Think the Gluten Free Diet is a Fad? Imagine Rat Poison is the New “It” Ingredient.


Rat poison?

Yes. Imagine almost everyone you know has decided rat poison is delicious. And miraculously, they can eat it without harm. You, on the other hand, it makes violently ill.

Now, imagine that just about every restaurant picks up on this new trend, and starts putting rat poison in most of their dishes, and — rat poison is so pervasive throughout the kitchen — restaurants cannot guarantee that dishes without rat poison are not cross-contaminated.

If you spent a few seconds imagining this scenario, then you have an inkling of what it’s like living with Celiac Disease, or many other medical conditions for which a gluten-free diet is prescribed.

Why am I bringing this up?

This morning, I became aware of an ad from Party City (which has since been taken down) that essentially calls people with Celiac “gross.” (If you haven’t seen it, you really need to take a minute to read Gluten Dude’s post and watch the video.) This is only the latest in a series of slams at people who have to eat gluten free, or have food allergies and require medically restricted diets.

Yes, it’s good that Party City has apologized. But that’s not the point. If lots and lots of people didn’t think of eating gluten free as a weird and annoying  “choice,” it never would have become the topic of an advertisement. Somehow, we need to get people to understand that for many of us, eating gluten free is not a choice.

if you run across someone who’s having trouble empathizing with people who have to eat gluten free, ask them to imagine rat poison is the new food trend, and it’s everywhere.

Oh, and maybe we can just stop making fun of people. Period.


Celiac Safe Eats in Seattle

When my daughter was accepted to the University of Washington, I knew I needed to find places nearby where we could eat safely.  Gluten Free Mom got us started on the right track with Razzi’s Pizzeria (see below), and I’m happy to have discovered several additional places.

Because neither my daughter nor I have very noticeable symptoms after eating gluten, I have to preface this post with a disclaimer: Always do your due diligence before eating out. Ask questions, trust your instincts, and don’t eat anywhere you aren’t comfortable. But then, you already know that. 🙂 Please let me know if you find any issues with any of the restaurants on this list. And now, on to the list!  Continue reading

Celiac Awareness Month: #60ForCeliac

Invisible Illness Campaign_Beyond Celiac logoI’m excited to be part of Beyond Celiac’s Blogger Force for Celiac Awareness Month in 2016!

This year Beyond Celiac (formerly the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness) is highlighting the invisible aspects of celiac disease with the goal of showing the world that celiac disease disrupts more of our lives than just what we eat.

See how many times you can relate to the questions in this 60-second video, and consider sharing it to raise awareness of celiac disease. (Use the hashtag #60ForCeliac.)

Follow @CeliacSafeEats (and the other Beyond Celiac bloggers) on Twitter for more information about celiac , Celiac Awareness Month, and gluten-free dining.

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CDF Expo and Conference: Where to eat?

This will be my first time attending the Celiac Disease Foundation National Conference and Expo. The conference is in Pasadena, CA, home of the Rose Bowl (Go, Bruins! But I digress…)

Breakfast and lunch on Saturday (gluten free, of course) is taken care of as part of the conference, which leaves several other meals to round out the weekend. Although I’m bringing food with me, I would really like to find safe, good restaurants for dinner on Saturday and lunch on Sunday.

I did my usual research using Yelp reviews and came up with a few (insert your favorite sad emoji here) possible choices within a 20 minute walk from the conference.
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Restaurant Review: Open Oven Pizza Co, Roche, Cornwall

I love this review. It makes me wish I were closer than a 15 hour plane ride so I could try the pizza! If you’re visiting England, check out Open Oven Pizza, Co. and

chronicles of a grumpy coeliac

Oh. My Goodness. Where to begin. Last week I was in Cornwall and had the most amazing cream tea ever, I thought right that’s my blog for the week sorted (who am I kidding, I definitely don’t post that often, I’m not organised enough for that) but then. But then, my friends, I went for pizza. Pizza in the oddest place one would go for pizza… pizza in a services…

Oh god. When our friends suggested it (they assured me they did gluten free) I felt my heart drop… surely no pizza place in a services, in Cornwall, is going to have a clue about cross contamination procedures. No matter, no matter, deal with it, you can only ask and then eat later if necessary. Deal with it JessOkay…

Now, to clarify, these services are newly built just off the A30 near Roche in Cornwall. They’re pretty…

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Pill to Treat Celiac? Ha ha.

In my inbox this morning is a Google Alert: “A Pill to Treat Celiac Disease Could be Coming Soon.” Be still my heart! Ha ha.

Of course, we’ve seen these types of claims before. It sounds like a real alternative to a life-long gluten free diet, but is at best a way to avoid damage from occasional cross-contamination. If it works. If it passes all the FDA requirements. If it doesn’t have nasty side-effects. Gluten Dude puts it directly and succinctly: No…There is NOT a drug that will allow celiacs to eat gluten.

But, as someone who essentially has no symptoms from being glutened, being a little less nervous every time I eat out would be great. Some people know first-hand to avoid a restaurant that talks-the-talk, but doesn’t walk-the-walk. Not me.  Continue reading

Nima sensor at Pica Pica in SF

Last night I attended the Nima sensor demonstration at Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen in San Francisco. There was excitement, a big crowd, and best of all – great 100% gluten free food!

Photo of Gale (Celiac Safe Eats) with Nima sensor co-founder Shireen Yates and restaurant owner Adriana Lopez.

At the Nima sensor demo (L-R): Gale Naylor (Celiac Safe Eats) with the co-founder of 6Sensor Labs Shireen Yates and Adriana Lopez, owner of Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen in San Francisco.

At the demo, I met 6Sensor Labs co-founder Shireen Yates, whose frustration with food allergies and eating out lead to the development of the Nima sensor. Adriana Lopez, the owner of Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen, was also there and told me how her native Venezuelan cuisine is naturally gluten free. Even so, she has learned what is necessary to make her food celiac safe, and uses the Nima sensor to perform random checks, all of which have been negative for gluten.  (Check out Adriana’s blog and you will be salivating over the pulled pork pernil platterpassion fruit sangria, and the arepas!) See Shireen and Pica Pica in this PBS NewsHour video, which also shows how the Nima sensor works. Continue reading

Using Yelp Reviews

Because I don’t react to being glutened, I rely on outside information to find restaurants I want to try. Frustrated[1] with searching for terms like “GF” or “gluten free,” I began using the term “celiac” to filter reviews on Yelp. Although it can be exciting to find several “celiac” reviews, I have to read each one carefully.

Not all reviews are positive.

Sometimes the reviewer says something like, “If you have celiac, don’t eat here!” Good information and I stay away from that restaurant! Continue reading