Friday, May 29, 2009

Bob's Red Mill Update - Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix

More great news from the folks at Bob's Red Mill. This summer, they are debuting a brand new Vanilla Cake Mix to their Gluten Free product line. In addition, they are opening up a voting process to let the consumers pick the label color.

Check out this post on Bob's Red Mill Blog for more information and to cast your vote.
We know that you have been waiting to hear what our newest gluten free product will be and now you get to help us decide the label color. This summer, we'll be introducing the lightest, fluffiest Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix you've ever tasted! We want your opinion- vote for the label color you like best. Tell your friends, rally your family and help us pick a color! Voting ends June 8th at midnight.

Gluten Free Vendor Fair - Whole Foods Durham

There will be a Gluten Free Vendor Fair held at the Durham Whole Foods location on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 from 3pm to 6pm. See this post from Gluten Free Durham for more details.
Living with a gluten-allergy or Celiac Disease can be frustrating and challenging. One of our team members at Whole Foods Market, Lee Tobin, is one of the many people who lives with Celiac Disease and deals with those challenges every day! While a team member in our Chapel Hill store, Lee began experimenting with Gluten-free baking on his time, developing recipes that revaled conventional goods in flavor and texture! Lee’s committment to creating high quality gluten free products that also met the Whole Foods Market Quality Standards is the reason that the Whole Foods Market Gluten Free Bakehouse came to be OCtober of 2004.

We are proud to offer many items from the Gluten Free Bakehouse in our store here in Durham, and are thrilled to welcome Lee’s team here next Tuesday, June 2 from 3:00 - 6:00 to demo some of their products and answer any questions our customers may have about the Gluten Free Bakehouse!And they won’t be alone in their gluten-free demoing! We’re turning their appearance into a Gluten-Free Fair, featuring 6 other demos of wonderful gluten-free goodies. So, join us from 3:00 - 6:00 next Tuesday and leave feeling like your choices aren’t quite so limited when shopping for gluten-free items!
June 2nd, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Whole Foods Market
621 Broad St
Durham, NC 27705

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Useful Resources - Naturally Dah'ling

I often get questions about whether Gluten Free folks should care about Gluten in their cosmetics and personal care products. My usual answer is the general consensus is that Gluten particles are too large to be absorbed through the skin. However, if you are showering and happen to swallow some shampoo - that could be an issue. In addition, folks with Dermatitis Herpetiformis, a.k.a DH or Celiac skin would definitely need to stay away from Gluten containing cosmetics and personal care products - unless they want a blistering, itchy rash.

Luckily there are many Gluten Free cosmetic and personal care products out there on the market. And also, we are lucky enough to have a wonderful resource called Naturally Dah'ling to help share information about those products.

Naturally Dah'ling is the creation of Kristen Campbell - who also happens to write for the Gluten Free Asheville and Wilmington blogs. Kristen is also the creator behind the world's only Gluten Free search engine; The Gluten Free Fox. Lucky for us, Kristen just moved to North Carolina from California.

Here is a little blurb from Kristen about Naturally Dah'ling...
I created Naturally Dah'ling after learning about the lack of regulation for ingredients that go into the beauty products that we literally bathe ourselves in everyday. I purchased product after product looking for those that were not only as natural as they claimed to be, but also highly effective.

So when I was diagnosed as severely gluten intolerant, it was a natural choice for me to raid my make-up bag to ensure that all of my products were also gluten-free. It took several more months of researching ingredients, contacting manufacturers, and buying/ trying product after product.

Now that I have a firm list of my absolute favorite--can't live without--natural and gluten-free products, I am sharing them with you! No one should have to buy 10 mascaras to find the one that is the purest and most effective. Or purchase six shampoos to find one that doesn't irritate and performs like a professional.

I hope that you'll enjoy these products as much as I do!
Click the links below for Kristen's favorite and well researched Gluten Free products...
Skin Care
Hair Care
Nail Care
For Him

Naturally Dah'ling also features videos from Kristen with make-up demos and "Is it really GF" segments. Kristen also does a little blogging at the site as well.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Run/Walk Fundraiser Update

Registration is now closed but you can still donate to the Gluten Free Raleigh Run/Walk Fundraiser for Gluten Free Week at Camp Kanata. So far we've raised $380 towards the $500 goal for Camp Kanata. We've also raised $525 for cancer research! Please use the Fundraising Only option until Sunday June 7th. I'll be sending in the donation to GIG on Monday June 8th so they can utilize the money during camp beginning on June 21st.

For those of you who are running/walking, I'll send more information about the meeting place on the day of the race. Stay tuned.

Click here for more details and select the Fundraising Only option.

Rosie's Plate Weekly Specials

Check out the weekly specials at Rosie's Plate this week! Each item is 10% off. Stay tuned next week for the brand new June menu.

  • Artichoke Dip
  • Pecan Raisin Granola
  • Potato Salad
  • BBQ Chicken
  • Chicken Succotash Soup
  • Roasted Vegetable Chowder
  • BBQ Ribs
  • Cole Slaw
  • Vanilla Pudding
  • Sweet Potato Bread

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Final Day To Sign Up For Run/Walk Fundraiser

Reminder, today is Tuesday, May 26th and the FINAL day to sign up for the Gluten Free Raleigh Run/Walk Fundraiser to benefit Gluten Free Week at Camp Kanata.

Click this link to sign up if you have not done so already.

At this point, we have raised $360 $320 $280 towards the $500 goal. Thanks to everyone who has helped out to this point. Myself, the GIG, Camp Kanata and the Gluten Free kid campers certainly appreciate it.

If you would like to donate to the cause but cannot participate in the run/walk, please see the link above and choose the 'fundraising only' option in the drop down.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Earth Fare Live Free Series - Dairy Free Diet Seminar

I wrote about a month ago about a new educational series being conducted at the Brier Creek Earth Fare called Live Free. The first seminar in the series held in early May was taught by a Dietary Educator named Marianne Crafts-Brandner and it focused on Gluten Free.

The second Live Free series event will focus on Dairy Free - an issue than many Celiacs have as well. The event is also taught by Marianne who is Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Sugar Free. See below for more information.

This seminar will be held on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 from 7pm - 8pm at Earth Fare Brier Creek here in Raleigh. See below for more details. You can also check out Earth Fare's events page for more info.

Join us for our Live Free Series, which will highlight tips and recipes to help you cope with any special diet restrictions you may have.

Learn how to utilize the countless diary free alternatives and how to prepare them. Take home tips and recipes for dairy free alternatives to use for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. You'll be amazed at the broad range of dairy free products Earth Fare has to offer!

Marianne Crafts-Brandner is a former special education teacher now pursuing a second career in the field of holistic nutrition. This past summer, Marianne relocated from Arizona to the Raleigh area and was pleased to discover Earthfare, with its sincere dedication to offering truly healthy food for the community. As a Holistic Nutrition Educator, Marianne especially enjoys helping others with their special diets; whether it's gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free (or, as in Marianne's case, all of the above!)

Click here for the Earth Fare Raleigh Web site.

Raleigh CSA Support Group 5-21-09 Meeting Recap

Special thanks to Gail for taking meeting minutes during the last North Raleigh Celiac Support Group meeting on 5-21-2009. Below is a recap for those of you that could not make the meeting.
North Raleigh Celiac Support Group
CSA Chapter 108
May 21, 2009 7:00-9:00 PM
Rex Hospital Private Dining Room

Pat welcomed everyone, asked new members for e-mail address, requested help for the “printing fund” and reminded us of the upcoming deadline for contributions to the Camp Kanata fund through Zach’s website. Pat then introduced Dr. Peterson who was the guest speaker for the evening.

Dr. Paul Peterson, Neurologist and Sleep Disorder Specialist, is a physician at the Duke Medical Plaza on Old Wake Forest Road, next to Duke Raleigh Hospital. Dr. Peterson discussed how he came to learn with increasing frequency about Celiac Disease during work-up of patients referred to him for many different symptoms. Dr. Peterson urges patients to be proactive and learn the results of everything. He has seen errors in diagnosis occur due to lack of follow through on testing. He says there is a need to question whether the data provides a reasonable explanation to problems.

Dr. Peterson stated that sleep disorders, ataxia, peripheral neuropathy and restless leg syndrome can be signs of Celiac Disease. Many associations with neurology are present with CD; however, there is still a lot that remains unknown. There is still much to study regarding the interaction of malabsorption issues with vitamins B1, B6, B12, copper, folic acid and several other essential nutrients that affect nerve tissue. If CD is not diagnosed early, long term nerve damage can occur. Dr. Peterson stated that reasonable screening procedures need to be developed for widespread testing. After answering several questions from the group, Dr. Peterson shared some current information from a medical literature search that will be sent to all group members.

Two Digestive Health Smart brief articles were passed out to everyone. The first “Gluten mutiny: Undiagnosed celiac disease causing untold bowel distress” gives some interesting Celiac Disease statistics. The other article gives further information regarding probiotic supplements, a subject of long standing interest to our group.

As a reminder for everyone, there are no support group meetings scheduled during the months of June and August for vacation months.
The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 16, 2009. Our meeting is being held at the Whole Foods Gluten Free Bake House in Morrisville, NC. We will tour the facility and enjoy a tasting. Pat will get a count of those who would like to attend and send out directions. Regular monthly meetings resume in September.

Submitted by,
Gail Harris

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gluten Myths - Envelopes, Stamps & More...

There are a lot of myths and unknowns out there concerning Gluten and whether or not it is contained in just about anything. For example, did you wonder if Gluten was in the adhesive of that envelope you just licked? How about a stamp? Drywall mud? Can you donate blood?

Here is at least some proof about envelopes and stamps from Nancy Lapid's Celiac Disease Blog (by the way, if you aren't reading this blog you should be).
Question: Is there gluten in envelope glue or stamps?
Answer: No, there is no gluten in envelope glue, according to the international Envelope Manufacturers Association. The Association's website says: "Remoistenable adhesives are derived from corn starch and do not contain wheat or rye gluten."

Furthermore, in the Fall 2007 issue of Gluten Free Living, Amy Ratner reported, "There are actually only a few envelope glue manufacturers in the United States. National Starch & Chemical, a New Jersey company, is one of the largest adhesive suppliers in the world. A company spokesperson says it makes its glue from corn, which is gluten free."

As for stamps, a Post Office spokesman told Ratner there's no gluten in stamp glue either. At any rate, the ingredients in stamp adhesives are much less of an issue, since the vast majority now have pressure adhesive glue and can be pressed onto your mail without the need to lick them.
Nancy also has some other great articles about Gluten myths like...
Can someone get gluten from kissing?
Can You Outgrow Celiac Disease?
Can People With Celiac Disease Donate Blood?
Can There Be Gluten In Breast Milk?
Are maltodextrin and dextrin gluten-free?
Can there be gluten in semen?
Can I eat the turkey if the stuffing has gluten in it?
Are people with celiac disease always thin, or can they be overweight?
Can Gluten Be Absorbed Through The Skin?

Great stuff Nancy!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rosie's Plate Weekly Specials

The following items are 10% off this week at Rosie's Plate!
  • Southwest Chicken w/ Corn Salsa
  • Beefy Baked Ziti w/ Ricotta
  • Chicken Succotash Soup
  • Roasted Vegetable Chowder
  • Coconut Pineapple Smoothies
  • Cupcakes
  • Rosie's "Peanut" Butter Pie by the slice

Uno Chicago Grill - Gluten Free Pizza Update

Here are a few exciting updates from Uno Chicago Grill which is already offering a great Gluten Free menu.

1) A brand new Gluten Free pizza has just been added to the GF menu at Uno's. They already were serving a Cheese pizza and a Pepperoni pizza but are now offering a Veggie pizza. Featuring peppers, onions and mushrooms as toppings, the new gluten-free veggie pizza will give those suffering from Celiac Disease or wheat intolerance or allergy yet another option to enjoy pizza at Uno. Frank W. Guidara, CEO of Uno Chicago Grill, said the company was encouraged to proceed with the launch after the gluten-free community responded so passionately to Uno's introduction of its cheese and pepperoni gluten-free pizzas earlier this year. Uno's gluten-free pizza crust is prepared in a dedicated gluten-free facility, whose products are certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization, and is delivered to restaurants frozen in a sealed case which includes a baking pan, for immediate placement into freezers. Uno's gluten-free pizzas are thin crust and round, making the difference in shape from their oval flatbreads and deep-dish pizzas striking and unique to the eye.

2) Uno Chicago Grill will host a national Dough Rai$er fundraising event May 25 - May 31 to benefit the American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA) in support of National Celiac Awareness Month in May. Consumers interested in participating in the May Dough Rai$er can secure a voucher here, which they can then bring to their local Uno Chicago Grill location. 20% of sales generated from those who participate will support the ACDA cause.

Uno's has 1 Raleigh location at Brier Creek. Get out and try the new Veggie pizza while also raising funds for the ACDA.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Poll Results tallied - New Polls added

Here are the results of the set of Poll questions that have been on Gluten Free Raleigh since 4-6-09. 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!

Interestingly enough, the majority of respondents to the "What month is Celiac Awareness Month" answered every month - my personal preference. I honestly try my best to raise awareness everyday - but technically speaking I go with May as the official month in the USA (and majority of the world). Also, you can see a pretty much 50/50 split between the number of people diagnosed less than 1 year and those who took more than 10 years to get their CD diagnosis.

What Month is Celiac Disease Awareness Month?
May -3 (17%)
October -5 (29%)
April -1 (5%)
Other -1 (5%)
Every Month -7 (41%)

Votes so far: 17

How long did it take to get Diagnosed with Celiac?
Less than 1 year -9 (39%)
1 - 2 years -2 (8%)
2 - 5 years -1 (4%)
5 - 10 years -3 (13%)
More than 10 years -8 (34%)

Votes so far: 23

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!

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, May 21st at 7pm at Rex Hospital. This month, Dr. Paul Peterson, a Neurologist and Sleep Disorder Specialist, will be the featured guest speaker. Dr. Peterson will be answering questions about the neurological impact of Celiac Disease and Gluten.

FYI - The next support group meeting will be July 16th (June is a vacation month), with a "field trip" to the Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse in Morrisville, NC. Bakehouse director Lee Tobin asked for a count of those who will be "touring and tasting." Please contact Pat Berger if you are interested.

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

Enjoy Life 20% Off Coupon

FYI - Enjoy Life products are now 20% off at's Grocery store. This great deal is valid until May 31st! Click here for more information and a list of available products.'s Grocery also contains a huge selection of GF products, click here to see.
Save 20% when you buy any eligible Enjoy Life products sold by for Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Use the following promotional code when you check out: ENJOYLIF. Offer valid through May 31, 2009.Also, if you order more then $25 you will receive free shipping on your order!
Check out my recent interview with Enjoy Life founder and CEO, Scott Mandell here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Some Updates

I'm just getting back into the swing of things after going on vacation last week. I wrote some posts ahead of time and scheduled them to publish while I was gone so you probably didn't even notice! I took a trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas and will have a full review of their Gluten Free food options in an upcoming post. Overall, it was a pretty good trip without too much Gluten worry. Atlantis has gone through the NFCA GREAT program!

Also, I have passed the 1 year milestone of my first visit to a doctor for not feeling well which eventually turned into a Celiac diagnosis. I visited my mom on Mother's day last year and she noted how skinny I was - she brought out a scale and I weighed myself only to realize I was about 30 pounds below normal. The weight loss was so gradual that I hadn't really noticed. I don't normally weigh myself either. I'm glad my mom was there to look out for me and help me on my way to feeling better - thanks mom!

Reminder - this is the last full week to sign up for the Gluten Free Raleigh Run/Walk Fundraiser to benefit Gluten Free Week at Camp Kanata. The cutoff to register is next Tuesday, May 26th. If you are interested in signing up, please click here for more information. The link contains information about doing a "fundraising only" option if you cannot participate in the run/walk but would still like to donate to a good cause. I've had several folks sign up this way so far since they will be out of town during the race. At this point, we have raised $240 - about half the goal I initially set of $500. Keep in mind that the camp uses about $500 of Gluten Free food per day! We need only 13 more people to sign up to reach our goal! In addition, Team Gluten Free Raleigh has raised $330 for the Komen Breast Cancer Race for the Cure Event - great job everyone!

Lastly, I should have some great news this week or next about the scope of the Gluten Free North Carolina concept growing in Greenville, Rocky Mount, Fayetteville, Asheville, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. More to come on this and thanks to those of you who have volunteered to do Gluten Free goodness for your city!

I'll have some more Gluten Free posts soon as I get back into the swing of things after my vacation- stay tuned. As always, there is a so much going on in the Gluten Free world.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Useful Resources: Gluten Free Food Lists

Below is a compilation of Gluten Free product lists from some major mainstream US food companies. I tried to include Web sites which either had a compiled GF list of products or that had an FAQ page dealing with the GF status of products. Hope this helps and please comment if you find any others. I'm sure this is not an all-inclusive list but it's a start.

Snyder's of Hanover
Arrowhead Mills
BG Foods
Amy's Kitchen
Burt's Bees
Del Monte
Dietz & Watson
Eden Foods
Empire Kosher
Ferrara Pan
Pacific Foods
Spangler Candy
Stonyfield Farms
Bush's Beans
Chicken of the Sea

Hope this helps.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Raleigh Cel-Kids Support Group - May Meeting

The Raleigh Cel-Kids Support Group has scheduled an upcoming meeting on Sunday May 31st. See below for the details.
Raleigh Cel-Kids Pizza Party on Sunday, May 31st at 1pm!
Enjoy gluten-free pizzas at Bella Monica restaurant in the Olde Raleigh Village Shopping Center (3121-103 Edwards Mill Road, Raleigh). This is a fabulous opportunity for your family to sample tasty gluten-free pizza donated by Bella Monica.

We hope to see you there, as always, please let us know if you can make it! (More info or RSVP to Also, we are helping Bella Monica by providing feedback on pizza crusts, different tastes, what types of GF products families want, etc. so we really want families to come to contribute.
A big thanks to Trevor and Bella Monica for their continued support of the Gluten Free community.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Starbucks Update - New Gluten Free Cake Now Available

If you haven't seen already, Starbucks is now offering a Gluten Free Orange Cake at most locations in the US. Click here for a detailed overview of how the cake is made.

I tried one this morning (okay - I tried two) and they were excellent. I called around to most of the Raleigh area locations and all indicated they did carry the new GF cake. The only exception was the downtown Starbucks in the new Marriott hotel.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jones Dairy Farm Gluten Free Products

Jones Dairy Farm, a six generation family business located in Wisconsin, has been making all natural sausage since 1889. They also now have an extensive Gluten Free list of products. Check out the following Web site for more information about their Gluten Free Commitment. Click here for their list of 50 GF products which include Sausage, Bacon and Ham.

Our Commitment to Gluten-Free Products

At Jones Dairy Farm, we understand the challenges faced by individuals diagnosed with Celiac disease and others adhering to a gluten-free lifestyle. Unfortunately, gluten can often be hidden in processed foods that can complicate the grocery shopping experience.

Jones has a 120-year heritage of producing a wide variety of quality, gluten-free products. From all natural pork and turkey sausage and Canadian bacon to hams, traditional bacon and braunschweiger, Jones currently offers more than 50 gluten-free items in many grocery stores around the country and online. Jones has been actively in spreading the word about the company’s gluten-free product offerings and support for those living with a gluten-free lifestyle.

We received Gluten Free certification for the majority of our products from the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). GFCO has a standard for testing gluten free products that is twice as strict as the FDA proposed standard. According to GFCO, their symbol on packaging means Gluten Free Foods that can be trusted! Look for this symbol on our packages.

We also joined the effort to help promote awareness for Celiac disease patients, families and health care professionals by becoming a proud sponsor of the Celiac Disease Foundation. Jones was a Premier Sponsor of the Annual Education Conference & Food Faire, May 2, 2009 at the Pasadena Convention Center, and a Level I sponsor of Team Gluten-Free.

We also became a Benefactor Member of the Celiac Sprue Association to assist CSA in its efforts to help individuals with Celiac disease worldwide through education, research and support.
Jones Dairy Farm pork products can be found at the following grocery locations in NC - Harris Teeter, BJ's and Lowes Foods.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Celiac Disease Drug Therapy - $8 Billion Market by 2019

A new study about the market for Celiac Disease Drug Therapy was recently released by a company called DataMonitor. The UK-based Datamonitor Group is an independent, premium business information and market analysis company that assists clients with operational and strategic decision-making.

Some interesting tidbits from the study...
A drug launch in Celiac Disease is up to 5 years away. Datamonitor estimates that under optimal conditions drug sales could reach $8 billion by 2019 in the seven major markets (US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Spain & Italy). Two market access strategies are available to companies, which are dictated by the targeted Celiac Disease subpopulation and drug price point.

The pipeline is small, and not advanced past Phase II, but candidates show various approaches to potentially treating Celiac Disease. Small, venture-backed biopharmaceutical companies power R&D, but Shire Pharmaceuticals recent in-licensing of the lead pipeline candidate AT-1001 (Alba Therapeutics) shows the promise of future Big Pharma involvement.

Low disease awareness among primary care physicians is a major factor behind low diagnosis rates (5% in the US to 25% in the EU) in Celiac Disease. Continued efforts to increase awareness, especially once a drug comes to market, will drive Celiac Disease diagnosis rates up to 50%-60% by 2019, which will expand the overall patient population.
Some other interesting points...
  • Datamonitor estimates there are between 4 million and 7.5 million Celiac Disease sufferers in the seven major markets in 2009.
  • Potential worldwide Celiac Disease population could be upwards of 25 million.
  • Over three million Celiac Disease sufferers in the US. Celiac Disease is extremely rare in Japan and few epidemiology studies exist. France lacks population-based studies for Celiac Disease. Lower Celiac Disease prevalence in Germany than in the UK. There is an abundance of robust epidemiology studies for Celiac Disease originating from Italy. Spain has the smallest Celiac Disease population in the seven major markets. UK prevalence of Celiac Disease is the highest of the major EU regions outside the seven major markets.
  • Pharmacological treatment will not replace the gluten-free diet.
  • Small, privately held, biopharmaceutical companies are the power houses in the field of Celiac Disease research and development.
  • Key opinion leaders believe that enzymatic degradation of gluten holds the most promise for Celiac Disease.
  • Alba Therapeutics (in Phase II trials) estimates AT-1001 could launch for Celiac Disease in the US by 2011 and would have a value of $500 million.
  • GlaxoSmithKline could exercise its option to commercialize CCX-282 (Traficet-EN; ChemoCentryx - also in Phase II trials) with proof-of-concept data.
  • ALV-003 (Alvine Pharmaceuticals) is an oral, two-enzyme cocktail designed to degrade dietary gluten. Alvine Pharmaceuticals initiated a Phase I proof-of-concept study in human volunteers and Celiac Disease patients.
  • Celiac Disease vaccine currently under development by Nexpep in Australia. Celiac Disease is well suited to a therapeutic peptide-based vaccine. Nexpep aims to put a peptide-based vaccine into Phase I trials in H1 2009.
The 150 page report can be purchased here for only a mere $3800.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Interview: Scott Mandell - CEO of Enjoy Life Foods

I recently had the pleasure of talking with the CEO and Founder of a wonderful company who caters to Gluten Free consumers, Scott Mandell of Enjoy Life Foods. Enjoy Life Foods was founded in 1999 after Scott developed a business plan as part of an MBA course at Northwestern. The original intent was to develop allergy-free baking mixes but after some research was changed to ready-to-eat products. The idea came from a classmate and future business partner whose mother had food allergies. This idea was really before it's time back in the late 90s. Only a few companies were out there making Gluten Free food and none that were completely free of all the top allergens. Enjoy Life was and continues to be a pioneer in this industry.

The Chicago-based company was officially launched in 2001 and since that time has grown to offer nearly 30 products. They opened a brand new dedicated facility in 2006 that is 40,000 square feet (roughly 5 times as big as Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse). If they wanted to they could make about 100,000 snicker doodle cookies in a 24 hour shift. At this facility, they test all their products down to 5 PPM Gluten (the proposed FDA ruling is 20 PPM). In 2007 and again in 2008, Enjoy Life was named to Inc. 500 fastest growing companies in the USA. Revenue growth over the previous 3 years is in the 800% area. The company scored in the top 400 (out of 500) on those lists but were in the top 10 for food companies. Quite impressive indeed.
Enjoy Life offers the following great products which are not only Gluten Free but also free from the top 8 food allergens (as defined by the FDA); wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish or shellfish. Their products are also soy free, dairy free, nut free and casein free. Dang, what is left? They key ingredient in most of their products is sorghum. Early recipes contained rice as the main ingredient but the company quickly discovered that grainy rice texture often associated with Gluten Free baked goods. Sorghum quickly replaced rice and the rest is history.

I spoke briefly with Scott about the possibility of Enjoy Life making cookies for the Girl Scouts. This was actually the initial suggestion I sent to Enjoy Life which eventually got me to Scott himself. It sounds as if the company has considered this option but things can get complicated when contract manufacturing. Who knows what will happen in the future but I know for sure that I would order them from a Girl Scout if they were available. The bottom line about this company is that they do listen to customer feedback and input and are extremely engaged with their customer base. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to email Enjoy Life.

My personal favorite Enjoy Life stuff is the granola (recently reformulated and improved), chocolate chips and of course the cookies. It's great to just open the package and pop in one of those bite-sized soft baked yummies - no mixes, no baking. Stay tuned for more exciting products coming very soon from Enjoy Life (I promised Scott I would not write specifics about them). You can find most Enjoy Life products in the Raleigh area at Kroger, Whole Foods, Harmony Farms, Earth Fare and Lowes Foods.

Scott was extremely pleasant, took a lot of time to answer my questions and even signed my food allergy poster petition to the Raleigh City Council. He is heavily involved in the company operations and serves as a visionary leader to the Gluten Free consumer products market. He is also heavily involved in the Celiac Disease and Gluten Free community by serving on the board's of the GIG's Gluten Free Certification Organization and the American Celiac Disease Alliance (I wrote about the good things going on at ACDA here). Enjoy Life was the first company to go through the GFCO certification process.

Check out Enjoy Life's Web site, you'll find all kinds of good information about their product lines, coupons, recipes and much more. Enjoy Life also is releasing a recipe/cook book called Enjoy Life's Cookies for Everyone!: 150 Delicious Gluten-Free Treats that are Safe for Most Anyone with Food Allergies, Intolerances, and Sensitivities in June which will be available at all major bookstores. The book will feature 150 recipes over 240 pages, is authored by culinary expert Leslie Hammond and all recipes have been reviewed by Enjoy Life Director of Research & Development Betsy Laakso. They have also just finished up the 2nd book in the series which should be out in early 2010.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Update - Gluten Free Raleigh Run/Walk Fundraiser

Hopefully you are all aware of the upcoming Gluten Free Raleigh Run/Walk Fundraiser which will be held in Raleigh on June 13th, 2009. 100% of your registration fee will be donated to Gluten Free Week at Camp Kanata (located in Wake Forest). The goal is to raise enough money to fund 1 day of Gluten Free food for the kids at camp - about $500. So far we have raised $140! Please consider signing up if you have not already and a huge thank you to those who already have.

I have a couple of updates that I'd like to share...
  • GIG has donated 5 sport water bottles, the next 5 people who register will receive one FREE! I'll update this post when the 5 free water bottles are gone. Good luck.
  • Kid sized shirts (small and medium) are available.
  • XXL sized shirts are also now available.
Reminder - The deadline to register is Tuesday, May 26th! (just about 3 weeks away). This deadline is set by the Komen Race organizers and will not be extended.

Click here to sign-up.

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Baking Mixes

You may have seen my previous post about the brand new Betty Crocker Gluten Free baking mixes which will be hitting shelves nationwide June 1, 2009.

The product line up is as follows...
  • Betty Crocker® Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
  • Betty Crocker® Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • Betty Crocker® Gluten Free Brownie Mix
  • Betty Crocker® Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
I recently stumbled upon a brand new Gluten Free section of the Betty Crocker Web site, located here.

I found it interesting why Betty Crocker went GF, as noted on their Web site...
Why Go Gluten Free?

Not long ago, two of our co-workers found themselves in the gluten free world. Linc was diagnosed with Celiac disease, and Colleen’s family switched to the diet for her son’s well-being. Their experiences opened our eyes to the challenges families face following the diet. It’s hard to be different, especially when it affects sweet moments with friends and family. No one wants to miss sharing a birthday cake or see their child have to turn down a homemade cookie from a buddy after a game. We hope we can help by bringing you these mixes for gluten free desserts that look and taste like the treats you’ve been longing to share. Finally, Betty Crocker® Gluten Free!
The new site also has some good Frequently Asked Questions, No Butter baking instructions and recipes. Also, some more good news, as all flavors of Betty Crocker Ready-to-Spread Frosting will be labeled “gluten free” this Fall.

Coming Soon - Woody's Bar-B-Q

I just read about a new restaurant opening in Raleigh at the former Hardee's spot in the North Ridge Shopping Center at Falls of Neuse and Spring Forest roads.

The place will be North Carolina's first Woody's Bar-B-Q. So I thought I would check out their menu since I enjoy BBQ. To my surprise, they have a list of Gluten Free items. Check out page 3 of their nutritional value sheet here.

Gluten Free Menu Items
  • Baby Back Ribs
  • Spare Ribs
  • Sliced Pork
  • Smoked BBQ Chicken
  • Mesquite Grilled Chicken Breast
  • Un-Breaded Chicken WIngs
  • Hamburgers
  • Hot Dogs
  • Cole Slaw
  • Bar-B-Q Beans
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Green Beans
  • Salads
  • French Fries
More to come once Woody's officially opens in mid- to late June.
They also have a sugar free and dairy free menu as well.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bob's Red Mill Update

Check out the following blog post from the folks at Bob's Red Mill - makers of tons (81 to be exact) of Gluten Free products. They are announcing the launch of three brand new Gluten Free products...
GF Corn Flour
GF Corn Meal
GF Corn Grits
Our new manufacturing facility has granted us the room to put a dedicated corn mill and an additional packaging line into our gluten free facility to meet these demands. We are pleased to introduce the same delicious cornmeal, corn flour and corn grits for which we are praised time and again to our gluten free consumers.
They also are offering these new corn based products at a whopping 25% off discount during the month of May - check out their Web site for more details.

Twin Cakes Bakery on Flickr

Flickr is a great photo-sharing site. Twin Cakes Bakery now has a site set up on Flickr to share photos of their wonderful yummy Gluten Free bakery items. There are about 200 pictures of the products they offer out there now - I borrowed one of some doggie cupcakes they made. Click here to take a look (Warning - you will immediately become hungry).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Celiac Disease Book Released Today

You may already know that celebrity Elisabeth Hasselbeck has Celiac Disease. She is currently a co-host on the ABC program The View. Her story is pretty interesting, she originally became famous while competing on Survivor Australia. She basically always felt bad before her appearance on Survivor but felt great during the show. When she returned home after Survivor, she began feeling bad again. This is how she discovered she had Celiac and needed a Gluten Free Diet - she was eating no Gluten during her time on the show.

Elisabeth has often talked about Celiac Disease and the Gluten Free Diet on The View (click here for a Youtube video) and now she has written a book about being Gluten Free. The book is titled The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide (available on for $17).

Check out a review of the book from's Celiac Disease expert Nancy Lapid (who I read daily).

UPDATE- here is a clip of Elisabeth on Good Morning America.

Shane's Rib Shack - Free Ribs May 16th

Check out the following offer for FREE RIBS at Shane's Rib Shack on Saturday May 16th, 2009.

The first 100 people at every Shane’s will each receive a free half rack of baby back ribs and a large Coca-Cola Zero. The will also receive a numbered "Shaniac" Jersey T-shirt with a number from one to 100 indicating their place in line. The only Shane's in our area is the one at Poyner Place, near Triangle Town Center in Raleigh.

Click here to see Shane's Gluten Free menu which of course includes the Ribs.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Life With a Pre-Existing Condition

As I'm sure most of you already know just how out of whack the US Health Care System is. I'm also sure you've heard that having Celiac Disease (or numerous of it's related conditions) qualifies you for having a dreaded "Pre-existing Condition". Of course, that term can be interchanged freely with "Not able to get Health Insurance". Pre-existing conditions are becoming more of a problem now with the current economic situtation. As folks lose their jobs, they make an attempt to go buy their own health insurance. They of course will have a hard time.

If you are unaware of these facts, please check out this article from the Miami Herald which was published last month. The article, entitled "Insurers shun those taking certain meds" goes into pretty great detail about the lengths American Insurance Companies go to make sure they do not actually insure sick people - their costliest customers. The article explains how these companies follow guides called "Guide to Medical Underwriting" to deny people insurance who need it the most. These guides contain a huge list of diseases and prescription medications that will result in denial of coverage. Of course, Celiac Disease can be found in most of them.

I understand that these companies are in businesses to make money and believe they should be entitled to do so - but healthy people don't need insurance until they get sick. It might make a little more sense if the focus was on preventative care but that isn't the case either. Anyone out there who spent 10 years getting diagnosed with Celiac Disease can tell you that. The problem with Celiac Disease is that the majority of the time health care costs actually go way down after diagnosis. Simply follow the Gluten Free Diet and you'll stay healthy (depending on how long it took you to get diagnosed). So why is Celiac Disease a pre-existing condition? Makes no sense to me. There is actually an incentive to not get an actual Celiac Disease diagnosis.

Nationalized Health Care can't be the answer either, right? I mean come on, if the government operates the system it would have to be worse, no? Take a look at how long it is taking the FDA to come up with a decision on how to label and enforce Gluten Free foods. Do I have to mention what they've done with other systems they operation (Social Security, Medicare, etc...).

Feel free to leave your thoughts/comments below about this topic.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Gluten Free Asheville & Wilmington Blogs Update

As I'm sure you've discovered already, I've been attempting to grow the Gluten Free Raleigh concept throughout the entire state of North Carolina. I've created a site called Gluten Free North Carolina as well as blogs for several major cities around the state. Those cities include Rocky Mount, NC, Greenville, NC, High Point, NC, Fayetteville, NC, Winston-Salem, NC, Asheville, NC , Greensboro, NC, Charlotte, NC and Wilmington, NC.

I've been working over the last few months to find folks in each of the above cities so they can add content to those blogs much like what is already going on in Raleigh, Cary/Apex, Durham and Chapel Hill. I announced last week about the addition of a new blogger for Charlotte. I'm now happy to report a new blogger who will be adding content for both the Wilmington and Asheville blogs. So how can one person add content for two cities which are about 400 miles apart?

Please allow me to welcome Kristen Campbell who will begin adding content to both the Gluten Free Wilmington and Gluten Free Asheville blog very soon. Kristen is moving from San Francisco, CA to Asheville this summer (June). It also happens that she loves Wilmington and visits that city often. The beach and the mountains - a great thing about the state of NC.

For those of you who may find Kristen's name familiar, it's because she is the founder of two great Gluten Free resources already in full swing - Gluten Free Fox and Naturally Dah'ling. Gluten Free Fox (I've previously written about it here) is a search engine customized to feature and return only items pertinent to Gluten Free. It is built upon Google technology and helps filter out unwanted search results from your GF searches - an awesome idea that I use all the time. Naturally Dah'ling is a Web site which gathers the best in Gluten Free cosmetics and personal care products from Kristen's experiences. All of the products listed on the site are free of the 10 top toxic ingredients as shown here. The products are all verified GF and personally tested by Kristen before being listed on the site.

The addition of Kristen to Asheville and Wilmington is an awesome score for Gluten Free North Carolina - welcome aboard!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Celiac Disease, Asthma and Dehydration

I recently found a really interesting article about an experience and possible connections between Celiac Disease, Asthma and Dehydration. The article was published this past March on by an author named Anne Marie Dunphy. She goes into pretty great detail about her experience with Celiac Disease - it's an interesting read.

Her basic theory is that gluten digestion in a person with Celiac Disease is obviously a stress on the digestive tract. Couple that with the need for large amounts of water for gluten digestion. The result can lead to water being pulled from other parts of the body leading to localized dehydration. The body will begin to generate histamines to slow the dehydration. These excess histamines and localized dehydration in the lungs, can trigger an asthma attack if you are asthmatic.

After reading her post on, I did a quick search for some other articles on asthma and gluten. I found quite a few - Here, here and here. There is definitely a lot of information out there about the relationship between gluten and asthma.

If you care to find out more about asthma, check out the Asthma Fair this Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 at Wake Med Hospital in Raleigh. The event runs from 9am to 1pm and will feature Twin Cakes Bakery. Click here for more information from the Twin Cakes blog.

Celiac Disease Awareness Month - May 2009

May is Celiac Awareness Month among most of the Celiac organizations around the world (excluding the CSA which recognizes October). You'll see a lot from me this month about raising awareness so stay tuned.

In the meantime, please visit the following link on the American Celiac Disease Alliance Web site to see what you can do to help. The ACDA is an alliance of major Celiac Disease and Gluten Free players in the USA which was formed in 2003. Their original goal was to persuade Congress to require food labels to include information about allergens. The ACDA was a major force behind the signing of the 2004 Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act.

Their Advocacy Web site has information about how to find and contact your local representatives to encourage them to support Bill # H.CON.RES.110 which will officially recognize May as Celiac Disease Awareness Month in the USA. From this link, simply enter your information (name, address, etc...) and it will automatically find your Representative and send them a note (already generated by the ACDA). It's pretty simple.

The End Of The Gluten Free Diet for Celiacs?

Some of you may have already seen the news that came out in April about the Celiac Disease vaccine trials that started in Australia. The research being conducted by Bob Anderson of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research is the first of it's kind in the world. Basically, people would be able to get a vaccine for Celiac Disease which would turn off the immune-system-attack-gluten-response in the body. The research has already shown successful on mice (I didn't know mice could get Celiac Disease) and now 40 brave soles will get doses of the vaccine over the next 11 months. If all goes well, a phase II trail could begin in 2011.
The vaccine therapy involves repeatedly injecting solutions of gluten at increasing concentrations. The goal is to reduce and ultimately eliminate gluten sensitivity slowly, in a manner similar to common allergy desensitization treatments.
So is this the end of the Gluten Free Diet treatment for Celiac Disease (and thus the end of the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog)? If this works, couldn't I just start with a crumb of a donut and then eat larger and larger portions each day? Sorry, that's a joke - even though I really miss donuts. Bob Anderson (a gastroenterologist and PhD scientist) has been working for years to raise funding for his research on this topic. He formed a company called Nexpep in 2007 to conduct this research and find a viable vaccine. Check out Nexpep's Youtube page here. There are hopes that this type of research can work for other immune diseases like Diabetes, RA and MS.

Question - if a vaccine were available for Celiac Disease, would you take it? Is the Gluten Free Diet too expensive and too difficult to follow?