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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
International Clinical Trials Day
Today is International Clinical Trials Day. Clinical trials are a critical part of healthcare research and development across the globe. These trials can include testing treatments, new medications, and new approaches to healthcare in humans. There is a tremendous amount of research involved with getting a new medication approved by the FDA and people who sign up for clinical trials are a vital part of this process.

While I have been part of focus groups and online surveys, I have never personally participated in a clinical trial. Recently, I learned about CureClick through the WEGOHealth advocacy community. CureClick is an interesting new web portal that shares information about clinical trials in general as well as including information about recruitment for active clinical trials. I learned a lot about clinical trials from this website and it helped me understand how, as patients, we can help inform our own medical futures. According to CureClick "Participants in clinical trials can play a more active role in their own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research."

To my knowledge, there are a few clinical trials specifically aimed at finding a medicinal aid to those of us living with Celiac Disease; CureClick just doesn't list them yet. The good news is that I am CureClick Advisory Board Member and I have a lot of communication with the founders of the website. I have already asked them to share any celiac-related trials with me immediately which I will then pass along to you. Right now, CureClick is currently recruiting for trials about severe asthma,  mild/moderate asthma, high cholesterol and risk factors for heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes.

Many people are excited about the possibility of drug therapy for celiac disease. Personally, I do not know if I would ever take a pill for celiac treatment but it is nice for others to have options. I am happy to see medical researches even paying attention to Celiac Disease. It is empowering to think that participating in a celiac disease clinical trial can help shape the medical future of our disease.

Please visit CureClick.com for more information about clinical trials and learn more today! Stay tuned to Gluten-Free Fun for any celiac disease trial announcements. You will be the first to know as soon as I do!




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Monday, May 18, 2015
Celiac Awareness Month SuperSeedz Giveaway
I am excited to host another giveaway in honor of Celiac Awareness Month. This time, I am giving away SuperSeedz!


SuperSeedz are gourmet, shell-free pumpkin seeds that come in a variety of different flavors. They are also allergen friendly, peanut-free, tree nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free, fish-free, shellfish-free, soy-free and made with gluten-free ingredients. Flavors include "Really Naked, Sea Salt, Cinnamon and Sugar, Coco Joe, Tomato Italiano, Curious Curry, Somewhat Spicy and Super Spicy."

I like these SuperSeedz for a variety of reasons. First off, portability. They come in a resealable pack in both 1oz travel packs and 5 oz larger packs. As a traveler, I love this option. I can throw a couple of the travel packs in my carryon bag and have a nutritious gluten-free snack to go! The second reason I like these SuperSeedz is because of the flavor variety. I liked the sea salt the best, but also enjoyed the Tomato Italiano which would make a GREAT salad topper. The "Somewhat Spicy" was a little too spicy for me and I didn't even dare to try the "Super Spicy." I am the girl that sweats eating mild Thai food, so I stick to non-spicy. If you like a little heat, go for it! Lastly, these seeds are high in protein. You know I am on a kick to find higher protein travel snacks and these are perfect!

The product is available at numerous national retail outlets like Costco, Whole Foods and others as well as online at SuperSeedz.com. You can also buy most flavors online at Amazon.com.

You can enter to win your own sample packs of SuperSeedz below. Don't delay, the giveaway is only live until Friday!


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Friday, May 15, 2015
What Happens When You Tell People You Can't Eat Gluten
It's been a while since I posted a Friday Funny but I felt this deserved it's own post. This has been me for the past 34 years of my life. Explaining what gluten is, what I can't eat and reminding people there is actually food I CAN eat, why I can't just pick out the lunch meat from a sandwich, and so on and so on. Can you relate to this video?





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Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Celebrate Celiac With Simple Mills
Simple Mills has recently gone through a package rebranding and also launched three new products to its popular line of almond flour based baking mixes, including Pizza Dough Mix, Pancake and Waffle Mix, and Vanilla Cake Mix. The thing I love about Simple Mills is that their mixes are made from almond flour and other simple ingredients and preparation is easy. I am someone who is slightly baking challenged, so the easier the recipe the better! Simple Mills is easy to make and full of flavor.

I tried some of their almond flour muffin mix in December and loved the banana muffins so I was excited to try the new pancake and waffle mix this month. The new, naturally gluten-free Pancake and Waffle Mix from Simple Mills has 8 simple ingredients: Almonds, Arrowroot Powder, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Coconut Flour, Cream of Tartar, Aluminum-Free Baking Soda, Sea Salt. These ingredients are 100% gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and soy-free. They are also free of refined sugar and emulsifiers and gums. Obviously, this isn't a good mix for someone that has a tree nut allergy but perfect for those who are gluten-free or paleo.

I am a big pancake fan so sampling this new mix was a perfect opportunity for me. The pancakes were thinner than I expected, but still good. I love big pancakes so I prepared the recipe for four which made me two giant pancakes. I added sliced bananas on top and this made for a healthy and yummy breakfast. The almonds add a good protein punch to these pancakes so I stayed full much longer than I do with "regular" GF flour pancakes.

I want you to try your own Simple Mills pancakes so I am giving away one box. Everyone should celebrate Celiac Awareness Month with a little morning sweetness. Enter below to win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Things I Can Do With Celiac Disease
When people are diagnosed with celiac disease, they often focus on things they can no longer eat or things they think they can no longer do anymore. In honor of Celiac Awareness Month, I thought I would focus on things I CAN do with Celiac disease. This list is in no particular order, just as these things popped into my head.



I want to hear from you. What are things you CAN do with Celiac Disease? Let's show the world that we can live our lives while being gluten-free!




Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Let's Tweet About Gluten-Free Travel
Tomorrow night I am co-hosting a Twitter chat all about gluten-free travel. I am teaming up with Be Free Village for this live Twitter event. Be Free Village is a cool company that will send gluten-free snack packs directly to your travel destination. What's better than having gluten-free food waiting for you when you check into your hotel?!

If you read my Gluten-Free Globetrotter® website, you know I am obsessed with traveling the world gluten-free. As a life-long celiac, all of my vacations have been completely gluten-free. I will share my best tips, top gluten-free destinations and more during our #GFreeTravel chat.






GLUTEN-FREE TRAVEL TWITTER CHAT
#GFreeTravel
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
9pm EST/7pm MST


Follow our Twitter chat using hashtag #GFreeTravel. Don't forget to follow both @GFGlobetrotter and @BeFreeVillage on Twitter too!

GIVEAWAY ALERT!!
Be sure to follow and tweet to @BeFreeVillage on May 6th for a chance to win a 5-day voyage gluten-free snack pack delivered to your destination of choice!

Can't make the live Twitter chat? You can search #GFreeTravel the day after the chat for a discount code on your next Be Free Village purchase! 


Friday, May 1, 2015
Happy Celiac Awareness Month Plus PF Chang's Giveaway
Happy Celiac Awareness Month everyone! 

This is truly a month to celebrate our gluten freedom. Our celiac community has come a long way and there is more advocacy than ever for research about celiac disease. I applaud all of the doctors, research, bloggers, Tweeters, Facebookers, Instagrammers, and more for sharing the positive word about celiac disease.

In honor of celiac awareness month, I am hosting lots of exciting giveaways during May. Be sure to follow me here and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to enter to win. Now is my chance to thank you all for being faithful readers of Gluten-Free Fun and give back with exciting gluten-free prizes.First up... a $25 gift card to PF Chang's.

Instead of filing a silly lawsuit, let's thank PF Chang's for feeding us delicious gluten-free food. PF Chang's has extensive gluten-free options and recently launched a new website all about their gluten-free food and preparation. You can learn more at: http://glutenfree.pfchangs.com/

Ready to kick off Celiac Awareness Month and to enter to win? Let's go eat some lettuce wraps!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, April 24, 2015
New Gluten-Free Bread at Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's just launched two new gluten-free breads trying to meet an ever-growing demand for gluten-free products at the store. A few of my readers mentioned this bread to me and then my sister bought the new white sandwich bread at her local Trader Joe's. She said it was most similar to Udi's Bread and was happy to see it readily available and on the shelves. 


I was very curious to understand how the bread was produced and if it was made in a dedicated gluten-free facility so I contacted customer service. It took a few days, but I finally received this response from Trader Joe's:

Thank you for contacting us with your product inquiry.  However, our bread product selections and suppliers may vary by state and/or region (as we do source our bread products locally).  Therefore in order to provide you with accurate allergen information for the specific facility that makes the bread for your area, we would require the specific product SKU number or UPC code from the packaging. 
We can share with you that as a standard any products that state “gluten-free” on the labeling will have undergone testing to validate the claim. 
GLUTEN FREE — Per the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gluten free labeling regulation, a product that displays a “Gluten Free” claim on the label has been validated to contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. If you see “Gluten Free” on a Trader Joe’s product, this means that the product has been validated to contain less than 20 ppm of gluten. Individuals with Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity must avoid gluten for their health. 
So, we do also invite you to contact us directly at (626) 599-3817 anytime Monday through Friday during the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (PSt) with the specific product SKU or UPC code for further clarification.  However, you can be assured that the product is indeed "gluten free" per the above standards.

It looks like Trader Joe's understands the FDA gluten-free labeling regulation, but I still do not know how the bread is produced or if the production facility is dedicated gluten-free. It seems strange to me that the gluten-free breads would be produced in different factories across the country, but this email implies that it does just that. Once I get a loaf of this bread in my local Trader Joe's, I will inquire about the particular SKU and it's source facility and report back. .

In the meantime, here are the ingredients for the new gluten-free breads at Trader Joe's.

INGREDIENTS

GLUTEN FREE WHITE SANDWICH BREAD: Water, Tapicoa Starch, Potato Starch, Brown Rice Flour, Cane Sugar, Modified Tapioca Starch, Rice Flour with Cultured Rice Flour (for freshness), Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Whole Grain Sorghum Flour, Xanthan Gum, Yeast, Egg Whites, Tapioca Maltodextrin, Baking Powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Potato Flour, Monocalcium Phosphate), Sea Salt, Calcium Sulfate, Enzymes. CONTAINS EGGS.

GLUTEN FREE WHOLE GRAIN BREAD: Water, Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Brown Rice Flour, Cane Sugar, Rice Flour with Cultured Rice Flour (for freshness), Modified Tapioca Starch, Whole Grain Sorghum Flour, Whole Grain Amaranth Flour, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Whole Grain Teff, Xanthan Gum, Yeast, Egg Whites, Tapioca Maltodextrin, Baking Powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Potato Flour, Monocalcium Phosphate), Flaxseed Meal, Sea Salt, Molasses, Calcium Sulfate, Enzymes. CONTAINS EGGS.

Has anyone tried this bread yet? What do you think? 

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Thursday, April 23, 2015
#TalkTellTest: Seriously, Celiac Disease


The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has kicked off a new campaign called "Seriously, Celiac" that urges you to talk to your family about celiac disease. They even provide you with a video about the campaign and tools to have the right conversation. They are ask you to TALK to your family, TELL them about celiac disease, and then encourage them to get TESTed for the disease.

You can download the NFCA's free discussion guide which gives you tips on having the right conversation with your family about celiac disease testing. You can also download a guide with tips on how to talk to your doctor about celiac disease testing.

I have at least two relatives that I have told multiple times that they should be tested for celiac disease. They know my thirty-four year history of the disease, my sister's history with the disease, and even another relative's history, yet both people tell me they don't have it. I don't know if they have actually been tested or not but I see continued symptoms in both. I am definitely going to reread these tips from the NFCA and have another conversation with the family when the time is appropriate.

Visit www.SeriouslyCeliac.org for more information.



Thursday, April 9, 2015
Birthday Reflections: Being an Authentic Celiac
AUTHENTIC (adjective) 
au·then·tic 
\ə-ˈthen-tik, ȯ-\
  • real or genuine 
  • not copied or false
  • true and accurate
source

Today is my birthday and it is time for a little reflection on my celiac life, my gluten-free blogs, and my position as an advocate within the community. As I sit here, the word "AUTHENTIC" keeps popping back into my brain.

I have always tried to be 100% authentic. I blog how I think and how I talk which is usually stream of consciousness, honest, raw, and real. I greet readers and Facebook friends with a wide genuine smile and usually a hug, which is how I want to be greeted by people I like and admire. I leave honest comments on other blogs that aren't always in favor of what the author is writing, but it is my honest opinion that I want to share.

Recently, I had some interesting questions thrown my way by others in the gluten-free industry. One person asked me why I bother with two separate blogs. (Different topics, different missions.) Why I quit my job to do freelance work? (If not now, when?) and why do I do what I do or don't do XYZ with my websites.... in a less than friendly tone. (Um, this is me, take it or leave it!)

But these questions made me think, are there that many bloggers not being truthful to themselves and their audiences? Are they selling out their personal style and opinions just to make money? Why would I not do what I love, follow my passion, share my experiences while remaining authentic and true to myself? I honestly cannot imagine being any other way.

I may not be the gluten-free blogger with the biggest following. I never expect everyone to love me, my blog, and my opinions. But I can tell you from the bottom of my heart, I am real. I am genuine. I am authentic. I have been living with celiac disease for almost 34 years. I am not trying to be trendy by eating gluten-free for three decades and writing this blog for the past eight years. I am trying to share my life long experiences in hopes that I can help just one person in this world navigate their new celiac diagnosis. I will continue to be real as I start this next year of my life. This is my birthday promise to you.




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Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Gluten-Free Museum on Tumblr
Have you guys seen this new Tumblr blog yet? It's called Gluten-Free Museum and basically all of the gluten has been Photoshopped out of famous pieces of art (and some cartoons). This site is probably a joke poking fun at us, but it really puts things into perspective.

We all know that almost all of the removed foods below can now be made gluten-free, but I think this puts our gluten-free diets into an interesting perspective. It shows you exactly how much gluten is embedded into our diets, culture, and history. Gluten is an integral part of human culture. It is only the special few that must eat gluten-free. (Yes, that's us!)

Here are some of my favorites. Visit Gluten-Free Museum for more.








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Monday, March 30, 2015
Gluten-Free Easter Recipes


It's almost Easter Sunday, so it's time to start thinking about your menu for the day. If I had my choice, it would be all chocolate all day. Others like to bake a ham or roast a lamb. However you eat on Easter, it's a time to celebrate.

Here are some top bloggers with their own Easter recipes:

Gluten Free Easter Recipe Roundup from GFJules

Gluten-Free Easter Feast from Williams Sonoma

Gluten Free Easter Recipes from Elana's Pantry

25 Fabulous Gluten-Free Easter Recipes from Boulder Locavore

A Fuss-Free, Gluten-Free Easter Dinner from Living Without


What's your favorite gluten-free Easter recipe?

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Friday, March 27, 2015
Toffee and Ice Cream Making Class in New York City


Ok, stop licking your monitor and sign up for this class right now! 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
NYC

Join the NYC Celiac Meetup group for a tasty toffee tutorial and ice cream lesson while getting a behind-the-scenes look at the new gluten-free commercial kitchen space in East Harlem’s historic La Marqueta building. 

Laurie Pauker from Laurie & Sons Candy, proves why she has a toffee pedigree lauded by The New York Times by demonstrating how to make toffee in a professional toffee maker, as well as how you can make it on your own stovetop. Each attendee will get to dip their own toffees in chocolate and finish them with sea salt or other spices and take their creations home in a box. 

Catherine Oddenino from Luca & Bosco ice cream - recently selected as one of The Village Voice's top 100 dishes in NYC - will show how a professional ice cream machine (batch freezer) works, and explain the science of ice cream. We'll churn up some gluten-free Cookies & Cream ice cream, taste other ice cream flavors and take home a pint. Wine will also be served.  

The kitchen is entirely gluten-free. Note, the toffee and ice cream both contain dairy. 

Cost per person is $42 which includes a PayPal processing fee. Buy your tickets here.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Gluten-Free Friends and Celebrities in Texas
Two weeks ago, I went to Texas for the very first time. I had a great time enjoying the weather and the sites of San Antonio before heading to the GFFAFest in Austin. My favorite part about this event was all of the smiling, gluten-free faces. I saw old friends and met new ones. I connected with longtime readers and Facebook friends that I only ever "met" online. I learned about new products and new blogs that I never heard about before. Meeting people is always my favorite part of writing this blog and attending events. You already know that I think these are the real gluten-free celebrities in our community. They aren't on TV (well, some are!) and they aren't in movies but they are the people that day in and day out advocate for our celiac and gluten-free community. This isn't everyone I met during my few days in Texas, these are the only people pictures I have.



Me with  the lovely Anne Barfield, owner of the gluten-free bed and breakfast Chicken Paradise
in San Antonio, Texas




Me, Erica Dermer founder of Celiac and the Beast and (a book with the same name), and Brandy Wendler, nurse practitioner and founder of Spoonful of Wellness getting a sugar high at the 100% gluten-free restaurant Wild Wood Bakehouse in Austin, Texas




Me with Amy Fothergill, author of The Warm Kitchen and founder of The Family Chef
(also my partner-in-crime for the weekend!) 




Me with the Shireen Yates and Scott Sundvor, the awesome co-founders of NIMA Sensor




Me with long-time gluten-free advocate Beth Hillson, author of Gluten-Free Makeovers




Me with Kimberly, author of The Food Allergy Mom, and my blogger tablemate for the weekend




Me with the one and only Jules Shepard, celiac advocate and founder of GFJules.com




Nerissa Oden, author of Bread-Free Bread












Pam Jordan, founder of I'm A Celiac and author of Family Approved Gluten Free Recipes





And last but not least, the amazing Shelia Cafferty, the founder of the GFFAFest

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Saturday, March 14, 2015
Happy (Gluten-Free) Pi Day!
Today is March 14, also known as Pi Day. According to PiDay.org, "Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159."

One of my best friends is getting married today and instead of wedding cake she's having PIE! She even went as far as ordering a gluten-free pie to make sure I had something to eat. If that isn't a good friend, I don't know what is.

In honor of Pi Day, I thought I would post links to recipes of some of my favorite bloggers.

GFJules: Gluten-Free Pie Crust

Gluten-Free Easily: Easy "Crustless" Apple Pie

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: Gluten-Free Coconut Cream Pie

Against All Grain: Grain-Free and Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie

And for those of you (like me) that don't bake at all, I recommend Molly's Gluten-Free Bakery in Wisconsin. They had one of the best gluten-free apple pies that I have ever eaten. Good news is that they ship nationwide!



What's your favorite gluten-free pie recipe? Feel free to post the link below.


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