Category Archives: Grocery Stores

Gluten free groceries at Trader Joe’s! #glutenfree #traderjoes

TJ's Handy Product Lists

The big day is finally here– Trader Joe’s is open on Dorset Street in South Burlington! This is Vermont’s first Trader Joe’s so in case you haven’t been to one before, here’s some advice for gluten free shopping:

1. Go to the manager’s desk on your first visit. It’s on the main grocery floor and they will give you a copy of their entire list of gluten-free items. They are super nice and helpful and it’s great to carry this list around the first few times you shop there or if you are new to gluten-free shopping!

2. Look for their gluten-free symbol on some packaged food items. These are sure to be gluten-free. Read the ingredients for items without the symbol and use your own best judgement. I find many items that are not labeled but to my knowledge, seem gluten-free. Note that items will include a disclaimer if they are processed in facilities or on shared equipment with wheat.

3. Check out the frozen food aisle. Some of my favorite items are the gluten-free toaster waffles, which are much cheaper than the ones in traditional grocery stores. There’s a number of other treats you may find in that section too!!! I also stock up on frozen fruit for smoothies.

4. If you’re a snacker, like me, you will love their nuts and dried fruit section! No sugar added, no sulfur dried mango! Delicious. Near-by you can usually find their nitrate-free beef jerky– inexpensive, gluten-free and a great snack for the car or such.

5. If you tolerate dairy, there’s lots of organic (and non-organic) dairy options (although I try to buy Vermont products when I can!!!).

6. Chocolate.

7. Sauces. Korma simmer sauce. Artichoke dip. You will find your favorites.

8. Gluten-free baking mixes. Sometimes hidden on a low self, TJ’s GF brownie mixes are delish. Try them out and search for other mixes to try out.

So, explore and have fun!!! Find your favorite gluten-free options and let us know about them in the comments section!

XOXO,

GFVT

 

Hannaford’s features gluten-free holiday snacks! (or, what to feed your gluten-free guest!)

A whole list of gluten-free alternatives accompanies Hannaford’s list of great holiday dips. This is a cheerful addition to the typical lists of holiday foods that are either NOT gluten-free or involve ~1 bazillion calories. Are you hosting someone gluten free for the holidays? Check out this list of great crackers or chips to use as an alternative to traditional crackers. Just do them a favor and make sure you keep them out of contact with the traditional stuff, perhaps even providing a separate bowl of dips just to go with the GF snacks! Your guests will appreciate it.

Happy feasting,

xoxo
GFVT

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Trader Joe’s underway in South Burlington, VT!

If you’ve been down Dorset street lately, you’ve seen a big change. Today, bare ground lays at the future site of Vermont’s first Trader Joe’s. Located next to Healthy Living, this will be a great boon for gluten-free residents. Why, you ask?

Perhaps you’ve never been to a Trader Joe’s. Let me give you a tour, from the perspective of a Celiac.

First, if you stop by the manager’s counter, you can pick up the “No gluten ingredients used” list.

Second, many of these “no gluten ingredient” products are also marked with a cute little symbol:

to make your shopping easier. Always read the fine print though– some items are manufactured in facilities that also use wheat so you may want to avoid them if you have sensitivities like that. And not all items have the symbol (depends when the packing was last re-designed, I suppose).

Next, my personal recommendations– skip the produce section. You can do much better at the farmer’s market or some of our supermarkets that do direct purchases from local farmers. It’s just much fresher food.

My favorites at TJ’s– because they are excellent quality and cheaper than anywhere else– almond butter, blue corn tortilla chips, various salsas, frozen organic fruit (smoothies!), frozen taquitos (ok, I don’t buy these elsewhere but they’re a fun treat!), GF toaster waffles, greek yogurt, goat cheese, pasta sauce and much more. It’s a great place to stock-up on nuts and dried fruit. Their GF beef jerky makes a great trail snack and is nitrate free! I’m sure the list goes on but I’ll leave it to you to figure out your favorite GF foods when Trader Joes opens. (hint: chocolate…)

According to WCAX, Trader Joe’s will open next Spring. 

Welcome to Vermont, TJ’s!

xxoo,

GFVT

 

Summer is here! Gluten-free sunscreen #glutenfree #sunscreen

It’s time to get out on the lake, hike in the Greens or tune up your bike. Summer is here! Us pasty-white northerners need to take extra care with our skin in early summer when we’re most likely to burn.

Information on gluten in lotions and sunscreens can be contradictory. Technically, you cannot have a Celiac reaction in your small intestine due to gluten absorbed through your skin. That said, many (most?) of us have dermatitis-type skin reactions to gluten– itching, burning, etc. There’s also the worry that some of that sunscreen could get ingested accidentally. So, why not just stay away from it? Ok– then which sunscreens are “safe” for a Celiac? Here’s a list of gluten-free sunscreens:

Sunscreen (Stars* by my favorites):

Alba Botanica*

Margaritaville Floridays Sunscreen*– smells delish!

Kiss My Face Sunscreen

Blue Lizard Sunscreen

Solar RX Sunscreen

California Baby Sunscreen

Badger Sunscreen

Dessert Essence Sunscreen

Coppertone (all products, includes Coppertone Sport line and Water Babies)

Neutrogena (certain sunscreens – Spectrum+, Oil Free Moisturizer with SPF, Healthy Defense Moisturizer with SPF) Note: Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry Touch line and Pure and Free Baby products contain Oat Kernel Extract.

Nature’s Gate

What others do you like? I used to love Banana Boat Sport (gluten-free) but it has other ingredients in it that bother my skin.

Enjoy your time outdoors!

xoxo

Gluten-free Vermont

 

Beauty and the Celiac (or why I keep changing shampoo)

When I as first diagnosed, I never believed that I would be *that* sensitive, whatever that meant. A friend warned me stuff like ibuprofen could have gluten and make me sick. I scoffed, believing I could handle little bits of gluten. Six months later, I came to realise that I couldn’t handle ibuprofen (I now use Aleve or Advil liquid caps, which are gluten-free and easier on your tummy than the generic tablets).

I’d always noticed that my favorite conditioner, Aveda Camomille, made my scalp burn. BURN. As in, I dared not touch it to my head but would use it on the ends of my hair. About the same time I noticed I was reacting to small exposure of gluten in ibuprofen, I realized other gluten-containing body products were irritating my skin. Oatmeal soap. Shampoo and Conditioner with wheat or wheat protein. Aveno face wash (actually that always bothered my skin and I didn’t use it). So, over the years, I gave up a lot of natural products– even though I believed in less chemicals, more plant products– because so many had wheat or oats in them. Remember, oats are naturally gluten-free but always contaminated unless certified gluten-free. My fine hair hated natural products without wheat, it would get so dry and tangled.

Our family stylist slyly whispered to me one day that if I were going to use cheap shampoos without gluten that Pantene would be the best for my hair. Since then, I’ve found that I love the Pantene highlighting conditioner a few times a weeks and the super moisturizing conditioner for fine hair. Problem solved.

I think this is an important point to clarify for friends, family, hair stylists, massage therapists or anyone who might give you or apply skin care products to you– just because we’re not eating shampoo [conditioner, lotion, make-up, etc] doesn’t mean that you may not be sensitive to it. If you have a skin sensitivity to products with gluten, let people know and they are usually so happy to accommodate you. I mean, who wants a burning scalp when they walk out of the hair salon?

Fast-forward a few years to this week. I’ve had some dermatitis on-and-off for the last few years… in hind sight, about as long as I have been avoiding wheat in shampoo, conditioner, body wash and soap. The friendly folks over at Dorset St. Dermatology decided it was time to test me for skin allergies. Fun times. The panel showed I’m allergic (as in, contact reaction that gives me a little dermatitis) to methylisothiazolinone. What the heck??? Yeah, well it turns out that its a preservative often found in… (you guessed it)… shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc etc etc. So now I was back to square one, as Pantene uses it! So, I did some research. Remember, check your labels for your self and re-check as ingredients can change over time!

Here’s the beauty products I tried and liked so far that are: 1) gluten-free and 2) free of methylisothiazolinone.  What are your favorite products? Leave us a note in the comments section

Shampoo:

Mango Body Builder by Alba Botanica (Hannaford’s)

Momo Shampoo by Davines (note: it does have parabens…) buy online through Davines or Amazon or your favorite stylist. I found it through Lara at Rock Paper Scissors. I will say that I like the Davines website as it is quite easy to determine which products have gluten in them (and other common plant allergens). I just wish they had more GF styling products.

Aveda Rosemary Mint (but note the conditioner has barley extract!)

Nature’s Gate  makes some delicious natural shampoos (organic too!) that leave your hair smelling great. I don’t prefer their conditioners– just not sufficient for my long, thick, fine hair but great for others– give it a try.

Conditioner

Momo Conditioner by Davines. I’ve only used this a few days so far but I am loving it!
Aveda Scalp Benefits (both shampoo and conditioner are gluten free. They are also sulfate-free. Find them at Stephens and Burns on Church St!).

Soap

Threw out my old Dove body wash because of the methylisothiazoline, but have replaced it with Dove bar soap for now.

Face wash & lotion

Both Cetaphil and CeraVe have been recommended to me by dermatologists and both are on my personal “safe” list. CeraVe is incredibly moisturizing (look for the big pot of lotion you can use on your face and your whole body) but it does contain parabens that turn-off some folks. Cetaphil doesn’t contain parabens and doesn’t make your face quite as soft and you might buy their regular lotion for the rest of your body. Cetaphil does make a gentle skin cleanser that is easy to splash off with warm water if you’re in a hurry. Both make chemical sunscreen versions of their lotion.

Burt’s Bee’s products are great for their natural ingredients.

Make-up
I have used Clinque for awhile– good quality, gluten-free… It just feels like a low-risk solution to me. Some other options are mineral make-up, such as Bare Minerals or Everyday Minerals. The dermotologist also recommended La Bella Donna, although that takes you into a whole other price category 😉 Eos makes a great lip balm that is also soy-free.

Hair products
It’s little things… like realizing you didn’t read the ingredients on the hair spray can before the stylist sprays you down (shoot, what if I inhale that!?). “Paranoid as you wanna be” runs through my head. Well, at home where things are in my control, I use products I know are gluten-free “just in case.”

Sojourn Firm Hold Working Spray: does the trick on holding my bangs out of my eyes all day. Buy it online or Styles Stowe

Mantra Om Foam: for those nights when I need a little body (does contain almond). It may have been discontinued?

Aveda Phomollient adds texture and volume at the ends of hair

 

If you want to learn more about how gluten may affect you through beauty products, I recommend the following articles and sites:

Does it really matter if your make-up is gluten-free (Allure Magazine)

Now that your beauty products are all healthy, get out there and enjoy your self!

xoxo,

Gluten-free Vermont

How much is “just a little” when it comes to gluten exposure?

My mother has been “glutenated” a few times recently. She’s learning that she’s more sensitive to gluten than when she first went GF. For example, I’ve seen her eat regular soy sauce several times, whereas I *must* have GF soy sauce. A few weeks ago she picked up prepared chicken kabobs at the grocery store and thinks they made her sick. I asked if they had soy sauce and she said she didn’t really pay attention because the ones at the other grocery store were always fine. Then about a week ago she got sick after chinese food that may have had soy sauce in it– she thought it didn’t but hadn’t bothered to ask since it had never affected her before.

Getting more sensitive to gluten the longer you are off of it is a common story for most of us. In my experience, we all think “I will never be THAT sensitive” but at some point you realize you are sensitive to smaller and smaller exposures. That is a subject for another blog…

I told my mother that REPEATED exposure can make each reaction worse. The chicken kabobs taxed her system and then repeating the exposure just a week or so later made for another bad reaction. Had these events been spaced weeks or months apart it is possible the second one wouldn’t have been so bad.

For those of you questioning your gluten intolerance levels, here is a great article on “HOW MUCH GLUTEN WILL MAKE ME SICK?”  

What are your #GFPetPeeves?

The Huffington Post shares perspectives on pet peeves of being GF. I’ll let you read the article for yourself (or browse the twitter traffic), I’m sure you can relate to many of them! Most of these examples I feel like I can handle with grace (or I try to!), like having someone ask you about your symptoms at the dinner table with strangers! The one that gets my goat is restuarants where I ask for no bread/bun/fries and maybe just some greens instead. “Sure, with a side salad that will be $5 extra.” Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat…? I also get tired of going to multiple grocery stores to get what I need but, really, that’s a #firstworldproblem!

Trader Joe’s gets another step closer to Burlington

South Burlington’s City Council unanimously voted to approve Trader Joe’s store and restaurant on South Dorset street. Looks like we should have a TJs in the next year! Anyone been to a TJs restaurant??? Very curious to her more about that but in the meantime, I’m excited to have another GF grocery option coming soon to VT!

The Burlington Free Press reports http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20130507/NEWS02/305070018/Trader-Joe-s-gets-Council-go-ahead

Getting started GF (@Hannaford)

A friend was recently told his IGG panel for gluten and tons of other foods were “off the charts.” I heard this while he sipped one of his last gluten-heavy beers. “Next week,” he said,

The gluten free aisle at the S. Burlington Hannaford's

The gluten free aisle at the S. Burlington Hannaford’s

“I’ll get serious. Although I’m not sure where to begin.” Equipped with a bunch of readings from his doctor, he was going to start there. I’m sure most of us have websites we send friends to, books, articles, etc to help them get going gluten-free. Ok, so what do you do after you read? Well, you go grocery shopping…

I still remember my first GF grocery adventure. I wrote down a list of ingredients that were to be avoided on a 3×5 card and struck out on my own. My normal 30 minute jaunt around the store seemed to drag on for ever. Each label seemed to take about 5 minutes to read and understand. Of course, since then, labeling has improved and GF selection has expanded. But remembering the stress of those first few trips to the store, I offered to tag along with my friend and his wife for their first GF grocery adventure (still waiting for them to take me up on it). In the meantime, I had them in my head when I hit Hannaford’s this weekend. My iPhone helped me document my favorite GF items around the store in an effort to make a quick and easy shopping guide. Next time I’ll try for Healthy Living and City Market.

What are you favorites? What would you recommend to your friend going gluten-free?

A couple of notes:

1. You may experience sticker-shock for items that are gluten-free “speciality” items, like bread. Items that are naturally gluten-free are just their normal price.

2. When in doubt, go without.

3. Don’t expect anything GF to be a direct replacement for it’s gluten-heavy counterpart. Remember, without gluten, you’ve removed the sticky and fluffy aspects of baking and the imitations, while good, will always be different. Keep an open mind 😉

Cereal

Cereal

Noticeably missing from Hannaford’s is GF Brown Rice Crispies (yes, you can make GF rice crispy treats with these!). Rice Chex harkens back to my childhood. It’s also a good one to keep in mind when you are traveling, as sometimes its offered at hotel buffets in little single serving containers. Barbara’s Puffins has finally gotten themselves straightened out to offer a truly gluten-free option. It’s pretty good if you like Puffins. I enjoy Puffins and Rice Chex IMG_1671because they are “normal” cereals. Next, Hannafords has some large bags of GF corn flakes and Mesa Sunrise (corn flakes with flax and other good stuff mixed in). Pretty good deal for the quantity. There are plenty of GF granolas on the market. PErsonally, I think granola should be made of oats, not nuts and corn flakes, so I like the Kind brands. There’s a huge selection of Kind granolas at Hannafords. Note that all of these items are in the regular cereal aisle, not the GF aisle! GF goes mainstream 😉 Over in the GF aisle, you will find the GF oatmeal. I find that the Bob’s Red Mill doesn’t cook up quite as “quick” as I would like but I’ve found a way around that. I often take the Glutenfreeda instant oatmeal packets with me on the road, as even if GF breakfast options are sparse you can always find some hot water and a cup.

Bunny

 

Snacks

Every bunny deserves a treat! Annie’s bunny fruit snacks are GF. I don’t have kids but I imagine this is a winner with the little ones.

Over in the GF aisle, you will find some GF sweets. Some are good. Some are not good. Some I don’t prefer (I never was that into hard cookies, like chips ahoy). Here are a few of my favorites (only as a special treat of

Treats

course! Remember, just because its GF doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Sometimes the oils and sugars added to make up for the gluten makes GF higher in calories!). Almond horns, simply delicious– hard but soft, sweet but not sugary. Glutino cookies– just like oreos!  (almost) and great for crusts of ice cream cakes. Lucy’s are a sure winner, every time. Crisp cookies but yummy in every flavor.

 

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Hannafords also has some frozen GF treats, which I haven’t tried but recognize some very reliable brands, like Udi’s. Perhaps handy if you need to grab GF cupcakes  or muffins in a hurry (as long as you have time for them to defrost?). These are in a small freezer section in the bakery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sauce!

Sauce

If sauce were a food group, it might be my favorite. Hannaford’s has GF soy sauce and some other Asian cooking sauces lined up with the regular ol’ sauces. This market has expanded A LOT in the last few years– evident by Kikkoman even joining the wagon. Tomato sauce is tricky– remember that wheat is sometimes found in tomato paste. I go for tomato sauce that clearly states it is GF or where I can fully understand the ingredients  Bove’s and IMG_1678 IMG_1679Classico both label their GF sauces and are conveniently located next to each other in the sauce aisle, just waiting for me to snap a nice pic.

I haven’t met a hummus that isn’t GF (but still I read all the labels). Other condiments sometimes have surprise gluten in them– you think they don’t but it’s good to double-check. For example, Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette has soy sauce with wheat in it. What! Yes! Tragic. I believe all of the Ken’s brand dressings are GF, but always double-check the label.

 

 

 

 

Chips and Crackers

Crackers

Before you head to the GF aisle, check out the cracker aisle. There you will find Nut-thins, which are a mix of nut flours and rice flour. They’re pretty yummy! Also in this aisle, you will find Asian rice crackers– make sure you buy the ones that are GF, as some have soy sauce with wheat. There’s also rice cakes in this section. Personally, I only by the rice cakes that say GF on them but feel free to be only as paranoid as you want. Moving into the GF aisle, you’ll find my favorite GF “bird food” cracker– Mary’s Gone Crackers. I like Herb or Caraway  some people like them plain. Either way, you will feel virtuous for eating these super healthy crackers. Glutino makes the best “your friends won’t know its GF cracker.” Somewhere between a Ritz and a table cracker, they are a great all-purpose cracker. I like the CrunchMaster Multi-Grain crackers paired with cheese or to go with a salad for lunch. They are a little less bird-food like than Mary’s, but still hearty and healthy. If you fancy a chip, know that most corn tortilla chips are gluten free. Many potato chips are gluten free. Start paying more attention to the ingredients if you eat flavored chips or go for brands like Kettle Chips that are GF. New on the market are Boulder Canyon chips. They’ve done some interesting things, like use chickpea flour for air-popped chips. Worth trying out!

Starches

Starches

GF whole grains are of course the best gf options for your daily diet. Rice has had some controversy lately, so use it once a week or so. Quinoa is my personal favorite, so delicious and nutritious. Follow the instructions on the package or cheat like me and use your rice cooker. I’ll throw in some broth instead of all water, maybe some herbs or spices, perhaps some chopped veggies. Cook it up and you’re good to go. Great leftover and cold (unlike rice). Sometimes though, you just want a sandwich. Or pasta. At Hannaford;s, here are my recommendations. Schar makes great buns, rolls, etc. They are parbaked so you can toast them at home. They are pretty low calorie, particularly compared to their gluten-heavy counterparts. Brown rice tortillas are great for open-faced tostadas or grilled quesadillas. Keep them frozen until use, as they break easily. They make ok wraps for sandwiches but I would recommend wrapping them in a towel and then a bag to keep the wrap moist (they crack when they get dried out). Gluten-free toaster waffles should go in a breakfast section. One of these is like a piece of toast and generally yummier than GF bread, I think. Make sure they stay frozen or they tend to crumble. I’ve been known to toast up a BLT with cheve on two toaster waffles. Genius or weird, you decide.

All-purpose GF Flours!

Baking

 

I started out using Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix for EVERYTHING. My Gramma Ginnie’s brownies. Pancakes. Banana Bread. Dredging chicken before cooking. It is still my go-to. Note that it does have almond flour in there so it’s not right for everyone. Another good option is King Arthur’s GF flour mix. I’ve also had really good results substituting that 1:1 for regular flour in recipes. Both are in the GF aisle at Hannaford’s. I’ve had some flour mixes or other mixes (like for breads, pies, etc) that were real flops so I’m leery to try new things. If you’re just starting out baking GF, you will notice a lot of recipes all for a bazillion different GF flours (brown rice, white rice, sorghum, corn, tapioca, xanthum gum, and many more). Before you go and buy a bazillion flours and build new kitchen cabinets to store them in, try one of these all-purpose mixtures.

Meats

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Most fresh meats are ok unless marinated or containing HVP. Stick to more natural or organic kinds to know you don’t have hydrolyzed vegetable protein. Definetly read-up on that before you hit the store. Cured meats are often a source of gluten-added.  VT Smoke and Cure is all GF except meats that contain beer. At Hannafords, there are McKenzie River meats that are labeled GF to make your life easier. And I grew up near the McKenzie River so I like 

IMG_1676

the name 😉 Reward the companies that label their foods GF, stay away from the ones that aren’t labeled even if they seem GF– you never know. Processed meats are of course second to “real” foods but, hey, we all need a turkey sandwich sometimes.

 

 

 

What not to buy

Don’t buy anything that is already moldy (some of the shelved GF breads sit there for a loooooong time). I’ve accidentally done this. Don’t buy any frozen items that may have been unfrozen, they tend to fall apart. Don’t buy this pizza dough that is falling apart right on the shelf!

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