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King George woman has become an international presence in the gluten-free world
Braden is known internationally for her blog on living gluten-free. She also hosts a monthly support group in her home.
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Because of her dislike of packaged foods, she was surprised when General Mills invited her to its Gluten-Free Bloggers Round Table, in Minneapolis last November. She was thrilled to meet other foodies she had connected with online and to see the Betty Crocker test kitchens.
But in the end, Braden said, she couldn't support the General Mills products because she said they contained too much gluten for her system.
So she'll continue to attend national conferences and share her quest to live gluten-free with easy, simple recipes. She'll let others know there is hope for those who've spent much of their lives in misery.
"YES, the joint pain goes away!!; and YES, you can go to the restroom like a 'normal' person--the restroom is no longer the room you live in," Braden writes on her website. "LOL [laugh out loud] and Hallelujah! Who knew that life could be so good?"
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425
Shirley Braden speaks locally and across the country about her efforts to stay gluten-free easily. She regularly teaches sessions at the Fredericksburg-area Women's Forum and has spoken at school health fairs.
Later this month, she'll emcee and do a cooking demonstration at the Gluten-Free, Allergen-Free Expo in Chicago. She'll do the same at the group's October gathering.
In November 2010, she was one of 10 bloggers invited to General Mills' test kitchens in Minneapolis. A year earlier, she went to California on an all-expenses paid trip as part of the Pomegranate Harvest Tour.
She also hosts the monthly King George Gluten Intolerance & Celiac Group in her home and does cooking demonstrations.
Shirley Braden posts at least twice a week on her blog, glutenfreeeasily.com. During the holidays, when people spend more time in the kitchen, she posts more often.
She averages about 25,000 page views a month. On a typical day last month, she had 900 page visits. Of those, 822 viewers were from the United States, 10 were from Great Britain and the rest were from 33 different countries. "Isn't that something?" Braden said.
Most people look at gluten-free recipes that Braden tweaked herself or borrowed from other bloggers. She includes dozens of colorful photos with each, gives step-by-step details about the process--and pitfalls to avoid--and lists specific brand names that work best. She also provides contacts for other bloggers.
Her most popular recipes are for pumpkin pie, oatmeal cookies, pizza and peanut butter cookies.