Friday, January 29, 2016

Worldwide Writer Festivals and Conferences

Self-publishing Advice Org compiled a list of

Upcoming Author Conferences & Events for Authors

Clays Self-publishing Indie Insights Evening: Feb 4 [London, UK]
Pub West Conference: Feb 4 – 6 [Sante Fe, NM, USA]
Coastal Magic Convention: Feb 4 – 7 [Daytona Beach, FL, USA]
Karachi Literature Festival: Feb 5 – 7 [Karachi, Pakistan]
Cairo International Book Fair: ongoing to Feb 10 [Cairo, Egypt]
Feria Internacional del Libro de la Habana: Feb 11 – 21 [Havana, Cuba]
Taipei International Book Exhibition: Feb 16 – 21 [Taipei, Taiwan]
Amelia Island Book Festival: Feb 18 – 20 [Florida, USA]
San Francisco Writers Conference,  Feb. 11-15  [San Francisco, USA]
Bruxelles Book Fair: Feb 18 – 22 [Bruxelles, Belgium]
Alabama Writing Workshop, Feb 19 [Birmingham, Alabama, USA]
Perth Writers Festival (as part of PIAF): 19 – 21 Feb [Perth, Australia]
Sleuthfest: 25 – 28 Feb [Florida, USA]
Vilnius Book Fair: Feb 25 – 28 [Vilnius, Lithuania]
Adelaide Writers Week 2016: 27 Feb – 3 Mar [Adelaide, Australia]
MARCH 2016
Emirate Airlines Festival of Literature: Mar 1 – 12 [Dubai]
New Zealand Writers Week: 8 – 13 Mar [New Zealand]
Mountains to Sea – dlr Book Festival: Mar 9 – 13 [Dublin, Ireland]
Love is Murder Conference, mainly for mystery and romance writers: Mar 11 – 13 [Chicago, Ill.]
The Tucson Festival of Books: Mar 12 – 16 [University of Arizona campus, Tucson, AZ, USA]
Paris Book Fair: Mar 17 – 20 [Paris, France]
2020: A Publishing Odyssey (SYP): Mar 18 [Edinburgh, Scotland]
Alexandrina International Book Fair: Mar 24 – Apr 5 [Alexandria, Egypt]
Tampa Writers Conference, Mar 25 [ Tampa, FL ]
Fort Lauderdale Conference for Writers: Mar 26  [Ft. Lauderdale, FL]
APRIL 2016
Bologna Childrens Book Fair: Apr 4 – 7 [Bologna, Italy]
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books: 9 – 10 Apr [Los Angeles, USA]
Okanagan Valley Writers’ Festival; 8 – 10 Apr [Penticton, BC, Canada]
London Book Fair: 12 – 14 Apr [London, UK]
Indie Author Fringe: Apr 15 [Online, Global] – brought to you by ALLi
Pikes Peak Writers’ Conference; Apr 15 – 17 [ Colorado Springs, Colorado]
Story Circle Network Women’s Writing Conference; Apr 15 – 17 [ Austin, TX]
Writer’s Institute; Apr 15 – 17 [Madison, Wisconsin]
23rd Annual Budapest International Book Festival: Apr 21 – 24 [Budapest, Hungary]
Buenos Aires Book Fair: Apr 21 – May 9 [Buenos Aires, Argentina]
Abu Dhabi International Book Fair: Apr 27 – May 1 [Abu Dhabi, UAE]
Geneva Book & Press Fair: Apr 27 – May 1 [Geneva, Switzerland]
Las Vegas Writers Conference; Apr 28 – 30 [ Las Vegas, Nevada]
Teheran International Book Fair: May 5 – 15 [Teheran, Iran]
The Self-publishing Conference: May 7 [Leicester, UK]
Book Expo America: May 11 – 13 [Chicago, Illinois, USA]
Warsaw Book Fair: May 19 – 22 [Warsaw, Poland]
Kingsmead College Book Fair: May 21 [Johannesburg, SA]

Monday, January 25, 2016

Google donates 25,000 Chromebooks for War Refugees


It might be the largest donation so far: US$ 5.3 Million for the 1,1 Million war refugees (infants, children, parents and single teens):  It’s called the “Project Connect” - set up four months after Google pledged to match $5.5 million in donations to help with the refugee crisis.  “As they make it through a dangerous journey, the first thing refugees need is to find shelter, food and access to care.” 

Chromebooks are generally low-cost laptops that use apps running in the cloud, meaning they require Internet connectivity for most of their functions.

. wrote: “Millions of people have been fleeing countries across the Middle East and Africa in the past year, and Germany has been the most welcoming host country, with more than one million migrants registered in 2015 alone.  And this is why Google and NetHope — an organization specializing in connecting nonprofits with technology — are focusing specifically on Germany with this latest initiative.”

“Preference will be given to “applications that demonstrate the impact that Chromebooks with Internet access will have in providing direct assistance to refugees, and facilitating access to critical programs and resources,” said NetHope.

Many municipalities and organizations work hard to have Internet installed, so that refugees don’t need to use libraries, coffee shops and other places anymore.  It will help refugees to access education, information, and contact with their families. 


Saturday, January 23, 2016

How to Prepare for Power Outages

Today's power outages in the Washington, DC area are still in relatively small numbers at the moment and not too worrisome (if it doesn't happen to you).   Compare it to the second most widespread blackout in history in 2003, when New York City was in the dark at night and more than 50 Million people were without power, see this video, some even for another two days.

Storms, Blizzards and Tornados are mostly announced well ahead of time, so you can prepare for the time without electricity.  But there are sometimes power outages that come totally unexpectedly, so it's useful to have a minimum of equipment handy (see the list at the end of this article).

What you can do Ahead of an Announced Storm:
  • fill as many buckets or pitchers with water (the toilet flush does most likely NOT work if you don't have electricity.
  • make sure you have lots of candles, lighters, and hopefully flashlights placed in each room.
  • fill up lots of water in bottles (water taps usually DON'T run if there is no electricity).  Freeze some of these bottles (outside the door if the freezer doesn't work any more, these frozen bottles can also keep your fridge cool for a while.
  • heat (in winter) or cool (in summer) the house very well, so when the electricity fails, it keeps at least warm or cool for a couple of hours.
  • top off the fuel in your car in case the streets are clear, but the outage is still there, you can drive and use the car heating to warm you up, if your house is icy cold.
  • search for board games or playing cards to have them handy for some family fun.

    Once the Power Outage Hits:
  • the car charger can be used to charge cell phones and other items (if your car battery is good).
  • If the power outage takes place in freezing temperatures in winter, try to stay together in one room of the house.
  • Cook on your gas camping stove or a hitachi grill - or your outdoor grill.  If the outage occurs in Summer, grill as many fish and meat items as possible, wrap them and store between (hopefully) still cool water bottles.
  • Prepare coffee, tea and also soups in advance. If you have a Fondue pot which is "powered" by candles or alcohol to run the burner, you can warm up your coffee or even your food, or have a nice fondue dinner with family or friends.

 Fondues are very popular in Switzerland, Austria and Germany.  You can choose between cheese fondues, meat fondues, Chinese fondues and even chocolate fondues with fruit or marshmallows. All the fondues are very easy to prepare - not to mention how much fun it is to sit together with family and friends for these delightful fondue-party dinners,even with candle lights due to a power outage!


Always Stock These Items:
Dealing with a power outage is much easier if you have prepared in advance.  Every household should already have an emergency preparedness kit that will meet the needs of you and your family for three days, advices power company Pepco.

Always keep certain items in the house, such as candles, lighters, flashlights, glow sticks or glow powder (available in party stores or at Amazon), a camping stove, a fondue pot including burning devices, a car charger, a battery-powered radio, a list of important emergency phone numbers.
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst!



Monday, January 18, 2016

Bestsellers by Charles Kaiser

Author, journalist and blogger Charles Kaiser, the son of a diplomat, Philip Mayer Kaiser, grew up in Washington, D.C., Albany, New York, Dakar, Senegal, London, England and Windsor, Connecticut. He has lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for many years.

Charles Kaiser already started writing for The New York Times when he was an undergraduate at Columbia University.  He also is a former reporter for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and a former press critic for Newsweek.

He has also written for The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Observer, New York magazine,Vanity Fair, the Columbia Journalism Review, and many other publications.  He has taught journalism at Columbia and Princeton.

His Bestsellers:

  • The Cost of Courage 
  • The Gay Metropolis
  • On Being Different: What it Means to Be a Homosexual
  • 1968 in America: Music, Politics, Chaos

Follow his articles and reviews:

See Charles Kaiser's Amazon website:


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Prime Membership for only $73 / year Until Jan 17

Amazon cut the price of its Amazon Prime membership from $99 to $73 for a little over a day this weekend. The company says it's feeling good about winning two Golden Globes for "Mozart in the Jungle," one of its original shows, and wants to celebrate. 
The discount begins Friday at 9:00 p.m. PT and ends at 11:59 p.m. local time on Sunday.
Only new customers can take advantage of the deal.
There is also FREE streaming of seasons one and two of Mozart in the Jungle for everyone—not just Prime subscribers.

Amazon Prime, the e-commerce giant’s subscription membership service, is now being used by 38% of American households, according to Investor's Business Daily.  Amazon Prime subscription service, users can access for $99/year among other perks:

  • streamed movies, and TV shows
  • Amazon’s original movie productions, 
  • free book lending 
  • substantial discounts for many products,
  •  unlimited photo storage,
  • early peeks at upcoming sales,
  • free two-day shipping on orders (even 1-day in certain areas)
  • Membership Sharing: Two adults living in the same household can create an Amazon Household to share certain Amazon Prime benefits.
  • See the whole list of benefits at their Help & Customer Service page

Prime had 41 million members in December 2015, a 32% increase from December 2014. Estimates are Amazon’s worldwide Prime membership is at 80 million and Amazon’s sales grew 23%.
Amazon Prime members are also reportedly higher earners than the average Amazon, Walmart, and Target customers. According to last month's Cowen report: Amazon Prime Members have an average household income of $69,300.  It is also 25% higher than Walmart shoppers’ average income and 4% above Target’s.

During a three-months stay in California's Silicon Valley last year, I was stunned to see Amazon packages at my neighbor's door steps almost every day, and UPS / Fedex delivery trucks bustling in the area. It seemed as no one has time to go shopping and they order everything from Amazon...

Click here to get the Offer:

Friday, January 15, 2016

Raman and Sunny - Fiza Pathan's Latest Title

Raman-and-Sunny . Raman and Sunny - Fiza Pathan's Latest Title 

Middle School is the worst period in a child’s life. He or she has to undergo bullying, and an often painful transition from childhood to young adulthood. It is also a period most neglected at home and in school, for the child grows rebellious as he feels he is misunderstood and unjustly dealt with. Parents feel helpless to interfere. Imagine what then can be the plight of twins? Set in teeming, exotic Mumbai, India, this is the story about Raman and Sunny who are twins.

 Raman and Sunny is available as ebook for $2.97 at Amazon, in paperback for $13.50

The book deals with parenting, the agony of middle school, the individuality of each child, the jealousy, resentment and fear of change faced by both children and teachers, each at their level. It deals with violence, resentment, bullying, and defiance in children. It explores new methods to get the child on the right path by introducing him to those less fortunate than himself. It explores a synthesis in learning and new and fun methods of teaching. And it deals with the inherent goodness in children and in man. It’s a family story, which shows that love, forgiveness and understanding in family life will help bring stability to a child’s life. 

Praise for Raman and Sunny:

Young Adult - Honourable Mention Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues
Young Adult - Honourable Mention Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues 


                xFiza .

About the Award-Winning Author:

Fiza Pathan is a teacher and the author of several award-winning print and ebooks:
  • S.O.S. Animals and Other Stories
  • Treasury of Bizarre Christmas Stories
  • Classics: Why we should encourage children to read them
  • Nirmala: The Mud Blossom
  • So This Is Love – Collected Poems
  • Classics: How we can encourage children to read them
  • Flesh of Flesh (Short Story)
  • Amina: The Silent One
See the long list of Fiza Pathan’s book awards on her Amazon site. 

To meet Fiza, visit and join her websites and social media presence:

Want to License Your Manuscript to a Publisher?

Are you writing a book, trying to get it traditional published?  Want to contract with a publishing house?  Read these articles first: 

Bestselling author Kristine Rusch wrote an eye-opening blog post.  Here are some snippets, however you should read the article in its entirety.

"These “standard” book contracts are horrible.  No writer should sign some of the clauses in these contracts, and no writer should ever consider licensing rights under many of these terms."
"I wrote an entire book three years ago about contract terms writers should avoid. Unfortunately, the book needs updating—not because the terms I mentioned are gone now, but because even WORSE ones have joined them."
"I believe writers should understand what they sign, and walk away from bad contracts. Simply knowing that publishers will negotiate many of these points will help writers in standing up for themselves—without agents, who make the problem worse, generally speaking."
(Agents, who are not lawyers, break the law when they practice law without a license.  In some states, that’s a misdemeanor. In others, it’s a felony. But I digress.)
"Writers can hire lawyers to negotiate for them, and believe me when I tell you that the lawyers will do a much better job for the writers who partner with them.  Why do I use the word “partner”? Because I’ve seen some writers completely misunderstand what the lawyers tell them, and make matters worse.  Writers need to understand that contracts are a unit, and changing one clause without changing another will sometimes not make a difference at all."
"Most important of all, writers must understand that they are not selling their books
to publishing companies. Writers are licensing pieces of the book’s copyright."
"If you do not understand that, then get a copy of Nolo Press’s The Copyright Handbook, and read the dang thing.  Then re-read it and reread it and buy the updated version when it comes out, and read that one.  When you work with a lawyer on contract negotiation, make sure you understand the advice you’re given, and make sure you agree with that advice before you take it."
"Conversely, make sure your lawyer understands what you want, so they’re not simply doing what they think is best."

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Publishing Contracts: How to Get Legal Help

Would you contract with a publisher who made you a book contract offer demanding arbitration, an unfavourable marketing or editing clause in its contract?


Get Legal Tips from Professionals.
Bestselling author and self-publishing advocate J.A. Konrath wrote once: “The trade publishing system is designed to take advantage of Authors’ naiveté  and lack of legal knowledge and bargaining power, and it uses the promise of publication as a carrot to get them to accept onerous, deeply biased terms.”

Best advice for any author is to know what they get into, to understand the publishing contract and to consult a contract lawyer before signing the papers.  As advices: “While it is difficult to see how your publishing agreement will play out in the long term, the decisions you make today could have profound, long term consequences.”

Before You Meet with a Lawyer, read these Books:

The author Law in Plain English for Writers
Lawyer Leonard DuBoff, was teaching intellectual property law for twenty-five years, and writes really simple and easy to understand.

The Fine Print of Self-Publishing by Mark Levine does not only provide sound advice, but also lists publishers and Vanity Publishers that authors must avoid under all circumstances.

Helen Sedwick, a Californian attorney and novelist, shows in the chapter “Understanding Key Contract Provisions” of her Legal Handbook the clauses of publishers and explains on the other side of the page what these provisions mean for the author.


If you are still eager to sign a contract, you should at least know what you get into, and what the contract clauses really mean.  Try to negotiate.  Ask the publisher to add a clause, to ensure that your consent is required for changes – less the editing.


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Meet Tamara Jackson: Author, Fitness & Weight-Loss Coach


You might have seen Tamara Jackson on the Dr. Oz TV show, where she shared her heart-wrenching journey from 265 lb. junk food addict to 155 lb. fitness fanatic.  In her book 265 Point, Tamara Jackson, in the meantime a "Certified Group Exercise Instructor" through the American College of Sports Medicine, shows readers they can do it too.
265 Point
reveals some touching moments where Jackson endured ridicule and prejudice at her high weight of 265 pounds. 


Often the Family is the Problem.
Tamara also shares the emotional and environmental challenges often faced in the quest to develop a healthier lifestyle. Women are sometimes sabotaged by their own family and friends who derail their weight loss efforts and criticize their healthier menus. Fueled by a new-found passion for health and fitness, Tamara delivers a realistic plan to reach a healthy weight including a practical food plan and doable exercise regimen.


Don't Miss the Before & After Images
Check out Tamara's author page on Amazon
A powerful and dynamic seminar leader, public speaker, media health expert and motivational fitness consultant, her website. invites women worldwide to work one-on-one or in groups to make a final decision to a healthier future.  265 Point, a great guidebook for women who want to be fit, healthy and happy, is available in digital format and in print.on Amazon. 


If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites - or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months - or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers:

Friday, January 8, 2016

Pianist in a Bordello - Hilarious and Humorous

What would happen if a politician decided to tell the truth—the whole truth? Richard Youngblood, aspiring Congressman, is about to find out. He’s running on a platform of honesty and transparency—and against the advice of his friends and advisers he’s decided to start with himself.
His autobiography will lay his entire life bare before voters just days before the election. And what a life he’s had. Born in a commune and named Richard Milhous Nixon Youngblood as an angry shot at his absent father, Richard grows up in the spotlight, the son of an enigmatic fugitive and the grandson of a Republican senator. He’s kidnapped and rescued, kicked out of college for a prank involving turkeys, arrested in Hawaii while trying to deliver secrets to the CIA…Dick Nixon Youngblood’s ready to tell all. 

He’ll even tell his readers about the Amandas—three women who share a name but not much else, and who each have helped shape and define the man he’s become. Are voters really ready for the whole truth? Are you? 

Today, I discovered this book by change, ordered it, 
and read it in one shot - postponed some chores, and sank into this hilarious and humorous book - a great read at the start of the election year.

Pianist in a Bordello is a hilarious political romp through the last four decades of American history, from a narrator who is full of surprises.  
With an interesting combination of literary tools to keep Erickson's plot constantly moving--opening chapters with sarcastic quotes, alternating between the above mentioned scenes, various plot twists, and closing on a humorous, yet thought-provoking note, Pianist in a Bordello is definitely a fun read for all." - San Francisco Book Review.

"The author combines highly effective Joseph Heller-style political and social satire with some surprisingly touching personal moments... Erickson welds all of these elements together into a hugely enjoyable comic novel. A fast-paced, raucous tour through the last half-century alongside a modern-day Candide."- Kirkus Reviews
"I don't ever bandy around the words "tour de force," but Pianist in a Bordello knocked my socks off. Yes, I too, was reminded of Catch-22 by its glib tone and pacing. I also felt a little Hunter S. Thompson. Maybe some John Kennedy Toole... Every once in a while, I come across someone who is simply outstanding. Bravo, Mr. Erickson."- EM Kaplan, author of Josie Tucker novels
Erickson's writing is exciting, fun, honest, and so well-written that you'll find yourself wondering where his next novel is."-- Red City Reviews

The book is now an award winning novel, Pianist in a Bordello, having garnered a nod by the Northern California Publishers and Authors for third place in General Fiction. It was also awarded two first places in fiction and humor by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.
In addition, it was recently named as a recipient of the coveted BRAG awards. Publishers Weekly, Red City Reviews and Kirkus Reviews all included it in the top ten percent of Indie books that were submitted. 

Paperback: 286 pages $10.70
Kindle 99c

About the Author
Mike C. Erickson grew up in the idyllic college town of Logan, Utah, but because of a twist of fate he graduated from high school in Honolulu. He left Hawaii brimming with aloha and enrolled at Utah State, where he was awarded two degrees and self-proclaimed minor intellectual status, which was of dubious value when the US Army invited him to vacation in South-East Asia.

Ten days after leaving Vietnam, he began decades of dispensing pearls of wisdom as a high school history teacher, academic decathlon coach, and on occasion, as a community college instructor in the Sacramento area. When not in Hawaii or another exotic locale, he lives in Gold River, California. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Recipe to Become Rich - Well, NOT from Work

Jeff Hayden, one of my favored "how-to" author at wrote another great article: How the Rich Got Rich.  He wrote: "Still, even though we all define and calculate success differently, most of us would like wealth to factor into our equations."
He received a report from his CPA friend, sat down and studied the 400 Individual Tax Returns Reporting the Largest Adjusted Gross Incomes, an annual report issued by the IRS.  His conclusion: "If you want to get rich, there's interesting data buried in all the charts and tables."
As it takes often years until the IRS finally publish their detailed reports (lists of the names of major taxpayers appear much faster) Jeff Hayden studied the ones from five years ago. 
His Findings:
"In 2009 it took $77.4 million in adjusted gross income to make the top 400. That might sound like a lot, but it's down from $109.7 million in 2008 and significantly down from a record high of $138.8 million in 2007."

How these Richest People Made their Income: 
  • Wages and salaries:  8.6%
  • Interest: 6.6%
  • Dividends: 13%
  • Partnerships and corporations:  19.9%
  • Capital gains: 45.8%
The top 400 averaged $92.6 million in capital gains income...
Working for a Salary WILL NEVER Make you Rich.
  • Neither will making only safe "income" investments.
  • Neither will investing only in large companies.
  • Owning a business or businesses, whether in part or partnership, could not only build a solid wealth foundation but could maybe someday... generate a huge financial windfall.

    Read the whole article with more conclusions by Jeff Hayden:


Gluten-Free Living - How to Avoid the Traps

Traci Lawrence asks: How well do you know your body?  Are you able to figure out immediately if your mood and health have been affected by your last snack, or meal?  If so, you wouldn’t be alone.  Thankfully, in recent years, consumers have become more educated in health and nutrition.  That’s a huge benefit of the information age.
Savvy people are more aware that everything we put into our mouths can affect us.  They know what foods make them tired or sick.  Conversely, such individuals know what foods give them more energy.  One of the most well-known subjects under discussion is gluten. Simply put, this is a protein found mainly in rye, wheat, barley, and their derivatives.

Why is Gluten a Concern?
Some people cannot digest gluten well.  It may initiate immediate as well as long-term problems related to their intestinal system.  This condition is called gluten intolerance, or gluten sensitivity.  In addition, most sources agree that foods containing gluten are among the hardest to digest for anyone.  I’ll leave that debate to the experts.  It’s enough for me to know that my body cannot handle the substance.  I have a lifetime of health challenges to prove it.

In the 13 years since I have been diagnosed with the disorder, I have found that many people are unaware of the prevalence of gluten.  Close family friends are still unsure about how to decide what contains gluten.  Therefore, I thought it was time I wrote an article outlining the basics of how to look for it.

See, gluten is like sugar or salt; it’s in more foods and beverages than we realize.  Yet, so many people don’t check nutrition labels on packages, and they aren’t aware of the process of cooking certain foods.   They just buy the most inexpensive products, which are often the least healthy.  This is not a good trend.

Isn’t your health worth a little bit more money?  You can even keep the cost of eating gluten free down by not buying gourmet, or frozen, gluten-free prepared foods.  You can also make your own baked goods, including bread. Frankly, I still haven’t found a tasty bread mix.

Products That Contain Gluten.
One of the main ingredients in flour is wheat.  Flour and/or wheat are found in some, or all, of the following:

  •         Noodles
  •         Pastries
  •         Breads
  •         Baking mixes
  •         Sauces, seasonings, soups, and gravies
  •         Cereals
  •         Drinks (beer)
  •         Snacks (cookies, candy, crackers, and chips)
  •         Desserts (pies, ice cream, cakes)
  •         Breaded/coated meat, fish, and vegetables
  •         Hot dogs

Foods that Don’t Have Gluten.
Lately, consumers can find gluten-free processed foods at almost any store that sells food.  This includes a wide range from the list above. It’s important to check the package for the “gluten free” label. It signifies that the product contains less than 2% of gluten.  Of course, there are plenty of unprocessed foods without gluten. These include:

  •         Grilled or roasted meat and fish
  •         Fruits and vegetables
  •         Beans
  •         Rice and many other grains
  •         Dairy products
  •         Nuts

Please note: Dairy products contain lactose. People who cannot tolerate gluten often cannot digest lactose well, either.  However, some sufferers can eat lactose if they take a pill to help them digest it.

Here’s another point to ponder: All non-gluten flour and baking mixes are not made the same.  Ingredients differ widely because of the variety of gluten-free flours.  You’ll have more luck if you stick with well-known brands.  Others may include mixes of flour that leave an unappetizing aftertaste according to some people.  For example, I don’t like the taste of garbanzo-bean flour.  Please beware: the products may also contain a high amount of sugar.

The unusual taste applies to processed foods, too, but it’s more evident in the baking mixes.  Many of the processed products are made with rice flour, which has no unusual aftertaste.

How to Read Nutrition Labels.
Concerned shoppers can save themselves time if they stay away from most of the products listed in the “Products That Contain Gluten” section above.  They won’t even have to bother reading the labels.  However, please don’t avoid entire aisles just because gluten is so widely used.

Many stores mix at least some of their gluten-free products in with foods containing gluten. For instance, pasta products labeled as “gluten-free” are likely to be mixed in with the regular pasta. Just look for those exact words on the box.

It’s a little more complicated to read the actual nutrition labels on the sides of products containing gluten. Not all of them will use the word “gluten”.  The most prevalent labeling, in bold lettering, is “wheat”, or “may contain wheat”. 

That means you must use your own knowledge to determine if the chosen product includes a derivative of rye or barley, even if it doesn’t contain wheat. For instance, malt comes from barley. Malt is in malted milk balls (the candy), beer, and the malt flavoring we add to ice cream shakes to make them into “malts”.

More Red-Flags:
Two other possible red flags are “soup stock” or “soup base”, and “modified food starch”. Soup base, including dried bouillon cubes or powder, are usually made with flour because flour (i.e. wheat flour) is the standard thickener.  Gluten-free bouillon is also available in most stores. By the same token, modified food starch may contain gluten-based starch.

Here’s a good rule to buy groceries: if a gluten ingredient is listed as one of the top ingredients on a food label, don’t buy it. Ingredients are always listed in the order of most to least content.

How to Choose Gluten-Free at Restaurants.
Luckily, quite a few restaurants have gluten-free options. For those that do not, you’re usually safe sticking with these dishes:

  • Roasted or grilled meats, eggs and vegetables (unless the meat has been ground up and processed with wheat), 
  • Wild and shell fish such as salmon, black cod, grouper, herring, trout, sardines, shrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, clams, oysters
  • Fowl, poultry, pork, beef, lamb, liver, bison, chicken, turkey, duck, ostrich, veal, wild game
  • Potatoes with a gluten-free sauce / seasoning
  • Fruit of all kinds and at all seasons
  • Rice, or another gluten-free grain, such as amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa

Avoid any sauces and breading!

You’d be surprised what wonders a skilled cook and the right seasoning can do with the right ingredients!  Gluten-free cooking seems overwhelming, distasteful, and extremely limiting to outsiders.  However, it is really quite liberating and confidence-building.  So many unhealthy choices are cut out right from the beginning. There’s no inner debate. Doesn’t our confidence soar every time we must commit to difficult decisions as well?  

I can tell you that, even after all these years, I feel so proud of myself when I bypass yummy baked goods.  My eyes are still in love with them, but my intestinal system knows they’re toxic—like a bad relationship.  That’s not true love, is it?
Is Restricting Your Diet Worth It?
Either we want to stay healthy, or we don’t.  It’s that simple.  During my lifetime, I have spent a fortune in time and money trying to stop the mess that gluten made in my body (although I didn’t know the cause until 13 years ago).  I can tell you from experience that you do want to stay healthy in order to have the quality of life you deserve.  Are you willing to do whatever it takes?

About the Author:
Traci Lawrence is a teacher, author, blogger, and freelance editor.  Traci lives in the southern area of the United States with her family.  She considers it her mission to spread positivity and self-empowerment through her writing.  Please visit her uplifting website at 
and view her book, Accept No Trash Talk: Overcoming the Odds