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Friday, May 31, 2013
All in the Celiac Family
On this last day of Celiac Awareness Month, I want to share my family story. I was asked by the NFCA to share this story as a part of their Fuel the Family campaign. Since my sister and I both have Celiac, I was thrilled with the opportunity to write our stories! This was originally posted on the NFCA website a few weeks ago, but I wanted to share our story with my dear readers in honor of an exciting month of spreading Celiac awareness.


Family Story: Erin Smith, Gluten-Free Fun

Interview with a Silly Yak

Hi. I am Erin Smith, author of Gluten-Free Fun and Gluten-Free Globetrotter. I am also the lead organizer of the NYC Celiac Meetup group. I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1981. I’ve been eating gluten-free almost my entire life so I can’t really remember life with gluten. Throughout my life, and in my gluten-free world, my sister Jessica Smith White has always been one of my biggest and best supporters. I was thrilled when the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) asked me to share my story for the “Fuel the Family” blogger campaign because my sister also has celiac disease. Jessica was diagnosed as an adult so we both have really different experiences of growing up and living with celiac. I thought it would be fun to interview my sister for this series to see what it was like living with a ”silly yak," yak for short, for all of those years. Yes, this is what she always called me. We have a silly sense of humor in my family and if you don’t get a nickname, you aren’t one of us!
Erin and Jessica Smith

ES: Do you have any early recollection of me being gluten-free growing up?

JW: I do have some memories of you eating your “special bread,” though I can’t recall at what age these memories began for me. I remember your big brown boxes of Ener-G Foods bread arriving every so often and mom cutting open the box.  
ES: Back in the 1980s, Ener-G Food was the only gluten-free bread for sale. I still eat it today! It’s an acquired taste.
JW: I remember we partnered up and shared parts of meals that you were unable to eat and I didn’t like.  I became a vegetarian when I was 11 ½, so I remember eating the buns of your hotdogs at the beach.  In retrospect, you weren’t a good celiac and I wasn’t a good vegetarian. By this I mean, you shouldn’t have eaten anything that touched gluten and I shouldn’t have eaten something that had an animal by-product served in it.  We were young and naïve, huh? 
ES: True story! I didn’t know the words “cross-contamination” back then and made a lot of mistakes. I even ate cheese off pizza. GASP!  Neither of us would EVER do that now!

ES: Do you remember what it was like to grow up with a sister who ate differently? 

JW: I believe I was only a few months old when you were officially diagnosed with celiac, so your gluten-free foods never seemed “different” to me.  They were, simply, your food items.  I don’t remember giving it much thought as a kid.  
ES: Yes, you were only about 10 months old when I was diagnosed so you don’t know me any other way but gluten-free.
JW: It is similar to my kids.  Anna and Emma (my twins) were switched to a gluten-free diet before they were 2 years old and Joseph has never eaten gluten.  I think if a child grows up with specific dietary restrictions, it just becomes normal to him/her.  It is only when others point out that what they are eating is “different” that potential problems can arise or stigmas can be unnecessarily created.   

ES: Do any specific events or eating habits stick out in your mind?

JW: I don’t have any specific memories that really stick out.  Since our birthdays are so close together, I remember that we often shared a cake and it was something that both you and I could eat, which I think is the fairest route to go.  What I do, remember, however, is that Mom had to be sure to plan ahead when we were traveling, or that you had to bring gluten-free food when we went to summer camp.  There were very few choices of gluten-free foods when we were children.  It was very different than it is today.  You can walk into many supermarkets and you can find some sort of pre-packaged food, clearly labeled “gluten-free.”  That was certainly not the case 20-30 years ago.  
ES: You are so right. Mom continued to mail order for most of my food as I grew up and I ate a lot of rice cakes and puffed rice in the 1980s. 
JW: Planning ahead was a must.  This still is the case today, but not to the same extent, in my opinion, when an individual has to avoid gluten.  Knowledge and know-how are the most important things when dealing with any food allergies, intolerances or sensitivities.  
Erin and Jessica Smith

ES: What lead to your celiac diagnosis?  

JW: I have had stomach problems for many years.  I always credited it to being lactose intolerant, but still choosing to eat dairy products.  When I removed dairy, I felt better, when I reintroduced it, I felt worse.  Within a year of the births of the girls, I began having chronic stomach problems, even when I was not eating dairy. I spoke with one of my doctors about my symptoms and he suggested I see a gastroenterologist (GI) regarding the symptoms I was experiencing.  At my initial appointment with the GI doctor, I told him about the chronic pain I was experiencing, as well as my family history, specifically about you living with celiac for close to 30 years at that point.  He immediately wanted me to get blood work done, as well as schedule an endoscopy and a colonoscopy.  Although my blood work came back positive, he wanted me to have the other procedures done to make sure there wasn’t anything going on inside my body. I knew they were necessary in order to get answers to why I had been feeling so sick.  I think if you did not have celiac, I would not have been so quick to get these tests done. I probably would have put them off and continued to feel crappy, especially because I had twin 15-month-old babies that I needed to care for.  But, since I was well aware that celiac can run in families, I knew I had to be tested.  
ES: Looking back, I wonder if you always had celiac. There were no blood tests in the 1980s and our parents never had you tested through endoscopy. I know you went vegetarian in middle school for ethical reasons but I do remember you declaring lactose intolerance at an early age too. You also craved those Long Island bagels more than anyone I know. Maybe you were craving what you really couldn’t have in preparation for a gluten-free adulthood?!

ES: How was it transitioning to a gluten-free diet as an adult?

JW: I found it to be quite easy, but I credit so much of this to you.  I was very familiar with gluten-free lifestyles when I was diagnosed at 28.  I was surrounded by it my entire life, so it wasn’t foreign to me, as it may be to others who are diagnosed with celiac or a food intolerance.  Additionally, because gluten-free foods are so much more readily available now, it made shopping much easier.  I knew I was going to miss my bagels, gluten-rich baked goods, and pasta but I also knew I wanted to feel better.  I was so tired of feeling so awful and knew that I had to make the necessary changes in my diet in order to get onto the path of healthier living. 
ES: I am glad I could help you through your transition. Although it was a major life change for you, you handled it like a champ and knew that eating gluten-free would make you feel better. Although I was sad about your diagnosis, I felt even closer to you as a sister who now shared my disease. I wasn’t alone in this celiac life anymore.

ES: What was the hardest thing after your diagnosis? 

TW: Honestly, it wasn’t the removal of gluten that I found to be hardest, it was the other food intolerances and sensitivities that I became aware of after my official diagnosis. I was aware of my dairy intolerance before I was diagnosed with celiac, but I, too often, continued to consume dairy and paid for it after the fact.  Due to other sensitivities, my family has learned to cope without foods like corn and rice in our diets. We have become accustomed to baking with flours that are more nutrient dense and healthier than rice and corn flours.  Again, I credit the relative easiness of the removal of gluten from my life to you as well as the wide range or gluten-free products that are now available on the food market.  
ES:  I like that you have gotten more adventurous in the kitchen as you have become more comfortable living with celiac disease and eating gluten-free. You have introduced me to some new recipes and cooking styles, like using a slow cooker.

ES: How is it to have gluten-free expert and community leader for your sister?

JW: I am so proud of all the work and research you do.  You give people confidence that they can be successful on gluten-free diets. They can still go out to eat, travel, etc. Some people think the diagnosis is a death sentence and it is so not.  For me, it was a huge awakening that I now had to clean up my diet.  I had to break the habit of eating processed and packaged foods in order to live a healthier life. Believe me, I don’t want to have to prepare so many of our meals from scratch, but when there are so many other food intolerances and sensitivities involved, it really is a must in order to achieve healthier living.  
ES: Although a diagnosis of celiac disease is never easy, I am so happy I could be there to help you on your journey. I hope through my blogs, Meetup group, and even through education of our family I can help lead to other diagnoses in the future. I also love that I am no longer the sole gluten-free person at the family table. There’s strength in numbers and you are a wonderful person to have on my gluten-free side! I love you my little Silly Yak! 

About Erin Smith

Erin Smith has been writing her gluten-free lifestyle blog  Gluten-Free Fun  since 2007. In 2011, she launched  Gluten-Free Globetrotter, a website that encourages those with celiac disease to travel the world and not be scared about eating gluten-free domestically and abroad. Erin is the lead organizer of the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group, a social community that has grown to over 1,650 members in the eight years she has been organizing the group. 

About Jessica Smith White

Jessica Smith White is a former high school social studies teacher turned stay-at-home mom. Jessica has been living with celiac disease for almost five years now. Her twin 5-year-old girls are gluten-free as is her 2 ½ year old son. Jessica keeps busy by caring for Erin’s favorite nieces and nephew, cooking gluten-free meals for five, gardening in her backyard, and taking care of a menagerie of animals at her Connecticut home. 

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Attention Vendors: Understanding the Gluten-Free Customer
Gluten-free vendors, this post is for you! This Thursday, (May 30) NewHope360, Natural Foods Merchandiser, Gluten Intolerance Group, and Delicious Living magazine, are hosting a webinar focused on Understanding the Gluten-Free Customer. All too often, new vendors come to the market space thinking they understand gluten-free needs but make a lot of mistakes. Our gluten-free community do NOT let mistakes fly, especially since our health is involved. I've seen small businesses go under in less than a year due to bad publicity within our community. There have even been small business owners that have been sent to jail for making false claims about gluten-free food. This webinar should be mandatory for all gluten-free business owners.

Click here to register for this gluten-free webinar.

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Friday, May 24, 2013
Celiac Education Event in Cherry Hill, NJ
Next Wednesday (May 29), the NFCA is co-hosting an educational event in Cherry Hill, NJ. There is an impressive line-up of doctors from Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals speaking at this event as well as a registered dietitian and NFCA president Alice Bast. Pre-registration is required so don't delay! 


The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals and the Katz JCC invite you to join them for a free educational event.  Featuring expert speakers, including NFCA Founder and President Alice Bast, this event is for anyone looking to learn more about celiac disease, the gluten-free diet and the latest in celiac disease research. 
The day's events include:
  • Advances in the Treatment of Celiac Disease – presented by Anthony J. Marino, Jr., MD, William H. Rorer Professor of Medicine and Director, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and Director, Jefferson Celiac Center, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
  • Managing Your Gluten-Free Diet – nutrition-related tips from Emily B. Rubin, RD, Jefferson registered dietitian
  • What’s New at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness? – reported by Alice Bast, Founder and President, NFCA
  • Gluten-Free Cooking Demonstration with Food Sampling – by Chef Pasquale Masters of Pasta Pomodoro, Voorhees, NJ, a participating restaurant in the NFCA’s GREAT Kitchens gluten-free industry initiative. 
When: Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Where: Betty and Milton Katz Jewish Community Center
              1301 Springdale Road
              Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Registation is required!  To register, call 1-800-JEFF-NOW.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013
Gluten on Capitol Hill
I came across this article this morning. Looks like, we are one step closer to getting some regulations around gluten-free labeling on medications. As the article states "Just as consumers deserve to know if their food contains gluten, it is critical that consumers know if medications contain gluten." Although we need labeling for both food and medications, let's hope this drug bill passes sooner rather than later!

Dem bill would require drugs to disclose gluten - The Hill's Healthwatch

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Gluten-Free Greek Dinner in Queens, NY
Ovelia is one of my favorite restaurants in Astoria, NY. Family-owned and operated, Ovelia brings traditional Greek food to my amazing neighborhood. The food is delicious and the staff have become extremely well-educated in providing safe, gluten-free food to their customers. The NYC Celiac Meetup is having an event and we have a few seats left. Read on for the invite:
On Monday, June 3, join the New York City Celiac Meetup group for a night of amazing Greek food at Ovelia in Astoria. Family owned Ovelia has a menu full of traditional Greek dishes many which are naturally gluten-free. Ovelia is a member of the Gluten-free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP) and the Ovelia staff has a great understanding of our gluten-free needs. Additionally, their menu is clearly marked to indicate all of their gluten-free dishes.
Although the final menu isn't quite set, below is an example of what we ate at our last gluten-free event at Ovelia. Trust me, you will NOT go home hungry. Ovelia's staff is overly generous with their gluten-free portions during our events!
$28 per person includes a variety of traditional Greek dishes, tax, and tip. Beverages are additional
Click here for more information including a sample menu and to reserve your spot at dinner at Ovelia. Prepayment is required to attend!

Ovelia on Facebook

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Monday, May 20, 2013
Food Allergy Bullying Video
I definitely remember kids mocking my "weird" food back in middle school but luckily I was never outright bullied because of my Celiac Disease. This video was really powerful and made me realize how serious bullying is for people in communities like ours. Have you ever experienced food-related bullying?


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Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Oral Therapy for Celiac Disease
This press release came across my newswire yesterday. I still have mixed feelings about taking medication to control my celiac disease but I am happy that there is now research going on in our community. 

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. and SAN CARLOS, Calif., May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) and Alvine Pharmaceuticals, a leader in celiac disease therapeutics development, announced today that they have entered into a global collaboration to develop a novel oral treatment for patients with celiac disease, currently in Phase 2 development.  This collaboration builds on AbbVie's expertise and leadership in the field of gastroenterology with its on-market products to treat Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and diseases associated with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.
ALV003 is an investigational oral therapy composed of two recombinant, gluten specific enzymes (a cysteine protease (EP-B2) and a prolyl endopeptidase (PEP)), that degrade gluten in-vitro and in human clinical testing, and may reduce the symptoms and intestinal injury associated with celiac disease in patients attempting to adhere to a gluten-free diet.  Data from a Phase 2a study reported at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2012, showed reduction of intestinal inflammation in patients exposed to gluten and treated with ALV003 compared to patients treated with placebo.
"Celiac disease is an area with significant unmet medical need," said Scott Brun, M.D., vice president, pharmaceutical development, AbbVie.  "Patients who currently are unable to completely avoid gluten in their diets could potentially benefit from this promising investigational treatment. AbbVie has significant experience within immunology and gastroenterology and the exclusive option to acquire this asset complements AbbVie's broad mid-stage pipeline."
"A collaboration between Alvine and AbbVie combines our respective strengths and expertise in the development of what could become the first therapeutic option for this major unmet medical need," said Abhay Joshi, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, Alvine.  "We are pleased to have an industry leader in gastroenterology as a collaborator, whose considerable global development reach can be focused on getting this novel therapy to more patients."
Under the terms of the agreement, AbbVie will make an initial upfront payment of $70 million for an exclusive option to either acquire the assets relating to ALV003, or the equity of the company. Alvine will maintain responsibility for Phase 2 clinical development, and upon successful completion of the approximately 500 patient Phase 2b study, AbbVie may exercise its option for the agreed upon additional consideration.  Alvine will also be entitled to receive a milestone payment upon AbbVie's initiation of Phase 3 development.  In collaboration with AbbVie Biotech Ventures, Inc., a subsidiary of AbbVie dedicated to making early investments in emerging biotech and pharmaceutical companies, AbbVie was an early investor in Alvine Pharmaceuticals.
XXX
About Alvine Pharmaceuticals 
Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a private, clinical-stage, specialty biopharmaceutical company located in San Carlos, CA, focused on the development of biologics targeting autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including celiac disease.  Alvine is focusing clinical development efforts on ALV003, an investigational drug in Phase 2 trials that could potentially be the first approved therapeutic treatment for patients with celiac disease.  For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.alvinepharma.com.
AbbVie Forward-Looking Statements
Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  The words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "project" and similar expressions, among others, generally identify forward-looking statements.  AbbVie cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements.  Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, challenges to intellectual property, competition from other products, difficulties inherent in the research and development process, adverse litigation or government action, and changes to laws and regulations applicable to our industry.  Additional information about the economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect AbbVie's operations is set forth in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," in our 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K/A, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  AbbVie undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments, except as required by law.
About AbbVie
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott.  The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases.  In 2013, AbbVie employs approximately 21,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries.  For further information on the company and its people, portfolio and commitments, please visitwww.abbvie.com.  Follow @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedInpage.

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Monday, May 13, 2013
Elimination Experiment: Almond Meal Pancakes
I got the go ahead to add eggs back into my diet on Friday. This made me very happy. The one thing I really feel that is lacking during this elimination diet is protein. Actually, I always feel like I should have more protein in my diet. Anyway, with the green light for eggs I decided to make some almond meal pancakes both days this weekend.

On Saturday, I made pancakes using this low-carb recipe minus the sweetener. They were good although I was missing that pancake syrup big time! On Sunday, I decided to change it up a little bit. I wanted more flavor so I put my own spin on these Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes. I basically took the first recipe and added pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice instead of all of the individual spices. Although I didn't get the ingredients quite right and the pancakes fell apart a little bit, I liked these much better than Saturday's batch. They had more flavor, which is what I was looking for.

Although I miss my sugary maple syrup, it is nice to know I can once again have a weekend breakfast favorite like pancakes.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Food Frustrations
I am on day 12 of my elimination diet and I am frustrated. You see, I love food. I write this blog about living a lifestyle that revolves around particular food choices. I run a Meetup group that encourages others to not be afraid to socialize (many times with food) outside of the home. I enjoy meeting up with friends for a bite to eat and to catch up. But over the past 12 days, food has become a nuisance. Planning a meal is a chore, not something that I enjoy doing anymore. I get annoyed in the kitchen when I have to spend so much time thinking about what I am going to eat and not just grab something and go.

On this elimination diet, I feel very restricted. I realize how much I love fruit and how often I eat eggs. These are two big no-nos on this elimination diet. I also realize that sugar is in damn near everything. I know there are still a ton of things I CAN eat, but for some reason I cannot get over what I CANNOT eat. For me, this is the first major elimination diet of my life. I was diagnosed with Celiac when I was only 2.5 years old, so I don't remember what it is like to cut out gluten. In my mind, I just always ate gluten-free. This is different and this is hard. Really hard.

Last night, I hosted an awesome NYC Celiac Meetup event at S'MAC. This is one of my favorite gluten-free places to eat in New York City. Who doesn't like gluten-free mac-n-cheese? I sat there chit-chatting with the group members but I was not eating anything. Everyone else was devouring their gluten-free dinner and I was just talking and getting more and more hungry and a worse headache by the minute. It wasn't fun at all. I met great people but I was so annoyed that I couldn't kick back and enjoy the food that they were eating right next to me.

I know I need to eat more on this elimination diet and that I am not eating nearly enough. This is obvious to me, my daily headaches are proof. But with such a busy weekday schedule and a lack of ideas, I just eat what I can. This is not good enough. If I was home all day every day, perhaps I could make a meal plan and spend more time actually planning ahead but I do not have this luxury. I am actually somewhat jealous of these stay-at-home bloggers who make these elaborate meal plans for each week and then cook those meals. Or these people in New York City that spend a quarter of their weekly paycheck to get fresh meals delivered to their homes each day. I know I CAN cook these meals but I just don't have the time nor can I justify paying that much money for someone to do what I know I can do myself.

I called this blog Gluten-Free Fun for a reason. I really do love living a healthy, gluten-free life and having fun while doing it. So this elimination is putting a temporary kink in my fun for the time being and I need to deal with it. End of story.

Ok, I am done venting for today. Thanks for bearing with me, dear readers! 

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Free Guide to Gluten Free Living
I got this email last night and I was excited to share the link with my readers. This guide is so great. Be sure to download and save today! 



Celebrate National Celiac Awareness month with your free interactive Guide to Gluten-Free Living.   Click here:  http://deliciousliving.com/gluten-free/guide-gluten-free-living-0. GIG created this Guide in partnership with Delicious Livingto provide terrific recipes, kitchen wisdom, health information and shopping tips. All designed to make gluten-free living more healthy and delicious than ever.

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Monday, May 6, 2013
Brain Fog
Foggy brain day

This picture is a pretty close representation of what my brain was like coming to work in New York City last week. Foggy. Thick. Not clear. Yeah, I had some pretty bad brain fog last week. I could't form complete sentences, I was forgetting what I was doing, and I was so exhausted. While I think a lot of it had to do with changing my diet so dramatically for this elimination diet, I also think it had to do with a new "gluten-free" food I put into my mouth.

Last week, I introduced Trader Joe's gluten-free oats into my diet. I had those GF oats in cookies a few times over the past year. I only got sick the very first time but after that I had no noticeable side effects from eating the oats. As a Celiac diagnosed in the 1980s, I was always told to avoid oats. So for more than 25 years, I avoided oats. I did try some crackers and cookies made from certified GF oat flour over the past few years, but I always got sick. I decided I needed something for breakfast each morning and after checking on my elimination diet worksheet, oats seemed to be allowed. I took the plunge and I tried a bowl for dinner one night. I did this at night in case I got "glutened" and needed to be home (aka, near the toilet!) I had no tell-tale signs of my "glutening". No stomach ache, no throwing up, no bathroom runs. I figured I was in the clear. I had oats 3 more times last week and still no regular gluten reaction. But I was foggy, oh so foggy.

I went to the chiro on Friday for my weekly exam. (He is the doctor working with me on this elimination diet.) I told him about my fogginess and he said it might be the sugar withdrawal. He put me on some additional supplements to help me work through the major changes going on in my body. He told me to drink more water, which I think is impossible since I already drink tons each day, and to increase my protein. I left there feeling frustrated and even more foggy.

That night, I thought maybe the gluten-free oats were causing this fogginess. Brain fog is a very real symptom of ingesting gluten and it occurred to me that the oats were the culprit. I actually had a really bad bought of brain fog after my last glutening. I decided that I have lived 30 years without oats in my diet so what is another 30 more without oats. Right there and then I put the oats in the back of the cabinet and decided no more oats.

I have now been GF oat free since Friday and you know what? No more fog! Seriously, I have been more alert and able to remember so much more in the past three days. It is interesting to me that I now have a new symptom to be aware of in case of possible gluten ingesting. I definitely wasn't aware of this symptom in the past but now I know that  this is how my body might react to eating gluten.* I am ok with no oats, especially when I feel like this instead:

Clear brain day


* I did use Trader Joe's gluten-free oats during this experiment. I am not saying these oats have gluten, I am just saying that my experience with ingesting them left me with similiar symptoms as when I eat gluten. By no means does my reaction mean you will have the same reaction. I just want to share my experience with  my readers.

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Friday, May 3, 2013
Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Awards 10 Gluten-Free Camp Scholarships
I am so excited about this announcement and slightly jealous. I've said it before and I will say it again, I LOVE CAMP! I think every child should go to camp at least twice in their life. Twice, because if they are like my sister and I your kid might hate their first time. ha! My camp summers were my best summers. I went to sleep-away for seven summers and was gluten-free every single summer! More than 15 years later I still keep in touch with friends from camp. Read on to learn about an exciting scholarship opportunity from Rudi's Gluten-Free.



Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Celebrates National Celiac Awareness Month by Awarding 10 Gluten-Free Summer Camp Scholarships
Rudi’s Gluten-Free now accepting entries to the Gluten-Free ‘Happy Camper’ essay contest on Facebook 

Boulder, Colo. – (May 1, 2013) –Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery® is ready for summer vacation and can’t wait to help kids across the country enjoy their summer camp experience, even if they eat gluten-free. According to the American Camp Association, 10 million kids attend a summer camp every year. Since it’s a part of so many kids’ summer vacations, Rudi’s Gluten-Free is inviting Facebook fans to visit the “Rudi’s Gluten-Free Happy Camper” application this May, National Celiac Awareness Month, to submit a 200-word essay from their child for a chance to win one of 10 scholarships to a gluten-free summer camp.

“Enthusiastically giving back to our communities has long been an important part of our business, and this is the third year we’ve made a commitment to the gluten-free community during Celiac Awareness Month,” said Doug Radi, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Rudi’s Organic Bakery. “Summer camp is all about making memories that last, and a child’s dietary restrictions shouldn’t prevent them from having the experience of a lifetime. We’re thrilled that the Rudi’s Gluten-Free Happy Camper program will provide 10 deserving kids with a gluten-free camp experience.”

Parents with eligible children, ages 8-17, can enter the contest by ‘liking’ Rudi’s Gluten-Free on Facebook and submitting an essay from their child explaining what going to a gluten-free summer camp would mean to them. As an additional incentive to enter in early May, Rudi’s Gluten-Free has promised to give the first 250 eligible fans that enter an official Rudi’s Gluten-Free Happy Camper water bottle. The 10 winners will be selected by Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery and announced on Facebook on June 10, 2013, giving parents and campers time to plan and pack up for a summertime camp adventure.

"Having a special dietary need like celiac disease can make the simple act of going to camp far more challenging,” said Alice Bast, founder and president, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). “Fortunately, there are more options today than ever before, whether it’s a dedicated gluten-free summer camp or a ‘mainstream’ camp that has been properly trained to serve gluten-free campers. Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery has done an excellent job supporting the gluten-free community, and we are glad to see them continuing that work with their camp scholarship program."

In the spirit of summer camps, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) also offers a gluten-free training program called GREAT Schools, Colleges and Camps. The online course will prepare camp directors and kitchen staff to safely accommodate your child's gluten-free dietary needs. Learn more at CeliacCentral.org/GREAT/schools. 

Rudi’s Gluten-Free strives to create partnerships and programs that give back to the gluten-free community in a way that drives toward a better, brighter future. Offering gluten-free summer camp scholarships provides the perfect opportunity for kids to be kids without worrying about dietary restrictions. Parents can rest assured knowing that many camps are either entirely free of gluten or cater to gluten-free diets.

In addition to connecting with gluten-free fans for summer camp fun, Rudi’s Gluten-Free recently reintroduced its line of Sandwich Breads with a new Soft & Fluffy recipe. With a yummy taste, longer shelf life, double the fiber content with 2g per serving and the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO) recognizable seal, these breads are the perfect base to a delicious sandwich while camping or hiking this summer. Rudi’s Gluten-Free Sandwich Breads come in OriginalMultigrain, and Cinnamon Raisin varieties. 

For more information on the Happy Camper contest and Rudi’s Gluten-Free, visit rudisglutenfree.com.

About Rudi’s Organic Bakery, Inc.
Rudi’s Organic Bakery, Inc., has been passionate about baking better breads for families for more than 35 years. Founded and headquartered in Boulder, Colo., Rudi’s Organic Bakery is the only nationally available brand offering a full line of nutritious and delicious, certified organic breads and baked goods. Rudi’s Organic is committed to baking breads using only the best organic ingredients and no artificial additives, preservatives and GMOs. In 2010, Rudi’s Organic leveraged this heritage to create Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery, a line of gluten-free breads and baked goods made with wholesome, all-natural ingredients so that each bite tastes like the real thing. Rudi’s Organic and Rudi’s Gluten-Free products are available nationally at natural foods stores and select mainstream supermarkets. For more information, visit rudisbakery.com.
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Thursday, May 2, 2013
2013 Celiac Awareness Month with the NFCA
All month the amazing staff at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness are working hard to help spread awareness about Celiac Disease. They have a very busy schedule of events including webinars, Twitter chats, giveaways, fundraisers, and more. The NFCA is also featuring gluten-free bloggers on their site throughout the month of may and I am honored to share my gluten-free story with them and you during the month.

In order to keep track of all of the awesome events, I encourage you to download their free Celiac Awareness Toolkit today! 

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Happy Celiac Awareness Month
I want to wish you all a very happy Celiac Awareness Month. Use this month to educate others about Celiac Disease. It is your month to embrace your diagnosis and encourage others to do the same. We need to talk about Celiac, not shy away from it! I truly believe the misdiagnosis of Celiac is due to lack of education. Who better to educate than us living with Celiac!? You are not alone in this disease. There is an amazing community of people in this country who know exactly what you are going through living with Celiac. Don't believe me? Just search Google for Celiac, visit Facebook, or jump on Twitter. We will vent with you, cry with you, and this month... Celebrate with you! While you may be one in a million, those with Celiac are 1 in 100! Spread the Celiac cheer!

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