FDA Temporary Labeling Requirements During COVID-19 - Updated 6/26/2020
On the evening of Friday, May 22nd 2020, the FDA issued new guidance relaxing the requirements around the labeling of ingredients due to the supply issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As one might expect, this rocked the world of those with food allergies as well as those with gluten-related disorders.
Here are a few resources to help us learn more about this change.
The Tale of Two Nightclubs - Understanding Celiac Disease Through Motorcycles and Nightclubs
Several years ago, I encountered a recently-diagnosed guy who was having a rough time. His friends would hassle him about his diet, and he was struggling to explain celiac disease to them. As I got to know him, he revealed he rode motorcycles and hung with his buddies in bars. Back then, I came up with this basic analogy to help them understand. I decided to beef it up a bit. While I geared it toward his interests, I think it's generic enough to be understood by everyone.
Let’s saddle up and ride!
There are many definitions of success, but the best one is the one you've created for yourself.
Success is unique - as individual as a fingerprint. One person’s success may be another person’s failure.
Whether a newbie or a pro at the gluten-free lifestyle, ask yourself, "What does my success look like?”
Let your answer be your guide.
The Stages of Change: Gluten-Free Edition
Changes in lifestyle can be some of the biggest modifications we experience particularly if we have a gluten-related disorder. Transitioning to a gluten-free lifestyle turn our lives upside down. So keep calm and let's get prepared. We're going to delve into the gluten-full to gluten-free metamorphosis and give you the knowledge to make it a successful transition.
I want to give you a basic understanding of change and the knowledge to make it a successful transition.an estimated 17 million with gluten sensitivities; just in the USA alone.
Gluten-Free Communion Guide
The purpose of this guide is to give you the necessary tools to safely make, prepare, and distribute gluten-free hosts to your gluten-free members.
Attention to detail is critical for success in the gluten-free lifestyle. It is not surprising considering lives are turned upside-down by something measured in parts per million [yes, parts per million].
Please keep an open mind about the information presented here. It can be hard to comprehend that "The Staff of Life" can make someone sick. Science proves it to be true for about 3 million with celiac disease and an estimated 17 million with gluten sensitivities; just in the USA alone.
Gluten-Free Label Reading
It should be no surprise that success in the gluten-free lifestyle is found in the details. After all, our lives have been rearranged by something measured in parts per million.
Knowing what's in our food is probably one of the most important details.
The ingredient label is your frontline defense in determining the gluten-free status of a product.
Labeling reading is an important (required) skill if you consume packaged/processed foods. It could mean the difference between sickness and wellness.
Websites, published lists, and apps that report a product's gluten-free status are excellent tools to help narrow down product selection. Please do not use them as the sole means to determine the gluten-free status.
Companies change product ingredients at will, generally without notice. Those changes will be reflected on the product's label. Most companies will refer you to the ingredient list found on the product for the most up to date information. A published list (on paper or electronic form) is only as accurate as its most recent update.
Low-Gluten Communion Hosts
In early July, a story broke about the Vatican addressing gluten-free/low-gluten communion hosts.
I was seeing a lot of hurt, angry, and confused people over this, so I wanted to offer up my thoughts and share some science about low-gluten hosts. Hopefully, it will make things easier for some.
I want to thank Tricia Thompson, MS, RD, founder of Gluten Free Watchdog, LLC for giving me permission to share GFWD's 2014 test results of The Benedictine Sisters Low-Gluten Wafers.
Gluten-Free Road Trip
Traveling is one of the challenges we encounter in the gluten-free lifestyle. Leaving the safety of your home can be unsettling - even for the most experienced. With a little planning and some creativity, we can make it a trip we remember for a lifetime.
Learn how to pull off a road trip like a boss.
The Gluten-Free Kingdom
A tale of Sir Alcher, Lady Pechal and the Gluten-Free Kingdom.
Originally published in Generation GF Magazine.
“Once upon a time, in a kingdom not so far away, lived a strong and handsome knight. Like all knights of his time Sir Alcher was sworn to uphold the values of faith, loyalty, courage, and honor; a task he took seriously.
Behind every great knight is a great lady; Lady Pechal was no exception. While her job was not as adventurous as her husband's, it was just as important. Sir Alcher's job was protecting everyone else, Lady Pechal's task was to watch over her husband; to make sure that he was healthy and happy.
Do not be fooled by her aptitude in the culinary arts; she could wield a broadsword as easily as a ladle…
Grain-Free for the Gluten-Free
By definition, grain-free should be gluten-free. “Gluten” is the generic name for the various proteins found in grains. You ditch the grains, you ditch the gluten. It’s a no-brainer! Um, not so fast Slick…
The purpose of this article is to make you aware of an important fact that is not always discussed by the proponents of grain-free diets.
An Attitude of Gratitude - What are you grateful for?
For a lot of people, this time of year usually generates feelings of thankfulness, appreciation, and gratitude. For some, that’s not an easy task - for whatever reason. Science is being applied to this act/feeling/emotion/behavior we call gratitude - the results are rather interesting.
Yes, gratitude has a multitude of health benefits - both emotional and physical.
I cross paths with a number of members in the gluten-free community who are troubled, angry, and hurting [both emotionally and physically]. This leaves me with a heavy heart. Just maybe, the information found here, might help ease the pain - just a little bit.
May Contain - Voluntary Advisory Statements
There is a lot of confusion over voluntary advisory statements companies use on their products.
“May Contain…” or “Processed in a Facility…” statements are not regulated and hold little meaning.
Is the product gluten-free? The answer…it depends. We need to ask a few more questions before we can make that decision.
Becoming a Gluten-Free Champion
Everyone needs a champion. Someone who will stand up and advocate for them.
For those following a gluten-free diet, having a champion can make all the difference in the world. The difference between success and failure.
However, the would be champions are just as befuddled as their gluten-free loved ones about handling this new (and unwelcome) addition to their lives.
This article shares the story of one champion and offers some insight and tips on becoming a Gluten-Free Champion.
What Oats Through Yonder Package Breaks?
Oats and products made with oats have been burning up the interwebs lately. People in the gluten-free community started asking manufacturers exactly what kind of oats are used in their products…with surprising results.
Bottom line: You need to know if the oats you are consuming are grown, harvested, and processed using a purity protocol.
Why? Because products using oats are at higher risk of gluten contamination compared to gluten-free labeled foods as a whole.
Why? Many companies now are using mechanically separated or optically sorted oats instead of purity protocol oats.
Meet the Microbiome Study Guide
Want to know more about the invisible community that lives in and on you...and really defines who you are?
This handout was created to educate you about the 100 trillion microbial cells that we cannot live without.
Includes links to three excellent videos, plus related information.
Risks of Cheating
Discusses the many health risks of consuming gluten when one has a gluten-related disorder.
Celiac Disease Screening Round Up
A list resources that describe the blood work used to screen patients for gluten-related disorders.
Navigating the Holidays
Some helpful tips for surviving the holiday season (or any social event)
Mood, Behavior, Mental Illness, and Gluten
This article explores the connections of gluten, mental health, and behavior.
A list of resources explaining some of the confusing ingredients found on food labels.
Gluten-Free Diet Boot Camp
A huge collection of information for those new to the gluten-free lifestyle
Back to School Resources
A list of resources for those with gluten-free children.
Guide to Gluten Cross Contamination
Where to find and how to handle gluten cross contamination.
Grieving the Loss of Gluten
Tips on handling the grieving process after removing gluten.
This article was published in Gluten Intolerance Group of North America's Quarterly Magazine Celebrate Gluten-Free Winter 2013
Lack of Support From Family
Tips on handling unsupportive family members.
This article was published in Gluten Intolerance Group of North America's Quarterly Magazine Celebrate Gluten-Free Spring 2013)
Educating Family & Friends About Gluten-Free
A collection of resources to help educate your family and friends about celiac/gluten-free
A Day in the Life: Living in a Mixed House
This article describes how to manage when a household that it not entirely gluten-free.
Better Living Thru GF Chemistry
A great collection of information for those that need prescription medications.