Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rosie's Plate - Pizza & Brand New Menu Now Available

Rosie's Plate has just released their brand new February menu which includes 70% new menu items including Take & Bake Pizza!

Check out some of the new choices below...
BBQ ribs
Southwestern Turkey Burgers
Butternut Risotto
Split Pea with Ham Soup
Buttermilk Biscuits
Winter Citrus Salad
Lemon Bars
Organic Grape Sorbet
Garlic Roast Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Caesar Salad
Tomato Basil Soup
Double Chocolate Pudding
Parmesan Noodles
Cheese Quesadillas
Organic Chocolate ice cream
Check out the full menu here.

Rosie's Plate Take & Bake Pizza is now also available...
Why Take & Bake? To get the perfect crust (thick or thin) every time!
How does it Work? You take home the crust, sauce and cheese and pop it in the oven
What kind of Variety? We'll have choices of thin & thick crust, pepperoni and our featured pizza of the month.

You can purchase the crust separately or the entire pizza ready to bake including three-cheese blend of Parmesan, Fontina, and Mozzarella cheeses and sauce. Choices come in Pepperoni, Cheese or Pizza of the month (February is Greek Chicken Pizza).

I plan on trying one soon and will do a full review - stay tuned!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Word of Caution: Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings - a.k.a. BW3's used to be a favorite of mine before going Gluten Free. Since one was just built near my house, I figured I would look into their Gluten Free status. A quick check of their Web site reveals the following FAQ page. Nothing here about Gluten Free menu items except...
Nutritional and Allergen information can be obtained on all Buffalo Wild Wings menu item by contacting us directly through our web site. Use the Contact Us link and request this information. We will send a PDF version and answer any other BWW dietary question you may have.
So, I fired off an email to BW3 asking for the PDF allergen menu information. Turns out it would be easier if they would just update the above statement saying if you are Gluten Free to STAY AWAY. They promptly responded with an Allergen List and information about the ingredients in their burger seasonings and wing sauces. Below is a summary and my word of caution.
  • BW3 traditional chicken wings, fries, buffalo chips, boneless (breaded) chicken wings and tortilla chips are all cooked in a deep fryer which is shared by everything else fried. NOT GLUTEN FREE.
  • All grilled items including naked chicken tenders (themselves GF) are cooked on the same grill. NOT GLUTEN FREE.
  • BW3 burgers contain Gluten, burger seasoning does not. NOT GLUTEN FREE.
  • BW3 sweet BBQ Wing Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce and Asian Zing Wing Sauce do contain Gluten. Other sauces do not but as mentioned before the risk of cross-contact exists with all products that could be sauced.
You can probably have some celery and Ranch dressing, coleslaw or salsa without tortilla chips but that's about it. Hope you are not too hungry. I've convinced myself that I didn't really want to eat at BW3's again anyway, especially after reading their wing sauce ingredient and nutritional information list - most sauces have more than twenty ingredients and some have more than 600mg sodium per 1 Tablespoon (that's 25% of your daily intake)- yikes. It's funny how you don't care about looking at ingredients until you go Gluten Free and then you realize what kind of crap you were eating before.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Useful Resources: National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA)

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for Celiac Disease. NFCA is affiliated with the leading researchers in the US who are working toward this goal. NFCA will promote careers in Celiac Disease and fund fellowships in order to attract the best and the brightest to join the fight.

Founded in 2003 by Alice Bast (read her personal story here) who was diagnosed with Celiac Disease after visiting 23 physicians and suffering since 1988. The NFCA is located in Ambler, Pennsylvania just outside of Philadelphia but also has locations in Washington, D.C. and Seattle, WA.


Mission Statement
The Foundation's mission is to raise awareness and funding for Celiac disease that will advance research, education and screening, and improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by this autoimmune disease through grant making and direct programming.

  • GREAT (Gluten-Free Education Awareness Resource Training) - more to come in an upcoming post on this program
  • Symptom Checklist
  • Free monthly email newsletter
  • Ask the Chef
  • Events around the Country
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Celiac Links
  • Gluten Free Lifestyle Webinar Series
  • Celiac Survival Guide
  • Monthly Meetups
  • Celiac Shop
Board of Directors

Web site:
Phone: (215)325-1306

GFRB Health Network Welcomes Personalized Nutrition

Allow me to welcome Personalized Nutrition to the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog (GFRB) Health Network.

Personalized Nutrition, Inc. is located in Apex, NC and offers individual, couple and family counseling for weight management, food allergies, intolerances, wellness, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cholesterol, eating disorders and sports nutrition. Their clients range from premature infants to toddlers to retired adults. Your treatment plan is personalized and created together with your registered licensed dietitian. Their staff has and is currently counseling numerous Celiac Disease patients and/or folks living the Gluten Free lifestyle.

Click here for their packages and rates.

Click here for their staff. Shelly Wegman will most likely be your contact when dealing with Celiac Disease.

For more information, please contact Personalized Nutrition using the following information.
Personalized Nutrition
307 South Salem Street, Suite #302, Apex, NC 27502
Web site
Email Owner Cathie Ostrowski
Email Shelly Wegman
Phone: 919.367.0677

Celiac Disease and Restless Leg Syndrome

Anyone out there with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) knows how difficult a condition it is to live with. RLS is a neurological condition in which individuals experience an irresistible urge to move their legs. It often times interferes with sleeping which leads to all sorts of other trouble.

RLS can be caused by having low iron levels (among other mineral deficiencies) and a recent study has linked RLS as yet another symptom of Celiac Disease (how many symptoms are there now - I can't keep track). The study looked at 4 RLS sufferers who were diagnosed with Celiac. They were placed on a Gluten Free diet and their RLS significantly improved.

See more at Sure Foods Living.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Useful Resources: Gluten Free City Guide

I've been working on a custom google map recently which has placemarks added to cities that have blogs or Web sites dedicated to living Gluten Free in that particular city.

Click the link to check out the Gluten Free City Guide.

There are currently over 100 cities/areas on the Gluten Free City Guide map.

Simply click the placemark on the city you plan to travel to and up pops Blogs or Web sites about living Gluten Free in that city. I've tried to include GIG or CSA support group Web sites as well. In select cities, you'll also find Gluten Free Dining Groups that use to organize eating out GF.

Please let me know if there are any I missed and I will get them added to the map.

Alba Therapeutics Layoffs

I wrote about Alba Therapeutics last year in my series on Celiac Disease Drug Therapies currently under development. They are currently developing a drug for Celiac Disease called Larazotide acetate (formerly referred to as AT1001). There are 2 clinical trials underway for the drug to test it's effectiveness in treating Celiac Disease.

On Jan 23rd, 2009, the Baltimore Business Journal reported that Alba has announced layoffs due to the current economical crisis in the US. Twenty-two employees (nearly half of it's workforce) were let go on Jan 7th.

This can't be good news for the company that had high hopes to release the first Celiac Disease drug treatment.

Monday, January 26, 2009

NFCA Celiac Survey

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness is sponsoring a survey about Celiac Disease. See below for more information and click here to take the Survey.

Celiac Survey
Share your experiences - earn $10

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has partnered with the marketing research firm National Analysts Worldwide to conduct a Celiac survey and we would like to include your opinions.

The survey is for research purposes only and is available online.

The survey is for diagnosed celiacs. If you have celiac disease and would like to take the survey, you will be asked to answer some brief questions about your celiac experiences (it averages about 45 minutes in length) and, in return, you will receive a $10 honorarium.

Your privacy is important to us and, if you choose to participate in this survey, it will be protected. While personally-identifying information may be collected as part of the survey's research and for honorarium purposes (for example, to send you the $10), this information will not be used or disclosed for any other purpose. Your responses will be held in the strictest confidence. All data from the project will be tabulated and reported in the aggregate only.

If you are interested in taking the survey, please simply fill out the form below and we will send you a link and login information within 24 hours. Thank you!

Rosie's Plate Grab & Go Update

Rosie's Plate began their Grab & Go option late last year as an alternative to the order-a-day-ahead option. It has indeed become a popular option for getting Rosie's food and they have made a few updates to the program.

Rosie's Plate chefs are now stocking the Grab & Go cooler daily with regular menu items as well as items not on the regular menu. Please call 833-0505 to see what is available and to reserve your choices. They will also be sending out via email each Monday what is planned to be available that week.

See below for this week's Grab & Go options...


Remebering Local Legends

I'd like to take a break from the normal Gluten Free Raleigh theme and talk for a minute about two local Raleigh area Legends that recently passed away. I'm talking about NC State Women's Basketball coach Kay Yow and the founder of the Komen Triangle Chapter Jeanne Peck. Both died recently after long battles with cancer.

Kay Yow died Saturday Jan 24th, 2009 after battling breast cancer since 1987. During her 38-year, Hall of Fame coaching career, Coach Yow won more than 700 games. She coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in 1988, won four Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championships, earned 20 NCAA tournament bids and reached the Final Four in 1998. More importantly than all of that was the inspiration she instilled in others during her numerous fights against cancer. Nothing I can say in this short blog post can totally sum up Kay's life but she will definitely be remembered as one of the most beloved figures in N.C. State University history and one of the most respected coaches in the nation.

A public viewing will be held Friday (1/30) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Colonial Baptist Church in Cary. A funeral will follow at 3 p.m. Burial will take place Saturday, Jan. 31, at 10 a.m. at Gibsonville Cemetery in Gibsonville.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund and mailed to:
The V Foundation for Cancer Research
106 Towerview Court
Cary, N.C. 27513

Jeanne Peck died Jan 19th, 2009 after battling breast cancer since 1997. In 1997, she formed the Triangle Chapter of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The race, which is held every June at Meredith College, has grown to 24,000 registered participants and has raised approximately $12 million for research. It is recognized as the largest 5K event in North Carolina and one of the 25 largest Race for the Cure events in the world. The chapter has awarded more than $7.5 million in community grants and more than $2.5 million in research since it's inception. Each year, the grants affect thousands of lives, particularly those of uninsured and underinsured women. In 2008, community grants served close to 20,000 North Carolinians. Jeanne was also an extremely inspiration leader in our community and will be greatly missed.

Rest in Peace Kay and Jeanne and thank you for your countless contributions to the Raleigh community. If each of us takes just a few minutes each day to help others in the spirit of Kay and Jeanne, our city will become a great place to live.

News, Information & Reviews Submission

Have news, information or reviews you'd like to share with Gluten Free Raleigh?

Submit your news to me via email.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gluten Free Pizza Update

Gluten Free Pizza is usually a hot topic for people living GF and recently there has been a lot going on with Gluten Free Pizza in the Raleigh area. Keep watching this blog for more detailed information over the next few days/weeks!

Just a couple of quick updates/recap of events...
  1. Bella Monica Flatbread Company pizzas were released in December... See posts about it here.
  2. Bella Monica Italian Restaurant in NW Raleigh will soon have a brand new Gluten Free menu which features a ton of GF items including the pizzas mentioned above. Should have the final menu and a review of the restaurant posted very soon.
  3. Rosie's Plate will begin offering Gluten Free Pizza in February.
  4. ZPizza (Raleigh and Cary) is now offering Gluten Free Pizza. I have spoken with the ownership of both locations and will be tasting/reviewing the pizza early next week. I have discussed the prep of the pizza and have lots to share that should make people feel safe eating this new pizza.
  5. UNO Chicago Grill released GF Pizza nationwide this month, including their Raleigh location at Brier Creek. I plan on tasting/reviewing this pizza as well as soon as possible. I have not yet had discussions with the local ownership (have spoken with corporate folks) about the prep process and my opinion on whether it is safe for GF consumers.
More to come on all of this! Stay tuned.

Local Blogger Spotlight: Celiac Underground

I've been talking lately with Emily from Raleigh who recently started a new Gluten Free blog called Celiac Underground.

The Celiac Underground is about sharing ideas on how to stay true to the Gluten Free Diet, most of which are cheap, easy and fast. Emily has been GF since her 2005 Celiac Disease diagnosis and writes about tips, tricks and recipes for living GF.

Emily sent me a good tip the other day -
By the way, NEVER order a milkshake at MoJoe's on Glenwood! (contains MALT powder! their menu doesn't say this! Danger!!)
Check out the Celiac Underground Blog for more information.

Gluten Free Durham & Cary Blog Updates

I mentioned yesterday that Debbie Jongkind has agreed to become a guest blogger on the Gluten Free Durham Blog.

I have also found another guest blogger for the Gluten Free Cary Blog. Sarah Egan Warren has been a Raleigh area resident for more than 10 years and has spent the majority of that time in either Cary or Apex. Four years ago her daughter went on the Gluten Free diet. Sarah spends a great deal of time helping her young daughter be successful at the GF diet and brings a wealth of knowledge to the Gluten Free Cary Blog.

Welcome aboard Debbie and Sarah! Thanks for all your efforts!

Please check out the new Durham and Cary blogs (links can be found at the top of the page) and let me know if you have any ideas/questions/thoughts!

Also, please let me know if you are interested in contributing to the Gluten Free Chapel Hill Blog.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

GFRB Health Network Welcomes Dietitian Debbie Jongkind

Allow me to introduce another Dietitian to the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog (GFRB) Health Network. Debbie Jongkind is a registered dietitian with over 20 years experience who has started a new practice called Gluten Free Guidance in the Durham area. Debbie has Celiac Disease (along with her daughter, sister and niece) and has much experience living Gluten Free.

Debbie is also the dietitian who oversees the Gluten Free Week for kids with Celiac Disease at Camp Kanata (I will be writing more about this VERY SOON). The camp is one of 2 in the nation sponsored by GIG (Gluten Intolerance Group) and lucky for us it is held each year in Wake Forest, NC located just north of Raleigh. This year's camp will run from June 21 - 27 and allows Celiac children to attend a camp like a regular kid while being safely provided a Gluten Free Diet. Debbie has been overseeing this camp for several years now.

FYI - You may have noticed some new links at the top of this blog for Gluten Free blogs about neighboring cities around Raleigh. Debbie will shortly begin blogging for the Gluten Free Durham Blog over the next few days! Stay tuned for more information.

Welcome Debbie and thanks for helping your fellow Celiac patients!

For more information, please contact Debbie using the following information.
Debbie Jongkind, RD, LDN
Gluten Free Guidance
Health Coaching for Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance
Phone: 919-225-3779

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Useful Resources: Celiac Disease Genetic Testing

I have recently become interested in the Genetic Testing available for Celiac Disease. All members of my family, including my parents, had negative test results for the Antibody screening blood tests. In a search to find out where my Celiac Disease came from, the only answer may be to conduct some genetic testing of my family members.

Genetic testing should look at a person's genes (HLA-class II complex) for DQ2 and DQ8 haplotypes. If they exist, the person CAN develop Celiac Disease in the future (they are placed in an at-risk category but this is not an indicator for actually developing CD). If they do not exist, Celiac Disease can be ruled out. People do not have to be ingesting Gluten for the gene tests to show DQ2/DQ8 presence (Antibody tests require the person to be ingesting Gluten). Note - it is estimated that 35% of Americans have either DQ2 or DQ8. The results of the test can help trace who has the genes for developing CD in a case like mine where all family members were negative for Antibody testing. In addition, it would also be useful for testing small children of Celiac sufferers which in turn can allow parents to identify which children to watch more closely.

I read through the following Web sites (University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center & during my research. I found the companies listed below and have spoken with each of them about their Genetic tests available. I would recommend these 2 companies because their tests offer complete alpha and beta subunit genetic testing (as noted in the article). For small children, Kimball Genetics offers their DNA test with the option of a cheek swab instead of blood sample. Another lab called Enterolab in Dallas, Texas also offers Celiac Genetic Testing but does not analyze the beta subunit which can lead to an incomplete result set.

Kimball Genetics Denver, Colorado
-Offers a Celiac DNA Test via cheek swab or blood sample
-Test costs around $400 and might be covered by Insurance (call to verify)
Use the following CPT Codes when calling Insurance
(83891, 83896(X72), 83900, 83912-26, 83901(X2))
-Call 1-800-320-1807 to request your free Test Kit which includes all information
-Results are sent to a doctor (form included in Test Kit)
-Kimball will submit to insurance company for reimbursement (form included in Test Kit)

Prometheus Labs San Diego, California
-Offers a Celiac Genetics Test via blood sample only
-Test costs around $500 and might be covered by Insurance (call to verify)
Use the following CPT Codes when calling Insurance
(83891, 83900(X2), 83896(X72), 83912)
-You may be eligible for a 35% discount (call for details)
-Call 1-888-423-5227 for more information
-Tests must be ordered through a doctor
-Results are sent to a doctor
-Prometheus will submit to insurance company for reimbursement

You can also call The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center Hotline at 1-773-702-7593 for more information about Genetic Testing for Celiac Disease.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Useful Resources: MyFoodMyHealth Allergy Free Menu Planning

I have written before about other Allergy/Gluten Free online menu planning services and recently found another one called This service looks to be a beefed up version of the other two allowing for menu planning for families that have multiple food/health issues rather above and beyond just the Gluten Free Diet.

MyFoodMyHealth launched on January 6, 2009 as a food and wellness Web site that provides healthy meal plans, flavorful recipes and online tools designed especially for individuals and families who have multiple health conditions or allergies. MyFoodMyHealth enables users to enter health concerns -- such as diabetes, high cholesterol and wheat allergy -- then uses a proprietary algorithm to find recipes and create meal plans that address all of the special dietary requirements. The quick and easy recipes on MyFoodMyHealth were created by professional chefs and nutrition experts who put an emphasis on delivering both great taste and nutrition. All health and nutrition information is science-based and reviewed by experienced nutritionists and physicians.

At launch, the MyFoodMyHealth service supports multiple health conditions, including: acne, arthritis, asthma, candidiasis, Celiac, depression, diabetes, eczema, fatigue, gout, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hypothyroid, osteoporosis, pre- and post- chemotherapy and radiation, psoriasis, recently quit drinking, recently quit smoking, and stress. The service also takes into consideration food allergies so families can share meals together safely. Its unique algorithm can eliminate recipes with common food allergens including: almonds, chicken, chili pepper, corn, crab, eggs, gluten, milk, oats, peanuts, sesame seed/oil, shrimp, soy, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes and wheat. Over time, support for additional health conditions and allergies will be added. Users can make special requests for additional allergy needs and will receive a response within 48 hours.

Some key features include...
  • A weekly online meal planner that automatically generates menus tailored for your family's health and dietary needs.
  • Easy-to-prepare recipes with a broad range of international flavors that make it a pleasure to eat healthy foods.
  • Time-saving weekly shopping lists, pantry basics and online shopping resources.
  • Health and nutritional information for specific health conditions.
  • Exclusive cooking, health and nutritional videos and articles.
  • Expert culinary tips and tools.
Health information and sample recipes are available at no charge on MyFoodMyHealth and the recipe and meal planning service is available by subscription.

Membership Plan Options
* $29.00 - 3-Month Membership
* $53.00 - 6-Month Membership (Save $5.00)
* $72.00 - 9-Month Membership (Save $15.00)

Click here for their Celiac Disease Diet plan page.

Click here for biographies of their Chefs & Dietitians.

Click the link to find out more about

General Mills Update

So I've heard some internet rumblings over the last few days about some changes with General Mills and their cereal products. The first rumor was that several ingredients had been changed in the following products - Strawberry Chex, Chocolate Lucky Charms and Kix to make them Gluten Free.

Strawberry Chex used to be made with Barley Malt flavoring and has been changed to now include Molasses instead. This is a similar change to regular Rice Chex made last year to make that cereal Gluten Free.

Chocolate Lucky Charms now includes Corn as it's main ingredient instead of Oats like regular Lucky Charms. Same with Honey Kix cereal. (NOTE - Regular Kix and Lucky Charms cereal still has Oats as it's main ingredient).

So what does all of this mean for people following the Gluten Free Diet? Let's go with a big fat nothing. I called General Mills this morning and was told that there was indeed an ingredient change for Strawberry Chex, Chocolate Lucky Charms and Honey Kix. I thought that was pretty cool but went on to inquire about where the products are made and if they were made in a similar fashion (i.e. dedicated line) to Rice Chex. The company will not apparently release that information or guarantee they are made on a dedicated line like Rice Chex. They also said they had no plans to actually label any of the above as Gluten Free for this very reason. They encourage consumers to always read the ingredients label the box for the best information. Too bad the box doesn't say anything about where the product is made.

FYI - There are still boxes of these cereals out there which have the old ingredients for those of you willing to eat them even though they are not made on a dedicated production line.

The other rumor I heard was that General Mills plans on removing the Gluten Free labeling from their Rice Chex product and will instead advise consumers to read the product label for the GF status of the cereal. That's great isn't it!?

Feel free to give General Mills a call at 1-800-248-7310.

Gluten Free Girl Scout Cookies?

Well, it's that time of year again - Girl Scout Cookie time. In my previous life, I could easily eat a whole box of these yummy treats in about 5 minutes without thinking twice about the $7 the box cost. Too bad ALL the cookies contain Gluten. Order sheets started showing up in my office last week so I thought I would contact the Girl Scouts to see about the possibility of them offering a Gluten Free version of ANY of their cookies. Below is their response.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Girl Scout Cookies (IBF)
Date: Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 9:15 AM
Subject: RE: Question about Girl Scout cookies
To: GlutenFree Raleigh

Dear Zach,
Thank you for your inquiry. We are contacted often with requests that we offer a cookie that addresses various food restrictions and we are always looking at whether we might be able to meet those needs. Gluten free is a frequent topic at our Research and Development meetings. We would be thrilled if we could develop a great tasting gluten free cookie that would be a good match for our Girl Scout cookie product line and gluten free will continue to be a part of our R & D discussions.
Thank you for supporting the Girl Scouts in your community.

Thank you,
Shelby Hudson
Cookie Customer Service
(800) 221-1002
Go to the following Web site to contact the Girl Scouts to encourage them to make a GF cookie! You can also use the above email address or phone number under Shelby's name.

Let's hope for Thin Mints first!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Jules Shepard - Nearly Normal Cooking

I'd like to share some information about a fellow Celiac who is doing a great job of raising awareness and helping out other Celiac Disease sufferers. Although Jules Shepard now resides in the Baltimore area, she hails originally from Greensboro, NC and has attended both UNC and Duke during her college days. She still has friends and family in the Raleigh area and often visits. I was surprised to find out she was reading this blog! She was diagnosed with Celiac in 1999 after suffering for 10 years and since that time has created a successful business called Nearly Normal Cooking and has authored 2 books on Celiac Disease.

Jules began searching for GF recipes shortly after her diagnosis only to come up empty handed on ones that actually tasted good and had the normal wheat-like consistency. She went on a quest to develop her own GF flour mix and subsequently developed a product line called Nearly Normal All Purpose Flour and Baking Mixes. The baking mixes include a Muffin/Scone mix, a Cookie mix and a Graham Cracker/Gingerbread mix.

The success of her GF products led Jules to become an author about GF Cooking and Living. Her first book published in 2006 is called "Nearly Normal Cooking For Gluten-Free Eating: A Fresh Approach to Cooking and Living Without Wheat or Gluten" and is a great cookbook which includes over 100 GF recipes. Her second book, released in December 2008, is called "The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten-Free: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed". This guidebook helps newly diagnosed Celiac patients through the most difficult time of their new GF life - the first 12 months.

Jules has been featured on many news programs in an effort to raise awareness about Celiac Disease. She has taught numerous Celiac sufferers about the GF diet via cooking demonstrations and presentations and works with the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research. She has written articles for and has been featured in numerous radio and newspaper stories.

To learn more about Jules Shepard's Nearly Normal Kitchen Flour and Bake Mixes, visit the following Web site. Unfortunately, her products are not available in any stores in the Raleigh area but can be either ordered online or found at stores in Beaufort and New Bern, NC. If you would like her products carried in your local store, you can use the following form and give it to the respective store manager.

Stay tuned for more information about the possibility of Jules coming to Raleigh for a cooking class/presentation/seminar. I am currently working with Jules to get an event set up for the late February time frame. Please let me know if you would be interested in attending by sending me an email.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Gluten Free Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary Blogs?

I have been thinking about this for quite awhile now. I get emails all the time with questions about Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary. Since I live and work in Raleigh, that is my primary focus so these surrounding cities don't get much coverage. I know there are a lot of folks out there living GF in the above cities.

My question is, do any of you wish to provide the same sort of "service" in your city as I do in Raleigh? I have had several other blogs set up for weeks now while I was thinking this over. I finally decided today to open this up to my readers. The thought is the overall content of the additional cities (and the blogs themselves) will be maintained and administered by me to keep a similar look and feel to Gluten Free Raleigh. But you, the folks that actually live, eat and work in Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary will provide the content. You won't have to do anything really to Admin or upkeep the Blog, just provide content.

If you have any questions or interest writing about Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary please email me.

We all live this everyday anyway right? Why not help someone else out living in your city?

Bella Monica Update - Facebook Group

I heard from Trevor at the Bella Monica Flatbread Company about the creation of a Facebook group. The group is called Bella Monica FlatBread Company - Gluten Free Pizza and is designed to gather feedback about their products. Check it out if you are a Facebook user.

Local Blogger Spotlight: Gluten Free Greenie

Allow me to introduce you to another local Gluten Free blogger - Gluten Free Greenie. Gluten Free Greenie is a blog by Wendy from Durham, NC.

She describes her blog as...
Simply a place where I keep up with how gluten affects my life and how I deal with it. I list recipes and products I try, how restaurants and people treat me....and just some of my life in general. I follow a gluten free lifestyle because I have to, but I'm also a bit of an environmentalist. I try to eat organic, with out preservatives, and just as simple as possible.

Wendy has a similar story to many Celiacs in which she experienced poor health for most of her life before a doctor could finally diagnose her correctly. Check out the Gluten Free Greenie Blog for more information.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

NFCA - Gluten-Free Lifestyle Webinar Series

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness is launching a new Webinar program.
Gluten-Free Lifestyle Webinar Series

NFCA is a launching an exciting new series entitled the Gluten-Free Lifestyle Webinar sponsored by Blue Diamond Growers Nut-Thin Crackers. The first webinar will be held on Wednesday January 21st, 2009 at 3pm EST and will focus on Gluten-Free Common Sense.

1. The basics of the Gluten-Free diet - Nancy Baker, NFCA
2. Finding Gluten-Free products - Mary Schluckebier, CSA
3. Fresh and common ingredients - NancyBaker, NFCA
4. Using coupons on a specialty diet - Kathleen Reale, Be Free for Me
5. Cooking tips - Nacy Baker, NFCA
6. Cooking wth crackers - Lnda Simon RD, Gluten-Free Kitchen Therapy
7. Q&A Session

Registration begins on January 13, 2009 and is LIMITED to 200
Click the following link to register.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

GFRB Health Network Welcomes Duke Gastroenterology of Raleigh

I have been working on bringing some Gastroenterologists familiar with Celiac Disease into the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog (GFRB) Health Network for the past several weeks. Most of those with Celiac Disease are diagnosed by GI doctors or are under their care at some point. It was important to me to expand the Health Network to include these GI doctors and Duke Gastroenterology of Raleigh is the first (of I hope many) to be a part of this growing Health Network.

The Duke Gastroenterology of Raleigh practice is located in North Raleigh near Duke Raleigh Community Hospital and is affiliated with the Duke Health System. The practice has three doctors; Aaron L. Woofter, MD, Jesse Liu, MD and Savita Srivastava, MD. I have spoken with Dr. Woofter on the phone and through various emails over the last few weeks. He was very excited about being able to help Celiacs and/or people who were having GI issues that thought Celiac might be the cause. He let me know their practice handles many Celiac patients and is accepting new patients at this time. He also let me know that Duke is continually ranked among the top 15 best hospitals in the country for gastroenterology by U.S.News & World Report, and the faculty of the Division of Gastroenterology are national and international leaders in their respective specialties.

Welcome aboard Dr. Woofter and your associates and thanks for helping!

Duke Gastroenterology of Raleigh Information
3480 Wake Forest Road
Suite 500
Raleigh, NC 27609

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone: 919-862-5075
Appointments: 919-684-6437

Web site

New Patient Form

FYI - The Gluten Free Raleigh Blog does not benefit in any way by sharing this information with others. The GFRB Health Network is simply meant to be a useful tool in helping others with their Celiac Disease or GF Diet. If you have any questions or if you have any suggestions about potential members for this network, please email me.

Enjoy Life Coupons

I received these coupon offers from Enjoy Life Foods via email yesterday.

Save $1.25 on any TWO Enjoy Life snack bars
Save $0.55 on any Enjoy Life product

See their Web site for more information and to download the coupons.

Enjoy Life products are certified gluten-free and free of the eight most common allergens. They contain NO: wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish or shellfish. Also made without casein, potato, sesame and sulfites.

Made in a dedicated nut- and gluten-free facility.

Tuesday, January 13, 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, January 15th at 7pm at Rex Hospital. Shelley Wegman, Registered Dietitian from Meredith College will be with us. The usual format will be followed - information from Shelley combined with our questions to be answered. In addition to other responsibilities, Shelley also counsels CD patients.

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

Grocery Store Review: Lowes Foods

Every once in awhile, I will stop into a Lowes Foods grocery store. The location in Knightdale is close to my house and they always carry RedBridge (even though I usually grab the last 6 pack). Honestly, I do not usually go there to do my Gluten Free shopping. From my experience, it seems like they tend to mix Gluten Free items in with all the other non-GF items which makes things harder to find. I much prefer an organization (like Kroger, Whole Foods or Harmony Farms) which keeps Gluten Free items all in one area by themselves.

Regardless, Lowes Foods (like any other grocery) has their own brands of food items called Lowes Foods Brand or Full Circle Brand. Both have numerous Gluten Free items and this information is posted on Lowes Foods Web site.

Lowes Foods Brand Gluten Free List (Updated July 22nd, 2008)

Full Circle Gluten Free List (Updated July 22nd, 2008)

More information from their Web site...
The Gluten Free lists are subject to change thus we recommend that whenever shopping for gluten free foods, our customers carefully read the ingredient label and allergen statement on all packages and wrappers every time they shop.

For further assistance, our customers may contact Lowes Foods Corporate Nutritionist, Cindy Silver, MS, RD, LDN at or 1-800-311-2117. Also please visit our company Web site at To access nutrition education information and healthy recipes, simply click on Food & Nutrition at the top of the homepage and then select…visit our nutritionist.
Lowes Foods is a North Carolina grocery that has been around since the 1950s. They currently have over 100 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia including about 20 in the Raleigh area. I plan on working with the folks at Lowes Foods (including their nutritionist) this year on their Gluten Free offerings and location of these products in their stores. More to come!

Click here to locate the Lowes Foods location nearest you.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Local Product Spotlight: 8th Sin Coffee Company

8th Sin Coffee Company is a local Raleigh based coffee roasting company. As we all know, pure coffee is already Gluten Free but sometimes the added flavoring can be suspect. I checked in with Greg at 8th Sin for more information about their flavored coffee. Below is his response about the flavoring they use in their coffee.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 9:18 PM
Subject: Re: Coffee Question
Hello Zach

As I'm sure you're aware, Coffee itself is gluten free, so the only thing you need to worry about is with flavored coffees.

We realize that our customers have many different dietary needs, and have often received questions about the content of our flavored coffees. To help our customers understand what is in our product, we post a Allergen Statement at the top of our flavored coffee page,

We hope this answers your questions.

Greg Todaro
Eighth Sin Coffee Company, Inc.
The ONE Worth Roasting For
919-832-8898 Roasting Facility
877-569-7620 Toll Free

There you have it, looks like all their coffee products are Gluten Free!

Click for a list of their products (Certified Organic Beans, Single Origin Beans, Blended Beans, Espresso and Decaf). Looks like they also sell Gift Baskets, Gift Certifications and have a coffee club as well.

There are many ways to try out 8th Sin Coffee but the easiest may be to stop into the nearest Fresh Market grocery store. You can also pick up coffee from 8th Sin at their Roasting facility, The Bottle & Bean in Wake Forest, Common Grounds in Apex or from their Web site. 8th Sin can also provide your office with Coffee through Carolina Vending.


Poll Questions

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bella Monica Flatbread Company - Pizza Tasting

I heard from Trevor at Bella Monica Flatbread Company. He wanted me to know that there will be a tasting of their new Gluten Free Pizzas tomorrow (Saturday 1/10/2009) from 11am to 2pm at Harmony Farms in North Raleigh.

See my previous post about these wonderful pizzas here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Starbucks seeking Gluten Free Menu suggestions

Check out the following Starbucks (Dr. Evil's corporation) Blog post and make sure to leave your feedback about what kind of Gluten Free menu items you'd like to see at your local Starbucks.

Here are a few questions we have for you:

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?
• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?
• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?
• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?
• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

Looks like there are a good number of comments already for the post which came out this morning. I applaud Starbucks (not my favorite coffee) for reaching out to it's customers for input.

GF Beer Update

I've spent some time in the past on this Blog talking about Gluten Free Beer. It's always a topic that comes up and I'm always looking for places carrying GF Beer or new varieties to try.

Here are some updates...
  1. A reader contacted me and let me know that Slim's Downtown Distillery in downtown Raleigh was now carrying RedBridge. I spoke with Joe who is the manager at Slim's and he did confirm that they began carrying it a few weeks ago and plan to permanently carry RedBridge. Slim's is located at 227 S. Wilmington Street. We already know that the Raleigh Times Bar also carries GF Beer. Anybody been to the Flying Saucer lately? I know they used to carry RedBridge and Bard's Tale. I'll check in with them and let you know.
  2. I conversed with MillerCoors (2nd largest brewer in the US) about the possibility of the brewer making Gluten Free Beer. They politely stated that they do not have any plans on brewing a GF Beer. RedBridge (and a few others) it is I guess. If you would like some more variety, contact them yourself to help encourage them a little.
  3. I also attempted to contact several other brewers including Yuengling and Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams). I have not heard anything back. I will let you know.
  4. I have in the past asked Raleigh brewer Big Boss about GF Beer and they said they were focused on expansion of current products but might consider it in the future.
  5. I have also in the past spoken with Holly Springs brewer Carolina Brewing Company (see the 2nd paragraph). They respectfully declined my invitation to make GF Beer that tasted like CPA. Bummer.
  6. The Carolina Hurricanes are still carrying RedBridge at the RBC Center! I plan to ask them at the end of the season how many bottles they sold - more to come.
If you have any GF Beer information you'd like to share, please leave a comment or email me. If you know of any places where you regularly buy your GF Beer, please leave a comment on the GF Products Review and Locator post.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Word of Caution: Inaccurate Vitamin D tests at Quest Diagnostics Labs

If you are like most diagnosed Celiacs, you've had your nutrient levels checked via a blood test. If you have had your Vitamin D levels checked within the last 2 years at a Quest Diagnostics Lab then you may want to keep reading. I think they may have been too busy counting the $5 Billion in sales they had over the first nine months of 2008.

The company (the nation's largest medical lab) has acknowledged that their Vitamin D tests have been inaccurate. The consequences are..
An erroneously high result might mean patients would not take vitamin D supplements when perhaps they should, doctors said. And an erroneously low test result might lead in rare instances to a toxic overdose of vitamin D. When the Quest tests have been inaccurate, the reading has typically been too high, although not in all cases.
Quest blames an increase in demand for the test (while at the same time switching to a new testing method), using sophisticated equipment, using faulty equipment, and the fact that many of their labs did not following proper procedures for the errors. Did they get any tests right? Who knows.
Dr. Wael A. Salameh, the medical director for endocrinology at Quest’s most sophisticated laboratory, said the inaccurate results represented fewer than 10 percent of all the vitamin D tests done by the Quest from early 2007 to mid 2008.
I myself have had my Vitamin D levels taken and they were found to be low. I was then diagnosed with Osteopenia after having a bone density scan. My test was conducted at LabCorp though. If you are like me but have not been taking high doses of Vitamin D daily to up your levels after going Gluten Free, then your bone problems could be getting worse.

Like we need anything else to worry about! It's good to know that the FDA has decided NOT to regulate these diagnostic tests either. What do they actually do?
Meanwhile the F.D.A. is considering increasing its role in regulating diagnostic tests. Right now test kits sold to labs, hospitals and doctor’s offices have to be approved by the agency. But tests developed and offered by a single laboratory, like the Quest vitamin D test, do not.
See the following NY Times article for more information.

Click here for Quest Diagnostics Web site.

See below for Raleigh locations...
Raleigh-West 3200 Blue Ridge Rd Suite 200
Raleigh-Northeast 11001 Durant Rd
Raleigh-Northwest 8300 Health park Suite 223
Cary 530 New Waverly Place

Word of Caution: Osteoporosis drugs linked to esophageal cancer

There are many Celiacs out there who have developed Osteopenia/Osteoporosis (bone loss) as a result of their Celiac Disease. Some folks are then put on a bone mass building prescription drug like Fosamax, Actonel, Didronel or Boniva. The drugs aim to treat bone-weakening Osteopenia/Osteoporosis by increasing bone mass.

A recent study by the US FDA now shows an increased risk of esophageal cancer in patients taking these types of so-called bisphosphonate drugs.

See the following article for more information.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Celiac University Seminar

Last month, I introduced Leslie Gaillard, our very own resident Gluten Free/Celiac Dietitian to the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog Health Network.

Leslie informed me she will be conducting her first Celiac University Seminar called "Introduction to Celiac Disease & the Gluten Free Diet".

See below for more information about the seminar...
Announcing the first Celiac University Seminar – Introduction to Celiac Disease & the Gluten Free Diet. If you or a family member is new to the gluten free diet or just needs a comprehensive education, then this is the class for you. Learn all the basics you need to know to be happy and healthy on the gluten free diet. Benefit from the instructor’s professional knowledge and personal experience. This seminar is taught by Leslie Gaillard, MPH RD LDN who is a registered dietitian and a fellow celiac. Light, gluten free refreshments provided.

Event details
Thursday, February 12 2009 7-8:30pm
State Employees Association of North Carolina
1621 Midtown Place
Raleigh, NC 27609
Conference room A
Tickets: $50 per person

Space is limited! Reserve your space today by purchasing your ticket at the following Paypal link.

Questions? Contact

20% of you cheat on your Gluten Free Diet!

Yikes - so from my last poll questions I see that nearly 20% of you cheat on your Gluten Free diets! I know that I do my best to never cheat no matter how bad I want a freakin Krispy Kreme donut! I was surprised to see 20% though.

This has lead me to wonder the reasons behind why people cheat on the diet.
  • Difficulty of finding GF food
  • GF food too expensive
  • GF food doesn't taste good
  • Don't understand the GF diet
  • Difficulty of understanding food labeling
  • Asymptomatic (no side effects from cheating)
  • Don't understand implications of cheating
  • Don't understand cross-contamination
  • Miss old glutenous foods
  • Will power problem
Please see the new poll to vote and let me know if there are poll options that I have not thought of.

FYI - The Gluten Free Raleigh Blog nor any doctor I know of would endorse cheating on your Gluten Free Diet (especially if it is medically required in the case of Celiac Disease). If you need any re-enforcement to stay on your GF Diet, then take a look at this article which says you are 5.35 times more likely to develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Poll Results tallied - New Polls added

Here are the results of the set of Poll questions that have been on Gluten Free Raleigh since 12-4. I try to put up new poll questions every 30 days or so. I use this information to decide what to research and write about so please vote and let me know what you are interested in!

1)Do you cheat on your GF diet?
Yes 9 (19%)
No 37 (80%)

Votes: 46

2)Favorite place to buy GF groceries?
Whole Foods 23 (50%)
Online 4 (8%)
Trader Joes 4 (8%)
Kroger 10 (21%)
Lowe's Foods 1 (2%)
Harmony Farms 2 (4%)
Food Lion 0 (0%)
Harris Teeter 2 (4%)

Votes: 46

I have also added some new Poll Questions to the right side bar. I will continue to put up new Polls often to try to get a better understanding of what readers of this blog would like me to focus on.

Please vote!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gluten Free Cooking Class

Like the food at Rosie's Plate? Want to learn some tips and tricks from their Executive Chef?

Chef Anne Everitt will be teaching a cooking class called "Tips and Tricks in the Gluten-Free Kitchen" on February 18th, 2009 at A Southern Season in Chapel Hill. The class starts at 6pm.

Click here for the link to the class.
Tips and Tricks in the Gluten-Free Kitchen -- Anne Everitt
February 18, 2009 6:00 PM

Anne, the chef at Rosie’s Plate, a specialty take out service for people with special diets and allergies, will share some of her secrets for cooking gluten-free. Anne has worked as a private chef, a pastry chef, and was a lead baker at Weaver Street Market before taking on the challenging job of cooking and baking gluten-free. Anne will talk about different kinds of flours (rice, tapioca, arrowroot, garfava) that can be substituted for regular flour and which ones work best for which recipes. Binders that substitute for gluten will be discussed, as well as other gluten-free cooking tips.

Menu: Classic Macaroni and Cheese, “Fried” Chicken with Gravy, “Peanut Butter” Cookies (made with Sunflower Butter), Blueberry Muffins

Friday, January 2, 2009

Local Product Spotlight - Bella Monica Flatbread Company

Let's kick off 2009 with a bang! I had teased this in my last post of 2008 - sorry to keep you waiting (I have been enjoying my vacation).

I'd like to be the first to introduce the Bella Monica Flatbread Company. They have been working on creating the best tasting Gluten Free Pizza around for the past several months. I have had the privilege to be one of the first people to taste the retail product and to provide my input. The pizzas are made with Domata Living Flour and made on a dedicated Gluten Free production line which is tested using ELISA to have less than 20 PPM Gluten. Bella Monica Flatbread Company is affiliated with the longstanding Bella Monica Italian Restaurant on Edwards Mill Road in Northwest Raleigh. Stay tuned for more information in an upcoming post about a brand new Gluten Free Menu at Bella Monica. I have sampled the items and was blown away. I've also had the chance to provide the owners/operators with advice on how to safely prepare the new menu items to avoid cross-contamination. STAY TUNED!

The pizzas will be available in 3 different varieties - Margherita, Spinach & Tomato and Mushroom & Herbs in a 10" size. I have had the opportunity to try them all and I'm happy to report that they blow away the competition when it comes to frozen Gluten Free Pizza. My family has also tasted the pizzas and had trouble telling the difference from regular wheat pizza.

Here is what they look like out of the box

And after

As of now, the pizzas are available in Harmony Farms Natural Foods store located on Creedmoor Road in North Raleigh. They should be available on a few GF Grocery online retailers soon. They should also be available in Whole Foods by the end of January.

The following is from Trevor Chambers about how to get the pizzas at your local grocery store...
If your local grocer doesn’t carry Bella Monica FlatBreads then please voice your desire for the product with a manager. Suggestions really work – no matter the size of the stores. Let the manager know he/she can purchase it from United Natural Foods (UNFI) – a national distributor of natural food products. You can even print off their product information sheet located here and give it to the manager.

Stay tuned for more information about additional grocery locations where you can find these awesome Gluten Free Pizzas! And also more information about the new GF Menu at Bella Monica!