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April 2014

I have a friend and neighbor whose son is gluten free -- and has mulitple food allergies. He cannot eat gluten, eggs, nuts, sesame, fish, or red meat. They recently returned from a trip to Orlando, where they visited Disney World and Universal Studios. I thought I'd start by sharing the email they received from Bob Burdick, the head chef at Universal, upon inquiring about dietary issues in advance of their trip. Here it is: Hi, in Universal Studios, we have fruit stands in the parks with apples, oranges, grapes, and watermelon on them. We also have lemon and strawberry slush carts which will be ok. Turkey legs just smoked are ok. We have a full service is Lombard's Landing and Finnegan’s. We have a chef in each unit. Have the server bring the chef to the table and he can go over all the things he can do for you. In Islands of Adventure, we have two full service units. One is called Confisco's and one is Mytho's, We have Chefs in both of those units. Have your server bring the Chef to the table, and he can go over the things he can do for you. I... Read more →

You probably recall my mentioning the Inn on Randolph in past posts. It’s a 100% dedicated gluten free B&B in the heart of Napa Valley, run by proprietor Karen Lynch, who has been gluten free herself for the past 8 years. In addition to building a loyal following among gluten free travelers, the Inn on Randolph has the honor of being recognized as the #1 rated B&B in Napa overall on Trip Advisor. It’s no wonder, when you look at the beautiful restoration Karen undertook when she bought the historic property a few years ago. The guest rooms are gorgeous, as are the kitchen and dining areas. There are multiple buildings with guest rooms on the property, all with their own unique character and all containing the luxurious modern comforts guests desire. There’s even a small spa where you can relax with a massage after a day of sightseeing or wine tours. And you’ll be spoiled with wonderful gluten free breakfasts and appetizers before dinner. In fact, the Inn on Randolph has hired a new Head Chef, Ethan Speizer, who is producing some of the freshest and most inspired local cuisine around, often using organic produce sourced from the Inn’s... Read more →

Dr. Alessio Fasano, arguably the world's leading researcher and expert on Celiac Disease, has written a new book, and I was sent an "advance" copy. It's called Gluten Freedom, and I haven't been able to put it down. Although I'm not finished with it yet, I wanted to tell you about it right away -- and give you a chance to win it for yourself in our special giveaway. Just about anyone who is affected by Celiac Disease knows the name Alessio Fasano. Our family was among the fortunate ones to know him, not as a researcher, but as a pediatric gastroenterologist. You see, our son was among his patients at the Center for Celiac Research in Baltimore, Maryland -- before the Center moved to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. We saw him every 18 months or so, so that our son could have labwork done and make sure no gluten was sneaking into his diet. Dr. Fasano and his staff were always so positive, and I'll never forget his comment on our very first visit to his office, shortly after our son was diagnosed 9 years ago. He said, "At some point in the not-too-distant future, Ryan will be... Read more →

It's so thrilling to me to see the world opening up to gluten free travelers. Once upon a time, it was difficult to go on an extended vacation if you were gluten free, unless you were able to rent a condo with a kitchen and do your own cooking. And frankly, that's not much of a vacation, even for those of us who love to cook! Now, however, amazing opportunities abound for gluten free travelers. Take Costa Rica, for example...a very popular spot for tourists. Its beauty and the friendliness of the local population are unrivaled. And there's something for everyone, whether you're in the mood for adventure, eco-tourism, or just a week of rest and relaxation. Arenas Del Mar, a luxury boutique hotel situated on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, is just the place to base yourself, too, since they have been preparing gluten free meals for guests for years -- and are now hosting two separate gluten free weeks in the Fall (one in September and one in November). Both restaurants will be entirely gluten free for each week, and guest chefs from acclaimed U.S. restaurants (some even with Celiac Disease themselves) will be working their... Read more →

If you're like our family, you're always looking for healthy, quick, gluten free snacks to grab when you're running from one activity to the next...something that holds up well in a purse or backpack -- or even in the car. Gluten free snack bars -- be they fruit and nut bars, protein bars, or traditional granola bars -- are a popular choice, and you probably remember me reviewing many brands here on this blog over the years. Our family likes most gluten free varieties we've tried, and fortunately, there seem to be new ones introduced all the time. One of the latest product introductions is the line from Annie's, also known for their delicious mac-n-cheese, both in gluten free and gluten varieties. (Another Annie's favoite of ours are their Cocoa and Vanilla bunny-shaped cookies. They have a great flavor and are perfect for the Easter season! They also come in Ginger Snap flavor, which we haven't yet tried.) But back to the Granola Bars... These are true "granola bars," as you remember them (the chewy, oat-based snack bars). There are two varieties -- Double Chocolate Chip, made with real mini chocolate chips, and Oatmeal Cookie, which has a cinnamon flavor... Read more →