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NFCA Founder & President
Tell Us at NFCA: What Are Your Gluten-Free Dining Concerns?
When I dine out, I run through my usual questions: What’s in the salad dressing? Is the gluten-free pasta cooked in a separate pot? Can you use a fresh pan to cook my omelet?
Now, think about when you dine out. Do you know what questions to ask at a restaurant? More importantly, do you feel comfortable asking them?
At the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), it’s our mission to educate consumers like you about the risks of cross-contamination, arm you with the right questions to ask when dining out, and empower you to speak up and advocate for your health needs.
This summer, we will host an educational session about cross-contamination in restaurants and the impact this concern has on those who must follow a lifelong gluten-free diet. We aim to guide a conversation based on the need to bring attention to issues that those with gluten-related disorders face on a daily basis.
But first, we want to hear from you.
Our educational session wouldn’t be effective if we didn’t understand your questions and concerns. So, we want you to tell us about your gluten-free dining experiences:
Please share your comments by filling out this form: Tell Us at NFCA
We would like to incorporate your comments into our educational session, so please submit your thoughts by next Tuesday, June 12, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
In GREAT Health,
Gluten-Free Snacking for Celiac Kids
By Miranda Jade Turbin
Probably one of the biggest challenges for parents of celiac and gluten sensitive kids is finding a variety of gluten-free snacks that are both appealing and healthy. This can be a challenge both in and out of the home.
One of the main snacking issues is not having enough gluten-free snacks within reach. Keep a variety of snacks stored in the house and car. Snacks that can be stored well in the car are: nuts, gluten-free crackers, dried fruit, and gluten-free energy bars.
At school, give your child’s teacher plenty of snacks to keep in your child’s locker or in the classroom. In addition to the snacks already mentioned, you can store microwavable gluten-free meals or soup, gluten-free dry cereal in zipper bags, canned fruit with pull-tab lids, and individually packaged cups of applesauce.
At home, you’ll be able to store these snacks listed above, as well as ones that require refrigeration such as gluten-free yogurt, sliced veggies and hummus, hard-boiled eggs, gluten-free pudding, and sliced cheese. Make it a point to prepare an abundance of snacks every week after your grocery shopping so that gluten-free snacks are handy for your child in your home at all times.
Over time, your child may grow tired of frequently eaten gluten-free snacks. To avoid this, provide a constant variety of new or different foods. Read gluten-free blogs, magazines, and cookbooks to get ideas or download a gluten-free recipe iPhone or smartphone app to help. Don’t afraid to get creative and experiment.
Here’s a delicious snack recipe to make with your gluten-free child: Gluten-Free Granola Bars
About Miranda Jade Turbin
Miranda Jade Turbin became extremely interested and involved in the subjects of celiac disease, non-celiac 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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Gluten-Free Recipes for Summer Parties
By Chef Oonagh Williams
The season of summer parties is upon us and we don’t want to spend forever in the kitchen, even if we do have air conditioning. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of grilled or barbecued recipes. If you’re like me, then enjoy some of these recipes that break away from your traditional summer barbecue.
CRAB AND ROASTED RED PEPPER DIP
This is a mix of various dips based on what I like and what I already had in the house to work with: ½ lb of crabmeat and freshly roasted red peppers.
These are based on my English Viennese Fancies recipe - a piped shortbread easily made at home. In England, it is also sold in bakeries with raspberry jam and buttercream sandwiched between 2 cookies. These were taste tested and approved by people with and without gluten sensitivities!
MASCARPONE STRAWBERRY CREAMS
This is a very soft, very rich dessert. Try using sweet raspberries, peaches, nectarines or whatever fruit is in season. Put the entire recipe in a serving bowl and dish out with the shortbread, or spoon into individual ramekins for a single-serving treat.
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. To learn more, visit Chef Oonagh’s website at RoyalTemptations.com or ‘Like’ her at Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook.
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If you haven’t entered to win NFCA’s Gluten-Free Pantry Raid, you’re in luck – we’ve extended the deadline! Now through August 31, 2012, donate $20 to NFCA and you’ll be automatically entered to win the Grand Prize – a gluten-free pantry makeover.
In case you missed it, here’s what the prize includes:
Additional prizes to be awarded include a one-on-one private cooking consultation via Skype with Chef Dan Kohler, star of NFCA's Alternative Appetites cooking series, plus two gluten-free gift baskets valued at $250 each.
We’ll announce the winners on September, 13, 2012 - Celiac Awareness Day!
The Gluten-Free Pantry Raid is sponsored in part by Cabot Creamery and Crunchmaster.
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Last March, NFCA published Part 1 of our series on Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. We addressed introductory questions like “What is the difference between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity?” This month, we present Part 2: Testing and Diagnosis.
In this section, you will find answers to:
For these questions, we went straight to the physicians and scientists on the front lines of non-celiac gluten sensitivity research, using clips from our recent webcast on gluten-related disorders.
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.This article is from AllergicLiving.com.
Migraines Linked to Celiac Disease
By Lisa Ferlaino
Having chronic migraines could be a sign of celiac disease, according to a new study from researchers in New York.
After studies in Europe showed a link between celiac disease and a high prevalence of migraine headaches, Dr. Alexandra Dimitrova, a neurological resident at Columbia University Medical Center, under the supervision of Dr. Peter Green from the Celiac Disease Center at that university, decided to investigate whether the same held true in the U.S. The researchers found that 30 percent of the patients they studied with celiac disease reported chronic migraines (14 or more per month).
For the study, the researchers analyzed the intensity and frequency of headaches of 502 people with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, irritable bowel disease, as well as a control group. They also looked at daily habits, such as coffee and alcohol consumption. Those with celiac disease reported the most frequent and intense migraines.
Since it often takes many years before someone is diagnosed with celiac disease, the presence of migraines could be a clue. “I would test any patient not responsive to appropriate migraine medical therapy administered by a neurologist,” says Dimitrova.
The good news is that both the European and U.S. research suggests that a gluten-free diet can reduce the number and severity of migraines. More work needs to be done, says Dimitrova, including a study in which diet and eating habits are looked at in-depth to determine the impact on migraines.
Find more articles on celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity at AllergicLiving.com.
Ever want to try Thai Kitchen’s gluten-free ingredients, but not quite sure how to use them? NFCA is here to help!
This month, NFCA and Thai Kitchen will help 5 lucky winners add some zest to their gluten-free creations with the “1 Ingredient, 5 Ways” giveaway. Over 2 weeks, NFCA will highlight 6 Thai Kitchen products and post 5 different ways you can use each item to bring a Thai taste to your kitchen. (Yes, even you can turn coconut milk into a pantry staple!)
Here’s where the giveaway comes in: Each time we post about “1 Ingredient, 5 Ways” on Facebook, we’ll ask you to share your suggestions for using the featured ingredient. Share your ideas and you could win that featured product, plus additional prizes from Thai Kitchen!
NFCA joins forces with ArDA and ArDHCC
By Kristin Voorhees, NFCA Healthcare Relations Manager
We know that the dietetic community plays an essential role in the implementation of the medically necessary gluten-free diet. So when an opportunity arises to spread awareness and education among dietitians and nutritionists, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) seizes the moment.
This past April, NFCA joined forces with the Arkansas Dietetic Association (ArDA) and the Arkansas Dietetics in Health Care Communities (ArDHCC) to raise awareness of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity among its members who practice in long-term care, foodservice and clinical settings. NFCA played an integral role in making sure that “celiac” and “gluten-free” were vocabulary included in each day of the ArDA’s Annual Meeting and Expo and the ArDHCC’s Long-Term Care Seminar, held April 25-27, 2012 at Baptist Health Hospital in Little Rock, AR.
On Wednesday, April 25, NFCA partnered with Dr. Schar USA on a presentation for ArDHCC members. “From the Nurses’ Station to the Dining Room: A Look at the Management of Celiac Disease in the Long-Term Care Setting” was a three-hour educational lecture presented by Anne Lee, MSEd, RD, LD, Schar USA’s Director of Nutritional Services.
Anne’s comprehensive talk started with defining celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity and worked toward highlighting the importance of team communication and knowledge-sharing in relation to the gluten content of medications, potential areas of cross-contamination, and nutritional deficiencies associated with the gluten-free diet. She also spoke about Schar’s new video series, Better Without: Your guide to a gluten-free life.
Additionally, Schar provided ArDHCC members with the opportunity to sample gluten-free snacks, including Schar’s Chocolate Sandwich Cremes, Shortbread cookies and Italian Breadsticks.
During the break, Anne and NFCA Healthcare Relations Manager Kristin Voorhees were on hand to answer questions and disseminate literature.
“The meeting was very successful, with great interest and questions from the attendees,” said Lee. “One of the highlights was a completely gluten-free lunch that many attendees did not realize was gluten-free.”
That gluten-free lunch took place on Thursday, April 26. Supported by Schar, the box lunch featured an array of the company’s gluten-free products, plus cheese from Cabot Creamery. Here’s what the meeting attendees tasted:
Individuals following a vegan diet also enjoyed a taste of gluten-free, thanks to Anne’s Black Bean Quinoa Salad. The recipe made such a splash among attendees that we thought you’d want in on it, too:
After lunch, ArDA members enjoyed a 90 minute talk from Dr. Lucy Gibney, President and CEO of Lucy’s, a member of NFCA’s GREAT Business Association. Titled "Gluten-Free and Allergy Friendly Headlines and Facts," the talk set the record straight on how celiac disease is different from a food allergy and explained why its treatment is just as important. Meeting attendees also enjoyed snack packs of Lucy’s cookies, including the Ginger Snap and Maple Bliss flavors.
On the last day of the conference, NFCA and Schar participated in the Expo, where Anne and Kristin talked about their respective programming and products, answered questions, directed attendees to online resources and disseminated literature.
Looking back on the 3-day seminar and Expo, Rose Hoenig, Consultant Dietitian and Chair of the ArDHCC, said: "Arkansas dietitians, dietary managers, and nursing home administrators enjoyed a most informative event presented by NFCA and Schar USA. We now have the tools and resources to train dietary and nursing staff, as well as enhance our celiac disease counseling skills. I know that many attendees have a heightened sense of creating a safe gluten-free zone for their celiac patients and feel more confident in the knowledge they need to pass on to their staff.”
NFCA owes its involvement in the 2012 Meeting, Expo and Seminar to Hoenig, who said that, “Attending one of NFCA’s sponsored webinars led me to the opportunity to provide celiac training in Arkansas.”
“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.
Celiac Teen Hosts 2nd Annual Catwalk for Celiac
A special thank you to celiac advocate Kayla Marie Lafi, who hosted the 2nd Annual Catwalk for Celiac Fundraiser on May 9, 2012, in Wood-Ridge, NJ. This year, the fundraiser benefited the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) and Teens Living with Celiac (TLC), a non-profit Kayla founded in 2012. What makes this accomplishment most striking is that Kayla is only 17 years old. This young celiac advocate has already made a difference in her community and beyond. Last year, she was named Miss New Jersey Teen 2011 and her platform was celiac awareness.
Kayla also hosted the inaugural Catwalk for Celiac Fundraiser in May 2011. The event features a reception, a delicious and generous gluten-free dinner, a glamorous fashion show featuring the designs of five high style designers, live music and giveaways. NFCA’s Kristin Voorhees and Nancy Ginter joined Kayla in speaking about celiac disease and the need for an improved rate of diagnosis.
We look forward to another successful fundraiser in 2013!
7th Grader Hosts Celiac Awareness Fundraiser and Education Day at School
NFCA would like to thank 7th grade student Cesar Michael Hernandez and his father Cesar Hernandez for organizing Celiac Awareness Day at Saint Clare School in Clifton, NJ.
Held on May 24, 2012, the special day invited students to wear green and donate $5 in honor of celiac awareness. Students who donated received a wristband and NFCA brochures containing information about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
In addition to educating his classmates about gluten-related disorders, Cesar Michael raised nearly $600 for the cause. We are so thankful for the hard work he did in planning this event!
Read more about Cesar Michael’s fundraiser: Celiac Awareness Day at Saint Clare School
Yes, You Can Eat! When Gluten Isn’t the Only Ingredient You Avoid
Food allergies and intolerances are common additional dietary concerns for those diagnosed with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. NFCA’s Answers from a Dietitian blogger Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN, will provide dietitians with the knowledge and tools needed to successfully treat patients following the gluten-free diet who must also be mindful of other dietary allergies and intolerances. The discussion will also include tips to share with their patients.
Sponsored by Lucy’s, this webinar is free of charge.
When: June 20, 2012
Time: 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT
Join NFCA for a fun and fan-filled night at the ballpark. Watch as the Philadelphia Phillies take on the San Francisco Giants while enjoying gluten-free food and drinks.
When: Friday, July 20, 2012
Where: Citizens Bank Park
(Use code CELIAC when ordering tickets)
NFCA will host its signature gluten-free fundraiser at the newly remodeled Historic Strawbridge Building at 8th and Market Streets in the heart of Philadelphia. Enjoy delicious gluten-free bites from area restaurants and take home samples of the newest gluten-free products.
When: Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012
Time: 1-5 p.m. ET
Where: The Historic Strawbridge Building
801 Market Street
Follow event updates at www.CeliacCentral.org/a4a
*For more gluten-free and celiac awareness events, visit our Upcoming Events page.
Chefs and Restaurateurs Flunk Gluten-Free Quiz at National Restaurant Association Show
In early May in Chicago, NFCA quizzed chefs and restaurateurs to test their gluten-free cooking knowledge at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show. What we found was shocking; less than 50 percent of the foodservice professionals quizzed were able to name a gluten-containing grain other than wheat. Even more shocking is that only 4 percent of respondents (many who claimed to have a gluten-free menu) answered the 4-question quiz perfectly.
With these findings in mind, NFCA is working harder than ever to educate the foodservice community about the dangers gluten poses to those affected by celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. One of the few respondents who answered the quiz correctly had taken NFCA’s GREAT Kitchens course, proving that education in the industry is pivotal in making dining safe and delicious for those with gluten-related disorders. With this encouragement that NFCA’s GREAT Kitchens program is effective in educating this community, NFCA is rolling out a new version of GREAT Kitchens training that includes multimedia modules to train the restaurant industry on how to safely present gluten-free food from preparation to serving. The new modules include:
NFCA’s own Beckee Moreland, Director of Gluten-Free Industry Initiatives, presented a gluten-free education session titled “How to Serve Great Gluten-free Meals” on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, at the NRA Show. Beckee gave an overview of gluten-free foodservice, as well as drew attention to the need for safe cooking environments for those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Over 70 people attended and participated in a dining dilemma segment where Beckee provided scenarios for the attendees to determine ways to correct restaurant mishaps with cross-contamination, ingredients, and service. Beckee also featured GREAT Kitchen success stories that included O’Toole’s in Queensbury, NY; TaMolly’s a Mexican chain in Texarkana, TX; Tupelo Honey Cafes in Asheville, NC; and Emory University in Atlanta, GA.
Please remember that while restaurants may claim they are gluten-free, it’s always important to make sure that you’re asking questions about the ingredients, preparation, and serving of gluten-free food to make sure that you’re staying safe and healthy while dining out.
Can you pass the gluten-free food preparation quiz? Follow this link to see the quiz that stumped the foodservice professionals.
By Cheryl McEvoy, NFCA Director of Communications & New Media
Mary’s Gone Crackers Love Cookies
Their name may be a mouthful, but these tasty little cookies are the perfect bite sized treat. They come in sinful flavors like Double Chocolate and healthier picks like Ginger Snaps (140 calories for 3 cookies!). My favorite was the “N’Oatmeal” Raisin, which despite containing no oats somehow managed to have the soft texture and cinnamon-y flavor of an oatmeal raisin cookie. While the cookies seemed small at first, we found that 1-2 were plenty to satisfy our sweet tooth. (OK, for the Ginger Snaps you can splurge for all three). Plus, they pack well in a sandwich baggie for a lunchbox treat!
Visit Mary’s Gone Crackers
Thai Kitchen Stir Fry Rice Noodles
I’ve become a fan of rice noodles, but a big pile of white strands can look boring on a plate. Now, Thai Kitchen has a variety of colored stir fry noodles to brighten your dishes: Brown Rice Noodles, Red Rice Noodles and Purple Corn & Rice Noodles. Each box contains four individually wrapped servings of dry noodles, making it easy whether you’re cooking for 1 or 4. Place the noodles in boiling water, cook for the suggested amount of time, and you’re ready to top with a delicious stir fry or toss in a spicy Thai sauce. Besides being fun to make, I think these colored noodles will be a hit among the kids.
Visit Thai Kitchen
13-year-old Dominick Cura authored this cookbook, which contains his favorite gluten-free recipes for breakfast and dessert, from ricotta cheesecake to blueberry quinoa. The pages include black-and-white photos of many of the finished dishes, which makes the recipes much more approachable than the glamour shots found in many of today’s cookbooks. This is a wonderful resource that can inspire your gluten-free child to get in the kitchen and discover their own favorite recipes.>
Purchase Eternally Gluten-Free
Enjoy Life Plentils
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to potato chips, consider lentil chips. Enjoy Life’s Plentils pack in protein with 40% less fat than those salty spuds. They also are free of the 8 common food allergens, so they’re a great option to serve at a backyard barbecue. The chips are light and crispy, but can withhold a dunk in your favorite dip. Personally, I prefer them plain; they have enough flavor without weighing them down in a creamy goop. I also think they could sub as gluten-free croutons – simply crumble over a salad and enjoy.
Visit Enjoy Life
*Get Hot Products updates from NFCA every week!*
Visit our Gluten-Free Hot Products blog >>
By Alicia Carango, NFCA Communications Assistant
New Summer Cooking Guide from NFCA and Zatarain's
Kick off your summer by downloading a new Printable Guide from NFCA. Sponsored by Zatarain's, the new "Summer Cooking Guide" features tips on throwing a gluten-free party both indoors and outside. The guide also includes a recipe for Mardi Gras Dirty Rice - an easy gluten-free dish that's sure to be a crowd pleaser at your next barbecue or backyard bash.
Download: Summer Cooking Guide
Gluten-Free Olympic Hopeful Continues to Train Despite Setback
Dana Vollmer powered through a wide variety of medical conditions and now has her sights set on making it to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Since adopting a gluten-free diet because of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, Vollmer is feeling stronger than ever and ready to chase Olympic gold.
Read more from USA Today
Frito Lay Launching a Gluten-Free Initiative
Frito-Lay has worked with industry experts to develop a gluten-free validation process to ensure that all of their products contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. That level meets the proposed FDA standard for labeling products as “gluten-free.” Frito-Lay’s gluten-free products, such as Lay’s Classic potato chips and Fritos Original, will now be labeled with a gluten-free logo.
Read more from PRNewswire
Alvine Pharmaceuticals Inc. Planning Mid-Stage Clinical Trial this Year
Alvine is reporting that the clinical trial for their investigational drug, ALV-003, is the first mid-stage study for celiac disease that is on track to meeting its predetermined study goals.
Read more from the San Francisco Business Times
“Locate Special Diet” Website and Database Launches
Created by Jessica Meyer of ATX Gluten-Free, Locate Special Diet is a website and database complete with more than 30,000 food based businesses in 26 major cities across the US. The site is designed for people with specific dietary needs, including the gluten-free diet, so they can easily locate special-diet friendly establishments.
Read more from Virtual Strategy
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