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NFCA Founder & President
Not a week goes by that I don't hear about how the NFCA has changed someone's life … by helping them get a definitive diagnosis after years of unexplained suffering or by improving the quality of life for those with celiac disease.
We hope we've made a difference in your life, too.
The NFCA strives to provide the most up-to-date news and information about celiac disease. We offer multiple avenues for those within the gluten-free community to get informed and get involved. We work to increase the availability of gluten-free food in stores and restaurants nationwide and educate doctors about the critical importance of early testing. We believe that everyone deserves to enjoy good health, and we’re making every effort to have the broadest possible impact. And, we are succeeding!
If we have been there for you...to support your family's health and wellness, to enhance your profession-al knowledge, to keep you connected...then we ask you to be there for us.
NFCA does not have ongoing or earned income that will help us to weather the economic storm that is prompting so many nonprofits to cut programs and services or even to close their doors. Our donors are seeing their retirement savings crumble before their eyes. Gone are the days when we could rely on angels to fund our entire operation.Instead, we are dependent on you to keep our programs vital.
You are in the company of 80,000 people who read this column monthly. And, we need the support of every one of you. We must raise $100,000 within the next month to stay on track with our goals.
It's tough for me to come to you with such an urgent plea. But the decisions I will have to make if we can't meet our fundraising goals will be even tougher. We can't sit on our hands while almost 3 million children and families suffer needlessly.
If you've pushed that DONATE button before, I urge you to push it again now. If you've never donated to NFCA, please consider a proud gift that will help NFCA restore health and reclaim lives. Every dollar you contribute today leads to a diagnosis tomorrow.
By: Linda Simon, Registered Dietitian
Simple, healthy, gluten-free cooking.
August is hot, usually. We have not had real heat here in Wisconsin yet, but are hoping for some heat to help ripen the tomatoes. But the usually cool northeast blistered in July.
So in the spirit of a sizzling summer, we will make frozen treats. Let’s make them dairy, egg, and soy free, too.
A favorite is Monkey Tails. We used to call them frozen bananas with peanut butter and chocolate, but the kids said, “Those are Monkey Tails!” A much better name indeed. This is a fun recipe for the whole family to help make. Or, even the whole neighborhood of kids. Kids can sign their popsicle sticks if they want to keep track of their own. Dessert and penmanship, I like that combo. The recipe is easily halved or doubled. Monkey Tails will last in the freezer for a month, if there are any leftovers.
The amount of peanut butter and chocolate are somewhat flexible because the size of your bananas will vary. Oil is added to the chocolate to make it less brittle when you bite into it. It still gets hard though, so you do not miss a satisfying crunch, but you do not lose any chocolate that shatters to the floor.
Please try dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate here even for folks who think they do not like dark chocolate. The sweet banana and the creamy peanut butter are perfect compliments to full flavored dark chocolate. And, all of these ingredients are healthy. Fruit, legumes, and antioxidant rich dark chocolate.
Many plain chocolates are gluten-free. For any brand you are considering, it is a good idea to visit their website for gluten information. Call the company if nothing is posted.
Ghirardelli is one I like. I posted on the gluten-free status of their types of chocolate. Please see http://blog.kitchentherapy.us/2009/04/does-this-have-gluten-in-it for more in depth information. Their dark and milk chocolate chips are gluten-free. Their white chocolate chips are made on a line that also makes products with wheat. And, a white Monkey Tail is just not right. Most peanut butters will work. I like creamy because it is a bit easier to spread on the bananas. Regular, organic, natural, all work. Plain peanuts and peanut butter are gluten-free. But be sure to read the label. A new brand, Naturally More peanut butter contains wheat germ. So, of course, it has gluten added.
Allergic to peanuts?
Any nut or seed butter will work. Almond, cashew, macadamia, pecan, walnut, soy nut, sunflower,tahini, your choice.
4 ripe bananas, unpeeled
8 wooden sticks
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon oil
Cut unpeeled bananas into two halves and insert stick into cut ends. Then peel then the bananas.
Spread peanut butter over each banana. Place bananas on a cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap. Freeze until cold, at least one hour.
Place chocolate chips and oil in a microwave safe bowl. Warm in 30-second intervals until the chips are melted and smooth. The chips can melt inside without losing their shape, so stir after each heating.
Spread chocolate over the frozen bananas. Return to freezer for about 10 minutes, or until the chocolate is firm. At this point, the bananas will have a hard crunchy coating, but will not be completely frozen through. You can eat now, or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze further.
For long-term storage, store wrapped bananas in a sealable freezer container. That way you can corral all your monkeys and not find an escapee 11 months later.
Monkey Tails are fun for the kids… well, for everyone. But maybe you want something a bit classier.
Frozen Blueberry Terrine makes a grand entrance. And terrine sounds fancy, mostly because many people do not know what it is. Here it is simply a dessert made in a loaf pan. Don’t you think terrine sounds nicer than frozen loaf?
This recipe is from the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. They called it “Layer Cake” instead of frozen terrine. It is definitely not cake. See http://www.blueberrycouncil.org/recipes-popup.php?id=27for a pretty picture.
Sorbet and sherbet. What is the difference?
Sorbet is made with fruit juice or puree, sweetener, and water. Sherbet has these ingredients too, as well as dairy, gum stabilizers, and egg whites. Sorbet freezes a bit softer than sherbet and it seems more
expensive than sherbet. Sherbet works fine in this recipe for you do not need to be completely dairy and egg free. Again, be sure to read the labels for any wheat based additions to certain flavors. For example, Edy’s/Dreyers Lemon Bar sherbet flavor has lemon bar pieces made with wheat.
It is true this is a low fat dish, but the healthiest parts of this treat are the blueberries and the walnuts. A small portion of this frosty confection can cool you off on a steamy day.
Blueberry Citrus Frozen Terrine
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons blueberry preserves, or jam, divided
1 pint orange sorbet, slightly softened
1 pint lemon sorbet, slightly softened
1 cup fresh blueberries
Line the bottom and sides of an 8x4 inch loaf pan with a double layer of waxed paper.
In a small bowl, stir together walnuts and ¼ cup blueberry preserves. Set aside.
Spoon orange sorbet into the lined pan, smoothing to make an even layer.
Spread the preserve mixture over the orange layer.
Spoon the lemon sorbet over the preserve mixture.
Cover tightly and freeze several hours or overnight.
Mix remaining preserves with blueberries.
To serve: Slice terrine, place on serving plate and top with blueberry sauce.
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By: Christina Gentile, NFCA Volunteer Staff Writer
August is here and soon it will be back to school for many children, teenagers, and college students. Shopping for new clothes, textbooks, and supplies are just a few hurdles to jump over when preparing your child for the new year. As the school year approaches, you may be wondering how to stock your kitchen with gluten-free foods to prepare nutritious and tasty lunches for your child, and how to create gluten-free, convenient and easy-to-make snacks. My best advice is to plan ahead! Make a grocery list of all possible items that you could purchase to make lunch time easy, affordable, and of course, delicious! You may not find all of your grocery needs at one store, and may have to shop at a retailer that has a broader array of gluten-free products, in addition to your mainstream grocer.
Nonperishable items that last several months frozen or unopened are great to stock up on and have accessible. These include gluten-free breads, bagels, frozen waffles, pancake mix, noodles, cereals, rice cakes, snack bars, tortilla and potato chips, and cookies. Some of my favorite products include Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix, Envirokidz Cereals and Bars, Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal, General Mills Chex Cereal (now available in Rice, Corn, Strawberry, Chocolate, and Cinnamon!), Bakery on Main Gluten-Free Granola bars, Enjoy Life Foods (bars, cookies, bagels, trail mix, and granola), and Glutino brand foods (breads, bagels, crackers, cereal, bars, cookies, pretzels, and breadsticks). Perishable items to buy on a regular basis include dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, and string cheese), eggs, deli meat, and fresh fruit and vegetables. Other items to have handy include pasta sauce, peanut butter, jelly, gluten-free dressings, raisins, rice cakes, and canned beans.
Preparing a filling and tasty lunch can be easy and challenge free, especially if you plan ahead for the week. And, having healthy snacks available are a great idea because most children come home from school “starving” (as they claim!), and, in most cases, they will eat the first thing they see. So stock up on healthy and nutritious snacks for your child to grab instead of calorie dense, nutrient poor foods!
Making your child’s lunch can be an easy and excellent way to fuel him or her with vital nutrients. To avoid boredom, use a variety of foods, “add-ons” and different menu ideas. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich may become tasteless to your child if he or she eats it on a consistent basis, so try to mix it up with several alternatives such as: peanut butter and banana sandwich, peanut butter and jelly on rice cakes, or try a peanut butter wrap (2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tsp honey, ¼ cup Enjoy Life Foods granola, and 1 corn tortilla). For more lunch menu ideas, see below!
Several quick snack ideas that are nutritious, easy to prepare, and child friendly include individual cups of nonfat yogurt with fresh berries, bowls of grapes and strawberries with a slice of cheese, cut up melon, a plate of cut up veggies (cucumber, carrots, and celery), healthy homemade dips for the veggies (salsa, gluten-free ranch dressing…see last month’s newsletter for dip ideas!), corn quesadillas, baked corn tortilla chips with ¼ cup black beans, gluten-free trail mix, fresh fruit smoothies, milk and a gluten-free cookie, bar, or a small muffin.
Other quick snack ideas that are nutrition filled and are fun for children to make include the following:
Here are several different lunch ideas that you can prepare for your child. Try some of these in addition to the traditional PB&J sandwich!
In addition to the “main course” of the lunch, pack your child with some sides or snacks to help keep him or her sustained for the rest of the school day. These may include fresh fruit and veggies with dip, fruit salad or fruit cup, raisins, applesauce, gluten-free trail mix, bar or cookies, pretzels, pirate’s booty, bag of dry cereal, crackers with peanut butter, ants on a log, a gluten-free muffin, nuts, bag of gluten-free chips or corn tortilla chips, and any of the snack ideas mentioned above!
To get you started for a new school year, here are a few lunch menus to test out with your child. I wish you the best of health, happiness, and success as you and your child enter the new school year!
By: Lynn Cicero, Registered Dietitian
Once you have gotten comfortable with the gluten-free aspect of the diet, it is time to take a look at other nutritional concerns. If not planned carefully, the gluten-free diet can be high in calories, fat and cholesterol and low in vitamins and fiber.
Gluten-free snack foods often have twice the calories of their gluten containing counterparts. This is because many of the substitute flours are highly refined and dense. That means more calories packed in an equal measure. Some baked products use a high fat content to provide tenderness to the product. A serving of regular pretzels is a low calorie, low fat snack food. A serving of regular pretzels may contain 80-100 calories while gluten-free pretzels may have twice this number of calories. The foods on the perimeter of the supermarket, i.e. fruits and vegetables, are naturally gluten-free. Try snacking on some crunchy baby carrots dipped in low-fat gluten-free salad dressing. Apples are a sweet and crunchy snack. Some supermarkets are now carrying them already sliced and vacuum packed in serving sized bags. These can be spread with a little peanut butter or dipped in low-fat vanilla yogurt. And, speaking of yogurt, how about a container of low-fat fruit flavored yogurt (without additives)? A mix of gluten-free oat cereal “O’s”, Rice Chex, gluten-free granola and dried fruit make a tasty snack mix.
Because highly refined grains are often used in the making of gluten-free products, they may also be low in fiber. It takes a little effort to add fiber to a gluten-free diet. Be a little adventurous and think about adding soba noodles, which are made from buckwheat as side dish or in a soup. Buckwheat is high in fiber. Quinoa which is a trendy new grain also provides fiber as well as iron. Toss it in your rice cooker with some raisins and pignoli nuts to make a quinoa pilaf for a side dish. Quinoa can also be served as a cold salad. It is good mixed with some shredded carrots, parsley and a lemon vinaigrette dressing. A good old baked potato with skin is a good fiber source. There is almost no end to the toppings to be added to a baked spud. Wild rice, which is really a grass not a rice, is also high in fiber. Amaranth may not be a household name but it should be. It has a nutty flavor that is good for thickening soups and casseroles or as a hot breakfast cereal. Amaranth is high in fiber.
Ignoring the fruit and vegetable groups in favor of meat and meat products can lead to a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Choose lean cuts of meat and keep portions at each meal to the size of a deck of cards. Fill a quarter of the plate with grains and the rest with vegetables and salad. Vegetables don’t have to be eaten naked! Clothe them in a tasty sauce or a little flavored olive oil. Add chopped tomatoes to green beans. One slice of low-fat American cheese microwaved with three tablespoons of milk makes a quick cheese sauce. Add a touch of hot sauce for a perkier version. Grill a tomato half topped with flavored bread crumbs alongside the dogs and burgers. Shredded carrots mixed with raisins and low-fat mayonnaise can be used as an appetizer. Fruit makes a healthy dessert. Bake an apple or add some orange juice to sliced bananas and sprinkle with a dash of allspice. Grilled pineapple chunks on a skewer with a little brown sugar are an easy summer time treat.
Most gluten containing grain products are fortified with B-vitamins. The whole grains contain the germ of the grain which has Vitamin E, minerals and the B-vitamins. The gluten-free diet needs to include vitamin packed alternatives – amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa and brown rice to make up for the absence of whole wheat products. The number of gluten-free grains that are available to provide high nutrient density menu items is varied both in characteristics and flavor. It just takes a little thinking outside the box – cereal box that is!
By: Dr. Vikki Peterson, DC, CCN
Here are some answers…
Too often patients come to us with health complaints intact despite removing gluten successfully from their diet.
Engaging in a meticulous search for any “hidden” gluten is definitely a first step but if symptoms persist, there’s much that can be done.
Let’s look at the various secondary effects that having celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can create and how to treat them.
The first thing to realize is that consuming gluten for many years has resulted in intestinal damage. And, while removing gluten is a very good thing, the deficiencies created don’t “turn around” overnight.
Sometimes, without some assistance, they don’t turn around at all.
More about Tina and the "Danny the Dragon" children's book series:
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PPM stands for parts per million. It is the basic measurement used by toxicologists to determine levels of toxins, in our case gluten. The best research available says that someone with celiac disease can
The NFCA’s Gluten-Free Lifestyle Webinar Series is sponsored by Blue Diamond Growers Nut-Thin Crackers.
We are still hard at work planning the next Webinar session! Be sure to check our "Education" tab for frequent updates on upcoming information sessions
We hope you will all register and join us for one of these fantastic and informational sessions!
Early Bird and Sponsorship Deadlines Approach for Appetite for Awareness
NFCA’s signature event, Appetite for Awareness, is a dream come true for the 1500 attendees who experience the rare treat of both safe and delicious food at every turn. Guests can sample delicacies from more than 25 of Philadelphia’s top chefs, plus those of dozens of vendors – all of which are not only gluten-free, but are lusciously mouth-watering as well. The event features an “Iron-Chef” like competition, where eight teams of prestigious chefs and top docs strive to create the best gluten-free dish.
Held at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia on September 30th , the evening features a pre-event VIP Reception that will provide you with an opportunity to congratulate our honorees, John Binswanger and his Family and enjoy personal face-time with our chefs who include Jose Garces, Marci Turney and Mark Vetri.
Early Bird registration is available for $75 if you secure your spot by September 1st. VIP tickets can also be purchased online. Sponsorship opportunities also are available for both individuals and businesses. To ensure your spot as a sponsor in all of our upcoming promotional opportunities, please contact Jennifer North at email@example.com.
For more information, visit www.appetite4awareness.org.
NFCA’s Gluten-Free Cooking Spree Comes To San Francisco
On October 30, 2009, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) will host the 2009 San Francisco Gluten-Free Cooking Spree in the stunning Administration Building (Building 1) on historic Treasure Island located in San Francisco Bay and created in 1936 for the Golden Gate International Exposition. Event guests will enjoy a surprising and dramatic view of the city.
The Gluten-Free Cooking Spree joins the medical and lifestyle aspects of celiac disease to increase education and awareness about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
Ten top chefs will partner with renowned area doctors and media representatives to create delicious gluten-free food for all to sample as these teams compete for the Best Gluten-Free Dish of the evening. Guests also will enjoy a buffet of hearty hors d'oeuvres, desserts, beer and wine--all gluten-free. Come hungry!
NFCA is proud to announce that Dr. Phillip G. Zimbardo will serve as a judge for this Cooking Spree. Dr. Zimbardo is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University, two-time past president of the Western Psychological Association and past president of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Zimbardo is an internationally recognized scholar, educator, researcher and media personality, winning numerous awards and honors in each of these domains. He has been a Stanford University professor since 1968, having taught previously at Yale, NYU and Columbia. Dr. Zimbardo is noted for his books that bring the study of psychology to the public. His most recent book, "The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life", was published in 2008 by Free Press preceded by "The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil" (Random House, 2007).
NFCA welcomes people who have been eating gluten-free for years, those that have been newly diagnosed, their friends, family and those just wanting to learn more about the disease and the living gluten-free.
Enjoy the Marketplace where vendors will share samples of their products, give product coupons and sell their wares. All attendees will take home a fabulous goodie bag filled with treats from a variety of gluten-free vendors. NFCA staff will be on hand and resources and materials concerning celiac disease and the gluten-free diet will be available. And, you can take a chance on a silent auction and win terrific prizes!
For information, please go to the NFCA website, www.beyondceliac.org, or call 215-325-1306, ext. 101.
Every week, NFCA receives calls, cards and letters asking about ways to make a connection within the celiac community. Some want to sell their businesses, some want to hire a baker, and others just want to know who to contact about that special something. With that in mind, we are launching Celiac Connections, a section of the CeliacCentral newsletter that offers a venue for this exchange.
If you would like to have an entry in this portion of future newsletters, please contact the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lundberg Creamy Parmesan Risotto
Risotto is one of my favorite side dishes. Lucky for me it is naturally gluten-free so I can have as much of it as I please! The only down side to risotto is that it’s not the quickest dish to make. I love Lundberg’s Creamy Parmesan Risotto because it is on the table in 20 minutes flat and has microwave cooking instructions, as well as stove top. It comes out creamy, full of flavor and reheats well over several days. Aside from Creamy Parmesan, my personal favorite, you can also find Lundberg risotto in Italian Herb, Porcini Wild Mushroom and Garlic Primavera. You can find Lundberg risotto in mainstream grocery stores in the rice aisle. If you fall in love with it as I have, you can also buy in bulk from Amazon.
When I was young, animal crackers were a staple in my house. I always had a baggie of them with me and my mom always had a spare in her purse. As I grew older, I always kept them on hand for nieces and nephews and took them with me on babysitting jobs. Now that we are all becoming more aware of the prevalence not only of celiac disease, but of a host of common food allergies, I have switched over to Kinnikinnick’s Kinnikritter. They are the gluten-free version of animal crackers and are also free from casein, dairy, egg, peanuts, tree nuts and yeast. The Kinnikinnick website has a store locator feature that will help you find these and other Kinnikinnick products near you. If you prefer, you can also order right from their website. http://consumer.kinnikinnick.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/consumer.home.htm
Premier Japan Hoisin and Teriyaki Sauce
When I was first learning to cook gluten-free meals for myself, I was disappointed time and again when I would take bottle after bottle of Asian stir fry sauce off the store shelf only to see wheat listed in the ingredients. I finally discovered gluten-free tamari and a handful of other spicy chili sauces and sort of settled into the idea that that's what my stir fry would consist of from now on. That is until I found Premier Japan's gluten-free Hoisin and Teriyaki sauces! I was absolutely thrilled to taste these flavors again and to jazz up my stir fry once again. Not all of Premier Japan's sauces are gluten-free, so be sure to check that you are, in fact, purchasing one of their gluten-free varieties. You can order gluten-free Premier Japan Sauces here: http://www.glutenfree.com/item_detail.aspx?ItemCode=955042
Bi-Aglut – Sedani
Since beginning my gluten-free diet, I've found rice pasta, corn pasta, quinoa noodles and several other varieties of pasta, but only recently did I find egg noodles, which I love. I think they are the most delicious kind of noodle to put in soups. Whether it's chicken noodle soup to cure the common cold or a simple broth, adding egg noodles make for a heartier dish. They are also fantastic served with a gluten-free marinara sauce. Bi-Aglut - Sedani brand is very much like traditional egg pasta. This company also offers gluten-free egg lasagna noodles and tagliatelli. I have not personally seen this product in stores, but that doesn’t mean it’s not. For now, I just order mine here: http://www.glutenfree.com/Bi-Aglut-Sedani/Item404001
Celiac and the Elderly
New research out of Finland shows that celiac doesn't just affect the younger population, but can also be detected for the first time later in life. In this study, researchers specifically investigated whether some older people had actually developed celiac disease later in their lives, or the disease had just gone undetected. Researchers tested over 2000 individuals over the age of 55 in 2002 and again in 2005. In 2005, there were five new cases in individuals that tested negative back in 2002. This finding led researchers to conclude that the elderly can develop the disease late in life. To learn more, visit:
Phillies Host 2nd Annual Celiac Awareness Night
On July 20th, the Phillies hosted the second annual Celiac Awareness Night at Citizens Bank Park with great success! The event raises money for and spreads information about the autoimmune digestive disease that affects roughly three million Americans. Working together with the Phillies, the NFCA sold over 500 tickets, raising over $2,000 at the Phillies vs. Cubs game. Thanks to Aramark, fans were able to visit a stand of gluten-free food including cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, Redbridge beer and Woodchuck draft cider. "Oz” Ostrofsky, whose wife, Nancy Lozoff has celiac disease and whose daughter is gluten-intolerant, was selected to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Read more about this fantastic event here:
Canker Sores and Celiac
A new study has revealed that individuals with persistent mouth sores, commonly known as canker sores, may actually be suffering from celiac disease. Furthermore, in some individuals, this may be the only symptom that would indicate to a doctor that someone should be tested for celiac, as stated by Dr. Farhad Shahram, lead researcher of a group from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran: "It has been reported that in five percent of celiac disease patients, aphthous stomatitis [persistent canker sores or open ulcers] may be the sole manifestation of the disease." According to the study, patients who were in fact identified as gluten-reactive all saw a “significant improvement” in frequency and severity of canker sores within two to six months of going on the gluten-free diet.
Gluten-Free at Coors Field
Even more sports and celiac news! Aramark, the same food vendor that delighted fans at the Phillies game with their gluten-free options, will be opening a gluten-free concession stand at Coors Field in Denver. "Aramark said it's believed to be the first such stand in the major leagues." At this stand, fans will be able to buy gluten-free hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwiches, brownies and beer. Colorado any-one?
The opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.
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