Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I recieved a response

I was quite surprised this evening when I checked my email and saw that the editor from the Seattle Times responded to my email regarding their article (see my last post.) Here is what she said:

Thank you for sharing your concerns about the recent "Survival Guide for
Holiday Hosting" story. We realize now that we should not have included
"gluten-free" as an example in the "Diva" category, as a gluten-free diet
often is a medically diagnosed need, not a choice. On our website, we have
changed that sentence to say: “The Diva has driven us crazy with high-maintenance demands like special diets and fresh towels every day.” In past articles, we have taken great care to address the importance of gluten-free diets, and have even printed recipes for those needing alternatives. That said, your note
is a good reminder that we need to stay mindful of this issue.

Thanks again.
Colleen McBrinn
The Seattle Times
Weekend Living Editor

While this does not completely make me happy ("special diets" can still be medical necessities), it is nice to have what I said recognized.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Please send a response!

I haven't poked around yet to see if any of you have posted this as well. Just in case, everyone needs to read this article and respond to the journalist (and even her editor.) She wrote an article printed in the Seattle Times about "Surviving the Holidays". She labeled different kinds of guests. One, "The Diva", included guests who eat vegan and gluten free diets. Yes. Because we have a choice. Her ignorance astounds me. That fact that her editor let this be published is even worse. Both the journalist and the newspaper need to be made aware that this attitude is unacceptable. Perhaps it is a matter of not being properly informed. But if that is the case, they have committed a major journalistic faux pas.


I just sent off this email:

Dear Ms. Tsong,

I was rather disturbed after reading your article regarding house guests and surviving the holidays. In the article you listed a handful of guest stereotypes. One in particular, The Diva, is grossly unfair and inaccurate. You have lumped together individuals who make excessive personal requests (fresh towels) with people who are on specialized medical diets. I can understand your frustration over a guest whose requests inconvenience you for no other reason than that they prefer things done a certain way. However, I cannot understand or accept that you would open your home to someone and then begrudge them that fact that, if they were to eat a certain kind of food, would be ill for the remainder of their visit.

The Gluten Free diet is not a fad diet. It is not something a person adopts by choice, but as a matter of medical necessity. For those of us who live with Celiac Disease (a genetic auto-immune disease that attacks the small intestines) a gluten free diet is THE ONLY course of treatment. We cannot pop a pill and eat your stuffing and pies. Would you vilify a guest who lives with peanut or lactose allergies? While they may have more immediate and outwardly visible reactions (vomiting, anaphylactic shock, etc.), a person with Celiac can have intestinal damage that may take 3-6 months to heal. This can occur from just one mouthful of gluten-filled food. This damage (and the resulting mal-absorption of nutrients) can lead to such long-term problems as bone density loss (osteopenia and osteoporosis) and lymphoma. Please do not diminish such serious health issue by referring to them as Diva tendencies. Not only is it rude, but it illuminates your ignorance on the topic.

Shannon Mueller
Celiac Disease
Gluten Free since Oct. '06

The journalist's contact information is listed at the bottom of the article. Let's see how large of a presesence we can make known!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In love with Joe

I am in love. With Joe. He has everything I want and need. He provides for me. He fills me up. He makes me feel as though I am unique, not weird. I am in love with Joe. Trader Joe.

It seems that, more and more, Trader Joe's is becoming the leader in gluten free retail marketing. Every time I walk in that store I see new products. Products proudly displaying the label "gluten free". Here is a list of some new faves:

Gluten Free Granola
Gluten Free Black Forest Cake (freezer section)
Gluten Ginger Snaps (OMG, so good!!!)
Chicken Gorgonzola (freezer section)
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I also bought the Gluten Free tiramisu. I am saving for this weekend. I am hosting an Urban Family Thanksgiving. Eeek! I will be cooking a turkey by myself FOR THE FIRST TIME!!! I am planning on making gf stuffing out of Kinnikinnick bread. Anyone use that bread for stuffing a bird before? How did that work for you?

Friday, November 09, 2007

It has been so long and so much has happened in the past month that I won't even try to fill you in on all of it. I will, however, try to hit the high points.

- Today I made a long overdue stop at Trader Joe's. All month I have been hearing great things about their new gluten free granola. I bought one bag (they have three flavors) and the verdict? OMG fantastic!!! Crunchy, great texture, slightly sweet. I can't wait to try it over yogurt.

- A couple of weeks ago I attended a gluten free and food allergy fair at a local hospital. There were so many great vendors. I had the opportunity to try so many gf products. Here is a list of some must-buy treats I tried: Pamela's Chocolate Cake mix, 123 Gluten Free pound cake mix (it tasted better than most "regular" pound cake), chocolate K-Toos, some local gf bakeries, gf Full Flavor cheese sauce (for fast mac & cheese) and turkey gravy, and some spice and dip mixes from a company called Cali. There was an amazing biscotti, but I can not remember the name of the company. Oh! Also, I tried Pamela's PB Chocolate Chip cookies. So delicious!

- I am really starting to get into wine. My friends and I have been trying new wines each month during my movie nights. I went to Sam's (a HUGE wine and liquor store near my place). There are so many wines there that it is a bit overwhelming. Luckily, there were some reps available conducting tastings. I have never really done a side-by-side-by-side tasting before. It was really neat to taste a variety of wines and to be able recognize differences between them. I'm looking forward to the next movies and wine night.

- Speaking of the next movies and wine night...it is a week away. I am hosting an Urban Family Thanksgiving Feast. For the first time ever, I will be making the holiday turkey. EeeeeKkkKKk!!! I'm so nervous about this. I want it to turn out juicy and tasty (duh). I want to succeed at making gf stuffing. I am thinking of using Kinnikinnick bread and my mom's stuffing recipe. Have any of you used that beard for stuffing? How did it turn out?

- I got glutened earlier in the week. My poor tummy has been sensitive ever since. Even food that I know is completely safe has been bothering me. Hopefully this won't last much longer.

- I will be trying some chicken mango sausages this weekend. I bought them at Trader Joe's. GF is right there on the label. They sounds interesting. I need to think about how and with what I will serve them.

I think that covers quite a bit for now. Hope all of you are doing well. Hugs and GF kisses!