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How Celiac Aware is Your Doc?
At last month’s International Coeliac Disease Symposium (ICDS) in Norway, I chaired the session on "Living with Coeliac Disease.” It was a great honor, but the most pressing issue at ICDS was not the daily challenges of living gluten-free. Instead, the focus was on gaining a prompt diagnosis, which is our goal every single day.
ICDS attendees from across the world agreed: the lack of awareness and education among primary care physicians is what keeps millions of celiac sufferers in the dark and untreated for so long.
In other countries, food subsidies and healthcare programs make even the lesser known diseases worthy of attention. But in the U.S., pharmaceutical dollars dominate. Our culture is entrenched in drugs and quick fixes, and when pharmaceutical companies spend billions on educating doctors about the diseases that their products treat, it becomes clear how valuable that financial support can be. A disease that’s treated with a self-managed diet – no pill needed – is at a disadvantage.
To sum it up: No pharmaceutical backing + No financial hook = No learning incentives.
NFCA launched our free continuing medical education (CME) program at CeliacCMECentral.com last year to change that. Physician education can improve diagnosis rates, and it will help doctors know what to do after a diagnosis is made. One year after our launch, more than 200 providers have completed the program. (Read “Celiac CME Central: 1 Year Later” to see where our CME has popped up across the U.S.)
It’s a great start, but there are hundreds of thousands of providers in the U.S. alone. What’s more, millions of patients are still waiting for answers.
The barriers are still there: Getting a healthcare provider’s attention isn’t easy. Convincing them to take a 90-minute course is even harder, no matter how urgent it is. So, we’re coming at them from every angle. And that requires funding.
It may seem silly to donate money just so doctors can take a course for free (they’re the ones with the big salaries, right?), but the payoff goes far beyond that. So, I give you…
1. Your doctor should know more about celiac disease than you do.
How many doctors did you see before getting diagnosed? How many do you still correct when talking about gluten-free needs? It’s wise to be an empowered patient, but let’s make sure your medical team is on the same page.
2. It’s a win-win.
Healthcare providers are required to fulfill a certain number of CME hours per year, so why not put their time toward something that benefits you and your family?
3. Free gets more results.
Research has shown that doctors are more apt to take CME courses if they’re free. Medical conferences offer CME credits at a steep price, so keeping CeliacCMECentral.com as a free resource makes it more enticing.
4. More diagnoses = More options.
We’re all enjoying the boost in gluten-free products, but if we don’t prove a widespread, long-term need for these items, manufacturers may jump ship as soon as the fad followers do.
5. Smart doctors save you money.
Think of how many tests, appointments and prescriptions you wasted on misdiagnoses. Multiply that by the 2.8 million Americans still undiagnosed. All of that time and money could be spared with better detection of celiac disease.
6. You know the source.
The NFCA staff and I launched CeliacCMECentral.com solely for educational purposes, and it includes lectures from the nation’s top celiac disease doctors. No sales pitch. No ulterior motives, other than our own desires for better healthcare. Kristin, our NFCA staffer who heads the CME, has celiac disease, so she’s just as passionate as you are about making a difference.
7. The clock is ticking.
Each day that goes by means another 24 hours of suffering for those who are undiagnosed. Knowledgeable physicians can put an end to the anxiety and frustrations you all have endured.
Ready to do something about it? Donate to NFCA today and check out the page we created just for you that explains more about CeliacCMECentral.com and how you can urge your doctor to get informed.
Say Hello to Summer with a Gluten-Free Picnic
By Tina Turbin
When the weather is warm and beautiful, there’s nothing like a gluten-free picnic with your celiac child. After all, a summertime picnic provides kids with the opportunity to enjoy tasty food and a variety of fulfilling outdoor activities. With a little bit of planning, you’ll be sure to turn the day into a memorable and special one.
A great location is key. Traveling a little bit out of the way to a state park or even the beach or lake can make the picnic extra special. See if it’s possible to reserve picnic tables ahead of time. Otherwise, bring some big blankets along to sit on. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, bug spray, sports equipment, swimsuits and towels, depending on the location. You can even bring plastic baggies and jars to collect special specimens of plants and butterflies as you go “exploring.” I recommend bringing along some summer and nature-themed children’s books. Also, don’t forget your camera!
The most important part of a gluten-free picnic is, of course, the menu. Choose some classic picnic recipes, such as gluten-free chicken salad, fruit salad, and cold cuts. I recommend foods that are chilled and can be left out for a few hours without going bad. Below, you’ll find my recipe for a Summer Fruit Platter. Let your imagination go wild and add whatever fruits you enjoy.
Every picnic is unique in its own way, depending on location, activities, and the food. One thing’s for sure, though—each one has the potential for tons of fun for celiac children. In fact, your celiac child will feel just like a “normal” kid and can invite some of his or her non-celiac friends along, who will eat up all your gluten-free foods with great satisfaction.
Summer Fruit Platter
1. If you have a three-tiered tray, top each level with a doily. Cut a hole in the middle if it is the correct size or cut a few pieces to fit each level accordingly.
2. Place your fruit in “clumps” of their own category. Arrange the fruit so no two colors are close to each other – it adds contrast and excitement to the arrangement.
3. If you do not have a three-tiered tray, then various platters of shapes and sizes on a table will also look beautiful. You can even add cheeses if you are indoors or have air-conditioning available.
4. Occasionally refresh your platter (and even the doilies) to add new fruit as people munch away.
Stay cool and enjoy your summer!
About Tina Turbin
Tina Turbin became extremely interested and involved in the subjects of celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and gluten issues a number of years ago, after being diagnosed as celiac after many years of unresolved troubles. Since then, she has engaged in diligent research and writing about these topics, weekly radio shows, developing gluten-free recipes and reviewing companies for celiac consumer safety.
Tina is an award-winning children's book author (DannyTheDragon.com) and donates her current children's audio book profits to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center. To stay updated on her projects, sign up for her newsletter at www.TinaTurbin.com.
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Summer is Here!
By Chef Oonagh Williams
The calendar tells us that summer is finally here, but depending on where you live, it felt like a long time coming. For most of us, the signs are starting to show:
My recipes for kielbasa and beans, both made with gluten-free beer, are simple to make. And since they are cooked with beer, I think men will happily do the bit of extra cooking required. Dessert is easy as well and takes advantage of all the wonderful fresh fruits available now. Better yet, pick your own fruit with the kids to make this dessert even more special. Freeze leftover fruit for winter so you can indulge in summer’s simple pleasures year-round.
KIELBASA WITH APPLES
SLOW COOKED BEANS WITH BACON & MAPLE SYRUP
STRAWBERRY & BLUEBERRY SWEET TREAT
Grilling gluten-free can be easy, as long as you know what to look out for. Check meats for any marinades or fillers that may contain gluten, and watch out for cross contamination on the grill from breads or other meats.
To further enhance your summer dining, start an herb garden. You can buy pots of herbs for about $4 per herb plant from a garden center. Several can go in large containers, and they really appreciate the sun as long as you water.
I often pluck fresh chives, thyme, cilantro and spicy basil and sprinkle them over my salad. What a pleasure, what a burst of flavor. The herbs usually last through October, then I harvest them for the freezer or make pesto and freeze that.
So go ahead, make the most of your summer.
About Chef Oonagh Williams
British-born award-winning chef Oonagh Williams has a culinary arts degree and was trained in London and Switzerland. Based in New Hampshire, Chef Oonagh began adapting meals to gluten-free versions after her son was diagnosed with gluten and lactose intolerance two years ago. Chef Oonagh gives presentations and classes on gluten-free cooking and living, consults and guides people in adapting to a gluten-free lifestyle. She appears most months on her local New Hampshire ABC station, WMUR, as the featured chef.
To learn more, visit Chef Oonagh’s website at www.RoyalTemptations.com or ‘Like’ her at Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook.
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Pesto Quinoa with Tomatoes & Fresh Mozzarella
Tomatoes are ripe for the season, and what better to pair it with than fresh mozzarella? If you’ve been pining for a Caprese sandwich, here’s a healthy way to get the flavors without the bread. Thanks to KC Pomering and the rest of the team at G-Free Foodie for sharing this easy, breezy gluten-free dish!
From G-Free Foodie
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the pesto, extra-virgin olive oil and pepper.
2. Add the cooked and cooled quinoa, quartered tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese. Mix to combine.
3. Season with salt and serve.
About G-Free Foodie
G-Free Foodie offers recipes, restaurant listings, blogs, reviews and the popular Free Recipe Conversions. The staff loves a challenge and would rather be in the kitchen than any place else. Give them your recipe and a couple of weeks, and they’ll get back to you with a G-Free version you can safely enjoy! Request a Free Recipe Conversion at: www.gfreefoodie.com/recipes/recipe-conversion
By Whitney Ehret, NFCA Director of Communications
For most of us, the summer months mean shorts, tank tops, and swimsuits. In other words, now that the weather's warming up – it’s time to show some skin!
The spirit of the season provides a wonderful opportunity to discuss how celiac disease, both diagnosed and undiagnosed, can affect your skin.
To date, a multitude of skin disorders have been associated with celiac disease including:
NFCA wants to help you keep your skin looking healthy and beautiful this summer. So, we’re bringing you a two-part series: Celiac and Skin. This month, we cover the nagging skin issue, dermatitis herpetiformis. Next month, we’ll explore the relationship between celiac, psoriasis and eczema.
By Dr. Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN
The gluten-free diet is a proven treatment for those with celiac disease, but I believe there are millions of people beyond that population who would benefit from gluten elimination – including those with other autoimmune disorders. Here’s an interesting case from my medical office:
Sue is a lovely woman in her early 60s who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease, 30 years ago. Her family history is also ripe with autoimmune disease: her mother suffering from alopecia (hair loss) and thyroid disease, her son suffering with vitiligo (loss of pigment of the skin), and her daughter suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune thyroid disease).
Now aware of the effects of gluten sensitivity, Sue states that she is also seeing concerning symptoms in her grandchildren. We know that autoimmune diseases have a genetic component, and her family certainly demonstrates this.
Sue came to us 3 months ago. During the 30 years that she had been diagnosed with RA, she had been on most every drug known to treat the disease. From Prednisone to Methotrexate and very high doses of Ibuprofen and Tylenol, she tried every new drug that came on the market with the urging of her doctor and with a hopeful heart.
Nothing really helped, and over the years her hands became extremely deformed with very enlarged knuckles that had open sores on them. She suffered from pain not only in her hands, but also in her shoulders, neck, legs, and ankles. While her hands were almost non-functional, she also suffered from a marked decrease in motion of her shoulders, neck and legs. Her jaw was swollen such that she couldn’t close it completely and her teeth didn’t meet. The lower half of her body would swell dramatically during the day, to the degree that she had to buy larger shoes to accommodate the increase in size.
Just prior to arriving in our office, Sue had gotten off all her medications. She was miserable on or off them and the side effects of having taken them for three decades had her more concerned than her worsening arthritis. She couldn’t work due to her condition and spent time researching on the Internet. It is there she came across my clinic. The more she learned about gluten sensitivity, the more convinced she was that it played a role in her health problems.
Prior to her arrival, Sue was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity, but not celiac disease. We performed additional tests that revealed an imbalance of the good bacteria or probiotics in her small intestine, a low Vitamin D level, and indications of low muscle mass.
After only 2 months on a gluten-free diet, Sue’s joints began to change. The initial benefit was seen in the healing of the open sores on her knuckles. She felt stronger, less swollen, and the range of motion in her neck, shoulders, hands and legs all increased.
Three months into the program, Sue was able to bend her thumb. As you know, use of the opposable thumb is mandatory to perform most tasks of daily living. She hadn’t had that ability in years.
Recently, Sue fell down at home and was able to get up on her own, literally for the first time in “decades.” Her swelling in the lower part of her body was also much improved, as evidenced by her shoes being too large. She was sleeping better, experienced no brain fog and, much to her delight, she also noticed that her teeth were now coming together for the first time in years.
Best of all, she was back to work full-time, which made her very happy!
While one could imagine that decreasing inflammation in the body through the removal of gluten could account for the benefits Sue was experiencing, something else occurred that none of us expected. In fact, if we didn’t have the pictures to prove it we would have thought we were imagining it.
Fortunately, Sue’s lovely daughter decided to chronicle her adventure with pictures and has been excellent at taking close-up pictures of Sue’s hands since she started care with us. Her daughter discovered her own gluten sensitivity at this time, as well.
If you have seen the swollen, enlarged and gnarled joints associated with RA, then you know what Sue looked like when she first arrived. After the open sores healed, Sue began to notice that the joints were physically getting smaller. To give you an idea of what the skin looks like currently on her knuckles, imagine this: If you had a balloon very full of air and you slowly let some out, you will recall that the balloon gets wrinkly and puckered as it deflates. Another example would be the skin of someone who has lost a lot of weight. The skin that had been overstretched can appear similarly puckered.
The skin across the top of Sue’s knuckles looks like that of a deflated balloon. What was once stretched so taught and tight that it broke open into sores is now beautifully healed due to the decreased size of the joint.
Is this RA healing and reversing? It certainly appears that way. Is the removal of gluten the only reason? Well, she’s on no medication and is experiencing the first relief and abatement of symptoms in 30 years. Her program included a healthy food plan that focused on nutrient-rich foods and some nutritional supplements, but the major change in her life was the removal of gluten.
Am I claiming that a study of one completely validates my hypothesis? No, but I must tell you that my practice has seen such changes in others suffering from autoimmune diseases who were similarly found to be suffering from gluten sensitivity.
My major focus in writing this article is simply to prevent someone from ruling out the possible ill effects gluten could be creating simply because they are deemed not to have celiac disease.
More research will tell the tale, but Sue and many others we have treated certainly have seen the irrefutable benefits of a gluten-free diet as it relates to improvement of their autoimmune disease.
[Note: The points made in this article are based on the author's opinions and experience.]
About Dr. Vikki Petersen
Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, is founder of the HealthNOW Medical Center in Sunnyvale, CA, and co-author of The Gluten Effect. Dr. Petersen has been published in national and international medical journals, newspapers and magazines for her cutting edge work in the field of gluten sensitivity. Her commitment to increase the awareness of gluten sensitivity nationally is well recognized. She has a been a featured speaker at the annual Gluten Sensitivity & Celiac Forum held in northern California. HealthNOW Medical Center is a destination clinic, treating patients from all over the country.
By Jennifer Fugo, CHC, RYT
During sticky summer months, smoothies are perfect for breakfast or when you’re in a rush and need a quick meal. Built around what’s actually in season – like berries and other fresh fruit – smoothies can help you get out of a breakfast rut, cool your body temperature, recover from a hard workout, or simply satisfy a sweet tooth that’s run a little too wild.
The trouble with smoothie recipes is that many are overly sweetened splurges that have as much or more sugar than a can of soda. Combining incredibly sweet fruit along with fruit juice is a sure-fire recipe for a blood sugar disaster. Plus, the fiber content of most smoothies is abysmal, which, if you’re eating a smoothie in place of a meal, means you’re missing out on a key moment to get healthy fiber into your body.
Since simple, fresh ingredients plus your blender can equal a delicious, healthy and cooling meal, I want to share with you my 5 simple tips to up the health factor of your smoothies, starting right now!
1. Choose Your Liquid
Smoothie recipes usually specify a particular liquid like milk, juice, or even yogurt as the base. Substitute other gluten-free options like almond or rice milk (ideally unsweetened), coconut water (an excellent source of electrolytes), or even plain water. Experiment to see what your taste buds like!
2. Up the Protein
As a meal, smoothies need a decent balance of macronutrients like protein. Look for a good quality protein powder that’s marked gluten-free with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving.
3. Up the Good Fats
Always add 1-2 T. of ground flaxseed or 1 T. of chia seeds to increase the healthy, anti-inflammatory omega-3’s as well as the fiber content. This step alone will help you feel full and reduce blood sugar spikes.
4. Rein in Sugar
Stick with berries and other low glycemic fruits. When a recipe calls for a banana, half it and add in ¼ of an avocado to make up for the rest. Avoid recipes that suggest adding in orange juice or other fruit juice.
5. Freeze ‘em First
Why add ice cubes when you can simply use frozen fruit? You can certainly buy frozen fruit at the grocery store, but you can also freeze the sun-ripened fresh choices now appearing in farmers markets. Even bananas can be frozen. If you decide to freeze your own fruit, use freezer bags to keep fruit from getting freezer-burnt.
Banana Chocolate Chip Smoothie
Place all ingredients in your blender and blend on high until the smoothie is well combined. Add a bit of water to create a thinner consistency, if needed. Enjoy right away!
About Jennifer Fugo
Jennifer Fugo is a certified Health Coach working with busy individuals seeking balanced dietary changes. Named by Philadelphia Magazine as a “Gluten Free Guru”, Jennifer knows firsthand the challenges of overcoming food sensitivities as she is intolerant of gluten, casein and eggs.
For more smoothie recipes, as well as other articles and events, visit Jennifer at www.evolvingwell.com.
By NFCA Staff
A year after launch, CeliacCMECentral.com is gaining ground in the medical community. Healthcare providers are taking interest, and more importantly, taking the course to learn more about celiac disease and how they can tackle its poor diagnostic rate.
Here are some landmark moments from the past year:
Here's what one practitioner said about the NFCA's Celiac CME:
I found the CME activity extremely valuable in my professional role as a Family Nurse Practitioner who works in a women's healthcare setting. I routinely see women who have the atypical symptoms of celiac that the CME activity did an outstanding job of highlighting. It is worth noting from a health care provider perspective, that these signs and symptoms are what contribute largely to the underdiagnosis and missed assessments of women. What I learned from this CME both improves and enhances my care of patients, and clearly leads to better health outcomes for all women. What a win-win situation!
Susan Maloney, MSN., CRNP
Are you a primary care provider?
Take the free online CME at CeliacCMECentral.com.
Know a doctor who should learn more about celiac disease?
Tell Your Doctor to Get Informed.
This softball superstar is bringing celiac awareness to college.
Kaitlyn Breneman of Chesapeake, VA, is joining the University of Delaware’s Blue Hens softball team this fall. As a young athlete with celiac disease, Kaitlyn has already overcome obstacles, and now she’s determined to raise awareness while living her dream.
Learn more about Kaitlyn in this Q&A, and follow NFCA’s Athletes for Awareness blog for updates and advice from this softball star.
When were you diagnosed with celiac disease? What were your symptoms?
I was diagnosed with celiac disease in June 2008 after my freshman year of high school. I know I would still be suffering if it weren’t for my mom’s boss, who has food allergies and talked to my mom about her symptoms.
One symptom my mom’s boss had that I shared was severe mood swings whenever we consumed gluten. One moment, I was happy and carefree, and then suddenly I was angry and in tears—and this still can occur when I’m accidentally glutened.
The obvious celiac symptoms I had were malnourishment, lack of height and weight (compared to my family), as well as constant stomachaches and nausea. Because food made me feel sick, I learned to be repulsed by food. I did not and still am not a fan of eating; I eat to fuel my body, not for social pleasure.
Were you active in sports before you were diagnosed? If so, did you find that the undiagnosed disease affected your performance?
I have always been active and played sports. Before my diagnosis I played volleyball, basketball and softball, and I knew something was just not right. My mother and I would get so frustrated that I was not getting the playing time I deserved because of my size. My athletic ability was stunted, but my perseverance, hard work, and drive were not.
A consequence of going undiagnosed for years was the weakening of my bone strength. I was playing in a high school volleyball match and I dove to save the ball. As I dove, my hand did not glide smoothly over the floor and I rolled onto my hand, breaking the fifth metatarsal in my hand. I was out for almost 8 weeks, which ended my season.
Two years later, during the second to last play of a volleyball match, I was injured again. I called for the ball, but my teammate’s shoulder hit against mine, and I heard a crunch. I had an osteochondral fracture, a labral tear, and a cyst. Again, my volleyball season ended.
Luckily, my surgery in April 2010 was successful, and I am able to compete and play softball better than ever. Being on a gluten-free diet has made me be very health conscious, and I only choose and eat foods because of their health benefits—that is my secret to success.
Do you find that you play better now that you’re gluten-free? (Feel free to get specific about certain improvements.)
Being gluten-free has been the most remarkable and life-changing experience of my life. Within 3 days after going gluten-free, I noticed astonishing results: I was no longer running to the bathroom after a meal. I was not having constant mood swings. I actually felt “normal.” Eating a gluten-free and dairy-free diet has been challenging, but it has helped increase and sustain my athletic performance.
What is your goal as an NFCA Athlete for Awareness?
As an NFCA Athlete for Awareness, my goal is to reach out to other aspiring athletes to let them know they are not alone, and with the proper mindset and hard work, they will be able to achieve their athletic and life goals just like me. As a child, I had a goal of playing Division I softball, but that became only a faint dream because of my size, which caused me to be overlooked. The summer after my sophomore year, one year after being gluten-free, I saw the astonishing results of my diet change. I was growing taller, gaining weight and building muscle. The beginning of my junior year, the most important year in sports for recruiting, I fractured my shoulder and missed the volleyball, basketball and softball seasons. Because of my willpower to stick to my diet, hard work in the weight room, and my determination to succeed, I was able recover faster than most people and returned for my senior year as a stronger, healthier athlete. The winter before my high school softball season started, I was recruited to play softball for the University of Delaware.
How can we follow your team?
At the University of Delaware, I was recruited to play catcher and outfield. It is very simple to follow the Lady Blue Hen softball program by visiting www.bluehens.com. On game days there is a ‘live stats’ feature that will let you know every play and exactly what is going on during our games.
We heard something about a bracelet...
Because high school graduation is ending a chapter of my life, I made bracelets for my family to welcome this new chapter. The bracelets are green and say “Someone I love has Celiac Disease.” I also made myself a green glow-in-the-dark bracelet that says, “I am 1 out 133 R U? Celiac Disease.” I am allowed to wear the bracelet at softball practices and games, so I will represent and support celiac disease at all times.
*Visit NFCA's Athletes for Awareness blog next Wednesday, July 13, to learn how Kaitlyn stays gluten-free while traveling for games, including a play-by-play of her meals.
Each month, "Pleased to Tweet You" will highlight an individual who chatted with @CeliacAwareness on Twitter. If you’d like to be featured, follow @CeliacAwareness and say hello!
Find her on Twitter:@traveling_girl
Tweeting since:May 2009
1. How long have you been gluten-free?
I started trying to eliminate gluten from my diet almost 3 years ago, but struggled a lot until Christmas of 2008. I consider that my "anniversary."
2. What do you like to tweet about?
I love live-tweeting events. I've had the privilege to attend the CSA national conference and that was a lot of fun. Otherwise, I like to pass on recommendations for restaurants and websites.
3. Why do you follow NFCA (@CeliacAwareness)?
I appreciate NFCA and what they're trying to do to raise awareness, especially with the GREAT training programs for chefs.
4. What's your favorite gluten-free dish?
It's a draw between my green enchiladas recipe and my ginger cookies recipe, both of which I had to convert.
5. What's one thing you can do now that you couldn't do before going gluten-free?
Walk! Right before going gluten-free, I had become so ill that I could not walk without assistance and an awful lot of pain. I'm extremely physically active now, so that's always terribly exciting.
6. In 140 characters or less, why should others join the gluten-free community on Twitter?
Some of the best resources I ever found were on Twitter. There's a whole community who will automatically care for you. That's incredible.
Each month, "Face It" will highlight a popular post from NFCA’s Facebook page, including a sampling of the responses. “Like” NFCA on Facebook and join the conversation today!
National Foundation for Celiac Awareness: This blog by Elizabeth Moskow caught my attention. If a stranger walked into your kitchen tonight, what gluten-free dish could they make, using only the ingredients in your fridge & pantry?
The Gluten Free Spouse: Pretty much anything they wanted.
Karen Bailey: I am including freezer too... Wow, possibilities are endless...Omelet, anything Mexican. Shrimp pasta alfredo, lasagna, pizza, burgers (with buns). Chili with crackers, salmon with wild rice & any veggie. Too many yummy things to list!
Amber Walters Pitts: Crab cakes... Since I just bought all the ingredients last night and it's laid out!
Alisa Goldschmidt: Love the element of anticipation and surprise! So great what Elizabeth Moskow was able to create - a true gourmet experience. I think I had as much fun reading this blog post as the guests had at dinner that night!
Abby Schwalb: Sounds like a lot of fun! When are you coming to Oregon to rummage through my cabinets and cook me up something delicious?
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness: Elizabeth agreed to take on a virtual "Stranger than Kitchen" challenge for NFCA. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a photo of what's inside your kitchen or pantry. We'll pick one and share the recipes Elizabeth invents in a future e-newsletter!
Join the Discussion >>
Importance of School Nurse Education & How-To Strategies for Parents of Gluten-Free Kids
Join NFCA as Nina Spitzer, President of the Celiac Disease Foundation's Greater Phoenix Chapter, leads this valuable hour-long session about children's gluten-free needs in and out of the classroom.
Sponsored by Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery, this Webinar is free of charge!
Registration begins in early August.
Thank you to all who bought tickets to Celiac Awareness Night at the Phillies. The entire game, including the special Celiac Awareness section, is sold out. We are thrilled with this success, and now we’re ready to cheer on the team.
If you’re heading to the game, make sure to stop by the NFCA booth near sections 206-211 on the 2nd level. There will be a free raffle, tons of information and plenty of smiling faces there to greet you and answer your questions.
When:Friday, July 8, 2011
Time: 7:05 p.m.
Where: Citizen’s Bank Park, Philadelphia
Thanks to the following supporters. We'll see you there!
For more gluten-free and celiac awareness events, visit our Upcoming Events page.
Newly GREAT-Trained Mia Famiglia Brings Gluten-Free To Milwaukee
Congratulations to Mia Famiglia, the first Milwaukee area restaurant providing from-scratch gluten-free pasta and dishes made from fresh organic produce grown in the back of the restaurant or from local farmers markets. Mia Famiglia not only caters to the gluten-free crowd, but also accommodates vegetarian, vegan, and other specialty diets. Executive Chef Tomas has worked in top fine dining restaurants in Milwaukee and studied in Sicily. He will make a recipe work for your needs, and will replace ingredients in traditional recipes with new and exciting flavors.
Mia Famiglia has completed training through NFCA’s GREAT Kitchens program. The staff has been educated, all of the gluten-free items are homemade and prepared in a dedicated area. Separate equipment is used (including a separate pasta maker) and the kitchen is kept spic and span.
Mia Famiglia Ristorante is located at 10049 West Forest Home Avenue in Hales Corners, WI.
GREAT in the News
Announcing New GREAT-Trained Establishments Nationwide
NFCA is proud to acknowledge the new restaurants, caterers, schools, and camps that have recently completed the GREAT (Gluten-Free Resource Education and Awareness Training) Kitchens program:
Check out the new locations near you for gluten-free menu options.
For more information about NFCA’s GREAT gluten-free training, please visit us at http://www.celiaclearning.com.
*Tell your restaurant it's time to get GREAT*
Learn more about gluten-free restaurant training from NFCA >>
By Cheryl McEvoy, NFCA Online Content Manager
We’re all looking to save a buck, and Gluten-Free Deals is a savings site especially for celiac and gluten-free consumers. Like Groupon, Gluten-Free Deals offers steep discounts on products and services, but sticks to items that meet specialty dietary needs. Each deal includes information about the company and instructions on how to redeem the deal voucher. You can even sign up for email alerts, so you’ll know as soon as a new deal is posted. With discounts like 50% off Zing Bars, it’s worth a few clicks to cut down on your bills. The site is also expanding to offer local gluten-free deals in Chicago, NYC and Austin, TX. If you live in one of those areas, select your city from the drop down menu.
Gluten-Free Chicago App
This past May, NFCA highlighted Chicago’s gluten-free scene in the special report, ”Celiac Aware Cities.” Now, you can explore the city’s gluten-free hotspots with your iPhone. Gluten-Free Passport, creator of the Let’s Eat Out! series of books and apps, has released the Gluten Free Chicago iPhone app. The new tool groups gluten-free options by region (Downtown, Western suburbs, etc.), and includes the address, phone number and website for each restaurant. The app even lists Gluten-Free Passport’s Facebook updates, so you can get gluten-free tips and news on the go.
Get the Gluten-Free Chicago app
My Dad’s Cookies
NFCA volunteer Ellen Gaffney raved about these cookies, and now I know why. The gluten-free cookies look like the old bakery favorites - anisettes, black-and-whites, even the crème-filled ones with chocolate drizzles on top – and they’re all delicious. We each had our favorites; mine were the Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, which tasted just like a soft Oreo. Arrange these on a platter, wrap it with cellophane, and top it off with a ribbon. Viola! Instant party pleaser.
San-J Teriyaki Sesame Brown Rice Crackers
These crackers are just enough to quell a mid-afternoon craving for something salty and zippy. The brown rice base is bigger and thicker than other rice crackers, so they’re not the standard pop-in-your-mouth snack. But, they have a very low crumble factor, so they’re still a smart choice to enjoy at your desk or on the couch. The Teriyaki flavor is a bold punch of salty and sweet with an Asian twist. The coating can get a little sticky, so avoid licking your fingers until snacktime is over.
As a product reviewer, I get to try new gluten-free items before I buy. It’s a great perk, and it’s why I think GFree Connect is such a great idea. The new service ships a Care Package filled with gluten-free samples, coupons and information to your door every 3 months. The last shipment in May featured more than 32 brands, and NFCA’s Getting Started Guide was part of the loot! Every shipment contains different gluten-free items, so there are plenty of ways to expand your shopping list. The introductory price is $19.99 per shipment, but if you reference “NFCA Newsletter” at checkout, 10% of the purchase price will be donated to NFCA. The next shipment goes out the first week of August, so sign up today!
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Visit our Gluten-Free Hot Products blog >>
Phoenix Resident Wins Rudi’s Unbelievably Good Gluten-Free Recipe Contest
Annalyn Varalla Wills of Phoenix took home the Grand Prize in Rudi’s Gluten Free Bakery’s Unbelievably Good Gluten-Free Recipe Contest. Annalyn’s Prickly Pear Rudi-fied Goat and Rhubarb Treats beat out creations by fellowcompetitors John Inderdohnen of Centereach, NY, and Terra Fox of Conover, NC, during the final round cook-off at Restaurant 4580 in Boulder, CO. Annalyn, who has celiac disease, was so inspired by the win that she launched a blog to share more of her gluten-free recipes. As the Grand Prize winner, Annalyn will share her Rudi-fied recipe in an upcoming episode of Alternative Appetites, NFCA’s gluten-free cooking series. Watch for the video, premiering next month on our Alternative Appetites page, www.CeliacCentral.org/cookingvideos.
ACME Introduces Dietz & Watson Dedicated Gluten-Free Deli
Last month, Dietz & Watson Premium Deli Meats & Artisan Cheeses and ACME Markets debuted the first-ever dedicated Dietz & Watson gluten-free deli in Paoli, PA, a Philadelphia suburb. Dietz & Watson offers more than 400 gluten-free choices, and more than 20 of them are now available at the new deli case. According to a press release, the gluten-free deli will have dedicated slicers and workers will use special blue gloves when handling gluten-free products. The dedicated deli continues ACME’s efforts to meet gluten-free needs. Last fall, the supermarket introduced signage and special merchandising sets to help customers identify gluten-free products.
New York Times Spotlights Gluten-Free Bakeries
A recent article in the New York Times addressed the growing number of people who abandoned their jobs to open gluten-free bakeries. Several gluten-free bakers shared their stories, including the drive to go gluten-free. For some, health issues prompted the decision to sell gluten-free goods. But all agreed that passion needs to be in the mix. As the daughter of one duo stated, “The appeal of gluten-free bakeries speaks to the current interest in food and health, and to our allergy-laden times. It also has that all-crucial Plan B element of providing joy, satisfaction and pleasure to others.”
To read the full article, visit the New York Times.
Celiac Disease and Menopause
Women with untreated celiac disease have shorter “fertile life spans” than those who follow a gluten-free diet, a new study reports. To conduct the study, the research team, a group of male and female MDs, enlisted the help of 33 post-menopausal women with untreated celiac disease, 25 celiac women who had followed a gluten-free diet for at least ten years before menopause, and 45 healthy volunteers as a control group. The team dispersed questionnaires to the participants in order to collect information such as physical activity and menopause-associated disorders. “Overall, results showed that the women with untreated celiac disease had shorter overall fertile life spans than did the control women. This was due to both a higher age of menarche and a lower age of menopause. Women with untreated celiac disease also showed higher scores for hot flashes, muscle/joint problems, and irritability than the control group,” Celiac.com noted. However, those who follow a long-term gluten-free diet showed no significant difference in the duration of fertile life span.
Read more about this study in NFCA’s Research News.
Celiac Disease Quadruples Risk of Osteoporosis
Individuals with celiac disease face four times the risk of developing progressive bone loss, according to researchers from the Lancaster University School of Health and Medicine. In a new study, the researchers used bone mass density scans to analyze and compare participants' skeletal health. According to researchers, “the lumbar vertebrae of individuals with celiac disease were significantly less dense than those without the condition.” The researchers concluded that celiac disease increases the risk of developing osteoporosis more than fourfold, even among individuals who would otherwise be healthy.
To learn more about this study, read Endocrine Web.
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