Part 4: I want to hear from YOU!

It’s that time again… I want to hear from YOU! Thanks to everyone who shared your thoughts on:

I’m excited to share with you everyone’s responses! As a reminder, Celiac disease awareness month is coming up in May, so I thought I would compile various answers from you and create different posts on a few topics relating to living with celiac disease.

I want YOU to share YOUR feelings about living with the disease… this way we can see we’re not alone!

The next thing I want to ask you is:

“The best advice for someone newly diagnosed with celiac is _______.”

Your answers will be published in a blog post in May and will be anonymous, so if you’re uncomfortable leaving a comment here, please feel free to email me (kristina@msmodify.com).

I LOVE hearing from you and I know that your responses truly help others living with celiac!

Thanks for your help!

xo,

Kristina

 

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Interview with a Gluten Free Chef

interview with a gluten free chef

Eating out is hard when you’re gluten free due to celiac or gluten intolerance. End of story. It’s one thing for a restaurant to offer a gluten free menu, and it’s another thing for them to truly understand the severity of gluten cross-contamination. No matter how much they reassure you that they understand cross-contamination and take precautions, really there is always a risk of gluten exposure unless the kitchen is 100% gluten free.

100% gluten free restaurants are hard to come by, and most often they’re a bakery or a place to grab a quick bite (which we still love!). Needless to say I was ecstatic to discover a restaurant opened up near my house that’s 100% gluten free and fine dining! Not only is Oceans & Earth a dedicated gluten free kitchen, but they also have a farm and grow almost everything on their menu!

I had the pleasure of interviewing the owner and chef, Adam Navidi, where he provided me with so much insight on how he decided to open a dedicated gluten free restaurant and what goes into running it!

Give us a little bit of background info about yourself and your restaurant.

I’m never great talking about myself and at the end of the day it takes a team to make O&E happen! I don’t know of any other restaurant that is doing what we are, growing and producing a majority of our menu items! From our local aquaponic farm to gluten free bakery and dedicated gluten free upscale restaurant, it’s super labor intensive, a bit crazy but we love what we do, making people happy and healthy!

When did you first become aware of the need for gluten free options?

I’ve had a private catering company since 1998 where we cooked and done events for lots of elite clientele, from presidents to celebrities, many of which had different health issues and strict diets! In early 2000 several of our catering clients had gluten issues so I had to research and familiarize myself with cooking 100% gluten free! It seemed like everything had gluten in it, so we started by working and serving lots of fresh items like produce and grass feed beef on the menus! Then one of my clients begged me to do a breakfast and wanted items like pancakes and pastries so I started testing out flours and digging deeper into what items I could use and couldn’t use!

interview with gluten free chef

How did you become aware of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity?

From some of the catering clients above! We had 1 client that couldn’t eat dairy or wheat and that really challenged me as a chef! At first, I thought he was the only person that had this rare disease I never heard of before, but they loved what I cooked and I passed their test (they didn’t get sick) and they kept asking me to come back and cook/cater for them! Then I learned they weren’t alone and more and more people started asking me to make them my signature breads!

 

What made you open a restaurant that’s 100% gluten free?

Over the years I’ve opened several restaurants and we always tried to do what we could for those with different sensitivities! But there was always a chance for cross-contamination and no matter how detailed and straightforward your training was cooks kept messing it up! So when we did catering events we would do all of the cooking on site at their homes! When we opened Oceans & Earth we were putting in new equipment and a clean slate so I felt why not just take the challenge and try to perfect gf baking! I felt if we could make a better gf product then we could buy from a non gf bakery then we could be successful and wouldn’t have to worry about contamination & we could sell our products at markets etc!

How do you ensure that there’s no cross-contamination in your kitchen/ restaurant?

We don’t bring in any products that contain gluten, all the food/products on our menu are gluten free!

Interview with a gluten free chef

Is you bar gluten free also?

We have gluten free beer and alcohol but we also have a lot of clients that will freak out if we don’t have what they drink so we carry some that are not gluten free!

We are working on creating some of our own beers etc and hopefully soon we can say our bar matches our food and is 100% dedicated gluten free!!

How do you train your staff to make them aware of cross-contamination?

We don’t allow any of our staff to bring anything in from outside, so we don’t have to worry about food since I buy everything myself and ensure it’s gf and we’ve had the same 2 bar staff making drinks since opening! They have separate bar equipment for making drinks! But we don’t get many orders for gf cocktails!

What was the hardest thing to master being gluten free? What was the process?

Hamburger buns have always been a work in progress! Every time I think we have perfected it we get a batch that doesn’t turn out perfectly risen and moist!

interview with gluten free chef

What’s your most popular item on the menu?

Flatbreads and crab bombs

What’s your favorite thing to make gluten free?

Fish n chips because I grow the fish and everyone tells me they love it and it’s hard to find gf!!

A big thank you to Chef Adam for taking the time to share your experiences with us and a bigger thank you for caring about the celiac community and offering such an incredible safe gluten free options for us! If you’re in the Orange County area, or anywhere in Southern California for that matter, make sure you take a trip to Yorba Linda and dine at Oceans & Earth… I promise you will have the best gluten free meal!

Don’t forget to check out my other interviews:

A Husband’s Perspective: What it’s like to be Married to Someone with Celiac

A Mother’s Perspective: What it’s like Raising a Child with Celiac 

*Images via Oceans & Earth

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Part 3: I want to hear from YOU!

Thanks to everyone who answered my first two questions about the biggest challenges living with celiac and your best tips for a quick recovery from gluten!  It’s so great to see this community we’re creating and I know for me personally, it’s a huge help to realize I’m not alone!

Celiac disease awareness month is coming up in May, so I thought I would compile various answers from you and create different posts on a few topics relating to living with celiac disease.

I want YOU to share YOUR feelings about living with the disease… this way we can see we’re not alone!

The third question:

“Something positive that came out of my celiac diagnosis is _____.”

The obvious for everyone is most likely FEELING BETTER! But, how about other ways it has impacted your life for the better? When I first got diagnosed, I couldn’t begin to imagine anything positive about celiac other than feeling better… but surprisingly there are many positives for me! Last year I shared “10 Reasons I’m Grateful for Celiac Disease”, so I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Your answers will be published in a blog post in May and will be anonymous, so if you’re uncomfortable leaving a comment here, please feel free to email me (kristina@msmodify.com).

I LOVE hearing from you and I know that your responses truly help others living with celiac!

Thanks for your help!

xo,

Kristina

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{gluten free} Greek Easter Cookies “Koulourakia”

gluten free Greek Easter Cookies

Being Greek, there are many traditions we have and many of them involve food! Most are specific recipes we make for different holidays and they are passed down from generation to generation.

These Greek Easter Cookies called “Koulourakia” are something that I remember always making every Easter as a little girl with my yia yia (grandma). I’ve shared this recipe before, but since this is the first Easter without her here with us, I knew I had to share it again in honor of her.

Here my yia yia and I were making Koulourakia together a few years ago.

*side note: That was the first Easter after I was diagnosed with celiac disease, therefore I helped her make them but didn’t eat them. Little did I know I could get sick from the airborne flour and unfortunately I learned the hard way! So, if you’re gluten free…don’t help someone bake with regular flour!

The other night my mom came over and we baked them (gf of course!).

Since this was the first time making them without my yia yia, it was a little emotional for us but so special that we’re able to continue the tradition! We were laughing and reminiscing about how yia yia would always inspect them as we made them and if they weren’t up to her standard, she would take our dough and mash it together and tell us “no, you make them better”!

Traditionally, Koulourakia have an egg wash and sesame seed top but that’s not how I grew up with them, so I leave that part out. I included it in the recipe if you’d like to add it!

I hope you enjoy this traditional cookie as much as I do!

(Makes about 48 cookies depending on size)

Ingredients:

6 cups gluten free four (I always use Cup4Cup)
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
½ cup orange juice
3 Tbsp vanilla

Optional:
1 egg, beaten
Sesame seeds

Instructions:

With a mixer, cream butter and then gradually add sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Beat in orange juice and vanilla. Combine the gluten free flour, baking powder and baking soda; gradually add to mixture.

Dust working area and hands with gluten free flour; to prevent sticking. Roll dough into about 1 ¼ inch balls and then shape each into about 6 inches using your hands to roll. Fold in half and then twist twice. Place on baking sheet about 2 in apart.

Optional: Brush remaining egg on each cookie and top with sesame seeds.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

gluten free Greek Easter Cookies

If you like our Greek traditions, you may also enjoy:

{gluten free} Greek Christmas Cookies “Kourambiedes”

gluten free Kourambiedes - Greek Christmas Cookies

{gluten free} Lucky Greek New Year’s Cake “Vasilopita”

gluten free Vasilopita-Greek lucky New Year's Cake

*The winner of the Artisan Tropic giveaway is Sarah Spratlen! Congrats and please keep an eye out for an email from me so I can get those sent to you!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and Happy Easter!

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Part 2: I want to hear from YOU!

Thank you SO much to those of you who answered my first question about the challenges of living with celiac! I received many emails, comments, social media responses etc. It’s so wonderful to hear your thoughts and see how we can all relate! I can’t wait to share all the answers with you! If you didn’t answer last week’s question, you can do so here!

Celiac disease awareness month is coming up in May, so I thought I would compile various answers from you and create different posts on a few topics relating to living with celiac disease.

I want YOU to share YOUR feelings about living with the disease… this way we can see we’re not alone!

The second question:

“When I get glutened, the one thing that helps most is ______.”

Your answers will be published in a blog post in May and will be anonymous, so if you’re uncomfortable leaving a comment here, please feel free to email me (kristina@msmodify.com).

I LOVE hearing from you and I know that your responses truly help others living with celiac!

Thanks for your help!

xo,

Kristina

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Artisan Tropic Overview + Giveaway!

Artisan Tropic

I’m a snacker. After getting diagnosed with celiac, my love for snacking grew to the next level. I believe this is because I bring my own food pretty much everywhere I go and at any given time you can find snacks in my purse, my car, my husband’s car, etc.! So needless to say I’m always on the lookout for new products that not only are easy to pack, but most importantly taste good!

Chips are my weakness. I love the crunchiness and saltiness of them, but don’t like all the unhealthy additives that are often in chips. With that being said, I was beyond excited when I discovered Artisan Tropic. Their products include cassava and plantain strips that come in a variety of flavors. I was thrilled to learn that all of their strips contain only 3 ingredients or less! They have the same crunch as chips, without all the artificial ingredients.  

Artisan Tropic

Artisan Tropic is a family business based out of North Carolina, originally from Bogotá, Colombia (South America), that’s passionate about healthy eating. Their daughter struggled with health issues and it wasn’t until after she drastically changed her diet she began to heal her body. From that experience they learned the importance of whole food nutrition and decided to create their own brand of healthy snacks.

What is Cassava?

  • Cassava, also known as a Manioc or Yuca, is a tuber originating in South America.
  • The cassava starch pellets are known as tapioca.
  • Cassava is a Nightshade Free Vegetable. This means that unlike white potatoes, Cassava will not cause inflammation!

What is a Plantain?

  • Plantains are members of the banana family, but are more dense and less sweet.
  • Plantains must be cooked but can be prepared at any stage of ripeness.
  • They grow in moisture-rich, tropical climates.
  • As a high-fiber food, plantains help regulate the digestive system

Artisan Tropic

Facts about Artisan Tropic’s Strips:

  • All strips contain only 3 ingredients or less!
  • Certified gluten free
  • Made in a peanut and tree nut free facility
  • Made with all natural ingredients
  • No preservatives
  • No artificial flavors
  • Vegan
  • Non-GMO Project verified
  • Paleo certified

Flavors:

Cassava Strips

  • Sea Salt

Plantain Strips

  • Sea Salt
  • Chilli Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Naturally Sweet

Artisan Tropic

I sampled each of the flavors and enjoyed them all, but my personal favorite were the plantain strips in the chilli pepper flavor. The chilli flavor was subtle enough where it didn’t burn my mouth, but just had enough kick to them! These would make the perfect addition to guacamole or a mango salsa!

You can purchase Artisan Tropic Plantain and Cassava Strips at many health food stores throughout the country or you can buy them online! You can find a location near you here.

My friends over at Artisan Tropic are GIVING AWAY a full case of their large bags of snacks…2 bags of each flavor…10 bags in total!!

All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter below to be entered to win! You have one week to enter.  A winner will be selected and announced next Friday. Best of luck!!

*Must be a US resident to enter Giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Thank you to Artisan Tropic  for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

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I want to hear from YOU!

That’s right… YOU! Celiac disease awareness month is coming up in May, so I thought I would compile various answers from you and create different posts on a few topics relating to living with celiac disease.

I want YOU to share YOUR feelings about living with the disease… this way we can see we’re not alone!

The first question:

“The most challenging aspect of living with celiac disease is ___.”

Your answers will be published in a blog post in May and will be anonymous, so if you’re uncomfortable leaving a comment here, please feel free to email me (kristina@msmodify.com).

If you don’t have celiac, but are a parent of a child…a spouse… a friend… etc… feel free to share what’s challenging for you!

I love hearing from you and building this great community with you! 🙂

Thanks for your help!

xo,

Kristina

 

 

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Gluten Free Easter Candy List

Gluten Free Easter Candy List

It’s that time of year again for another gluten free candy list… this time for Easter! Before you go ahead and fill up your kiddo’s Easter basket, be sure to know which candies are gluten free.

I contacted countless companies regarding gluten free Easter candy, and there appeared to be a theme… no one would provide me with a set list because “seasonal candy tends to change” and every company told me they clearly label gluten containing ingredients on their packages. With that being said, I only included candy where I spoke to a representative and they were able to tell me “yes it’s gluten free”. As always, I recommend reading labels and if you’re unsure call the manufacturer to be safe!

The following candy is considered gluten-free to less than 20 parts per million, according to the manufacturers, which makes them “gluten-free”.

Cadbury: 

In the U.S., Cadbury and Cadbury Easter products are made by Hershey, which does not consider them to be gluten free due to potential risk of cross-contamination.

However, Cadbury Creme Eggs contain no gluten ingredients, and their label states that they are manufactured in a plant that also processes tree nuts and peanuts, but not wheat. I recommend using caution when considering these.

Dove Chocolate:

Dove Chocolate Eggs (including milk chocolate, milk chocolate almond, peanut butter, and dark chocolate varieties)

Dove Fairy Bunny hollow milk chocolate

Dove Solid Chocolate Bunnies, milk chocolate

Dove Solid Chocolate Bunnies, dark chocolate

Dove Truffle Eggs

*Always check the label, as Mars Inc. will mention if major allergens are present in their products or if it “may contain” (chance of cross-contamination).

Hershey’s:

Plain milk chocolate regular-sized in Easter-themed foil wrappers

 

Jelly Belly:

All jelly beans and Jelly Belly Easter/Spring themed packages are gluten free. According to the company “All flavors of Jelly Belly beans are free of gluten. We do not use any wheat, rye, barley, or oats in the basic recipe for Jelly Belly jelly beans. The modified food starch listed on the package is cornstarch.” 

M&M:

Milk Chocolate Solid Bunnies

M&Ms in Easter colors

Milk Chocolate egg shaped M&Ms

*Milk Chocolate speckled eggs contains wheat.

*Always check the label, as Mars Inc. will mention if major allergens are present in their products or if it “may contain” (chance of cross-contamination).

Palmer Holiday Candy:

According to their website “Our products that do NOT contain “cookies” or “crisp rice” are gluten-free. However, ALL of our products are manufactured on machinery that also manufactures products WITH gluten. *As with these and ALL allergen issues, it is important to read the ingredients statement on each of our products. Product packaging is constantly being updated to comply with all food nutritional and ingredients labeling regulations. Of course, we have procedures in place for our production lines to prevent any cross-contamination of our products.”

*So proceed with caution. 

Peeps: 

All are gluten free, except some speciality items such as  “Rainbow Pops” may contain wheat (according to package).

Check the label to make sure it states “gluten-free” below the list of ingredients. Just Born (the parent company) states: “The modified food starch that we use in our candies is corn starch.  However, because some of our products may be manufactured and/or packaged in a facility that may also handle non gluten-free products, we encourage consumers to read the labels carefully for the most up-to-date ingredient and allergen information.”

Starburst:

All Easter-themed Starburst candy, including jelly beans and special Easter candy packages.

Tootsie Roll: 

Easter-themed Tootsie Roll candy, including Dubble Bubble Easter egg-shaped bubble gum, Tootsie Pops, Charms Blow Pops and Charms Candy Carnival products

According to the company: “At this time, all of our confections are gluten free. We do not use wheat, barley, rye, oats, triticale, spelt or any of their components and that includes our dusting on our conveyor belts. We do use corn and soy products in the manufacturing of our products.”

If you want to know about gluten free candy in general, not just Easter-themed, be sure to check out my Candy List.

  • This list is for the US. If you’re in another country, please contact the manufacturer first.
  • This list was made 3/17
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What It’s like Raising a Child with Celiac Disease

What it’s Like Raising a Child with Celiac Disease

Living with someone diagnosed with a chronic illness impacts everyone involved. With celiac disease in particular, your whole life changes, everything from how food is stored in your house to plans you make. Last month I shared an interview I did with my husband about what it’s like being married to someone celiac disease. Today I wanted to share a different perspective;  a parent raising a child with celiac disease.

Marina is a single mom working full time as an RN and raising two children. Her daughter Grace, age 12, the younger of the two was diagnosed with celiac disease two years ago. Marina is my mom’s co-worker and it was after a casual conversation describing her daughter’s chronic stomach aches that my mom suggested she have her tested for celiac. Compounding an already difficult situation is the fact that Grace also has diabetes. Below I’ve asked Marina to share her experience raising a child with celiac disease.

When did you first suspect Grace had a problem?

We had no idea that Grace had celiac though she had chronic tummy aches at night when all the distractions of the day subsided. She was chronically constipated and the doctors were telling me to increase her fiber intake and reduce her stress. Nobody suspected it. In her school pictures she looked like she was pregnant. In spring of 4th grade she had a little blood in her stool. That’s when I called the pediatrician and asked for a stool culture. They found she had a parasite. She got a round of antibiotics, but didn’t cure it. That’s when I asked your mom and she told me to check for celiac. I asked the pediatrician and we did the blood test. Positive. Then we did a colonoscopy and endoscopy. She probably was sick for 2-3 years before she was diagnosed. From the blood in the stool till the colonoscopy and biopsy it took 2 1/2 months.

What were the symptoms?

Bloating, tummy aches, a lot of gas with foul odor, headaches.

How difficult was it getting a diagnosis?

It was very difficult before the episode of bloody stool. She probably had it for 2-3 years before the colonoscopy/endoscopy. Still, the pediatrician did not check for celiac until I asked for it.

It was very difficult to get a diagnosis. She didn’t have the typical diarrhea. Because she had constipation and not diarrhea the pediatrician didn’t think it was anything major, just lack of fiber in her diet! It wasn’t until I met your mom and told her about Grace’s situation that she rang the alarm and urged me to test her for celiac.

How did you feel when you heard Grace was diagnosed with celiac?

It was a very scary day. June 24, 2014. We had a colonoscopy and endoscopy at children’s hospital in LA. I will never forget that day. When the doctor came out of the procedure room it  was not clear to him what Grace had. The pictures he gave me to look at had big bleeding sores inside her in 3 spots and he said he wasn’t sure what it was; if he did it with his instruments or if they were there. So for about 3-4 days we didn’t know the exact biopsy results. They put her on anti-acids and strict lactose free and gluten free diet and told us to wait. When we finally got the results I was overwhelmed with the changes I had to make and I was afraid that I couldn’t do it. I felt sorry for my daughter that she would never be able to eat her favorite food again! It was a very sad time. A time of grief for the loss of health and the restrictions and the practical problems that arose from it.

How did you explain what celiac is to her?

I showed her  the pictures from the colonoscopy and endoscopy and the 3 lesions. I told her that a war was happening inside her tummy and the enemy was bread, pasta, and the fluffy stuff on doughnuts and orange chicken. That those foods were causing those wounds inside her. Later on I explained that her intestines have like little hands that grab on all the vitamins on the food we eat and put it inside her blood and that if she eats the bad stuff then those hands are going to grab the bad foods and put the juices inside her blood and then her blood will be all sick and she will feel very tired and with more headaches and tummy aches.

How did you educate yourself about celiac?

Initially I sent our diagnosis  to the Universities of Columbia and Chicago where there are established celiac programs. We got a box with GF coupons, the magazine “Eating GF”, a teddy bear, a bracelet with the Dx, a children’s book that talks about the disease, and a complementary book of Dr. Greene. I devoured the book and underlined all the important stuff. I was lucky to have your mom who told me about the cross-contamination, more than any doctor or book did. She told me the need to throw away all of my teflon pans and buy everything new. I didn’t listen at that point though… I learned the hard way 4 months later when Grace kept getting sick.

I also went to the celiac conference the last 2 years. I got a chance to stay in line and ask questions to the experts. I have to be my child’s biggest advocate and help fight for her health.

Also, I created a folder with sheet covers where I cut out product labels and stapled all the good- tasting brands. This way I remember which brands are GF and also so I can send my mom or babysitter to go grocery shopping for me by giving them the folder and they see the labels. This makes shopping faster and easier for us.

Did you feel that the medical community was well equipped to help you? 

No, I do not think that the medical community was well equipped to help me. When I asked my primary doctor for a referral to a GI, the GI doctor had no idea about the risk of cross-contamination. He said “as long as she eats GF food she will be ok”. He never once mentioned cross-contamination.

What do you do to keep her life as “normal” as possible?

I cook all her meals at home and she always takes her lunch and snacks from home with her to school, and she sits in the cafeteria to eat with her friends.

As I’m doing this interview she is at her first sleepover for her friend’s birthday party. I asked the mom in advance what food they would be having at the party. She told me spaghetti, pizza and cupcakes. I did exactly the same at home and packed 2 lunch boxes. One for early evening and one for before bedtime (she is also diabetic type 1 and needs food or snacks if she is low from jumping around so much).

At home we all eat GF so she feels supported and that this is our normal too.

How has life changed since her diagnosis? 

It has changed 100%. I used to enjoy baking and cooking and now I am dragging myself to do it. It’s as if the fun is gone. I still do cook daily but I do not enjoy it as before. It’s more strict and I have to calculate doses and carbohydrates (because of her diabetes) on top of it; it’s not fun. We miss getting take out and  the freedom of stopping and eating when you get hungry.

Is your entire kitchen gluten free? If not, how do you ensure cross-contamination does not occur?

YES. I have a 100% GF KITCHEN. I used to have non-GF snacks for my son that were packaged and sealed but Grace kept getting sick and I couldn’t figure it out. Well, when my son would clean up his lunchbox from all the crumbs and oils, he would use the kitchen sponge . I then used the same sponge to do the dishes or clean Grace’s lunch box. There you go…cross-contamination. The only thing that helped Grace not get sick is after I threw away ALL my kitchen mini-appliances and plates and silverware (I donated them) and went ahead and bought all new. Since then she does not get sick from my kitchen or what I cooked.

What’s been the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge is avoiding of cross-contamination. And for me fatigue from cooking all 3 meals daily at home!

How did you teach her to be an advocate for herself when you’re not around?

Grace is still not able to advocate for her celiac disease or stand up to her dad when he cooks a meal for her in his mixed kitchen that he shares with 3 more men in his house. Grace takes her dad’s word when he says “it’s gluten free”. She still gets sick when she’s at his house. The problem is she’s uncomfortable to speak up. He cuts corners and forgets the cross-contamination risk. This is the only place Grace still gets sick when she goes.  I often pack her a lunchbox so she won’t eat at her dad’s home. Grace is not ready. I try to bring her in the kitchen to teach her to cook and bake GF but she is not thrilled about it. Hopefully as she gets older she will be able to this.

What’s your hope for the future for Grace and celiac as a whole?

MY WISH IS THEY FIND A CURE!!

What advice do you have for parents who need support in raising children with celiac or other illnesses?

Educate yourself on all the hidden symptoms and avoid cross-contamination. Send your child to celiac camp, so they can see they’re not alone. Join a celiac support group. Get connected with other parents and make sure you set up times for your kids to get together. This is hard on everyone so have support!

A big thank you to Marina for taking the time to do this interview! My hope is for other parents out there raising children with celiac or other chronic illnesses to know that you’re not alone!

 

 

 

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Gluten Free Beer vs. Gluten Removed Beer

Gluten Free Beer vs. Gluten Removed Beer

Have you heard of gluten removed beer? I know I didn’t even know it existed before I started researching gluten free alcohol. If you don’t know the difference between gluten free beer and gluten removed beer, don’t worry I’m breaking it all down for you! 

What’s the Difference Between Gluten Free Beer & Gluten Removed Beer?

Beer that is brewed with 100% gluten free ingredients is classified as 100% gluten free. However, several beers have come on the market over the past few years that are made with barley (a gluten grain), but labeled as “gluten-removed.”

Brewers start with barley, which gives the beer it’s traditional flavor and then add an enzyme in the brewing process called “Brewers Clarex” that breaks down gluten and other proteins. The resulting brew tests below the currently accepted “gluten-free” standard of less than 20 parts per million. This is where it becomes controversial because there are many different methods that detect gluten levels, which can produce different results. Traditional methods of testing look for the whole protein, whereas in the process of making gluten removed beer it breaks down the proteins, which can make it harder to test.

The process doesn’t actually remove the gluten but instead it breaks down the gluten molecule chain into much smaller pieces that their manufacturers claim renders them safe for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity to drink.

Is Gluten Removed Beer Considered Gluten Free?

Gluten removed beer cannot be labeled as “gluten free” and additionally on their label they state that a process was used to remove gluten however they may still contain gluten.

Is Gluten Removed Beer Safe for People with Celiac?

A study was recently done by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) at the University of Chicago’s Celiac Center where they compared how blood samples reacted to gluten removed beer and gluten free beer. They were looking to see if the protein in both types of beer were recognized in antibodies in the blood. The findings were that gluten free beer did not cause any reaction, whereas the gluten removed beer did. The researches did state a larger study is needed to further examine this issue. Celiac experts say that gluten removed beer is NOT safe.

You can read the whole study here.

Ever since this issue was brought to my attention I always read beer labels to see which category it falls in. Something to keep in mind is that gluten removed beer is sold on the shelf next to gluten free beer, also gluten removed beer is often labeled “GF” on drink menus at restaurants.

With so many gluten free options, I recommend sticking to those if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. If you’re unsure, always select the option made from non-gluten grains.

To learn which brands are gluten free vs. gluten removed be sure to check out my “Gluten Free Alcohol Guide” where you will find over 40 pages of categories, brands and flavors of alcohol that are gluten free. I also explain some of the controversial issues to help you make safe decisions when choosing which ones to consume. Included in the guide are ten of my favorite cocktail recipes made with gluten free alcohol and mixers!

MsModify Gluten Free Alcohol Guide Cover

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