Category Archives: News

DC Gluten Free News Round Up

Here are a few cool things going on in the gluten free scene here in DC, as well as a few new finds around the district!

1. Tasti D-Lite just opened in Columbia Heights

Now, in addition to the one in Dupont Circle, there is a Tasti D-Lite in Columbia Heights. Tasti D-Lite clearly marks their flavors as gluten free on their website. Nutella, Brownie Batter, PB caramel, and Rocky Road sound right up my alley!

2. Less than a month until the DC gluten free expo!

June 15th at the Four Points Sheraton there will be 70 vendors sharing delicious gluten free treats! Tickets are only $15 and you can buy them here! (All proceeds from the event will benefit the patients and families of the Celiac Disease Program at Children’s National Medical Center).

3. Roti has gluten free pita bread

I’ll file this one under “WTF”. How have I not known that Roti has gluten free pita bread until now? It’s $2.00 extra, but still awesome! With locations all across the district (including one coming to Union Station this summer), I’ll be heading there ASAP for lunch.

4. Macaron Bee opens in Georgetown

Macaroons are naturally gluten free, so I’m assuming that at least most of the flavors on the list at Macaron Bee will be as well. I haven’t checked it out myself, but exciting to have a macaroon place in the district to help balance out the millions of cupcakeries.

Exciting stuff! Anything else going on that I should know about?

Youtube videos about Celiac disease that are actually good

I don’t think it’s quite a bandwagon yet, but I’m jumping on board with the Gluten Dude and Erin from Gluten Free Fun in commenting on the “Sh*t gluten-free people say” video that Cappello’s made (which they have since removed from Youtube).

I’m not going to spend too much time belaboring how lame the video was. But I will say I was not happy to see my gluten free people depicted as bitchy, needy, and frivolous. There’s a lot of work to be done in raising awareness that Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder. You don’t see anyone making a “Sh*t people with Lupus say” video, now do you?

So, here are a few videos on Celiac disease that made me laugh. Ones that were created by people actually living with Celiacs, not a company trying to increase sales.

1. The Quinoa Song:

These guys are great, and this song is actually really catchy/informative! “If you have Celiac Disease, allergy to wheat, the Inca Gold will save you – it’ll get you off your feet!”

2. Royal Empire Celiac Awareness

Gluten Dude shared this video and I loved it so I’m sharing it to give these guys some more views!

3. The Rap on Celiac Disease:

And this one had me cracking up. “Celiac disease, all the way!”

4. Celiac Disease: What kids have to say

This one didn’t make me laugh, but I love these kids. They aren’t following any fad and eating gluten free is hard for them, but they can always find the good in things.

Hopefully more funny, silly, heartfelt, and *hilariously awful* videos will start coming out soon!

Celiac side efects: anxiety

There are hundreds of symptoms and side effects of Celiac disease, and each person who’s diagnosed seems to be affected by a different cocktail of them. Even once you start following a gluten free diet, there are still plenty of lingering side effects that may come and go, be triggered by accidentally ingesting gluten, or just be an ever-present thing you have to deal with (worst case scenario).

One of the side effects that doesn’t get as much attention is anxiety. A German study showed that female adults following a gluten free diet for celiac disease show higher levels of anxiety than do members of the general population. These are women on a gluten free diet, not undiagnosed.

Since our physical well being and the effectiveness of our digestive system is so important to our mental well being, it makes sense that gluten can cause all kinds of issues in your head as well as your tummy (like the link to eating disorders and depression).

I’ve been known to have really high anxiety in certain situations – top on the list is when I’m hungry and know that I won’t be anywhere with food in the next few hours (like at the beach, in a movie, waiting for a table at a restaurant, etc.).

Over the last couple of years I’ve been much less anxious and generally calmer about managing my Celiac’s, which I can attribute to a few things:

  1. I’ve gotten better at packing a snack for myself though, even when I’m sure I won’t need it. Just having it in my purse helps reduce the anxiety. And I’ve gotten over thinking that other people will think I’m weird/a pig for eating at random times. So what if our dinner reservation is in 30 minutes? I’m hungry now. Plus I won’t be able to eat the bread basket, so I’ll be eating at least 30 minutes later than everyone else anyway.
  2. Making sure I get a ton of vitamins, minerals, and nutritious food every day. Your body thanks you when you eat well and your mind follows.
  3. This might be cheesy, but yoga has been a lifesaver for me. It’s a time to clear your mind, concentrate on yourself, and relieve stress. I go to yoga at least once a week, and it works wonders.
  4. For immediate relief from anxiety, running is my cure. Running or cleaning. I like to put on some really obnoxious rap music, sprint as long as I can, and then when I feel like my heart is going to explode, stop and walk it out. Sometimes I’ll even do a little Rocky-style punching in the air…if no one’s around to catch me.
  5. Keeping Celiac in perspective; it’s not cancer, it’s not MS, it’s Celiac disease. Sure, it’s not curable, and it’s a total bitch to deal with, but it’s not the end of the world. I’m strong and I can handle it.

Gluten free Valentine’s Day Candy

As Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, here are a few sweets that are safe to give to your gluten-free sweetheart. Obviously your first line of defense is chocolate – something heart shaped or chocolate covered strawberries. Just steer clear of truffles unless you know they’re gluten free because I’ve found that most of them have barley or malt in them.

Something new I learned today = Godiva and Lindt chocolate makers explicitly say not to consume their products if you have a gluten allergy.

Godiva says “ALL of our products including solid chocolate pieces may contain gluten. Any person with a gluten allergy should NOT consume ANY of our products.”

Lindt says “Gluten can be found in several premium chocolate products that Lindt & Sprungli produces; either as a cereal ingredient or as a barley component… trace amounts of these gluten ingredients and components may have the opportunity to come in contact with non gluten products.”

I’ll admit, I totally eat Lindt truffles. The ingredients are just cream, chocolate, and butter. It also doesn’t say “may contain wheat” on the nutrition label, just that it may contain nuts. Stupid gluten free labeling. Or non labeling in this case.

Anyhoo – I guess steer clear of Godiva and Lindt to be safe, and go with one of these less classy options. Or just buy flowers ūüôā

Surf Sweets Fruity Hearts
I’m not really into gummy things, but since basically all licorice is filled with wheat, these could be a good alternative.

NECCO Sweethearts conversation hearts
On NECCO’s website they have a full list of their gluten free products. Something I didn’t know was that Clark Bars are gluten free as well, I don’t think I’ve ever even had a Clark Bar because they seem like they’re for old people? I’ll have to pick one up.

Valentine’s Day M&Ms
They’re adorable, they’re pink, and besides the pastel Easter ones, they’re my favorite holiday M&Ms.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Gluten Free DC News Round-up

Seems like there are more and more gluten free things going on in DC all the time. Here are a few that I’m excited about!

1. Whole Foods and Cleveland Park Wines are now carrying New Planet beer

Cleveland Park Wines has the best selection of gluten free beer, and as far as I know they’re the only place in the city that carries the Off Grid New Planet beer and Estrella Damm Daura. Lucky for me it’s right by my apartment. They also sell New Planet for $1-2 cheaper than Whole Foods, at $9.49 for a six pack.

2. FUEL Pizza opens on K Street, offering gluten free pizza

Yesterday FUEL Pizza opened on K street and 16th, offering gluten free pizza crust and Redbridge beer. They also have a gluten free menu that points out which toppings are not gluten free.

  source

3. Whole Foods P Street is hosting gluten free tours on January 31st (1-2pm and 4:30-5:30pm)

Considering I’m at this Whole Foods about four times a week, I don’t think I really need a tour. But I may make an appearance to meet some other people in the DC gfree community.

4. Science Club serves delicious gluten free fries with homemade mayo

In my book, homemade mayonnaise is newsworthy. Science Club in Dupont has really delicious crunchy fries made in a dedicated fryer.They also have $5 glasses of wine for happy hour.

5. There will be lots of gluten free baked goods at the next DC Grey Market

Grey Market just released their product list for the January 28th market, featuring yummy goodies from Kate Bakes, Goldilocks Goodies, and MeBakes.

Anything else going on lately in DC gluten free news?

Grinds my gears: gluten free labeling and cross contamination

You know what really grinds my gears?

1. When things aren’t labeled as gluten free, but they are.

The other day I got a craving for peppermint ice cream. It comes along with my Christmas spirit. I checked the label of Edy’s, and nothing contained gluten, so I bought it. Then, just to be sure, I checked their website when I got home to see if they had allergen information on it.

They did, and they labeled it as gluten free, nut free, and kosher.

So why not do it on the actual package? Makes no sense.

Although, on the bright side, I can still enjoy this delicious ice cream, even if it’s not labeled.

2. When things are labeled as gluten free, and they obviously aren’t.

This weekend I was in Baltimore and we stopped into a Vaccaro’s bakery in Little Italy. I was planning on getting gelato, but after waiting for about 15 minutes with no service or acknowledgement we decided to leave. But, while we were waiting we had plenty of time to ogle the cookie display, and at first I was excited because one was labeled gluten free.

Then I realized that it was on the second shelf, and there was powdered sugar and crumbs from the other cookies all over the tray.

For some people who aren’t as intolerant or don’t have Celiac’s, that might not be a problem. But it’s incredibly irresponsible to label something gluten free without taking any precautions to make sure that it actually is.

They can expect a strongly worded letter from yours truly.

Hopefully in the near future the FDA gets its act together and puts together sound regulations on gluten free labeling. Until then it’s every woman for herself.

DC Pizza News

I think that a¬† certain part of my brain is devoted exclusively to pizza. I’m always on the lookout for new gf pizza places to try, as well as opportunities to make my own and share it, since everyone usually marvels at how good the gf pizza crust is.

So here’s some DC pizza-related news.

Homemade Pizza Co¬†is now going to be serving gluten free pizza. This place has a pretty great business plan, where they make the pizza for you, but you bake it at home. I haven’t gone into an actual store, even though I pass the one on 14th St. and Church all the time. You can also order online (make sure you choose the medium crust option). I built one with BBQ sauce and four toppings and it came to $20.10. Ouch : /

The District of Pi is opening a brick and mortar store in 9 days¬†on F St., which is described in Thrillist as a “skylit, chandelier-laden pizza haven with a huge, indoor faux-veranda and 40ft of bar.

Last time I walked by they still had this sign up and construction going on, but I’m excited to go give it a try! They also have daiya vegan cheese and vegan meat substitutes on their menu (although those have gluten in them 95% of the time).

Now, this place is not to be confused with Pi Pizzeria in Adams Morgan. It’s easy to make the mistake, since District of Pi’s Facebook page is www.facebook.com/pipizzeria¬†and their website looks exactly like the Pi Pizzeria sign. I made that mistake a few weeks ago and tried to order gf pizza there, which they don’t have. Embarrassing! The waitress did, however, inform me that they were thinking about starting to carry it in the near future. Which is great because their patio is really nice.

If you’re too lazy to get to Homemade Pizza Co. or District of Pi, then you can always just go to a pizza party!

I brought my own dough mix, my favorite Namaste one, but got to use all of these yummy toppings and homemade tomato sauce made by the lovely hostess.

Topped with broccoli, mushrooms, basil, yellow peppers, and caramelized onions. ¬†Everyone at the party helped me finish the whole thing before we headed out and seemed to really like it! Although that could have been the wine talking…

Lesson learned: if you keep a steady stream of pizza in my hand, I’m a pretty happy girl.

See? Wine and pizza is really all it takes. And a few rounds of Cranium.

So far my favorite pizza (and hangover cure) in DC is from Open City, but there are still a few places I need to try. What is your favorite gluten free pizza in the District? 

Crumbs to carry a gluten free cupcake!

In a covert op on Friday night, a friend and I stopped into Crumbs Bakeshop downtown on 11th Street, since I wanted to check if they had a gluten free variety.

The guy working there told us a bit coyly that they didn’t have one, but then said that they should have one by October!

He said that there was already a button for it on the register, so it sounds like it’s legitimate, ven though on their website, they still say that they don’t carry them.

I also took this undercover picture, since I guess you’re not allowed to take pictures in Crumbs?

Hurry up already, Crumbs!

Breaking News: Most people on a gluten free diet kind of think it sucks

I was reading this article on jacksonville.com by Mark Basch (The Gluten Free Glutton) about how “43 percent of people on a gluten-free diet rated their satisfaction as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor,’ with 35¬†percent rating it as ‘average.'” So that’s 78% of people on a gf diet that kind of think it sucks.

How sad is that?

Then I got to thinking about how I would rate my satisfaction with my diet.¬† And I think I’d say “above average”.¬† Or maybe “average”?¬† It’s such a weird question.

On the one hand, I still get to eat things like this massive Thanksgiving sandwich from Terri Vegetarian in NYC.¬† And I’m very satisfied.

But on the other, sometimes I have to buy the one gluten free veggie burger in the grocery store, which ends up tasting dry and looking like a dirt patty, and I have to slather it with hummus to make it edible.  Then? Not so satisfied.

How would you rate your satisfaction with your gluten free diet?