. Increasing general knowledge among the public is also good thing so that restaurant workers and people hosting parties can cater to us.

  • I had a few issues though with Elisabeth... mainly that after they focused on Celiac and the "G Free Diet" as she calls it (I don't like that term), they spent some time saying that the GF Diet is good for others as a weight loss diet. I truly believe she is saying this to sell books as everything I read clearly says that only folks with Celiac or Gluten Intolerance benefit from the GF Diet. There is no research conducted on how eating GF affects normal folks and in fact the GF Diet often lacks many key vitamins/minerals which need to be supplemented. I wish Elisabeth would stick to the science and discuss CD/Gluten Intolerance and leave the diet part out. This can turn eating GF into a fad which will give me more to eat, but only on a temporary basis.

  • At the end of the show, Dr. Oz went over his recap and said something along the lines of "If you suspect you have Celiac Disease, try going Gluten Free for 3 weeks.... if you feel better, then ask your doctor to get you tested for CD"... This is simply not the way to diagnose CD. The blood test involved requires a person with CD to be eating Gluten in order for the antibodies to be produced. This type of misinformation can severely limit proper diagnosis. A more correct statement would have been a multi-staged approach to a 100% true diagnosis of Celiac.... 1) Blood test (while eating gluten)... if positive, 2) Endoscopy with biopsy of small intestine to check for damage to villi. Multiple sites need to be sampled by an experienced GI who is used to looking for Celiac damage - it often is not uniform... If damage is present then, 3)Eat a Gluten Free diet and if you feel better after a period of time (depends on extent of damage found in 2), then bam - you're officially a member of the Celiac club. I'd be happier if Dr. Oz said this instead.

Overall, it's good to see Celiac being mentioned as the epidemic it truly is on a show seen by 3.5 million people on average. According to the latest ratings, the Dr. Oz show (only in its first season) has very similar ratings (and could soon surpass) to the widely successful and long running Dr. Phil show. Dr. Phil is rated 2nd behind Oprah as the most watched daytime TV show in the US.

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rosie's Plate: 10% Order Until 12/12/09

I received the following email from Rosie's Plate. 10% off all items from now until this Saturday 12/12/09.
Come and Get It...
10% OFF
Deli and Bakery
Including Some Fun Holiday Treats!
Sale Through Saturday
December 12th
weekdays 10-6:30 p.m.
Saturday 10-4 p.m.

Betty Crocker - More GF News

I've been a little busy itching/scratching a recent DH flare up - sorry I've been away... Regardless, we've already had so much good news from General Mills (like that they clearly label 200+ products as Gluten Free), but here is some more - again from Betty Crocker.

You may have already begun seeing the newly labeled Betty Crocker frosting containers in grocery stores in the area. General Mills had originally planned for this labeling change to begin this fall but they appear to have just now begun arriving. Now you can put some GF frosting on your Betty Crocker GF brownie or cake mix!

Click here to see a complete listing of the available Gluten Free Betty Crocker frostings. Click each link to open a picture of the packaging. I've included a sample to the left. You can see the Gluten Free in the bottom right side of the label.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

New Product Testing Policy

Effective 12/4/2009, all products reviewed and promoted on Gluten Free Raleigh will be subject to the new Product Testing Policy outline below. 
  1. From time to time, GFR features product reviews from local Raleigh area companies. In order to be featured on this blog, the products will now be tested for PPM Gluten.
  2. Any company that does not agree to this Policy will not be featured on GFR. Company owners will be notified of this testing policy upfront. No witch hunts will be conducted.
  3. Where possible, representatives from the company will be present during testing so that results can be known immediately and can be done openly. Testing kits will not be opened until the time of the test.
  4. A recognized, reputable company/product will be used in testing the Gluten status of products featured on GFR. GFR has the right to select whatever company provides the most cost effective, accurate testing. Examples of such companies are ELISA Technologies, Inc and R-Biopharm. These Gluten testing companies/products are widely used and recognized in the Gluten Free product marketplace.
  5. GFR will pay for the costs of the Gluten testing.
  6. GFR will clearly state what testing product was used, what GF products where tested and what the results of the test were.
  7. In most cases, photographs will be taken of the testing process and/or test results.
  8. In every case, any questionable test result (positive) will be first discussed with the company/product in question before being published on GFR. If possible, GFR will make itself available to attempt to consult with the company to try to solve their Gluten infiltration.
  9. This policy applies to companies that are not already undergoing some form of Gluten testing where they can provide evidence to GFR of the testing procedure and results.
This product testing policy was created in honor of Paul Seelig, owner/operator of the company formerly known as Great Specialty Products and will be enforced to ensure that no other fraudulent companies or scam artists fool or poison us again.

Changes to this policy may occur at any time.

Friday, December 4, 2009

New FTC Policy For Bloggers

It has always been my intention to fully disclose any relationships with the various companies/products I write about here on Gluten Free Raleigh. In cases where I am compensated, I have made that known (see Triumph Dining post here). I will continue this policy in the future and will now disclose when companies offer me free samples of their products.

Below is some information about a brand new Policy/Guideline that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has made effective on 12/1/2009. The guideline deals with full disclosure and Gluten Free Raleigh will comply fully. Transparency is critical to my credibility with my readers. In addition, I must be careful to confirm the accuracy of any statements that I make about a product or service that I am writing about and am responsible for what I write.

New FTC Guideline for Bloggers
The Guidelines issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on October 5, 2009 relate to endorsement and testimonial advertising. These new Guidelines went into effect on December 1, and reflect the FTC’s interpretation with respect to federal law relating to advertising. These new Guidelines specifically apply to bloggers and could impose liability on bloggers for endorsements or testimonials.

The revised Guidelines state that:
-The Guidelines apply to Bloggers and online word-of-mouth marketers and require them to disclose any material connection to a company when reviewing the company’s products or services (failure to disclose any payment or receipt of free product from an advertiser or someone acting on their behalf could expose you to liability);
-Both advertisers and endorsers can be liable for false or unsubstantiated claims made in an endorsement (if you were given a product for free or were paid to write a review, then the claims you make about the product must be accurate and substantiated);
-Advertisements containing consumer endorsements, or testimonials, must disclose what results a reasonable consumer could expect from the product and can no longer rely on a disclaimer that “results may vary”.

The complete revised Guidelines can be found here. The FTC has also posted several short videos explaining the Guidelines here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

General Mills Update - Over 200 GF Products Now Available

I've written many times about the great things General Mills is doing for the Gluten Free product marketplace. Click here for some of my previous entries on this topic. I recently saw this article from about some new announcements from General Mills.

General Mills has launched a brand new Web site and newsletter around their Gluten Free product offering. The Web site is called Live Gluten Freely and it states there that the site is "your destination for gluten-free product information, new product news and recipes from General Mills. Our goal is to help you live your life without gluten…". The Web site also features recipes and a newsletter as well as an explanation about how they label their GF products (see picture to the left).

General Mills is a top 5 food company in the USA and is currently offering over 200 products which are labeled as Gluten Free. You can see the extensive list here. The PDF version (last updated on 11/30/09) is here. The products include major brands like Betty Crocker dessert mixes & fruit snacks, Chex cereal, Lara Bars, Progresso Soups and Yoplait yogurt.

Additionally, you can follow General Mills on Facebook & Twitter.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

More News From Rosie's Plate

Here are some more tidbits about happenings at Rosie's Plate.
  • The brand new December menu is now available. Click here to see the new items.
  • Rosie's Plate is now offering Gift Bags for holiday gifts. See the store for details.
  • There are some excellent classes coming up as well at Rosie's Plate. Click here for more details on classes like "Healthy Eating and Supplementation" on Jan 16, "Baking Gluten, Egg and Dairy Free" on Jan 9 and another installation of "Gluten Free 101" on Jan 23 (taught by yours truly). I previously taught this class in October and plan to do so on a regular basis to help those new to the GF diet.
  • Also, you can stop by Rosie's Plate on Friday December 18 from 5-7p for a Holiday Tasting Event.
  • Finally, be sure to check out Rosie's Plate at the 2010 Healthy Marketplace event held at the NC State Fairgrounds on Jan 30 - 31. Click here for more information. The Healthy Choice Marketplace is an expo of natural, integrative, and alternative health care professionals and products in the Triangle. Event hours are Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday Noon. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rosie's Plate Holiday Menu Survey

Would you like to have input on the menu items offered at Rosie's Plate for the upcoming Holiday season? Click the survey link below for a unique opportunity to get exactly the menu choices you want.

Click here to take the one question survey.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Raleigh CSA Support Group 11-19-09 Meeting Recap

Special thanks to Gail for taking meeting minutes during the last North Raleigh Celiac Support Group meeting on 11-19-2009. Below is a recap for those of you that could not make the meeting.
North Raleigh Celiac Support Group
CSA Chapter 108
November 19, 2009 7:00-9:00 PM
Rex Hospital Private Dining Room, Raleigh, North Carolina

Pat opened the meeting with the issue of oats and by giving away her current supply. She is sure that they are not a safe option for her and warned newly diagnosed celiacs to wait at least a year before adding them to a G-F diet. The cover story in the Volume XXIX No. III, 2009 issue of Lifeline magazine, published by the Celiac Sprue Association, focused on the problem regarding the use of uncontaminated oat products. “Oats appear to be suitable for some people with celiac disease, but not all. Thus oats are not yet a risk-free choice for all people with CD.” (from CSA’s Scoop on Oats –

Also from the same issue of Lifeline, in the regular feature: Dialogue with a Dietitian, was the subject of Probiotics. Several group members shared their stories of improved health by the addition of probiotics to the diet. However, consumers need to check labels due to the wide variety of dietary supplements among manufacturers.

Pat distributed complimentary copies of the current Living Without. This is a magazine for people with allergies and food sensitivities. The publishers are looking to expand distribution to physician practices and support groups. They can be contacted by sending an e-mail to

With our largest group in attendance to date, there was much discussion focused toward staying G-F for the holidays. In order to survive at non-gluten-free parties it is important to fill up before you go or offer to bring some food so you can be sure there will be one thing that you can eat. Many offered to share their recipes with the group. There is some interest in putting together a collection of gluten-free recipe favorites to share as a book. Pat referred this to Mark as a special project. Look for more discussion in the future.

There is a new gluten-free store located in Raleigh’s Cameron Village. TEAGSCHWENDNER sells premium loose leaf teas and other g-f products which are extensively tested at their testing lab in Germany. They can be found on the web at

Special guests Shanah Wade and Melissa Bell, co-owners of Moonlight Bakery, presented their new line of gluten-free products. A wonderful tasting of delicious desserts was enjoyed. They provide fresh, unprocessed, g-f foods for home delivery every Wednesday. Look for them on the web at

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 17, 2009 in the private dining room at Rex Hospital. The cookie exchange originally scheduled for this meeting has been postponed until early next year.

Submitted by,
Gail Harris

Thursday, November 26, 2009

New Commenting Policy

The point of this blog over the last year and a half has been to share my experiences with you about how I live my Gluten Free life. I take a large portion of my free time to investigate & research things before they are published. I receive no compensation for any content published to the blog - this is simply my goodwill donation to you. From time to time, I write about companies or products that I have found and have tried successfully. I aim to keep things positive 100% of the time with the content on the blog - this includes commenting - and this is not something that I will ever change.

From my vantage point, there is not a company in the USA that is REQUIRED to make Gluten Free products. Most that are in the game, do it because they have some sort of personal connection to Celiac Disease or Gluten Free living. We are lucky to have these folks cater to us. Many of these companies do not make tons of cash (or much at all), but they do earn goodwill (something I believe very strongly in). The folks who I have dealt with are extremely passionate about helping others and that is the reason they are in the GF business. Negative comments (whether founded or unfounded) on this blog send the wrong message to the folks who put their businesses on the line to cater to those who are GF. We've seen in the past for example where companies like McDonald's have completely retracted from the GF marketplace because of some negative feedback/publicity. Like I said before, no one HAS to make GF products and companies have enough to worry about these days.

Effective 11/26/2009, I will institute the following policy around posting comments on Gluten Free Raleigh.

1) All readers will be required to register before commenting. This is so I know who is posting comments.

2) All comments will be reviewed by me before allowing to be published to GFR.

3) This basically disallows anonymous commenting.

4) Negative comments (whether founded or unfounded) are now disallowed on GFR, meaning if one is posted, I'll delete it. If a reader has issue with something written, they can either email me directly @ or contact the company/product involved directly. This blog will not serve as a public forum for trashing companies/products in any way.

5) I will not just simply delete the comment but will also follow up with the commenter so I can fully investigate. Remember in #1 above, everyone must be registered to comment so I'll know exactly who to contact. This process will allow me to fully vet something negative without leaving it there to cause trouble.

Changes can be made to this policy at any time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reminder - Greater North Raleigh Celiac Support Group Meeting

Just a friendly reminder about this month's Greater North Raleigh Celiac Support Group meeting. The meeting is Thursday, November 19th at 7pm at Rex Hospital. This month, area resident, Shanah Wade will be our guest speaker. She is the owner of Moonlight Bakery, and will be providing a few samples of her new Gluten Free muffins and bread! Also, handling the upcoming holiday season will be discussed.

Please email Pat Berger to request more information about the group or if you are interested in attending this month's meeting.

You can also check out the Support Group's Yahoo Web page here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gluten Free Raleigh Dispatch: 11-17-2009

  • Congrats and Thanks to Jules Shepard for another successful Gluten Free cooking class held this past weekend at the Earth Fare in Raleigh. Jules wrote to let me know the class was a huge success and they raised over $110 for funding Celiac research at the University of Maryland Celiac center. The money was raised during a raffle for a gift basket which included some awesome Custom Choice Cereal (I hope to write about this soon).
  • Thanksgiving is fast approaching, here are some great resources - Jules Shepard E-book | Rosie's Plate Thanksgiving menu |'s write-up (includes how to find a GF turkey and many recipes and tips) | An update on Butterball's gravy packet from The Savvy Celiac | Triumph Dining blogs about Whole Foods' holiday recipes.
  • An update on the Great Value Brand from Wal-Mart from the Savvy Celiac. Some usually naturally GF items are no longer marked that way - watch out!
  • Check out an article on an upcoming Celiac Disease lecture over at Duke on Gluten Free Durham.
  • Here is an update to a previous story I wrote about Elisabeth Hasselbeck's book and plagiarism lawsuit (case was dropped).
  • Here is an article detailing how families with a lower income can eat GF/CF.
  • Want to cure your Celiac? Get some hookworms (ahh).
  • Click here for some information on a recent rumor about Hershey's candy and flour dusting. Be careful what you read on the Internet!
  • Here is an update from about new GF offerings from Progresso. I've seen these recently in the store - thanks AGAIN General Mills!
  • Domino's Pizza now offering Gluten Free pizza!?! (looks like only in Australia). I'll check this out and see what I can find about the USA.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Renewed Motivation To Strictly Follow Gluten Free Diet

I wrote this blog post a little more than a year ago which detailed my main Celiac Disease side effect, Osteopenia (or lowered bone density). The post goes into great detail about the bone scan process and my resulting test scores which indicated a severe impact to my bone density due to Celiac Disease and it's subsequent nutritional deficiencies. It's pretty clear to see that if you are not correctly absorbing nutrients then there will be a multitude of effects on the body, include loss of bone density.

At the time of my previous post last year, my score of -2.4 was technically Osteopenia, but right on the border of osteoporosis. I was pretty anxious heading into a recent follow-up bone scan to see if my scores had improved after being on the Gluten Free Diet and supposedly curbing the Celiac Disease induced damage to my body. My doctor had told me that correctly following the diet could lead to a recovery of my bone density. For some reason, you never really know if you are following the GF diet correctly or is some small portion of Gluten still contaminating you, anyone else feel like this? I guess tests like this along with repeat antibody tests can really go a long way to building your confidence level that you really are Gluten Free.

I'm happy to report that my bone density scores did improve. While still having Osteopenia, my scores were more toward the middle range, instead of the high/border-line Osteoporosis range. The results were much better in my smaller bones (like forearm) as these are the first to recover while improving only a little in my bigger bones (like hips). These results have definitely renewed my motivation to keep going.

As I have mentioned before, a Celiac Disease diagnosis is the beginning of your journey to healthy living - it's not the beginning of the end of your life. For us, our diagnosis is really our cure... not very many diseases are like that. If you are not getting follow-up care like repeat antibody tests or bone density scans, please check with your doctor or use my Health Network to find a doctor who is familiar with treating those with CD.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rosie's Plate Expansion

Great news for you Rosie's Plate fans living in Durham. I received the following information about expansion plans into the Durham area from the owner of Rosie's Plate, Rose Waring. See below for more information.
I wanted you to be the first to know the latest greatest exciting news from Rosie’s Plate! Bon Apetit has invited us to offer Rosie’s Plate at the Great Hall Café on Duke’s West Campus. We just started this past Monday and we’re stocking a great selection of our baked goods and savory items. We’re especially excited because the Great Hall Café is open to all Durham residents, not just students, so it’s a really convenient way for people in Durham to enjoy Rosie’s Plate every day.
Up to this point, Rosie's was only available in Durham every Tuesday from 4-6 pm at Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Look for more soon on Gluten Free Durham and don't forget the Thanksgiving Holiday Tasting tomorrow (11/13) at Rosie's Plate.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Reminder: Jules Shepard GF Thanksgiving Class This Weekend

Just a quick reminder that the Gluten Free Thanksgiving cooking class being taught by Jules Shepard is fast approaching! The class will be held this weekend (Sunday 11/15/09) at Earth Fare in Brier Creek from 2pm - 4:30pm. There will also be some other Gluten Free activities going on at Earth Fare during this time. See my previous post for more details. Be sure to sign up soon as spots are sure to fill up quickly with only a few days remaining to register. This class will help you have an excellent GF holiday!

You can sign up by calling Earth Fare or visiting Jules' Web site.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rosie's Plate: Thanksgiving Holiday Tasting This Friday

Be sure to check out Rosie's Plate this coming Friday (November 13th) for a special Thanksgiving Holiday Tasting party. Stop in from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Rosie's located in downtown Raleigh at 701 North Person Street.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Food Allergy Walk This Saturday

This Saturday, November 7th, 2009, there will be a walk to raise funds and awareness for Food Allergies held in Cary. The walk is sponsored by The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and NC FACES (North Carolina Food Allergic Children Excelling Safely) support group. This will be an excellent opportunity to shine the spotlight on food allergies and how they affect millions of Americans. If you have not seen my Food Allergen Restaurant Poster Petition, click here.

Walk Details
Date: Saturday, November 7, 2009
Time: Check-in begins at 9:00 a.m.; Walk begins at 10:00 a.m.
Location: Bond Park, 801 High House Road, Cary, NC 27513
Distance: 2 miles
Event Web site (visit this site to create or join a team or give
Email Contact: Christa Davidson
Restrictions: No pets, glass bottles, bikes, roller skates, or skate boards. Baby strollers and wagons are welcomed.
Target Fundraising Goal: $70,000 (currently have raised nearly $14,000)

About FAAN
FAAN is a national network offering support and education for people with food allergies. There is a ton a great information on their Web site. The group was established in 1991. FAAN’s membership now stands at close to 30,000 worldwide and includes families, dietitians, nurses, physicians, school staff, and representatives from government agencies and the food and pharmaceutical industries. FAAN serves as the communication link between the patient and others. FAAN focuses on awareness, education, advocacy, research and many other areas (a lot of the same goals for this blog). FAAN is (and has been conducting Food Allergy Walks all over the US for years now. Click here for the Walk Web site. There was also a race in Charlotte this past September which raised more than $25,000 and had over 300 participants.

NC FACES was started by local parents in 2003 who had children with food allergies. The group began by getting together for play dates and has now grown to over 200 families. They focus on providing local social and emotional support for food allergic families. The group usually has quarterly meetings and other events like Easter egg hunts, Halloween fun and games at the Durham Bulls. They are also a big reason for the local FAAN Walk. Click here for the groups Web site or click here to email for more information. You can also check out the group on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Raleigh Cel-Kids Support Group - November Meeting

The Raleigh Cel-Kids Support Group has scheduled an upcoming meeting on Wednesday November 11th. See below for the details.
Join us for Parents' Night Out - an information session for parents/caregivers of children with Celiac Disease. We are meeting on Wednesday, November 11th, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm at Bella Monica Restaurant. See the invite below for more information. Please RSVP if you can attend. Hope to see you there!

Please join the Raleigh Cel-Kids for a Parents' Night Out
Wednesday November 11th
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Bella Monica Restaurant

*Bring questions about being gluten free during the holidays
*Share ideas for packing gluten free lunches
*Helpful handouts on maintaining a gluten free or 'mixed' kitchen and surviving holiday parties will be provided

Please RSVP to

For directions and menu information

For additional information on Raleigh Cel-Kids

Raleigh Cel-Kids

Monday, November 2, 2009

Gluten Free In The Triangle Meetup Group

A few days ago I was contacted by Triangle resident Beth Reeves. Beth has started up a brand new Meetup group called Gluten Free In The Triangle. If you are not aware, there is a great social networking Web site out there called It's a great tool to organize people into groups of like interest (like Celiac Disease or Gluten Free Diet) and then to set up "Meetups".

This new group already has about 20 members and is growing each day. They've schedule a few events already. The first event will be held this Wednesday, 11-4-09 at the Raleigh Earth Fare location (community room).

Click here to join the Meetup group and see what events they have scheduled. Thanks for getting this group together Beth!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jules Shepard Gluten Free Thanksgiving Cooking Class @ Earth Fare

I've written numerous times about Celiac expert and Gluten Free cooking guru Jules Shepard before on this blog. Jules currently resides in Baltimore but has North Carolina ties and stops in for a visit every few months. Each time she stops in we are very lucky! I have had the pleasure of organizing 2 previous cooking classes with Jules (February & July) and she stopped by for another one in August. I have great news to report, Jules will again be back in Raleigh, this time for a timely Gluten Free Thanksgiving themed cooking demonstration. Thanksgiving can be like navigating a Gluten minefield, this class will be the perfect way to have a great GF feast.

See below for more information. I encourage you to sign up soon as space is limited and Jules' classes are in very high demand. As always, portion of the proceeds will go toward Celiac Disease research.
GF Thanksgiving With Jules Shepard
Earth Fare Raleigh

Sunday Nov. 15, 2-4:30pm

Jules Shepard returns to Earth Fare Raleigh to get us all ready for a delicious gluten-free Thanksgiving! Come experience firsthand how knowledgeable, entertaining and encouraging North Carolina native and gluten-free cooking expert Jules Shepard can be, at this in-person demonstration with the focus on Thanksgiving! Learn how simple it can be to prepare amazing gluten-free meals everyone in your family will enjoy this holiday season.

Dishes like gluten-free and dairy-free homemade casseroles, pie crusts, pumpkin pie, dinner rolls and stuffing! Sample a wide variety of goodies, ask questions and have Jules sign one of her two books at this limited-space class. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis.

As a special bonus, registrants in this Thanksgiving class will each get Jules' brand new 34 page Thanksgiving E-book full of recipes and tips for a great holiday (a $12.95 value)! See you there!

Class Fee is $40 (a portion of this registration fee will be donated to the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research)
To register, visit or call (433-1390)/visit Earth Fare.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gluten Free Halloween 2009

Halloween 2009 is just a few short days away. Doing a Gluten Free Halloween can be a little tricky (no pun intended), especially for kids who have little patience mixed with a huge amount of candy to eat.

I've put together a few articles I found which include helpful hints and updated GF candy lists so you don't end up like the pumpkin pictured to the left! If you are extremely worried about your little one getting Gluten filled candy, then I would suggest preparing your own candy bags to give to your neighbors in advance. When trick or treat rolls around, just go to those select houses.

Also, make sure you pay attention to those little mini versions of candy handed out. Often they do not contain ingredient listings or allergen statements. I've also seen where the mini version of something may not be GF while the bigger version is GF because they are made in different factories or on contaminated production lines. The best rule is "When in doubt, don't eat it".

See below for more information on having a GF Halloween this year.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Raleigh CSA Support Group 10-15-09 Meeting Recap

Special thanks to Gail for taking meeting minutes during the last North Raleigh Celiac Support Group meeting on 10-15-2009. Below is a recap for those of you that could not make the meeting.

North Raleigh Celiac Support Group
CSA Chapter 108
October 15, 2009 7:00-9:00 PM
Rex Hospital Private Dining Room, Raleigh, North Carolina

Pat welcomed the group and commented that everyone was a returning member. She noted the availability of gluten-free shopping guides for loan, if anyone is interested, and to please return a guide if you have borrowed one.

Rosie’s Plate is having a holiday tasting on Nov. 13 and Dec. 11. More information will be coming. Rose has invited the group to tour and have a tasting at her store near downtown Raleigh for our March 18, 2010 meeting.

Whole Foods Market in Raleigh is planning another Gluten-Free Fair on Saturday, October 17 from 11:00 AM-3:00 PM. Thanks to volunteers from the Cel Kids group there will be a support group information table set up for this event.

Fall soups are the feature of the current Gluten Freeda newsletter. They are located at Pat shared a vegetable soup with the group.

Always helpful is information published by the American College of Gastroenterology’s Digestive Health Smart Brief. They have a new printout “Understanding Your GI Tract” which can be ordered from the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse. (NDDIC-301-654-3810)

General Mills has introduced a new line of gluten free baking mixes from Betty Crocker. These mixes are manufactured in Canada, where several other g-f products originate in dedicated facilities. Overall, product availability has increased in recent years, but g-f versions are nearly triple in price compared to standard foods.

Pat distributed a printout of a web article discussing how much easier gluten-free shopping has become. Most large grocery chains now highlight gluten free products and health food stores have entire sections.

Harmony Farms Natural Foods of Raleigh has developed a comprehensive gluten-free shopping guide for their store. Also in the works is a Harmony Farms Café which will open later this year.

Ilya and Loralee Koltusky of Sweet Loralee Pastries shared their special Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Cakes with multiple tastings for everyone. There are four varieties and they are available at the bakery located at 1839 South Main Street, Suite 112, Wake Forest, NC 27587 (The Factory), on-line at, and at the Whole Foods Store in Cary, NC. Advance orders can be called in at 919-453-1024. Ilya has over 20 years experience in making this French classic. It is a dense and ultra rich cake of eggs, butter and chocolate. Everyone enjoyed the tasting and agreed these cakes would be great for the upcoming holidays.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 19, 2009 in the private dining room at Rex Hospital. Shanah Wade of Moonlight Bakery will provide a tasting for the group.

Submitted by,
Gail Harris

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gluten Free Raleigh Quick Reference Guide

~ Last Updated August 10th, 2011
There are many great companies, restaurants, doctors and others who cater to the Gluten Free Community here in Raleigh. I believe in supporting these local companies as much as possible, so here is a single location to find all the information about them. I have added this to the top menu bar so it can be easily found as this post moves off of the first page. If you would like to be included, please email me with your information.

Local Companies
*Brigitte's Bakery - Reviews Web site

de'Lure' Dessert and Bakery - Reviews Web site

Moonlight Bakery - Reviews Web site Facebook
Closed June 2011

*8th Sin Coffee Company - Reviews Web site

*Bella Monica Flatbread Company - Reviews Web site Twitter Facebook

*Bone Suckin’ Sauce - Reviews Web site

*Rosie’s Plate - Reviews Web site Facebook
Closed as of 3/4/2011

Gluten Free Galley - Reviews Web site Twitter Facebook YouTube
Twin Cakes Bakery - Reviews Web site Twitter Facebook
Bakery moved to Charlotte but orders still available online

*Juno Nutrition - Reviews Web site Twitter Facebook

*Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse - Reviews Web site

*Custom Choice Cereal - Reviews Web site Twitter

*Sweet Loralee Pastries - Reviews Web site

*Pepper Dog Salsa - Reviews Web site

Happy Tummy Baking Company - Reviews Web site

Local Yogurt - Reviews Web site Twitter Facebook

Gluten Free Raleigh Restaurant Reviews
Raleigh Restaurant Listing
Gluten Free Dining Card

Grocery Stores
*Whole Foods - Reviews Web site GF Product Listing Twitter Facebook

*Earth Fare - Reviews Web site GF Product Listing Twitter

*Harmony Farms - Reviews Web site GF Product Listing
Cafe Harmony - Reviews Web site

*Trader Joe's - Reviews Web site GF Product Listing

*Kroger - Reviews Web site GF Product Listing

*Lowes Foods - Reviews Web site GF Product Listing

Health Network

*Support Groups
Greater North Raleigh Celiac Support Group - Email Web site
Raleigh Cel-Kids Support Group - Email Web site
NC FACES Support Group - Reviews Email Web site

*Camp Kanata – Gluten Free Week

*Carolina Hurricanes

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Petition Update: Good News, Bad News

I presented my petition for a food allergen poster today to the Raleigh City Council. There is good news and bad news to report. The bad news first - although the Council seemed intrigued by my petition and ideas, they ended up taking no action and referred me instead to Wake County. I was a little disappointed and felt a little bit like I wasted my time but oh well, life goes on. I'm too much of a positive person to let small roadblocks deter me.

So what's the good news you ask? I ended up speaking with someone at Wake County's Environmental Services Department (they are responsible for food safety and sanitation inspections for every restaurant in the county) about the poster idea. I talked with someone who has children with food allergies as luck would have it. They had a very good understanding of the topic of food allergies and thought the idea about raising awareness and educating restaurant staff was a great idea. I hope to work with Wake County on this topic in the future and I'll definitely keep you updated on the progress. I have not given up just yet.

So the good news in summary is that there is potential to education all the restaurants in the entire county, not just the city of Raleigh. Thank you to the nearly 400 people who have signed the petition over the past 6 months. If you have not signed it, please do so!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Food Allergen Petition Go Time

I've been planning my petition to the City Council of Raleigh since March and tomorrow is Go Time! See here and here for my previous posts on this subject. So far, I have almost 400 signatures to take with me along with lots of information on food allergies and why education of restaurant staff is important.

I also have one entry for the poster design contest - submitted by This Is Beautiful in Raleigh. Click here to see the poster. A huge thanks to Sofia and This Is Beautiful! The poster is pretty much exactly what I was looking for.

The City Council meeting is tomorrow (Tuesday, October 20th). I'll probably speak around 2pm. Thanks to everyone who has supported this effort and keep your fingers crossed.

Friday, October 16, 2009

2010 Camp Kanata Gluten Free Week Announced

I've previously written about the local (Wake Forest) summer camp for kids who are Gluten Free called Camp Kanata. I was recently contacted by the Director of the camp with the following information below. The 2010 Gluten Free week will be held from June 27-July 3rd (see below for more details). If you are looking for information about the camp, be sure to stop by the Whole Foods GF Vendor Fair this Saturday (10/17) from 11am - 3pm to speak with camp organizers. If you are interested in sending your GF child, please act now, I've heard that spots fill up by January.
Looking for a Gluten-Free Summer Camp experience?
What? Camp Kanata in partnership with the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG) and its local affiliate invites you to send your child to a fun-filled camp experience where they can participate in a full Y-camp program integrated with non-GF campers, but be assured they are served only delicious and safe gluten free foods.
Directed by an experienced staff under the guidance of a Registered Dietitian
When? June 27-July 3, 2010
Where? Camp Kanata’s local camp facility in Wake Forest, NC
Who? Campers Grade 2-12
Why? Because your kids should be able to enjoy a fun-filled week of summer camp without having to worry about the food they are eating. We offer a completely Gluten Free Menu.
Contact: GIG:
Camp Kanata:
NC Camp Coordinator: Alanna Conder, PsyD:
Camp dietitian: Debbie Jongkind, RD, LDN:

Also, be sure to check out a recent post over at Gluten Free Durham from Debbie who serves as the Dietitian overseeing the GF week of camp.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reminder - Whole Foods Raleigh GF Vendor Fair This Saturday

Don't forget to check out the Gluten Free Vendor Fair this Saturday (10/17) at the Raleigh Whole Foods. The event runs from 11am to 3pm. See my previous post here.

2009 NC State Fair

Not much to report for this year's North Carolina State Fair. I attempted to get some updates a few weeks ago and didn't get much information. Unfortunately, the NC State Fair is about the most unfriendly GF place around. I was able to call some vendors myself last year and see what they offered that was Gluten Free. I did not get to do this for 2009.

If I find out anything else, I'll pass it along.

Here is my post about the 2008 NC State Fair - some things may still apply. Wouldn't it be great if the vendors had to fill out some sort of allergen form for the products they are selling?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reminder - Greater North Raleigh Celiac Support Group Meeting

Just a friendly reminder about this month's Greater North Raleigh Celiac Support Group meeting. The meeting is Thursday, October 15th at 7pm at Rex Hospital. This month, area residents, Ilya and Loraleee Koltusky will be our guest speakers. They are the owners of Sweet Loralee's Pastries, located in Wake Forest, Ilya is successfully creating tasty g-f bakery items. I remember our first question to Loralee when she joined our group, "Do you have g-f bakery items for sale?" The time has come!!

Please email Pat Berger to request more information about the group or if you are interested in attending this month's meeting.

You can also check out the Support Group's Yahoo Web page here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Whole Foods North Raleigh Update

For over a year now, a proposed Whole Foods location in North Raleigh has been making slow progress. I've written about it last September and again this past March. For those of you anxiously awaiting a second Raleigh Whole Foods, here is an update.

In North Raleigh, the Whole Foods is one step closer to reality.

On Wednesday, Raleigh City Council approved the plans for the Market at Colonnade, which will be anchored by the gourmet grocer.

The center near Six Forks and Strickland roads will include the 40,000-square-foot store plus an additional 17,000 square feet of small-shop space.

Developer Regency Centers will begin construction on the project around the first of the year. That means the store will likely open in the first quarter of 2011.

Click here for the whole article from Sue Stock over at the N&O.

Just as an FYI, the new Raleigh Trader Joe's opening in a few weeks is more than 3 times smaller at 12,000 square feet.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Useful Resources: Juno Nutrition

Allow me to introduce a brand new resource for those living Gluten Free - Juno Nutrition. Juno Nutrition is creating "the largest living database of gluten information." The concept is pretty simple, catalog EVERY food product out there and then use multiple methods to determine the Gluten status. Sounds great right? Let me just say there are already some great products out there which clearly let you know the Gluten status of many foods. For example, the Triumph Grocery Guide has 30,000 products in it that are GF. But what happens when you don't find something in that guide? Is it not GF or is it just not listed for some reason? Who knows. What about 3 months after you purchase the book - is the information still valid? Juno Nutrition takes this concept one step further by first cataloging ALL food, then classifying it's GF status. We are talking about up to date information on MILLIONS of products, not 30,000. We are also taking about products such as packaged food purchased from a grocer, meals purchased at a restaurant or personal care products including shampoos or pharmaceuticals - the Gluten Free Lifestyle.

Juno Nutrition is a searchable database Web site that can be utilized by the following folks.

  • People on a Gluten Free Diet due to Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance

  • People with children who are Gluten Free

  • Physicians

  • Nutritionists/Dietitians

  • Chefs or Kitchen workers

  • Restaurant Owners
Juno Nutrition offers a Google-like Search function, simply type in what you are looking for and you are instantly presented with what is GF and what is not GF - allowing you to make a safe choice. Additionally, Juno offers the unique ability to share your GF experiences with the rest of the community - a Gluten Free Wikipedia if you will. Standard users can basically vote on the food products provided by Juno as to whether an item is GF or not based on their experience. Additionally, they can provide their feedback for others to read. No more searching a message board thread that was last updated in 2007. The end result is a growing level of feedback directly from the GF community that changes as the food product changes - all in one place. There are also Editors on the site that can add products and locations and moderate user provided content.

In addition to all of this, restaurants are also present in the system. You'll be able to browse for a location and see the number of GF food items vs. non-GF food items vs. unknown (yet to be ranked by Juno and the community). Juno's goal is summed up in the following statement - "There are 1 million restaurants in the US, another 1 million packaged goods – if we are systematic as a community we can identify and label every product as safe, unsafe or unknown."

How Juno determines Gluten Free Status

The gluten status of a product determines how safe it is to consume at that time. There are three ways we can identify a product’s gluten status: a product manufacturer can make a statement, someone can ask a question about a product’s gluten status, or we can use a commercially available gluten test to determine the gluten status. We make gluten status observations over time, and aggregate their score at the product level. A product that is continuously safe over time, no matter the method of obtaining their gluten status, is safer than one where the gluten status fluctuates over time, or where the gluten status is consistently unsafe. Manufacturers or restaurants that are careless in their food production will show greater fluctuation over time.
Juno Nutrition - A Local Company
One of the best things about Juno Nutrition is that it is actually a Triangle based company which was started by brothers Fred and Will Lybrand. Fred developed the idea after living Gluten Free for many years due to a Celiac Disease/DH diagnosis. Their intent is to first focus on the state of North Carolina (lucky us!) and then spread throughout the US and the rest of the world. The name Juno comes from the Roman Goddess of the State whose epithet was, “Juno Warns” and in that same vein they want to be sure their customers are warned about what foods they should avoid. Click here to read more about the company along with their impressive board of advisers. I have had the opportunity to meet with Fred on numerous occasions and have learned a great deal about his dedication to solving this problem of successfully living GF. I look forward to working with Juno in the future in conjunction with what I do on this blog as well as becoming an Editor for Juno.

Interested in seeing more of what Juno Nutrition can do for you? You can check out the subscription based service for free for 30 days - the service normally runs $10 per month. Also, be sure to check out the Tour here. Juno Nutrition will also be a vendor at the upcoming Whole Foods Raleigh GF Vendor Fair on October 17th. Stop in for a demo of the product and a chance to ask questions directly to the company owners.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Whole Foods Gluten Free Vendor Fair - Oct 17th

Whole Foods will be holding another Gluten Free Vendor Fair at the Raleigh location on Saturday, October 17th from 11am to 3pm.

There will be more details to come in the near future but you can expect a much bigger fair than the one held this past March. A larger number of vendors should be involved as well as much more from the area's support groups. See below for more information and make sure to stop in and see me!

Saturday, October 17

Gluten Free Fair

11 a.m. - 3 p.m. FREE

Join us for a fun, informative, and tasty event featuring Gluten Free foods, vendors, and information. Local advocacy groups will host an info table in our Lifestyle Center, and we'll sample plenty of gluten free goodies in the store. Whether Celiac, gluten intolerant, or just GF curious, we'd love to see you here! Saturday, October 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Click here to see the Raleigh Store's Calendar.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Restaurant Review: Sono

This afternoon, I had lunch at Sono in Downtown Raleigh. Sono is a Japanese Sushi place right on Fayetteville Street in the heart of Downtown. I have been to Sono in the past before going Gluten Free but have not been back since.

I paid the folks at Sono a quick visit last week to see if they could handle Gluten Free patrons. They told me that they do stock Gluten Free soy sauce and can make special requests as needed and have done so for Gluten Free diners before without any issues. I felt pretty good about coming back for lunch.

When I arrived, I asked my waiter what Gluten Free options they had. They do not have a GF menu and the waiter was not really sure what they could offer but did mention that they do have GF soy sauce. At that point, I got a little nervous and asked for either a manager or chef to speak with. The waiter quickly got a chef for me to talk to. The chef was very confident he could make me a safe GF meal and asked me what I would like to eat. I told him that before going GF, I had eaten their Grilled Salmon lunch entree and really liked it. He noted that the dish was made with wheat based soy sauce so he'd have to make me a special order and redo everything with GF soy sauce but that it would not be a problem. In addition, he mentioned that the house fried rice also contained wheat based soy sauce so he would make me a GF version of that as well. The dish also comes with steamed veggies which did not need any modifications. I requested that he pan sear/fry my salmon instead of grilling it and he said that would not be an issue.

My order was a slight modification of the lunch shokado bentos - grilled salmon (spicy teriyaki) and it was delicious. You can see their menu here - I have a feeling they could have easily modified other menu items to be GF as well. The portion size was great for lunch and included GF fried rice, GF steamed veggies (2 servings to replace the tempura roll) and of course the salmon. I will definitely go back to this spot for lunch or dinner in the future. FYI - I have been emailed by a few readers letting me know they also had a good experience at Sono.

319 Fayetteville Street, Suite 101
Raleigh, NC
Phone - 521-5328
Web site -
Email -
Lunch: Mon ~ Fri 11:00am-2:00pm
Dinner: Sun ~ Thur 5:00pm-10:00pm
Fri & Sat 5:00pm-11:00pm

View Larger Map

Friday, October 2, 2009

Gluten Free Raleigh Dispatch: 10-2-2009

Gluten Free Raleigh Dispatch: 10-2-2009
  • Reminder: Gluten Free 101 Class taught by yours truly tomorrow (10-3) at Rosie's Plate. There are two or three spots left - call Rosie's Plate @ 833-0505 to reserve your spot. Click here for other classes.
  • Reminder: In just a little over 2 weeks, I'll be presenting my online Food Allergy poster petition to the Raleigh City Council (10/20/09). Please see here for more information and here to sign the petition (almost 400 signatures and counting). Please click here for more information on entering your poster design.
  • Click here to download a FREE "Thanksgiving 101" e-book from Celiac author and expert, Jules Shepard. The 34 page e-book contains great information on having a great Thanksgiving; including tips, a planning time line and 20 recipes. Valid until October 5th. Use coupon code "thanksgiving" when checking out (a $12.95 value).
  • I've written in the past about a Gluten Free play-dough called Soy-Yer dough. The founder of that company (a Purdue University senior) named Sawyer Sparks was on the ABC show called Shark Tank this past week. He was seeking an investment of $125,000 for a 25% stake in his company. He ended up getting $300,000 from the Sharks and said he was offered $500,000 from Play-Doh. This is a great sign that the Gluten Free market is extremely viable. FYI - my daughter has been playing with this stuff for 6 months and loves it.
  • Some updates on the Gluten Free food marketplace - 1,000 new products introduced in 2008 and another 552 through July 20, 2009. General Mills research shows that up to 12% of US households are interested in reducing their Gluten intake.
  • Check out the new official blog from Bella Monica Gluten Free Flatbread Company - A pretty funny post is at the top which shows a video of Lee Tobin (Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse Chief) saying that Bella flatbread's are "Awesome". That's saying something, especially since Lee sells his own frozen pizza crust.
  • Here is a good article with 10 easy steps on eating successfully Gluten Free at restaurants. Very in depth!
  • Check out an upcoming meeting (Tuesday, November 3rd) on Food Hypersensitivities/Allergies hosted by the Raleigh District Dietetic Association. The meeting will be held at 5:30pm at Meredith College (101 Ledford Auditorium) and will feature special guest speaker Ellen Karlin, MS, RD from the American Dietetic Association. Please contact Lindsay Hecht if you have any questions about the meeting. $10 fee payable at the door.
  • An interesting blog post from Twin Cakes Bakery on why they bake the way they do.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Moonlight Bakery Update

Just wanted to post a brief update about the new local Gluten Free Bakery called Moonlight Bakery.

  • They have been invited back to the North Hills Farmers Market this weekend (Saturday, October 3rd from 8am - 1pm). If you missed them last week, here is another opportunity.
  • The Moonlight Bakery Web site is now up and running with a lot of great information about the bakery and it's Gluten Free baked goods. Check out the ever-expanding menu here.
  • Take a quick survey here and receive a 25% off coupon off your next Moonlight Bakery purchase.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Carolina Hurricanes: 2009/2010 Gluten Free Update

I have previously written about Gluten Free options at the RBC Center during Carolina Hurricanes games last season. I was able to work with the food and beverage department last year to get RedBridge GF beer carried and they ended up selling 106 during the 42 game regular season. In addition, there were a few GF food options sprinkled throughout the arena.

A few weeks ago, I checked in with the food & beverage department again to see if we could make any improvements over the GF options from last year. One big complaint I heard often was the people knew there was RedBridge, they just didn't know where it was located. You actually had to contact a ticket representative to request a special pass to access the club level of the arena in order to find RedBridge at a single bar called The Ledge Lodge.

I'm happy to report a huge improvement in the Gluten Free options for the upcoming 2009-2010 season. The Food & Beverage Department at the RBC Center has done a great job accommodating those on a Gluten Free Diet. Not surprising from an organization that sends it superstars out to personally deliver season tickets to fans. I'd like to send a huge thanks to Chris Diamond and all the folks responsible for these GF options.

2009-2010 Carolina Hurricanes Gluten Free options @ RBC Center

1) RedBridge beer will now be carried at the following locations. It will be carried on all 3 levels of the arena and no special access passes are needed.
  • Upper Deck - Section 312 - Pub 300
  • Club Level (2nd Deck) - All private Suites, Arena Club Restaurant, Ledge Lodge bar and Champions Club
  • Lower Level - Bud Light Deck
2) The following Gluten Free food options are available.
  • Call in advance (at least 4pm on game days) 919-861-5479 and request a GF meal from Executive Chef Flood. This special menu option includes a plate of grilled chicken, steamed broccoli and carrots and will run in the $15 range. You can coordinate the details on picking up the GF dinner when you call.
  • Carvery Cart Meat Option with Salad - Sections 104 & 124
  • Philly Steak Cart, order without bun - Sections 123 & 324
  • Sausage Stop Cart, order without bun - Sections 105, 120 & 306
  • Many concession stands throughout the arena serve candy options like Skittles, M&Ms and Snickers as well as popcorn - all Gluten Free.
  • New soft serve ice cream (replaces Goodberries) called Twisted Waffle Ice Cream is Gluten Free, Lactose Free and Cholesterol Free (no cone) - Section 116
In addition to all these awesome changes, each concession stand will now have a Food Allergy Ingredient Listing document which details the ingredients of each concession item. If something is in question, please ask the concession worker for this document and you can review all the ingredients yourself to be 100% sure. The listing should include ingredient warnings for the following; wheat & gluten, milk, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts as well as MSG. I've shown an example below - the red letters will indicate the allergen.
Butter - Partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, soybean lecithin, natural and artificial butter flavor, TBHQ, and Citric acid, vitamin A, and palmitate. Colored with beta cartone. S

Cheddar Cheese - Maltodextrin (corn), whey powder, cheddar cheese, salt, sugar, sodium, phosphate, lactic acid, yellow #5 (E102), citric acid, yellow #6 (E110), partially hydrogentrated soybean oil, silicon dioxide, FD&C Yellow #6 (E110), disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate. M S

FYI - the puck drops on the new season this coming Friday (10/2/09). The Hurricanes will be in action against the Philadelphia Flyers - get your tickets here. Also, be sure to check out the new "Megatron" this year featuring 4 huge HD video boards!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Restaurant Review: Posta Tuscan Grille

I recently had a business lunch at Posta Tuscan Grille located in the Marriott next to the Convention Center in Downtown Raleigh. Posta has been open for about a year but I have not been since it serves mainly Italian food (all that pasta scares me).

Upon entering (the hotel and restaurant are beautiful by the way), I asked to speak with a chef about their possible Gluten Free options. Within a few minutes, a chef appeared and let me know they could definitely make me something Gluten Free for lunch. I inquired some more about the options, what they included and how they were prepared. I eventually settled on the following...

* Pan seared/fried Filet Mignon
* Baked potato
* Steamed greens
* Dessert - fresh fruit cup

The meal was very yummy (Filet usually is though) but I was impressed by the communication between the chef and waitress. She mentioned that she spoke directly with the chef about my meal and he went over everything with her as well. She then passed it along to me for reassurance. I only had to make a few small changes to the normal menu item which weren't too hard. Instead of grilling, I had the chef pan fry. Instead of mashed potatoes, I had a baked potato. The greens were already Gluten Free and had not seasoning other than salt, pepper and garlic.

Overall, I had a pretty good lunch experience. The restaurant was not that full so maybe that helped. I'd go back to Posta in the future even though they don't offer a Gluten Free menu and didn't have very many choices. The food was quality and very tasty.

Posta Tuscan Grille
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Dress code: Casual
Phone: 833-1120
The Betti brothers grew up in the Tuscan hills just outside Florence, working in the family butcher shop with their father, Silvano, and at the apron of their mother, Rosanna. The Betti's base their recipes around seasonal fresh ingredients and the finest meats, fish and poultry. Their family specialties are the home made Italian Salami. Marco hosts wine and culinary tours to Italy and shares Italy’s treasured ingredients with his American guests, including Porcini mushrooms, white truffles and a fantastic olive oil. Marco also features wine dinners with some of Italy’s most prominent winemakers.

The Betti brothers welcome you to enjoy their family recipes paired with the finest Italian and American wines along with signature cocktails. Posta Tuscan Grille serves breakfast, lunch and dinner along with Bar Posta open daily until late night. Remember to book your next event in one of our Private Dining Rooms.
Raleigh Marriott City Center
500 Fayetteville Street
Raleigh, NC
Phone: 833-1120

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Local Product Spotlight: Moonlight Bakery

Allow me to introduce a brand new Gluten Free Bakery to the Raleigh market; Moonlight Bakery. I've recently been in contact with the bakery's owner; Raleigh resident Shanah Wade.

The brand new bakery will feature Gluten Free baked goods like Banana Nut, Chocolate Chip Nut, Carrot Cake, Blueberry muffins along with other delicious treats.

Shanah is a long time Celiac Disease sufferer, in fact she informed me that she was diagnosed in 1986 and was only the third person to get a Celiac diagnosis in the entire USA. Needless to say, she's got a ton of experience successfully eating Gluten Free and has had a lot of time to perfect her baked goods recipes.

Moonlight Bakery is planning their launch to the public this weekend September 26th at two events. The first is from 8am to 12pm at the North Hills Farmers Market located off of Six Forks Road and I-440 Beltline and the second is the Earthfare Harvest Fest in Brier Creek shopping center from 2pm - 6pm. Stop in and see Moonlight Bakery this weekend and welcome them to the Gluten Free marketplace. As a bonus, you'll have the chance to sample their products before you buy! You'll be able to catch Moonlight at a Farmers Market on a regular basis and they plan to deliver products out of their state inspected home-based kitchen the remainder of the time.

At the time of this post, their Web site is currently under construction so check back soon for more information.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Family Meals @ Rosie's Plate

I received word yesterday about a new menu option now available at Rosie's Plate called Family Meals.

The new Family Meal options are larger portion sizes of some of Rosie's most popular menu items designed to feed a family of 4. With entree options like Meatloaf, Spaghetti & Meatballs and Roasted Chicken along with side items like green beans and mashed potatoes, you can now swing by Rosie's and pick up a bigger, more convenient meal option for your family!

Click here to see the full September Family Meal menu.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Raleigh CSA Support Group 9-17-09 Meeting Recap

Special thanks to Gail for taking meeting minutes during the last North Raleigh Celiac Support Group meeting on 9-17-2009. Below is a recap for those of you that could not make the meeting.
North Raleigh Celiac Support Group
CSA Chapter 108
September 17, 2009 7:00-9:00 PM
Rex Hospital Private Dining Room, Raleigh, North Carolina

Our regular support group meetings have resumed after a three month summer hiatus. During this time, Pat Berger was contacted by several companies regarding new, G-F products. This was more frequently than over the previous two years. With Celiac awareness growing, many new food items are trying to get into the marketplace and our group is being offered free samples.

The first samples distributed were GF gravy, sauce, and soup mixes from Full Flavor Foods and are available on-line at These products have been awarded certification by the Celiac Sprue Association and 2% of profits will be donated to Celiac research projects.

A second varied group of mixes was received from Duinkerken. They are available locally at A Southern Season in Chapel Hill and on-line at Group members will give some feedback on all these products in upcoming meetings.

Whole Foods Market is planning another Gluten-Free Fair on Saturday, October 17 from 1:00-3:00 PM. CSA Chapter 108 will have an information table set up and Pat is looking for volunteers to work a 30 minute shift. In order to expand into the community, Pat discussed developing additional volunteer positions. If you would like to contribute, please let her know.

The challenge of eating in restaurants is an ongoing topic of group interest. Several members related their success in dining out by avoiding chain establishments and sticking to locally owned restaurants. “They care” was the main reasoning behind the experience. Others suggest avoiding busy times so the chef or manager will be able to give time and attention to your special order. Another good suggestion for GF choices is dining in Indian Restaurants, since this cuisine usually does not incorporate any wheat products.
This discussion related to an article in the current issue of the Gluten Intolerance Group Magazine entitled ”Walking the Fine Line of Trust” which was distributed to the group. Anyone on a G-F diet must balance trust and non-trust. If we always trust, we are guaranteed to get an unhealthy amount of gluten in our diets. But if we try to be as strict as possible, we will severely limit our options. To minimize risk, it is very important to educate yourself as much as possible and be your own advocate. It is important to read journals, visit Celiac center websites, join e-mail lists, and read labels. A copy of another article encouraging medical second opinion was also reviewed.
Zach updated the group on a new vendor Juno Nutrition. The goal of this vendor is to provide the largest living food database. The service is by subscription. Zach will be teaching GF classes on October 3, 2009 at Rosie’s Plate and presenting his food allergy poster petition to the City of Raleigh at the October 20, 2009 meeting.

A special guest presentation and bread tasting was given by new member Thomas Munn. Over the past ten years he has been exploring and developing new G-F recipes. Of particular interest is that fact that Thomas is incorporating uncommon sources of nutritional ingredients rather than just pure rice flour and starches. He uses a micronizing food mill to produce ultra fine, fresh, and pure flours from such grains as amaranth, teff, quinoa and millet at home. He shared his Amaranth Quinoa Millet Dill Bread with the group. For GF bread, Thomas uses the rapid rise cycle on a bread machine and removes the paddle before the “rise” cycle so the machine will not punch down the dough. Thomas is currently working on an e-book and asked the group if we would test his recipes for ease of use for the home cook.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 15, 2009 in the private dining room at Rex Hospital.

Submitted by,
Gail Harris