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Friday, April 24, 2015
New Gluten-Free Bread at Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's just launched two new gluten-free breads trying to meet an ever-growing demand for gluten-free products at the store. A few of my readers mentioned this bread to me and then my sister bought the new white sandwich bread at her local Trader Joe's. She said it was most similar to Udi's Bread and was happy to see it readily available and on the shelves. 

I was very curious to understand how the bread was produced and if it was made in a dedicated gluten-free facility so I contacted customer service. It took a few days, but I finally received this response from Trader Joe's:

Thank you for contacting us with your product inquiry.  However, our bread product selections and suppliers may vary by state and/or region (as we do source our bread products locally).  Therefore in order to provide you with accurate allergen information for the specific facility that makes the bread for your area, we would require the specific product SKU number or UPC code from the packaging. 
We can share with you that as a standard any products that state “gluten-free” on the labeling will have undergone testing to validate the claim. 
GLUTEN FREE — Per the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gluten free labeling regulation, a product that displays a “Gluten Free” claim on the label has been validated to contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. If you see “Gluten Free” on a Trader Joe’s product, this means that the product has been validated to contain less than 20 ppm of gluten. Individuals with Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity must avoid gluten for their health. 
So, we do also invite you to contact us directly at (626) 599-3817 anytime Monday through Friday during the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (PSt) with the specific product SKU or UPC code for further clarification.  However, you can be assured that the product is indeed "gluten free" per the above standards.

It looks like Trader Joe's understands the FDA gluten-free labeling regulation, but I still do not know how the bread is produced or if the production facility is dedicated gluten-free. It seems strange to me that the gluten-free breads would be produced in different factories across the country, but this email implies that it does just that. Once I get a loaf of this bread in my local Trader Joe's, I will inquire about the particular SKU and it's source facility and report back. .

In the meantime, here are the ingredients for the new gluten-free breads at Trader Joe's.


GLUTEN FREE WHITE SANDWICH BREAD: Water, Tapicoa Starch, Potato Starch, Brown Rice Flour, Cane Sugar, Modified Tapioca Starch, Rice Flour with Cultured Rice Flour (for freshness), Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Whole Grain Sorghum Flour, Xanthan Gum, Yeast, Egg Whites, Tapioca Maltodextrin, Baking Powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Potato Flour, Monocalcium Phosphate), Sea Salt, Calcium Sulfate, Enzymes. CONTAINS EGGS.

GLUTEN FREE WHOLE GRAIN BREAD: Water, Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Brown Rice Flour, Cane Sugar, Rice Flour with Cultured Rice Flour (for freshness), Modified Tapioca Starch, Whole Grain Sorghum Flour, Whole Grain Amaranth Flour, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Whole Grain Teff, Xanthan Gum, Yeast, Egg Whites, Tapioca Maltodextrin, Baking Powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Potato Flour, Monocalcium Phosphate), Flaxseed Meal, Sea Salt, Molasses, Calcium Sulfate, Enzymes. CONTAINS EGGS.

Has anyone tried this bread yet? What do you think? 

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Thursday, April 23, 2015
#TalkTellTest: Seriously, Celiac Disease

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has kicked off a new campaign called "Seriously, Celiac" that urges you to talk to your family about celiac disease. They even provide you with a video about the campaign and tools to have the right conversation. They are ask you to TALK to your family, TELL them about celiac disease, and then encourage them to get TESTed for the disease.

You can download the NFCA's free discussion guide which gives you tips on having the right conversation with your family about celiac disease testing. You can also download a guide with tips on how to talk to your doctor about celiac disease testing.

I have at least two relatives that I have told multiple times that they should be tested for celiac disease. They know my thirty-four year history of the disease, my sister's history with the disease, and even another relative's history, yet both people tell me they don't have it. I don't know if they have actually been tested or not but I see continued symptoms in both. I am definitely going to reread these tips from the NFCA and have another conversation with the family when the time is appropriate.

Visit for more information.

Thursday, April 9, 2015
Birthday Reflections: Being an Authentic Celiac
AUTHENTIC (adjective) 
\ə-ˈthen-tik, ȯ-\
  • real or genuine 
  • not copied or false
  • true and accurate

Today is my birthday and it is time for a little reflection on my celiac life, my gluten-free blogs, and my position as an advocate within the community. As I sit here, the word "AUTHENTIC" keeps popping back into my brain.

I have always tried to be 100% authentic. I blog how I think and how I talk which is usually stream of consciousness, honest, raw, and real. I greet readers and Facebook friends with a wide genuine smile and usually a hug, which is how I want to be greeted by people I like and admire. I leave honest comments on other blogs that aren't always in favor of what the author is writing, but it is my honest opinion that I want to share.

Recently, I had some interesting questions thrown my way by others in the gluten-free industry. One person asked me why I bother with two separate blogs. (Different topics, different missions.) Why I quit my job to do freelance work? (If not now, when?) and why do I do what I do or don't do XYZ with my websites.... in a less than friendly tone. (Um, this is me, take it or leave it!)

But these questions made me think, are there that many bloggers not being truthful to themselves and their audiences? Are they selling out their personal style and opinions just to make money? Why would I not do what I love, follow my passion, share my experiences while remaining authentic and true to myself? I honestly cannot imagine being any other way.

I may not be the gluten-free blogger with the biggest following. I never expect everyone to love me, my blog, and my opinions. But I can tell you from the bottom of my heart, I am real. I am genuine. I am authentic. I have been living with celiac disease for almost 34 years. I am not trying to be trendy by eating gluten-free for three decades and writing this blog for the past eight years. I am trying to share my life long experiences in hopes that I can help just one person in this world navigate their new celiac diagnosis. I will continue to be real as I start this next year of my life. This is my birthday promise to you.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Gluten-Free Museum on Tumblr
Have you guys seen this new Tumblr blog yet? It's called Gluten-Free Museum and basically all of the gluten has been Photoshopped out of famous pieces of art (and some cartoons). This site is probably a joke poking fun at us, but it really puts things into perspective.

We all know that almost all of the removed foods below can now be made gluten-free, but I think this puts our gluten-free diets into an interesting perspective. It shows you exactly how much gluten is embedded into our diets, culture, and history. Gluten is an integral part of human culture. It is only the special few that must eat gluten-free. (Yes, that's us!)

Here are some of my favorites. Visit Gluten-Free Museum for more.

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