Saturday, December 26, 2009

New treatments for Celiac Disease possibly in the near future!

This is a really interesting article from the LA Times last week, that discusses the furthering of a Celiac Disease treatment options we keep hearing about- the “enzyme pill”, immunotherapy shots, as well as the “hook worm” theory (yuck!). One company is focusing on producing the enzyme drug that if taken could help those of us with CD to eat gluten safely, although it is not thought that it would be on a regular basis, more for if we go out to eat, or on vacation. It does not sound like they are saying we can go back to a “normal” diet on the enzyme pill. The other, trying an immunotherapy (which is doses of shots taken under the skin, rather than ingesting them in the gut- similar to allergy shots one takes to become less allergic to items such as pollen and pet dander) that will teach your body not to react to gluten anymore, which could result in a permanent diet lifestyle change! The article also discussed inoculation -- of hookworm (there was an article awhile back about this- and it sounded gross- I don’t know if I could stand having a hookworm in me), although I hope they are not putting all of their research into this last one- because if so, I think I would rather remain on a gluten-free diet! The other two sound promising and it seems like we are coming further along on research of these items, and on to phase 2 of trials, which is exciting!,0,5395819.story

Happy Gluten-Free Holidays!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bertucci’s joins GFRAP! (but beware- they are obviously still learning the GF ropes)

I was excited to try out the new Gluten-Free Menu at Bertucci’s now that they’ve joined the Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP) , but unfortunately this visit was very disappointing. It took over 5 minutes for our server to come over to take our drink order (on a very slow night), and then when I placed my order (GF Balsamic Chx) the chicken came out VERY burnt on the bottom, that I had to cut the bottom part off to eat it. This is not the part that worries me, although it added to my annoyance by the time this next part happened.

My meal came out with asparagus, not green beans as the menu stated. So when I inquired to the waiter, he said that they were out of green beans. So I asked for another GF vegetable instead, which he offered broccoli. When the broccoli came out, I ate a piece, and it tasted and smelled like pasta, so I called the waiter back over, and asked how the broccoli was prepared- if it was steamed or cooked in a water that is also used to cook pasta in. When he told me that it is cooked in pasta water I was extremely upset- because of course that makes the broccoli NO LONGER GLUTEN-FREE! I immediately asked to speak to a manager. When the manager came over, he was hardly apologetic and said "this GF is new to us", not even a "I am sorry that you will become ill from this". I hardly complain at restaurants, and this time was mainly doing so to help EDUCATE the staff about how to properly prepare gluten-free meals- and I do love the fact that Bertucci’s, a chain restaurant, is working with GFRAP and is now offering a GF menu, but felt I had to comment on the lack of response to this from the staff. I have gotten "mistakes" before, but the wait staff/managers ALWAYS are extremely apologetic and try to rectify it immediately, which did not happen at the Westbury Bertucci’s location. (Even when I mentioned that I write a LI blog about GF, as well as am a board member with Suffolk Celiacs!) When leaving the manager said "we'll get it right"- I sure hope so, so that others don't get extremely sick as well. Cross contamination issues with how food is prepared Gluten-Free is JUST as important as the ingredients in each of the items! I do intent do go back to Bertucci's and try it again, but next time will be much more cautious in ordering.

What is worrisome is that even though they are now a member of GFRAP, it appears that they are not fully trained. My main concern was their lack of concern... like when I go to a plcace like Outback, and the rare chance that something goes awry, the manager is there quickly to apologize, make corrections, and offer free dessert. (not that I was looking for a free dessert- ha ha- but he didn't even offer AND left the contaminated broccoli on the table when he walked away!)... then the best part... when the waiter came back, he said "are you still working on those, or do you want me to wrap them?"... DUH!!! did you not just hear what I spoke to you AND your manager about?!

ps- the dessert I did order, the Bomba which is "Vanilla and chocolate gelato wrapped in chocolate with almonds and a red heart of maraschino cherry. Served open with a dollop of whipped cream and chocolate sauce"- was the best part of the meal.

1/27/10 UPDATE: I went back last week, and had a GOOD experience! The manager there said they have learned a lot and are making sure to prepare the foods safely GF! I was very excited to see that they are taking this seriously and are making sure to correct any errors that have been made. The more we dine at Bertuccis, the better they will become at knowing how to prepare GF foods, so make sure to visit them and continue to help "train" them. I am very greatful for another big chain to offer us a place to eat! (My husband is thrilled as well!) ;)

Monday, December 14, 2009

“Great Specialty Products” were tested to show high levels of gluten in their gluten-free items!

I received startling information today that Juno Nutrition tested gluten-free products from a company called “Great Specialty Products” based in North Carolina and found their products to contain “High Levels of Gluten, which indicated 200 ppm or more.” (See below for more information). I have never heard of this company, nor seen any of their products here on Long Island, but figured just in case someone is having this company’s items shipped to them, I would spread the word.

It is pretty scary! This further emphasizes the need for an FDA ruling on what is and is not considered (and what can/cannot be labeled) gluten-free!

Below is the summary of what happened, and then click the link for the full article on the Juno Nutrition website. What tipped Juno off to something going on was that products that were bought as gluten-free were hand-delivered to people (and stores I believe) with NO labels on them, and NO ingredient listing (which is in violation of state law in NC where they were sold). Also read the paragraph on their site about the fact that they re-packaged non-gluten free desserts off as being gluten-free! HOLY MOLY.

"Juno Nutrition Update
Great Specialty Products: Seven Tests Show High Gluten
Six (6) different products from Great Specialty Products, a physical and online seller of Gluten-Free products, show high levels of gluten based on seven (7) different gluten tests. Six were over the counter test kits, one was sent off to a 3rd party lab for independent confirmation. We purchased two products, a white-bread loaf, and a sourdough loaf from Great Specialty Products - a website (greatspecialtyproducts [dot] com), and formerly a physical store, based in North Carolina. Both samples, when evaluated with an EZ Gluten Kit, showed 'High Gluten' (photos and details are in the full post). We were present for two other samples (a dinner roll and another white-bread loaf) when other EZ-Gluten Kits were run and showed 'High Gluten'. Two others shared results which were not run in our presence, which both showed high gluten. For an EZ-Gluten kit, a reading of 'High Gluten' indicates 200 ppm or more.

One of these six samples was sent to a 3rd party lab for independent testing, it too found 'High' levels of gluten. For the 3rd party AOAC approved test, High levels of gluten meant 80 ppm or more. As of this writing, seven (7) different tests show products from Great Specialty Products to be high in gluten as defined by the relevant test."

For a full account of our findings see the full post here.

Also, under the “ingredient and calorie count” page it says “Sorry... This page is under-construction. Please visit us again soon. Thank you.” And Under their “Terms and conditions” it is blank!

12/20/09- UPDATE: Read this Blog entry about someone who was affected by this horiable act-
and their poor little boy who ate the contaminated food. :(

Sunday, December 13, 2009

La Bottega now offers Gluten-Free Panini’s in some locations!

La Bottega now offers Gluten Free Panini’s in some of their restaurants. The Garden City South location offers Gluten Free Panini, Soups and weekly changing Pasta. Roslyn offers all the same as Garden City South, plus Gluten Free Pizza! Other locations such as Floral Park, Long Beach and Roosevelt Field Mall all offer Gluten Free Panini only as of right now.

I visited the Garden City South location and the Roosevelt Field location. At the GC South location, I got “Hogans” which was Artichoke, sun-dried tomato, grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella and pesto on a gluten-free roll, toasted- Panini style! It was very good. I also got gluten-free cream of broccoli soup to start which was delicious! I was so excited to be able to get soup and a sandwich again! They also had many other soups on hand that were also gluten-free.

Next door (attached) is Caffe Barocco which had Gluten-Free Gelato for dessert- it was Soooo yummy. I got the tiramisu flavor which was my favorite.

At the Roosevelt Field Mall location (which is located on the second level, in between Macy’s and Nordstrom’s) the only gluten-free selections they had were the Panini’s, which I was a bit disappointed about (I was craving soup!) , but it was VERY nice to be able to shop and then go in for a GF sandwich! I got “UDINE” which was grilled chicken, roasted red onions, fresh mozzarella, tomato, on a gf-bun. It was good, but not as good at “Hogans” was at the GC South location. It wasn’t as “hot” and was a bit cold inside. The service at this location was also not the best- it took a long time for someone to come over to take our order, and then a long time to get our food. Next time I am in the mall, I will call-ahead for take out rather than eating there- but still a great option for those of us on a GF diet!

The Garden City South, Roslyn, Floral Park, Long Beach and Roosevelt Field Mall locations all offer Gluten-Free items. Hopefully all of their locations will soon offer a GF menu (as well as all of the GF items)! There are locations in Merrick, Rockville Centre, Massapequa Park, Oceanside, and others that do NOT have a GF menu at this point.

Visit their website for locations and GF menu

Here are the locations of the two I visited:

Garden City South Location:
La Bottega & Caffe Barocco
147 Nassau Blvd 143 Nassau Blvd
Garden City South, NY 11552 Garden City South, NY 11552
516-486-0935 516-292-0144

Roosevelt Field Mall Location:
2nd Floor
Between Macy’s and Nordstrom

Friday, December 11, 2009

Re-cap of Dr. Oz discussion of Celiac Disease

OK, so I thought the segment (and I use that word instead of “episode” as did previously) on Celiac Disease on the Dr. Oz Show was good. It was very short, but good. Elizabeth Hassleback did a good job, which I was surprised and happy about. She took the time to explain quickly how she was diagnosed, and how she was misdiagnosed for years prior, which is all to common with Celiac. When they cut to Dr. Green, I did not like how he was just an audience member who was mic’d up… Dr. Green should have been sitting up there with them! Then right before the commercial break Dr. Oz talks about how you can “lose weight” by going on this diet- so not true. A lot of GF products have more butter, sugar, and calories/fat than their gluten-containing counterparts. (that’s how they hold the gf product together and make it taste good!). So going on a GF diet is NOT the way to lose weight, and hopefully will not become the next “fad diet” people buy into.

Oh my gosh, and I almost forgot- showing the insides of a small intestine?! They didn’t even explain what he was showing! I’m assuming the damaged villi (but even I was confused, and I understand what gluten does to my intestines!) from the beginning to the bottom- but couldn’t “see” which was the damaged and which wasn’t.

After they came back from commercial they featured a women just diagnosed (who really just stood there and answered 1 question at the end) while EH walked her through the gluten and non-gluten free products. I did like how EH talked about items that one doesn’t necessarily think of as having gluten (ie. salad dressing, hand lotion, lipstick), and I also liked how she explained that items such as peanut butter/butter/jelly (any “jar” type food) is a cross-contamination nightmare, and to label the gluten-free ones so they remain gluten free! (only the GF person is using labeled jar “a” then this way no gluten-containing crumbs will get in there from the knife!) I thought it was great that she had time to say that, because often times someone who is just diagnosed, wouldn’t even think of that!

All in all it was a nice quick segment on Dr. Oz. But, for all the hype surrounding the casting of the “newly diagnosed” celiac, discussions on numerous blogs, email reminders of the show airing, and the fact that this was an “Oprah descendent” featuring CD on his show, it’s too bad you really could have blinked and missed it.

In case you did….

There’s no video up yet, but they do feature a bio on celiac disease, and maybe they will put it up soon, so check back!

And here is the preview commercial they aired for it:

Win a year's worth of Glutino's GF Pretzels!

Glutino Holiday Gluten Free Pretzel Recipe Contest

Submit your original recipe creations and photograph using Glutino’s best selling Gluten-Free Pretzels for your chance to win a year supply of Glutino’s Gluten Free Pretzels!

Contest Rules & Regulations: The Glutino Holiday Gluten Free Pretzel Recipe Contest seeks original recipes prepared with Glutino’s Gluten Free Pretzels. Recipes may not been published previously and must not infringe upon any other person’s rights. The contest begins November 9, 2009 at midnight Eastern Time and ends on December 18, 2009 at 11:59pm.

How to Enter:

Email: Email your recipe and photograph in English to . Please include your full name and mailing address. Email entries must be received by 11:59pm Eastern Time on December 18, 2009. By

Participating in the contest entrants acknowledge and agree that his/her recipe and photos may be used by Glutino Food Group and subsidiaries in any format at its sole discretion.

The Grand Prize Winners will be determined no later than December 31, 2009. The decision is the sole right of Glutino Food Group. The decision by Glutino Food Group will be final and binding on all matters related to the contest.

Contest Prizes: The top 3 recipes based on taste, ease of preparation, creativity, look and style will receive a 1 year supply of Glutino Food Group Pretzels. One year supply is equivalent to 52 units of Glutino 8oz Pretzels. Limit one winner per household.

Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Undeclared Wheat in College Inn chicken broth 14 ½ oz cans

Undeclared Wheat in College Inn chicken broth 14 ½ oz cans.

December 4, 2009 - As a precautionary measure, due to mislabeling, College Inn is initiating a voluntary recall of College Inn® No MSG Chicken Broth sold in individual 14 ½ oz cans. All other sizes and varieties of College Inn® Chicken Broth are correctly labeled and therefore are not affected by this voluntary recall.

College Inn is voluntarily recalling College Inn® No MSG Chicken Broth in individual 14 ½ oz cans due to the presence of wheat (an allergen) which was not declared in the ingredient statement. Also, the label incorrectly states that the product does not contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).

Dr. Oz show on Celiac Disease, Thursday 12/10/09

Set your TiVo/DVR’s!

This Thursday, December 10, 2009, Dr. Oz will be featuring a story on Celiac Disease with Dr. Green! The show will air in the Long Island area on Fox (channel 5 for Cablevision), at 3pm. (According to Cablevision... "Talk-show host Elisabeth Hasselbeck discusses bloating with Dr. Oz; a mother of three tells how she lost 80 pounds; ulcers and stress."
Cast:Elisabeth Hasselbeck; Air Date:Thu 12/10 3:00PM; Channel: 5 FOX or 705 FOXD)

The Dr. Oz Show airing Thursday, December 10th 2009 will discuss celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. Dr. Peter Green, Director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, will be featured on the program along with a recently diagnosed Celiac and author of The G-Free Diet, Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

From the Fox 5 website:

Dr. Oz Show Hidden Epidemic: When Bloating Is a Sign of Something Toxic60 mins.Elisabeth Hasselbeck talks about bloating with Dr. Oz. Also: a look at the connection between stress and ulcers; a weight-loss success story.

Also, here is a link to the Dr. Oz show website

Monday, December 7, 2009

General Mills New Gluten-Free Website: Live Gluten Freeley!

I received an exciting email from General Mills last week! They now have a website dedicated to their Gluten-Free line! The website, Live Gluten Freely: is where you can get a listing of their over 200 Gluten Free Products available! They also have gluten-free recipes!

I made the Snicker Doodle party mix and it is DELICIOUS!

At this site you can also subscribe to GM’s Gluten-Free Newsletter, which is published every-other-month, or by clicking here:

This is so exciting that a main-stream company is providing such awareness and availability of Gluten-Free products! Now hopefully other companies will follow suit!