Thursday, October 27, 2011

Safe (and gluten-free) Halloween Candy

Gluten–Free Halloween Candy and Treats

3 Musketeers fun size
3 Musketeers Mint with dark chocolate

Act II Popcorn Balls
Almond Joy fun size bars
Annie's Organic Bunny Fruit snacks
Applehead, Grapehead, Cherryhead

Baby Ruth original and fun size
Bazooka Big Mix (includes bubble gum, bubble gum filled candy, candy chews, and bubble gum filled lollipops)
Betty Crocker Fruit by the Foot Wicked Webs Berry Wave mini feet
Betty Crocker Halloween fruit flavored snacks, including Fruit Gushers, Fruit Roll–ups, and Mini Rolls
Butterfinger original and fun size
Big Blow bubblegum
Black Forest Gummy Tarantulas
Black Forest Gummy Fun Bugs Juicy Oozers

Caramel Apple Pops - made by Tootsie Roll
Charleston Chew original and fun size
Charms Blow Pops and Blow Pop Minis (may contain milk or soy)
Charms Candy Carnival Package  – Blow Pops, Sugar Babies, Zip a Dee mini pops, Sugar Daddy, Pops, Sugar Mama Caramel, Tear Jerkers sour bubble gum, Blow Pop Bubble Gum (may contain milk or soy)
Charms Fluffy Stuff Spider Web cotton candy
Chewy Atomic Fireballs
Chewy Lemonheads and Friends
Comix Mix Candy Sticks – Tom and Jerry, Flintstones, Scooby Doo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Popeye
Cracker Jack caramel coated popcorn and peanuts

Dove pieces – Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate, Caramel Milk Chocolate
Dots Gumdrops – including Candy Corn Dots, Ghost Dots, and Bat Dots
Dubble Bubble bubblegum – may include milk or soy
Dum Dum Lollipops - including Shrek Pops (no peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat or gluten. Manufactured on dedicated equipment.)
Dum Dum Chewy Pops (no peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat or gluten. Manufactured on dedicated equipment)

Farley’s Kiddie Mix - Smarties, SweetTarts, Now and Later, Jaw Breakers, Super Bubble and Lolli-pops
Ferrara Pan Caramels (may contain milk or soy. Distributed in a facility where peanuts and tree nuts are used to make other products)
Ferrara Pan Lemonhead & Friends candy mix – including Applehead, Cherryhead,  Grapehead, Chewy Lemonhead & Friends, Chewy Atomic Fireball, and Red Hots
Florida’s Natural Healthy Treats Nuggets, Sour String, Fruit Stiks
Fright Fingers Popcorn Kit
Fun Dip
Fun Dip Sour

Heath milk chocolate English toffee bar and snack size (does contain almonds)
Hershey’s Bliss - Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate with Almonds, Milk Chocolate with Meltaway Center, White Chocolate with Meltaway Center, Milk Chocolate with Raspberry Meltaway Center, Dark Chocolate
Hershey’s Kisses - Candy Corn flavored candy, Caramel, Caramel Apple flavored filling, Milk Chocolate, Chocolate Meltaway, Pumpkin Spice, Hugs, Hugs & Kisses, Cherry Cordial Creme, Milk Chocolate with Almonds, Special Dark
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars and snack-size bars
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds snack-size bars
Hot Tamales (dairy-free too)

Jelly Belly beans (dairy–free too)
Jolly Rancher hard candy and Doubles Candy
Jolly Rancher Hard Candy Stix, Lollipops and Fruit Chews
Jr. Mints fun size (may contain eggs)
Jujifruits (dairy-free too)
Just Born marshmallow treats

Kellogg’s Spongebob Squarepants fruit flavored snacks

LifeSavers Gummies including Big Ring Gummies, Sweet ‘n’ Sour, and Scary Assortment

M&M’s (original, peanut, peanut butter)
Mars M&M's – except pretzel M&M's
Mars Dove chocolate products
Mars Munch Nut bar
Mars Snickers, Snickers Dark bars, fun size and mini’s (may contain almonds)
Mallo Cup
Marvel Heroes Candy Sticks (Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine)
Melster Peanut Butter Kisses
Milk Duds
Mike and Ike
Mini Mentos
Mini Sour Dudes Straws
Mounds dark chocolate fun size bars (made on equipment that processes almonds, in a facility that processes peanuts)
Mr. Goodbar  (does contain peanuts)

Necco’s Sky Bar 4 in 1 chocolate bar
Necco Wafers
Necco Mary Janes
Necco Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses (does contain peanuts)
Necco Canada Mint & Wintergreen Lozenges
Necco Haviland Thin Mints and Candy Stix
Necco Clark Bars
Necco Skybars
Necco Haviland Peppermint & Wintergreen Patties
Necco Candy Eggs
Necco Ultramints
Nestle Milk Chocolate fun size bars
Nestle Baby Ruth
Nestle Bit–O–Honey
Nestle Butterfinger - NOT Butterfinger Crisp or Butterfinger Stixx
Nestle Goobers (does contain peanuts)
Nestle Nips (both regular and sugar–free)
Nestle Oh Henry!
Nestle Raisinets (made on equipment that processes peanuts)
Nestle Sno–Caps
Nestle Wonka Pixy Stix
Nestle Wonka Laffy Taffy
Nestle Wonka Lik–M–Aid Fun Dip
Nestle Wonka Spree
Nik-L-Nip wax bottles with juice
Now and Later

Palmer Peanut Butter Cups (does contain peanuts)
Pay Day peanut caramel bar snack size
Peanut M&M’s
Pearson’s Bun candy –  maple and roasted peanuts
Pearson’s Mint Patties,
Pez candy – “Gluten Free”
Pop Rocks
Pixie Stix

Rain Blo Bubble Gum Eyes of Terror
Razzles candy gum
Red Hots
Reese’s Fast Break candy bars and snack size
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups snack size and miniatures
Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins
Reese’s Pieces
Reese’s Select Peanut Butter Cremes
Reese’s Select Clusters
Reese’s Whipps
Rolo chocolate covered caramels

Skeleton Pops (lollipops)
Skittles includes Original, Sour, Wild Berry, Fizzl’d Fruits, and Crazy Core, including fun-size
Smarties - the small pastel–colored candies sold in rolls, not Nestle’s chocolate version (Contains NO: gluten, milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, or soy)
Snickers Fudge bar
Sour Patch
Starburst Fruit Chews and fun-size
Starburst Gummibursts and Sour Gummibursts – “Gluten Free”
Sugar Babies
Sugar Daddy Caramel Pops
Super Bubble bubble gum
Swedish Fish
Sweethearts conversation hearts Forbidden Fruits (candy packaging of The Twilight Saga, New Moon the movie)
Sweet’s Candy Corn Taffy

Tootsie Pops – original and mini
Tootsie Rolls Midgies and snack bars

Warheads – Extreme Sour hard candy and Sour QBZ chewy cubes
Wonka Bottlecaps
Wonka Chocolate Laffy Taffy
Wonka Giant Chewy Nerds Jelly Beans
Wonka Giant Pixy Stix
Wonka Gobstopper Everlasting
Wonka Gobstopper Chewy
Wonka Laffy Taffy Ropes
Wonka Mix–Ups
Wonka Monster Mix–Ups – SweetTarts Skulls and Bones, Spooky Nerds, Howlin’ Laffy Taffy
Wonka Nerds (carry a cross contamination warning on the Spooky Nerds orange and fruit punch flavors)
Wonka Pixy Stix
Wonka Runts
Wonka Runts Chewy
Wonka SweetTarts
Wonka Sweetarts (regular)
Wonka Sweetarts Chew
Wonka Sweetarts Giant Chewy
Wonka Sweetarts Mini Chew
Wonka Sweetarts Chewy Twists
Wonka Sweetarts Shockers
Wonka Tart N Tinys,
Wonka Tart N Tinys Chew
Wonka SweetTarts Boo Bag Mix (SweetTart Chews OK, but other packages had a cross–contamination warning!)

York Peppermint Patties Pumpkins
With all these selections, finding some good, gluten–free candy should be a snap. As always, be sure to read labels, as some ingredients can vary. 

Airheads Xtremes Rolls contains wheat flour
Rocky Road – contains barley malt and wheat flour
All Brach's candy should be considered NOT gluten–free
Kit Kat – contains wheat
Reese's Minis
Twizzlers – contains wheat
Whoppers –  contains barley malt and wheat flour
Milky Way –  contains barley malt
Twix –  contains wheat
Butterfinger Crisp or Butterfinger Stixx  –  contains wheat flour
Crunch –  contains barley malt, “made on equipment that also processes wheat.”
Hundred Grand Bar –  contains barley malt, “made on equipment that also processes wheat.”
Wonka Oompas and the Wonka Bar are NOT gluten–free.
RUSSELL STOVER'S – Products have been produced on shared equipment with peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and wheat.
Sweetarts Gummy Bugs –  contains wheat/gluten
Sweetarts Rope –  contains wheat/gluten
Wonka Bar

A more comprehensive list of unsafe candies for Halloween can be found at
Here is a partial list of major candy manufacturers and how to contact them:
Hershey's – 800–468–1714
Jelly Belly – 800–522–3267
Just Born – 888–645–3453
Mars Chocolate – 800–627–7852
Necco – 781–485–4800
Nestle USA – 800–225–2270
Pearson's – 800–328–6507
Tootsie Roll – 773–838–3400

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WebMD Slideshow on Celiac Disease

This is a really great visual guide to help people understand the basics of Celiac Disease. If you, or a loved one, has any questions this is a really good place to start. I am a visual learner so I can appreciate the way this guide instructs its viewers.


A Visual Guide to Celiac Disease:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gluten-free Living Now Expo Carmel, Indiana

This past month, I was honored to participate in the Gluten-Free Living Now Expo in Carmel, Indiana. Gluten Free Living Now, Ltd. is the work of a gluten intolerant nurse, Shelia, and a mother of a Celiac child, Tina. They shared similar struggles and challenges and from these trials a passion was created. These two women came together to build a non-profit organization with a mission to build, support, and enhance the gluten-free community.  This passion led to an organization that provides lifestyle advice, food for low income families in need for gluten-free items, educational resources and a future goal of a gluten-free camp for kids! This Expo was an accumulation of all their work since the inception of their organization and it was the largest gluten-free event in Indiana to date!
 I had an amazing time speaking with all those who visited! I even had the opportunity to use that expensive master's degree in nursing I paid for and give lectures. One was "How to Make Your Household Gluten-free" and the other was "Autoimmune Diseases and Other Conditions Associated with Celiac Disease". 

I had a blast meeting everyone and I was lucky enough to be able to spend time with the amazing people from the Center for Celiac Research. They let me hang with them at their table and I was honored. Their group and their lead physician, Dr. Fasano, have done more in the field of Celiac Disease than any other organization. Dr. Fasano and his team were the ones who discovered the blood test for gluten testing (among many other amazing things)! Currently they are partnering with the Autistic research community to see how a gluten-free and casein-free diet would help children affected with the disorder.
Dr. Fasano during one of his lectures at the Expo
I also was lucky enough to watch him interview at Channel 8 as well! He has a great team surrounding him and I was blessed to have the opportunity to tag along with them! For more information on their great work visit
Dr. Fasano speaking on the connection between Celiac Disease and Autism
 I was also to meet a few amazing women who are heroes in their own right in the gluten-free world. Ann Whelan, creator and editor of the first Gluten-free magazine, Gluten-free Living Magazine. Ann, was diagnosed with Celiac disease 18 years ago. She received a Master's in journalism from Temple University and a BA in English literature from Hunter College. Ann brings together her first-hand knowledge of Celiac disease and extensive experience in journalism and publishing. She has worked for health-related magazines, helping to launch five publications before she founded Gluten-Free Living. Ann's magazine was the first one I found when I was diagnosed and it is people like her who have already created an easier path to travel in dealing with Celiac Disease. Gluten-Free Living Magazine is a leader in providing practical, reliable information about the gluten-free diet.
Ann Whelan and Chef Rob talking at the Expo
I was also honored to meet Sueson Vess. Sueson has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and  has other food allergies as well. She created her company, Special Eats to assist others on the healthy path toward embracing gluten and dairy free living.  She is an amazing cook and has many cookbooks that she has worked on to ease the struggle of those dealing with multiple food intolerances. Sueson was kind enough to offer me a copy of her fabulous book, Gluten-free and Dairy-free Cooking.
 My favorite part of the whole experience though? The amazing memories I will cherish as I continue to raise awareness for Celiac Disease!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October Product of the month

After coming back from the Gluten-free Living Now Expo in Carmel, Indiana, I couldn't get this one product off my mind - or out of my mouth! Deborah Kaye's vendor at the Expo was kind enough to give me a box of her cookies. They looked like granola bars in a round shape but they taste so much better than any granola bar I have every tasted! Not only are they gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free but they are free of refined sugars. Each cookie is handmade, without flour, and only organic ingredients are used. The recipe has been in Deborah Kaye's family for three generations.
There are three flavors to choose from: oatmeal walnut, oatmeal raisin, and oatmeal chocolate pecan!
Visit her at

Friday, October 14, 2011

CDF Anchorage Gluten-free Support Group Meeting

The Anchorage Gluten-free Support group meets next Thursday 10/20/2011
Please join us from 6-8pm at Natural Pantry on Old Seward Highway in the University Center. I will be bringing along some information and food products from the Gluten-free Living Now Expo!
For more information please feel free to e-mail me at
I look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Got food allergies?

Having to be on a gluten-free diet can be tough. If you're like me though, having multiple food allergies can be a daily struggle. When I was first diagnosed and my sisters went through testing, we discovered my older sister has an allergy to eggs as well. In my parents home, that eliminates 4 major food items. Soy is found in 60% of packaged food in the United States. That leaves 40% to be made with gluten, dairy, or soy. It has taken me (and my family) awhile to adopt to not only avoiding gluten but our other allergies.  That's why when I found Allergy Chefs, Inc., I was incredibly excited.
Joel and Mary Schaefer have 40 years of combined experience in the food industry  This website is a great resource for people with multiple allergies. They have mastered the technique of avoiding using the top 8 food allergens in their cooking. Not only are the recipes nutritious and well balanced, they are absolutely delicious as well!

 Check out their sweet potato pancakes. Of course, I substitute the soy milk with almond milk!

Interesting fact about Chef Joel? He specializes in culinary education and product development for food allergies and special diets was the Culinary Development and Special Dietary Needs Manager at Walt Disney World.  In that role, he spearheaded Disney World’s food allergy initiatives, ensuring that all of their restaurants could better accommodate food-allergic guests at the park.  Throughout his career, from Disney to his current position at Allergy Chefs, Chef Joel has made it his mission to educate the food service industry about food allergies.

Monday, October 3, 2011

517th Spouses Flight

     I may be a little biased, but I think my husband is the most amazing man in the world. Not only did he stick with me during such a trailing time in my illness but he decided I was worth keep and married me! ;) All kidding aside, I am proud to be his wife. Recently, he directed an event with his squadron that was a way of honoring all the wives.
     Every year the 517th squadron gathers all the wives together and gives them a ride in a C-17 and a really scenic tour of Alaska. This would normally cost thousands of dollars but the men volunteer their time and fill out paperwork that allows us to see a view of Alaska few have ever seen in person. This was my second year to take part in the experience.
     All the wives were asked to wear warm clothing, closed toed shoes, and their husbands green flight jackets. John had the idea to order the wives name tags so they could put them on the jacket and take pictures. It reminded me of being in High school when your wear your boyfriend's letter jacket so everyone knows who you're dating. I loved it! John even get me my own name tag. I must say that being Mrs. Wendler is probably the best title I have earned to date! ;)

The C-17 is used for rapid strategic airlift of troops and cargo to main operating bases or forward operating bases around the world. It can also perform tactical airlift, medical evacuations, and airdrop missions. We all loaded up into the back of the plane and got ready for take off. The most amazing thing about a C-17 is that the back hatch can open in flight. This lends itself to some amazing views!

It gets a little chilly though when the back hatch so when they closed it we had the opportunity to wander around a little. The C-17 is 174 feet (53 m) long and has a wingspan of about 170 feet (52 m). It can airlift cargo fairly close to a battle area. The size and weight of U.S. mechanized firepower and equipment have grown in recent decades from increased air mobility requirements, particularly for large or heavy non-palletized outside cargo.

All the ladies were given the opportunity to visit the cockpit as well. The C-17 is powered by four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofan engines. Each engine is capable of fully reversing. The C-17 is designed to operate from runways as short as 3,500 ft and as narrow as 90 ft (27 m). In addition, the C-17 can operate from unpaved, unimproved runways. The thrust reversers can be used to back the aircraft and reverse direction on narrow taxiways using a three- (or more) point turn.

Overall, it was an amazing experience and one I am sure many of us wives will cherish for a long time. I am so blessed to be married to such and amazing man and I cherish everyday we are together.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Recipe of the Month

As soon as the first day of fall arrived, my husband practically dove into our basement storage area to pull out the decorations. I have to admit, I like the way they look with our furniture but I still prefer summer if I had to pick a season. He even dragged me to the fall decorations in Target the last time we were there shopping. The picture to the left is a wonderful decoration my husband and I picked up at the Arctic Bazaar.
The next item that my husband always asks for is Pumpkin Muffins. When I made this back in Georgia, my little sister thought they were like manna from heaven. My mother, older sister, and I would be lucky if they last more than two days. I even caught her one time taking a bunch to school to stash them in her locker there! I can't blame her though - in our family, once you find something you like (and you're not allergic too) it goes quickly!

My sisters and I a few years ago in Georgia.
So, for October, the recipe I love is from Elana Amsterdam of Elana's Pantry I roast a small pumpkin to make this recipe and I just love the pumpkin smell! It reminds me of taking my sisters to the pumpkin patch to pick out our gourds for carving! Canned pumpkin works just as well though.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Muffins
1 ½ cups blanched almond flour (not Bob's Red Mill)
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch ground cloves
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
½ cup agave nectar
2 large eggs
1 cup fresh baked pumpkin (or winter squash), well packed 
  1. In a large bowl combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves
  2. In a mixer puree oil, agave, eggs and pumpkin until smooth
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry
  4. Place paper liners in muffin pan
  5. Scoop batter into paper liners
  6. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes
  7. Cool for 2-3 hours
  8. Serve - Makes 8 muffins