Gluten Free Subscriber Giveaway

Since I am moving towards video blogs instead of text articles, I am trying to build my YouTube followers.

I have a lot of gluten free sample products laying around.  I am going to give them away to one of my YouTube Subscribers on March 15th, 2010.

Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel and leave a comment on this video.  I will randomly pick one subscriber to receive the gluten free “goodie-box” on March 15th.

Thank you!

Free Cheesecake Contest

How would you like a FREE gluten free cheesecake delivered to your door?  I have an easy way for that to happen!

The contest will run from February 1st to February 29th, 2010.  The winner will be announced on March 1st.

EARTH CAFE

If the word FREE didn’t get you excited enough, I’ll tell you a little about Earth Cafe’s cheesecakes:

You can also read my full review HERE from my order at Christmas.

  • Wheat Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • No refined sugars
  • No harmful oils or fat
  • Organic ingredients
  • Hand made
  • No cholesterol

If you are a cheesecake lover and want to go ahead and order a cheesecake, Earth Cafe has offered my readers a coupon code for 20% off:  S2GF

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THE CONTEST

This is so easy.  There are 4 independent ways to enter.  Even better- each way to enter is assigned a point value.  Each point is equal to one entry!  You can have up to 10 points/entries!

  1. Comment– 1 point:  Check out Earth Cafe’s website, then comment in this article below with your first name, city/state, how long you have been gluten free, and which flavor of cheesecake you would like to try.  Make sure to put your email in, acheter cialis, so I can be sure you don’t entered twice 🙂
  2. Tweet– 1 point:  Tweet this exact phrase:  @switch2GF I want a free #glutenfree cheesecake from @EarthCafe http://ow.ly/12sL9  You are allowed to tweet this once per week! (4 possible points!)
  3. Email– 2 points:  Email me, and I will email you back an email to forward to 3 of your gluten free friends.  You MUST copy mike@switch2glutenfree.com on that email so I can enter you into the contest.
  4. Blog/Website– 3 points:  Write a blog article linking to this contest or the original review of Earth Cafe Cheesecake, or just include a link to this contest or the review article on your website.  Make sure to email me to show your work!

So there you go!  Simple & Easy, just like you wanted!

I will track the entries in a spreadsheet.  Each entry will be assigned a different line and entry number.  On March 1st, I will use a random number generator to choose the winner.  The 2 runners-up will have their choice between a Gluten Free Awareness Wristband or a Gluten Free Bumper Sticker.

Email me if you have any questions.

Here are some photos to get you excited!

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Thank you to all who participated…

The Winner Is….

Gary Vaynerchuk Photo Contest

I know this isn’t really gluten relevant, but it is blog related. I follow and listen to Gary Vaynerchuk very closely. If you don’t know who he is, look hi… …just CLICK HERE.

A few days ago, the New York Times did a writeup on him, due to his upcoming book release.

Gary posed a contest to all of his followers, as follows:
“SO I Tweeted this an hour ago! Tomorrow I have a big profile in the NY Times and I had this idea. Anyone who buys the Times tomorrow and takes the most creative picture with the actual article in the picture and leaves a link to it under here will win a dinner with me in NYC in 2010, I will fly you in and put you up, get creative and pass it on!”
So, here are my submissions…

Vaynerchuk3

Vaynerchuk2

Vaynerchuk1

Buy GF Bumper Sticker, Win iPod

I love contests and giving away free things!

Purchase a Gluten Free Bumper Sticker and you will be entered to win an iPod.  We decided to use an increasing prize scale for this contest.  The more awareness that is spread, the more we have to give back to the gluten free community.  Each gluten free bumper sticker purchased gets you an entry into the drawing.  Buy them for your friends and family!

The prize starts at a 1GB iPod Shuffle, increases to a just released 4GB iPod Shuffle, and ends with an 8GB iPod Nano.  You will have your choice of color… but we recommend green!  If we so happen to go well beyond our modest goal, we will jump the prize to a new 13″ MacBook Pro.  So, help us reach the highest prize level by sharing the contest with all of your friends… and all those people on Twitter and Facebook that you call friends! Keep an eye on the progress bar below for a daily status update.

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Macbook.The contest will end on August 31st, 2009 and the winners will be chosen at random and announced on September 1st.  At each prize level, we reinvest the proceeds and buy a bigger prize, so the goal is spread as much gluten free awareness as possible.  There are still 3 million Americans undiagnosed!

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Bloggers, Tweeters & Facebook users: Please help spread awareness! We only have a limited amount of time for this contest.

Thank you!

Mike

Switch2glutenfree.com

Debra’s Story: Orchestrates the Meals

Here is Debra’s personal story via her answers to my list of gluten free questions for the Mary’s Gone Crackers contest.

1. What are your favorite restaurants? Are these different than before you followed the diet?
I’ve always liked different ethnic foods so many of the same restaurants are fine (e.g., Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Thai). I now also go to steakhouses since they tend to have the fewest dishes with gluten.

2. Are food industry workers knowledgeable about Celiac disease?
Not very many are but I always ask for recommendations from the chef and often the chef will even come out to ask about my meal.

3. Do you trust that the food you receive from restaurants/friends/family members is gluten free?
I trust restaurants more than friends, simply because I expect that chefs will have some knowledge of ingredients and what is and is not gluten free (although in a recent restaurant experience, the chef told me a dish contained soy sauce but it was gluten free so I asked him to check the ingredients on the soy sauce and he was surprised to see it contained wheat).

4. What were some things you believed about Celiac disease that have proven false?
I can’t think of any at the moment.

5. What precautions do you take when eating at family and friends’ houses?
I always go over ingredients in dishes with friends and do not eat dishes which might be questionable. At my parents house, we always cook gluten free and my sister and I orchestrate the meals to be sure that they are gluten free.

6. What is the biggest difficulty with having Celiac Disease?
Eating out with friends and family.

7. What are the foods you missed the most?
Pretzels and beer, especially dark beer.

8. Does your significant other/friends eat gluten free with you?
My husband has been wonderful and he went mostly gluten free at home from day one. The one exception was bread; we needed to find a bread he would like since he eats most of the bread in our house. Once we did that, our house is now only gluten free.

9. If you initially did not follow the gluten free diet. What made you change your mind?
I have followed it since I was officially diagnosed with celiac and felt better within 2 weeks.

10. Has Celiac Disease affected aspects of your life other than your diet and health?
Yes, I dislike always having to explain to coworkers, friends and family about celiac and what I can and cannot have. I would just like to go out and order whatever I wanted and not think about the ingredients.

11. Why did you start your blog? What are your goals with the blog?*
I don’t blog but I do tweet! (Follow Debra on Twitter)

12. What are the most common topics on the blog?*
I tend to tweet about exercise and food!

Amy’s Story: Doesn’t Lick The Glue

Here is Amy’s personal story via her answers to my list of gluten free questions for the Mary’s Gone Crackers contest.

What are your favorite restaurants? Are these different than before you followed the diet?

My favorite restaurants are ones that I know are very aware of the gluten-free diet.  I enjoy Maggiano’s because the chef always comes to your table and talks to you.  I also like P.F. Chang’s.


Are food industry workers knowledgeable about Celiac disease?

I think they are becoming more knowledgeable about the disease.  I always have questions regarding the menu when I go out to eat and it seems like more and more servers are aware of what items contain gluten, if they don’t know, they go and ask the chef.

Do you trust that the food you receive from restaurants/friends/family members is gluten free?

NO!  I can’t tell you how many times I have been out and have gotten sick from eating     food that was supposedly gluten-free.  My stomach is really sensitive to gluten so any little bit that I digest will affect me.


What were some things you believed about Celiac disease that have proven false?

The glue on envelopes contain gluten!  I still wonder about Modified Food Starch.  When I was first diagnosed with Celiac, I read that it does contain gluten, however now I understand that it does not.


What precautions do you take when eating at family and friends’ houses?

My friends and family do a great job accommodating my allergy.  I usually will call and find out what food will be served and if there is a lot that I can’t eat, then I will just bring my own food.


What is the biggest difficulty with having Celiac Disease?

This may sound silly but I get embarrassed a lot!  When we go out to eat with people I always get embarrassed when I have to question the serve about everything on the menu.   I also find traveling to be difficult.


What are the foods you missed the most?

Pizza and Bud Light
Does your significant other/friends eat gluten free with you?

My husband eats gluten-free at home.


If you initially did not follow the gluten free diet.  What made you change your mind?

I have always followed the diet!  I can’t live with the stomach pains!


Has Celiac Disease affected aspects of your life other than your diet and health?

Not really

Sarah’s Story: Has A Snack Ready

Here is Sarah’s personal story via her answers to my list of gluten free questions for the Mary’s Gone Crackers contest.

Hi Mike,

I found your blog and the contest via Twitter. I really like your approach, and can appreciate the guts it takes to go GF when you don’t have terribly severe symptoms. Here is my interview entry for your contest!

What are your favorite restaurants?

Are these different than before you followed the diet? Back when I was only lactose-intolerant, Asian food was my standby since they use very little dairy. Now that soy sauce is a no-no, I’ve had to rethink my strategies. Big Bowl’s menu is mostly off-limits to me now, but they will make your Pad Thai with GF sauce if you ask.  I always love Panera, Qdoba, or Chipotle.

Are food industry workers knowledgeable about Celiac disease?

Usually not. The average waitstaff will not have a clue when you say “gluten” or “celiac.” Chefs, on the other hand, are more well-informed. When I asked about sauce ingredients at a Disney hotel a few years ago, the chef even brought me GF rolls!

What were some things you believed about Celiac disease that have proven false?
That the diet would be unbearable, or help me to lose weight.

What precautions do you take when eating at family and friends’ houses?

Ask about the menu beforehand. Be positive when you explain your diet. Eg. “I can’t have pasta, bread, etc, but I CAN eat rice, potatoes, corn, plain vegetables, etc.” Bring a GF side dish if appropriate. Don’t eat anything you aren’t sure of. Have a snack ready in case you leave hungry.

What is the biggest difficulty with having Celiac Disease?

The lack of convenience foods. Sandwiches and pizza are universal, but now useless to me. Eating requires way more awareness and planning ahead. I can’t just dive into whatever food is close at hand.

What are the foods you missed the most?

A big gooey pizza slice, or fluffy, crusty bread to dip in olive oil. I don’t miss them too much, and there are alternatives available for pretty much anything.

If you initially did not follow the gluten free diet.  What made you change your mind?

Crippling digestive pain and *ahem* problems that would attack for no apparent reason. I thought my lactose intolerance was under control, but I was still miserable. After a blood test, my doctor convinced me to try going full GF, not just “avoiding bread” like I thought it would entail. My symptoms stopped, and I’ve never looked back.

Why did you start your blog?  What are your goals with the blog?*

I started a blog (sojournstlouis.blogspot.com) to document my Americorps service year. Eating GF on a small volunteer stipend is an added challenge, so I blog about it occasionally. I’ve found celiac support in interesting places. One of my co-workers is an amazing GF baker.

Thanks,
Sarah LaVigne
St. Louis, MO

Laurie’s Story: Avoids Chains Like The Plague

Here is Laurie’s personal story via answers to my list of gluten free questions for the Mary’s Gone Crackers contest.

What are your favorite restaurants? Are these different than before you followed the diet?
We tend to eat at the same independent neighborhood eateries. I have avoided chains like the plague, but I am encouraged by the thought of GF menus in more “big name” places.

Are food industry workers knowledgeable about Celiac disease?

No. Nope, and just plain “not even close”. The staff at any restaurant turns over too fast for there to be any lasting impact on training. Lanuguage barriers are most often the problem.

Do you trust that the food you receive from restaurants/friends/family members is gluten free?
Not really, given that I have told them that I can’t have anything with “wheat” and they sub “spelt” noodles (which are wheat), or think by giving me white bread, it is then transformed from “wheat bread” … it’s all very disheartening. Making the gravy with “flour” doesn’t make it less of a wheat product for me.. it’s still just as toxic.

What were some things you believed about Celiac disease that have proven false?
That I can live day to day without gluten.

What precautions do you take when eating at family and friends’ houses?
Absolutely bring and prepare separate food. No question. Do not trust that they even begin to understand cross contact. Make or bring your own food. It’s not worth being sick just to be polite.

What is the biggest difficulty with having Celiac Disease?
Systemic reactions to wheat, rye, barley, oats or sorghum or any other grain product that was ever stored in the same grain bin as wheat or grown in rotation the year after wheat was grown in that field, or hauled in the same truck. It goes way beyond intolerance to wheat.
20PPM is still too much for me.

What are the foods you missed the most?
I have found my way to GF versions of everything.

Does your significant other/friends eat gluten free with you?
No. He insists on his daily ration of gluten. Why, I have no idea other than he thinks he is entitled to it in some way.

If you initially did not follow the gluten free diet.  What made you change your mind?
Initially I was told to eat “wheat free”… but not gluten free. I was sicker than ever.
Serious health consequences resulting from doctor lack of advice, knowledge, guidence in anything “gluten free”. They continue to tell me they know nothing about how to live gluten free… even prescribing medications that have wheat as an ingredient. They are clueless.

Has Celiac Disease affected aspects of your life other than your diet and health?
not really