Yum Yum's Gluten Free Bakery and Cafe: A Treat for Central New York!

While my family and I have been fans of Yum Yum's since moving to Central New York in 2012, today was our first time at their new location on W. Manlius Street in East Syracuse. The new place is warm and inviting, and the smell of pizza cooking in the brick oven is heavenly. We enjoyed their Garden Salad with Grilled Chicken, Chicken Caesar Wraps, the Chicken Parm sandwich and Fried Mozzarella.  All were delicious. And considering that not everyone who joined us today is on a gluten-free diet, their opinion of the food speaks volumes. We took home pizzas for dinner (no cooking for me pre-Turkey Day!) and some yummy desserts--my daughter's favorite is the Pumpkin Roll; in fact, it's become a tradition that we pick up one (or two!) each year for Thanksgiving. I scored a Vanilla gluten-free and dairy-free cupcake along with Yum Yum's famous frosted sugar cookies (pictured).

Erin and Mark Fallico, owners of Yum Yum's, are doing a fabulous job making sure that their customers are treated well. No matter how long it's been since our last visit, Mark always has a welcome smile for us and asks how we've been. And it is clear that Erin takes pride in her business, making sure that customers are satisfied.  Kudos to our server today, Debbie, who was friendly and professional.

Yum Yum's Gluten Free Bakery and Cafe is located at 601-1/2 West Manlius Street, East Syracuse. Hours are Monday through Saturday: 7am-9pm and Sunday, 10am-6pm. Contact them at 315.314.7542 or at contact@yumyumsglutenfreebakery.com, or www.yumyumsglutenfreebakery.com. Delivery is available; contact them for details.

If you haven't already checked out Yum Yum's, what are you waiting for?

Enjoy! Because it's a great time to be gluten-free!

 

 

Gluten-Free Before Gluten-Free was Cool Presentation

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Central New York (CNY) Celiacs. The title of my presentation was, "Gluten-Free Before Gluten-Free was Cool: Raising a Child with Celiac Disease." As most of you know, my adult daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease at 15 months of age. This was in 1992, when being on a gluten-free diet was nearly unheard of. We've come a long way since then, thanks to the good work the celiac community is doing raising awareness of this condition, which at times is still somewhat misunderstood. I count the CNY Celiacs as one of the groups "making tracks for celiacs." It was a pleasure to meet Ruth Wyman, President of CNY Celiacs, her husband, John, and Sally Seeley, who handles membership for the group. Thanks to all who came to hear me speak on a cold, Sunday afternoon: family, friends and members of this wonderful group.

For more information on the CNY Celiacs, please visit www.cnyceliacs.org.

CeliacSavvy is now on Facebook! Like my page for your chance to win a "Send Me Gluten Free" goodie box--because it's a great time to be gluten-free!

 

 

Send Me Gluten Free Giveaway!

This is an example of the variety of products that may be found in a Send Me Gluten Free box, not the actual contents of what the winner will receive. It changes every month…that's the fun of it!      

This is an example of the variety of products that may be found in a Send Me Gluten Free box, not the actual contents of what the winner will receive. It changes every month…that's the fun of it!

 

 

The generous folks at Send Me Gluten Free have offered me an opportunity to give away a  free box of gluten-free goodies! Deadline to enter is Thursday, November 20. All you need to do to enter is sign up on my blog to receive CeliacSavvy e.mails, AND Like and Share my CeliacSavvy Facebook page. One winner will be selected at random. Good luck!

Product Review: Send Me Gluten Free

Recently, I scored a deal to receive a 3-month subscription to Send Me Gluten Free at half price. After receiving items such as black bean spaghetti and (really) raw snack bars, I was feeling a bit let down by the selections and glad I hadn’t paid full price; however, when October’s box arrived, I thought, “Now we’re really onto something.”

For those of you not familiar with Send Me Gluten Free (www.sendmeglutenfree.com) it’s a monthly subscription service whereby you sign up to receive gluten-free goodies sent to your door; you choose the frequency. According to their website, all options ship free and, if you agree to rate products, you can receive discounts. Package options are as follows:

Month-to-Month: $30 per month

3 Months: $26 per month

6 Months: $24 per month

12 months: $20 per month

Send Me Gluten Free’s site also states that each month, you’ll receive 8-10 new products, including at least one full-size product (sample sizes are also included).  Categories include foods, personal care, and household items.  Coupons and promo codes for online ordering are also included in the packages.

Of course, everyone’s taste varies—especially when one has special dietary needs—but it’s nice to be able to use or consume most everything when you subscribe to these monthly box services.  After giving away most of what was in my first two shipments, apparently, three times was the charm for me.

My October box included:

  • A full-size package (4.5oz) of Mediterranean Snacks’ brand Baked Lentil Chips in Sea Salt
  • Organic YogaVive Popped Apple Chips (1.4oz bag)
  • I Heart Keenwah Chocolate and Sea Salt Quinoa Clusters (1oz bag)
  • Jar of Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves (1oz)
  • Sample size NoGii Paleo Bar in Nuts About Berries
  • Full-size Nature’s Path Organic Dark Chocolate Chip Bar (1.2oz)
  • A sample of “Primal Pit Paste,” (.250z) which, apparently, is a natural deodorant. Who knew?
  • A sample pack of Country Life Coenzyme B-Complex Capsules (2 vegetarian capsules) along with a “We Pledge to Support Gluten-Free Living Button” (appropriate for your next fundraising event, perhaps).
  • A sample pack of Redd Remedies’ Curcumin C3 complex (2 vegetarian capsules)
  • Kemnitz Family Kitchen labels—a sample pack of the more than 100 labels and signs offered by this company; great idea if you are attending a pot-luck and want everyone to know your casserole is gluten-free. I was quite impressed by this item; it will certainly come in handy for me.

Also included were various promotional offers and coupons, and a gluten-free flour blend recipe from The Warm Kitchen.

As someone looking for great-tasting snack bars—and addicted to all things chocolate and sea salt--this particular box was right up my alley; the half-price cost of my subscription more than made up for what I felt was lacking in previous packages.

I’m sort of sad that my subscription has ended and may consider asking friends to share the love by signing up for one of the packages—what one person may not enjoy may be gluten-free heaven to someone else. I’d also consider sending this as a holiday or birthday gift to a gluten-free friend or relative.

Disclaimer: This blog post is based on my experience using the Send Me Gluten Free monthly subscription service. I received no compensation for using this service or writing this post. Just found a great product that I wanted to share with you--because it's a great time to be gluten-free!

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

App Review: "Find Me Gluten Free"

Find Me GF App clip art.jpg

While vacationing this past summer, I discovered the “Find Me Gluten Free”app. Here's my take on it: 

The app comes in handy when traveling or even when searching for gluten-free offerings in your own neighborhood. Its “Search Near Me” feature  gives users the option to include chain locations in their search and/or to include restaurants that may not have a dedicated gluten-free menu (in these cases, the usual caveats for celiacs apply i.e. just because a salad is served without croutons doesn’t mean that the dressing is gluten-free, etc.). There’s also a “Popular Chains” tab that lists comments from fellow users on just that, popular chain restaurants.  Users can also search for restaurants by address or name and can even make suggestions for a particular restaurant to be included. The app’s home page is a combination of news reports, ads and various blog posts pertaining to the gluten-free diet. 

Though endorsed by a registered dietitian, I do see a slight issue with the app‘s “Dining Card.”
At first glance, it looks like something you might wish to present to your server or a restaurant manager before ordering; however, upon closer look, it may just overwhelm the staff. Its primary focus seems to be a list of what celiacs cannot eat, and at the very bottom there is a small paragraph about what is safe to eat. In my opinion, it helps to start with the positive, for example, “I’d love to talk about what’s gluten-free on your menu” rather than, “Here’s a list of EVERYTHING that I cannot eat.” In the first paragraph, it lists “wheat, rye and barley” as unsafe (which of course, is true) but later goes on to include oats, which, if we’re talking about non-contaminated, pure oats, these are actually considered to be gluten-free. It also lists beer as a “no-no” under Mexican and South American cuisine and while most beers are not gluten-free, there are some that are, and more restaurants are carrying them these days, e.g. Redbridge.  Again, lead with the positive: “What gluten-free beers do you carry?” rather than, “Does ALL your beer have malt?” An inexperienced server may just answer, “Yes,” unknowingly.

As an alternative to presenting this app’s Dining Card to a server who may not be entirely familiar with the gluten-free diet, I would suggest arriving a few minutes before your reservation or desired dining time to speak to the manager, or, better yet, call ahead and ask for the manager to be available for a few moments when you arrive and explain why you wish to speak with him or her. This worked out quite well for my family when we dined at Texas de Brazil (a chain restaurant). I put in a special request inquiring about gluten-free options when making an online reservation and upon our arrival, the manager gave my daughter a tour of the salad bar, pointing out which items were gluten-free. He also pointed out that the dinner bread (served at the table) was gluten-free. My daughter would have ordinarily avoided the dinner bread had we not spoken to the manager first.

Overwhelming restaurant staff with potential misinformation can be confusing and actually work against the gluten-free community, making restaurant staff wary of gluten-free diners unnecessarily. As celiacs or those with gluten sensitivity, we all know how difficult dining out can be, so it helps when we work together to make dining out a stress-free experience for all involved.

Overall, I do think this app can prove helpful when searching for restaurants that cater to the gluten-free diet, even if the restaurant itself is simply pointing out which menu items are gluten-free without having a dedicated gluten-free menu.  I would say try it and see how it works for you while at the same time, continuing to be your own best advocate for locating safe, gluten-free options when dining out. As a celiac, the best education you can receive is the one that you can give yourself by consistently learning with each new experience. 

The app is free for iPhone and Android users via the App Store or Google Play.  

This review is based solely on my own use of this application. I was not contacted by Find Me Gluten Free prior to writing this post, nor did I receive any compensation from them for this review.

 

(A related post titled, “Gluten-Free? Yup, There’s an App for That” was posted on this blog on
December 5, 2012.)

 

 

Celiac Disease: A Medical Mystery?

I’m sure many people with celiac disease can swap stories about how many times they were misdiagnosed, for how long, and with which illnesses and conditions. Below is a link to a fascinating article that appeared in the New York Times on August 17. See if you would have guessed the patient to have celiac disease before his doctors did.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/author/lisa-sanders-md/

The Joy of a Local Farmers’ Market

What’s not to love about your local farmers’ market—corn on the cob, watermelon, juicy peaches, ripe tomatoes, and the list goes on and on. While summer may be winding down, many farmers’ markets continue running into the fall, offering the delights of the season. And for someone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, this makes for a stress-free shopping trip. No label-reading or wondering if there’s gluten hiding behind some foreign ingredient that you can’t pronounce.  Meal planning is fresher, cleaner and simpler when you load up at the market.  Some vendors even have fresh-baked gluten-free goodies. Check out www.nfmd.org and plug in your zip code to find the farmers’ markets near you.

If you leave in the Central New York area, check out these gems:

Central New York Regional Market
2100 Park Street, Syracuse
www.cnyrma.com
The beauty of this market—aside from its variety of vendors—is that it runs from 7AM-2PM on Saturdays, year-round and on Thursdays, (same hours) from May-November. (This is an indoor market.) If you go, make sure you visit Deborah’s Sweet Treats; she specializes in gluten-free baked goods (www.deborahssweettreats.com).

Fayetteville Farmers’ Market CNY
Parking lot of Fayetteville Towne Center
Corner of E. Genesee and Burdick Streets
www.fayettevillefarmersmarketcny.com
Runs from 3PM-7PM Thursdays, through October 30

Camillus Farmers Market
Camillus Municipal Building
 4600 W. Genesee Street, 315.488.1234
8:30AM-1:30PM Fridays, through October 31

Town of Skaneateles Farmers Market
 1 E. Austin Street
 3:30-6:30PM, Thursdays and 9AM-1PM,  Saturdays, through mid-October
315.727.9320


Gluten-Free Fun in the Sun

Portofino Scenery.jpg

This spring, I had the pleasure, once again, of staying at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando. Though my older daughter--who follows a gluten-free diet for celiac disease--did not travel with us this time, I did not let that stop me from discovering what celiac-friendly goodies were available.

Discovery #1:  Trattoria del Porto. Our favorite place for breakfast both for its great selection of gluten-free and “regular” buffet items--as well as its outstanding staff. (Wish more people were that friendly first thing in the morning!) I found gluten-free muffins, pancakes, and toast at the buffet, as well as Chex cereals and the “usual suspects”--yogurt, fruit, etc. I tried the muffins and pancakes; both were quite good.

Discovery #2: Bice Ristorante, which offers Northern Italian cuisine in an upscale atmosphere and has  gluten-free pasta on its menu. What a treat for those looking to enjoy a fine dining experience without having to dissect the entire menu in order to find a suitable gluten-free option. No worries here and, again, another restaurant on the Loews property with outstanding service. Our server was from the Northeast, and we had a great time ribbing each other over the Red Sox and Yankees. (I'm the Yankees fan.)

Discovery #3: Sal’s Market Deli, which sells Hilltop Hearth Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies.  While pretty pricey (about $4 for a .74oz bag), the cookies were delicious and my to-go stash never even made it home. Lots of fruit and salad options at Sal’s, too.

Discovery #4: Gluten-free muffins on the hotel’s room service menu. Eureka! This is something I had never seen when traveling and was a real treat.

For my gluten-free skincare find at Portofino, see my post from June 5. 2014 on PURE factory Naturals Flip Flop Foot Repair. (Then hurry up and buy some before the summer’s over!)

The information in this blog post is based on my own personal experiences while vacationing at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.  These are discoveries I made on my own while at the resort and are by no means intended to be an exhaustive list. I received no compensation for this post. Just made some great gluten-free discoveries and thought I’d share them with you so that you, too, could be “CeliacSavvy”—because it’s a great time to be gluten-free!

For further information, check out the following websites:

www.universalorlando.com

www.purefactorynaturals.com

www.usfoods.com/about-us/our-brands/hilltop-hearth.html

www.chex.com

 

It's Flip Flop Time!

The warm weather has finally made its debut in the Northeast and you know what that means, ladies--time to take better care of your feet! I found a great product while on vacation at Loews Portofino Bay Resort in Orlando that I want to share with you--it's called Flip Flop Foot Repair from PUREfactory Naturals. For those of you with skin sensitivities due to celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis, rejoice! This products is gluten-free!

The Atlanta-based body care company offers this product as part of its Every Day Flip Flop Collection for "Beautiful Feet Addicts." According to the company's website, their products have:

  • No paraben
  • No gluten
  • No petroleum or other harsh chemicals
  • No GMOs

The products are also made in the USA.

What I love about is this product is that it comes in a handy stick for hands-free application and it's easy to tuck into a beach or carry-on bag. I purchased the Lime Sugar scent, which is heavenly (other scents include Mango Coconut, Orange Honey and Vanilla Mint). The product softens and cools off dry, overworked feet. After walking around in the hot Orlando sun, there was nothing better than coming back to the hotel and pampering my feet. I'm sure you've all seen women sitting by the pool or at barbeques and while they may have fabulous sandals and pedicures, you look down and see their scaly-looking heels! Flip Flop Foot Repair takes care of that.

Visit PUREfactory Naturals website at www.purefactorynaturals.com for more information.

This blog post is based on my experience using Flip Flop Foot Repair. I received no compensation for this post. Just found a great product that I wanted to share with you-- because it's a great time to be gluten-free!