Archive for May, 2010

Book review – The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide

May 12th, 2010

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, co-host of The View, tells her story of Celiac diagnosis after participating in Survivor and coming back to the states seriously ill.

The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide is more of a memoir than a non-fiction book about the disease. Hasselbeck speaks of her personal experience, and spends less time discussing research about Celiac.

Being a newbie in the G-Free world, I can’t really tell you much about the inaccuracies that are contained in this book, but I can state that I was really turned off by the chapter, “G-Free and Slim as Can Be!” Throughout the book Hasselbeck attempts to reach out to Celiacs and Gluten Sensitives, along with Parents of children with Autism/ADHD, and those looking for another fad diet to help with weight loss. Judge a book by its cover and this is just another fad diet book.

Although there is controversy about exposure to cosmetics and skin care products with gluten actually causing harm to the body, I have found that my skin has improved by avoiding products with wheat protein in them. I have suffered from a skin rash, but maybe it is related to allergies or skin sensitivity. Regardless, there is a good section in the book on beauty products called, “Gorgeously G-Free.”

This book definitely wouldn’t be my first pick as a resource for someone newly diagnosed with Celiac to read. While it is an easy read, it lacks the support of detailed research and contains misinformation. Pick up a book by Peter Green instead, the doctor that wrote the forward.

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G-free tea – Oregon Chai

May 11th, 2010

Oregon Chi boxes

I recently contacted Oregon Chai about their products because I absolutely love them and I want to continue enjoying them. I haven’t felt so great recently after drinking a cup of the original chai, but didn’t see anything in the ingredients that would contain gluten. I thought it would be best just to double check. I wrote the company asking for a gluten free product list and received this response: Via Customer Service:

Good morning, Kelly!

Thank you for taking the time to contact Oregon Chai! You will be happy to know that all of our products are gluten free, with the exception of just one: The Vanilla dry Mix. There is a small amount of gluten contained in the vanilla flavoring which is used in this product, but all the rest are completely gluten free!

Please feel free to contact me again if I may ever be of further assistance!

Warmest Regards,

Gayle Becker, Consumer Care Specialist
Kerry Ingredients & Flavours/Oregon Chai
Phone: 888-874-CHAI (2424)
Fax: 800-446-4985

I’m very pleased that I can continue to purchase their products. I must be either having a reaction to the milk, carbs or caffeine.  Caffeine is one of the seven foods to avoid if you have Fibromyalgia; too many carbs might be causing my blood sugar to spike. I think I will switch to decaffeinated and see how I do with that. I’m so happy Oregon Chai is gluten-free!

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Tart Cherry Juice, Fad or Cure?

May 4th, 2010
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Tart Cherry Juice may seem to be a new fad, or to some just an old folk remedy, but science could prove it to be a cure for common ailments like arthritis and possibly Fibromyalgia. The key seems to be in the pigment of the cherries, anthocyanins, which give the cherries their color. According to Dr. Muraleedharan Nair at Michigan State University, lab tests show that these pigments give 10 times the anti-inflammatory relief of aspirin, without irritating the stomach. Plus they are also powerful antioxidants1.

These powerful antioxidants have been shown to decrease oxidative stress in healthy older men and women2. A study published in the British Journal Of Sports Medicine has shown that drinking Tart Cherry Juice decreases strength loss and pain due to exercise3.

I thought that this was most likely just another fad diet, but I picked some up from the store to try it. I drank about 8 ounces an hour before bed and I fell asleep as soon as I hit the pillow those nights. When I ran out of juice, I had a much harder time falling asleep. Sure this could be related to many factors, but maybe it has something to do with melatonin. Cherries are apparently high in melatonin, which is a hormone that helps regulate your sleep 4.

Getting a good nights sleep is often a challenge for individuals suffering from Fibromyalgia and it is important to help restore our bodies. So anything I can do to help myself get a better nights rest can be beneficial. I picked up some more tart cherry juice at the store today. I just drank some and I am getting ready for bed. I’ve had a really hard time sleeping the past two nights, so we will see how the juice helps with my sleep tonight.

  1. Underwood, Anne . “A Prescriptive Palette.” Newsweek, Dec 6, 1999, 91-92. []
  2. Traustadóttir , T. “Tart cherry juice decreases oxidative stress in healthy older men and women.” The Journal Of Nutrition 139, no. 10 (2009): []
  3. Connolly , DA. “Efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in preventing the symptoms of muscle damage.” British Journal Of Sports Medicine 40, no. 8 (2006): 679 []
  4. []

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General Mills Gluten Free Desert Mixes Win Award

May 4th, 2010
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Via General Mills

Last night General Mills Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes won gold at the 2010 Edison Best New Product Awards gala in New York. The product took first place in the consumer packaged goods food segment.

“We are thrilled that Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes won gold and are honored to have one of the strongest brand icons in the food industry associated with one of America’s greatest inventors,” said Jodi Benson, Baking R&D and transformational business development director for General Mills. “It has been extremely rewarding to welcome gluten free consumers back to Betty Crocker through this innovative line of products.”

Betty Crocker was the first nationally recognized brand to launch gluten free brownie, cookie and cake mixes in traditional grocery stores. The products satisfy gluten free consumers’ previously unmet desire to find great-tasting, affordable and easy-to-prepare desserts that they can enjoy with their families and friends.

Since the gluten in wheat flour provides the structure for traditional brownies, cookies and cakes, creating dessert mixes without gluten is a significant and remarkable technical achievement. Once the company successfully created a winning product, an insightful marketing campaign centered on social media drove both awareness and support for the launch.

Benson notes the critical role General Mills suppliers played in the development of the product: “General Mills embraces a connected innovation model in product development. This model results in us looking inside and outside of the company to share ideas and technologies. We are grateful to our partners who helped us on this journey.”

The 2010 Edison Awards honor a variety of innovative products – from baking mixes to wind turbines – with gold, silver and bronze winners in each of its 11 product categories.

“The Edison Award winners are the moving parts in the engine of economic growth,” said Sarah Miller Caldicott, great grandniece of Thomas Edison and chairperson of the Edison Awards steering committee. “They inspire people to think outside the box, and their results improve the lives of people around the world.”

The Edison Best New Product Awards are given annually. The awards are a peer-review honor similar to the Oscars and are voted on by roughly 2,000 members of the not-for-profit Marketing Executives Networking Group, which includes America’s top executives and academics. The awards symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by Thomas Alva Edison, inspiring America’s drive to remain in the forefront of innovation, creativity and ingenuity in the global economy.

About Betty Crocker
Since her creation in 1921, Betty Crocker has been one of the strongest brand icons in the food industry. A brand associated with quality and trust, Betty Crocker and the red spoon symbol appear on more than 300 General Mills products including ready-to-spread frostings and mixes that make some of the country’s best cakes, brownies, cookies, muffins and other baked goods. As a pioneer in the dessert mix category, General Mills was one of the first companies to introduce layer cake mix in 1947; it did so under the Betty Crocker name. This started a revolution in baking, providing homemakers with a convenient, reliable way to replicate the quality and taste of “homemade” without the hassle.

About General Mills
One of the world’s leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2009 global net sales of US$15.9 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales.

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