Melissa's World

Just Smile and Nod

Gluten-Free Restaurants and Bakeries

There are many restaurants that are now catering to people with gluten sensitivity and Celiac Disease; many of them are well-known chains you may recognize. 99 Restaurant, Bertucci’s, Chili’s, Applebee’s, Uno’s Bar and Grill. All of these restaurants have gluten-free menus, I have had mostly good experiences with these chains, but you should always ask questions if you are not sure about an item on the menu. Even simple menu items such as salad dressings and marinades can have gluten in them so it is always good to double-check with the wait staff or manager before ordering these for your meal.

There are also some great independent chains that are also popping up all over the country with great gluten-free menus and great tasting as well. Since I live in Massachusetts I will give a few of the restaurants and bakeries that I know of in my area, and hopefully you will be able to enjoy if you are ever in Massachusetts. There is this great restaurant that my boyfriend and I just tried during the week called Box Seats in North Attleboro, MA. They have an extensive gluten-free menu and great tasting food that you have to try. Even if you do not have an allergy and you are curious about the food this is a place you should check out. I tried the gluten-free baby back ribs with their gluten-free honey barbecue sauce, one word, delicious!

http://www.boxseatsma.com/

There are some great pizzeria’s that sell gluten-free pizzas throughout Massachusetts as well. There is one in Western Massachusetts called Hillside pizza that sells all natural pizzas and ingredients and is very conscientious of people who have food allergies in general. They sell gluten-free crusts, cookies, and other desserts. You can also find a chain called Mangia, another pizzeria that offers gluten-free pizza as well, with all natural ingredients and great taste. There is a newer store that opened in Sharon, MA and other locations on the north and south shores as well as in Boston.

http://hillsidepizza.com/

http://www.eatmangiapizza.com/

Along with restaurants there are some great bakeries that offer gluten-free products, but that have not gotten much attention until recently. One of those bakeries is Kickass Cupcakes in Somerville, MA. Not only does it have a catchy name that most people will remember, but great tasting cupcakes as well. You would never be able to tell that the gluten-free cupcakes were at all. They are so moist and tasty that they are worth the drive.

http://www.kickasscupcakes.com/

October 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 4 Comments

Gluten Free Foods and Products

So this week I thought I would talk about some of the many products that are available for anyone suffering from Celiac’s Disease or Gluten Intolerance. When I was first diagnosed I was very confused as to what I could and could not eat. I knew that I could not eat wheat and with my being Italian really brought a halt to my diet, or so I thought. Also I knew that I could not eat gluten, but what exactly is gluten anyway???

Well according to the Mayo Clinic (2012), “A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). A gluten-free diet is used to treat celiac disease. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Eating a gluten-free diet helps people with celiac disease control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications.”

Now that we cleared that up the next best piece of advice I can give is going to a website such as www.celiac.com this site is such a great source of information and was invaluable to me when I was trying to figure out everything that I could and could not eat. It covers everything that a person can or cannot eat in two easy lists one is called forbidden list and the other is called safe list. This gives a clear outline of everything you can eat and everything to stay away from or that might be questionable. It may seem very intimidated off the bat, but trust me when I say take the time to read all labels at the store carefully and give yourself extra time when you shop.

I was also very frustrated to find that many products were either very good or very bad in a number of different areas. For one, the taste and texture of food can take a little getting used to, but if you find the right brands foods will taste exactly as any food you used to eat.

Some of my favorite foods had wheat as the main ingredient in them: Pasta, bread, cereal. Many name brands are starting to recognize how many people suffer from Celiac’s Disease and are now offering their own products that are gluten-free. Take for instance Chex, the company now offers gluten-free cereal that tastes just like the original Chex and Betty Crocker also offers different gluten-free baking mixes such as: cookie, brownie, and cake mixes. I believe I also saw Bisquick now offers a gluten-free pancake mix as well.

This is exciting stuff for celiac sufferers everywhere and that was one more complaint I had about Celiac Disease, ‘how do I find food for my diet? I found most of my foods through Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, but I also found some good products through Stop&Shop and Big Y.

Some of my favorite brands that I love right now are: Glutino, Annie’s, Schar and Udi’s. Schar has some of the best pasta I have tasted since starting a gluten-free diet. I have been searching for the most authentic tasting pasta I could find to wheat pasta and Schar cooks the best and tastes the best. You will not be disappointed in this brand. Udi’s has great bread, but one word of advice, try to find non-frozen bread. This has been hard for me to find and in most stores gluten-free bread can only be found in a freezer section of any grocery store. Trader Joe’s does have the Udi’s brand fresh if you are looking for it. Also Annie’s has a great macaroni and cheese that again, tastes like your regular everyday mac and cheese. Glutino also has a wide variety of products to offer and great breadcrumbs if you are looking for any. They are very fine, but good for frying chicken and many other products including, pizza, bread, baking mixes, pretzels, cookies, and crackers.

Check back shortly for more posts. I will be adding some pictures of the brands that I have talked about today and pictures of my personal favorite brands as well.

Mayo Clinic (2012). Gluten Free Diet. Retrieved from, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gluten-free-diet/my01140

October 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 5 Comments

Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance

Hi everyone,

My name is Melissa and I am writing this blog for a social media class that I am enrolled in. Throughout this blog I will be discussing Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance, along with helpful websites to explain the disease, and websites that sell Gluten Free products.

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2008 after having severe stomach pains and constant nausea for almost two weeks. I went to the doctor and they suggested I cut milk and other products out of my diet for a few weeks and try to find out why I was feeling sick. After that did not work I had a co-worker who was diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease years earlier and she suggested cutting wheat and gluten from my diet. Thankfully this worked and within a few days I felt almost completely normal. If it had not been for her I do not want to even think how long it would have been before a doctor could have determined what was wrong with me.

There is no cure for Celiac Disease and a change in a person’s diet is really the only way to control it. The change in diet was a huge transition for me and everyone else that I have talked to with Celiac’s as well. Gluten can be found in wheat, barley, rye, and some oats. Gluten can also be used in various ways in many foods so reading all food labels are very important, especially when someone is first diagnosed with Celiac’s.

Here is a great link to explain Celiac Disease and really breaks down diagnosis, treatment, and how the disease affects the body.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001280/

Here are a few other links with lots of resources for Celiac’s Disease and Gluten Intolerance:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gluten-free-diet/My01140

http://www.celiac.org/

http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/

September 28, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

   

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