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Monday, April 21, 2014
Celiac Disease Awareness Day with the NY Mets
Monday, 5/26/14 

1 in 100 Americans have Celiac, but 95% don't know they have the disease. Join the Mets on May 26 as we raise awareness while benefitting the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. R.O.C.K. Long Island, who offer free support to parents, families and friends of kids on the gluten-free diet for any reason, will be on hand to provide important information on this often undetected illness.

• Come early and enjoy a private pre-game event in the Bullpen Plaza for Celiac Disease supporters. SNYs Kevin Burkhardt will be in attendance along with Mr. Met and current Mets players!

• Enjoy expanded gluten-free options in concessions adjacent to your seats.

• Sit together with family, friends, and fellow supporters of R.O.C.K. Long Island in reserved seating (with this offer in advance of the game) which includes access to the exclusive Caesars Club.

• The New York Mets will donate a portion of each ticket sold, through this advance offer to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

• The first 250 purchasers will receive a Limited Edition Celiac Disease Awareness Bracelet.

Buy your tickets here:

Caesars Box Ticket: $44
Caesars Box Ticket with $18 of food/beverage/merchandise credits: $59
Caesars Box Ticket with $30 of food/beverage/merchandise credits: $69

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Friday, April 18, 2014
Gluten-Free Fun Friday Funny: Happy Passover
Passover is a goldmine of gluten-free goodies at the supermarket. It is the time to load up on gluten-free macaroons, marble cakes, and even matzoh. The gluten-free offerings for Passover have grown over the years and now is the perfect time to load up for the weeks to come. Check out the gluten-free Passover food round-ups written by my friends Gluten-Free Philly and Gluten-Free Mike. Here is a link to my Passover photo round-up.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Gluten-Free Passover Grocery Jackpot
A few weekends ago, I made a trip to the local Shoprite near my mom's house in Plainview, NY. With Passover approaching, I knew I would find some gluten-free treats at the supermarket. Never did I expect to see so many new gluten-free products on the shelves. In years past, I would normally find one or two gluten-free marble cakes or maybe some gluten-free cupcakes. Now, I think just about every Passover item has a gluten-free counterpart.

Much of Long Island, New York and the surrounding tri-state area has a large Jewish population which makes some of this gluten-free Passover food so easy to find. If you don't have a good selection in your area, much of this food is now available for purchase online. Do a search on Google and see what you come up with! Now that we are in the middle of Passover, you might even be able to get some of these gluten-free items on sale.

The top gluten-free Kosher for Passover brands on the shelves that I found at Shoprite include: YehudaManischewitzJeff Nathan Creations, Gefen, Streit's, Lieber, Oberlander, and Hagadda. Kedem either owns or is an exclusive agent for many of these brands. Visit the Kedem website for a VERY long list of gluten-free products.
So far, my favorite items have been the Jeff Nathan Gluten-Free Panko and the Yehuda Gluten-Free Matzoh. I have literally been eating the matzoh every day. Mind you, I don't even celebrate Passover. I was just excited to find new treats during this holiday season! Have you found any gluten-free Passover items that you are excited about this year?

Happy Passover to all of you who celebrate! 

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Friday, April 11, 2014
Gluten-Free Fun Friday Funny: Gluten-Free Wine, Yes Please!
Fine by me! 
Originally saw this on the GIG of Portland Facebook page

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014
My Birthday Wish for the Celiac Community

Today is my 36th birthday. It feels weird to say this number out loud because I most certainly don't feel 36 nor do I think I look 36 (most days). I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1981 and for the past thirty-three birthdays, I celebrated in a gluten-free way. I was a very sick toddler and my parents didn't give up on trying to find out why their child was so ill. It was a young resident (younger than my parents at the time) who finally diagnosed me with Celiac Disease. I do not remember life with gluten. Celiac has been almost my entire life. Today, I am healthier than I have been in years. 

As I celebrate my birthday today, I have a big wish for the Celiac Community. I wish we all could get along. As someone who has been gluten-free blogging for more than seven years and leading a Celiac support group for more than eight years, I have seen a dramatic change in this Celiac Community over the past two years or so. We used to be such a supportive and caring community, helping each other and encouraging others who were newly diagnosed. Key words: used to be

Unfortunately, the past year has been rough in this community. REALLY ROUGH. So rough that I have actually considered taking a break to avoid all of the drama that has increased over the past 6-12 months. I've been sent hate mail, plagiarized three times, harassed via Twitter by an (in)famous "advocate", had others take credit for my work and research, bashed on my own Facebook page by a local business owner, and even falsely accused of my motives in my volunteering as the leader of the NYC Celiac Meetup group. 

There is so much competition, feelings of (gluten-free) entitlement, plagiarism, bashing, blaming, complaining, whining, harassing, cattiness, trolling, and negativity within the Celiac Community and I don't understand it anymore. There is no longer a feeling of community and "safe space" that we once had with our fellow Celiacs but feelings of extreme defensiveness and offensive responses. It makes me very sad. 

I write this blog and Gluten-Free Globetrotter because I genuinely care about the community. I have three decades of experience of living with Celiac Disease so I believe I have a lot of knowledge and personal experience to share with others. I have a sister and cousin both living with Celiac so this goes beyond me and is truly a family affair. I run the NYC Celiac Meetup group because I lacked this type of gluten-free community when I was growing up. Most people do not realize that I have a full-time job completely unrelated to the gluten-free community because I make ZERO money on my blogging and support group leadership. This blog, my social media presence, and my Meetup group are all done out of my personal passion to advocate for those of us living with Celiac Disease. If I can help just one person navigate the new gluten-free landscape, my mission is complete.

I admit that I am not perfect and the negativity and cattiness get the best of me at times. I am going to work hard to stop my own negativity and counter it with positivity and support of the Celiac Community. I want to get back the kind, helpful, supportive celiac world that I was part of from the beginning. I cannot do this alone and hope you join me on my birthday wish to help fix this Celiac community. If we cannot support one another, how can we expect others to support us? 

Thank you.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Gluten-Free Bakeries in New York City (Spring 2014 Edition)
Just this week, I learned about yet another gluten-free bakery in Manhattan. The brand new Tatz Gourmet Sweetz is located at 844 Amseterdam Ave. between 101st Street and 102nd Street and is 100% gluten-free. According to their Facebook page, they are also "Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Soy Free, Refined Sugar Free, Low Fat, Dairy Free, and Mostly Organic." This now brings the grand total of 100% gluten-free bakeries in New York City to EIGHT!

Welcome to New York City, Tatz Gourmet Sweetz. Best of luck with your gluten-free bakery!

Babycakes NYC
100% gluten-free
248 Broome St., New York, NY 10002
(212) 677-5047

By The Way Bakery
100% gluten-free and dairy-free, Kosher
2442 Broadway

Crumbs Gluten-Free
100% gluten-free
37 E 8th St New York, NY 10003

Jennifer's Way Bakery
100% gluten-free
263 East 10th St., New York, NY 10009
(646) 682-9501

Pip's Place - The Gluten Free Cakery
100% gluten-free
Location 1: 1729-31 1st Ave., New York, NY 10128
(212) 360-6400

Location 2: 127 East 39th St., New York, NY 10016
(646) 823-9393

Tu-Lu's Gluten-Free Bakery
100% gluten-free
338 East 11th Street New York, NY 10003
(212) 777-2227

Tatz Gourmet Sweetz
100% gluten-free
844 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10025

View Gluten-Free Bakeries in NYC in a larger map

Please note: I have confirmed with every bakery listed above that they are 100% gluten-free.  If you have any specific questions about the bakeries or their ingredients, please contact them directly. Additionally, the posting of these bakeries is not an endorsement in any way. 

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Friday, April 4, 2014
Gluten-Free Friday Funny: Gluten-Free Royals
Today, I thought I would post for my Friday Funny. In case you missed it, here is the Gluten-Free version of Lorde's "Royals". I love this video. Enjoy! 

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014
April Fools Day: Celiac Disease is Not a Joke
Celiac Disease is not a joke. Eating gluten-free is my medicine, not my choice. Varying levels of gluten sensitivity is a real thing. Yet why does the media feel that they can poke fun of those of us living a gluten-free lifestyle? Just yesterday a luggage company sent out a national press release announcing their luggage was now gluten-free. I called them out on this via Twitter and told them it was in poor taste. I also pointed out that yesterday was March 31st and NOT April Fools Day. The still didn't get it.

The more the media keeps using gluten-free people as the butt of their jokes, the harder it is for us living with Celiac to be taken seriously. While our first instinct might be to "fight back" against these jokesters, I think we have a bigger responsibility to educate others about exactly WHY we eat gluten-free. It is up to us living with Celiac to educate about Celiac. Instead of poking fun at us, maybe these insensitive people will start to understand that living with Celiac Disease is a real thing and we are not a joke.

If you see a gluten-free joke today (or any day), I encourage you to respond with knowledge not fighting words. Send this person links to the Gluten Intolerance Group, Celiac Disease Foundation, and National Celiac Disease Society. Give the person a checklist of the almost 300 symptoms of Celiac Disease. Take them to a gluten-free bakery so they can taste some good gluten-free food.

And if you can't get through to these jokesters with knowledge and education, play their own game and send them this:

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Monday, March 31, 2014
Stop Blaming Celiac for Everything
All too often I hear about people blaming Celiac for anything bad that happens. While it is a convenient scapegoat, I find it really hard to believe that celiac is the culprit for ALL of your ailments, life woes, and bad days. I am not denying Celiac has a way of ruining things, trust me because I've been there many times over the past 30 years. But it seems to be trendy to blame celiac for all problems all the time. I have a hard time believing that is the only thing wrong and I am getting tired of people playing the blame game on gluten all the time. Stomachache or headache? Must be gluten. Fight with your wife or bad day at work? Damn, Celiac.

I want you all to stop and actually think about other things that are going on in your life that could be responsible for some of your symptoms. I am sure a lot of people will disagree with this post, but I am having a really hard time believing that Celiac is the root of all evil in this world. For the newbies, you are probably looking for answers but Celiac isn't always the answer. I have been living with Celiac Disease for almost 33 years and if that was the answer to everything wrong with me every time I am sick, then I believe I would actually be way sicker. For example, I have a bad mold allergy. I had crazy symptoms but I knew that it was NOT my Celiac Disease making me feel so ill. If I hadn't paid attention to my symptoms and my body and just accepted it was Celiac, I would have continued living in a mold-infested apartment and never got the diagnosis of toxic black mold!

I encourage you all to look at your symptoms and then stop and think before you blame Celiac. There could be something else going on in your life that you aren't paying attention to while you are busy blaming Celiac!

Did you get enough sleep last night?
Was it uninterrupted sleep?
What time did you go to bed?
Are you a new parent?
Have you gotten your thyroid or iron levels checked lately?
When was the last time you exercised?
Do you take vitamins? 

Gaining Weight
What are you eating?
How many calories and grams of fat does that gluten-free cookie/brownie/muffin have?
When was the last time you had a piece of fruit instead of a fistful of gluten-free chips?
How many gluten-free chips did you actually eat? 

How much booze did you drink last night?
Did you have too much or too little caffeine today?
Did you spend too much time in front of the computer monitor?
When was the last time you had an eye exam? 

Do you have BPPV? (I had this and constantly felt like I was on a rollercoaster!)
Have you had a migraine headache recently?
Have you been drinking alcohol?
Have you had an ear infection lately? 

Did you eat too much today?
Are you PMSing?
Did you have dairy today?
Do you have a problem digesting FODMAPs?
Are you constipated? 

Dog poop on the kitchen floor
Does my dog have celiac too?  (no joke, I have seen this more than once on the internet)

I encourage you to leave comments about your symptoms and your non-Celiac diagnosis below. Haters need not respond! 

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Friday, March 28, 2014
Gluten-Free Friday Funny: 3/28/2014
Gluten is everywhere!! Well, not exactly everywhere but it definitely can hide in places you least expect it. Today's Friday funny isn't so funny because it is true! ALWAYS read the ingredients at the labels!

Originally seen on TasteGuru

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014
27 Reasons Why You Could Go Gluten-Free
Dear Joe Satran and HuffPost Taste,

I saw your post on HuffPost Taste yesterday which highlights the "27 Reasons [You] Could Never Go Gluten-Free." I am sorry you lost your patience with your father over his gluten-free vodka choice rather than support his decision. I am sorry you feel that lives are so limited by being gluten-free. While I appreciate you acknowledging with "reverence and respect" the approximately 3 million Americans with Celiac Disease, I am sorry that you made the gluten-free lifestyle sound so depressing and limited.

I have been living with Celiac Disease for almost 33 years and do not feel deprived at all. I actually feel quite lucky at times. I get to treat my "illness" with food. How great is a diagnosis where your medication is (gluten-free) food?

In your post you pointed out twenty-seven things you would miss if you went gluten-free. Well, Mr. Satran, you clearly didn't do much research. You said going gluten-free would "entail forsaking a huge swath of the most delicious foods known to man!" Not true, Mr. Satran. Not true at all.

I would like to challenge your post with my post which highlights the food you feel you would need to give up if you went gluten-free. Here are my 27 "crucially important reasons" you actually could go gluten-free and not miss out on a thing. You could eat delicious food, drink beer, and even gorge on French bread if you chose to do so. And what that I present you with my counter list of:

27 Reasons Why You Could Go Gluten-Free

  1. Gluten-Free Foccaccia from Krumville Bakeshop (bakery)
  2. Gluten-Free Ramen at Ippudo NYC (restaurant)
  3. Gluten-Free BLT at Friedman's Lunch (restaurant) 
  4. Gluten-Free English Muffins from Joan's Gluten-Free (online store)
  5. Gluten-Free Biscuits from King Arthur (online store)
  6. Gluten-Free Donuts at Babycakes NYC (bakery) 
  7. Gluten-Free Everything Bagels from Joan's Gluten-Free (online store)
  8. Gluten-Free Pork Buns from Viet World Kitchen (recipe)
  9. Gluten-Free Aloo Paratha from Hint of Saffron (recipe)
  10. Gluten-Free Pita Bread at Roti Mediterranean Grill (restaurant)
  11. Gluten-Free Scallion Pancakes at The Rice Barn (restaurant)
  12. Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies from Tate's Bakeshop (online)
  13. Gluten-Free Chocolate Babka at Blackbird Bakery (bakery)
  14. Gluten-Free American Apple Pie from Katz Gluten-Free (online store)
  15. Gluten-Free Boule from Glutinelle (online store)
  16. Gluten-Free Matzo Ball Soup from Elana's Pantry (recipe)
  17. Gluten-Free Birthday Cake at Pip's Gluten-Free Cakery (bakery)
  18. Gluten-Free Brioche French Toast from Better Batter (recipe)
  19. Gluten-Free Soup Dumplings from Delights and Delectables (recipe)
  20. Gluten-Free Beer from Bard's Tale Beer, Green's, New Planet, Redbridge, Celia Saison, and so many more
  21. Gluten-Free Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe at Casa Lever (restaurant)
  22. Gluten-Free Linguine con Vongele at Papazzio (restaurant)
  23. Gluten-Free Lasagna at Del Posto (restaurant)
  24. Gluten-Free Palmiers from Glutabye (online store)
  25. Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies from Schar (online store)
  26. Gluten-Free Brownies from By the Way Bakery (bakery)
  27. Gluten-Free Pizza at Keste, Don Antonio by Starita, Pala Pizza, Risotteria, and that's just New York City! (restaurants)

What do you think readers? From this list, we don't look very deprived at all. I actually feel rather pleased that we do have all of these gluten-free options available to us! 

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Monday, March 24, 2014
Gluten-Free at the Olive Garden
I am not really a chain-restaurant type of girl. I live in New York City where there are thousands of restaurants up and down each block. Even as someone living with Celiac Disease, I have hundreds of safe gluten-free choices from restaurants, food trucks, bodegas, and markets across the five boroughs. I realize I am lucky living in such a gluten-free friendly city but not everyone is so lucky.

With all of these food choices, it is VERY rare that I eat at a chain restaurant. If I do, I am usually out of New York City and visiting family and friends elsewhere. In these destinations, I realize that chain restaurants are sometimes the only option for someone with Celiac Disease. I have no problem with chain restaurants serving gluten-free food, as long as they are doing it correctly and safely!

A few weeks ago, I started seeing postings on social media and even a TV commercial for the Olive Garden, a very popular Italian food chain in the United States. I was skeptical at first, given the enormous amount of gluten in that place, so I reached out to the source via Twitter.

I appreciated the Olive Garden's public response on Twitter but wanted more information. Here is what they had to say via email:

Hi Erin,

Thank you for the interest you have expressed in dining with us again- this means a lot to us! After 30+ years of living with this restriction, we can appreciate your reservation in dining in our restaurants. Unfortunately, it would be impossible for us to guarantee that our gluten-free pasta is free of allergens, but we can tell you that our new gluten-free pasta is being prepared with very strict cooking methods to prevent cross-contamination. We would be happy to provide you with some background information, as well as our procedures when it comes to the preparation and handling of our gluten-free pasta. 

First off, our new gluten-free rotini pasta is imported from Italy and made from a combination of corn and rice flour. Improved taste and texture was a major priority when selecting this new gluten-free option and we've been told it’s delicious! 

Our gluten-free rotini is cooked and handled with separate sanitized pots and cooking utensils. Also, the water used to boil our pasta is completely isolated and uncontaminated. This practice is thoroughly communicated to all of our culinary team members by our managers. Our managers ensure that our service team is trained to make proper suggestions for our gluten intolerant guests. In an effort to ensure your safety, a lot of time and effort goes into training our team. 

Our hope is that you and your readers will give us a try and let us know what you think! 

Sincerely,Lidia Perez 
Olive Garden Social Media- Guest Relations

Gluten-Free Rotini with Fresh Tomato Pomodoro Sauce

Here is a link to the Olive Garden's gluten-free information and menu. Here is what they say on that page:

Olive Garden created this menu for our gluten intolerant guests. Please be aware that the handcrafted nature of our menu items, variety of procedures in our kitchens, cross-contamination with ingredients containing gluten and our reliance on suppliers may result in variations in the ingredients of these menu items. We therefore make no guarantees regarding the gluten content of these items.

I think if I was in a city that didn't have a gluten-free menu anywhere else, I might consider the Olive Garden but only after talking extensively with the local manager and chef in the kitchen. Has anyone tried the new gluten-free pizza at the Olive Garden? What did you think? I would love to hear your comments below!

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Friday, March 21, 2014
Gluten-Free Friday Funny: 3/21/2014
If I had a dollar every time I ate almost an entire bag of chips, I would be a wealthy woman!

Found on Pinterest

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Thursday, March 20, 2014
March 25: Join the Gluten-Free Globetrotter in Poughkeepsie, NY
Join me on March 25th in Poughkeepsie, NY as I talk with the Celiac Disease Foundation Hudson Valley chapter all about gluten-free travel. As an intrepid Gluten-Free Globetrotter, I will share research about traveling with Celiac Disease, tips of what to pack, and suggestions for the most celiac-friendly destinations across the globe. As a Marist College alumni, I am excited to return to Poughkeepsie once again to meet this very active celiac support group. I walked and talked with this group at their 1st Annual Mid-Hudson Valley Walk for Celiac Disease in 2012 so I am excited to see familiar faces and meet new friends.

I hope to see you there!

Gluten-Free Globetrotter
CDF Hudson Valley NY meeting
Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Vassar Brothers Hospital
Conference Room B
45 Reade Place
Poughkeepsie, NY

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Friday, March 14, 2014
Gluten-Free Fun Friday Funny: 3/14/2014
My friend Josh at had this on his Facebook page earlier this week and I was cracking up. You will only understand if you watch The Bachelor. I have to admit that this show became a VERY guilty pleasure this year. I never watched the show before, but got sucked in. It was a hot mess from day one of the show. I loved it. LOL. This image made me laugh.

Image seen on Facebook page

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