Monday, November 30, 2009

Raleigh CSA Support Group 11-19-09 Meeting Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Submitted by,
Gail Harris

Thursday, November 26, 2009

New Commenting Policy

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

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

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

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

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

3) This basically disallows anonymous commenting.

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

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

Changes can be made to this policy at any time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reminder - Greater North Raleigh Celiac Support Group Meeting

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gluten Free Raleigh Dispatch: 11-17-2009

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

Friday, November 13, 2009

Renewed Motivation To Strictly Follow Gluten Free Diet

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rosie's Plate Expansion

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

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Reminder: Jules Shepard GF Thanksgiving Class This Weekend

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

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

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rosie's Plate: Thanksgiving Holiday Tasting This Friday

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

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Food Allergy Walk This Saturday

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Raleigh Cel-Kids Support Group - November Meeting

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

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

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

Please RSVP to

For directions and menu information

For additional information on Raleigh Cel-Kids

Raleigh Cel-Kids

Monday, November 2, 2009

Gluten Free In The Triangle Meetup Group

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

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

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