Going Gluten-Free

Exploring Our GF Cyber-Community

May is a banner month for those with food sensitivities and allergies. It's National Celiac Awareness Month, and last week was both Food Allergy Awareness Week and National Eosinophil Awareness Week. In the spirit of sharing good information and strengthening community during May and beyond, I'm circling back to our wonderful GF bloggers (many also blog about food allergies) - those dedicated, creative people who are setting cyberspace on fire with their energy, enthusiasm and ideas, not to mention their delicious recipes. A few weeks ago, I put the word out for people to write in about their favorite GF bloggers. As a start, here are just a few of the many responses we received. I had not visited these spots before and I'm excited to discover what's going on in little corners of our dynamic GF cyber-community. Take a look for yourself. Also, continue to let us know what websites you find helpful and use most out there! We'll be sharing many more websites as the weeks go by.  More...

Can't We All Get Along?

There's a lot to be accomplished in the gluten-free community - but we’re busy squabbling among ourselves. If you're like me, you've been watching the hurricane of attention and emotion swirling around Domino's Pizza's announcement that it's now offering gluten-free pizza. The controversy stems from Domino's designation of "gluten free." But all that aside for the moment. Consider this. In the United States, there are five - yes, five - national non-profit organizations that represent the gluten-free community. They all share a similar mission: to help the celiac and gluten-free community. Can they get on the same page, work together and unite with one voice to push forward an agenda that brings about positive changes for us? It just isn't happening.  More...

Gluten in Your Medications...Gluten-Free Labeling...And Cupcakes for a Cause

Over the past several days, we've been closely watching a national bill that was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Nita Lowey (D-NY). The Gluten in Medicine Identification Act of 2012 (HR 4972) would require pharmaceutical manufacturers to label the source of drug ingredients - a huge issue for those who are gluten free. Unfortunately, the bill didn't make it out of committee (because it didn't get a Republican sponsor).   More...

It's Your Right!

In honor of Celiac Awareness Month, Living Without has drafted a Celiac Bill of Rights. We believe that safe food products are the right of every American who is living with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. We should be able to rely on the federal government to provide uniform labeling standards. We should be able to rely on manufacturers to produce food products that are safe from gluten contamination and to label them clearly and accurately. We should be able to rely on airlines, buses and trains to accommodate gluten-free travelers.   More...

Kindness Matters

I've been traveling lately, which means spending time in busy airports and on crowded planes. While on these trips, I happened to witness several episodes of wildly inconsiderate behavior. There are thousands of children with special dietary needs who are traveling with their families on airplanes. So often the world is not a safe place for our kids. Can't it at least be a kind place?   More...

Who's Your Favorite GF Blogger?

May is National Celiac Awareness Month, an excellent time to highlight our cyberspace heroes - the gluten-free bloggers who are helping us make gluten-free living easier, healthier and much more fun. Who are your favorite GF food bloggers? What sites do you enjoy most - and why? We'll compile a list of your favorites and ours and share their stories (and website links) during the month of May.   More...

Dig In! Taste Gluten-Free Inspiration

When it comes to living gluten free or with food allergies, it's easy to get stuck in a food rut. Want to dish up some real meal excitement? These new products will inspire and delight. Several weeks ago, Living Without contributor Jules Shepard scouted out the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California. Her mission was to find the best and tastiest new products for Living Without readers. This is her third report on exciting items about to hit grocery stores near you. "I love discovering companies that do food right, where you can taste their passion in their products. Expo West is the perfect opportunity to find these companies - and to actually get to know the people behind the brand a little better," says Jules.   More...

New Gluten-Free Bread and Pizza!

There's hardly anything more exciting to those living gluten-free than news about new gluten-free staples like bread and pizza. Living Without contributor Jules Shepard scouted out the best new products at this year's Natural Product Expo West in Anaheim, California. Here's her report on the delicious and exciting new products about to appear in grocery stores near you.   More...

First Bite. Giving Gluten to Your Baby.

Can the timing of gluten introduction reduce the chances that your baby will develop celiac disease? When I was a new mother with celiac disease, I had an endless list of questions. The big one: When should I first feed my baby gluten? My oldest daughter, now almost 4, was 27-months-old when she first had gluten. At snack time on her first day of preschool, she ate Nabisco graham crackers washed down with undiluted apple juice. I still wasn't sure if it was the "right time" to start gluten and, a bit nervous, I considered sending her in with a gluten-free snack. But my husband, who doesn't have celiac disease, felt firmly that she didn't need a special snack when she didn't technically have celiac disease or food allergy. She could now verbalize to us if she wasn't feeling well, he argued. We'd keep a close eye on things.  More...

Take a Bite! The Best New Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Food Bars

The Living Without team recently attended Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California, where we spent three days walking through vast halls that contained over 6,000 exhibitors. It was a search mission - a real treasure hunt. Our goal was to find exciting gluten-free and allergy-friendly new products to share with our readers. This week's blog focuses on the best new food bars on the market. For those with food allergies and celiac disease, food bars are a life-saver when traveling, faced with unfriendly menus and when hunger hits between meals. Let's check out some of the tastiest, most impressive new bars, flavors and product lines from Expo West!  More...

Nuts! Romance and a Nut Allergy

Living Without contributor Nathan Comp writes that his life has changed since falling for girlfriend Emily, who is allergic to nuts. "Dating a nut-allergic girl has made me more sympathetic, if not compassionate, toward those with food allergies. I thought it was lame in the mid-1990s when airlines stopped serving peanuts. As a former cook, I would get irritated when a food-allergic customer made a special request. I chided my sister for hiding the peanut butter in the basement when her peanut-allergic friend visited. All that has changed. My affection for Emily has softened my heart. It’s taught me to walk in someone else’s shoes."   More...

Egg Allergic? Here's a Safe Way to Color Easter Eggs

They say necessity is the mother of invention. This is certainly true when it comes to food allergies and sensitivities. The creativity and inventiveness of the celiac and food-allergy community is noteworthy and, frankly, marvelous.   More...

Have You Heard This One?

If you're living gluten free, chances are you've received interesting feedback about your special diet from friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances and dining companions. Even well-meaning relatives can chime in with choice statements like: Come on now. A little gluten won't hurt you!   More...

Are You Anxious?

Did you know that gluten can prompt anxiety in certain people? The psychological implications of ingesting gluten for those with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease are not well known. Yet celiac experts report a connection between eating gluten and experiencing mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, mood disorders, cognitive problems and even autistic behaviors. Why bring this up now? The tragic news about Whitney Houston and her purported use of benzodiazepines, prescription drugs commonly prescribed for anxiety.   More...