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Note from Alice
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Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
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Gluten-Free in College
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You Did It!
You Said It
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When Gluten-Free Food Really is Limited
I constantly tell people how much easier it is to find gluten-free food. And for me, someone who used to mail order gluten-free food from Canada, it is. I make one trip to the grocery store and come back with all of the fruits, veggies, yogurt and quinoa I need.
Then I realize how lucky I am. Many others don’t have the same access. First, there’s the issue of store inventory. Then, the high mark up on gluten-free alternatives. But what I’m really talking about today are those situations when people have little-to-no choice in what they eat.
In January, our Director of Communications Whitney Ehret posted a staff blog about the letters she’s received from gluten-free individuals who are in prison. These individuals have extremely limited meal options, and the foodservice staff is rarely trained in gluten-free safety. Whitney’s account of a recently diagnosed prisoner who wrote in desperate search of information left us all with food for thought.
Then there’s the hospital. Slowly but surely, hospitals are improving their meals. Gone is the standard meatloaf and Jell-O regimen, and in its place, hospitals are building superior foodservice delivery. But the gluten-free issue remains. Patients can ask question after question, but when it comes down to it, they have to trust that the plate in front of them really is gluten-free. The same goes for long-term care facilities, where being the only person with celiac disease can mean that you’re stuck with dry chicken and soggy vegetables.
Finally, there’s college. Whenever I visit my daughter at University of Michigan, it hits me how much these students are at the mercy of the dining hall. My daughter does not have celiac disease, but one of her friends does. As freshmen living on campus, it’s either eat in the dining hall or fill up on what’s stashed in your dorm. Many students don’t have a car, so grocery shopping is off the table.
Why am I telling you this? Well, it’s part of what guides our work at NFCA. We believe in helping all individuals affected by gluten-related disorders, including those in situations you don’t usually think of.
So, Whitney ships resources to prison addresses. Beckee works with hospitals and facilities through our GREAT Kitchens program. And, this month, Cheryl gathered gluten-free college students to share their stories of on-campus survival so others won’t feel so alone.
It’s not always the big move that makes a difference. Sometimes, it’s the little changes that tip the scales.
Tips for Raising Sugar-Free Celiac Kids
By Miranda Jade Turbin
Just as with gluten, avoiding sugar can be tough, but if your child is suffering from conditions like hypoglycemia, candidiasis, or diabetes, leaving out this common ingredient can be critical. Even for kids who don’t have medical conditions requiring the elimination of sugar from the diet, being sugar-free has its benefits.
According to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes 22 tablespoons or sugar per day. This is easy to understand once you realize that sugar is a very common ingredient. Not only is it found in typical sweets and sodas, but you’ll also see it in foods like peanut butter, canned soup, canned fruits, condiments and tomato sauces.
Avoiding sugar has its health benefits, even for children who aren’t on a doctor-mandated sugar-free diet. Just as with adults, children’s bodies can only handle so much sugar at once. Refined sugar goes right into the bloodstream, unlike fruits and unrefined carbohydrates which have fiber to slow down the absorption process. Refined sugar leads to the release of insulin to stop your child’s sugar overload, which in turn leads to a crash following the sugar high and then craving more sugar to get energy levels back up. This vicious “bad sugar” cycle can eventually lead to hypoglycemia, candidiasis, and even diabetes.
Fortunately, there are many gluten-free substitutes for refined sugar that can fulfill your celiac child’s sweet tooth. These include agave nectar, stevia, xylitol, honey, maple sugar, date sugar, sorghum molasses, coconut sugar, palm sugar and brown rice sugar. Check with manufacturers of individual products to ensure they are gluten-free.
In addition to substituting refined sugar in your celiac child’s gluten-free recipes, you should also aim to avoid processed foods. Try to meet your child’s nutritional needs through fresh whole foods like vegetables and low-glycemic fruits such as apples, berries, peaches and pears.
Here’s a recipe for gluten-free and refined sugar-free carrot cake for your celiac child.
RECIPE: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Carrot Cake
About Miranda Jade Turbin
Miranda Jade 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, developing gluten-free recipes and reviewing companies for celiac consumer safety at the award-winning website: GlutenFreeHelp.info.
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Cead Mile Failte – Gluten-Free Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day
By Chef Oonagh Williams
IRISH CHICKEN ROLLS
This recipe came about because I was asked to cook for a dinner party as a wedding gift. The groom was of Irish descent and the givers thought it would be nice to offer an Irish-themed meal. The only problem was that neither bride nor groom really ate beef or fish. I created this based on the roast chicken and vegetables my family used to have on Sundays – all fresh from the farm, of course.
IRISH SODA BREAD (Version 2012)
Last summer, I got together with an Irish cousin of mine, fairly recently married and living in Maine. She is both gluten-free and dairy-free, and we shared tips on how we make gluten-free soda bread. She uses a 50/50 combination of buckwheat and rice flours, and gluten-free rice milk instead of buttermilk. The buckwheat flour was a bit heavy for me, so I still prefer to use brown rice flour. You can also try using millet flour or even certified gluten-free oats.
INDIVIDUAL STICKY TOFFEE PUDDINGS WITH TOFFEE NUT SAUCE
This is an old recipe that seems to have made its way to America. It’s usually made with chopped dates that are readily available, but I have also made it with chopped figs. The flavor of figs is more obvious in the finished dessert, but still wonderful. My husband, who tries to be good about eating desserts, has no problem eating more of these.
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.
By NFCA Staff
One year after Dr. Alessio Fasano and his research team published a landmark study on the differences between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the scientific community is still exploring how non-celiac gluten sensitivity works – and how doctors can diagnose it.
What’s more, researchers and the public alike are beginning to recognize how important it is to distinguish between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Most recently, a group of thought leaders in celiac research developed a set of consensus vocabulary and definitions to use in describing celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and other gluten-related disorders.
There’s a lot of information (including plenty of misinformation) out there, and we know it’s not always easy to understand. So, we’ve created a series of Q&As on non-celiac gluten sensitivity that we’ll post quarterly throughout 2012. This series is designed to teach you what we know about non-celiac gluten sensitivity, what we don’t , and how future research could answer more questions.
NFCA, in collaboration with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, is conducting research on the perceptions of celiac disease among families where a member has been medically diagnosed. This research seeks to uncover the attitudes and beliefs of at-risk family members who have not been tested for the disease.
The study will have two phases: telephone focus groups and personal interviews, and an on-line survey. The telephone focus groups and personal interviews at phase one will impact and define the content of the on-line survey. This notice is for participation in phase 1, the telephone focus groups and personal interviews, which is now open.
Yes, Celiac Disease Can Develop as a Senior
By Lisa Ferlaino
[NFCA has partnered with Allergic Living, a print magazine dedicated to the celiac and food allergy communities. Each month, we’ll feature a Q&A, news item or article excerpt from the Allergic Living team.]
The last thing Tom Hopper, then 65, expected to hear in late February 2008 was that he had celiac disease. But after enduring five months of frightening and inexplicable symptoms and being hospitalized five times, he knew something clearly wasn’t right.
Hopper first experienced one of his “sessions,” when he was 64. For seven hours he was vomiting, had diarrhea and felt excruciating cramping in his legs and feet. At times during this and subsequent episodes, the pain in his legs was so bad, he had to hold onto a door just to stand up. The vomiting always ended after bringing up bile that had leaked into his stomach. Delirious, weak and dehydrated, he would head to the hospital.
It wasn’t until he was on his way from his hometown of Ellicott City, Maryland to Boston for business that Hopper finally found out what was causing these excruciating bouts of poor health…
NFCA is expanding our resources for gluten-free college students (and the parents who love and worry about them). Next month, we’ll unveil a special edition digital magazine featuring interviews with real gluten-free college students, dating and nutrition advice, and tips for making your dining hall more gluten-free friendly. As a preview, we’re handing the reins to a few students who have been there, done that.
Throughout the month of March, we’re running a special blog series: Gluten-Free in College. The series features eight gluten-free bloggers who are in college or recently graduated. Each blogger will share a unique experience related to living gluten-free at college. Topics range from making the gluten-free transition while in school, to sharing a kitchen with gluten-eating sorority sisters.
The blog series is sponsored by Kettle Cuisine, which makes a line of gluten-free soups that students have been known to stash in their freezers. Learn more at Kettle Cuisine on Facebook.
Easter is Sunday, April 8, and we’re preparing you for the real hunt – for gluten-free candy. Our friends at MyGlutenFacts.com have supplied us with their 2012 Gluten-Free Easter Candy Lists, and we’re sharing them with you.
The team at MyGlutenFacts.com compiled these lists based on phone call after phone call to manufacturers. The candies are categorized according to manufacturing practices – whether the candy was produced on a cleaned production line, on a dedicated gluten-free line, or in a dedicated gluten-free facility.
We hope you find this list helpful in creating a gluten-free Easter basket for your child. Please note that thislist should be used as a guide only. NFCA and myGlutenFacts.com recommend double‐checking product ingredients to verify gluten-free status before eating.
NFCA has launched a special section on CeliacCentral.org for information on sending your gluten-free kid to camp.
The section includes tips for parents, plus a list of gluten-free friendly camps. The camps on this list either have dedicated gluten-free kitchens or have procedures in place to ensure your child’s meals are gluten-free.
“You Did It” is a new section of NFCA’s newsletter where we’ll share stories and advice from NFCA volunteers. We hope these articles will inspire you to take action and say “I did it!” today. For more volunteer stories, see NFCA's Awareness All-Stars blog.
Gluten-Free Bar Mitzvah Success
Congratulations to Daniel Yadgaroff, who celebrated his Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, February 11. Daniel, who has celiac disease, devoted his Mitzvah project to helping other gluten-free kids. He created two videos for NFCA that now appear on Kids Central. Watch the videos »
Daniel celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at the Bala Golf Club in Philadelphia. The chef completed gluten-free training through NFCA's GREAT Kitchens and prepared an entirely gluten-free menu for the event. NFCA Founder and President Alice Bast, who attended the celebration, said she was overjoyed to try all the food – her favorite being the gluten-free crab cakes.
In all, the party was a GREAT success!
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“You Said It” is a new part of NFCA’s newsletter where we share something insightful that YOU said on Facebook or Twitter. Join the conversation with NFCA on Facebook and Twitter.
How do you embrace the “thrill of the choice” when picking out gluten-free food?
The Gluten-Free Link: ADHD, Autism and Celiac Disease
Join NFCA as Marie-Nathalie Beaudoin, PhD, Training Director at Bay Area Family Therapy & Training Associates, returns to the NFCA webinar platform to offer parents and healthcare providers new insights on the link between behavioral disorders like ADHD, autism spectrum disorders and celiac disease in a lively 60-minute review of the current academic literature.
Sponsored by Crunchmaster, this webinar is free of charge.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight While Eating Gluten-Free: The Importance of Physical Activity and Mindful Eating
Join NFCA as Amy Jones, MS, RD, LD, Chief Clinical Dietitian and Celiac Support Group Facilitator, Mary Rutan Hospital, educates gluten-free individuals on how to manage their weight through a nutritious gluten-free diet using a healthy fitness regimen and a mindful approach to eating.
Sponsored by Blue Diamond and Vitacost, this webinar is free of charge.
Tickets are now available! Join NFCA for a fun-filled night at the ballpark. Watch as the Philadelphia Phillies take on the San Francisco Giants while enjoying gluten-free food and drinks.
Use promotion code CELIAC when ordering tickets.
For more gluten-free and celiac awareness events, visit our Upcoming Events page.
Alice Bast Presents at Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) Food & Healthy Living Task Force Session
The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) recently invited NFCA Founder & President Alice Bast to present at one of the organization’s board meetings as part of a Food & Healthy Living Task force session held on February 27, 2012.
The TRA conducted a panel presentation that discussed the importance of providing options to customers with special dietary needs, challenges that occur when providing gluten-free options, how to overcome them, and ways to develop items for menus that actually meets the dietary needs of consumers. The presentations had a special focus on two key populations: individuals on a gluten-free diet and children.
Alice’s presentation on the gluten-free diet helped to educate members of the foodservice industry and Texas restaurant community on a variety of critical subjects, including:
Alice was joined by Ryan Eason of Medical City Heart Hospital, who presented on subject of healthy children. Medical City Heart recently initiated a restaurant program that works to educate the restaurant community on the importance of healthy eating through culinary schools. Conducted in partnership with the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association, Medical City Heart’s program seeks to promote heart-healthy eating in the community.
With over 23 chapters across the state, the Texas Restaurant Association serves as an advocate in Texas and an indispensable resource for the hospitality and foodservice industry. To learn more, visit TRA's website.
GREAT In The News
*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
KIND Healthy Grains
I’ve never met a KIND bar I didn’t like, so I was excited to hear the company had a new gluten-free granola on the market. These bite-sized clusters come in six flavors and incorporate good-for-you ingredients like quinoa, millet, amaranth and chia. My favorite flavor is Vanilla Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seeds, which actually has little flecks of blueberry in each bite. Peanut butter, chocolate, cinnamon and nut fans - there’s something for you, too. One thing to note: The clusters contain gluten-free oats and oat flour, so choose according to your dietary needs.
Visit Kind Snacks
Cascade Ice is a line of zero calorie sparkling waters and cocktail mixers that come in 31 flavors. We tried the fruit-flavored sparkling waters, all of which were gluten-free and sugar-free. Standouts included Coconut, Blueberry and Watermelon, and McIntosh Apple (they didn’t skimp on the creativity). Like many sugar-free beverages, this variety tasted very sweet and syrupy, so I wouldn’t recommend it for chugging when you’re thirsty. However, the true-to-name flavors and strong effervescence made them good contenders when you’re looking for something with a little more oomph than water.
Visit Cascade Ice
The Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook
Author Elizabeth Gordon proves that a special diet doesn’t have to be a restrictive one in this new cookbook. The recipes are free of gluten, dairy, soy, nuts and eggs, yet they manage to address nearly every comfort food craving. From Hush Puppies, to Irish Soda Bread, to Empanadas and Chicken Curry, the cookbook bounces across the country and around the world. Each recipe includes easy-to-read ingredients and directions, accompanied by a glamor shot of the finished dish. Even the cover - a photo of Spring Risotto with a muted gray and white writing - looks pretty enough to eat.
Order the cookbook
Bakery on Main Gluten-Free Instant Oatmeal
If you’re able to tolerate certified gluten-free oats, this is a tasty new breakfast (or snack, or dessert) option to try. The oatmeal comes in three flavors: Apple Pie, Strawberry Shortcake and Maple Multigrain Muffins (sounds delicious, right?). Add water and give it a quick blast in the microwave, or add boiling water to cook. After a minute or two, the room will fill with a warm, intoxicating scent. Beware – the smell will likely attract hungry housemates or co-workers. The oatmeal is very sweet, so I recommend mixing it with plain certified gluten-free oats. My favorite was the Strawberry Shortcake, which had a balance of nutty grains, fruity flavor and that good old comfort food feel.
Visit Bakery on Main
*Get Hot Products updates from NFCA every week!*
Visit our Gluten-Free Hot Products blog »
Gluten-Free Blogger Kickstarts Community Cookbook
Karen Morgan of Blackbird Bakery is planning her next cookbook, and she’s making it a community effort. The blogger has created a page on Kickstarter.com with a goal of raising $30,000 to fund the book. Supporters who donate at least $350 can submit a recipe that Karen will turn into a gluten-free version. Supporters who donate at least $2,500 will have their recipe and story included in the future cookbook.
Gluten-Free Labeling Included in FDA Budget
The U.S. government appears to be standing by its goal to deliver a gluten-free labeling standard by the end of 2012. Released on February 13, 2012, the President’s proposed budget includes a section on gluten-free labeling. The section summarizes the steps that the FDA has already taken, but more importantly reiterates the Agency’s plan “to issue, by the end of fiscal year 2012, a final rule that defines “gluten-free” for labeling food products, including dietary supplements.”
Read more about this story.
Golfer Michelle Wie Goes Gluten-Free, Draws Criticism
LPGA star Michelle Wie has announced that she is trying a gluten-free diet, but not everyone is happy about it. Many gluten-free individuals were irked when the golfer said she was inspired by tennis star Novak Djokovic and made the switch in hopes of seeing improved performance. To critics, her comments catered to the ‘fad.’ Still, others pointed to the health improvements Wie has already seen, and noted that many other athletes have made the decision to go gluten-free for the dual benefits of better health and improved performance.
Read more about Wie’s switch.
Researchers Publish Consensus Definitions of Celiac Disease and Related Terms
A group of 16 researchers from around the world have developed and agreed upon a set of definitions for celiac disease and related terms. These consensus definitions mark a new effort to rein in the multiple and inconsistent terms used to describe celiac disease and gluten-related disorders – a problem that has presented a challenge to researchers and the public alike. The new definitions also reflect recent research into non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which went largely unrecognized in the medical community until last year.
Read about the new definitions.
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