Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Company ImmusanT Working on Celiac Disease Vaccine, Diagnostics

A lot of science-talk below...moral of the least another company is trying! The more the merrier :)

New start-up company ImmusanT says it plans to develop a vaccine for celiac disease along with companion diagnostic and monitoring tools for the condition.

The Cambridge, Mass., company just completed the acquisition of immunotherapy technology from Melbourne, Australia-based Nexpep Pty., Ltd., and has secured seed financing from angel investors to study the technology's potential applications in celiac.

Ultimately, ImmusanT wants to restore celiacs' tolerance to gluten through a vaccine. The company's product pipeline includes Nexvax2, a vaccine with three proprietary peptides that elicit an immune response in celiac patients who carry DQ2, the most common of the celiac disease genes.

The Nexvax2 vaccine underwent Phase 1 safety testing last year, and the vaccine is ready to advance to a Phase 2a clinical trial, which should begin in the next 12 months, the company said. ImmusanT will report data from the Phase 1 study at the Digestive Disease Week meeting in May, the company said.

Nexvax2, which is delivered in the skin in small doses, reprograms and desensitizes the immune system cells responsible for villous atrophy in celiac disease. The company says the approach is similar to treatments for allergies to cats, ragweed or dust mites, in which doctors use repeated small doses of a vaccine to stop the body from reacting to that allergen.

ImmusanT also said it has a deal with INOVA Diagnostics to develop improved blood diagnostic screening tests for celiac disease.

Near term, the company's focus is celiac disease, said President and CEO Leslie Williams in a statement. However, eventually ImmusanT hopes to use its technology to treat other conditions, such as type 1 diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome, she said.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Best "Unsafe Ingredients" List

This list is great because it goes ahead and gives explanations for the "could contain gluten" ingredients that are listed if you scroll down. This is very important because even things you wouldn't assume (caramel color) can contain gluten.

It's a great reference to book mark!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Off the Menu: The Oasis

I am a boat owner and every winter I wait, and wait, and wait for it to get warm outside so the season will begin! However, it is a LONG day out on the boat so we normally stop for a bite to eat...enter gluten-free diet. So, for the next few posts I hope to provide menu listings from the Lake Travis restaurants so that this summer will be the best one yet (and I won't starve out there!).

I received the following list from Lauren at the Oasis, not too bad!

Shrimp Diablo w/o rice
Lettuce Wraps
House Salad w/o croutons
Fajitas w/o tortillas
Pollo Ranchero
Charro or Black Beans
Ahi Tuna
Tilapia Del Mar w/o rice
Rellano w/o ricegrilled steak
grilled chicken
grilled shrimp
Burger w/o bun
Dessert- Miles of Chocolate
If you have any further questions please call 512-266-2442. See you soon!
Luckily paired with fun tunes and a lot of room we're already regulars with the Oasis, but this helps!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

First Gluten-Free TV Commercial I've Ever Seen...

Chex cereal has made it official that all of their cereals are gluten-free, and great. I've seen them in the stores with the new labeling, etc. but now there is a commercial that discusses it on regularly scheduled programming!! This is huge for awareness:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Randalls Begin New Shelf Labeling for Gluten Free Products

Safeway/Randalls/Vons Begin New Shelf Labeling for Gluten Free Products

February 21, 2011 by Nancy  
Filed under News

Safeway, Inc. announces it’s SimpleNutrition program which will make it easier for shoppers to identify 21 different product categories such as gluten free, organic, and vegan at all Safeway, Randalls, Carrs, and Vons stores. SimpleNutrition is not intended to replace information on the label of the products, but can make it simpler to identify specific categories that might interest the shopper.

I went into my local Safeway today, which has added several gluten free sections, many more gluten free products, and a freezer with Gluten Free French Meadow Bakery items in recent months. Their new labels were in place and easy to find even though the SimpleNutrition program was only announced this week. The photos you see here are from that store. There were gluten free banners, hanging tags, tags that stuck out and tapes behind the price tags. Although not all gluten free products were marked, for instance Frito Lay chips, many, many tags were scattered throughout the store in addition to the gluten free sections.

Most Safeways also have a gluten free list at the customer service department which includes food items, store brands and drug items that are gluten free.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Off the Menu: HopDoddy

Today for Friday lunch with the crew we went to HopDoddy ( It is a new burger bar here in Austin, with a cocktail area as well. You walk up and order then are served at your table - it's a fancier version of Mighty Fine.

Recently we called ahead regarding gluten-free items and they let us know that they now have gluten-free hamburger buns and that their fries and burgers are gluten-free! It's been a couple hours now so I am certain that they weren't making it up :)

The items that they told me were NOT gluten-free is obviously the buns, but also the mayonnaise. As far as the sauces I didn't ask about each one - but at least we know the meats are legit!

Classic Burger - lettuce, onion and tomato, w/choice of cheese, bacon or buffalo
Magic Shroom - goat cheese, mushrooms, basil pesto
llano Polano - pepper jack cheese, poblano chiles and bacon
The Goodnight - tillamook cheddar, BBQ sauce
Terlingua - chile con carne, corn fritos and tillamook cheddar
Buffalo Bill - can't have due to blue cheese
Greek - lamb, feta, arugula, pickled red onions, cucumber and tzatziki sauce (? not sure of content)
Continental Club - turkey, provolone, bacon, arugula and basil pesto
Ahi Tuna Burger - multiple gluten-containing ingredients
Janis Joplin - veggie burger - gluten-containing ingredients

Again, they have salads which are pretty straight forward and some versions of french fries - but you need to stick with the plain since they are naturally gluten-free.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Off the Menu: Treasure Island, Las Vegas

Well, we are headed off to Vegas for Memorial Day weekend...and the only caveat I had for agreeing to go was that my friends help find gluten-free dining options. I started some research on my own and since we are staying at TI, was crossing my fingers that they would respond and here are the options, AWESOME:

BBQ Station
Baked Beans
Sweet Potatoes
Pulled Pork
Smoked Trout
Roasted Turkey
Tennessee Whiskey BBQ
N. Carolina BBQ
Vegetable Medley
Baked Chicken
Smoked Spare Ribs
Mashed Potatoes
Beef Brisket
Scrambled Eggs
Corned Beef Hash

Asian Station

Soy Sauce
Thai Beef Salad
Kim Chi
Seaweed Salad
Bean Sprout Salad
Picked Veggie Salad
Greek Salad
Chinese Stir Fry Vegetables
Beef and Broccoli
Korean Ribs

Salad Station
Pico De Gallo
Fresh Cut Fruit
Crab Legs (Weekends)
Peel and Eat Shrimp (Weekends)
International Station
Pinto Beans
Fish with Mediterranean Sauce
Tuscan Vegetables
Fried Serrano Peppers
**Buffet has rainbow sherbet or fresh fruit.

(Upon Request)
Gluten free cake or cupcake.
Vanilla or choc or marble.


Eggs & Hash Browns
Corned Beef Hash& Eggs
N.Y. Steak & Eggs
Garden Omelet
Mushroom & Swiss Omelet
Healthy Omelet
Smoked Salmon
Fresh Fruit Plate
All Skillets (no toast)
Caprese salad
Shrimp Cocktail
Burger with out the bun
Grilled Ribeye
Garden Potato
Stuffed Philly Steak Potato


Queso Fundido with corn tortillas
Achiote chipotle wings
Green chili pork stew w/ corn tortillas
Chipotle BBQ chicken salad
Shrimp and avocado salad
All tacos (except Baja)
Cheese enchiladas
Chicken enchiladas
Beef Barbacoa enchiladas
Pork carnitas
Achiote Salmon (no Tamal)
Steak pyramid
All Iron skillet Fajitas with corn tortillas

Jalapeno Hamachi (no jalapeno chip)
Green Salad
All fish sashimi
All sides

Sweet potato fries
Gilley’s chili
Ct chili
Vegetarian chili
Pulled pork salad
Grand ole wedge salad
Caesar salad (without croutons)
Baby back ribs (no sauce)
Baby back ribs and chicken combo (no sauce)
Porter house steak
Flat iron
Delmonico steak
Mashed potatoes
Cole slaw
Baked beans
Potato salad
All burgers (without the bun)

Shrimp Cocktail
Icebox of the Sea
Diver Sea Scallops (no sauce)
Fresh Market Oysters
Mixed Field Greens (no croutons)
Steak House Onion Soup (no croutons)
The Prime Strip
Filet Mignon
Surf and Turf
House Dry Aged T-Bone
Cowboy Chop
42oz. Rib eye Chop
Butcher Cut Kobe Skewer
Filet of Ahi Tuna Arrabiatta
Roasted Chicken (no sauce)
Oven Roasted Salmon
Fresh Maine Lobster
Alaskan King Crab Legs
Australian Lobster Tail
Giant Baked Potato
Sautéed Wild Mushroom
Grilled Asparagus
Sauté of Broccoini
Grilled Veggie Platter

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

G-Free in Pittsburgh

This past weekend I went to visit my brother in Pittsburgh. I was so excited, but of course had the normal hesitations when it came to eating. We did some research beforehand, but still didn't have a great grasp on the options. Here's how it went:

Arrived Thursday - for dinner Dan made me a gluten-free buffalo chicken dip with corn tortillas, it was awesome

Friday -
We had lunch at Walnut Grill ( they don't have a g-free menu but were actually really helpful and the waitress knew what it meant. I got the Chicken Entree with very few substitutions necessary.

Dinner was a Typhoon ( and it was fantastic. Most of the menu could be made gluten-free, and some entrees didn't even need substitutions. I got a starter salad (had to get a different dressing) and then the chicken pad thai. Very highly recommended!

Saturday -
We were all about town on Friday so we ended up hitting Houlihans ( - everything with a "G"), mainly because it was the best option in Station Square. They had a huge g-free menu and I could eat the fries there! I had fries and the chicken salad with regular ranch but no croutons or bun (obviously).

Unfortunately Saturday I got sick, so I either got a little something at Houlihans or the wine (or glass) that we had at the restaurant or at a hill-top lounge later gave me a smidgen.

Saturday night we planned on celebrating my dad's birthday, they drove in from Cleveland! Unfortunately we didn't have a great plan. We went for drinks at The Church Brew Works ( it was one of the coolest restaurants I've been to, and when talking to a manager I found out that they have quite a few g-free options. That wasn't our plan though and I'm not a big meat fan (it was German themed) so we got some buffalo wings then headed to Plum ( Now this is not one of the places that popped up on any of our searches, but when we called they said they had a gluten-free menu.

Unfortunately, the gluten free menu was only a couple appetizers and salads (not my type either). So...I got upset and asked the waiter if they could adjust any entrees and was told no...with a few tears (I know embarrassing) the owner came over and said they could make something. I ended up with veggies with peanut sauce and a bowl of rice. Not the best meal...:(

Sunday -
We only really had time for a late breakfast/early lunch and went to a very local place called Oh Yeah ( - they had a gluten-free cinnamon waffle that was the best I've had so far. They had toppings, think Amy's Ice Cream but for waffles, and I got applesauce. It was fantastic.

Overall it was a great trip! I won't get into too many more non-food related details but we hit up the Carnegie Art and Natural Science museums and the Andy Warhol museum. We took the incline and went out in ShadySide. So much fun! Can't wait to go back in the summer.