Previous month:
April 2011
Next month:
June 2011

May 2011

I've always been a big believer in vitamins. I take them. My kids take them (despite our pediatrician telling me years ago that I was wasting my money). And when our son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, it added several more reasons to continue investing in our kids' heath with vitamins. After all, people with Celiac, whose digestive systems have been compromised (in some cases, for many years), need to heal their gut. And it doesn't hurt to have a bit of extra support in that department, beyond the gluten-free diet. Couple that with the fact that gluten-free breads and cereals are not fortified with added vitamins and minerals the way "regular" breads and cereals are, and you see how people on gluten-free diets can greatly benefit from supplementing. Perhaps you're already taking what you believe is a good multivitamin. Perhaps you've added targeted supplements for bone health, cardiovascular support, or digestive support. Hopefully you've confirmed with the manufacturers that all your supplements are gluten-free. And chances are, you're spending a good bit of money on all those pills. Have you ever wished someone would "put it all together" and formulate a supplement geared to Celiacs and others following gluten-free... Read more →

As you know, our website, GlutenFreeTravelSite, showcases thousands of user-submitted gluten-free dining and travel reviews, searchable by location. It's a great place to get new ideas for dining near your home -- or when you're on the road. But if you're like our family, a lot of those places you read about and intend to visit sometimes get forgotten... And with all the new "gluten-free friendly" places cropping up, sometimes it's hard to keep track of them all! Enter near2there, the new location-based reminder service within GlutenFreeTravelSite that keeps track of places you want to go and alerts you when you are "near to there!" You'll notice the new "Remind Me" button within each review on our website. Simply click on it and you'll be directed to download the FREE near2there software (for iPhones or Android-based phones) -- or go directly to the app store on your phone to download. You'll be able to set your radius preferences for receiving reminders within 1/4 mile (for city living) to 2 miles (for suburban living). Once you've downloaded the free software, you're all set to click on the "Remind Me" buttons and receive alerts linking back to the address and reviews of... Read more →

Our family was recently invited by Bonefish Grill to enjoy dinner at one of their restaurants near our home -- and to sample a wide range of items from their gluten-free menu, many of which we had never tried. Whether or not you're gluten-free, if you like seafood, Bonefish should be on your restaurant radar. With over 150 locations in 28 states, there's likely one close to you -- or in a future travel destination. This is not your typical seafood's a bit more upscale, with an element of trendiness, but still casual. It's equally comfortable for couples and families, young and old. In fact, they seem to have a lot of "raving fans" 2010, they took four top honors in Zagat's Survey of National Chain Restaurants, including Top Food, Best Seafood, and Top Healthy Options. We've been to a handful of Bonefish locations in several different states over the years and were thrilled to discover -- upon learning of our 2-year-old son's Celiac diagnosis in 2005 -- that they offered a gluten-free menu. In our area of Northern Virginia, just outside Washington, DC, they were among the first restaurant chains to offer gluten-free options. Remember, back in 2005,... Read more →

Our Blog was featured yesterday as part of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness "A Blogger A Day" campaign in honor of Celiac Awareness Month. Scroll down to the May 11 entry on their Blog, "Celiac Central: Bits and Bites" to read about some of my favorite Gluten Free Travel Blog posts from the past year (in case you missed them!), as well as the great features of our sister website, GlutenFreeTravelSite, a searchable online database of gluten-free dining and travel reviews. Read more →

There are certainly some Celiac travelers that will tell you they got by just fine following their gluten-free diet in Paris. But I have to say it is not the easiest place to navigate on a gluten-free diet, and there are likely many other European cities where you could have an easier time. Don't get me wrong...our family enjoyed our recent trip to Paris IMMENSELY. The weather was perfect...I cannot imagine how it could have been better. Mid-70s every day, sunny, and flowers in bloom everywhere. It even made waiting in lines (for the Louvre, Musee de Orsay, Versailles, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame) pleasant! We will likely have much fonder memories of Paris than had it been 50 degrees and rainy! Really the only disappointment of the trip was in trying to find places that understood what it meant to be gluten-free. In terms of Celiac awareness, I think Paris (and France in general) is probably where the U.S. was 6-10 years ago. I got my first warning of this months before our trip when I contacted the French Celiac association and they responded saying they had NO restaurant recommendations. None. Even McDonald's sounded like a risky bet. And our... Read more →

For those of you who've visited Disney World in Orlando, Florida, you know how well all the parks, restaurants, and resorts handle all special dietary needs -- gluten-free included. They've become somewhat of the "gold standard" for gluten-free travel -- at least with kids! Unfortunately, Disneyland Paris is not yet at that point, but hopefully with some prodding -- along with some much-needed awareness of Celiac Disease and gluten-free diets in France -- they will at some point get there. Our family visited Disneyland Paris for a day in April during our recent trip to France with our kids over their Spring Break. We were actually staying at a Marriott Vacation Club International property right near Disneyland (my mother owns a time share with them). This gave us proximity to Paris (the resort was about 40 minutes east of the city) and a full 2-level "villa" with two bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, living room/dining room, and full kitchen.This is the only way we felt we could reasonably visit France, given what we'd heard about the relative lack of awareness of Celiac Disease and gluten-free diets. Staying someplace with a full kitchen would at least enable us to have a big... Read more →

In honor of Celiac Awareness Month in May, our sister website, GlutenFreeTravelSite, will be donating 5% of merchandise proceeds to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). And there's no better -- or more fun -- way to build awareness of this increasingly common autoimmune disease than to proclaim "These Buns Are Gluten Free" on a pair of cute shorts, comfy sweatpants, or a T-shirt. The shorts, sweatpants, and T-shirts are offered by GlutenFreeTravel-Site to boost awareness of Celiac Disease, which affects almost 1% of the population...but which is under-diagnosed to the point that only about 5% of those people that have it have been correctly diagnosed! In addition, a study conducted by Dr. Alessio Fasano of the University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research recently estimated that approximately 6% of the U.S. poplulation suffers from gluten-sensitvity, distinct from Celiac Disease but also necessitating a gluten-free diet. GlutenFreeTravelSite is proud to partner with the NFCA in this -- and other -- efforts to raise awareness of Celiac Disease and serve the gluten-free community. Throughout the month of May, NFCA is featuring a different Gluten-Free Blogger each day (stay tuned for a link to my profile and Top 3 blog posts... Read more →