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Sunday, October 28, 2007
Ener-G Foods to Support Victims of the S. California Wildfires
I just got back from a very interesting vacation in San Diego. My second day in So Cal there were over 5 wildfires burning in San Diego County. By my third day, more than 50% of my hotel was filled with fire evacuees. It was quite a scary time to be there, but I worked hard for my vacation and I decided to stay. I had to cancel my trip to Palm Springs since every way out of San Diego county that I had planned for was blocked by fires. I wanted to avoid driving through any potential unsafe zones, so I extended my time in San Diego. Let me tell you, it isn't a bad place to be "trapped" but I just wish it had been under different circumstances. People were enormously generous to the over 500,000 evacuees but I couldn't help but wonder what people with Celiac Disease were to do when most of the food donated was stuff we couldn't eat. David, of Gluten-Free NYC, posted about gluten-free food for evacuees and I think it is important to get the word out.

Today while I was searching the internet, I also found out that Ener-G Foods is coordinating food donations with the Celiac Disease Foundation and the American Red Cross to help those on restricted diets. People affected by the wildfires can contact the Celiac Disease Foundation for more information on how to obtain these donated foods:

Celiac Disease Foundation
Elaine Monarch

If you wish to contribute to the Disaster Relief Fund, please contact:

American Red Cross
PO Box 37243
Washington DC 20013

Please consider donations specifically for the California Wildfire Disaster Relief Fund. From being there, I know first hand the devastation these people are going through. My heart and prayers go out to Southern California.

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Friday, October 19, 2007
Meeting the Gluten-Free Girl in NYC (part 1)
"The more you live in food, the more ideas rise and you can start to trust your instincts"
~Shauna James Ahern, 10/15/07

On Monday night, I had the wonderful opportunity to finally meet Shauna James Ahern, the Gluten-Free Girl herself. I was so thrilled that I signed up for the cooking and book signing event at Whole Foods and it came on a particularly crappy day at work. I made sure to get to Whole Foods Bowery nice and early to get an upfront seat. I was really impressed with this Whole Foods, it is clean and HUGE. I didn't look around too much since I was waiting for the class, but plan on going back soon.

I have been a fan of Shauna's blog for a long time and I knew how excited she was about her newly published book and her NYC visit. Allergic Girl had put Shauna in contact with me a few weeks earlier and I was flattered to help out someone that I admired so much. When I first got to see Shauna and Danny (her husband aka as "The Chef") in the Whole Foods classroom kitchen, I felt like I was watching a behind-the-scenes episode of a Food Network program. They were buzzing around the kitchen getting stuff ready for the class.

When we got into the classroom at 7pm, we were each greeted with a copy of Shauna's new book Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back...And How You Can Too and a nice plate of crackers, veggies, and hummus. I made sure to get a front and center seat to enjoy the class and the commentary.

Shauna started the evening by introducing herself, The Chef, and her dear friends Meri and Sharon. It was so cool to see these people in person after we have heard so much about in the past few years from Shauna's blog. It was also refreshing to see how truly down to earth Shauna and Danny are. Shauna had to laugh when she said "It's weird to be in a room of people you don't know, but who have seen your wedding photos." This comment alone made me think that Shauna was really excited to be in NYC and also thrilled to have these fans and see them all with her book in front of them. After Shauna's introductions, she had us go around the room and introduce ourselves. I thought this was a really nice touch. My biggest thrill was after I introduced myself, Shauna gave me and the meetups a shout-out. I was so touched by the attention she paid to the individuals, and especially the time she took to recognize me on a night that was for her. It was nice to meet fellow celiacs, food bloggers, and caterers interested in learning more about gluten-free cooking for their clients. These introductions made me feel like I was in a room of friends rather than a room of strangers. It was wonderful to hear how excited the others were to be there and know that I wasn't the only one feeling that way in the room.

After introductions, Danny and Shauna started making chicken thighs braised in pomegranate molasses. Shauna used Alwadi pomegranate molasses, which of course were gluten-free. We learned what braising really meant and throughout the demo, Shauna and Danny urged us all to slow down in the kitchen and when eating food. I wondered if others in the room were thinking like a true NYer "When do we really have time to slow down?" I know that during the week I am never home and usually pop leftovers in the microwave before settling in front of the tv. My most enjoyable cooking experiences are Sunday afternoons. I start cooking at 3pm and make about three dishes for the week. I blast the radio, read cookbooks, and just enjoy the time I have in the kitchen. If I had more time to slow down, I would. But for now, I will use my Sundays to enjoy my food and my cooking time.

Our next dish was penne pasta with smoked salmon, dill, capers, and fresh horseradish. I was a bit nervous about this dish since I don't eat salmon, capers, or horseradish... but I did eat it because I was in the front row and I didn't want to insult anyone. There was nothing wrong with the dish, but I found the capers a bit salty for me. I was great that I tried something new that night in the presence of someone that I truly admire.

The last dish was fig cookies. This dish spread a bit on the baking sheet, but Shauna and Danny just rolled with it and said "it happens." I love that attitude they both have. Here we are in a professional kitchen with a chef and an author. There is no "cut" that a director can shout and Shauna just kept right on with the flow of the conversation. She continued to ask us questions, talk to us like old friends, and kept a smile on her face the whole time. Another thing I noticed throughout the evening and especially with the "fig incident" was the amazing love Shauna has for Danny and vice versa. Her eyes are truly lit up with love and awe for the Chef. The Chef is a quiet, shy man who seems equally thrilled with life and is clearly proud of his new wife. One of my favorite parts of Shauna's blog is her love story with The Chef. Her love just jumps off the blog and into your heart (or if you are like me then with tears of happiness.) It was wonderful and inspiring to see the chemistry between these two people who are clearly so in love with each other.

After an evening of food, conversation, cooking tips, sneak-peaks at upcoming projects, and more, we got to line up and get our books autographed by Shauna. It was great to wait on line and have others come and introduce themselves to me. We "knew" each other through the meetup website and emails, but had never met face-to-face. It is amazing how the internet brought everyone in that room together that Monday night. When I finally met Shauna (I was the last in line) she didn't greet me with a handshake, but with an enormous hug and thank you with the same from The Chef. Again, I was touched by her kindness and her unpretentious attitude towards her class, her new book, and her life in general. Shauna truly appreciates everything that comes to her and it is quite obvious from how she presents herself that she is thankful for everything. I spent about ten minutes chatting with Shauna and Danny and was thrilled to meet someone I admire so much. Not only did Shauna sign my book, but we chatted like friends. She asked about my grandmother, we spoke about her weekend events in Central Park, and just spoke about life in general. For someone I had just met, I was totally at ease around Shauna. I couldn't help but leave Whole Foods that night with a huge smile on my face.

I want to personally thank Shauna for being such a wonderful and uplifting advocate for the Celiac community. I think we need many more people like this that can represent us in such a positive way. Shauna, you made my evening one of the best in a long time and I thank you for all you have done and all you plan to do. Good luck with your book and enjoy the ride! YES!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007
CNN to Host Celiac Week: October 15-19
October is Celiac Awareness Month and CNN has joined in with the effort to educate Americans about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.

Beginning Monday Oct. 15, tune in to CNN from 9am-Noon EST.

CNN Newsroom Anchor Heidi Collins, a fellow celiac sufferer will air a series of segments during her show to highlight several aspects of celiac disease.

Here is a sneak preview of CNN's Celiac Week.

Watch the segment now on

Monday: What is celiac disease?
Dr. Aline Charabaty of Georgetown University Medical Center's Division of Gastroenterology will join CNN's Heidi Collins in the Newsroom to discuss the basics of celiac disease, diagnosis and treatment with a gluten-free diet.

Tuesday: "Non-Gastrointestinal Complications of Celiac Disease"
Dr. Richard Mandel of the Center for Advanced Orthopedics in Philadelphia will discuss the orthopedic complications of celiac disease and celiac patients can improve bone health. Also in the CNN Newsroom, Dr. Robert Mangione, dean of the St. Johns University College of Pharmacy, will explain how gluten in medication can impact celiac patients and discuss the immediate need for labeling of gluten in medication.

Wednesday: "Gluten-Free School Lunches"

Rep. Steve Kagen (D-WI) will offer tips for safely sending celiac children to school and federal school lunch requirements to provide gluten-free meals.

Thursday: "Hope with Celiac Disease"
Vanessa Maltin of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and Beyond Rice Cakes author will be on CNN discussing new resources available to help patients cope with celiac disease including cookbooks, video podcasts, cupcake parties and celiac camps.

Friday: "Gluten-Free Dining in Restaurants"
Tips for managing food allergies at restaurants and how patients can ensure a safe dining experience.

So, be sure to tune in to CNN from Oct. 15-19 to hear from some of the nations' top celiac disease experts and learn some great tips for managing a gluten-free lifestyle.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Gluten-Free Girl in NYC

I am pleased to announce a number of events this week in the NYC Celiac Disease community. I am most excited about Shauna James Ahern's visit to NYC. Many of you may know Shauna as the Gluten-Free Girl whose gluten-free blog offers inspiring posts about "food, stories, recipes and love." Shauna will be in NYC this weekend with her husband Danny Ahern (otherwise know as "The Chef") to promote her new book "Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back...And How You Can Too" available on

Shauna and Danny's visit to NYC will include:

I am thrilled to meet Shauna and Danny this weekend. I have been a fan of the Gluten-Free Girl blog for over a year and I find her posts both inspiring and heart-felt. When Allergic Girl pointed Shauna my way, I was thrilled to help out someone I admire so. I do encourage you all to come out and show your support for the NYC Celiac Community as well as Shauna this weekend. I will be at the Whole Foods event on Monday but unfortunately a family emergency is preventing me from attending the other events on the weekend.

UPDATE 10/15/07: BUY IT TODAY. Shauna is a lovely woman and her book is just beautiful. I had a wonderful evening with food and conversation with Shauna! I will post about tonight soon.

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Sunday, October 7, 2007
Gluten-Free Gold
Congratulations to Joe Pace, owner of my favorite gluten-free restaurant Risotteria, and his great "Gluten-Free Ka-Ching!" segment on CNBC on Friday, October 5th.

270 Bleecker Street, NYC

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Thursday, October 4, 2007
Gluten-Free Shopping in NYC and the 5 boroughs
Thanks to a member of my NYC Celiac Disease Meetup Group I am happy to post this extensive list of gluten-free shopping in New York City, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island. (Those are the five boroughs for those of you outside of NY.) This list is especially helpful to those visiting NY who don't want to eat at a restaurant for every meal. Please feel free to add any additions to the comments section of this posting.

ABOVE 42nd:
UPPER WEST SIDE: Fairway Market 2127 Broadway at 74th 6am-1am
UPPER WEST SIDE: Health Nuts, 2611 Broadway at 98th Street
HARLEM: Fairway Market 2328 12th Ave. 8am-11pm
HELL'S KITCHEN: Westerly Market 8th Ave. & 54th Street, til midnight
HELL'S KITCHEN: Amish Market, 9th Ave. btw 49th and 50th, 7am-9:30
MIDTOWN EAST: Health Nuts, 2nd & 45th Street
MIDTOWN EAST: Amish Market, 240 E. 45th St, 7am-9:30
UPPER EAST: Health Nuts, 2nd & 63rd Street
UPPER EAST: [unknown name], 75th and 1st, til 7pm
UPPER EAST: HealthSource, 69th and 2nd Ave,
UPPER EAST: HealthSource, 57th and 2nd Ave
UPPER EAST: Natural Frontier Market, 83rd and 3rd
UPPER EAST: Matter of Health, 1st Ave at 77th st., til 8pm weekdays, til 6pm weekends
COLUMBUS CIRCLE: Whole Foods, Time Warner Center

BELOW 42nd:
MIDTOWN: HealthSource, 120 E. 34th & Lexington
UNION SQUARE: Trader Joes, 142 E. 14th Street, 9am-10pm
UNION SQUARE: Whole Foods, 40 E. 14th Street
CHELSEA: Whole Foods, 250 7th ave.
EAST VILLAGE: Whole Foods, 95 East Houston
WEST VILLAGE: Health and Harmony, 470 Hudson
MURRAY HILL: Natural Frontier Market, 22rd and 3rd
SOHO/TRIBECA: Earth Matters, 177 Ludlow
SOHO/TRIBECA: 53 Park Place, btw Church and W. Broadway 6:30-10pm
DOWNTOWN/FINANCIAL: 17 Battery Place, 6am-10pm

RED HOOK: Fairway Market, 480-500 Van Brunt Street, 8am-10pm
PARK SLOPE: Back To The Land, 7th Ave and Carroll
PARK SLOPE: Everybody Eats, 3rd and Caroll
PARK SLOPE: Traditions, 465 5th Ave between 10th and 11th
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS: Perelandra, 175 Remsen Street
SOUTH WILLIAMSBURG: Sunac Natural Food, 440 Union Ave. (btw Devoe and Keap)
BOROUGH PARK: Coluccio & Sons; Wholesale/Retail Italian Grocers 1218 60th St., Brooklyn, NY. Tel.: 718-436-6700.
KENSINGTON/FLATBUSH: Flatbush Food Co-op, 1318 Cortelyou Rd, 718-284-9717
SOUTH WILLIAMSBURG: Josefs Gluten Free, 194 South 8 Street, Brooklyn NY 11211

FLUSHING: Queens Health Emporium, 159-01 Horace Hardin Expressway
BAYSIDE: Health Nuts, Bay Terrace Shopping Center
ASTORIA: Broadway Health Foods, Broadway at 30th Street
ASTORIA: Astoria Natural Center, 4103 31st Avenue
ASTORIA: Sai Organics, 3607 30th Avenue
GLENDALE/MIDDLE VILL./FOREST HILLS: Amish Market, Atlas Park Mall, 8000 Cooper Ave.
KEW GARDENS: Linda's Organic Kitchen and Market, 81-22 Lefferts Blvd A, 718-321-2088

Family Health Foods, 177 New Dorp Ln.
Family Health Foods, 604 Forest Ave.
Family Health Foods, 1789 Victory Blvd.
Family Health Foods, 7001 Amboy Road

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