Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Join Erica Dermer of Celiac and the Beast for a Twitter Party tonight!!! There will be a bunch of free giveaways and Erica  is always super fun in person and online. I can't wait to be part of this fun event to kick off the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest next weekend in Indianapolis.

Gluten Free and More Twitter Party
Date: Wednesday August 13th
Time: 5-6pm PDT (8-9pm EDT)

RSVP HERE to join and win prizes!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Gluten Free Superstar: Lynn Shuter of G-Free NYC

Lynn Shuter from G-Free NYC is our 1st Gluten-Free Superstar!  In 2011 Lynn opened her gluten-free store on the upper west side of Manhattan and she has been a positive and helpful part of the NYC gluten free community ever since. I got a chance to interview her this summer...

What is your gluten-free story? How did you find out you couldn't eat gluten?
"I started to have stomach issues when I was in college in the early 80s. The doctors said it was IBS but they didn't give me any solutions.  I continued to have problems in my twenties.  In my late twenties I developed blisters on my elbows and face.  I went to a dermatologist and was diagnosed with Dermatitis Herpetiformis.  At that point, I started my gluten free journey."

What inspired you to open G-Free NYC?
"For almost 25 years I have been "gluten free" or as gluten free I could be at the time.  Back then, I had to constantly explain myself at restaurants, the work place and any where else I was eating outside my home.  I remember being glutened many times.  I also had to learn to cook and bake since I wasn't happy with the gluten free products available.  I'd say I've tried 90% of the gluten free packaged goods available today.  I ended up ordering products like Canyon Bakehouse because they were not available in NYC.  My belief was, and is, that I didn't have to eat bad tasting products.  There were ways around it."

What is the best thing about your GF life?
"Well, the fact that I don't need to go far for the best gluten free products is very nice.  Otherwise, I really don't think my life is different than anyone else.  That is part of the G-Free NYC don't have to change your lifestyle.  It's just a matter of adapting it and shopping at G-Free NYC of course :)"

What is the hardest thing about being gluten-free? And how do you handle it?
"When I was in my twenties it was very hard on a social level.  I never wanted to be difficult and bring up my diet.  When I went out to eat I would order things that were naturally gluten free.  If someone offered me a cupcake at work I would just say I wasn't hungry.  Nowadays, everyone knows what "gluten free" is.  When I hear people complaining about how hard it is to be gluten free I laugh."

What food/product would you take with you to a desert island? 
"I'm torn between Laurie's Bagels and Yummari Chia Chargers (these are two products I always have in my freezer and in my purse).  The Chia Chargers are healthier but the bagels are so good.  If the end was near I'd go with the bagels but if there was a chance of rescue I'd go with the Chia Chargers.  You only live once."

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Benefits of Sleep Away Camp

summer, camp, lake, Adirondacks, New York, kids

I am still pinching myself that I have two kids on special diets at sleep away camp--and a much needed break.  My daughter is at her fourth year at a seven week girl's camp in the Adirondacks and my son did his first two weeks at a coed camp an hour south of Montreal. I'm thrilled my kids get to escape the city (and electronics) and sleep in a cabin on a lake with water skiing, tennis, swimming and all the usual camp activities.

Both camps have gone to great lengths to accommodate their special diets and provide gluten-free food.  Rebecca, a unit leader at my son's camp  even made sure that there was gluten-free, dairy-free food available for him “find” during the "kitchen raid" when the campers took over the kitchen! (It's a  well supervised camp that plans all sorts of crazy, fun activities.)

For me, sending them to camp is also a break from cooking and meal planning.

I haven't been blogging. Instead I bought a bicycle and have tried to relax as much as possible. It's been THIRTEEN years since I had this kind of vacation from raising kids.

While sleep away camp is not for every child, for social and independent kids it's a great opportunity. And for parents of kids who are on a gluten free (or gluten-free/dairy-free diet) it is an opportunity to relax and take time off from cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner. Giving kids with allergies  the opportunity to manage their diets with the support and supervision of someone else besides a parent is also an amazing preparation for college and life when they will be on their own.

And while I'm happy to get a break I'm actually even happier to get them back at the end of it!

Related posts:
Wendy in NYC at Camp Experts
2013 Sleep Away Camps for Kids on a Gluten-Free Diet
List of Sleepaway Camps for Kids on a GF Diet

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!

It is pouring rain today—which actually gives us time to make  glazed baby back ribs, homemade ice cream, brownies and chocolate chip cookies for our Fourth of July celebration. Fireworks in Amagansett  happen on Saturday, the fifth-- so we are headed to a beach barbecue and fireworks tomorrow.

Even if you aren’t making a big Fourth of July barbecue—you can still celebrate Fourth of July with a flag, decorations and Kraft marshmallows--which are naturally gluten free and dairy free. Kids love marshmallows and they are easy to find at most supermarkets and something kids with allergies can enjoy  makes them a great summer treat.

If you don’t have Fourth of July decorations—get out red and white crayons and markers and kids can make their own decorations using stars and stripes!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Our GF Family FAVORITES: June 2014

Make your trip to the beach or the park (or your backyard!)  super special with these fun finds!
1. Jennifer's Way: My Journey with Celiac, Jennifer Esposito's first book, is an amazingly honest account of how Jennifer discovered she had celiac and how it changed her life.

2. This OXO Cherry Pitter makes eating cherries a fun summer activity for kids and adults!

3. Kids love straws and a glass of these fun red and white Paper! Straws makes a fun  summer centerpiece.

4. Dana's Bakery Watermelon Macarons don't "seem" gluten free but they are made with almond flour and naturally gluten free!

5. You can have Fourth of July all summer with this Stars and Stripes Table Runner from Sur La Table.

6. This Ribbon Braid Hat is stylish and lightweight  and folds up for travel.

7. Sanuk Yoga Mat Flip Flops are made from yoga mat material are SOOOOO comfortable!

8. This Green Goddess Sunscreen is available through Amazon Prime! Order a few bottles of this organic sunscreen to avoid the toxic ingredients in most sunscreens.

9. These Red and Blue Jacquard Star Napkins are a great hostess gift that don't won't up a lot of space in your suitcase.

10. Red Woven Plate Holders, on sale for $1.99, will brighten up any barbecue!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fun Friday: Little Miss Glutenless GF Stickers!!!

These Little Miss Glutenless Stickers are ADORABLE! My 12 year old  found this sticker from Red Bubble. Little Miss Glutenless is also available on t-shirts and hoodies! The scoop neck style t-shirt is my favorite style of t-shirt--but the stickers are a deal at $2.40. And if you buy more than 5 stickers you get 50% off!

For camp parents--great to stock up on stickers to send with letters and care packages! They have a bunch of cute designs at Red Bubble Stickers.

Happy Glutenless Friday!!!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Gluten-Free Watchdog: Lays Oven Baked Barbeque Not GF

Gluten Free Watchdog, run by Tricia Thompson,  is an organization that does third party testing of products and then gives members access to the testing results. It is a great organization to join if you are gluten free. Gluten Free Watchdog does a good job of letting people know when something labelled gluten free contains gluten. I am a member of Gluten Free Watchdog and this came through my email today...Usually I don't repost info but I was inspired to "spread the word" about this and to let people know the great work that Gluten Free Watchdog is doing for the gluten free community.

"At least some snack size bags of Lay's baked barbecue chips are mislabeled with the GF icon.

Many of you have been following this saga on Gluten Free Watchdog's Facebook page. Here is a brief recap for those of you who are not aware of the situation:

Frito Lay confirmed to me via phone late yesterday afternoon that a select number of their Lay's baked barbecue chips were inadvertently labeled with the GF icon. This was a mistake in the printing process. These chips are NOT gluten-free. I alerted Frito Lay to this issue on Sunday May 26. However they are not prepared to issue an official company statement at this time. Please help spread the word about this chip. At least some snack size baked BBQ chip bags are mislabeled based on photos sent to me. For more information and to view photos please go to Gluten Free Watchdog's Facebook page. This discussion has been going on since May 26 so you will have to scroll down the page to get the full story and view all pictures. I will be writing a comprehensive post about this issue but wanted to alert all of you hosting or attending gatherings this weekend.
Thank you,

Tricia Thompson, MS, RS

Owner/Founder Gluten Free Watchdog, LLC"

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day at By the Way Bakery in NYC

While picking up a slice of gluten free, dairy free chocolate cake for a birthday party yesterday, I sampled these delicious MOM cookies from By the Way Bakery in NYC. I bought some to share with the kids today but I found myself saving them because they were too cute to eat. I just love looking at them. They're like nothing I have seen in years. Knowing they taste as good as they do makes them so super special. My only regret is that I did not get this post out to send people over to By the Way to pick some up.  

Happy Mother's Day!  And more about my Mother's Day tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Humphrey at the Eventi in NYC: A Party Venue with Gluten Free Food

 Finding a venue for a gluten free party in NYC is not easy. We were lucky to find Humphrey at the Eventi when we were looking for a space...

“It doesn’t feel like Manhattan.” my daughter whispered as we waited for the tasting to begin. “It feels like we are on vacation.” On the enclosed tree lined terrace at Humphrey with sun streaming in through the glass it was quiet and peaceful. Although there is a coolness and sophistication to the decor, it definitely did not feel like March in NYC at all.

Julie, the surprisingly patient, organized and easy to work with  Sales Director, in charge of events at Humphrey at the Eventi hotel sat with us to take notes of any changes we wanted as waiters brought us different plates to try. At our kid's food tasting we sampled...

Mozzarella sticks. Pigs in blankets (that disappeared before I could snap a "before" picture.) Chicken quesadillas with guacamole. Empanadas. Spring rolls. Chicken tenders with french fries. Macaroni and Cheese. And, sliders--YES! SLIDERS! ALL GLUTEN FREE.

Everything was shockingly flavorful, freshly prepared--and well presented--and, yes, gluten free! We requested a few changes as we went--simplifying the quesadillas  and asking for different pizza toppings. Then we selected our favorite items but overall we were impressed by the food we sampled. Below are pictures of the items we tried. Since we are having both kids and adults at the party, we sampled the kids food first. I will post photos of the adult food tasting next week.

If you want to sample any of these dishes outside of a tasting for an event, enquire in advance when you book a reservation at their restaurant to see what they can do for you. I am hoping in the future, they will be able to take a short break from parties to create a gluten-free menu with these items.

Humphrey at the Eventi hotel can accommodate from 25-250 in their event space and up to 2000 in the plaza area. If you want to book an event mention this post and they will offer a complimentary signature cocktail for the event!

For private events contact Julie Garcés at
For reservations at the restaurant call 212-201-4065.

Humphrey at the Eventi Hotel | 851 Avenue of the Americas
New York City | 10001

GF Sliders!!!
GF Mozzerella Sticks

GF Quesidillas

GF Empanadas

GF Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce

Gluten Free Pigs in Blankets

GF Macaroni and Cheese

GF Pizza

GF Chicken Tenders with French Fries