Gluten Free Snacks & Beer at Sporting Events!

Over the weekend, I went to the St. Louis Home & Garden Show.  I knew it was going to be a long day and worried about finding something gluten free to eat.  I went to the show with two other gluten free family members.  To our surprise, listed on the menu board at the concession stand was GLUTEN FREE SNACKS $2.  Unfortunately, they were referring to various candy and a couple bags of chips.  Later, when passing a beer stand, we noticed $5 Redbridge beer.

This was great to see large vendors offering gluten free alternatives.  I also just heard that Redbridge beer was offered at Blues hockey games at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

I wonder if this is a new trend across the country???

gfsnacks

Tax Deductions for Gluten Free Foods

I am not an accountant.  I am only sharing with you the information I have found or been told.  It is your duty to check with your accountant and bring to their attention the appropriate IRS citations.


The following About.com excerpt states that:

“Several rulings by the IRS seem to suggest that if your total medical expenses for the year exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, you may be able to deduct the difference in cost between “regular” food products and gluten-free alternatives, as well as the total cost of items that would not be purchased at all if not for the gluten-free diet (such as xantham gum, for example), and shipping costs.”

 

Taken from Celiac.com
Tax Deduction for Gluten-Free Foods as a Medical Expense for Diagnosed Celiacs Only

The following guidelines were received from the Oct. 1993 CSA/USA National Conference in Buffalo, NY:

1) You can claim only the EXTRA COST of the gluten-free product over what you would pay for the similar item at a grocery store. For example, if wheat flour costs $0.89 per 5 lbs. and rice flour is $3.25 per 5 lbs., the DIFFERENCE of $2.36 is tax deductible. You may also claim mileage expense for the extra trip to the health food store and postal costs on gluten-free products ordered by mail.

2) The cost of xanthan gum (methylcellulose, etc.) used in gluten-free home baked goods is completely different than anything used in an ordinary recipe, so in the opinion of the IRS, the total cost of this item can be claimed.

3) Save all cash register tapes, receipts, and canceled checks to substantiate your gluten-free purchases. You will need to prepare a list of grocery store prices to arrive at the differences in costs. You need not submit it with your return, but do retain it.

4) Attach a letter from your doctor to your tax return. This letter should state that you have Celiac Sprue disease and must adhere to a total gluten-free diet for life.

5) Under MEDICAL DEDUCTIONS list as Extra cost of a gluten-free diet the total amount of your extra expenses. You do not need to itemize these expenses.

Suggestions:

1) You may want to write the Citations (as given below) on your tax return. Always keep a copy of your doctors letter for your own records.

2) Your IRS office may refer you to Publication 17 and tell you these deductions are not permissible. IRS representatives have ruled otherwise and this is applicable throughout the US Refer them to the following Citations:

Revenue Ruling 55-261
Cohen 38 TC 387
Revenue Ruling 76-80, 67 TC 481
Flemming TC MEMO 1980 583
Van Kalb TC MEMO 1978 366

 

In conclusion, check with your accountant whether or not ALL of your gluten free purchases are deductible, or if you only qualify if your medical expenses are more than 7.5% of your AGI.  I have not seen a definite answer on this.

Gluten Free Wristbands!

GLUTEN FREE Wristbands are in stock!

I was having a hard time reminding myself to eat gluten free.  All my old habits would subconsciously come back and I would find myself reaching or thinking about something with gluten.  I decided to get myself a LIVESTRONG wristband to support all diseases/cancers and as a constant reminder to myself to eat gluten free.  It worked!

stock1

I decided to have GLUTEN FREE wristbands made!  Once I started wearing mine, people everywhere were asking me about it or asking me if I had celiac.  Not only is it a daily visual reminder, but it is a conversation starter.

Over the past few years the awareness for celiac and gluten free has grown tremendously.  Lets add to it!  By wearing a gluten free wristband people will see it and know what it is, or they may ask you about it and you can tell them about eating gluten free.

There are a couple other people selling similar products, but they cost more, schweiz viagra rezeptfrei, are a hassle to order, and are celiac specific.  I decided to make mine for the general gluten free population.  There are many more people eating gluten free than just celiacs.

These are perfect as gifts for yourself, your family, your supporters, friends, doctors, and for your kids!

stock3packaging

$2.50 each

Includes shipping inside the United States.  Contact me for international orders.

Discounts for orders of 10.

For the next 30 days only, use coupon code FREESHIP to get 20% off.

Thank you for helping spread GLUTEN FREE awareness!

wtphoto1

Get yours FREE or DISCOUNTED for helping spread awareness!

Digg: Digg the GF Wristbands page and I’ll send you a 20% off code.

Twitter: Follow Me, then Tweet about the wristbands or my site, with a link, and I’ll send you a 20% off coupon code.

Bloggers/Site Owners:  Add a blog article about the wristbands, and I’ll send you 1 free wristband.  Send me the link to your article and your mailing address via email, and I’ll send a free wristband.  We can also establish a custom 10% off coupon code that you can share on your site.

Other: I’m open to any suggestion that will help spread the wristbands to as many people that support gluten free as possible.  I can sell them in bulk, exchange links for advertising, etc.  Let me know your ideas!

Advertising Options:  I am looking for advertisers on a small brochure(an on my site in general) that I am going to include when someone buys a bracelet.  This would be a great way to reach that very targeted audience!  Contact me for details.

25 Random Things… Celiac Style

I ran across this list on Amy’s, The Savvy Celiac, Blog and thought it was too good not to pass on.  If you are on FaceBook, you can’t miss all the “25 Random Things About Me” posts.  This is Amy’s list, but I am going to insert some personal comments on most of the topics.

 

25 Random Things about Celiac Disease

1. Affects 1 in 133 Americans** (approximately 3 million)- 97% are undiagnosed* 

Shocking!  This means that 2.9 Million people do not know they have Celiac!  If it didn’t run in my family, and with my lack of the stomach type of symptoms, I would probably never be diagnosed. 

2. It takes an average of 4 years for a person with symptoms to get a celiac diagnosis*

My dad accepted that he had irritable bowel and was lactose intolerant for the majority of his life.  It took him over 20 years to be correctly diagnosed.  My sister went through many tests before they checked for celiac, even though it ran in our family.  

3. Gluten is a protein most-commonly found in wheat, barley, rye and some oats.

…you can’t just look for those 4 things on ingredient labels. 

4. There is no medicinal cure for celiac disease; a gluten-free diet is the only cure.

Not a bad cure, considering many diseases have no remedy.

5. Tons of money will be wasted trying gluten-free food you or the celiac in your family don’t like – but you’ll also probably find some foods you do like.

I used to base my meals on quantity for the cheapest price.  I can’t do this any longer.  I now have to experiment at home or pay extra for GF options at restaurants.

6. Sometimes dental teeth cleaning/polishing paste has gluten in it!

I’ll have to ask next time I go.  I’m pretty picky about my teeth, so getting my calcium is important.  Your body has trouble absorbing calcium when you are not a healthy celiac. 

7. Taking a hamburger patty off a regular bun does not “decontaminate” the meat of gluten.

Cross-contamination can ruin a meal that you thought was gluten free.  Even down to a restaurant using tongs on gluten foods then your GF food. 

8. There is no answer to “How sensitive is she?” when it comes to gluten reactions. It’s all bad.

This is an important one… Even though I don’t pay the price in the bathroom that most celiacs do, it is still damaging me the same.

9. Approximately 36,600 women may never learn that celiac disease is the cause of their infertility*

It takes a good amount of time for your intestines to heal and your body to get back to normal, so this could cost you valuable years of your life.

10. You can be constipated and have diarrhea at the same time.

Hmmmm….

11. Gluten-free baking takes a lot of trial and error.

I haven’t even attempted it.  Some people have great luck and others don’t.

12. Rochester, MN School District has a gluten-free lunch menu that serves 20+ students each day.

Great!  I think in 10 years, every school and every restaurant will be moving towards gluten free ingredients for most of their items.

13. A toaster used for regular bread will contaminate gluten-free bread.

Screw up once and it will cost you a new toaster.

14. Just because something is labeled “wheat-free” does not guarantee it is “gluten-free”.

This is a big mistake of uninformed people attempting to buy gluten-free.  This should not be allowed by the FDA.  I wonder if all the Doritos I’ve been eating are GF?

15. Celiacs must always have snacks with them, because gluten-free food can be hard to find.

Not only snacks, but sometimes your own condiments or foods to take into restaurants with you. 

16. Oil that fries breaded items, will contaminate gluten-free foods fried in the same oil.

Very true.  Some places will dedicate a fryer for just their french fries.

17. Gluten-free foods cost at least 3 times more than its gluten-filled counterpart***

Tell me about it… I just bought 6 tortillas for $5 vs. $1.50 for 10 normal ones. 

18. In Europe, the government subsidizes the cost of gluten-free food***

I don’t want to talk politics….. I’m not asking for a handout.

19. Gluten is toxic to a celiac’s gut, wiping out the villi or “fingers” in the small intestine which grabs nutrients from our food. Without the villi celiacs are malnourished.

Being malnourished leads to a million other health problems….

20. Osteoporosis, migraines, sinus issues, cancer, liver disease are all health problems that can happen because of undiagnosed celiac disease**

I think this is the biggest cause of misdiagnosing.  Someone may have one of these other problems, but the root cause is celiac.

21. Eating gluten-free doesn’t have to be difficult. Basic diet: meat, potatoes, vegetables and fruit!

If you are an optimist… having celiac will turn you into one of the most healthy people you know(if you stick to the diet)

22. Tons of people “Tweet” about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet on Twitter.

Add me!  Switch2GF  There is a lot of GF discussion on Twitter.

23. Most gluten-free baked goods must be frozen or they will go bad in 2-3 days on the counter.

Oops, I better go put that cake in the fridge… it has been out for days.  

24. Going on a gluten-free diet before being tested for celiac disease will likely cause a negative outcome on either the blood test or the biopsy of the small intestine.

It was suspected that this is the reason my dad’s bloodwork came back negative.  They eventually figured out that his body did not produce whatever they test for.  An endoscopy is the sure way to be tested. 

25. Most mainstream rice and corn cereals aren’t gluten-free because manufacturers add barley malt to them.

Rice Chex recently switched to GF!

*Source: University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center Fact Sheet

**Source: University of Maryland Baltimore’s Center for Celiac Research

***Source: University of Virginia Health System

 

Thank you Amy for a great list.  This is a list is extremely helpful for teaching people about celiac.

Delight Gluten Free Magazine

Check out this amazing new magazine! Delight gluten free is a fun food & lifestyle magazine for people with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance and food allergies. It hosts delicious gourmet recipes and easy semihomemade as well. Don’t miss the Gluten-Free Meals on a Budget either. Whatever your food allergy you should be able to find something that fits your household, in their February issue they offer gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, soy-free and even some rice-free recipes. Not only that, this magazine has a travel section coming in May that will host lots of fun ideas and good advice for when you venture out on the road. Personal stories, inspiring articles on Autism, Q & A with the Doc are among the other features of this magazine.

Subscribe to Delight Magazine!

What is Celiac Disease? Great Videos!

This is the best, real-world explanation of Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance video that I have found.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck has Celiac and has recently released book about living gluten free!  I have always thought she was hot… on Survivor, a hardcore Republican, and now I find out she has Celiac!!!  She is moving up on my celebrity hot list!

3 Million people undiagnosed with Celiac!

Here is another short and sweet one I found:

Gluten Free Ingredients *Food Label Help*

This is the best list I have found and am currently living by:

Please let me know if anything is inaccurate or if it needs an addition.

Taken from Celiac.com

Unsafe Gluten Free Food List (Ingredients including Gluten):

This is the best list I have found and am currently living by:

Please let me know if anything is inaccurate or if it needs an addition.

Taken from Celiac.com

Unsafe Gluten Free Food List (Ingredients including Gluten):

Abyssinian Hard (Wheat triticum durum)
Alcohol (Spirits – Specific Types)
Amp-Isostearoyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Barley Grass (can contain seeds)
Barley Hordeum vulgare
Barley Malt
Beer
Bleached Flour
Blue Cheese (made with bread)
Bran
Bread Flour
Brewers Yeast
Brown Flour
Bulgur (Bulgar Wheat/Nuts)
Bulgur Wheat
Cereal Binding
Chilton
Club Wheat (Triticum aestivum subspecies compactum)
Common Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Couscous
Dextrimaltose
Disodium Wheatgermamido Peg-2 Sulfosuccinate
Durum wheat (Triticum durum)
Edible Starch
Einkorn (Triticum monococcum)
Emmer (Triticum dicoccon)
Farina
Farina Graham
Filler
Flour (normally this is wheat)
Fu (dried wheat gluten)
Germ
Graham Flour
Granary Flour
Groats (barley, wheat)
Hard Wheat
Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol
Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch
Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Kamut (Pasta wheat)
Malt
Malt Extract
Malt Syrup
Malt Flavoring
Malt Vinegar
Macha Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Matzo Semolina
Mir
Oriental Wheat (Triticum turanicum)
Pasta

Pearl Barley
Persian Wheat (Triticum carthlicum)
Poulard Wheat (Triticum turgidum)
Polish Wheat (Triticum polonicum)
Rice Malt (if barley or Koji are used)
Rye
Seitan
Semolina
Semolina Triticum
Shot Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Small Spelt
Spirits (Specific Types)
Spelt (Triticum spelta)
Sprouted Wheat or Barley
Stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Strong Flour
Suet in Packets
Tabbouleh
Teriyaki Sauce
Textured Vegetable Protein – TVP
Timopheevi Wheat (Triticum timopheevii)
Triticale X triticosecale
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Flour Lipids
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil
Udon (wheat noodles)
Unbleached Flour
Vavilovi Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Vegetable Starch
Wheat, Abyssinian Hard triticum durum
Wheat amino acids
Wheat Bran Extract
Wheat, Bulgur
Wheat Durum Triticum
Wheat Germ Extract
Wheat Germ Glycerides
Wheat Germ Oil
Wheat Germamidopropyldimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Wheat Grass (can contain seeds)
Wheat Nuts
Wheat Protein
Wheat Triticum aestivum
Wheat Triticum Monococcum
Wheat (Triticum Vulgare) Bran Extract
Whole-Meal Flour
Wild Einkorn (Triticum boeotictim)
Wild Emmer (Triticum dicoccoides)

The following items may or may not contain gluten depending on where and how they are made, and it is sometimes necessary to check with the manufacturer to find out:

Artificial Color4
Caramel Color1, 3
Coloring4
Dextrins1,7
Flavoring6
Food Starch1, 4
Glucose Syrup4
Gravy Cubes4
Ground Spices4
Maltodextrin1, 8
Maltose4
Miso4
Modified Food Starch1, 4
Modified Starch1, 4
Monosodium Glutimate (MSG)1, 4
Mustard Powder 4
Natural Flavoring6
Shoyu (soy sauce)4
Smoke Flavoring4
Soba Noodles4
Soy Sauce4
Starch1, 4
Stock Cubes4
Vitamins4
Wheat Starch5

  • 1) If this ingredient is made in North America it is likely to be gluten-free.
  • 3) The problem with caramel color is it may or may not contain gluten depending on how it is manufactured. In the USA caramel color must conform with the FDA standard of identity from 21CFR CH.1. This statute says: the color additive caramel is the dark-brown liquid or solid material resulting from the carefully controlled heat treatment of the following food-grade carbohydrates: Dextrose (corn sugar), invert sugar, lactose (milk sugar), malt syrup (usually from barley malt), molasses (from cane), starch hydrolysates and fractions thereof (can include wheat), sucrose (cane or beet). Also, acids, alkalis and salts are listed as additives which may be employed to assist the caramelization process.
  • 4) Can utilize a gluten-containing grain or by-product in the manufacturing process, or as an ingredient.
  • 5) Most celiac organizations in the USA and Canada do not believe that wheat starch is safe for celiacs. In Europe, however, Codex Alimentarius Quality wheat starch is considered acceptable in the celiac diet by most doctors and celiac organizations. This is a higher quality of wheat starch than is generally available in the USA or Canada.
  • 6) According to 21 C.F.R. S 101,22(a)(3): [t]he terns natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof. Whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.
  • 7) Dextrin is an incompletely hydrolyzed starch. It is prepared by dry heating corn, waxy maize, waxy milo, potato, arrowroot, WHEAT, rice, tapioca, or sago starches, or by dry heating the starches after: (1) Treatment with safe and suitable alkalis, acids, or pH control agents and (2) drying the acid or alkali treated starch. (1) Therefore, unless you know the source, you must avoid dextrin.

    May 1997 Sprue-Nik News.
    (1) Federal Register (4-1-96 Edition) 21CFR Ch.1, Section 184.12277.
    (2) Federal Register (4-1-96) 21 CFR. Ch.1, Section 184.1444

  • 8) Maltodextrin is prepared as a white powder or concentrated solution by partial hydrolysis of corn starch or potato starch with safe and suitable acids and enzymes. (1) Maltodextrin, when listed on food sold in the USA, must be (per FDA regulation) made from corn or potato. This rule does NOT apply to vitamin or mineral supplements and medications. (2) Donald Kasarda Ph.D., a research chemist specializing on grain proteins, of the United States Department of Agriculture, found that all maltodextrins in the USA are made from corn starch, using enzymes that are NOT derived from wheat, rye, barley, or oats. On that basis he believes that celiacs need not be too concerned about maltodextrins, though he cautions that there is no guarantee that a manufacturer wont change their process to use wheat starch or a gluten-based enzyme in the future. (3) – May 1997 Sprue-Nik News
    1. Federal Register (4-1-96) 21 CFR. Ch.1, Section 184.1444
    2.Additives Alert, an information sheet from the Greater Philadelphia Celiac Support Group, updated early in 1997. This specific information comes from Nancy Patin Falini, the dietitian advisor for the group and a speaker at a national celiac conferences in the past few years.
    3. From the CELLIAC Listserv archives, on the Internet, Donald D. Kasarda, posted November 6, 1996.