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2009 Newsletters


Note from Alice

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Pregnancy and Celiac Disease
Useful Information on the Connection

San Francisco Cooking Spree
A Huge Success!

Tid Bits with Tina
Getting Little Ones to Eat Their Veggies

All Things GREAT
Updates on the success of GREAT

Disney Cruise Line
Gluten-Free Grown-Up Fun!

Awareness Advocates
Volunteers Supporting NFCA!

Racing for Celiac Awareness
Kendra Nielsam at Ironman Florida 2009

Celiac Awareness Nights in Philadelphia
Check out the Flyers and 76ers in Philly

Hot Products
The best gluten-free products

Celiac in the News
Recent news about celiac disease

Become our friend
Join our group
Support our cause

Join our network
Join our group

Download the Newsletter (PDF)

Note from Alice

NFCA Founder & President

Gluten-Free doesn’t mean you have to go without!

After working with our team for months to plan the San Francisco Gluten-Free Cooking Spree, the last thing I expected on Treasure Island was to face a mob of hungry and tired Californians. Our guests were remarkable! They had driven hours and crossed an ocean (OK, a bay) to get to the event.

Thousands of woman hours were put into this event only to find (as we landed at the San Francisco airport) that the single access to Treasure Island - the Bay Bridge - was shut down. Were we going to let a broken bridge stop us? No! How about thousands of cyclists from Critical Mass blocking the road? Not a chance!

Some of the people I talked to at the Spree asked how I could keep my cool in such a stressful situation. My answer is simple. I count my blessings every day because I am diagnosed. Gratitude is my attitude!

But what about the millions of people out there who suffer without a diagnosis?

I’d like to share the main thrust of the Cooking Spree speech with you to illustrate how the public and medical community alike can observe celiac disease without really seeing it.

“You are standing in a crowded room. Close your eyes for a second. Now, do you know the color of the shirt the person standing next to you is wearing? How about on the other side? If you can’t answer, you have a better understanding of the problem of celiac disease. It has been out in plain sight for over a thousand years. People saw it, but did not pay enough attention to it to begin to understand it.

Indeed, throughout most of history, celiac disease was defined as a rare children’s disease. It was merely a paragraph in a medical text buried between scores of other exotic disorders. Doctors were taught that the odds were high that they would never see it, so they didn’t look. And so, this malicious disease hid in plain sight. And the great irony of all of this is that the treatment for something standing out in the open was just to notice it.”

There are still millions who don’t understand their problem and they suffer every day from a life plagued by a disease that remains unrecognized. Awareness is such an easy path to treatment!

So, let me say it as plainly as I can. WE are the answer!

Kendra Nielsam is a shining example. When she decided to continue her Ironman training as she learned to navigate her life without gluten, she displayed an attitude of gratitude. And, when she decided to use her race as a platform for awareness, she solidified her commitment to this message. Rather then choosing to focus on her own wants and needs, she chose to help others.

Now, NFCA needs your help, too. We need you to become a part of our community of advocates. We need your time and your resources. Get involved; join NFCA’s facebook community, hand out brochures or donate to Kendra’s campaign.

If we could eradicate cancer or heart disease or multiple sclerosis or AIDS or any other insidious disease just though awareness, those diseases would be eliminated tomorrow. But because celiac has been hiding in plain sight for so long, we have a more difficult job…to get people to notice what they have been overlooking for so long.

Keep your eyes open. Help us to give health as we secure diagnosis for 1 million Americans in the next 5 years. We can do it!


Alice Bast


By: Linda Simon, Registered Dietitian

Simple, healthy, gluten-free cooking.

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Are you one of the lucky ones? Lucky enough to have Thanksgiving leftovers?

We plan for leftovers at our house. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner is a big task, so starting over from scratch in the next few days is not always appealing. Of course, you can simply warm and repeat the original menu. Or, you could be creative and make new dishes with precooked ingredients.

I have three suggestions for you.

1. Turkey Quesadillas with Cranberry Sauce

I never turn down a quesadilla. And, I think they are the perfect way to clean out the fridge. Gluten-free tortillas are a bit tricky, as they may crack when folding or rolling. So I use two, keep them flat, and cut them into wedges after cooking.

Serves 2

2 gluten-free tortillas
½ to 1 cup diced cooked turkey
1 cup shredded cheese, your favorite melty kind
1 teaspoon ground cumin (in my humble opinion, this is not optional)
Red pepper flakes (this is optional)
¼ cup cranberry sauce

Put one tortilla on a griddle, layer with leftover turkey and cheese.

Generously flavor with ground cumin, and pepper flakes if you like some heat.

Top with another quesadilla and grill until browned on the bottom and the cheese is starting to melt.

Press down the top quesadilla so it sticks a bit to the melted cheese.

Carefully flip the disc, ask for a second pair of hands if you need to.

Cook until the bottom browns.

Remove from the pan and cut into wedges.

Serve with bright tangy cranberry sauce instead of salsa.

I want to share the wonderful nutritional qualities of amazing cranberries, but space here does not permit. The World’s Healthiest Foods site has a very thorough review of cranberry benefits. They go way beyond vitamins and minerals. In addition to an apple a day, perhaps we should be having cranberries.

No gluten-free tortillas?

Is the turkey is really dry?

Need to serve more folks?

Want to watch the football game and chili sounds good?


2. How About Turkey and Tomatillo White Chili?

A few notes on the ingredients.

Tomatillos are sometimes called Mexican tomatoes. They are light green, have a papery covering, but are not tomatoes. They taste fresh and citrusy, like a lime but less tart. You can get them canned, but those are heavily salted and lose the fresh taste. Store fresh tomatillos with the papery covering intact for a week on the kitchen counter, or several weeks in the fridge.

To use them, remove the papery covering and discard it. The green insides start out a bit sticky, easily rinsed off. Simply chop them and use raw or cooked. Once you try tomatillos, you will want to use them all the time. They are excellent in a bright tasting green sauce for Mexican dishes. They also may be a welcome new addition to your daily servings of fruits and veggies.

I like to mix up the white beans, and use at least one can of butter beans for sure. Butter beans are big, very big. They are also creamy and delicious.

You can make this white chili lactose free, just use lactose free milk. It will be creamier, richer, and have more calcium if you use evaporated milk. Both work well.

Turkey and Tomatillo White Chili

Serves 6-8

8-12 fresh tomatillos, diced
2 cups diced onion
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground pepper
1- 4.5 oz can mild green chilies
2- 15 oz cans white beans, with juices
1 ½ cup whole lactose free or evaporated milk
2 cups cooked and chopped turkey


1 lime, cut into wedges
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
cilantro (optional)

In a large pot, cook onion, garlic, tomatillo, and spices until the veggies are soft. Remove from heat and add the chilies, beans with juice, milk, and turkey.

Serve with lime wedges, cheese, and cilantro if desired, and gluten-free corn chips.

Not a fan of Tex-Mex dishes?

Do those ingredients seem kind of weird?

3. Think Turkey Potpie with Mashed Potato Crust.

Please everyone with comfort food. The amounts are suggestions really. Use what you have.

I use sweet rice flour to thicken all sauces. It freezes and thaws without separating, clumping, or weeping. So you can make this dish, package in oven safe containers with lids, and freeze. Use a big pan, or multiple small ones. Thaw 1 or 2 days in the fridge before baking.

Having dinner stashed in the freezer is pretty comforting.

Simple Turkey Pot Pie with Mashed Potato Crust

Serves 6

2 cups diced cooked turkey
3 cups frozen mixed veggies
2 cups gluten-free broth
2 tablespoons sweet rice flour
3 cups mashed potatoes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make a slurry of the chicken broth and rice flour. That means to mix them together until a thin paste forms.

Pour it into a large sauté pan, add the mixed veggies, and cook until tender and the liquid has thickened. Stir in the turkey. Pour this mixture into a 9x13 inch pan.

Top the turkey mixture with blobs of mashed potatoes. Smooth them if you like.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are warmed and browning in places. Serve with cranberry sauce if you like (I do).

Please visit http://blog.kitchentherapy.us for more simple, healthy, gluten-free recipes.

And now, cooking videos. Including, My First Thanksgiving, and I Made It Myself. http://blog.kitchentherapy.us/store/thanksgiving/

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Pregnancy ad Celiac Disease

By: Amy Burkhart, MD, RD

“Pregnancy is an amazing and wonderful experience for most people. For those with Celiac Disease (CD), that can and should be no different.”

But it often is.

Dr. Burkhart reminds us,

“What is most important to remember is that most patients with CD can have a healthy normal pregnancy if they are diagnosed and following a gluten free diet. It is an amazing time in life and there is no reason any woman with celiac disease should not experience it, if that is her desire.”

Amy Burkhart, MD, RD, an Integrative Medicine Physician specializing in Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance, has written a fantastic article on considerations for women with celiac disease during pregnancy.

Dr. Burkhart provides vital information on fertility, pregnancy, and post partum health from a unique perspective, as she herself will give birth to her 3rd child at the end of the month!

Dr. Burkhart completed her BS in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of California, Berke-ley, and attended medical school at the University of California Irvine. Dr. Burkhart subsequently worked as an Emergency Physician in Hawaii while completing a fellowship with Dr. Andrew Weil's Integrative Medicine Program through the University of Arizona.

Dr. Burkhart has been working with the North Bay Celiac Group on their medical education campaign to educate physicians, dietitians and other healthcare providers, as well as community members on celiac disease. Most recently, she served as NFCA’s ‘Ask the Dietitian’ during our 2009 San Francisco Gluten-Free Cooking Spree.

To read Pregnancy and Celiac Disease, by Amy Burkhart MD, RD, visit the beyondceliac.org Disease Research section.

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In the middle of traffic chaos, the San Francisco Gluten-Free Cooking Spree finds Surprising Success!

In spite of the Bay Bridge closure, Critical Mass bicyclist protest, police pursuit of an East Oakland car-jacking, and overall pre-Halloween chaos, over 400 people came out to celebrate the gluten-free lifestyle during the 2009 San Francisco Gluten-Free Cooking Spree!

The annual affair that took place Friday, October 30th at Treasure Island brought area chefs, doctors, and media personalities into the kitchen for a competition to earn the title of ‘Best Gluten-Free Dish’. Food connoisseur and area media personality Narsai David emceed the festivities, which featured extraordinary gluten-free creations provided by local chefs and restaurants.

One thing about those with celiac disease, they will go a long way to find gluten-free food!

Winning the evening’s main event was Amy Phillips of Three Senses Gourmet, whose fabulous chocolate soufflé took home first place honors. The evening’s distinguished judges also gave Adrianna Lopez Vermut of Pica Pica Maize Kitchen and her Arepas honorable mention.

The judging panel included Chef Bill Orton, Executive Chef of Disney’s Culinary Academy, Dr. Phillip Zimbardo, internationally recognized psychologist at Stanford University, Dr. Gaurav Aggarwal of Panorama Capital, and Dr. Rugmini Shah’s gluten-free food-loving granddaughter, Julie Lynch.

NFCA was thrilled to honor Dr. Chaitan Khosla of Stanford University and the Celiac Sprue Research Foundation for his outstanding leadership in celiac research, and would like to thank Dr. Khosla and Dr. Gary Gray, previous San Francisco Gluten-Free Cooking Spree honoree and professor emeritus at Stanford University, for their efforts on behalf of those with celiac disease and for being a part of the 2009 festivities.

Despite the traffic-induced mayhem, a strong group of local volunteers assisted NFCA during the event and in the planning and preparation of the evening. NFCA would especially like to recognize Margaret Fearey Walsh, Jennifer Iscol, Bruno Larida and the Bio-Rad team. Their help and hard work made the night a smashing success!

Special thanks to Chef Guy Giordanengo, who assisted with the training of all our participating chefs and helped verify the gluten-free status of the event’s entire menu.

Photos from the 2009 San Francisco Gluten-Free Cooking Spree are posted on the past events photo gallery page.

Do YOU have photos from the 2009 Gluten-Free Cooking Spree?


Share them with us! Email your pictures to Whitney Ehret ([email protected]) or Atlantis Lacy ([email protected]) and add your memories of this fantastic evening to our gallery!

Special thanks to the many generous sponsors, restaurants, vendors, participants, volunteers and guests who participated in the 2009 San Francisco Gluten-Free Cooking Spree!

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Tid Bits with Tina

Danny the Dragon and Author Tina Turbin Share "Yummy Gluten-Free Tid Bits"

Traveling with Your Celiac Child

Ever since your child was diagnosed with celiac disease, you’ve been working hard to create a gluten-free lifestyle for not only your child, but the whole family. This has required some adjustments, but you’re managing your child’s gluten-free diet fairly well, learning gluten-free cooking, providing your child with gluten-free alternatives at school and at your favorite local restaurants, and even getting through the holidays with gluten-free substitutes for your family’s holiday recipes. As a gluten-free ad-vocate and mother, I am often asked by parents for tips on how to travel with celiac children. A surpri-singly easy task, traveling with your celiac child requires a little planning and a few of the same adjust-ments you’re already mastering at home.

First of all, how you’ll manage your trip depends on your travel arrangements—will you be flying or driving? Nowadays, airlines allow their travelers to bring food onto airplanes with them. Each airline has its own set of guidelines which you can usually find online or ask a customer service representative about over the phone. For instance, one airline will require that you store your gluten-free foods in zip-lock baggies. Bring extra gluten-free foods, at least twice as much as you think you’ll require, just in case there are layovers. Oftentimes airplane attendants will be happy to store your gluten-free food for you upon request.

For car trips, bring along a cooler or two with already-prepared gluten-free foods and snacks for your celiac child. Luckily for your child, there are more and more gluten-free snacks available that are perfect for road trips. For instance, you can order various snacks online, including gluten-free jerky, gluten-free potato puffs, and gluten-free popcorn. If you’ll be stopping at restaurants along the way, you can visit a gluten-free restaurant site such as glutenfreerestaurants.org before your trip and plan ahead to eat at restaurants that offer gluten-free foods to their gluten-intolerant patrons. As with flying, I recommend bringing extra gluten-free food just in case there are any delays in your travel, resulting from traffic, car problems, or other unexpected circumstances.

With traveling food plans out of the way, it’s now time to plan out your vacation. Call the local health food stores where you’ll be staying well ahead of your trip and ask them about their selection of gluten-free foods. If there aren’t enough gluten-free choices, usually the store will be happy to order your favorite gluten-free foods for you.

If there aren’t any health food stores around, some grocery stores have health food sections and may be able to special-order gluten-free foods for you as well. You can always bring along your own supply of gluten-free foods, such as gluten-free flour and pasta, or you can order online from your favorite gluten-free sites and have the gluten-free foods delivered straight to where you’ll be staying. If you won’t be staying with friends or family, I suggest you rent a condo or get a hotel room with a full kitchen for your gluten-free cooking.

If you’ll be staying with family, particularly during the holidays, tell them ahead of time about your celiac child’s gluten-free diet needs so they can stock up on gluten-free foods. You can also send them some gluten-free recipes for the family’s favorite holiday foods. Often you’ll find that your family will be more than happy to make your celiac child feel at home with gluten-free goodies and a generous stock of gluten-free foods for your gluten-free cooking.

Learning how to meet the gluten-free dietary needs of your celiac child has required some planning and a few adjustments, but in the end it isn’t very tough to successfully adopt a gluten-free lifestyle. Similarly, keeping your celiac child well fed on gluten-free foods during travel and vacations requires some work and advance planning, but you’ll find that you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

More about Tina and the "Danny the Dragon" children's book series:

Tina Turbin was a prolific writer and speaker throughout her school years. At age 16, she wrote her first children’s book and that interest has never waned.

“Danny the Dragon 'Meets Jimmy" is the first in Tina’s series of children's books. Tina Turbin is currently working on the treatments for future books, as well as the sought-after Danny’s cookbook! This cookbook will teach children to prepare nutritious meals simply and educationally through Danny’s guidance, at a level a young child can understand and with just a lot of fun!

Tina Turbin became extremely interested and involved in the subjects of gluten-free, gluten sensitivity and celiac disease a number of years ago after having been diagnosed as gluten-sensitive. Since then, she has engaged in diligent research and writing about these topics, contributing articles to such publications and websites as Awareness Magazine, MixingBowl.com and the Baby Boomers Knowledge Center, and Celiac.com. She also has her own gluten-free resource website, www.GlutenFreeHelp.info.

Tina resides in Dunedin, Florida, and also researches and writes on the topics of: children, families, mothers and women in society; and enjoys her abilities as an Artist, Decorator and Author.

All Things GREAT: Gluten-Free Resource Education Awareness Training

San Francisco Area Restaurants Receive GREAT Training.

NFCA would like to recognize the following establishments and chefs who received GREAT Training in preparation for their participation in the 2009 San Francisco Gluten-Free Cooking Spree:

  • One Market Restaurant
  • Pacific Catch • Park Place Cupertino
  • Sol Food Restaurant • Three Senses Gourmet
  • Full Fridge and Hipp Kitchen
  • Pica Pica Maize Kitchen

Congratulations and thanks to these fantastic establishments for their commitment to serving safe gluten-free options for those with celiac disease.

For a frequently updated list of all GREAT trained chefs and establishments, go to the beyondceliac.org GREAT Kitchens page.

GREAT in the News

Chef James Harris, Executive Chef of Harrah’s Casino, promotes GREAT training in an interview with the Atlantic City Press. Check it out »

Sweet Sin Bakery’s Gluten-Free Cupcakes was praised in Baltimore Sun. Check it out »

Good Eatz Green Café celebrates its first gluten-free anniversary. Check it out »

ZPizza franchise owners were honored by Goodwill Industries for good works AND good food. Check it out »

GREAT Director and NFCA Director of Education Nancy Baker attended the American Dietitian Association Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. Check it out »

GREAT Association members lead the gluten-free market.

GREAT congratulates outstanding association member Pastor Chuck Orchards for receiving the Food Producer of the Year honors from the Maine Grocers Association.

Pastor Chuck Organic gluten-free products registered with the GREAT Association include: No-Sugar Applesauce, Organic Apple Salsa, Organic Apple Butter, and Organic Applesauce. For more information visit the Pastor Chuck Orchards website.

The GREAT Association, a gluten-free products trade organization, is program of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). NFCA offers continuing education credits for members of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the American Culinary Federation (ACF) who participate in GREAT Association training programs. GREAT Association membership and registration fees support NFCA awareness campaigns and programming. In cooperation with the NFCA, GREAT Association members enjoy publicity and recognition in NFCA events and materials.

The GREAT Association program includes:

  • Affordable membership fees for any size business
  • Evidence-based materials and a multi-disciplinary program
  • Systematic instructions and comprehensive employee training
  • Support from professional, trained NFCA consultants
For Information visit the beyondceliac.org GREAT Association page.

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Disney Cruise Line: Gluten-Free Grown-Up Fun!

By: Karen Horan, [email protected]EatToLearn.com

My husband and I were looking for a new kind of vacation, but were having difficulty finding something that would accommodate our gluten-free diets. Over the past few years, we had happily and successfully taken two Disney World vacations with the kids, but this time it was going to be a grown-ups only trip!

I liked being able to eat in restaurants without worry or explanations at Disney World but he needed a break from the parks. On the advice of our travel agent (who has multiple food allergies herself), we compromised with a vacation on the Disney Cruise Line (DCL).

To prepare for our cruise, our travel agent let Disney know that we were gluten-free and I needed to send in a medical form at least three weeks before departure. Upon arrival on the ship, my husband and I requested a chef to go through the buffet line with us. He pointed out all the dishes that would be suitable for us to eat and offered to make us something in the kitchen. DCL makes it very clear that although they can attest to the ingredients used in the kitchen, they cannot make any guarantee once a dish is set on the buffet line. There is just no way of knowing if another guest inadvertently contaminated it. The chefs prefer to bring a guest with allergies a meal directly from the kitchen.

At dinner the first night, our head server came to verify our dietary needs. Our main server already was aware of what we needed and the assistant server brought us a plate of warm gluten-free rolls! After the meal, we were able order the next night’s dinner. Each pre-ordered meal was as close to the menu description as possible, so we were able to order almost everything on the menu: pasta with lobster sauce, even French Onion Soup with gluten-free bread and melted cheese on top!

At the breakfast buffet, fresh fruit and omelets were generally safe. The fruit is the first item on the buffet in the mornings so it is highly unlikely to be subject to cross contamination, while the omelet bar is at a separate station and the items available for filling did not contain gluten. For lunch, we would eat at the sit down restaurant. We found that by ordering even just a half hour ahead of time we were able to get just about anything we wanted.

I had a wonderful opportunity to have coffee with the Executive Chef of the Disney Magic, Chef Stefan Larsson. Chef Larsson estimates that the Disney Magic has 25 to 35 gluten-free guests per voyage and was able to give me some insight on how DCL is able to accommodate allergy dining.

DCL has protocol set up for special dietary needs in which dinner orders are taken a day in advance, reviewed by the executive chef, and prepared by the head and assistant chefs in the kitchen. DCL attempts to make much of their food allergy friendly by using dedicated fryers and non-gluten thickeners whenever possible. All ‘cast’ members receive continuous training, including training in accommodating food allergies. The staff is trained to be honest with guests and politely say ‘no’ if a dish cannot be verified gluten-free. I appreciate this honesty rather than taking a risk with our health. DCL regularly stocks over twenty different gluten-free products, which can change over time and are subject to availability.

My husband and I had a wonderful holiday and have put DCL at the top of our list for gluten-free vacations!


For more information about planning a gluten free cruise, links and to see details and pictures from our trip, please visit our travel blog at:  http://www.eattolearn.net/GlutenFreeTravel/Blog_Home_Page/Blog_Home_Page.html



Awareness Advocates: Volunteers Supporting NFCA

Teens Raise Funds for NFCA by Hosting Annual Celiac Attack Soccer Tournament

By: Heather Stern with contributions from Steph Condon, Katie Nasenbenny and Kelsey Holbert

We here at the NFCA are always inspired by the creative ways people all across the country are able to support and spread Celiac Awareness. So, when we heard about three Illinois teenagers and their “Celiac Attack” event, we couldn’t wait to share the news.

Katie Nasenbenny, Steph Condon and Kelsey Holbert are all students at Lyons Township High School in Illinois, and play soccer together on both their varsity high school team and the Windy City Pride Soccer Club. Inspired by the desire to plan a 4 v 4 cage soccer tournament that would benefit their community, they brainstormed over one afternoon, taking a quick break for pizza. When Katie and Steph looked over at their pizza-less friend Kelsey, who was diagnosed with celiac disease back in 2005, they realized exactly where their fundraising could be focused: spreading awareness about celiac disease through the NFCA! The event was then planned and executed entirely by teen volunteers.

In its first year, 2008, the tournament raised an impressive $2,000 with 16 teams participating. This past August, they celebrated their second annual event, and surpassed last year’s earnings to a total of $2,426.80 with 17 teams participating! Aside from raising money through team participation, additional funds were brought in by soliciting donations, selling t-shirts and concessions.

For additional information on “Celiac Attack,” please contact Kelsey’s proud mom, Karen Holbert at  (708) 784-1679  (708) 784-1679 or through [email protected]

Congratulations Katie, Steph and Kelsey on continuing the important work of spreading awareness to your local and national community!

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Kendra Neilsam Races for Celiac Awareness in Ironman Florida Event!

NFCA Athlete for Awareness, Kendra Nielsam, is beating the odds and proving that maintaining endurance is possible, even on a gluten-free diet!

357 days ago, Kendra registered for the Ironman Florida 2009, excited to compete in her first ever Ironman triathlon event (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles).

But her goal to finish the grueling race almost came to a halt when her doctor recommended she adopt a gluten-free diet.

Kendra began her journey as a gluten-free athlete just 267 days ago.

While her new lifestyle helped alleviate some of the symptoms she struggled with for years, Kendra found training gluten-free to be difficult at first, and she struggled to maintain her strength and endurance.

"Nutrition is basically the fourth sport in triathlon, and I had to start from scratch figuring out what gluten-free options worked for me. I wasn't sure how training for an endurance event could be reconciled with avoiding wheat, rye, and barley.”

Kendra received her test results and was officially diagnosed with celiac disease

Only 15 days ago!

Despite the obstacles she’s encountered while trying to restore her health and reclaim her life, Kendra raced in the November 7th Ironman Florida event.

Empowered by overcoming her own personal challenges managing her disease and diet while trying to achieve her athletic goals, Kendra hopes her story will inspire others to believe, achieve, and give back as well.

Congratulations Kendra on finishing the 2009 Ironman Florida, and raising almost $4,000 to support celiac disease awareness!

Follow Kendra on NFCA’s Athletes for Awareness blog. Check out her post race thoughts, as well as video and photos of Kendra finishing the Ironman Florida!

Be an advocate for awareness just like Kendra. Visit the beyondceliac.org Get Involved section and sign up to volunteer.

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Celiac Awareness Nights in Philadelphia

NFCA is thrilled to announce two Celiac Awareness Nights in the Philadelphia Area during this 2010 winter sports season. The Philadelphia Flyers and the Philadelphia 76ers will host Celiac Awareness Nights on their home turf at the Wachovia Center.

NFCA invites all celiac and gluten intolerant sports fans to join us and Philadelphia Area Celiac Support Groups as we promote awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Gluten-free stadium treats will be available at specified concession stands at the Wachovia Center for both games.


NFCA invites all celiac and gluten intolerant sports fans to the 2010 Celiac Awareness Night with the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center on Tuesday, January 19th as the Flyers take on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Game time is 7:00 pm.

Tickets are on sale now at through the Flyers online box office. To get the special Celiac Awareness Night discounted tickets, enter 154CELIAC when asked for the promotion code. This also will guarantee that proceeds from your ticket sales go to support raising celiac awareness. Hit “Go”! When you get to the ticket ordering page, click on the red button that says “Tix”. You will be able to select any seats in the arena.

Discounted tickets prices:

Mezzanine:     $50 (normally $63)
Rows 1-7/Center 6 8-11

Mezzanine     $40 (normally $53)
Rows 8-11

Mezzanine     $40 (normally $46)
Rows 12-15

Note: There is not a designated section for the Celiac Awareness Night Group for this game. If you are arranging for a group to go to the game together, be certain that you order your seats as a group. Either enter this group order online or call Mike Andrews of the Flyers at  215-952-5994  215-952-5994 to make arrangements for group seating.

For other questions, please call NFCA’s Nancy Ginter on  215-325-1306  215-325-1306 , ext. 101.


Save the Date!

The Philadelphia 76ers will host their third Celiac Awareness Night on Friday, March 26th when the Sixers meet the Atlanta Hawks. Game time is 7:00 pm at the Wachovia Center. To order tickets, go to www.nba.com/sixers/celiac. To get the special Celiac Awareness Night discount, be certain to enter the code CELIAC. This also will ensure that proceeds from ticket sales go to support raising celiac awareness.

For group seating or questions about the game, call Tyler McAllister on  215-389-9441  215-389-9441 . For other questions, please call NFCA’s Nancy Ginter on  215-325-1306  215-325-1306 , ext. 101.

NFCA has a rich tradition of partnering with local celiac support organizations to host these wonderful nights filled with food, fun, and all the excitement surrounding professional sporting events. We hope you will purchase your tickets today and join us for what is sure to be two fabulous evenings of Philadelphia sports—all for a great cause!


La Tortilla Factory’s Dark Teff Wraps
In the newsletter before last, I reviewed La Tortilla Factory’s Ivory Teff Wraps. I don’t think I could possibly say enough wonderful things about these wraps! However, until recently, I had not tried the gluten-free Dark Teff Wraps. Someone from the company actually reached out to me and offered to send me a sample, which was so kind of her. I am so happy to report that the Dark Teff wraps are equally delicious! In my opinion, if you are someone that prefers a heartier grain taste, you should opt for the Dark Teff Wraps. Just like the Ivory Teff Wrap, the texture is amazing for a gluten-free product. They are soft and, after just 15 seconds in the microwave, easily rolled. This past weekend I used mine to make a delicious pan grilled chicken and cheese quesadilla. It grilled up crispy and sliced cleanly into 6 easy to dip, pieces. If you haven’t tried these wraps, you must! I promise you will soon be in love, like I am. From this point forward, they will be a staple in my kitchen! La Tortilla does make products that aren’t gluten-free so double check that you are purchasing the right product. Their website has a store locator feature to help you find these wraps near you. You can also order them online. http://latortillafactory.elsstore.com/view/category/590-gluten-free/

Namaste Foods Pizza Crust
In my house, Friday night is pizza night. I love trying new mixes and recipes in search of my ideal gluten-free pizza. They each seem to bake up with unique flavors, textures and thickness. Because of this, I have vowed to try them all until I find my favorite. This week, I tried Namaste Foods Pizza Crust mix and I was very happy with the results. As soon as you open the bag, you know the pizza is going to taste amazing because the mix is flavored with Italian seasonings. My favorite part about this crust is that it was so simple to assemble. All you need to do is add oil and water and mix for three minutes. How easy is that? The dough is very easy to work with and goes straight into the oven for ten minutes. Then you top with your favorite gluten-free toppings, pop it back in the oven for another ten and enjoy! The crust comes out crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle. In a word, it’s delicious. This fabulous mix sells for $5.50 and makes two pizzas per bag. Yum! You can find this product in Whole Foods and various health food stores, or you can order direct from their website. https://www.namastefoods.com/shopping/storefront/cgi-bin/product_nutrition.cgi?Product_Id=1&Category_Id_Search=2&Closeout_Search=All&Return_Cgi=item_list.cgi

Michael Season’s Baked Cheese Puffs
I have to admit that one of my guilty pleasures before becoming gluten-free was any kind of Cheese Doodle type snack I could get my hands on. Horrible, I know! Not only are they bad for you, but they stain your fingers and mouth an unnatural neon orange. I was so excited to discover a healthier version of my favorite snack in Michael Season’s Baked Cheese Puffs. They contain no artificial ingredients or MSG and have 65% less fat than traditional cheese puff snacks. They are light and crispy and will completely satisfy your craving for something cheesy. They are great for packing in lunches or bringing to work for an afternoon snack. However, you may want to buy in bulk because they’re addicting! These delicious puffs can be ordered directly from the Michael Season’s website. http://www.seasonssnacks.com/store/cart.php?m=product_list&c=6

Authentic Foods Gluten-Free Pie Crust
The holiday season is fast approaching or, as I like to call it, pie season! This year, I’ve been on the lookout for a pie crust that I really like. I found just what I was looking for in Authentic Foods gluten-free pie crust mix. It’s very easy to make and is very sweet and rich so it’s perfect for desserts. All you need to make this mix is butter or shortening, cream (or a non-dairy substitute) and eggs. You can use the crust for apple pies, cheesecakes, pumpkin pies and chocolate mousse pies, to name a few. The baked crust has a delicious, flaky consistency. However, it does burn easily in the oven. When I make my crusts, I wrap them in foil after a few minutes in the oven to prevent this. This pie crust definitely will be filled with warm apples and pureed pumpkin on my Thanksgiving table this year! The Authentic Foods website has a store locator feature to help you find this mix near you. You can also order it from their online store. http://www.glutenfree-supermarket.com/

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Celiac in the News

Gluten, The Secret Stalker
A recent article posted in Psychology Today discusses depression as a symptom of celiac disease. According to this article, this is possible due to the impaired absorption of the amino acid tryptophan, which the body converts into serotonin. However, it also mentions that depression could be a result of the many other symptoms that are common with celiac such as abdominal pain, anemia, infertility, fatigue, migraines and skin disorders. The piece goes on to explore the link between celiac and ADHD, citing that the impaired absorption of iron could play a role. This is an interesting read. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stuck/200910/gluten-the-secret-stalker

New For Kids with Celiac and Wheat Allergies
Did you know that some Play Dough contains wheat? The popular children’s toy has been shown to cause allergic reactions in those with wheat allergies after it has been handled. It is also not uncommon for children to put small pieces of things in their mouth at a young age, making this a toy to avoid for children with celiac, as well. According to this article, a student at Purdue University has created a new toy for those with gluten intolerances and wheat allergies. “The new toy is Soy-yer Dough which is made from soy or rice. There are different scents, such as banana, blueberry, mint, watermelon, orange, and root beer. The dough is non-toxic and so can be eaten but it is not recommended.” If you know a gluten-free child, this would make a great gift! http://www.examiner.com/x-10560-Special-Needs-Kids-Examiner~y2009m10d9-New-toy-for-those-with-gluetin-allergies

Digestive Disorders Cost Canadians $18 Billion Annually in Health Care
According to this article out of Toronto, Canada, over 20 million Canadians are affected by digestive health disorders annually. Furthermore, these specific disorders account for 18 million sick days and 10 percent of all hospitalizations. This costs the Canadian economy 18 billion dollars each year due to health care costs and decreased productivity of workers. This is what I found most interesting and seems to be true here in America, as well: “However, due to the perceived embarrassment associated with di-gestive symptoms, there is a lack of understanding of the enormous impact digestive disorders have on Canadians and a profound unwillingness to shed more light on the subject.” To learn more about these alarming statistics, read on. http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/November2009/04/c5292.html

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