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.


(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.


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).


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!

Three Year Blogiversary

(I know the picture above doesn’t have to do with food but daisies are my favorite flowers of all time) 

This month I’ll be celebrating my three-year blogiversary – June 27th to be exact. I have been trying to think about a great way to celebrate it and I think I’ve finally figured it out.  I’m going to do a giveaway!  This is not a giveaway sponsored by anyone or company in particular.  What I am planning to do is get a good-sized box and fill it with all different kinds of goodies: gluten-free treats, coupons, kitchen items etc.  Below you will see a list of what has been included in the box so far.  I’ll continue to add to the box as I find things I think you all might like.  There are going to be plenty of opportunities for all of you to enter so be sure to read them all and post a separate comment for each entry.

I started Creative Cooking Gluten Free as a way to release my frustrations in this new lifestyle.  I knew from the beginning that this wasn’t going to be a very easy transition for me.  I am Italian and French and lets just say we love our bread and pasta in my family.  I couldn’t imagine life with out the two but was determined to find amazing substitutions that were suitable for this new adventure in my life.  Over these past three years I have tried many different gluten-free items, many of which have been sent to me from the companies directly (which I am beyond thankful for and feel very fortunate to work with these companies).  However, in the beginning of this new lifestyle I tried so many different foods that made me want to cry – and not in a good way.  I couldn’t believe that people actually ate some of this food and thought it was good.  The bread was absolutely disgusting – looked and tasted like a brick (I won’t mention brand names).  So instead of giving up and eating what I wanted to eat I did research, read books, but most of all I found some pretty amazing gluten-free bloggers who gave me hope.  With out these lovely ladies I don’t know if the transition would have been as easy as it was.  It was such an amazing feeling and relief to see that there were others out there with Celiac Disease and their food looked amazingly delicious.  Almost too good to be true, but thankfully the look of their food and the taste were spot on.

I have been sick for most of my life.  I was diagnosed when I was younger with IBS and Lactose Intolerance, however I don’t know if I have either – I know for sure I am not Lactose Intolerant because I could eat all the dairy I want and be fine, it was everything I was eating with it that made me sick.  Since going gluten-free I have never felt better.  My Fibromyalgia also has improved greatly.  There used to be days where I couldn’t even get out of bed but I haven’t had one of those days in years – Wooo Hooo! (If you are someone who also has Fibromyalgia, you know how exciting that is). It was so nice to finally have an answer to all of my symptoms, even if it took them almost twenty years to figure it out.  I’m much happier and healthier now.  I don’t really miss gluten much.  Every once in a while I will crave a nice piece of Italian or French Bread but when Bryan buys a sandwich or something containing lots of gluten, I ask to smell it🙂 no, really I do and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  Thankfully he is used to it now and will even offer me a sniff.

The majority of the recipes you will find on this blog are recipes that I enjoyed before going gluten-free and adapted them to be gluten-free.  Some of my favorite recipes to adapt are my grandmother’s and the recipes found in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine.  These recipes are simple, easy to find ingredients, and delicious.  I’m also a huge fan of Asian food so you will see plenty Asian inspired recipes on here with a handful of recipes that I adapted from P.F. Chang’s.

I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect and neither is this blog.  I have no problem talking about my mistakes and failures on here.  As I mentioned, this was first started to release my frustrations and track my progress and in three years it has turned into what it is.  Creative Cooking Gluten Free is a forever changing blog and it will continue to evolve over the coming years especially when I begin my culinary labs.

If you weren’t aware already, in March I enrolled in my dream college to pursue my dream of being a chef.  My goal is to complete my degree in Culinary Nutrition and become a Registered Dietitian – and to do this whole program as gluten-free as I possibly can.  Thankfully the Chefs that Johnson & Wales University are very accommodating.  So please stay tuned to more of my adventures.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes/posts over the last three years:

I would like to thank my inspirations and all of my readers and followers.  Without all of you this blog truly wouldn’t be what it is today.  I can’t thank you enough for all of your support, kind words, encouragement, and wisdom.

To thank YOU I am doing a giveaway! As I said, there are plenty of ways to enter and this list will continue to grow as I find different items to add, but for now here is a list of the items to be included in the box (even if you don’t like/or can’t use everything enclosed in the box you can share with a friend!):

  • 1 Package (22oz) of Bob’s Red Mill All Purposed Baking Flour
  • 1 Package (21oz) Bob’s Red Mill Brownie Mix
  • 1 Bag of Mini Pops (3oz)
  • 1 Cute little cupcake holder
  • 1 Set of 2010 Chef Series Recipes from POM Wonderful
  • 2 POM Wonderful Rubber Bracelets
  • 1 Carton (12oz) Pacific Natural Foods Organic Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup
  • 1 Carton (12oz) Pacific Natural Foods Organic Cream of Celery Condensed Soup
  • 1 Carton (12oz) Pacific Natural Foods Organic Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup
  • 1 Small Bamboo Cutting Board
  • Coupons: Thai Kitchen (1-free item), Coffee House Breve Creme (1-$.55), Breakstone’s Sour Cream Dip (3 – $1.000), Breakstone’s Sourcream Zesty Blends (3 – $1.00), World Harbors (1 -$1.00), Tribe Hummus (1- $1.00)
  • 1 POM Wonderful Apron
  • 2 Small Flex Cutting Boards
  • 1 Reusable Tote/Grocery Bag from FoodieBlogroll.com
  • 1 Box (6.3 oz) of Enjoy Life Food’s Crunchy Sugar Crisp Cookies
  • 1 Bottle *16.9 Fl oz) of “Pre-Brus Whitening Mouth Rince” from the Natural Dentist
  • 1 Tube (5 oz) of “Healthy Teeth and Gums, Anticavity Toothpaste” from the Natural Dentist
  • 1 Tube (5 oz) of “Healthy Teeth and Gums, Whitening Toothpaste” from the Natural Dentist
  • 1 Box (10oz) Lundberg Plain Roasted Brown Rice Couscous
  • 1 box (10oz) Lundberg Mediterranean Curry Roasted Brown Rice Couscous
  • 1 Package of “No Pan Required” Cupcake Liners (Brown and Teal)
  • 1 Box (12oz) Kellogg’s Gluten-Free Rice Krispy Cereal

Ways to enter:

**Please be sure to leave a comment for EACH entry – and if you already do one of these please leave a comment below saying so – Thank you!!

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment below saying what you would like to see more of on Creative Cooking Gluten Free

Optional Entries:

Subscribe to Creative Cooking Gluten Free

“Like” Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook

“Follow” Creatively_GF on Twitter

Leave a daily entry saying “Daily Entry” and then the date

Tweet about this giveaway and be sure to include @Creatively_GF and #3Blogiversary

Mention either on your blog or on Facebook (and be sure to link back to this post)

The giveaway will run until Thursday June 30th at 11:59 pm (EST).  The giveaway is open to US Residents (continental) only.  One winner will be chosen and will have 48 hours after they receive an e-mail notification from me to respond with their shipping details.  If the original winner does not respond within the allotted time another winner will be chosen.  I use Random.Org to pick winners of any and all giveaways on this blog.  

Thank you all for an awesome three years- you are all awesome!  It has been a huge learning curve but I wouldn’t really change much about it.  I’m looking forward to many more years to come and plenty more recipes, reviews, restaurants, and more to share with you.

Good Luck!