Posts

Showing posts from 2018

Join Me at the Gluten Free Expo (GFAFExpo), Worcester, July 21-22!

Image
A weekend away, with food you can eat, and educational seminars on all things gluten-free and allergen-friendly -- isn't that a break and more than a half? The Gluten Free Allergen Friendly Expo is back in New England, July 22-23, and I'm giving away 6 tickets!

Join me?
GFAF Expo
10:00 am – 4:00 pm on Saturday the 21sd 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on Sunday the 22nd To purchase tickets: Purchase here (click the link)

Either for one day or both, the conference hall is well worth a day if you have celiac, or other food restrictions.

But what I love most about these events is the human connections I make.

Recovery from a food-related disease or allergy and joy, come mainly through our relationships: it's doubly important that we get to connect at these events. We get to meet with the local community, with farmers and medical professionals , local restaurants and gluten free brands. That kind of connection is what guarantees the food isn't just labeled gluten-free. That connection is wh…

PRODUCT REVIEW: Mikey's Tortillas, Que Bueno, Guey [ Paleo, GF ]

Image
PRODUCT REVIEW
Mikey's [ https://www.mikeysmuffins.com/products/tortillas/ ]


"I think we have... oh my word, CJ. I don't know if we have anything. Can you eat a tomato? We have brats - -wait, they have gluten in the filler."

I got off the bus, and in the door where I was staying in St Louis, and I was hungry. Yes, I could eat tomato. But just tomato?

This is how I encountered Mikey's Tortillas.

Digging through my host's freezer -- at her behest -- voila! "What are those? Oh! That's when so-and-so visited..." An entire packaged of gluten-free tortillas.

I've always enjoyed corn tortillas. They're naturally gluten-free; made traditionally, they have that fresh lime-tang offset by a mellow sweetness.

But gluten-free, one doesn't often get a tortilla anything like the small flour ones, those chewy bases  for flautas, hand-sized burritos, and various other and sundry Northern American-Latin fusion food. Mikeys -- grain-free, gluten-free, a…

GFFAFest Takes Brooklyn, New York (July 28-29, 2018)

Image
Come out, up, or out: In July, the Gluten Free Food Allergy Festival comes back to the Northeast! Hitting Brooklyn on the final weekend of July, this event has already toured the Pacific Northwest, with stops in the Midwest as well.


Gluten Free Food Festival  Brooklyn Expo Center
72 Noble St, Brooklyn, New York, 11222, United States

This convention-cum-festival features vendors, presentations, and general opportunities to connect with resources and fellow food-allergy peers & celiacs. Perhaps the most exciting for many attending -- notably myself the first time I dropped in -- was the chance to discover the variety of things I could eat safely. New products always roll out in these festivals, along with old favourites. So do chances to learn new strategies for living safe and freely, even within the bounds of food-related illness.

Best yet, local and small purveyors of fresh gluten-free fare often showcase their naturally gluten-free (and often concurrently dairy free, vegan, soy-fr…

Celiac Awareness: Its Silent Symptoms & Diagnosis

Image
Celiac Disease: Last month was Celiac Awareness Month. I was mostly out of touch as far as writing goes. Regardless...did you know? Because celiac may not tell you...
What is Celiac Disease? It is an autoimmune condition, which when triggered by the ingestion of gluten (contained in wheat, barley, rye, and any foodstuffs derived from them) causes the immune cells in the small intestine to attack healthy tissue, and destroy the digestive-absorption capacity in the intestine. In everyday parlance: Celiac Disease takes a blowtorch to your gut when you eat gluten.

The peculiar thing about the disease is this: Its symptoms are variable; and sometimes almost non-existent for years.

So-called "classic" celiac manifests as obvious malnutrition. The sufferer's body deteriorates; drops weight for no discernible reason; exhibits and experiences painful gut disturbances, including severe diarrhea, sometimes nausea, vomiting; joint aches and pains, etc.

Few know, however, that more …

Gluten Free Travel Tips: Tipping It in Ireland

Image
When in Ireland, with celiac (coeliac) disease, keep three things in mind: You're in good hands; allergy/food preparation regulations are strict and staff are knowledgeable; and don't even think about getting mustard.


It's Celiac Disease Awareness Month, and travel is a hurdle for many with this disease. If one has to eat gluten-free, relying on restauranteurs or grocery markets to provide is a tenuous proposition.

What if they hain't got food? What if they don't prepare it safely distant from airborne flour or counter-bound crumbs?

Oh well. I managed for 8 days, and managing was based mainly on the former two of the three-things-to-keep-in-mind (along with a lot of practice, and carrying a backpack of food). All of that aside, when in Ireland...this is a coeliac-tongue-in-gluten-free-cheek, peppered with implicit and actual useful information. But if you pretend it isn't useful, you'll have more fun reading it, I imagine.


When in Ireland with coeliac...

 DO…

Restaurant Review: Gluten-Free at Good On Ya Organic Cafe, San Diego

Image
A beach-side cafe with a hipster vibe, Good On Ya Organic serves what its name implies: organic. From the fried eggs, diner-style in the pre-dawn to gluten-free pizzas with seasonal toppings, Good On Ya takes both its customers' dietary restrictions and its fresh, local food seriously.


Whenever I'm in Southern California, I have a standing date with a relative on the beach in San Diego -- beach and breakfast.  Nothing much about the date has changed. The beach at dawn is always fledgeling-warm. It cracks like a robin's egg into scarves of blue and gold over Pacific waves. Nothing much about our walk has changed. It takes us on an adventure dodging rising tides, ducking into used bookstores.

But Good On Ya has metamorphosed many times. Always gluten-free (with a few side options like a flour tortilla or sourdough toast which contain gluten), it nonetheless has served GF waffles, then dropped the waffles; served only breakfast, then added lunch; been counter-service and then…

[ Recipe ] Wicked Easy Gluten Free Cocoa Pancakes for Easter

Image
Although not traditionally gluten free, pancakes don't require the rise-and-bind of gluten and yeast. They're easy to make without wheat or gluten.  But perhaps if you ask around before trying, you'll get a funny array of scoffing, snorting, yea-ing, no-ing, and blank stares.

Do not listen. Srsly.

 I had a family I used to work with reach out, asking for easy pancakes for their celiac, many-allergied seven-year-old.

"But you have celiac disease! You can't eat pancakes," some wicked "wise" teacher told him last week.

A nice example of misinformed.

One can eat pancakes with celiac disease, obviously -- as long as they're gluten-free. These pancakes are chocolate. Simple. And gluten-free. Rather crepe-like, they bend and fold if you want to stuff them. If not, they they have a nice sweet edge under the dusky cocoa, making them easy to eat as snacks, sans syrup or with, fruited or coated in nuts and coconut flakes.

"Easter bread!" I told t…

Restaurant Review: Gluten Free at Ostra, Boston, MA

Image
A seafood and celiac-safe sleek dining destination in Boston, Ostra plays with both surf and turf, with a seasonal menu whose subtlety is serious as its chef's care for avoiding cross-contamination.


Ostra is beautiful. Before you even see your plate, the high ceilings and silver tones of the interior evoke the sea; and they've somehow calibrated acoustics to allow voices and piano played from the entry way to wash more like waves than the racket of Niagara. But beauty and stellar seafood together wouldn't be a good match for me -- or many other autoimmune-abused diners -- if the chef and kitchen weren't so conscientious about safe food preparation. Ostra is one restaurant in which a gluten-free eater, and celiac, will never feel ostracized.

To summarize the stats of just why I felt safe dining out with celiac disease in a few sentences:  The hostess instantly recognized our reservation, and the term "celiac"; she assured us the server would check with us; and …

Restaurant Review: Pena Pachamama, San Francisco, CA

Image
Peña Pachamama --gluten free raw eats and treats; vegan live-raw Bolivian fare


In San Francisco, the air is wicked warm compared to the Northeast, the streets are steep, as are the prices, and the eateries are strewn with "GF" markers -- sometimes celiac-safe, sometimes bandwagon-fad-only. But the famous Bolivian bungalow on Powell Street, a favourite of Robin Williams, Pena Pachamana is no fad. This family-owned restaurant, dim-lit and featuring flamenco and live-music daily for special dinner shows, also serves a fully gluten-free menu -- and its owners take food and the enjoyment and safety of their diners personally.

I love Peña Pachamama, and my visit this last January only highlighted its strengths.


The spot serves all organic fare, altogther gluten free (except for small traditonal salteña cakes brought in, segregated in the kitchen, and served with one sampler plate on request). Also vegan -- which while no necessity for the sensitive celiac crowd -- Pena makes wicke…

Book Review: The Sophisticated Peasant

"Fortunately, there came a point where my desire to get well became stronger than my desire to" do or eat whatever I wanted.
So begins The Sophisticated Peasant, in author Sharon Kane's gentle voice, before transitioning into a treasure trove of personal experience, old and new cooking methods, and recipes rooted in an attitude towards eating as nourishing and palate pleasing as the final products themselves.
Sharon founded Gluten Free Sourdough Company out of her diagnosis, and has become a resource for amazing gluten-free breads and sprouted cookies in the Boston area. Utlizing her recovery journey, she has created products even those "restricted" thought they'd never eat again -- specifically, amazing sourdoughs which don't require wheat or chemicals to shine.
I quibble with the term “healthy” sometimes used in the text, as it has connotation of judgment these days -- as if other food “is not”. But I can’t quibble with the attitude.
In Peasant, she goes …