Celiac Awareness Month {giveaway}

Happy Celiac Awareness Month!! (CAM)

I’ve been writing Creative Cooking Gluten Free for 8 years as of next month, I can’t even believe it has been that long since I was diagnosed. I was 26 and looking back on my medical history and general health in those 26 years, it still amazes me that no one thought of Celiac Disease before that. I was one of the 83% of individuals living with Celiac Disease that was misdiagnosed for many years.

Lets talk some numbers and facts for a bit…

  • Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease, NOT a food allergy
  • It is estimated that 1 in 133 Americans have Celiac Disease, that is about 1% of the population.
  • There are over 300 signs and symptoms of Celiac Disease – not everyone has the same symptoms
  • Many individuals with Celiac Disease are asymptomatic, which means they do not show or experience any signs and symptoms
  • Undiagnosed Celiac Disease can lead to a whole host of other medical complications including other autoimmune disease and even certain cancers

Do you have a relative with Celiac Disease? If so you might want to get tested…a great place to start is having a genetic test. According to Beyond Celiac “About 95% of people with celiac disease have the HLA-DQ2 gene and most of the remaining 5% have the HLA-DQ8 gene. Genetic testing can determine if you have one or both of these genes.” Having these genes means that you are at risk for Celiac Disease, it does not mean you will automatically have it. Now keep in mind, if you do not have these genes…you will never have Celiac Disease.

The ONLY treatment for Celiac Disease is a strict 100% Gluten-Free diet. Gluten-free meas NO wheat, rye, or barley. Oats, depending on how they are process can also cause some issues for individuals with Celiac Disease. I look for certified gluten-free products, oats, etc.  Wheat Free does not mean gluten-free; as some products can still contain rye or barley!

I HIGHLY recommend seeing a DIETITIAN (not just because I am one), to help after your diagnosis. One of the main reasons I pursued the field of dietetics was to help those, who were like me, diagnosed with no information or resources available.  I didn’t have a dietitian, or the option to see one, and I wanted to change that for others. I know there are a million and one hits when you google Celiac Disease or Gluten Free, but having a dietitian is extremely helpful, and our experience is backed by science. Look for a dietitian, like myself who specialize is Celiac Disease. Coming soon (I promise), will be my new website called The Creative RD.

There are so many amazing gluten-free companies out there that we love, and love working with. This would be an extremely long post if I attempted to post them all here, but today I want to highlight two of them for you, two that you have have not heard of just yet.  And there is a giveaway below as well😉

Gratify Gluten Free Foods

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They kindly sent me a box of all of their goodies to sample…yum yum yum! I even shared with some of my new co-workers and Bryan of course. They offer covered pretzels, crackers, pretzel crackers, and cracker bites. We were both really impressed with the selections they offered. Read more about Gratify Gluten Free Foods here.

My favorites were the dark chocolate covered pretzels (also dairy free!!)…so good. Also the peanut butter and chocolate covered pretzels, seriously the best combination, sweet, salty, crunchy goodness. What could you not like about that?

IMG_0983As for the crackers, oooh boy. These are good on their own, topped with cheese (or cheeze), tuna salad, etc. I LOVE the Tuscan herb so much that those did not get shared with anyone!

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Click here to see where you can buy these awesome products! Thank you Gratify Gluten Free Foods for the delicious samples and opportunity to try your products. You’ve got two more fans.

The next company is The Real Company {giveaway!!}

Real Co Logo

The Real Co. is the first single origin global food company, and believes that “good comes from good.” As a pioneer in 100% single origin food products, The Real Co currently has three products hitting market nationally online and in stores – Basmati Rice, Himalayan Pink Rock Salt and Organic Raw Cane Sugar. All of these are sustainably harvested from either a single farm or family with products that can be traced back to their exact origins.

The model is to help the farms, offer them distribution they could never have achieved and eliminate the middle man thus offering these organic and non-GMO certified foods at a fraction of the cost from other products. I love all of their products, great quality and flavor. The Real Company which is part of the Bender Group and have offered an awesome giveaway for three lucky CCGF Readers…three winners will each receive a reusable bag filled with Pink Himalayan Rock Salt, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Bastmati Rice (all full size!), and coupons for Jarlsberg Cheese and Garden Lites (see below!).

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Giveaway is open to all those in the continental United States – the giveaway will end on Tuesday May 31st at 11:59pm EST.

All you have to do is comment below – tell me a story. tell me about your diagnosis. tell me how you celebrated CAM. your favorite gluten-free product. etc.

Winners will be chosen randomly via random.org and must respond by e-mail within 48 hours. If the winner(s) do not respond, another winner will be chosen. Good luck and Happy Celiac Awareness Month!!

Celiac Awareness Month Round-up {Awareness, NFCA PSA, and New Product Spotlight}

Celiac Awareness Month Round-up

I apologize now for an extremely long post but I wanted to make sure I covered all my bases for this round-up including spreading awareness to current and future dietitians, PSA from National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, and new gluten-free products.

Raising Awareness

For the last several years I have celebrated Celiac Awareness Month and raising awareness of Celiac Disease by hosting giveaways on this site. This year however, I wanted to do something different. While giveaways are awesome, fun, and it gets people involved I wanted to focus more on the awareness aspect of this month and help educate those around me. As many of you know I am currently pursuing my dream of becoming a Registered Dietitian and am honored to be completing my internship at NewYork-Presbyterian. In case you didn’t know, NYP is one of top six hospitals in the country and number one in New York. NYP is connected to two incredible medical colleges; Columbia University and Cornell University. Columbia is also home of one of the best Celiac Research Centers in this country, Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. While my awareness event has no direct connection to the center, it is amazing to be in connection with them through the hospital.

I debated on offering giveaways for quite a while leading up to this month and finally decided that I think it would be more beneficial to spread awareness and knowledge to those around me…current and future dietitians. When I was diagnosed, I didn’t have a dietitian available to me and my doctor wasn’t the most knowledgeable in the area of celiac – she saw my results, said what I had, and said no more pasta or bread. That was all. Everything I learned, I learned on my own by way of Google, books, and some amazing bloggers out there. They were the ones that kick started my desire to start Creative Cooking Gluten Free and then to pursue the filed of Dietetics. I wanted to help people understand they can have these items, just more creatively. I also have the desire to help not only those with celiac but with other gastrointestinal disorders, food allergies, etc. I love the challenge of creating meal plans and recipes for those with multiple food allergies. My degrees in Culinary Arts and Culinary Nutrition go hand in hand with my studies in Dietetics…you can’t have one with out the other (at least that is my philosophy). I wanted to share with those pursing this field and also have a desire and passion for helping people gluten-free resources including educational materials and samples for them to try and be able to give a 100% honest feed back to a patient when they ask “do you have any suggestions on products?” “what is the best gluten-free…on the market”. We need to know these things because despite what some say, celiac disease is real, not a fad, and not going away.

Each month in our internship we have a Class Day, where all 32 of the interns come together and we have various sessions on topics in dietetics. May being celiac awareness month was the perfect month for me to share with this captive audience. I reached out to about 50 gluten-free companies, explaining what I wanted to do and who my targeted audience was, and asked if they would be willing to send some samples to be included in the “swag bags” that would be given to the current and future dietitians. Several responded that they had received too many requests, which is no surprise being that it was celiac awareness month, however the responses I received were overwhelmingly generous! I received samples, full sized products, educational materials, coupons, and more. This celiac community and their desire to help educate and raise awareness continually blow me away.

I recruited some help from a few of the other interns to help me put the “swag bags” together – we made a total of fifty to share with the current interns, our directors, and current dietitians at the hospital. The response was overwhelmingly positive and many great conversations were started because of this.

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(Celiac Awareness Month Swag Bags – ready to be handed out to current and future RD’s)

IMG_5777(NYP’s 90th & 91st Class of Dietetic Interns)

Thank you to all who helped make this event possible – I couldn’t have done this with out you and your extreme generosity.

Check out these mail deliveries I received! I seriously couldn’t even sleep in my room after the last shipment arrived.

It is always a pleasure to work with all of you on my blog over these last several years and I love that I have had the privilege to meet many of you at the last two Gluten Free and Allergy Free Expos in Secaucus, NJ. Looking forward to working with all of you again, and hopefully seeing you soon. Without you, none of this is possible!

Seriously, Celiac Disease – PSA from National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

Celiac Disease is serious…seriously it is! It is an Autoimmune Disease, not just a diet. It is not a fad diet created by Hollywood to make you lose weight. The gluten-free diet is the ONLY treatment for those with Celiac Disease. There is not cure. There is no magic pill to take. This is real life.

Do you have celiac disease and trying to figure out how to talk to your family members about being tested? Head on over to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness’ site for important information, tips, and talking points and watch their PSA called Seriously, Celiac Disease HERE.

talk. tell. test.

New Gluten Free Product Spotlight

Here are some new gluten-free items worth checking out:

New from I Heart Keenwah: Quinoa Puffs (featured below, Aged Cheddar and Sweet Chili) – delicious little bits of goodness and loaded with 5 grams of protein per serving.

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Snyder’s of Berlin: Variety of Gluten-Free Chips – great for all the summer BBQ’s that are coming up.

Walkers – Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies. I remember this brand of shortbread cookies from when I was little. Learning a few months ago that they had come out with a gluten-free line of them, I was rather excited as it brought back some childhood memories of a hot cup of tea and shortbread cookies with my grandmother. The gluten-free line comes in three flavors: Chocolate Chip, Ginger & Lemon (sounds amazing to me!), and Pure Butter (below).

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Luna & Clif Bars – in case you missed it ALL Luna bars are now Gluten-Free!! Check out the new offerings from both companies below…the dark chocolate almond from Clif is so delicious and perfectly fits in my lab coat pocket!

Celiac Awareness Month

May is National Celiac Awareness Month and sadly it is coming to a close in just a few days. There have been so many great people raising awareness this month including, but definitely not limited to, Erica of Celiac and the Beast, Brandy Wendler (Mrs. Northwest) of A Spoonful of Wellness, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, Rebecca of Pretty Little Celiac, Mr. Dude of Gluten Dude, and EA of The Spicy RD. Again these are just a few of the wonderful bloggers and organizations out there that have shared delicious recipes, informative posts, and have been advocates for Celiac Disease not just during the month of May but all year-long.

There is so much that I wanted to accomplish on CCGF this month but sadly, life got in the way. I finished up another trimester of school and now only have one year left! I was awarded The Feinstein “Enriching America Award” for the community service that I completed while doing my internship and AmeriCorps, from The Feinstein Community Service Department at JWU. Our club, Sans Gluten was awarded Best New Club of the Year – there were 11 new clubs this year, and we have over 60 members with bi-weekly production meetings that consist of recipe research and development. I also completed my AmeriCoprs Scholarship For Service and in addition to that was awarded the Founders Award from JWU (with a lovely 5,000.00 scholarship!!!), and was inducted into the Alpha Beta Kappa National Honor Society. Plus, B graduated from law school!! So on top of final exams, the award ceremonies, and family in town for his graduation this month just got away from me. With that said, I do have some wonderful products and cookbooks that I will be reviewing and posting about soon – I promise!

Every year I stress out so much on how I am going to pay for school for the following year but thankfully I don’t have to do that this year. I was awarded over $20,000.00 in scholarships and grants for next year alone! This is possible by some very generous people and my hard work and dedication. Some of my favorite quotes that have gotten me through all the stress, long hours, and sacrifices (not seeing family much) are:

“Your dream is not big enough if it doesn’t scare you.” (Matthias Schmelz)

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. “(E. Roosevelt)

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” (Harriet van Horne)

“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” (Buddha)

With all of that going on, I still wanted to raise awareness this month especially as an Udi’s Campus Ambassador. In order to do so I had to incorporate it into my school schedule so for my term projects for Anatomy & Physiology and Technical Writing, I presented about…you guessed it…Celiac Disease! Both projects included a written paper and a PowerPoint presentation. In one PowerPoint I included an amazing infographic on celiac disease symptoms that Gluten Dude posted – everyone in the class thought it was great (well done Gluten Dude!). For the A&P project we had to research a disorder, discuss which systems of the body it affected, signs, symptoms, treatments, etc. and then do a 5 minute PowerPoint presentation to the class. My Technical Writing project was a bit more intense. My project was on Celiac Disease vs. Wheat Allergy. The final project was a total of 37 pages and included 2 appendices one of which was a sample menu to be used in our culinary labs on campus that lists the top eight major allergens plus gluten and also included resources for substitutions.  In addition to the 37 written pages I also had to present a 15 minute PowerPoint Presentation to the class. I also handed out samples of Udi’s Gluten Free Granola and Red Apple Lipstick to my classmates.

I will also be volunteering at Hasbro Children’s Hospital with one of my professors in the Allergy and GI clinic. My professor asked for me to send her my research report on Celiac Disease vs. Wheat allergy and we will be going over it and refining it over the summer while we are working together.

Also, back in April I was asked along with the former President of our Sans Gluten Club and one of our Chef Advisers to film some gluten-free segments for the cooking show that JWU does called Cooking With Class (Check your local listings). I was BEYOND nervous to do this and on top of it my seasonal allergies kicked in and I had almost no voice but I did it anyway. You can view it online (please ignore the credit information – it is incorrect and they were supposed to be fixing this. This is my original recipe that I shared). Below are the links to all five our of segments for Celiac Week which aired the first week of May. Chef Lavornia does not have Celiac Disease however his wife and children do and has been creating delicious gluten-free recipes for years. We hope to do more videos for next year’s awareness month and will be hosting cooking demos for local families who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

Island Coconut Shrimp by Chef Michelle: http://www.turnto10.com/story/22171946/island-coconut-shrimp

Sweet and Spicy Chicken by Chef Jenny: http://www.turnto10.com/story/22171995/sweet-and-spicy-chicken

Raspberry Crumble Bars by Chef Lavornia: http://www.turnto10.com/story/22172217/raspberry-crumble-bars

Lemon Pound Cake by Chef Lavornia: http://www.turnto10.com/story/22172258/lemon-pound-cake

Dinner Rolls by Chef Lavornia: http://www.turnto10.com/story/22172063/gluten-free-dinner-rolls

You can also view my video below (Thanks to B for putting my site on there):

Cooking with Class from Jenny Manseau on Vimeo.

What have you done this month? Please feel free to share your stories below!

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Rudi’s Happy Camper Contest and Giveaway!

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This giveaway is now closed. Winner was chosen using Random.org and the lucky winner was #3 Marnely! Congratulations Marnely – don’t forget to check your e-mail. Thank you to all who entered and stay tuned for more giveaways!

This May, in celebration of National Celiac Awareness Month,  Rudi’s Gluten-Free fans are encouraged to submit a 200-word essay from their child explaining what attending a gluten-free summer camp would mean to them. Based on the essays, 10 lucky kiddos (ages 8-17) will win a week-long gluten-free camp experience, including travel, courtesy of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery. Hurry and get that entry in, the first 250 eligible entries receive a BPA-free Gluten-Free Happy Camper water bottle!

cta-3Click HERE to enter!

I may not have any children but I think this is awesome! I grew up going camping and spending time out doors and loved every minute of it. Can’t wait to go camping again.

Rudi’s is also offering one lucky reader a Camping Package which includes one (1) tent, one (1) camping chair and one (1) mat. This prize package is worth $100.00! Check out the image below…I would be so excited to win this.

Let's Go Camping!Don not forget Click here for $1.00 off coupon for Rudi’s Gluten-Free products.

Entry is simple – just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all who enter!

Giveaway begins on May 8th and ends at 11:59pm on May 23rd. Giveaway prize package is sponsored by Rudi’s Gluten Free and will be mailed directly to the winner from Rudi’s. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Open to U.S. residents.

To receive the maximum number of entries please leave a separate comment for each of the following.

1) Leave a comment below saying why you want to win this prize package – would you keep it and use it? Give it as a gift? (Mandatory)

2) Like Rudi’s Gluten Free on Facebook

3) Tweet about this giveaway and be sure to include @Creatively_GF and @Rudisglutenfree – leave a comment below with the link to your status/post.

4) Share on your Facebook page and be sure to tag @Creative Cooking Gluten Free and @Rudis Gluten Free Bakery – leave a comment below with the link.

5) Pin, Tumble, etc. about this giveaway and leave a comment with the link.

Good luck!!

October – Celiac Awareness Month

Last month we celebrated National Celiac Awareness Day on September 13th and now its October – Celiac Awareness Month (also Brest Cancer Awareness Month!!) I just wanted to take a few seconds to put this post up and share with you some great resources for celiac disease, including some of my favorite blogs.  There are so many great bloggers out there and a fantastic gluten-free community on facebook and twitter.  Please take a few moments to check out the Special Report on Celiac Disease posted by The Chicago Tribune.

Websites and Blogs to check out for great information on Celiac Disease, Resources and Amazing Recipes (many are also dairy free, egg free etc.):

Celiac Central

Celiac Disease Foundation

Celiac Disease – Mayo Clinic

Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom

Art of Gluten Free Baking

Celiac Teen

Elana’s Pantry

Gluten Free Girl and the Chef

Gluten Free Easily

Cook It Allergy Free

Simply Gluten and Sugar Free

Simply Gluten Free

Gluten Free Goddess

The Whole Gang

Triumph Dining

She Let Them Eat Cake

Celiac Scoop

And Love It Too

I Made Toast

Gluten Free Home-Maker

Special Report on Celiac Disease – USA Today!!

It’s here!!!  Pick up your copy of USA Today or download the report from The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness website.

USAToday.CD.May2010 – pdf version

Raise Awareness

I have plenty of T-Shirts and many of which raise some type of awareness.  From Invisible Children to TWLOHA, it stops and makes people think and ask questions.   Those are two great organizations and if you have a second I highly recommend talking a look at their sites and seeing what they are all about.

So, if we wear shirts for organizations, why not wear one for Celiac Awareness?  Check out these links from Cafe Press for your Celiac, Gluten Free, Wheat Free etc t-shirts, bumper stickers, aprons, bags/totes etc!!  Spread the word this month!

Cafe Press : Celiac

Cafe Press: Gluten Free Stuff

Cafe Press : Celiac Chicks

Cafe Press: Gluten Free

May is Celiac Awareness Month!!

Gluten Free

May is Celiac Awareness Month!!  Want to help spread awareness?  Please read the an excerpt from the Triumph Dining Blog

“Celiac Awareness Month (May) is quickly approaching, and we’re looking to get the word out in a big way! Each year, it seems we get closer to the tipping point, with more restaurants offering gluten free menus and more groceries labeled as gluten free. But, there’s more we can do in our quest to truly make Celiac Disease and the gluten free diet mainstream.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to run a website badge campaign to generate awareness. Placing a badge (like the one above) on your website is a great way to get a dialogue started and to let the world know that you support Celiac Disease Awareness.

And, until the end of May, when you add the badge to your website we’re going to give $5 (up to a total of $5,000) to the NFCA, to help them raise even more awareness of Celiac Disease. Participating in this event and using the badge is 100% free for you. We’ll make the $5 donation on your behalf. So, what are you waiting for? The only thing standing between the NFCA and up to $5,000 is a 30 second copy and paste job.

Thank you for participating in these efforts and helping to raise awareness of Celiac Disease. The more we do to the get the word out, the better all our lives become. Together, we can make a difference!

Sincerely,
Ross Cohen
President, Triumph Dining

How to Participate

  1. Copy the code for any of the badges below and then paste it on your home page.
  2. E-mail us at awareness@triumphdining.com with a link to where you placed the badge on your site.
  3. You’ll automatically be entered into a drawing for one of several Triumph Dining Gluten Free Survival Kits (a $50 value!).
  4. Help us spread the word to raise even more money for the NFCA with the sharing tools (e-mail, twitter, and facebook) below.
  5. Celebrate your good deed for the day.

At the end of May, we’ll present a check for up to $5,000 ($5 per person who pastes a badge on their site) to the NFCA.”

Get your Celiac Awareness badges HERE

Gluten Free

For more information about Celiac Disease please visit:

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

Celiac Disease Check List