Have you ever heard of Sweet Note gluten free bagels? I hadn't...until recently. Fortunately, their distribution has expanded to include CVS, Whole Foods, Shop Rite, Dean & Deluca, MOM's Organic Market, Door to Door Organics, and Weis (but not all locations of these stores -- enter your zip on this page of their website to find the closest location to you). Their "claim to fame," so to speak, is that they have created the first authentic, New York-syle bagel that is gluten free (AND free of the top 8 common food allergens). I thought about that statement, and YES, they are right. They are authentic, in terms of look, texture, and taste. You'd never believe they were gluten free, much less free of other allergens, too. While our family buys other gluten free bagels, we have yet to find one that comes close to a traditional bagel. Some are like eating a big round-shaped piece of tasteless bread, others are tasty but not really what you remember bagels tasting like, and still others use a lot of bean flour, which I don't care for (weird aftertaste). These bagels are smaller, denser, crusty on the outside, and chewy on the inside... Read more →


Every so often, our family makes a new version of a "homemade" gluten free pizza. We've tried many brands, and to be honest, we don't have a favorite...they actually all turn out pretty well. But to be honest, many times we go with our favorite ready-made frozen gluten free pizza (or frozen shell, which we top with our own sauce and toppings). We love Against the Grain pizzas (and plain shells) and have also enjoyed Udi's frozen pizzas when cooked on the grill. But traveling in Italy this summer inspired us and had us looking forward to trying a new mix for gluten free crust...a mix from one of our favorite restaurants in Florence. "How is this relevant to me?" you ask. How would you get your hands on this mix without going to Italy? Well, as of a couple weeks ago, it's available on Amazon.com! (A 3-pack is priced well at $12.84.) We purchased two boxes of the mix (which also comes with fresh-packed tomato sauce in a tin can and a packet of oregano) after dining at the restaurant...before we knew it would be available in the States via Amazon.com soon enough. So we had the pleasure of... Read more →


Congratulations to Kent State University in Ohio for being the first college to open an entirely gluten free dining hall! Hallelujah! I just hope more colleges follow suit in the coming years. I've been optimistic that our own Celiac son, now 13, will have ample choices when it comes to his big college decision. After all, as a parent, you hope that your child will be able to choose a college based on all the typical criteria (academic reputation, courses of study, location, affordability) and dozens of other personal preferences -- rather than solely based on where they'll be able to eat safely for four years. Granted, more and more colleges have started labeling gluten free choices -- and are even well-versed in how to avoid cross contamination in the preparation of gluten free meals. Others have separate stations for gluten free. But, alas, most colleges still have a long way to go. To hear this news from Kent State sets the bar higher, and, in my opinion, where it should be -- and could be -- at colleges all over the U.S. After all, even at the smallest colleges, there are always multiple dining halls. Why not dedicate one... Read more →


I have a ton of cookbooks...and I tear out recipes from all the gluten free magazines I read each month. I also have several binders full of recipes, including a lot of old family favorites that I adapt to make gluten free (like my husband's and my favorite lasagna recipe). So another cookbook is not necessarily something I desperately needed. But am I glad to have gotten a copy of Carol Kicinski's new Simply Gluten Free 5 Ingredient Cookbook! The premise is that all the recipes include only 5 ingredients (not including things like water, oil, salt, and pepper) and take only about 15 minutes to make. For a busy mom juggling a business, that's music to my ears. I make dinner most nights, and sometimes it can take an hour or more to prepare. So I like the sound of easy, as long as it's healthy and my family will eat it! So I opened the cookbook and started paging through it. The difference between this cookbook and others is that I dog-eared about every third page! Everything sounded so delicious -- and there were some really cool and creative recipes. Since I wanted to enlist the help of... Read more →


Travel & Leisure magazine has just named Charleston the #1 travel city in the world! Have you been there? If not, now is a great time to visit, while also layering in a bit of culture. From October 6-9, 2016, Charleston is hosting its annual Nuovo Cinema Italiano Italian Film Festival. You can combine everything Italian with wonderful Charleston culture at the perfect time of year! And, of course, you will dine gluten free without worry. Ellen Morse, gluten free travel specialist and Celiac herself, lives in Charleston and sits on the Board of the Festival. Since moving to Charleston a year ago, she has been exploring gluten free restaurant options and can personally recommend local venues where you will enjoy safe and wonderful meals. She has also vetted three different (and gorgeous) hotels that are able to take good care of gluten free guests. Your stay can even be extended beyond the dates of the festival, if you'd like to spend more time exploring Charleston and the surrounding area. There is limited availability at the hotels, however, so if you think you might be interested, give Ellen a call at 312-337-9235 or email her at ellen@glutenfreetravel-us.com. The New Italian... Read more →


Have you dreamed of being able to enjoy authentic Neapolitan style pizza? Homemade gluten-free pasta with almost any sauce you can imagine? Gluten-free Nutella crepes? Freshly made gelato in a variety of gluten-free flavors? No, I'm not trying to torture you...but rather give you hope. These things do exist, and if you've ever longed to go to Italy, you can now entertain that thought...without worrying about how you'll stay gluten-free. I'm thrilled to announce the publication of my second e-book, Gluten-Free in ITALY: Your Worry-Free & Gluten-Free Guide to Italy. Like my first e-book, Gluten-Free in LONDON, this guide to ITALY provides you with everything you need for a successful (and safely gluten-free) trip: restaurant recommendations, advice on accommodations, tips for getting around each city (and between cities), the scoop on the best tours and excursions, and suggestions for saving money. You can literally use the book as a day-by-day guide to the cities our family just visited in late June/early July: Rome, Florence, and Venice. Our 12-day journey was a dream come true. We had enough time in each city so that we didn't feel rushed (although you never really have enough time to see all the amazing sites... Read more →


Yes, you heard it right...not only has the United States recently lifted the travel ban to Cuba, but it's now even accessible to Celiac and gluten free travelers. If the Colonial history, tropical climate, or "frozen in time" image of antique cars cruising the avenues of this island destination appeal to you (perhaps it's long been on your "Bucket List"), you'll be glad to hear it's now a possibility. Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us has added this destination to her list of other destinations that have previously been challenging for gluten free travelers. She has worked closely with her local contacts at Condor Tours and Travel to vet the hotel where you'll stay and the restaurants where you'll dine. Although Cuban food and cooking methods tend to lean toward the gluten free anyway, she and her partners have asked all the necessary questions and worked with the chefs to ensure you will be food-safe on this journey. Most meals are provided as part of the suggested itinerary Ellen has created, and she has safe suggestions about where to eat for the few meals you'll be on your own. Her well-thought-out itinerary includes hotel, transfers, many meals, and tours of... Read more →


This week, we are sharing a post from the mom of two kids (and wife of hubby) with Celiac and gluten sensitivity. You'll get a chuckle out of her all-too-familiar trials and tribulations as she and her family fly across the world on a somewhat regular basis. She has some great tips that you may not have thought about...and others that are definitely great reminders as we all begin the summer travel season. An expat living in Singapore now, you can find Karen Horan's contributions to the Celiac community in southeast Asia on the websites listed at the bottom of this post. Enjoy...and send us your own stories of gluten free travel! My official title is “Global Domestic Engineer, specialty ‘Human Development’. I have two full time clients who are currently 10 and 13 years old. By my calculations I have roughly 10 years left of full time work, then I can become a consultant on an ad hoc basis. My teenage client was diagnosed with Celiac Disease when she was just 3 years old and her younger brother and father are both gluten intolerant. After many years in my job, I was feeling pretty good at handling a medically... Read more →


As I brainstormed ideas for this blog post, I pondered over what was happening in our family's "gluten free life" right now. It dawned on me that a big part of my own gluten free planning right now centered on working with our son Ryan to plan what food he would pack for a few upcoming camps and camping trips this summer. This isn't our first rodeo...our son has been to overnight boy scout camps for the past few summers, a week-long hockey camp, and many boy scout weekend camping trips in which they prepare their own food. While it's always more work for Ryan to take his own food, we're all getting it down to a science. So I thought I'd share some tips and thoughts, especially with those of you who are doing this for the first time. First off, my recommendation: If you have a choice of where to send your gluten free kid to camp, you may want to peruse our list of summer camps on our CAMPS page on GlutenFreeTravelSite. Each year we add to the list and update the information for the current year. What started as a handful of camps willing to work... Read more →


Today, we share another guest post from an experienced world traveler...this time it's Celiac blogger Gail from 50 Beds and Counting, a blog in which she discusses transitioning to retirement, travel adventures, learning how to build an active retirement life, and living with Celiac as well as heart disease. She shares her latest adventure, a 5-week trip beginning in Hong Kong and traveling to Sydney, Australia aboard the Celebrity Millennium cruise ship. When I was diagnosed with Celiac more than eight years ago, I was concerned how this illness would impact traveling. I worried my travel dreams would be curtailed by my fear of finding healthy, safe food away from home. As it turned out, mostly I didn't need to worry. When I retired in 2014 (PhD clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and educator), my initial plan was to ramp up my travel schedule -- and I did. My husband and I have enjoyed international and domestic cycling trips, hiking tours, regular old walking around and sightseeing vacations, and cruises to far flung locales like Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, South America and more. Many of these experiences I've chronicled in my blog 50 Beds and Counting. One of the many advantages... Read more →


You probably recall me mentioning Burtons Grill many times. It's a regional chain with 11 restaurants in the following five states: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Virginia, and South Carolina. They have another Virginia location slated to open this summer, along with locations coming soon to North Carolina and Florida. It's one of our favorite restaurants, so were were thrilled when their Alexandria, VA restaurant opened not too far from us. (Prior to that, we made it a priority to visit a Burtons Grill whenever we happened to be traveling or visiting family in one of their areas!). They have an amazing selection of gluten free menu items, including the best fried calamari ever (and yes, it's gluten free!). They also are extremely knowledgeable about how to safely prepare gluten free meals, as Kevin Harron, the co-founder and president of Burton's Grill, has Celiac disease himself. It's not surprising, then, that they would carry on this mission to serve the gluten free community with their second restaurant concept, launched in 2014. It's called Red Heat Tavern, and the casual dining restaurants, inspired by the food and ambiance of backyard barbecues, are located in both Bedford, MA and Wilmington, MA. The food... Read more →


In this post, we welcome Katherine Tolley, a Celiac currently living in Barcelona, Spain... In the fall of 2013, after a year of reoccurring mononucleosis, an aggressive case of pneumonia, and a constant, unexplained fever and feeling of vertigo, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I was somewhere between my junior and senior year of college, living at home, and doing everything possible to help heal my body – especially my digestive system. A semester abroad studying the arts was a requirement for my design degree, and I was terrified after my diagnosis to even leave the house for fear of cross-contaminated food and more illnesses. I had been planning on studying in Barcelona, Spain, but as the time drew nearer and I read more about their cuisine (Tapas! Fried calamari! Churros! Toasted bread rubbed with fresh tomatoes and olive oil!), I become increasingly nervous. After months of research and printing gluten-free dining cards in various foreign languages, I packed my suitcase full of gluten-free oatmeal packets and set off for the unknown. And to my never-ending delight, what I found across the Atlantic was a country that understood my needs far better than almost every place I had been... Read more →