Gluten Free Pregnancy: Excellent NYTimes Opinion Piece

I read so many studies about Celiac Disease, the right approach, what I could actually do to possibly affect my daughter’s genetic plight when I was planning her arrival.

It was daunting.

And in some ways depressing. It felt like this is the best thing we know right now. Period. And that thing they know — essentially breast feed and introduce wheat at 4 months – feels very wobbly. Like your eggs are in one basket of today’s thinking about this problem.

The author of this piece dives in deep and fills in the gaps that felt so important when I was on the road to becoming a celiac mother – its a must read.

The most important tidbits:

“American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that infants start consuming gluten while still breast-feeding.

“Not all breast milk is the same. It varies according to diet and other factors. One study found that milk from overweight mothers had fewer of those bifidobacteria than milk from thinner mothers. Another observed that breast milk from farming mothers, who inhabit a microbially enriched environment, carried more anti-inflammatory proteins compared with urban mothers’ milk.”


Gluten Free Mama: Newborn Travel Tips

Sedona Arizona - Coffee Pot Rock from Airport MesaSedona, AZ is best known for its red rocks and its vortexes. Its an amazing place. I am grateful to return again…but this time it will be different. Little Ava will be with me.

My goal when I head there next week is to open up to the calm. If I don’t plan well this will be impossible.

When I had Ava so many people told me about how my life was going to change travel wise – “you will have to slow down” or “you will never be able to take a long haul flight while she is young.”

These people don’t know me very well. They haven’t seen my passport. They haven’t been over to my house to see the wall of travel books. They don’t understand who I am deep in my heart.

So at 8 weeks, Ms. Ava is off! We are doing the AZ trip as a practice run to the next trip we take: heading to Italy in December. I am in preparation mode trying to eliminate every possible variable that I can control so when the unexpected shows up I am not exhausted by everything else.

Here is what I have figured out so far.

Renting vs Dragging. Wow. I could drag just about everything with me that I really need..or I could rent it? Really? My brilliant friend Heather told me this awesome travel secret. The baby rental place I found in Sedona does not have a swing BUT, I found a rental agency in Phoenix that will bring the swing to me at the car rental place. SOLD!! I can’t believe how valuable it is to know these place exist. If they are local they will drop things right at your hotel. If not, check out options next to the airport you are flying into. I am going to do this again in Rome depending on what we need.

Car Seat Drills. I don’t drive Ava anywhere because I live in Manhattan. So she never goes in her car seat. We took her out for her first test run (beyond her trip home from the hospital) and she hated it. She screamed for 2 hours straight on the way there and back. I got a different car seat, specifically an infant carrier one. I mistakenly bought a car seat that goes from 5pds to 50pds thinking I could skip the infant car seat because we drive so rarely it seemed silly to get one for an infant and one for later. BIG MISTAKE.

Ava has been cruising around NYC in her car seat strapped to her new umbrella stroller. I have a Britax B-Nimble because the car seat clicks into the stroller in one step AND it has a reclining seat for a smaller baby. AWESOME. Weighs 15 pds. Great for jumping on the subway, using with the carseat, and napping for Ava.

Breast Feeding on the plane? Yep. Going to have to do that. Its a 5 hour flight and a 2 hour drive to get to Sedona. I have to feed her close to the time I get off the plane so I can make it to Sedona without a hiccup. I am bringing some pumped milk as well. BUT the bigger question was how is that going to work? Enter the Warm Milk Bag.

This bag has a breast feeding cushion hidden on the side of the bag. I am a bag freak in terms of efficiency and this bag really meets the mark. There is a ton of room inside for all kinds of diaper bag things including a bottle cooler and there is enough room for my ipad and computer. Awesome!

Reducing what I am carrying is a HUGE focus for me right now. Any reduction is a BONUS! I am the person that refuses to check a bag no matter how long the trip. With an infant this is no longer an option but I still want to travel light. Instead of taking a full on nursing cover I am bringing my Latch-On a clip that turns an ordinary blanket into a nursing cover. One less thing to carry? LOVE IT!!

Soothing solutions? Check. My lactation consultant suggested I get a 10 vial box of Baby Bliss Gripe Water to soothe Ava if she has gas or other eating related pains along with a Vibrucol Drops. I love that the Gripe Water is self contained and I just need to pop open the little vial.

Wheels up PHX! Wish us luck! as we embark on this big adventure!

xoxo Brandi


Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Al_HikesAZ via Compfight

Gluten Free Restaurant NYC: Eating Gluten Free at ABC Kitchen

I love the vibe at ABC Kitchen. I walk there during the week and eat at the bar late at night when I can’t get a reservation. Its easy to do this in the summer but not so easy other times of the year because its still a “new and trendy restaurant” with a 2 star New York Times rating. Try to get a reservation if you can.

YES. You can!! easily eat if you are looking for a gluten free restaurant option in NYC! I have eaten here about 6 times now and every waiter and bartender is well versed in gluten free options. They will also advise you of cross-contamination issues depending on what you order.

ABC Kitchen akaushi cheeseburger Gluten Free

I was eager to try the akaushi cheeseburger with herbed mayo and pickled jalapenos. Akaushi means “Red Cow” in Japanese and is a type of Wagyu beef.  Did you know that Akaushi beef has the highest percentage of monounsaturated fat of any beef in the U.S.?

The dish is an exceptional indulgence! The burger itself was done with a crisp, char on the outside and was very tender and rare on the inside. This is probably the best made burger I have eaten in NYC. I was totally wowed by the way it was cooked. Topped with parmesan cheese and sitting on a bed of arugula made the flavor even better. The mayo was above and beyond  flavored with fresh slices of herbs mixed in adding a crunch.

Because I am eating gluten free I skipped the bun. It would be heaven if they had gluten free buns at this restaurant- HINT, HINT.

I ate the fries here but would not recommend that someone with several allergies do so because they use the fryer for other things on the menu according to my waiter and the kitchen manager.

Beyond burgers are there gluten free options? Yes-MANY. I have eaten fresh fish, pork and other American style entrees. I am in love with the raw starters at this restaurant. They typically have a raw crudo with fluke and an in season vegetable or fruit.

This restaurant is unreal and a must for gluten free foodies.

Neighborhood: Flatiron


Address: 35 east 18th street (between broadway & park avenue)

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Despanã’s Gluten Free Delights

Despana Gluten FreeNYC is filled with specialty food shops that have gluten free delights and unfortunately many visitors don’t bother visiting them because they don’t know about them. Not only can you take home products (if you are allowed) that you can’t find elsewhere, but you can often experience amazing delicacies inside the shop at pretty decent prices.

Despana NYC Gluten Free 2Despanã is a Spanish specialty shop in SoHo. I love stopping here in the middle of a shopping trip or on my way back from Chinatown.

If you are a gluten free eater seeking a snack, this is a fun shop to pop into and sit down with whatever you select. The choices are wide. You can buy al la carte from the cases of Iberian ham, different chorizos, lobo and other selections along with some cheese.

OR you can check out the prepared foods in the case including gazpacho, tortillas (usually a few kinds), and different salads.

Depsanâ’s team understands Gluten Free, so just tell them when ordering at the counter and confirm that everything you order is gluten free. They make their gazpacho gluten free and advertise it on the door.

I like this place as a stopping point because its a little respit from the chaos of SoHo. The seating area is never very crowded and it feels like you found a secret spot. I love secret spots!! Its one of the many things New Yorkers pride themselves on.

Address: 408 Broome Street