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Monday, April 4, 2011
2nd Annual National Gluten Free Challenge Kicks Off in April
Pamela's Products, the award-winning dedicated gluten-free food company, will again partner with the non-profit Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) for the 2nd Annual Gluten-Free Challenge taking place over the weekend of May 21-22, 2011, during Celiac Awareness Month. Pamela's Products and the GIG believe that everyone can enjoy a delicious and satisfying gluten-free meal together whether it be a regular meal or a holiday event. With a mission to raise awareness about Gluten Intolerance (a digestive disorder, often including Celiac Diease, that can lead to malnutrition if not treated), the Gluten-Free Challenge brings families and friends back to the dinner table... together. More than 1500 people signed up for the 2010 Challenge to eat entirely gluten-free for one weekend, with continued sign-ups since the end of the Challenge in anticipation of the 2011 event.

With 1 in 100 Americans affected by Celiac Disease, and many more who are gluten-intolerant, the Gluten-Free Challenge invites the public to try one gluten-free dish, treat or meal a day for a month prior to the Gluten-Free Challenge weekend. The Challenge empowers people to learn more about this easily treatable disease and brings awareness to the choices faced by those who adhere to a gluten-free diet.

Sign-ups for the Gluten-Free Challenge are ongoing with the official launch beginning April 21, 2011, when participants who opt-in will start to receive 30 days of tips and recipes--one per day--in preparation for the Challenge Weekend. There will also be coupons, weekly giveaways and more.

This year, the Challenge website, www.goGFchallenge.com, will also feature weekly inspiring guest posts written by the Grand Prize winner and two Runners Up of the recently held Gluten-free Challenge Blogger Contest. Check the site regularly for the announcement of the winning bloggers, and for their posts beginning the week of April 25th.

To coincide with the national Challenge, Pamela Giusto-Sorrells, Founder of Pamela's Products, ties her 2011 "Be More" campaign to the event, designating May as the "Challenge More" month, challenging everyone to find quick, easy and delicious recipes to bring friends and loved ones to the table, together. "Food is so much more than sustenance. It's family. It's friends. It's holidays, birthdays and special events. If you have a gluten intolerance, you often find yourself isolated from the social experience of food, relegated to bringing your own food or eating separately from everyone else. I believe that you can have food that everyone will enjoy together. The Gluten-Free Challenge helps educate the public about gluten intolerance and demonstrates that family meals can be easy to put back on the menu," states Giusto-Sorrells.

To "Challenge More" this May, start with these tips and treats:

  • Sign up--and invite your friends/family to sign up--for May's Gluten-free Challenge and start receiving now bi-monthly tips! (www.GoGFchallenge.com or www.Facebook.com/GFchallenge)
  • Go to www.goGFchallenge.com and check out the archived tips & recipes under "Recipes" from April 2010 through to the most current postings, and also learn how others experienced the Challenge in the Blog posts!
  • Expand your knowledge of what's going into your body! Seek out ingredient listings that you can pronounce and that are of high quality (Hint: Pamela's Products).
  • Sign up for newsletters from both the GIG and Pamela's Products.


According to the 2010 post-Gluten-Free Challenge survey, 80% of respondents found that the Challenge helped them gain a better understanding of living gluten-free, and 86% of respondents found the tips and recipes most helpful in meeting the Challenge. 66% of respondents already live a gluten-free life, and 34% are either a family member or a friend of someone who lives gluten-free. Participant comments from Facebook and the post-survey are attached (why they participated, what they got out of it).

Cynthia Kupper, RD, Executive Director of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America states, "Studies show that following a gluten-free diet can be difficult, especially without the support and understanding of family and friends. Learning about living gluten-free can increase compliance of your loved one. I hope that everyone takes this challenge and are a positive support for loved ones."

Pamela Giusto-Sorrells, founder of Pamela's Products has appeared on NBC & ABC affiliates nationally, KRON and KTVK. Pamela's Products have been featured on the Today Show, The Doctors, in Gourmet Magazine, Woman's Day, Real Simple and many other outlets.

For additional information on Pamela's Products, please visit www.pamelasproducts.com. Media inquiries, please contact Agnes Gomes-Koizumi (agnes@agkmedia.com) or Julie Du Brow (julie@dubroworks.com) at 323-937-5488 or 310-821-2463.

What is Celiac Disease:
GSE (Gluten Sensitive Enteropathy) includes celiac disease (CD) and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). In these hereditary immune system disorders, protein fractions in wheat, rye and barley set off a chain of events that lead to tissue damage. Celiac disease involves destruction of the lining of the small intestine. Dermatitis herpetiformis involves destruction of the lining of the small intestine and includes a skin disorder where antibody deposits trigger itchy, blistering skin eruptions. Celiac disease is called the great masquerader.

Celiac disease is no longer considered just a gastrointestinal disorder. It is a multi-system, multi-symptom disorder, often without gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. The prevalence of CD in the United States is 1 in 100 persons. The overall prevalence of gluten sensitive disorders is unknown but is possibly 2 to 3 times as high as that of CD. Very little information is available about gluten intolerance, which is not necessarily triggered by the immune system and is therefore not Celiac Disease.

ABOUT PAMELA'S PRODUCTS
Pamela's Products (www.pamelasproducts.com) offers a complete line of Traditional Cookies, Organic Cookies, Biscotti, Simplebites Mini Cookies, Baking Mixes and Ready-to-Eat cakes. Award-winning, Pamela's Products can be found in natural food and grocery stores throughout North America and on the web at www.pamelasproducts.com. Setting the standard for great taste since 1988, Pamela's Products continues to create the most delicious wheat-free and gluten-free foods, with their Baking & Pancake Mix and Chocolate Brownie Mix consistently holding the #1 position in the entire Natural Foods category.

Pamela's Products are a tried-and-true staple for Celiacs. Celiac Disease is the world's most common autoimmune disease, with the only treatment today being a strict adherence to a diet devoid of gluten. Gluten is most commonly contained in wheat (durum, semolina, kamut, spelt), rye, barley and triticale. (For more complete information, please visit www.gluten.net, "About".) People with autism spectrum disorders, cancer, wheat allergies, alternative diets, and even those adhering to a Kosher or 'natural' diet, also frequently turn to Pamela's Products for satisfying that sweet tooth or simply for making bread or pancakes.

ABOUT THE GLUTEN INTOLERANCE GROUP (GIG)
The Gluten Intolerance Group® (www.gluten.net), also known as GIG®, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization funded by private donations. Since 1974, the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America® has had a mission to provide support to persons with gluten intolerances, including celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, and other gluten sensitivities, in order to live healthy lives.

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