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Thursday, January 29, 2015
10th Annual Evening with the Paul Taylor Dance Company to benefit the Celiac Disease Center


It's that time of year again. This is such a wonderful night and I am proud to be a part of it. The theater is beautiful, the food is gluten-free, and a portion of each ticket sale goes to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

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Join the NYC Celiac Meetup Group for the 10th Annual Evening with the Paul Taylor Dance Company to benefit the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

5:45pm Gluten-Free Light Supper on the theater's 2nd Floor Promenade

7pm Performance: Sunset, Eventide, Piazzolla Caldera

David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, Columbus Avenue and 63rd Street

Tickets: (Prime Orchestra Seating) $350, $128

Special Meetup tickets: $38*

*A portion of each ticket price benefits the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University

Click here for more information and to buy tickets.

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Monday, January 26, 2015
WEGO Health Awards 2015 Nominee: Gluten-Free Fun

WEGO Health is an amazing website that works with health advocates to foster relationships with their health communities. It's important to remember that I am not only writing for the gluten-free community, but I am also living with Celiac Disease. WEGO Health helps build these communities, while providing the resources I need to be the best celiac advocate that I can be.

For the fourth year, I have been nominated for WEGO Health Activist Awards. I am completely blown away that this year I have be nominated for three separate awards: Health Activist Hero, Best in Show: Blog, and Lifetime Achievement. It is such a wonderful feeling to be recognized by my readers and peers for the advocacy and activities I coordinate within the gluten-free community.

According to the WEGO Health website, "The WEGO Health Activist Awards were created to embody the mission of WEGO Health: to empower Health Activists. We connect with so many inspiring Health Activists who raise awareness, share information, support their communities, and much more - often without recognition. The WEGO Health network is centered around Health Activists, so we knew it was up to us to tell these leaders how great they are! We wanted to celebrate those who have made a difference and thus, the Awards were born. We've since found that these Awards are one of the best ways to introduce new Health Activists to the online community and have community members say "thank you" to the leaders they love."

Click here to visit my WEGO Health page.
The WEGO Health Awards are accepting endorsements until January 31st, 2015 (This Saturday!) If you are a fan of Gluten-Free Fun, Gluten-Free Globetrotter, or the NYC Celiac Meetup Group, I would love if you could visit my nominee page and submit an endorsement. This can be done anonymously or you can include your name in the submission, this is completely up to you. You can also tweet and share to Facebook once you have submitted your endorsement.

I thank you in advance for helping me continue my advocacy with the gluten-free community. I do what I do for you, my readers, and the entire celiac disease community. Without this disease and this website, we wouldn't be connected. Even if you think celiac disease is an awful diagnosis, you are NOT alone. We are all in this together.


https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/2061


My 2014 WEGO Health Awards nominations

Best in Show: Blog
Whose blog do you absolutely love? Their writing is exceptional, their "voice" admirable, and their writing is just really worth reading. You think anyone wondering why patients or caregivers would blog about health should read this Health Activist's blog - it will make the case crystal clear. They have great info, raise awareness, and do whatever they can to help their community by using their blog. They may be active on numerous social platforms - but the blog is their bread and butter - and they are a great model of how to be a blogger.

Health Activist Hero
Sometimes the connections we make in online communities go above and beyond, truly changing our lives for the better. Is there a Health Activist you know whose content has opened your eyes, whose dedication has ignited the advocate within you, and whose work has accomplished things for their community members? Which Health Activist is nothing short of a hero to those they reach? They are the epitome of a Health Activist because they do whatever it takes to make a real difference – and they are.

Lifetime Achievement (This is the nomination I am most excited about!) 
Year in and year out we come across some Health Activists who continue to rock the health world. Think of it as the Academy Awards of the Health Activist community. What leader needs to be recognized for their overall achievement over the years? Across mediums, with patients and other leaders, who are the true stars who continue to shine and don’t fit into one category because over time, they have done it all. Perhaps they even started their advocacy before Twitter… gasp! Recognize those giants of Health Activism that have stood the test of time.

https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/2061

Don't delay, endorsements end this week! Thank you in advance. 

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Gluten-Free Fun at the Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest in Austin

I am so excited to announce that I am speaking at Living Without's Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest in Austin, Texas on February 28 and March 1st. This will be my first time in Texas and I cannot wait to see what the Lone Star State has in store for me.


February 28 – March 1, 2015
Saturday: 10am to 4pm
Sunday: 10am to 4pm

Austin Convention Center
500 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78701


Wake up early and join me on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10:15 am for the first sessions of the day where I will share my Gluten-Free Globetrotter tips all about gluten-free travel.

More details are coming soon including a giveaway for two tickets to this Austin event. If you can't wait to win, tickets are on sale now.

See you in Texas, y'all! 



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Monday, January 19, 2015
Gluten-Free on a Budget

I was thrilled when Chandice Probst of Gluten-Free Frenzy and Gluten-Free Calendar asked if I wanted an advanced copy of her new cookbook, Gluten-Free on a Budget and to be part of her blog tour. Chandice is one of those gluten-free people I feel like I have known forever even though I only met her twice in person. (Um, Chandice, how is this possible?!) Her positive attitude and her tireless efforts within the gluten-free community make her one of the gluten-free superstars in my book. Add on top of her busy gluten-free schedule, three kids and a move to Utah and I swear this woman doesn't sleep!


Gluten-Free on a Budget is a great resource for a hungry family. Chandice and her mom Tana Besendorfer put together a book full of family, budget-friendly recipes that are all 100% gluten-free. Tana's "Take it up a Notch" tips give some great ideas of how to make the most of your recipe and go easy on your wallet. The recipes range from easy, my style of cooking, like the Bacon Spinach Tomato Frittata on page 35 and the Peanut Butter Delights on page 195 to the more complex baking recipes like the Banana Black-Bottom Pie on page 171.

Chandice and Tana are both gluten-free so this cookbook not only comes from the heart but also comes from the experience of living with Celiac Disease. It is great to see a dynamic duo like these two put together this labor of love. You can tell these are all recipes they enjoy in their own homes that they want to share with the gluten-free community. I highly recommend Gluten-Free on a Budget for your gluten-free kitchen.

I was very flattered when Chandice asked me to give a quote for her new book. I love helping out a gluten-free friend but I also not-so-secretly love seeing my name in print. Check it out!



You can buy Gluten-Free on a Budget by Chandice Probst and Tana Besendorfer today on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

You can also enter to win a free copy via Rafflecopter below. A winner will be chosen on Monday, January 26, 2015.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, January 1, 2015
Eight Years of Gluten-Free Fun
8 years of Gluten-Free Fun

Today, Gluten-Free Fun is eight years old! Blog years are like dog years so this old blog feels ancient! I started this blog with encouragement and a push from a dearly departed friend. I kept going with this blog after all of your wonderful comments, emails, and in-person hellos over the past eight years. It is not always easy to keep up this website, my Gluten-Free Globetrotter website, and work full-time, but I do it because I love connecting with the gluten-free community. My dear readers keep me going. Thank you all for the past seven years, here's to many more!



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Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Happy New Year from Gluten-Free Fun
It's been a busy year with an even busier December. Between Pasta Flyer, the holidays, and the launch of my new business GlutenFreelancer.com, I have been beyond busy. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and wish you and your loved ones a very happy new year! Thank you to all of my readers for making 2014 such an exciting and Gluten-Free Fun year!

Happy New Year!


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Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Pasta Flyer Lands in New York City Tomorrow Through Saturday
I am so excited to announce that Pasta Flyer finally lands in New York City tomorrow! I first connected with Chef Mark Ladner of Del Posto via Twitter when I learned about his gluten-free pasta side project. Then, the Chef Mark Ladner hosted a gluten-free pasta dinner for the NYC Celiac Meetup group in June. After that, I was lucky enough to be brought onto the Pasta Flyer team to help with social media and the pop-up events up and down the East Coast. Chef Mark likes to cook and I like to "tweet and eat" gluten-free pasta. It was a win-win situation!

This NYC Pasta Flyer pop-up is three days only, so be sure to stop in for a delicious bowl of gluten-free pasta. The entire Pasta Flyer menu is 100% gluten-free. I will be there all three days so be sure to ask for me when you stop in! See you there.



Pasta Flyer Pop-Up in NYC
December 18-20, 2014

Lunch (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)
11:30am-3:30pm

Dinner (Saturday only)
5:00pm-8:00pm

7 Cornelia Street
between West 4th Street and Bleecker Street

NO RESERVATIONS! First come, first served!




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Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Real Jules, Real Good Giveaway!
Real Jules - REAL GOOD Giveaway

Jules Shepard is one of those gluten-free people that I feel like I have "known" forever. I cannot remember exactly when I started following Jules on social media, but I always admired her advocacy with 1in133.org and her entrepreneurial spirit with her personal line of gluten-free baking flours and mixes. I finally met Jules a few years ago at ExpoEast in Baltimore and then saw her again here in NYC over some cocktails with a group of fabulous gluten-free ladies. It's been a while since I've seen her in person, but Jules is one of those people I keep up-to-date with thanks to social media. 

Jules had a rough year with her business and there might be some confusion between her business and another one using the same name. I am writing today to help point you in the right direction. You can find The Real Jules at www.gfjules.com. Look for her super cute new logo!

Jules was kind enough to send me a free box of her gluten-free sugar cookie mix as well as her pancake and waffle mixes. These mixes are also free of the top 8 food allergies, are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility, and are now available in two sizes. I am definitely making the sugar cookies for Christmas. I don't have a cookie cutter, nor do I have a rolling pin so my plan is to make the mix according to the package. From there, I chill in the fridge in the shape of a log, and make gluten-free slice & bake cookies. Fingers crossed that it works! As for the pancakes, I save my pancake days for the weekends so I know what I am eating for breakfast on Saturday. Stay tuned for reviews! 



Do you want to win your very own gluten-free mix from the Real Jules? If so, just enter below and be sure to visit Jules on her Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter. Show Jules your support! Don't delay, the giveaway is only open until Sunday!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Note: GFJules sent me these complimentary boxes of her product for review. Views expressed in this post are my own. 

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Friday, December 12, 2014
Free 2015 Gluten-Free Buyers Guide #GiveGlutenFree


What's better than a gluten-free e-book with coupons, promo codes, and a guide to brands and products? How about a FREE gluten-free e-book?!

For two days only, the 2015 Gluten-Free Buyers Guide e-book is free on Amazon. My friend and colleague Josh Schieffer worked all year to put together this extensive guide to buying your favorite gluten-free brands and products. Now he is getting in the holiday spirit and giving it away for free!

Let's all #GiveGlutenFree this holiday season and download a copy of Josh's new e-book. Don't delay. The free download is only good today (Friday) and tomorrow! You can also buy a paperback version of the 2015 Gluten-Free Buyers Guide here!

Happy Holidays!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry with Udi's Gluten-Free
#EatDrinkBeMerry with Udi's Gluten-Free


Last night when I came home I had a HUGE box in front of my apartment door. I knew Udi's Gluten-Free was sending me something, but I could never have imagined the extremely generous gift box they sent me for the holidays. In honor of their #EatDrinkBeMerry campaign, Udi's was very kind to send many gluten-free bloggers a sample box of their newest and most popular products. I was one of the lucky ones and I feel like I hit the gluten-free jackpot. LOOK!




My package included tortillas, two kinds of muffins, millet chia bread, bagels, eight different kinds of their NEW burritos, pizza crusts, baguettes, and dinner rolls. I was most excited about the burritos since I hadn't seen these in the stores yet. My boyfriend and I dug right in and each ate a burrito for dinner last night. The steak burrito was super spicy, but he liked it. I had the chicken burrito and it was much better than I expected. This is definitely a great gluten-free option for food on the go!

While you might remember I have not always been happy about their holey bread, I really appreciate the expanding product line that Udi's Gluten-Free is bringing to the public. I eat Udi's bagels all the time and I am a big fan of their pizza crusts. It is just amazing to me that all of these products are now available for the gluten-free community. Growing up, my mom had to mail order for my gluten-free food from across the country. We couldn't just walk into a supermarket and buy products such as this amazing assortment from Udi's Gluten-Free. Stop and think about that for a minute, new Celiacs!

I really feel like Christmas came early to my gluten-free household. This was such a wonderful surprise and I cannot wait to share these gluten-free treats with friends and family throughout this holiday season. I wish my Celiac sister still lived close by, I would be sipping on tea and devouring those muffins with her in a heartbeat!

You too can celebrate with Udi's this holiday season by entering to win a holiday prize pack or coupons on the Udi's Gluten-Free website: http://shop.udisglutenfree.com/eatdrinkbemerry. Tell Udi's how you Eat, Drink, and Be Merry during the holiday season!

Find Udi's on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Share your photos of you enjoying Udi's Gluten-Free this holiday season and don't forget to tag your photos with #EatDrinkBeMerry!

Can't wait to win? You can bulk order Udi's Gluten-Free on Amazon and also find their gluten-free products at supermarkets, health food stores, and speciality stores across the country.

Happy Holidays and don't forget to #EatDrinkBeMerry this holiday season! 


Note: Udi's Gluten-Free sent me this complimentary gift box of their products. Views expressed in this post are my own. 

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Monday, December 8, 2014
Schar Gluten-Free Holiday Dinner Giveaway
Enter to win this Schar Holiday Dinner!



Do you want to win a gluten-free holiday dinner from Schar? I am thrilled to be a supporter of this Schar giveaway where you can when croutons for your salad, penne and fusilli for your pasta plates, and ladyfingers for your dessert, all 100% gluten-free! Tis the season for Gluten-Free Fun!

Visit Schar on Facebook today. 


Enter below to win a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Simple Gluten-Free Baking and Giveaway with Simple Mills
I am a simple cook. If a recipe has too many ingredients and too many steps, I run away as fast as I can. I am only up for a complicated cooking challenge about once or twice a year. When it comes to baking, forget it. I'm even more intimidated by baking websites that weigh flour, ask me to sift, and ask me to use contraptions I could never fit in my New York City apartment. So when a gluten-free mix that is easy to bake comes across my radar, I am thrilled.

Enter Simple Mills.


This baking mix is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free, paleo-friendly, non-GMO, and has a low-glycemic index. Made from a very simple list of ingredients, with almond flour as it's base, the Simple Mills baking mixes are quite easy to use but their flavors are far from simple. Their mixes include banana muffin, chocolate muffin, pumpkin muffin, chocolate chip cookies, and focaccia and sandwich bread mix.

Simple Mills kindly sent me a sample of the banana muffin mix which I made yesterday morning. Ok, now here is where my type of baking comes into play. One mix, one egg, 2/3 cup of water, and one tablespoon of oil. THAT IS IT! So easy to make that even this fearful baker could bake these little muffins.


Baking made Simple (Mills)! 


I opted to make the mini muffins because when it comes to delicious baked goods I have very little willpower to stop eating. I figured the mini muffins would help me with better portion control. Since these were smaller than normal muffins, I only baked these around 12 minutes. I may or may not have eaten three minis immediately. The rest made it to the rack to cool.

The lovely little muffins


I highly recommend this baking mix. It is easy to make, delicious, and totally gluten-free and made in a gluten-free facility. I will definitely use these gluten-free mixes again!


Don't delay, buy today! 


You can look for Simple Mills mixes in stores or buy your own Simple Mills mixes on Amazon using the links below. Enter code GFREEFUN when placing your Amazon order to get 10% off now through December 18.


You can also enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Note: Simple Mills sent me a complimentary sample package of their mix. Views expressed in this post are my own. 

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Get Paid to Eat Gluten!
Last night, I received a late email from the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. The email was a request for participants in a research study. Here is the body of the email: 

Does Gluten Make You Sick? Adults with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity needed for a research study! 

Why?
To find out more about the bacteria that live in your colon and on your skin. 

What Is Involved? 
Eat 2 slices of bread a day for 2 weeks (“gluten challenge”) Do 3 blood tests, take 5 skin swabs and submit 5 stool samples. 

Will I be paid? You will receive $150 for your time 

Let me preface this post by saying I have a lot of respect for the doctors at the Celiac Disease Center. I have known the doctors and staff at the Celiac Disease Center for years. Many of my NYC Celiac Meetup members have been diagnosed with celiac disease by the doctors at this Center. I hold an annual fundraiser for the Celiac Disease Center. I always suggest the center to people in NYC and the surrounding areas looking for answers about their gastrointestinal health.

But when I read this email last night, I couldn't help but be confused and slightly offended. I understand research needs participants, but how do you monetize someone's health and well being? How do you put a price on pain and suffering people with celiac need to endure in order to further your research? Is $150 enough money for me to be violently ill for 2 week of gluten hell?




I was sure I was not alone with my feelings, so I took this email and posted it on both Twitter and Facebook. WHOA. The overwhelming response from my readers is that they are also offended and many are especially angry. Here are a few examples:

"$150 for your "time"? I'm very curious if the pioneers of this study have celiac themselves, and if they know how it feels to have the disease and eat 2 slices of bread for even just one day. The years leading up to my diagnosis that I unknowingly suffered the disease and ate gluten were some of the hardest years of my life, affecting me both physically and mentally. You can't put a price on your health and extreme discomfort. Celiacs who eat gluten for 2 weeks will continue to feel the affects for longer than just those 14 days, some more severely than others."
"a mere $150? seriously?? I couldn't do it for $150,000 -- it is not worth it!" 
"Could have done it when newly diagnosed but not now. I do understand the need for research subjects, though. I wish there was a lot more research into treating celiac." 
"If they paid me the money I would miss for not working for a month or more, plus pain and suffering, maybe. And a full skud of extra soft TP."
 "NO, NO, NO, NO!"

Again, I understand that doctors need to do research. I just wonder how exactly how much damage two-weeks worth of gluten would do to my body. Do doctors even know the long-term affects of feeding a celiac gluten after they have healed their body? Does this two-week challenge increase the chances of additional intestinal complications such as cancers, infertility, and more?

I went through a gluten challenge (intentionally eating gluten) thirty years ago when I was six years old. The doctor scheduled the gluten challenge for a Friday. My parents had to tell my teachers that I was allowed to eat gluten for the day. I vaguely remember getting violently ill by the end of day one and stopping the challenge that weekend. It was the only time in my life that the doctor gave me the green light to eat gluten and if a doctor ever told me to eat gluten again, I would find a new doctor immediately.

As I have gotten older, my reaction to gluten has become more severe. I would not be able to complete day one of this Celiac Disease Center study. I would be on the floor of the bathroom with the gluten coming out from all ends. I would be dizzy, foggy, and confused. I would be tired and achy. I would be MISERABLE.What is my suffering worth? It's definitely not worth a measly $150.

Join the Facebook conversation. I want to hear from you! Put your comments below. I want to know what you think!





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Saturday, November 22, 2014
Gluten-Free Fun Silly Saturday: Intolerant
Even though this video was sent to me as a Friday Funny, I didn't watch it until late in the day yesterday. I figured this would be an amusing way to kick off your weekend. Thanks to Lilly, my Facebook follower, for sharing this with me. It's quirky but amusing! Thoughts? 



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Thursday, November 20, 2014
Tate's Bake Shop Gluten-Free Review and Holiday Giveaway


When Tate's Bake Shop asks if you want a sample of their holiday gift basket full of gluten-free goodies, you say YES! I am a huge fan of the Tate's Bake Shop Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip cookies, so I was super excited when Tate's sent me their gluten-free holiday basket. It took all of my willpower in the world not to tear the packages open and devour everything.

For those of you not familiar with Tate's Bake Shop is Hamptons (NY)-based company with a dedicated gluten-free facility. They use only the freshest premium ingredients, they test their products for gluten at a national lab, and they are certified by the Celiac Sprue Association. Tate's Bake Shop products are also super delicious and would make an excellent gift for anyone this holiday season.

The gluten-free treats from Tate's Bake Shop are the type of dessert you bring with you to a holiday party and do not tell anyone they are gluten-free. Then, once everyone says how delicious the cookies are, you tell them they are gluten-free and they don't believe you. Yes, they are that good! I highly recommend these products but keep the GF chocolate chip cookies for yourself. :-)

I am very excited to offer my readers at 20% discount on any of the gluten-free gift baskets from www.TatesBakeShop.com when you use coupon code gfblog14 valid through December 16, 2014. In addition, one VERY lucky reader will win one Tate's Gluten-Free Holiday Gift Basket which includes:

  • One 8oz bag of Tate's Bake Shop GF Chocolate Chip Cookies 
  • One 8oz bag of Tate's Bake Shop GF Double Chocolate Chip Cookies 
  • One 8oz bag of Tate's Bake Shop GF Ginger Zinger Cookies 
  • One of Tate's Bake Shop GF Brownies 
  • One of Tate's Bake Shop GF Blondies 
  • Tate's Bake Shop GF Chocolate Chip Cookie Peppermint Bark 

You can learn more about Tate's Bake Shop and find drool-worthy pictures on 


Do you want to win the Tate's Gluten-Free Holiday Basket? Enter to win today. One lucky winner will be chosen by random on November 30, 2014. See below for details.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: Financial compensation was not received for this post. The Tate's Bake Shop Gluten-Free gift basket was sent to me by the company. Opinions expressed here are my own. 

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