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.

IMG_5762

(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.

IMG_6012

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).

IMG_6058

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!

National Peanut Butter Day : KIND Bar {Review & Giveaway}

image001

This giveaway is now closed! The lucky winner was Rachel – please check your e-mail. Congratulations!

I don’t normally write posts about national such and such day for a few reasons but mostly because there are just too darn many of them and I wouldn’t be able to keep up. However, when KIND Healthy Snacks e-mailed me asking if I would like to do a review for them for their peanut butter line, I couldn’t say no! I will admit I am a sucker for KIND Healthy Snacks bars in general but I have a deep love for peanut butter. My grandfather and I used to eat it on slices of granny smith apples (still my favorite way to eat it). I could probably eat peanut butter by the spoonful (okay maybe I have once or twice).

I know many people who are gluten-free and miss those delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (I know I get a craving for them every now and again). Many brands of peanut butter and jelly are naturally gluten free, but  KIND Healthy Snacks came up with a brilliant way to get these fixes and to give people (especially those gluten-free) a great alternative to the traditional ways of enjoying peanut butter!

They have two delicious bars:  Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein a healthy, satisfying blend of peanuts and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate and Peanut Butter & Strawberry, If you don’t have time to make a PB&J sandwich, this bar tastes strikingly the same, and is just as good! No lie, at first it was kind of weird because it tasted so much like at PB&J made with crunchy peanut butter and without the bread, but weird in a good way! Both of these bars are delicious, and I will be buying them again in the future!

They also have a peanut butter granola, Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters which is made with 100% whole grains like amaranth and quinoa. I haven’t had a chance to try this yet, but I can’t wait to dig into it this weekend.

So in celebration of National Peanut Butter Day and these delicious bars and granola – the wonderful people over at KIND Healthy Snacks has offered the following prize pack to one lucky reader! Entry is easy – one mandatory entry and a few extra optional ones to help boost your chances. Please leave a separate comment for each entry!

GIVEAWAY!!

image004One lucky reader will win the Peanut Butter Cube which contains:

Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters (2 Pouches)

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein   (4 bars)

Peanut Butter & Strawberry (4 bars)

Rules: Must at least complete the mandatory entry to qualify for the giveaway. Each person has a chance to enter 6 (six) times. Giveaway begins at 8:00am (EST) on Thursday January 24th and will end at 11:59pm (EST) on Thursday January 31st. Winner will be chosen using random.org and will be notified by e-mail. Winner will have 24 hours to respond – if no response is received a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is open to all those living in within the United States.

Entries – leave a separate comment below for each entry! Good luck to all who enter.

  • Mandatory Entry: Which product in the above mentioned cube are you most excited to try?
  • Optional Entry: “Like” KIND Healthy Snacks on Facebook
  • Optional Entry: Follow KIND Healthy Snacks on Twitter
  • Optional Entry: Tweet about this entry (and be sure to include the link to the tweet in the comments below, must mention @Creatively_GF and @KINDSnacks)
  • Optional Entry: “Like” Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook
  • Optional Entry: Follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Twitter

Good Luck!!

Also you should check out their store for more great KIND items! I just saw this on their site and I have a “wish list”:)

*Disclosure: I was sent the above products for review from KIND Healthy Snacks, I was not paid for the review and all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.