Note from Alice
NFCA Founder & President
Sex and the Celiac: The Movie
About 9 months ago, we finally had “the talk.” I addressed a few of the questions I’ve been frequently asked about celiac disease and sexual health.
Now, I’m back for Round 2…with a little twist. I’ve always admired how the women on “Sex and the City” spoke so freely about their exploits. Hence, the inspiration for my “Sex and the Celiac” note last May.
This month, the NFCA Team and I have taken it to the next step, creating a brief movie to get people talking about their own quirks and qualms in the bedroom. Instead of writing my note, I’m presenting it Carrie Bradshaw style, with a visual that brings the text to life. Have a look:
As the video shows, celiac disease can affect your libido, among a host of other factors in intimacy. The question is, how do you cope with it? If you or your partner has yet to get tested for celiac disease, take the Symptoms Checklist and learn the risks today. If you’re already gluten-free, read on for some fantastic recipes (“Cooking with Oonagh”) and date ideas (“Rev Up Romance”) to add some kick to your canoodling.
Tid Bits with Tina
Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Your Celiac Child
By Tina Turbin
It’s that time of year again. The shelves of stores are full of pink or heart-shaped decorations, candies, and gifts, catching the eye of your celiac child. As daunting as it may seem for the parents of celiac kids, Valentine’s Day is easier than ever to celebrate for gluten-free families and can provide a great opportunity for you to show the little celiac Valentine in your life how special she is. By following a few simple tips, you and your child can have a fun, worry-free holiday this February.
One of the main issues when it comes to Valentine’s Day is school celebrations. It’s likely that by this time of the school year, you’ve already alerted your child’s teachers and school administrators about her condition and diet. I recommend sending an email or letter to your child’s teachers again regarding her diet restrictions and providing gluten-free candies and goodies to be stored in the classroom. Teachers often hand out candies around this time of year for good behavior and grades or during classroom celebrations. Now your child won’t be excluded from receiving treats of her own.
In your letters or emails to teachers, ask if there will be any classroom parties so that you prepare yourself ahead of time for how much gluten-free candy your child will need to bring to pass out to other students or for her teachers to give to her. In fact, you can go a step beyond and request a gluten-free party; if you’re up for it, you may be able to bake some gluten-free cupcakes, brownies, and other treats for your child’s classroom to share with the other students. This is often a great way to raise awareness for celiac disease and the gluten-free diet, and more importantly, an opportunity to make your child feel special instead of left out.
In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, it’s never too early to brush up on the companies that offer gluten-free candies and treats. In fact, as soon as Christmas and New Year’s are over and the shelves of your local stores have been replaced with Valentine’s Day goods, you should locate an updated list of the candies and chocolates your child will be able to eat. I also recommend giving her a copy of the list of gluten-free candies so that she herself, if she’s mature enough, can determine which ones she can eat and which to avoid.
I recommend buying some gluten-free candies at the beginning of February and packing a candy or two in her lunchbox every day, or giving her one after school. This might seem like a lot of candy, but your child will be inundated with Valentine’s Day candy everywhere she goes—at school, at a friend’s house, and in her extracurricular clubs and activities. If she’s getting her fair share of treats from you, she’ll be much less likely to deviate from her diet.
My favorite tip for parents of celiac kids is to throw a gluten-free baking party. You can liaise with your local celiac group or R.O.C.K. chapter to invite other celiac kids over, and your child should invite her non-gluten-free friends as well. Get plenty of Valentine’s Day decorations for your home and baked goods. Cupcakes are usually a great option for baking parties, as your child will love decorating them with Valentine’s Day toppings, such as pink sprinkles. Just because gluten-free cupcakes are gluten-free, doesn’t mean they’re sugar-free, so your child’s friends will find them delicious. This is just one more way to make your child feel “special” in a good way, as any “normal” kids wants to feel.
Lastly, Valentine’s Day isn’t just about candies and chocolates. Get your child a special card, stuffed animal, and other non-food gifts and encourage her to pick out some for her friends and loved ones. One of my children’s favorite Valentine’s Day activities was getting a box full of Valentine’s Day cards and addressing them to their friends.
You made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas, so you can make it through Valentine’s Day as well. By getting prepared ahead of time and taking the initiative to celebrate in creative ways with your child at home, such as with a gluten-free cupcake party, your little Valentine will hardly even notice her unique dietary needs.
More about Tina and the "Danny the Dragon" children's book series:
Tina 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, weekly radio shows, developing gluten-free recipes and reviewing companies for celiac consumer safety (http://GlutenFreeHelp.info)
Tina is an award-winning children's book author
(http://DannyTheDragon.com) and donates her current children's audio book profits to Dr. Peter Green’s Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center. To stay updated on her projects, sign up for her newsletter at www.TinaTurbin.com.
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Cooking With Oonagh
Indulgent Gluten-Free Dishes for Valentine’s Day
By Chef Oonagh Williams
I really don’t like going out for a meal on Valentine's night. The restaurants are crowded, and I don’t find the level of noise that enjoyable. This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday – hardly a night you want to spend working away in a kitchen. But, if you prepare ahead, you can have a safe and very enjoyable 3-course gourmet meal at home.
- Shrimp and Crab Bisque
This is a wonderfully simple soup to make, using fresh or frozen crab. It will remind you of being at a romantic restaurant, without the staggering bill.
- Beef Stroganoff
This is one of the most popular of my recipes with both clients and students. Buy sirloin steak when it’s on sale and keep in the freezer so you can make this whenever the occasion arises.
- Almond Tart
This dessert would have been served both for the ‘nursery’ tea in England as well as for adults after dinner. It is extremely quick and doesn’t require much supervision. In America, it is just as suitable served to guests for a weekend brunch, as a treat to share with your spouse or a family dessert with the kids.
Completely prepare the soup and dessert on Saturday or Sunday, and the Beef Stroganoff as far as the end of step 4, then refrigerate. On Monday night, you’ll only have to reheat the soup, reheat the beef, add the sour cream and cornstarch and proceed. Even the rice and vegetables can be cooked the night before. You can then enjoy an intimate dinner for two with almost no work or dirty dishes, as well as no aggravation with misplaced dinner reservations. In fact, the soup and beef actually taste better when made a day or so in advance.
Yes, the dishes are very rich, and changes will be necessary if you are lactose intolerant. For example, I make the beef stroganoff with yogurt for my son, as he tolerates that better. It is not the same as when made with sour cream, but still tasty. As for the calorie content, remember you are only eating this way because you are celebrating Valentine’s Day. If you cut back a little for the rest of the week, it should balance out.
I’ll admit, in my cooking classes and catering events, clients almost always ask for more indulgent recipes rather than healthy or vegetarian dishes. Many of my dishes, you’ll find are not “everyday” recipes, but gourmet meals you can make on the weekend or for special occasions (or even a treat for eating so healthy the rest of the week). That said, I grew up with fresh food made from scratch, and I believe everyone can cook gluten-free with real food. These recipes make it easy to do that, with a gourmet touch to the final meal.
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.
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Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
It’s important to stay positive when living gluten-free, but giving up your favorite foods can make that tough. Fortunately, there are ways to create a gluten-free version of almost any dish you desire. We asked our friend KC Pomering to share some of the gluten-free recipe conversions she’s done over at G-Free Foodie (www.gfreefoodie.com). Check out this treat, just in time for Valentine’s Day!
Gluten-Free Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Recipe conversion by G-Free Foodie
For the Cookies:
- 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 ounce milk chocolate, chopped
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon red food coloring
- 2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour blend
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Filling:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped
Make the cookies:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the semisweet and milk chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 50 percent power until melted, about 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
2. Whisk the melted butter, sour cream, eggs, vinegar, vanilla and food coloring in a bowl until combined. In another bowl, whisk the Gluten Free flour, xanthan gum, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in four equal batches, whisking each batch completely before adding the next. Stir in the melted chocolate.
4. Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter onto the prepared baking sheets and smooth the tops with a damp finger. Bake until the cookies spring back when lightly pressed, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the filling:
1. Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until smooth. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla seeds.
2. Sandwich a heaping tablespoonful of filling between 2 cookies; repeat with the remaining cookies and filling.
3. Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.
About G-Free Foodie:
G-Free Foodie offers recipes, restaurant listings, blogs, reviews and the popular Free Recipe Conversions. The staff loves a challenge and would rather be in the kitchen than any place else. Give them your recipe and a couple of weeks, and they’ll get back to you with a G-Free version you can safely enjoy! Request a Free Recipe Conversion at: http://www.gfreefoodie.com/recipes/recipe-conversion/
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Are Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity Part of the Same Spectrum?
By Dr. Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN
We have long held the notion that celiac is a disease specific to the digestive system. Is this antiquated? In my opinion, and perhaps more importantly, in the opinion of Dr. Alessio Fasano, Director of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, the answer is “Yes.” In a recent interview, he suggested that intestinal biopsy is no longer the “gold standard” for celiac disease diagnosis.
In addition, Dr Fasano has alluded to research in the area of gluten sensitivity. “We have papers coming out that start to give us some clues to some possible markers we can look at to make the diagnosis of gluten sensitivity,” he said.
Even before that, in May 2010, Dr. Fasano told me that his research center sees seven times the number of people suffering with gluten sensitivity as compared to those who present with celiac disease. The area clearly warrants more research, especially as more of the public becomes aware of gluten issues.
It’s a similar outlook for Dr. Peter Green, who in December 2010 stated, “Gluten sensitivity is an area that traditional doctors haven’t wanted to get into.” But, “They’re going to have to because a lot more research is coming out about it.”
Ponder some facts with me, if you will.
1. Tissue transglutaminase (tTG) is an enzyme found in every tissue of the body. It’s involved in wound healing and ridding the body of damaged tissue. It acts on and changes gliadin to activate the immune system, setting off an inflammatory process eventually resulting in villous atrophy in certain genetically prone individuals.
Question: What if this tTG response is not limited to the gut, but is apparent in whatever tissue gluten happens to migrate to in the body? If we evaluated the reaction of tTG in all tissues of the body, could we more accurately determine where gluten was creating damage?
2. Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is the skin “version” of celiac disease. It is well established that many people with DH do not experience the classic gastrointestinal symptoms of celiac disease.
Question: If we’re comfortable with this association, why do some clinicians still think symptoms of a non-digestive nature are not “eligible” for a celiac or gluten-related diagnosis?
3. Research studies have shown celiac disease to be highly associated with neurological diseases. In some cases, conditions such as schizophrenia and ADHD have been found to improve with a gluten-free diet, even when an official celiac diagnosis hasn't been made.
Question: Are those suffering from a distinctive neurological reaction to gluten with no villous atrophy simply falling within a continuum of celiac disease not currently established? Is villous atrophy simply one point along the spectrum, with DH being another, depression another and infertility another? How can we ensure all of these issues are regarded with concern and legitimacy?
4. A leaky gut allows inefficiently digested gluten to leave the intestine and enter the bloodstream, where it can affect other parts of the body.
Question: Is our focus on villous damage of the small intestine a faulty approach that fails to include the full breadth of gluten-triggered conditions? Should we instead be evaluating inflammation of the small intestine and a leaky gut?
I’m not claiming to be a predictor of the future, nor am I a researcher. But I am a clinician at a very busy clinic that specializes in this area. We believe that gluten sensitivity is not only a legitimate problem, but also a widespread one that deserves our attention.
Regardless of whether the damage is intestinal, neurological, dermal (skin) or hormonal, accurately diagnosing the problem may be better accomplished by broadening our scope to include the damage and inflammation that may occur to tissues throughout the human body.
It may be prudent to step back and realize that, for many, gluten is not a “food” but a “poison,” and the sooner we limit its consumption in those who react to it, the healthier we will be.
- Dr Peter Green, Marin Celiac Group, December 2010
- “Gluten-Free Living” magazine, “Dr Fasano on the Future of Celiac Disease”, Winter 2010
- Ford, Rodney Philip K. "The Gluten Syndrome: A Neurological Disease." Medical Hypotheses 73 (2009): 438-40.
- Hadjivassiliou, Muscle Nerve. 2006 Dec;34(6):762-6. “Dietary treatment of gluten neuropathy.”
- Green, Peter HR. "Mortality in Celiac Disease, Intestinal Inflammation, and Gluten Sensitivity." JAMA 302.11 (2009): 1225-226.
- Hadjivassiliou, M. "Gluten Sensitivity: From Gut to Brain." Lancet Neurol. 9.3 (2010): 318-30.
- Howdle, P. D. "Gliadin, Glutenin or Both? The Search for the Holy Grail in Coeliac Disease." Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 18.7 (2006): 703-06.
About Dr. Vikki Petersen
Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, is founder of the HealthNOW Medical Center in Sunnyvale, CA, and co-author of The Gluten Effect. As a national lecturer and international radio personality, Dr. Vikki makes regular national radio appearances and headlines weekly speaking events for Silicon Valley and Fortune 500 companies, covering topics such as gluten sensitivity, stress and fatigue, anti-aging and women's health. She was a featured speaker at the first annual Gluten Sensitivity & Celiac Forum held in northern California.
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One Grain, Three Ways: Millet
By Genevieve Sherrow, MS, CN
Millet is a versatile gluten-free whole grain. Small, yellow and round in shape, it belongs to the grass family, of which rice and corn are members. Millet was first brought to the U.S. to feed animals; you may have seen it in bird seed mixtures. Its nutritional profile is actually stronger than that of wheat, high in protein, potassium and magnesium, and has a sweet, nutty flavor.
While you may have never tried it, millet can be quite versatile. You can cook it for breakfast, or serve it in salad, side dishes, soup and stuffing. Millet flour has a similar texture to rice flour and produces a nice crumb in baked products, but it’s best when combined with other gluten-free flours.
Morning Millet Apple Porridge
This nutty, sweet hot breakfast cereal is perfect during the fall and winter months. It’s a breakfast you won’t skip in the morning.
- 1 cup whole grain millet, dry and rinsed
- 2 cups apple juice
- 2 1/2 cups water
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup apples, sliced (sweeter varieties like jazz, gala, braeburn, winesap, fuji or cameo work best)
- 1 tablespoon butter, optional
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1. Heat a dry pot to medium. Add millet. Stir millet with a wooden spoon. After a few minutes, the grains will begin to pop and give off a nutty aroma. When you smell the nutty aroma and the grains begin to brown slightly, add water, apple juice and salt.
2. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Fifteen minutes into cooking, add the apples.
3. After all of the water has been absorbed, and millet thickens like a porridge, add butter and maple syrup. Taste and adjust salt or syrup. Spoon into your favorite breakfast bowl.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Makes 2 servings, 1/2 cup each
Chef’s notes: For faster cooking time, soak millet in water overnight. In the morning, cook millet in the soaking water along with apple juice. Skip step 1.
Copyright 2011. Genevieve Sherrow, MS, CN, Original Recipe.
Millet Middle-Eastern Style
Make this recipe for dinner one night and bring the leftovers to work for a simple and satisfying lunch.
- 2 cups whole grain millet, dry and rinsed thoroughly
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 cup carrots, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup dried currants
- 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup almonds, crushed and lightly toasted
For the Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, raw if available
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons high quality, unrefined extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove fresh garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon honey, raw is preferred
- 1/8 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1. Combine millet water and salt in a large saucepan. Cover pan and bring mixture to boil. Then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer the millet, covered, until all of the water has been absorbed (about 25 minutes). Remove from heat, cool and transfer into the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes.
2. While the millet is cooling, whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl until mixture thickens.
3. After millet cools, pour the dressing over the millet and toss. Then add vegetables, dried fruit, nuts and herbs. Toss until all ingredients are combined. Taste and adjust salt and oil.
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Makes 4 servings, 1/2 cup each
Copyright 2011. Genevieve Sherrow, MS, CN, Original Recipe.
Apple Spice Muffins with Millet
This is a great option for breakfast on the go, or as a healthy dessert.
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup rice flour or sorghum flour
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend
- 1/2 cup whole grain millet
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3/4 cup dairy milk or non-dairy soy or rice milk
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat muffin tins with gluten-free non-stick cooking spray or use non-stick muffin tins.
2. Mix topping ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine flours, millet, baking powder, soda salt and spices; blend together.
4. In a separate bowl combine, milk, oil, eggs, applesauce, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to blend.
5. Spoon batter into muffin tin, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle topping mixture evenly on top of each muffin.
6. Bake for 20 minutes for regular muffins and about 30 minutes for large muffins or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.
Preparation time: Approximately 40 minutes
Makes 12 regular muffins or 6 large muffins
Original Recipe Credit, Shelley Case, RD
About Genevieve Sherrow
Genevieve is founder and CEO of Gluten-Free Warrior, a consulting company specializing in gluten-free education, counseling, food writing and foodservice. She is author of the new book Gluten-free Warrior: Gluten-free & wheat-free whole foods recipes.She blogs about gluten-free whole foods nutrition at wholefoodreflections.blogspot.com.
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Rev Up Romance
By Cheryl McEvoy, NFCA Online Content Manager
When you’re recovering after a celiac diagnosis, you may not feel quite yourself. The gluten-free diet requires adjustment, physically and mentally, and that could put romance out of the picture.
If you feel like you’re dragging in the bedroom, you’re not alone.
Nearly one in four men over 30 suffers from low testosterone, and health conditions like celiac disease can play a factor. Hypogonadism and sexual dysfunction can occur in cases of celiac disease, and decreased sexual activity may result. What’s more, a 1994 study found that 25% of individuals with celiac disease have Hyperprolactinaemia, which can cause loss of libido.
And it’s not just about hormones. Gastrointestinal issues, headaches and joint pain, whether stubborn or occasional, can throw you off and make it harder to focus on intimacy. Bodily changes, specifically weight loss or gain, can also occur as you adjust to the gluten-free diet. As a result, you may not feel as confident in your skin.
But these issues don’t have to derail your plans. Instead, vow to make this Valentine’s Day a special treat - and one that works with your newfound health:
Breakfast for Dinner
Who says Valentine’s Day has to be about fine dining? Put a twist on date night and make a dinner filled with gluten-free breakfast items. Make a batch of gluten-free Vanilla Flax French Toast or a heart-healthy vegetable frittata, then pair it with fruit and a glass of bubbly. Wear a sexy pair of pajamas to bring the theme full-circle.
Bring the spa to you. Light a few candles, put on soft music and take turns giving each other massages. (To get loosened up, start with 20-30 minutes of yoga. There are free instructional videos on YouTube.) For dinner, top a fresh salad with chickpeas or try grilled salmon with brown rice and steamed vegetables. For dessert, layer fruit, yogurt and gluten-free granola for a refreshing parfait. Once dinner is ready, trade the apron for a robe so you can unwind while you eat.
Something Old, Something New
Going gluten-free often means giving up a favorite food. This Valentine’s Day, reclaim your beloved meal by using natural or gluten-free alternatives. Make a pizza using gluten-free crust or Mac & Cheese made with quinoa pasta. While you’re at it, try a few healthy swaps, like using Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream. To go with the theme, play songs that were popular when you first met, and put a sexy new spin on an old outfit, like pairing an old dress with black tights and boots, or buy a new necklace to jazz up a tired sweater.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about food. Focus your evening on activities: Go ice skating, bowl a few rounds, try an indoor rock climbing session, or take a dance class. If your energy isn’t up to snuff, try a game of mini-golf or go for a casual stroll through town. Tell each other what it means to have a happy and healthy future together. Eventually, you will have to eat, so take the night off and stop at your favorite restaurant that serves gluten-free.
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Have You Spread the Bread?
By Cheryl McEvoy, NFCA Online Content Manager
Loafing around has a whole new meaning, and it’s got nothing to do with being lazy.
For the past month, Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery has been urging fans to “Spread the Bread” as a way to promote celiac awareness and improve clinicians’ knowledge of the disease. The give-and-get coupon campaign invites individuals to download a $1 off coupon for Rudi’s Gluten-Free bread. For every coupon downloaded, Rudi’s will donate $1 to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness to support its online educational program for primary care providers.
Available at CeliacCMECentral.com, “Defining, Diagnosing and Managing Celiac Disease” is a free and accredited program that teaches primary care providers what to look for and how to respond when a patient presents with celiac disease symptoms or risk factors. Early diagnosis and proper treatment through a gluten-free diet can reduce the likelihood of developing other issues, including neuropathy and cancer. So, by educating doctors, the program actually helps you and your family get better care.
It all sounds great, but is “Spread the Bread” really making a difference? With one month down and one month to go, the campaign is plowing across the country and stirring up support both in and out of the gluten-free community.
Blogs like Gluten-Free Fun, Chicago Gluten-Free Food Examiner, and Gluten Hates Me have Spread the Bread (and applauded Rudi’s for creating a gluten-free loaf that’s pretty darn close to the real thing). Fans have tweeted and retweeted the feel-good deal. Even local business sections and industry news have covered Spread the Bread for its innovative outreach.
So far, the coupons have raised nearly $6,000, a noteworthy amount. But Rudi’s has set a goal to raise $20,000, so the mission isn’t over yet.
Here’s the real kicker: It’s actually a coupon you’ll want to use. If you haven’t tried Rudi’s Gluten-Free bread yet, it’s worth the $1 off download just to give it a whirl. The bread has good flavor and texture, whether it’s served straight out of the bag or toasted. For NFCA’s take, check out the review recently posted on our Gluten-Free Hot Products blog.
So, download the coupon, and tell your friends to download one, too. (Even if they’re not gluten-free, they can keep a loaf in the freezer for lunch dates with you!) Once you have a discounted loaf in hand, pat yourself on the back for contributing to the celiac cause (the fact that you actually saved a $1 while doing so is just icing on the cake). Then get cooking. For recipe ideas, check out this new spin on an old classic: Gluten-Free Grilled Cheese. Make sure to leave a comment on our Gluten-Free Hot Products blog when you do!
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Brain Fog and Gluten Exposure Survey: Update
By Kristin Voorhees, NFCA Healthcare Relations Manager
Last month, NFCA launched the Brain Fog and Gluten Exposure survey to gather information needed to carry out vital research.
Individuals with celiac disease and gluten intolerance often report forgetfulness, confusion and other similar neurological symptoms after gluten exposure, whether it is accidentally ingested after diagnosis (often through cross-contamination) or as a primary symptom before diagnosis. In recent years, members of the patient and medical community have used the term "brain fog" to collectively define these symptoms. Unfortunately, the term is not well understood. The Brain Fog and Gluten Exposure survey aims to change that!
In the past weeks the survey has garnered a significant amount of interest. In fact, more than 1,000 members of the NFCA online community have participated in the Brain Fog and Gluten Exposure survey! We are incredibly grateful for your interest in this topic, and are excited to share the survey results with the research community.
While we're thrilled with the outcome so far, we know we can get more responses! So, if you haven't already completed the brief survey, please take 5 minutes to do so. Thanks to you, we are adding to the science that will help all celiac patients!
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Pleased to Tweet You
Each month, "Pleased to Tweet You" will highlight an individual who chatted with @CeliacAwareness on Twitter. If you’d like to be featured, follow @CeliacAwareness and say hello!
Name: Rachelle King
Follow Her on Twitter: @BlindedBite
Tweeting Since: June 2010
1. How long have you been gluten-free?
Two years. I've had a few slips along the way, mostly during stressful times – Bad idea!
2. What do you like to tweet about?
I love tweeting about food: gluten-free, sustainable or local food, food events, recipes (I write a weekly gluten-free blog series called "Come To The Table" - featuring a gluten-free recipe I personally prepare), current information regarding celiac disease and other related issues. I also tweet about non-profit events and companies I support locally in Austin, TX, as well as across the U.S. And the occasional funny (life is too short not to share the funnies)!
3. Why do you follow NFCA (@CeliacAwareness)?
NFCA is a great resource for someone with celiac disease or a wheat allergy. I also believe in supporting the organization because I have celiac disease.
4. What's your favorite gluten-free dish?
Dessert: King Arthur Brownies Mix - I add in pecans and lightly drizzle a chocolate balsamic vinegar on top.
Entree: Quinoa Truffle Mac & Cheese with duck confit (I should really write up a blog post on this recipe).
5. What's one thing you can do now that you couldn't do before going gluten-free?
Since going gluten-free I have lost 45 lbs that I gained due to a series of car accidents between 2005-2007 (none of which were my fault). I had to have back surgery and multiple spinal epidurals. The accidents resulted in a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, celiac disease and Sjogren's Syndrome. Today, I can run and completed my first triathlon last year!
6. In 140 characters or less, why should others join the gluten-free community on Twitter?
The gluten-free community is an excellent resource for information on celiac disease! Share the wealth of info & pay it forward is my motto!
*Follow NFCA on Twitter @CeliacAwareness*
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Each month, "Face It" will highlight a popular post from NFCA’s Facebook page, including a sampling of the responses. “Like” NFCA on Facebook and join the conversation today!
National Foundation for Celiac Awareness: What's your take on xanthan gum and guar gum? Do you typically use them in recipes, or do you prefer baking without gums?
Stacy LaRoche: I try to use them as little as possible and many of the recipes I've developed don't require it. Chef LaRoche - Guaranteed GF
Suzanne Morris: I like xanthan gum but find guar gum hard to tolerate--causes upset stomach for me.
Danielle D'Aries: I personally do not like the taste and texture of the xanthan! I'll do without
Ronda J Cooksey: It has taken me 5 years, but I have learned how to use xanthan without an odd texture.
Melissa Greenwood: used to use them with great success, but upset tummies, so now I've adjusted to recipes that don't use either of the gums. Much happier tummies now!
Janice Olsson: Interesting-didn't realize xanthan had a taste to some...I use it in all my recipes I've adapted to make gf with great success. I do however notice a BIG difference between brands.
*Join the daily discussion on NFCA's Facebook Page*
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Celiac Awareness Night with the Phillies: Friday, July 8th
Batter up! Tickets are now available for Celiac Awareness Night at the Phillies.
Join the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and members of the gluten-free community as they cheer on the Philadelphia Phillies. The team will be taking on the Atlanta Braves, and you can watch all the action in a special seating section right near the expanded gluten-free concession stand!
Net proceeds of tickets sold through this offer will go toward celiac disease education and awareness. It’s going to be a hot season, so order your tickets today!
When: Friday, July 8, 2011
Time: 7:05 p.m.
Where: Citizen’s Bank Park, Philadelphia
To order tickets: Visit this link and use the code “CELIAC”: http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/phi/ticketing/group/splash.jsp?loc=celiac
*For more gluten-free and celiac awareness events, visit NFCA's Upcoming Events page*
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All Things GREAT: Updates from NFCA's Gluten-Free Industry Initiatives
2011 Filled With Food Industry Conference Appearances
NFCA and GREAT are hitting the road! Team members will be at a number of food industry conferences over the next few months to raise awareness of the gluten-free diet and promote safe manufacturing and foodservice practices. Here’s where we’re headed:
International Pizza Expo
March 1st-3rd Las Vegas, NV
At the 2011International Pizza Expo, the world's oldest and largest pizza-only trade show, Alice Bast will join Bryan Scherer of Penford Foods to hold an educational session titled “Understanding Gluten-Free Foodservice Opportunities.”
Bryan Scherer joined Penford in 2008 with extensive experience in both product development and organizational management. His background includes executive research positions at General Foods, Uncle Ben's and KFC. He has served as technical consultant to numerous companies including, Masterfoods Europe, Burger King and Starbucks.
In “Understanding Gluten-Free Foodservice Opportunities,” Alice and Bryan will disclose how gluten-free products are impacting food service to create new menu offering opportunities. This session will also cover evolving trends, finished products concept and how to create great gluten-free menu offerings that can drive revenue. This first-of-a-kind session will be followed by a demonstration in the exhibit hall later in the day.
Visit www.pizzaexpo.com for more information.
Natural Products Expo West
March 10th-13th, Anaheim, CA
At the Natural Products Expo West show, NFCA will host an educational panel presentation titled “Gluten-Free on the Menu: Expanding Your Customer Base and Improving Your Bottom Line.”
NFCA’s goal is to provide an overview of the gluten-free industry so that retailers and manufacturers have a solid understanding of both the trends and long-term shifts of this growing category.
Expo West is the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products trade show. The event features over 3,000 exhibits and draws nearly 60,000 food industry professionals each year.
Presentation Topics and Panelists Include:
- Status of the Gluten-Free Market. Increasing your bottom line by understanding the needs of the consumer. (Alice Bast, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness)
- The Nitty Gritty: Testing, Labeling and Packaging.Food safety issues, parallels and differences to organic and Kosher; What retailers should look for to maintain safety in their supply. (Jaclyn Bowen, Quality Assurance International)
- How to Do It Right: Start to Finish. Values-based decision making throughout the production process. (Lucy Gibney, MD, Dr. Lucy’s LLC)
- Marketing and Merchandizing for Maximum Results How retailers and manufacturers can work together to target the gluten-free consumer. (Jim Garsow, TH Foods)
- Roping in the Customer. Components of a well-rounded PR strategy. (Joshua Kohnstamm, Kohnstamm Communications)
For details on NFCA’s participation in Expo West 2011, including educational panel topics and presenter information visit: https://www.beyondceliac.org/Events/Upcoming-Events/Upcoming-NFCA-Events/193/vobId__4736/
International Food Technologist's (IFT) annual Wellness Conference
March 23rd-24th, Rosemont, IL
International Food Technologist's (IFT) annual Wellness Conference in March offers attendees a unique blend of unbiased perspectives, news about emerging trends, and information on how other organizations within the food industry are penetrating the health and wellness sector. As part of the 2011 conference, Alice Bast will speak on "Nutritionally Gluten-Free: The New Frontier.”
For more information about the presentation, go to https://www.beyondceliac.org/Events/Upcoming-Events/Upcoming-NFCA-Events/193/vobId__4073/
GREAT In The News:
To learn more about GREAT Foodservice, contact Beckee@beyondceliac.org.
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By Cheryl McEvoy, NFCA Online Content Manager
Laurel Hill Tortilla Chips
Peanut butter and jelly. Salt and pepper. Chips and salsa. Oh yes, nothing pairs quite as perfectly as a crunchy tortilla chip dipped in a fresh batch of salsa. Now, Laurel Hill has taken these dippers to the next level, offering varieties like Nacho Cheese, Sea Salt & Lime and Olive & Caper in addition to the more traditional Multigrain. My favorite, however, was Pumpkin Seed. The flavor was unique: sweet and nutty, almost like a sweet potato chip, but with the texture of a tortilla chip. It adds a whole new element to choosing the right salsa, but I’m ready to take on the challenge. Did I mention they’re all gluten-free?
NatureCrops Quinoa Bars
When it comes to the granola bar, a good gluten-free alternative can be hard to come by. NatureCrops Quinoa Bars make a good attempt, offering a travel-friendly snack bar with the nutrition-packed power of quinoa. The bars come in three varieties: Quinoa & Strawberry, Quinoa & Prunes, and Quinoa, Almond & Sesame Seeds. They’re chewy and hearty, with a satisfying texture. As for taste, they avoid being overly sweet (a common mistake I’ve found in other bars), but there’s a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste. The bars are packed with protein and fiber, cholesterol-free and run 140-160 calories, so they’re a good option for refueling when you’re away from the kitchen. One thing to note: The bars contain malt extract in the form of corn flakes; however, they have been approved by the Argentina Celiac Association (where the bars are produced) and tested below 5 ppm at the University of Nebraska.
Christopher Elbow Chocolates
We always have chocolate around the office, to the point that our mailman knows where to go when he has a craving for sweets. So when a box of Christopher Elbow Chocolates arrived - a gift from Beckee, NFCA Director of Foodservice - we immediately broke into the box. And, stopped. The chocolates were gorgeous, looking more like jewels than anything edible. Surely these couldn’t be gluten-free? They are indeed, Beckee told us. And good thing they are. These chocolates may have been the best ones I’ve ever tasted. They’re rich, smooth and melt in your mouth; one is more than enough to satisfy my sweet tooth, but it takes a lot of effort not to give in to that second or third piece.
Gluten-Free Recipes Android App
Mobile apps have been surging onto the market, including a wide array aimed at making the gluten-free lifestyle that much easier. While I’ve resisted the urge, I finally downloaded the Gluten-Free Recipes Android App, produced by Adaptive Software Concepts, LLC. To be honest, I don’t know how it was developed or what research went in to the recipes, but I do know this: It’s easy, it’s free and it doesn’t ask me to fork over my location or contacts when I use it. The app has an impressive collection of recipes, from African dishes to kid-friendly cuisine. For each dish, it lists the ingredients, directions and nutrition facts, plus an option to set the recipe as a “Favorite” or share it via email, Facebook, Twitter and other means. It’s not the fanciest, but it’s a quick fix when I’m in the grocery store and can’t figure out what to make for dinner.
To get the app, search in the Android Market or click here.
*Get Hot Products updates from NFCA every week!*
Visit our Gluten-Free Hot Products blog >>
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Celiac in the News
Hotel Chain Adds Gluten-Free to Menu Worldwide
Fairmount Hotels & Resorts has launched a new menu to meet gluten-free and other dietary needs, according to an msnbc.com article. Developed with the help of nutritionist Katya Baxter and menu analysis software, the new dishes include breakfast, lunch and dinner options for individuals with celiac disease, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions. Each of the chain’s 64 hotels worldwide will have an option for each dietary need at every meal. While other hotels offer gluten-free dishes, this is the first time a hotel instituted the specialty menu chain-wide, according to the report. The article interviewed Gluten-Free Mike, one of NFCA’s Celiac Bloggers, about his experience as a frequent traveler who has celiac disease. He applauded Fairmount Hotels & Resorts for making it easier for those with dietary needs to find a safe meal on the road.
Celiac Staffer Shares Gluten-Free Life on CNN Food Blog
A CNN staff member is showing the public what it’s really like to live gluten-free. Jennie Bragg, an editorial producer for CNN’s Money Unit is posting a series about her experience with celiac disease and the struggles that often come with the transition to a gluten-free lifestyle. So far, Bragg has posted about her initial resistance to but eventual acceptance of the gluten-free diet, and foods that may contain “hidden” gluten. Next up, she’ll write about the “g-free” trend.
Ian’s Recalls Two Gluten-Free Products
Ian’s Natural Foods has voluntarily recalled specific lots of its Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Mac & No Cheese and Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free French Bread Pizza. The recalled items may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that can cause severe or even fatal infections in small children, elderly adults and others with weakened immune systems. Consumers who have a box affected by the recall can return it to the place of purchase for a full refund, according to a release from Ian’s. Products not listed in the recall are safe to consume, the release added. Find out which boxes have been recalled >>
Full Episode of "Second Opinion" Now Online
The complete episode of "Second Opinion" about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet is now available online. The show features a panel of experts including National Foundation for Celiac Awareness Founder & President Alice Bast and Scientific/Medical Advisory Board Member Dr. Daniel Leffler.
The panel discussion touches upon a variety of issues, including misdiagnosis of celiac disease symptoms. Watch the half-hour episode on NFCA's Video Page.
Researchers Find Genetic Link Between Celiac and Crohn’s Disease
Researchers have pinpointed a genetic link between celiac disease and Crohn’s disease, a promising step in the attempt to better understand the inflammation associated with both disorders, WebMD reported last week. Comparing the genomes of about 10,000 people, including those with celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and healthy individuals, scientists identified four genes that appeared to put individuals at risk of developing both diseases. Previous research has noted a connection between celiac disease and Crohn’s disease; 18.5% of individuals who have Crohn’s also have celiac, WebMD noted.
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Check our News & Blogs for frequent updates >>
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