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.