The Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet for Pets – EP002

This week on ‘Gluten Free RN,’ Nadine explores gluten intolerance in pets. She looks at the health problems pets have experienced in increasing numbers in the last several decades and contends that a Paleo Diet is more appropriate for your furry friends than a diet that includes grains.

Nadine also explains the risk of cross-contamination and the importance of removing all products containing gluten (including pet food) from your home if you have a sensitivity to it.

Listen and learn the ways in which a gluten-free diet is more appropriate to your pet’s biology and get pet food brand recommendations from Nadine!

What’s Discussed:

  • How Nadine discovered the benefits of a gluten-free diet for pet health
  • As her gastrointestinal issues improved, so did Slugs’
  • Why grains are not appropriate for dogs and cats
  • Historically, dogs and cats are omnivores by instinct
  • A Paleo Diet including meat and plant matter will improve your pet’s health
  • The diseases pets have developed over the last several decades
  • Many of these conditions are similar to the health problems humans have developed
  • Why it’s difficult to test pets for gluten intolerance and celiac disease
  • A clinical trial is often the only way to determine if gluten is causing your pet’s health issues
  • The symptoms your pet might exhibit that could point to a gluten intolerance
  • The risks of cross-contamination for people who are exposed to the grain in their pet’s food
  • For a celiac patient, exposure to a bread crumb can trigger the same auto-immune reaction as an entire piece of cake
  • The foods you should never give your pets
  • The pet food brands with zero or very low (less than 10 ppm) gluten content
  • Animal Crackers has a huge selection of grain-free, high-quality pet food
  • How to test food for the presence of gluten

Resources Mentioned: 

 Gluten-sensitive enteropathy in a family of Irish setters” by Sylvie C. Daminet

 EZ Gluten Test Kit

Connect with Nadine: 



Contact via Email

Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism

photo by Daria Shevtsova

Food is Medicine – EP001

In the premier episode of ‘Gluten Free RN’ Nadine tells us a bit about her journey in regaining her health and why it’s so important to understand that food is medicine to our bodies. If we think about food as medicine, we will make better food choices which will lead to much better health in both the short and long term.

Nadine also discusses the increasing rate of Celiac disease diagnosis and some factors that may be influencing this.

Listen in to learn why it’s so important to make good food choices and how making the right ones will help you maintain or even regain your health!

What’s Discussed:

  • Nadine’s background
  • Nurse for 25 years, 10 years as the Gluten Free RN
  • At the time, Nadine didn’t know that gluten intolerance and Celiac disease were often big factors in her patients’ health problems
  • Why Nadine considers herself to be a “Connectologist”
  • Nadine connects some dots that may not have been previously connected
  • Why Gluten sensitivity and/or Celiac disease is often common denominator in health problems
  • Why food is medicine and how that affects our health
  • Nadine’s journey back from bad health
  • Learned she had Celiac disease at the age of 40
  • Your GI Tract and immune system
  • 70-90 % of your immune system is in your GI tract
  • As humans, we do not have do not have enzymes to break down gluten proteins
  • Why you may be predisposed to Celiac disease
  • 30-50% of our population carries the genes that predispose us to Celiac disease
  • The increasing rate of Celiac disease diagnosis
  • The importance of having a plan for remaining or getting healthy into your 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s
  • It’s easier to maintain your health than to regain it
  • Nadine’s diet recommendations
  • Common problems of a bad diet
  • Topics that will be discussed in future episodes!

Resources Mentioned: 

Seeds of Deception” by Jeffery Smith

Connect with Nadine: 



Contact via Email

Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism



GF Beer in Portland

There is now a dedicated gluten free brewery out of Portland Oregon!

Ground Breaker Brewing is a dedicated gluten-free craft brewery founded in 2011. Ground Breaker Brewing’s facility is entirely gluten-free, no gluten is allowed on the premises. The main ingredient used in the beers are Willamette valley chestnuts which are hand roasted at the brewery to different degrees for each style of beer. It is located at 2030 SE 7th Ave, Portland, OR 97214.

For more information on Harvester Brewery and for information on where to buy their beer please visit, or


Jovial Gluten Free

Recently the Gluten Free RN received a large sample of gluten free pasta and cookies from Jovial Foods. Jovial Foods is a company that offers both gluten containing products and a line of gluten free products. They believe that “eating gluten free should feel like a pleasure not a sacrifice”. Their gluten free line includes several varieties of brown rice pasta, and three different types of gluten free cookies.

The brown rice pasta only contains two ingredients, organic brown rice, and water. All of the pasta is made in a dedicated facility that is free of gluten, casein, eggs, tree nuts, and peanuts. Additionally, the pasta is a certified gluten free product and is tested to less than 10PPM.

Spaghetti is a popular meal in our home, so I was happy to take home a few samples and give the pasta a try. I love that the pasta is organic and certified gluten free. It cooked well, wasn’t mushy, and the texture was great. Finding good quality safe gluten free pasta can be a challenge but overall we were really happy with Jovial. We will definitely keep using it for future dinners!

Jovial sent us two different types of cookies; chocolate cream filled and fig fruit filled. The cookies are made in a facility that was “specifically designed to ensure an absolutely safe product but not dedicated gluten free”. Jovial notes that they bake their cookies on dedicated equipment on separate production days. They also test each batch for gluten at less than 10PPM

The cookies were great and from what I can remember are very similar to Fig Newton’s. They had a great texture, and were not too hard or mushy. Although cookies are not a daily occurrence for me these would be a great snack to add to an occasional lunch or to take on a trip. I loved how the cookies were packaged, and I would definitely purchase more in the future.

Thanks Jovial for providing safe delicious gluten free options! If you want to learn more about Jovial Foods visit them at


GF Travel in Europe

We received these recommendations from one of our readers who recently traveled throughout Europe. Her advice is useful to anyone with gluten intolerance traveling in Europe:

In France, Belgium and Germany I found gluten-free products fairly easy to source in the larger supermarkets and natural food/vitamin stores. The larger markets had entire end displays or aisle sections devoted to gluten free, natural and organic foods, sometimes mixed in with or located near the diet foods. The larger, newer, fancier supermarkets also offered deli-style, to-go foods like green salads, small cold cut plates, veggie plates, etc. which worked well for me. One large, multi-country market chain we found is Carrefour. The one we stopped in offered a wide variety of GF products.

Many of the processed, ready-to-eat gluten free products like cookies and crackers also indicated lactose free. In addition, they offered breads, snacks, baking mixes, pastas and more.

Look for “gluten frei” or “laktose frei” on German product labels or “sans gluten” or “sans lactose” on French labels. Travelers to Spain will want “sin gluten” and “sin lactosa” products.

Soy products abounded, including yogurts and puddings.

Whereas in Corvallis I see GF-friendly shelves with a variety of items from many different manufacturers, in France/Belgium/Germany there appeared to be products from one or two companies – an extensive, in-depth selection from each company. See the photos for better understanding.


  • I wish I would have taken some peanut butter for easy protein and GF salad dressing for restaurant use or to-go salads.
  • I carried a small bottle of Lactaid pills, and they helped to bail me out of some tricky food situations.
  • I carried Tums, gas pills and stool softeners – all of which I’d recommend to GF travelers.
  • I packed some GF instant oatmeal packets which saved the day more than once when I couldn’t eat what was offered for breakfast (normally bread with butter, yogurt and coffee with milk) or was available in the dining car on the train. It was pretty easy to ask for a cup of hot water and a spoon.
  • And, I carried some Lara and Kind bars, plus some protein packets to mix into juice.

In restaurants it was more challenging to find truly safe foods. Although I asked for salads with no dressing, requesting oil and vinegar to be separate, I usually ended up with vinaigrette dressing served separately in a small bowl. I couldn’t get them to understand the separate oil and vinegar option. In asking how meat was prepared, and requesting no butter or cream or sauce, my tummy often told me after the fact that instead of pure oil, there had been cross-contamination on the grill or perhaps the cook had used some sort of dairy product in the preparation.

I would recommend taking some note cards in different languages explaining GF/LF needs so the waitress and the cook can clearly understand what you can and cannot eat.

Generally safe foods I found readily available in restaurants were green salads, steak, and French fries in France and Belgium. In Germany I relied on sausages and pork, sauerkraut, boiled potatoes, green salad. Occasionally I found roast or grilled chicken.

Requesting meals

You can also request gluten free or special diet meals on the airplane if you do so at least 48-hours ahead of time. But, pack some safe food just in case! One flight worked well for me with veggies-rice-grilled chicken, fruit cup and green salad…and one didn’t work at all due to a lack of the online request form not getting processed – so they had no GF meal for me.

We stayed in two B&B’s in France which offered dinner made with local, garden-fresh ingredients. We made dinner reservations with them, and I let each hostess know about my GF/LF issues. I asked that they make their regular foods, saying I’d just eat what I could – not wanting to be a problem child… but also not wanting the hostess to think I didn’t like her meal if it was something I could not eat. BOTH hostesses made delicious dinners that were all or primarily all gluten and lactose free! J

Update 2015: Here’s a site to check out for travel in the UK: