Monday, August 31, 2009

New Look Coming Soon

I've been working on a redesign of Gluten Free Raleigh for a little while now... I started this blog last August 22nd so I figured 1 year is about time to change things up.

Want a sneak peak?

I'd love to hear your feedback on things you like to see in the new version of Gluten Free Raleigh. Please email me here. The main benefit with the 3 column layout is less scrolling. This new template uses up more horizontal real estate than the current version. It also provides a new menu bar across the top which is fully customizable.

Click here to see the demo. When I am done testing things out and making sure it all works in the new layout, I'll move it over to this Web site.

Special bonus points to anybody who knows what the picture is!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Triumph Dining Affiliate Program

In the interest of Full Disclosure, I want to let you all know that I have joined my first affiliate program. I am now an affiliate blogger for Triumph Dining. If you look at the right sidebar of this blog under the Sponsored Links section, you'll see a new Triumph Dining advertisement. I've also included the picture below. I've written about their books before (Dining Guide & Grocery Guide) and I do use these books often.

I want to be clear that I am a member of this affiliate program and I do get rewarded when you purchase Triumph Dining products after clicking the ad. I believe in disclosing any and all information like this to my readers so you know up front. I want to reiterate that I am not blogging to make money and have made no money on anything up to this point. That being said, this does take a lot of my free time so something here and there can help offset that. So if you want to support this blog and Triumph Dining, click the little picture from here before buying one of their products. It's a win-win... you get a great product and I get some payback for all the time I spend researching this stuff!

In the future, I will always disclose these relationships to you. I will also only join these type of programs for products or services that I myself use and trust.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Reminder: Pizza Tasting Tonight

Quick reminder of the Gluten Free/Allergen-Free/Corn Free pizza tasting tonight!

Click here for more details and to RSVP.

Jules Gluten Free Update

I got a note from Jules Shepard about an update to the sample size of Gluten Free Flour. The sample size is now double the size (1 1/2 cup) but still sells for the same price of $5.00 (includes free shipping & handling). If you've never tried Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour and don't want to buy a 5 lb. bag then this is perfect for you. Jules will also through in a Banana Blueberry Muffin recipe as well. Click here for the special offer.


Rosie's Plate Survey

Rosie's Plate is in the process of creating a cooking/baking class as requested by their customers. Click here to take a quick one question survey to provide your feedback.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Useful Resources: Toaster Bags

Venturing outside the comfort of your Gluten Free kitchen can be quite an adventure. Ever been in the situation where you want to toast something but don't have your trusted Gluten Free toaster handy? This happens to me when I go to a cookout or a party and bring my own GF bun. Then I get there and remember just how bad (usually) Gluten Free bread tastes when not toasted. This also happens in hotels as well. You bring a huge cooler for GF sandwiches but then have to choke one down because you couldn't use the hotel or restaurant toaster.

I recently came across a great product called a toaster bag. Several companies make these bags but they basically allow you to keep your GF food uncontaminated while using an unfriendly toaster. They also work in Toaster Ovens and George Foreman style grills. Check out two brands I found below and leave a comment if you've tried this out.

ToastaBags by PlanIt Products - Toastabags run from $3.99 for 30 use to $5.99 for 100 use

ToastIt Bags by Celinal Foods - 1 ToastIt bag runs $6.95 or you can get 5 bags for $30.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gluten Free Raleigh Dispatch: 8-25-2009

Gluten Free Raleigh Dispatch: 8-25-2009
  • Alvine Pharmaceuticals initiated patient enrollment in a Phase 2a trial for ALV003. 110 Celiac Disease patients will get ALV003 daily to determine patient benefits and the safety of the drug for use in treating Celiac. I've previously written about this drug and others.
  • Check out this great post from Nancy Lapid about staying Gluten Free at hotels.
  • Here is another from Nancy detailing useful back to school tips. Also, some more great back to school tips from Sure Foods Living.
  • University of Chicago's Celiac Disease Center is hosting it's annual Celiac Disease screening on October 10th in Chicago, IL. Wouldn't it be great to have something like that here?
  • Another back-to-school themed topic, any Gluten Free students out there attending a Triangle area university having a situation like this? Please let me know via email.
  • Great article about how gluten can affect your adrenal glands. Check this out if you have been Gluten Free for awhile but are still not feeling 100%.
  • Another article which shows the results of a recent study about the use of Anti-tissue Transglutaminase Antibodies in assessing successful management of Celiac Disease. The study finds that getting these anti-tTG antibodies measured as part of your long-term follow-up is an effective way to determine whether a Celiac patient is successfully staying healthy on a Gluten Free diet.
  • Check out the Gluten Free Tour of Whole Foods Cary on Aug 26th and a Gluten Free Vendor Fair at Whole Foods Winston-Salem on Aug 29th.
  • The Gluten Free City Guide has been updated. Please email me if you have any other updates.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Allergy Free Pizza Tasting - August 27th

I have been in contact with Raleigh resident and entrepreneur Maria Hopper over the last few months about a project she has been working on - totally allergen-free pizza crusts! You may remember my post back in June on this topic where Maria was seeking input on the product idea.

Maria got back in touch with me a few weeks ago and mentioned she has further developed the product and is ready for some feedback. She stated that she heard common complaints that Gluten Free crusts often contain other common allergens which makes them difficult to eat for GF folks and/or Celiacs. Things like yeast, lactose, corn or soy.

Maria has been on the hunt for a great crust that would be Gluten Free, Yeast Free, Corn Free and Top 8 Allergen Free (milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, fish, shellfish, soy & wheat). Theoretically, a worry free crust for everyone to enjoy, and now she's ready for your feedback.

Wanna Try It?
If you are interested in a free tasting of this new allergen-free pizza crust, please contact Maria Hopper via email. The tasting will be held on Thursday, August 27th, 2009 from 6:30pm - 7:30pm at the Stonebridge neighborhood clubhouse located in North Raleigh. Maria will have fully prepared pizzas for your tasting enjoyment but her eventual end product will most likely be crusts that you bake and top yourself. After tasting your pizza, please take a few minutes to fill out a short evaluation of the crusts. Maria will use this information to further fine tune her product. This is a win-win situation for both Maria and Gluten Free consumers. How often do you get the chance to shape the products under development before they are released? This should prevent you from saying "I wish it was like this or that" or "Why didn't they ask my input before they made this".
See below for full details.

When: 8/27/09 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Where: Stonebridge neighborhood clubhouse
405 Emerywood Drive
Raleigh, NC
Directions: Take Creedmoor Road north to Baileywick Road. Right on Baileywick. Left of Chander Drive (note the Shannon Woods subdivision sign). Right on Emerywood Drive. The clubhouse is located on the right at 405 Emerywood Drive (just after house number 409). Or click here for a map to find your own way.
Cost: Free
RSVP: Maria Hopper via email

Let's try to get as many people as possible over to this tasting and show a local resident our support as she develops an awesome product that can be enjoyed by everyone!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bella Monica Flatbread Update

Check out this extremely in depth review of Bella Monica Flatbread Company Gluten Free Pizzas done recently over at FreezerBurns. Greg, a.k.a. "The Frozen Food Master" spends his time blogging/reviewing about all kinds of frozen foods. He lives in the Raleigh area and this blog is pretty awesome. In this episode, he calls in some reinforcements, his neighbor Ann who has Celiac Disease.

Check it out here.

There are also some other GF frozen food reviews here.

Have a GF frozen food you want reviewed by Freezer Burns? Contact Greg here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Zpizza Coupon

I've written in the past about ZPizza and their awesome Gluten Free pizzas. If you have not tried them or are a big fan of them then you'll be interested in getting a $5 coupon, no? ZPizza has 2 Triangle locations, 1 in Raleigh and another in Cary.

Check out this link to join ZTribe. You'll get a $5 off coupon and special offers exclusive to members, news and more!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gluten Free Raleigh Dispatch: 8-18-2009

Gluten Free Raleigh Dispatch: 8-18-2009
  • Check out this cool post from Bob's Red Mill Blog about their thoughts on customer service. Nice to see. I've had great experiences with their products. Also, follow Bob's on Twitter.
  • See the NY Times latest article about Celiac Disease here. Interesting tidbits on the cost associated with living Gluten Free. See the NY Times blog discussion here. Nancy Lapid's take here. Do you believe the government or insurance companies should do something to help with the cost associated with the GF Diet?
  • Join Gluten Free Durham blogger Debbie Jongkind for a Gluten Free Lunch Box class at Whole Foods on 9/3. Nice job Debbie!
  • New products from Twin Cakes Bakery. Lemon Blueberry Streusel Cupcakes with lemon glaze anyone?
  • Gluten in drywall? See the Saavy Celiac's take here.
  • An update on Gluten Free labeling for Beer from

Friday, August 14, 2009

Whole Foods Gluten Free Product Listing Update

Earlier this summer, Whole Foods removed their Gluten Free product listing while they did an extensive review. Good news, as of August 7th, 2009, the Gluten Free product listing is back and is 15 pages long! Click here for the Raleigh Store listing.

FYI - the Gluten Free - Casein Free, Wheat Free and Diary Free listings are still offline. I'll let you know when they are back.

Check out the Whole Foods Special Diet page for the Raleigh store here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wellsphere HealthBlogger Network

I was recently invited to become a member of the Wellsphere HealthBlogger Network by Wellsphere's Chief Medical Information Officer, Geoffrey W. Rutledge MD, PhD. Wellsphere is a consumer health Web site which is revolutionizing the way people find and share health and healthy living information and support. Kinda like taking the medical information of WebMD and adding a community aspect to it.

The community aspect of Wellsphere is it's HealthBlogger Network which features over 2,500 of the web's leading health bloggers. The Network consists of a highly selective group of the leading minds in medicine, brave patients who daringly share their stories of struggle and survival, and healthy living professionals helping people live healthier everyday. Gluten Free Raleigh is now a part of this network. This is a pretty high honor for this blog! Dr. Rutledge has personally reviewed GFR and has decided it is worthy to add to the network. GFR posts will now be found in the Celiac Disease Community. Wellsphere boasts nearly 6 million visitors per month so that means I can do more to help those with Celiac Disease or a Gluten Free Lifestyle.

You will now notice my Top Health Blogger badge on the right side bar of this blog. Links in the badge will take you over to the Celiac Disease Community pages where you can find a ton of great information from other Celiac Disease/Gluten Free Top Health Bloggers.

So check out Wellsphere today, along with the Celiac Disease Community where you can find all sorts of great information about CD.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Coupon: 10% Off @ P.F. Chang's

I'm sure you've heard by now about P.F. Chang's China Bistro and their extensive Gluten Free menu. Check it out online here. I hope to get to try this place out very soon. Here is a little more incentive! Use this Web site to sign up for P.F. Chang's Warrior Card. Despite the odd name, the Warrior Card allows for you to get 10% off your meals at P.F. Chang's from now through 12-31-2009. That's EVERY meal for the rest of the year - not just a one time thing. You do have to create an account and enter your home address to receive the card via mail.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gluten Free Raleigh Dispatch: 8-11-2009

Gluten Free Raleigh Dispatch: 8-11-2009
  • Betty Crocker Gluten Free Baking Mixes Coupon @
  • Big list of Gluten Free Cookbook Reviews from Nancy Lapid's Celiac Disease blog. Unfortunately, Nancy leaves out Jules Shepard. Also, check the Gluten Free Greenie review of Gluten Free Everyday cookbook here.
  • The Celiac Princess' review of Bella Monica Gluten Free pizza.
  • Big news from MLB's Colorado Rockies with the first Gluten Free concession stand! Check out this great review from CeliacChicks. Thanks to Aramark - hopefully we will see this trend continue.
  • Mike over at Switch2GlutenFree has compiled a huge list of Celiac Disease statistics (many of which are quoted from Gluten Free Raleigh - check out all the little # 6s). FYI - Check out Mike's cool GF LiveStrong-like wristbands. I've got one on right now. I have also given over 60 of these away at past GFR events.
  • Check out some new items now available from Twin Cakes Bakery (located here in Raleigh). I've tried the soft pretzels and they are YUMMY!
  • Since it is 100+ degrees lately here in NC, you might be interested in some Gluten Free sunscreen. Check out Triumph Dining's Blog here. Important for those of you who lick your fingers after applying sunscreen (just kidding) or if you have DH.
  • Check out this extensive Gluten Free Fast Food Listing from Gluten Free Greenie. I've updated my own listing here with some of this info (This listing can always be found on the right side-bar under Useful Resources). Good stuff Wendy!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Restaurant Review: Biaggi's - Cary

I had the pleasure of visiting Biaggi's Italian Restaurant this week for lunch. I've heard from numerous readers about Biaggi's and all the great experiences folks have had there. Until now, I've just never had the opportunity to get to that part of Cary. Biaggi's is a 22 restaurant chain which began in Bloomington, IL in the late 90s. The Cary location is the only one in NC. The chain strives to make the majority of menu items fresh onsite each day.

As always, I did a little research online at and was pleased to find their rather extensive Gluten Free menu. This GF menu features a big list of appetizers, salads, pasta dishes and entrees. I was really impressed as the menu seemed really well thought out to provide GF diners with a vast selection. I got a little concerned though about all the grilled items on the menu. Usually, when I see grilled on a GF menu it makes my red flag alert go up as the potential for cross-contact can be extensive on a shared grill. I decided to proceed to the restaurant to inquire further - I could always get another non-grilled item on the list.

Upon entering the restaurant, I spoke with the person at the hostess station. I informed her I was Gluten Free and she gave me the Gluten Free menu mentioned above. I inquired about the grilled options and how that could usually cause some concern. She informed me that Biaggi's entire grill is Gluten Free. No Gluten containing ingredients ever touch the grill and this major change allows for Biaggi's to offer much more GF options on their menu. I also asked her about the pasta choices. I asked if their pasta was either a different color or shape than all the other wheat pastas as to help everyone involved (including me) verify the pasta actually was GF. She went to the back and asked the chef about this and returned with the GF pasta now should be green (spinach). She told me to make sure if I ordered pasta it was indeed spaghetti shaped and green.

Upon ordering, I mentioned to the waiter that I would be ordering off the Gluten Free menu. He said to just relax because they serve multiple GF customers on a daily basis and have a full understanding of the ingredients and cross-contact issues in the kitchen. I felt pretty darn comfortable - one of the most comfortable times eating out since May 2008. I was actually able to sit and talk with the people I was out to lunch with and just relax and wait for my food like everyone else. My extreme urge to ask the waiter 101 questions, to speak directly with the chef, to inspect the kitchen personally was pretty much gone.

I placed my order - Chicken Piemontese. How can you not order this "Grilled chicken breast stuffed with imported Italian ham and smoked provolone and Gouda cheeses. Topped with a lemon-basil butter sauce and served with sautéed asparagus and roasted herb potatoes." YUM. I was actually torn between this and several other menu items. This is the first time I can claim that this has happened since going GF.

The food itself was excellent. I really enjoyed my entire meal, felt totally normal while eating and completely cleaned my plate. I sorta had the thought in the back of my head that this was really too good to be true. The next part is the true barometer. I usually wait about 24 hours and see if any symptoms occur. For me, it's headaches and flare ups of my DH. It's been a few days and I'm extremely happy to report that neither of these side effects have occurred. I'm pretty excited to add Biaggi's to my list of restaurants that really do understand what Gluten Free means - both ingredients and cross-contact.

Biaggi's Italian Restaurant
Preston Walk
1060 Darrington Drive
Cary, NC 27513

Web site -
Phone - 919.468.7229
Hours - Mon - Thurs 1130am - 930pm, Fri - Sat 1130am - 1030pm, Sun 1130am - 9pm

View Larger Map

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Useful Resources: Campbell's Gluten Free Product List 7/2009

I wrote back in March about Campbell's updated Gluten Free product list. I was recently contacted about the company's recently updated July 2009 Gluten Free list as well as the addition of a brand new Web site tracking their GF products. Check out the note I received below from Susan Baranowsky Director of Consumer Affairs for Campbell's. And be sure to check out the new Gluten Free Campbell's Web site at

Thank you for contacting Campbell’s concerning our gluten-free offerings. We understand your interest and are pleased to share with you our most up-to-date list of Campbell’s gluten-free products.

After the FDA issued its proposed regulation about gluten-free food labeling, Campbell re-evaluated its gluten-free product offerings and temporarily removed some products from the gluten-free list. Before any product could be added back to
the list, we rechecked every ingredient in each product and ensured that
manufacturing controls were in place to assure that we could deliver gluten-free
products. As a further safeguard, we analyzed each and every gluten-free product
to ensure compliance with our strict gluten-free standards. We are continuing
our review of new products for their gluten-free status and will update our list

I am attaching an updated list for you and also want to let you know that this list is now available on our website for your convenience. Please visit us at where you will find our gluten-free product list. Campbell offers a wide variety of gluten-free products. Our list is always growing, so visit us often.

This is great news and useful information for those of us who are fond of Campbell's many products. It's also nice that the list is published online!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Naturally Kerr Update

I wrote back in April about a brand new concept being launched at Kerr Drug called Naturally Kerr. In that article I shared the following about the first two Kerr Drug stores to get this update in the entire nation (Raleigh & Asheville).

Non health categories such as automotive and hardware were removed. Their space was filled with a wide range of natural and organic products. The stores stock such items as gluten-free and allergy-free foods, kids' organic vitamins and supplements, and organic pet supplies and toys. There is also a natural baby section with organic diapers, lotions and other products. Along with sections dedicated to natural and organic products, there are also more of those items scattered throughout the stores.
I was recently contacted by Kerr Drug with the exciting announcement that the concept has been popular enough to open a third store. Lucky for us, it's close by in Chapel Hill. Check out the information below.

Kerr Drug Winning Customers “Naturally”
Company will open its third Naturally Kerr store in Chapel Hill

Raleigh. NC- July, 2009- Kerr Drug, a leading provider of pharmacy and other health care related services, will open another of its new Naturally Kerr locations to meet customer demand. The Chapel Hill store will be located in the new East 54
retail/residential/office community. The store will open October 26th with a Grand Opening celebration planned for November. Naturally Kerr locations become a “store within a store,” replacing traditional “drug store” convenience items such as automotive and hardware with natural, homeopathic and organic products. Naturally Kerr will fill about ¼ of the retail space.

“In three months, sales of natural, organic and homeopathic products at our two Naturally Kerr stores have exceeded our expectations,” says Anthony Civello, president and CEO of Kerr Drug. “Because of the tremendous customer demand we are moving ahead with a third location.”

Naturally Kerr stores opened in Kerr Drug locations in Harvest Plaza in Raleigh and on Patton Avenue in Asheville in April.

The Homeopathic department carries a complete line of health and beauty aids, supplements, baby and child remedies, diet and energy, digestive, and herbal products. The Natural and Organic categories include wheat-free/gluten free baking mixes, grains, desserts, snacks, cereals; breakfast products; candy, cookies, crackers; meals-to-go, entrees and soups; juices; pastas and sauces; organic pet food; coffees and teas and a variety of pantry items.

“Sales of gluten-free products are especially strong,” reports Anthony Latini, manager of Kerr Drug’s Harvest Plaza store in Raleigh. “We are meeting many first time shoppers who have never been in a Kerr Drug before and heard about us from friends or on a blog site. I am happy we are meeting the customer’s needs.”

Kerr Drug’s new Chapel Hill store will also feature an American Diabetes Association certified Diabetes Research Center and a full-time Community Health Resource Coordinator.

It's interesting to note how the press release specifically mentions the effect of blogs like Gluten Free Raleigh. As consumers, we can use blogs and the word of mouth they generate to help nudge companies to cater to those living the Gluten Free Lifestyle. Please continue to support Gluten Free Raleigh and other GF Blogs and help spread the word! If you hear of something great in the GF world, please contact me so I can write about it. We are having an impact.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rosie's Plate: August Menu Now Available - Did Somebody Say Donuts?

Check out the latest menu from Rosie's Plate located in Downtown Raleigh. As always, Rosie's August menu has a great selection of entrees, sides, salads, snacks, etc... but a few new items caught my eye. Check out the brand new Cinnamon & sugar cake donuts and cheese bread sticks! Did somebody say donuts? My donut crave gets me every time I drive by the Krispy Kreme on the way to Rosie's Plate.

Also, Rosie's Plate now has a new section to their menu called Grocery. You can pick up a ton of grocery items like baking powder, chocolate chips, oats, bread crumbs, sauces & rubs.
Click here for more info.

Make sure to check out Rosie's Plate on Friday August 7th from 5pm - 7pm for a FREE PIZZA TASTING. This will also include special discounts on pizza items bought.

Rosie's will also be holding their second Wellness Class on Saturday, August 22nd from 2pm - 330pm. Click here for more information on the class. Come learn how to cleanse, nourish and rejuvenate your body! Call 833-0505 to reserve your seat today!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Gluten Free Cary Update - New Guest Blogger

I just wanted to post a formal welcome to Pam McKerring who has now taken the helm over at the Gluten Free Cary Blog. Pam is a Celiac living Gluten Free in Cary, NC for the past year.

Check out Pam's introduction post here.