Have you heard of GliadinX? I can’t remember where and when I’d first heard about it, but the developer of this unique enzyme formulation contacted me recently, and I was intrigued to learn more. Like with many products and services, necessity was the mother of invention with GliadinX. Founder Dr. Albert Zickmann has two children diagnosed with celiac disease, and he was concerned about cross contamination and accidental gluten exposure when dining out, traveling, and sending his kids to birthday parties and camps. Having a medical background himself, he began researching studies on enzymes that digest gliadin (the damaging component of gluten) in the stomach. Dr. Zickmann took an extensively researched enzyme proven to break down gluten in clinical and laboratory studies and combined it with a food grade acid to further increase the efficacy of the enzyme. Essentially, this combination breaks down the gliadin molecule, cutting it into harmless fragments before the gluten can cause an inflammatory reaction in the small intestine. Let me stress that this is not a product that is intended to replace a strict gluten free diet, as it states explicitly on the bottle. It is for times when you suspect cross contamination may be... Read more →


Have you ever dreamed of visiting the Greek Islands and actually standing atop this hill you see in so many photographs? Would you love to tour the Acropolis in Athens and marvel at the Parthenon? What about meandering among the ancient ruins on an uninhabited island full of archaeological treasures? If these things have been on your own Bucket List, it's no wonder. Greece has always been a favorite destination -- for all these reasons. In addition to the natural beauty that surrounds you and the amazing history and architectural wonders, Greece's citizens are so warm and hospitable. Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us (and gluten free for decades herself) recently had some gluten free clients request an itinerary for Greece, and based on the success in setting up the trip, she is offering a similar itinerary to other clients. Of course, as with any of Ellen's itineraries, you are the "captain of your own boat" and can tailor it to your interests and desired length of stay. And because it is NOT a group tour, you can take it any time of the year (although Ellen highly recommends April through October as being ideal). This particular itinerary hits on... Read more →


I'll admit it. I'm a sucker for REAL buttercream icing made with real butter. I hardly ever buy store-bought icing, unless I'm in an extreme time-crunch. I feel that real buttercream icing takes even the most average cake to delectable heights. Therefore, I want to share this old family recipe with you. There's nothing particularly special about it. It's probably similar to many buttercream icing recipes out there, but this is the one handed down to me by my mom decades ago. In fact, I have it typed up in an old (and lovingly chocolate-stained) booklet of recipes I put together for a Home Ec project in junior high! This is one recipe I have turned to again and again over the years (especially now that I have kids!). It's so good, you can make a batch just to dip cookies in. Or, use it to frost your favorite cake or cupcakes (or even as frosting inside whoopie pies). All it takes is one bowl and 5 ingredients (all of which you probably have on hand). Our younger son is gluten free due to Celiac, so I typically use it atop gluten free cakes, cupcakes, or whoopie pies (which I,... Read more →


Many of you are familiar with my Gluten-Free in ITALY e-book, available on Amazon. In it, I give advice on finding the best spots dining gluten free in Rome, Florence, and Venice (yes, there is amazing gluten free pizza and pasta to be safely enjoyed, but you need to know where to go!). Just a few months ago, I added a section on Umbria, the “landlocked” region of central Italy bordering Tuscany to the southeast. It was here that I was fortunate to experience a less touristy side of Italy…medieval towns, rolling hills, historical sites dating back to Roman and Etruscan eras, important religious sites, vineyards and olive oil producers, and wonderfully simple and fresh Italian culinary specialties. Unlike our family’s previous trip to Italy, which we did on our own after having help from fantastic (and gluten free) travel agent Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us, this trip to Umbria was with a small group. A college friend and I traveled with Bluone Tours, a “boutique” travel company specializing in small group tours of the many regions of Italy. While their focus is on the food and wine of the different regions, their tours encompass so much more. For... Read more →


Multi-generational travel has become increasingly popular in recent years, and cruise ships provide the perfect venue for bringing travelers of all ages together. In fact, it's something to consider for a family reunion! Let's face it, it's hard to please every traveler on a trip, but cruise ships sure come close. There's really something for everyone, whether you like relaxing by the pool, trying out a zip line or simulated surfing, scheduling a spa visit or time in the gym, hanging out in the casino, taking in the entertainment on board, heading to the teen center, or playing mini golf. And the ports of call offer a range of options for differing tastes as well. Plus, on a cruise ship you have the option of spending some time together -- and some apart. Best of all, there are dining options for every taste, and cruise ships typically offer plenty of choices for gluten free folks -- and even travelers with other dietary restrictions. The post below was reprinted with permission from Travel Leaders agency, where one of our favorite gluten free travel specialists works. Lesley Hayden-Hock, reachable at 800-487-6110 or Lhayden@travelleaders.com, knows the best cruise lines for gluten free dining... Read more →


Are you thinking about visiting London? Maybe you even already have a trip planned for the spring or summer.... London continues to rank high on travelers' Bucket Lists, and it offers something for everyone...no matter what your age or what your interests. When we took our sons there, we had such a fantastic time. Between the range of tourist sites, world-class museums, and fascinating history, we were captivated. And any fears we had about finding restaurants that could serve our son safe gluten free meals were quickly dispelled. That's because I'd done my homework. As always, the hours of advance research had paid off. While we can all probably agree that there's not a lot of spontaneity when following a gluten free diet when traveling, researching and planning where you'll eat in advance saves you from having to scramble each day. The more planning you can do, the more seamless your trip will be. If you have a plan, you'll be able to relax and focus on enjoying the experiences -- without scrambling at mealtime to find restaurants nearby that might offer gluten free options. I put all the knowledge we acquired in our 10-day stay into an e-book called... Read more →


Whether you're intrigued by Norway, land of beautiful fjords...or Stockholm, Sweden, the "Venice of the North"...or the town of Copenhagen, Denmark, situated on a series of islands, Scandinavia has something for everyone. I remember visiting the Scandinavian capitals with my family when I was in college. It was the summer, and enjoying daylight up to 11 pm made quite and impression on me! It's a part of Europe that doesn't get talked about as much as, say, Italy, England, or France, but there is so much rich history in each of these countries, along with unrivaled natural beauty. Now, thanks again to gluten free travel specialist Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us, you can safely travel gluten free in these countries, all while staying in 4-star hotels she and her local Scandinavian travel partners have vetted. You'll also be provided with a list of restaurants for gluten free dining for any meals that are not pre-arranged as part of the trip. You will not have to "go it alone" figuring out where you can safely dine! And, of course, your traveling companions will have the choice of whether to eat gluten free or not. You are not locked in to... Read more →


Responding to the trend to incorporate cauliflower into more menu items, including pizza crusts, California Pizza Kitchen announced their full line of cauliflower crust pizzas on Tuesday. CPK has always been an innovator, especially when it comes to pizza. Some of you may remember they introduced the first BBQ Chicken Pizza back in 1985. (Now you’ll find it on pizza menus virtually everywhere!) Made from a blend of cauliflower, mozzarella cheese, rice flour, herbs, and spices, the cauliflower crusts were developed by CPK’s Culinary Innovations Team to meet a demand for lower carb, higher fiber, and nutritionally-dense pizza crusts. While California Pizza Kitchen already has a line of certified gluten free pizza crusts, these cauliflower crust pizzas give diners another gluten free alternative, depending on their taste preferences. Like their existing line of gluten free pizzas, there will be four varieties of the cauliflower crust pizza that are certified gluten free. California Pizza Kitchen employs protocol developed in conjunction with the Gluten Intolerance Group to keep gluten free diners safe. The Margherita (shown below), Pepperoni, Mushroom/Pepperoni/Sausage, and Original BBQ Chicken varieties of pizza – whether ordered on their traditional gluten free crust or the new cauliflower crust – are prepared... Read more →


Our son has been gluten free for over 12 years now, after a diagnosis with Celiac Disease in April 2005. We have dined out considerably since then...and traveled extensively in the U.S. and to many major European cities. There have been ups and downs along the way -- both pleasant surprises and occasional disappointments. I've written in the past about the Top 10 Mistakes Restaurants Make When Trying to Provide Gluten Free Meals. Don't get me wrong...even as the founder of GlutenFreeTravelSite and the Dine Gluten Free mobile app -- along with this Blog -- I'm actually not particularly hard on restaurants that at least make an effort to serve our gluten free community. And frankly, our 14-year-old son is pretty easy to please as well. As long as there are a few options on a menu -- and they are prepared safely and with optimal taste in mind -- we are happy. At this age, he is content with a juicy steak, a burger on a decent gluten free bun, simply prepared gluten free pasta, most gluten free pizzas, and any chocolate dessert that can claim it's gluten free! My Top 10 listing from months ago hits on how... Read more →


You've probably heard of the Seychelles Islands. Their pristine, unspoiled beaches are often mentioned among the world's best. Located off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, this archipelago is made up of 115 islands. Many of the Seychelles islands are uninhabited and are nature reserves. Ellen Morse, one of our gluten free travel specialist partners (and who is gluten free herself) just had some clients return from a trip she planned for them to this exciting and exotic destination. They absolutely raved about the experience, and Ellen is eager to share the itinerary she planned for them with more clients. On this journey, which is not a group tour and can be taken at any time, you'll visit three of the main islands: Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue. She has worked with local tour companies who do business in the Seychelles to ensure all meals will be safely gluten free. Imagine seeing this beautiful part of the world while relaxing and having all your dietary needs taken seriously! Like many island nations, the people of the Seychelles enjoy a wide variety of fresh fish, seafood, and fruits. Rice flavored with curry, coconut, or saffron is another common... Read more →


If you're a lover of Italy but have already visited some of the bustling cities like Rome, Florence, Venice, or Milan, you owe it to yourself to consider a trip that's more "off the beaten path," but still just as enjoyable and fascinating. Some of you may remember me mentioning a travel opportunity to the Umbria region of Italy a few months ago. A yoga instructor ( http://goyogichef.com ) who is also a Le Cordon Bleu classically trained chef (and gluten free herself) had organized a group for a Food and Wine Tour of Umbria, escorted by Marcello and Raffaella, owners of Bluone Tours. Although I didn't initially think I could swing the trip, given various commitments with my kids and their busy school schedules, my husband graciously offered to "hold down the fort" at home, which allow an old college friend and me to embark on this unforgettable journey. Italy already held the title of "absolute favorite destination" in my mind, but I had never had the opportunity to explore the beautiful countryside made famous by films such as Under the Tuscan Sun. It was the prospect of exploring medieval hilltop towns frozen in time that appealed to me...getting... Read more →


Travelers these days are looking for different and unique experiences. With so much turmoil affecting traditionally popular travel destinations right now, people are thinking "outside-the-box." One destination worth considering -- even in the winter months, or ESPECIALLY in the winter months -- is northern Norway and the Arctic. Yes, according to Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us, this is a very popular spot from mid-October through late March for viewing the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). In fact, Northern Norway, above the Arctic Circle, is one of the best places in the world to observe this phenomenon. This area is also free of "light pollution," providing an ideal viewing experience. Because of the long periods of darkness and the frequency of clear nights, winter is the best time for a visit. Ellen has recently worked with a local travel company in Norway to make this fantastic travel opportunity available to her gluten free clients. Her suggested itinerary comprises a 5-night journey, in which you will stay in two different hotels, each vetted for its ability to provide safe, gluten free meals for its guests. The two places you will visit are Tromso, known as the "Gateway to the Arctic," and Senja... Read more →