Archive for May, 2011

A Blogger A Day: Sure Foods Living

A Blogger A Day, the Gluten-Free Way logoName: Alison St. Sure
Lives in: San Francisco Bay Area

Blogs at:
Tweets at:
Like her at: Sure Foods Living on Facebook

Why we’re fans: Alison is a dedicated researcher, which often means doing the grunt work no one else has the patience or drive to do. Each year, she logs hours reading labels, making phone calls and sending emails to manufacturers just to compile a list of Halloween candy that’s safe for gluten-free kids. Her Halloween Candy Quick List has become a valuable asset to the community, and many websites (including NFCA) post the list to keep parents informed. But for Alison, it’s not a once-a-year deal; she puts that level of scrutiny into everything she writes.

Alison St. Sure

Alison St. Sure

Alison’s Story: I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002. My husband is self-diagnosed gluten-intolerant. Both my children have been gluten-free since the womb! Both my parents are gluten-free after negative test results, and their health is so much better.

According to Alison: The most unexpected part of going gluten-free was that it would be so life-changing. Not only did my health dramatically improve, but I also found my life’s passion – raising awareness about the effects of gluten and helping people to live gluten-free. I like to say that I have turned my disease into a career!

A taste of Sure Foods Living:

  • A Brief History of Wheat and Why It is Making Us Sick: The impetus for the article was my 98-year-old grandmother, who remembers when her grandmother started using high gluten flour. Though other writers have discussed the long-term history of wheat, it is important to look at how our diets have changed over just the last 100 years. I spent many hours doing research for this article and learned a lot.
  • Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Gluten Intolerance: This article has received 143 comments so far, and most of the comments are great big long stories of what people have been through with these conditions. I still find it unbelievable that people with symptoms of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue aren’t routinely tested for celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
  • Vitiligo and Gluten Intolerance: I believe this is the only article out there that connects the two conditions with anecdotal evidence. The comments from readers are fascinating. This is a topic that needs to be researched by the medical community.

For more of NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Month celebration, visit

May 31, 2011 at 1:16 pm 2 comments

A Blogger A Day: Gluten-Free on a Shoestring

A Blogger A Day, the Gluten-Free Way logoName: Nicole Hunn

Blogs at:
Tweets at:
Like her at:
On the bookshelf: Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap. Available wherever books are sold.

Why we’re fans: We like saving money (Who doesn’t?). We also like witty writing that’s easy-going even when xanthan gum is part of the mix. With Nicole’s blog, we get both. Her posts like “The Promise of Pita” are as entertaining as they are delicious, and the special page marked “Shoestring Savings” has oodles of links to coupons from some of your favorite gluten-free food manufacturers. Earlier this month, Nicole was featured in a news segment on ABC 7 in New York to promote her cookbook and put Celiac Awareness Month in the spotlight.

Nicole Hunn

Nicole Hunn

Nicole’s Story: My son Jonathan, who is now 7 years old, has celiac disease. We keep a gluten-free house, which includes me, my husband, and all of our 3 children eating gluten-free at home.

According to Nicole: The most unexpected part of going gluten-free was having it take me in the direction of cookbook author and food blogger, instead of practicing lawyer!

A taste of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring:

For more of NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Month celebration, visit

May 31, 2011 at 6:00 am 2 comments

A Blogger A Day: Jules Speaks Gluten Free

A Blogger A Day, the Gluten-Free Way logoName: Jules Shepard
Lives in: Baltimore, MD area

Blogs at:
Tweets at:
Like her at:
On the bookshelf: Free for All Cooking: 150 Easy Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Recipes the Whole Family Can Enjoy (Da Capo Press 2010), The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten Free (Da Capo Press 2008), Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating (Booksurge, 2006)

Why we’re fans: If you’re at a loss for what to make this Memorial Day, Jules probably has some suggestions for you. Her blog lists recipe after recipe, from appetizers to desserts, while her popular holiday e-book proved that she has more than a few entertaining tips up her sleeves. Jules will even give you something to talk about: As co-founder of, she’s determined to make gluten-free food labeling part of everyday discussion.

Jules Shepard

Jules Shepard

Jules’ Story: I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1999 after being sick for 10 years, and being misdiagnosed with IBS.

According to Jules: The most unexpected part of going gluten-free was that I ended up leaving my job as a prosecuting attorney, and began writing books on living and baking gluten-free, traveling the country lecturing and teaching gluten-free baking classes, regularly appearing on TV and radio as a “guest chef,” and working as a blogger, consumer/gluten-free advocate, industry consultant and gluten-free food manufacturer! No way would I ever have expected my life would take those twists and turns! The best part though, is that I’ve met so many amazing people in my travels and my work as an author and gluten-free baking expert. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to help them in some way. Our 1in133 event was another wonderful way of helping in our community – I look forward to continuing that work and to my next gluten-free adventure!

A taste of Jules Speaks Gluten Free:

For more of NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Month celebration, visit

May 30, 2011 at 7:52 am 2 comments

A Blogger A Day: Creative Cooking: Gluten Free

A Blogger A Day, the Gluten-Free Way logoName: Jenny Manseau
Lives in: Portsmouth, RI

Blogs at:
Tweets at:
Like her at:

Why we’re fans: Jenny enjoys the learning process. Instead of throwing her hands up at the thought of going gluten-free, she went to work in the kitchen. She’s not afraid to admit when something’s a flop, and over time, her recipes have become more advanced and adventurous. Now, Jenny’s taking it to the next level by attending culinary school, with the ultimate goal to become a registered dietitian and personal chef for people with allergies. While she’s at it, she’s teaching her whole class a thing or two about celiac disease and why gluten-free safety is so important.

Jenny Manseau

Jenny Manseau

Jenny’s Story: I was diagnosed almost 3 years ago with celiac disease after many years of being misdiagnosed.  I started my blog to keep a journal for myself of my new kitchen adventures, including my failures and successes.   You can read more of my story on my blog (

According to Jenny: The toughest part of going gluten-free is eating out with friends and being “that person”.  You all know what I’m talking about – the one asking nine million questions, double checking everything and having to find a place that is suitable for me to eat.  It makes going out in groups a bit difficult, but thankfully those who know me are very understandable and accommodating, it is those that I just meet that it is hard for. I tend to feel bad about it and often don’t go out with people.

A taste of Creative Cooking: Gluten Free:

  • My take of P.F. Chang’s Beef a La Sichuan: My biggest weakness is Chinese food, and I miss that more than anything else with being gluten-free.  When living in Monterey, CA, I got spoiled by this great little family-run Chinese restaurant that would make me pretty much anything I wanted if I supplied them with gluten-free soy sauce. Needless to say, I ate there several times a week (I told you, it’s my weakness). P.F. Chang’s is also one of my favorite places to eat because they have such a great selection on their gluten-free menu.  Sadly though, there isn’t one very close to us in Rhode Island, so I have decided to try and re-create as many of their recipes as possible.  That way, I can control what ingredients I use, save money, and get my fix.
  • Butternut Squash Soup: I don’t have a food processor or blender, so making this is a bit difficult. I was craving this soup so badly one day I finally went over to my neighbor and asked to borrow her food processor. Thankfully, she had one!  It is just one of those soups that screams comfort food on a nice cool day. Perfect in the fall, winter or spring.  We tend to like things a bit spicy in our house, so adjust the spice level accordingly. Great topped with gluten-free croutons, crispy bacon or toasted pine nuts.
  • Cooking with my Grandma Lu (Meatballs and Sauce): I love and admire my grandmother very much.  She is the reason I love to cook.  She taught me from a very early age with a chair pulled up to the stove next to her.  The love of cooking that she instilled in me at such an early age is one of my main reasons for attending my dream culinary school with the determination to do it as gluten-free as possible.

For more of NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Month celebration, visit

May 29, 2011 at 8:14 am 2 comments

A Blogger A Day: Atlanta Gluten-Free Food Examiner

A Blogger A Day, the Gluten-Free Way logoName: Jennifer D. Harris
Lives in: Norcross, GA

Blogs at:
Tweets at:

Why we’re fans: Jennifer’s blog is technically local, but she covers plenty of news that goes beyond the Atlanta limits. I often find myself clicking the links she tweets to learn more about a chain restaurant that will soon offer gluten-free options, or a new gluten-free product that can be ordered online or found in stores nationwide. She also has been an avid supporter of our Twibbon campaign for Celiac Awareness Month, wearing the little green border proudly around her photo.

Jennifer D. Harris

Jennifer D. Harris

Jennifer’s Story: I was diagnosed with celiac disease on April 7, 1997, after a decade of problems.

According to Jennifer: The most unexpected part of going gluten-free was that I turned my diagnosis into a career, working as Marketing Manager for Pure Knead Bakery in Decatur, GA.  It is a GFCO certified local company whose bread/dessert products are free of: dairy/casein, soy, peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish. I also started my own consulting business working with local restaurants, and it is quite fulfilling.

A taste of Atlanta Gluten-Free Food Examiner:

For more of NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Month celebration, visit

It is a GFCO certified local company whose bread/dessert products are free of: dairy/casein, soy, peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish. 

May 28, 2011 at 7:47 am Leave a comment

A Blogger A Day: The WHOLE Gang

A Blogger A Day, the Gluten-Free Way logoName: Diane Eblin
Lives in: Herndon, VA

Blogs at:
Tweets at:
Like her at: The WHOLE Gang on Facebook; Friend her at: Diane Eblin on Facebook
On the bookshelf: The Gluten-Free Diner e-cookbook. Available at

Why we’re fans: Diane has a ton of information on her blog – recipes, reviews, “Food Rock Star” profiles – but they’re laid out in a way that’s easy to digest. She’s a busy woman, organizing blog campaigns like the current 30 Days to Easy Gluten-Free Living (with some familiar faces), developing recipes and, this year, becoming a Certified Health Coach trained at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. We’ve had the pleasure of featuring some of her creations on our Recipe of the Week blog, so we’re glad she’s “taking it to the streets” to help others along their health journey.

Diane Eblin

Diane Eblin

Diane’s Story: I am gluten intolerant, my family has tested for gluten being a problem and we have autoimmune diseases that require a gluten free diet.  I started my blog to keep track of all the resources I found and the recipes I was creating.  Then people started to read it and it grew from there.  Now it’s a wonderful community where people come to learn and share.  It’s continually growing and changing and this year as I work through my studies at Integrative Nutrition I will be sharing much more than just recipes.  Starting in July I will also be seeing clients as a Holistic Health Coach who specializes in helping people who have to give up certain foods.

According to Diane: The most wonderfully unexpected part of living gluten-free is the great friends I have made all around the world and how much I’ve learned from them, too.

A taste of The WHOLE Gang:

For more of NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Month celebration, visit

May 27, 2011 at 8:00 am 2 comments

Stealing a Base and Other Seized Opportunities

[As you know, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members are big Phillies fans. So when one of our newest volunteers, Nadina Fraimow, told us she shared the same passion for sports, wellness and all things Phillies, we had to get her on board. Nadina will be sharing her gluten-free experience throughout the 2011 Phillies season.]

Stealing a Base and Other Seized Opportunities

A Phightin’ to Be Gluten-Free Blog

It’s time to Be-LEE-ve as Cliff Lee breaks his one month losing streak with a 2-0 shutout victory against the Texas Rangers.  Lee, ready to win, did just that on Saturday night when he threw 122 pitches in eight shutout innings, allowing simply 5 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks and 10 strike outs.

Lee was as much of a champion on the mound as on the bases, with a single and steal of second in the bottom of the 5th inning.  Stealing a base is no easy feat and requires a keen eye and “just go for it” attitude.  Lee spotted a wide open second and with encouragement from teammate Shane Victorino, he seized his opportunity to steal the base.

Seizing the opportunity is a good theme for all of us Phightin’ to be gluten-free. For me, I seized the opportunity to share my gluten-free journey as a guest blogger for NFCA with support from my family.

gluten-free cupcake party

The Baking Bunch

Speaking of family, my younger sister has recently embarked on a thoughtful and exciting senior project. As she has been with me every step of the way, she has taken Phightin’ to be gluten-free to a wonderful new level and tried to share any successful tips with her friends. Hoping to get her friends excited about gluten-free baking, and to develop her awareness-based senior project, my sister hosted a gluten-free cupcake party. It was a huge success, and we proved to our nongluten-free friends that living gluten-free can be just as tasty!

gluten-free cupcake

Wow, what a cupcake!

This past weekend, I enjoyed my version of a “Sex and the City” brunch with my close girlfriends at Parc in Rittenhouse Square.  I am always a little skeptical of my gluten-free options at restaurants that do not have separate gluten-free menus.  Fortunately, I have learned to figuratively “steal the base” by calling ahead of time to speak to the chef or manager about my gluten-free options.  Similar to my experience at the Pub of Penn Valley, my food preparation concerns quickly diminished when I learned Parc’s chefs in the kitchen were educated in gluten-free dining.  With my fabulous teammates, I was able to enjoy gluten-free French marinated chicken on top of fresh lettuce.  Note: In case of nut allergies, the chicken was cooked in olive oil infused with almonds. 

Brunch with girlfriends

Brunch with girlfriends

Following Lee’s lead, Ryan Howard ended his 23 game hitting slump with a solo home run, Ibanez scored a run from John Mayberry Jr.’s RBI single, and unsung hero Ryan Madson successfully closed the shutout.

As I look forward to celebrating Memorial Day weekend with my family and friends, and of course, watching the Phightin’ Phils beat the Mets at Citi Field during Celiac Awareness Night in New York, I can’t help but acknowledge my appreciation for the restaurant owners and their chefs in Philadelphia who are seizing the opportunity to make a commitment to serve the gluten-free community.


NFCA offers gluten-free restaurant training through the GREAT Kitchens program. To learn more, visit or email

*Get your tickets to NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Night at the Phillies and Celiac Awareness Night at the Mets (vs. the Phillies!) by visiting »

About Nadina:

Nadina Fraimow began volunteering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in April 2011, and will be happy to answer messages sent to the email account. Nadina learned that she has gluten sensitivity in February 2011, and is grateful for having been diagnosed promptly and correctly by a knowledgeable gastroenterologist. She enjoys running, shopping for gluten-free sweets, and creating recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Nadina is a Marketing and Communications professional living and working in Philadelphia. Nadina is also a proud Penn State alumna and an avid fan of the Phillies.

May 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment

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