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Note from Alice
Cooking with Oonagh
CELIAC AWARENESS MONTH
Heroes Within Us
Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things
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NFCA President & CEO
Celebrating the Heroes Within Us
Every Celiac Awareness Month, I can’t help but think back to my diagnosis over 20 years ago and how I’ve come full circle. 20 years ago, I was weak, frail and convinced I had cancer, somewhere, and that the doctors wouldn’t find it in time. Today, I am stronger than I have ever been.
Life has changed in the celiac disease world over the past 20 years, too. We’ve come a long way from the days of special ordering gluten-free food from other countries and living with a “rare” disease. There’s still work to be done but, rest assured, I have a lot of energy left and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) has big plans to help shift the focus away from solely the gluten-free diet and back to celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (‘gluten sensitivity’).
This May, we’re celebrating Celiac Awareness Month through our Heroes Within Us campaign. Every one of us in the gluten-free community is a hero. Each time you talk to someone about celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you make a difference. Every time you share NFCA’s Celiac Disease Symptoms Checklist, you increase the chances of someone else finally finding the answer to their ailments. With every waitress, waiter, chef or foodservice professional you educate on the importance of gluten-free training and proper protocols, you bring our community one step closer to safety within a gluten-filled world.
Each week in May, NFCA will unveil a community member who’s making an impact in the lives of those around them. Each is an ordinary person doing extraordinary things. Because, in reality, that’s what a true hero is. Heroes don’t always wear a cape, carry a sword or act as vigilantes in the dark of night. Real heroes are the people who are admired for their courage to take their own hardship and turn it into something positive for the greater good of others.
I hope that you will be just as inspired by our heroes as I am and I encourage you to follow in their footsteps. Individually, we can make small steps towards change for the celiac disease and gluten sensitive communities. Together, we can help push the gluten-free diet from the main topic of conversation and rise above the noise of the fad diet to emphasize the health issues behind it so that those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can eat without fear and live their lives to the fullest.
To our GREAT health,
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Chocolate Bread Pudding
I used to love making this with Portuguese sweet bread rolls or Challah or Brioche bread. I loved a local Portuguese sweet bread roll that I can't eat now. It is almost impossible to find gluten-free versions of this bread, so I substituted an Udi’s bagel and it doesn't disintegrate and doesn't have any funny taste.
Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Beets in Lemon Gelatin (no cook)
I make sweet panna cotta and got the idea for a savory version from a recipe from Wilson’s Farms in Lexington MA, one of my favorite places for fresh fruit and vegetables. I like that this recipe can easily be adapted for as many people as you need to “cook” it for. This makes life so much easier when you are either trying out a recipe or there are only two of you at home. I will eat this as a dinner with salad, as a side with fresh salmon, or garnished with shrimp or smoked salmon, even spread on bagels. This is not that strong, hits-you-in-the-mouth goat cheese taste. If you cannot tolerate goat cheese, use an unsweetened milk substitute for the half and half and leave out the sour cream/yogurt. It will still be good.
About Chef Oonagh Williams
Chef Oonagh's adult son was diagnosed gluten & lactose intolerant – now dairy intolerant over 5 years ago with no previous symptoms. She has family members with celiac disease and follows a gluten-free diet for her own gluten sensitivity. Many of her students and clients are not just gluten-free, so she helps people with lactose, dairy, egg, yeast, soy, apple, pear, banana, rice, corn intolerances, etc. Chef Oonagh helps them to cook and realize there is life after a diagnosis of celiac disease. 'Like' Chef Oonagh at Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook. Chef Oonagh has a gluten-free living blog with all her recipes from NFCA and other recipes, as well as clips of her appearances on the local ABC station. Enjoy her 'Delicious Gluten Free Cooking' cookbook. Chef Oonagh also consults on Skype or by telephone.
Raising Awareness in the Classroom
By Silvana Nardone
Get your gluten-free cooking and baking questions answered by the expert! Have a question for Silvana? E-mail Alicia at firstname.lastname@example.org and your question could be answered in a future NFCA newsletter
Celiac Awareness Month is prime time for helping your child’s teacher and classmates understand what gluten-free living is all about. Here are some ways to make it happen:
Demystify what gluten-free and celiac disease means to kids.
Turn the conversation around with education. The word “disease” can be scary. When you empower kids with information, they are more sensitive to the reality of the situation and show empathy. Take advantage of the opportunity to show them that your child isn’t different; he/she just eats different foods. Educating classmates on celiac disease or gluten sensitivity doesn’t have to be boring. Try using these fun and educational games from NFCA’s Kids Central.
Teach a hands-on cooking class.
Kids are reactive and sometimes need to see it—and taste it—to believe it. They also are more likely to try something new if they’re included in the process. Make a recipe they’ll be surprised to learn is gluten-free, like your child’s favorite cupcakes or pancakes.
Throw a gluten-free cookie decorating party any time of year.
Everyone loves a good party! Work with other class parents to bake different types of gluten-free cookies or use store-bought cookies in a pinch. Then, supply plenty of frosting and decoration options. This will get kids having fun together and the memory will stick with them longer than just having them try already prepared gluten-free cookies.
Ask Your Child’s Teacher to Host a “Wear Green” Day.
Green has become the unofficial “official” color for celiac disease. Ask your child’s teacher if the students can wear green for a day. This gives you or your child the opening to talk about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. You can even take it a step further and send in green-themed gluten-free snacks to share with the students.
How have you raised awareness in your child’s classroom? Share your story on NFCA’s Facebook page and consider using this yummy gluten-free recipe to send in to your child’s class:
About Silvana Nardone
Silvana Nardone is the author of Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy, Delicious Meals and founder of silvanaskitchen.com, a blog that takes the guesswork out of how to feed a family with food allergies. Join the gluten-free conversation in her Facebook community or follow her on Twitter or Pinterest.
Every week in May, we will unveil a new community hero, each representing one of NFCA’s core strategies and values: education, empowerment, advocacy and advancing research.
NFCA believes there’s a hero in everyone and we encourage you to take action to help raise celiac disease awareness alongside us. We’ll provide you with resources throughout the month to help you get the word out about the medical need for the gluten-free diet.
In early April, NFCA asked community members to share their photos with us for a surprise project to be unveiled during Celiac Awareness Month. We couldn’t think of a better time to show you that every one of our community members helps make the organization stronger.
Introducing the 2014 Celiac Awareness Month Toolkit! We’ve compiled new and improved resources to help you get your family members tested for celiac disease, push for safe gluten-free options in your neighborhood restaurants and connect with the online community.
Let’s get #celiac disease trending on Twitter this May! Join NFCA for two special Twitter chats in honor of Celiac Awareness Month.
#NFCAchat: Celiac Disease Diagnosis
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST
In anticipation of NFCA’s upcoming webinar, “Best Practices in Celiac Disease Diagnosis,” we want to hear your experiences with celiac disease diagnosis. Follow the hashtag #NFCAchat to be a part of the conversation. If you have family members who still need to be tested, encourage them to join in the chat, too!
This Twitter chat is sponsored by Schar
#NFCAchat: Celiac Disease Awareness
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST
Join NFCA as we talk about all things celiac disease and gluten sensitivity related. We want to hear your thoughts on the gluten-free fad diet, common myths and more hot topics in the community. Follow #NFCAchat to share your opinion! Be sure to enter the Erewhon Organics Gluten-Free Giveaway.
This Twitter chat is sponsored by Erewhon Organics
For almost ten years, Quest Diagnostics has been an enthusiastic supporter of NFCA and the celiac disease community. A dedicated partner in driving diagnosis, Quest has worked diligently and continuously with NFCA to educate both the physician and patient communities, activities that have helped to move the bar on celiac disease diagnosis. We are proud of our success to date. But, there is still much work to be done. It is imperative that we help the 83% of Americans who unknowingly live with celiac disease to gain a prompt and accurate diagnosis.
That’s why NFCA is pleased and proud to stand behind Quest’s new pilot multi-media program specifically geared toward encouraging people to get tested for celiac disease. Launched earlier this year, Quest’s new “Emoticons” campaign raises awareness of some of the more common indicators of celiac disease, including IBS-like symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation and stomach pain, as well as extra-intestinal symptoms such as migraines and depression. The Quest campaign currently is being piloted in Kansas City, Missouri and Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut, locations prepared to support newly diagnosed patients.
Most importantly, NFCA applauds Quest for emphasizing the essential and important role that a simple blood test plays in gaining a celiac disease diagnosis, an element that is increasingly forgotten as more and more people opt to “go gluten-free” without first asking to be tested.
Visit Quest’s new website to check out the Emoticons campaign and help spread the word about the many signs and symptoms of celiac disease -- and the importance of testing.
NFCA would like to extend a warm thank you to the companies who support us all year long, especially during Celiac Awareness Month. Thank you for your help in making gluten-free options available for our community!
By Jennifer North, NFCA Vice President
During Celiac Awareness Month, you will see a lot of statistics thrown around and you may notice that the size of the gluten-free marketplace isn’t always consistent.
Thanks to the market research firm, SPINS, we do have an accurate count of where the gluten-free industry stands today: a whopping $20 billion. We’ve certainly come a long way when it comes to the availability and affordability of gluten-free food.
With today’s technology that can track everything from the shoes we purchase to our movie preferences, it’s easier than ever before to understand consumer trends. What makes SPINS data reliable is that it’s based on scan data from register purchases from independent groceries, supermarkets and big box stores like Target and Walmart.
Even so, how can the numbers vary so much? Some estimates of the gluten-free marketplace are closer to $6 billion.
Many research firms spend their time collecting data using a wide variety of methods from surveys to company earnings reports. Each company has its own formula. What may account for some of the differences, though, could be the categories counted when calculating the numbers. For example, some calculations might exclude supplements (a $3.3 billion category, according to SPINS). Some may be correct for products like Frito’s and Chex, which are mainstream products labeled gluten-free, but certainly the bulk of people purchasing Frito’s are not buying them because of their gluten-free status.
While it’s valuable to understand the buying power of gluten-free consumers, the overall scale of the marketplace, as represented by the availability of products labeled gluten-free, is significant in that it demonstrates, in a tangible way, that those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are no longer on the fringes. We can walk into any supermarket or gas station minimart and find products that we know are safe.
When Alice Bast founded NFCA 10 years ago, she ordered her food by mail from Canada. Together, we’ve made great strides in exercising our consumer voice and creating demand for better, more accessible options. NFCA made a commitment to this endeavor very early on. We continue our commitment today to ensuring that gluten-free food is affordable, accessible, safe, tasty and understood.
Gluten-Free Flour Power
By Laurie Sadowski
So long, dried out desserts. Gluten-free baking unveils a new generation of exciting ingredients and techniques for pasty perfection.
Just one plain flour could produce thousands of recipes – or so was the case until my celiac disease diagnosis. Suddenly that lone component had to be replaced by a combination of three, four or more.
But as I soon discovered, experimenting with gluten-free flours adds a new dimension of flavors and textures that aren’t possible when working only with wheat flour. Plus by understanding the taste, consistency and composition of other gluten-free baking ingredients and how to use them, the sweet smell of success becomes easy to achieve.
Celiac Awareness Month Special! Restaurants Can Receive 50% Off Gluten-Free Training
We think people living with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should be able to eat without fear wherever they go. We work all year long to train restaurants in safe gluten-free food preparation through our online training program, GREAT Kitchens. Now, we're asking for your help in making more restaurants "celiac-safe."
Tell your local restaurants about the GREAT Kitchens program and encourage them to sign up for training during May. When they do, they'll receive 50% off the training. You can even treat your favorite chef or foodservice director to the gluten-free training by signing them up here and using coupon code 50%GFDine14.
To learn more about the GREAT Kitchens program, you can direct your local restaurants to www.CeliacCentral.org/GREAT or download our Gluten-Free Dining Tips sheet, which contains an easy tear-off informational sheet.
Join NFCA and our expert panelists Daniel A. Leffler, MD, MS, Director of Research, The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Ritu Verma, MD, Section Chief of Gastroenterology, Director, Center for Celiac Disease, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as they discuss best practices in diagnosis for both pediatric and adult patient populations.
This Webinar falls in the middle of Celiac Awareness Month, so be sure to share the details with your friends and family to help us arm people with the knowledge they need to move forward with accurate and prompt celiac disease testing.
Sponsored by Lucy’s and Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery, this webinar is free of charge!
Celiac Awareness Day with the Philadelphia Phillies is back! This year, it's happening right in the middle of May - Celiac Awareness Month. Come out to support the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) and help us raise awareness of celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity ('gluten sensitivity') and the gluten-free diet.
Just like in years past, there will be a dedicated gluten-free concession stand and the NFCA gang will be there to provide educational materials to game attendees.
See what other fun things are happening at the ballpark on Celiac Awareness Day and grab your tickets here before they’re gone!
Sponsored by Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
By Alicia Carango, NFCA Communications Assistant
Important Alert: Product Containing Barley Malt Mislabeled as Gluten-Free
A Facebook community member brought a mislabeled product to the attention of NFCA, showing the product was labeled as gluten-free, despite containing barley malt in the ingredients list. NFCA cautions the celiac disease and gluten sensitive communities that the Greens Plus High Protein Whey Krisp bar is unsafe as it does contain gluten, despite its gluten-free label.
Learn more about the issue here.
Dr. Alessio Fasano Interviews with Allergic Living Magazine
Dr. Alessio Fasano, Director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Scientific/Medical Advisory Council member, sat down with Allergic Living to share his expert insight on common celiac disease myths and the exciting things happening in research.
Read the Q&A with Dr. Fasano.
Gluten-Free Menu Claims Increase 200%
Dining trends show that more people are interested in topics like food safety, allergens and healthier options. Restaurants are taking notice. Mintel Menu Insights collected information on restaurant menus, discovering that gluten-free claims have increased 200%. With more gluten-free options being offered, NFCA reminds diners with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to remain diligent in checking ingredients and preparation processes to ensure food is protected from cross-contact.
See what other menu claims are on the rise.
Be Well Philly Highlights Five Health Problems Doctors are Likely to Miss
Philadelphia Magazine’s Be Well Philly blog covered the top five problems doctors in the U.S. are likely to miss as featured in Shape magazine. Not surprising to those in the NFCA community, celiac disease was named as number two on the list, as people wait an average of 6-10 years for a proper diagnosis.
See what else made the list.
By Alicia Carango, NFCA Communications Assistant
Pearls Olive to Go
My family jokes that a love for black and green olives runs in our genes. You’ll often find my cousins and me gathered around the olive bowl at family parties. Olives to Go from Pearls are super convenient because, unlike your traditional canned olives, these come in individual serving cups without the messiness of juice. If you’re like me, you can enjoy these olives straight from the serving cups. Or, you can use them as a convenient, non-messy way to bring them to the office to add to the top of your salad. Learn more about these naturally gluten-free snacks at www.PearlsOlives.com.
Barnana Chewy Banana Bites
These bite-size snacks come in two varieties: Chocolate and Original. The chocolate come with a slightly hard outer shell and a chewy banana inside. Made with organic cocoa, these almost seemed to have a coffee-like taste to me. The original bites had a strong banana flavor and an overly-chewy texture that I did not care for as much as the texture of the chocolate variety. Because these snacks are bite-sized, they’re perfect for an afternoon snack or for packing in your luggage when you travel. Check out Barnana at www.Barnana.com.
Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
If you miss Rice Krispies cereal, you are in for a treat with Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal. While it's obviously great with cold milk in a bowl, this cereal has so many versatile uses. It's truly the gluten-free pantry staple. You can use this cereal as a breadcrumb alternative, a base for a gluten-free pie crust or even in a cookie recipe. Learn more by visiting AttuneFoods.com.
Jason Gluten-Free Hand and Body Lotion
If you like finger food (and who doesn’t like finger food), a good gluten-free hand lotion is essential! When I got Jason’s new hand and body lotion, I was excited on so many levels. Owned by Hain Celestial, Jason doesn’t utilize animal testing and their lotion is fragrance free. That means it doesn’t compete with other scents that I choose to wear. Many of the ingredients are also organic. The lotion is nice and thick, but also soaks into your hands leaving them a very nice silky texture without a detectible residue. Learn more about the products at www.jason-personalcare.com.
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