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More than Just Almonds
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A Gluten-Free “Diet”?
We ask this question all the time at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) office: Is the very treatment for celiac disease – the gluten-free diet – a barrier to diagnosis?
I imagine that you are nodding your head as you read this. “Gluten-free” has been misunderstood over the years through what we like to call the “celebritization” of the gluten-free diet. There are a lot of fad dieters out there who believe abstaining from the gluten protein will help them shed pounds.
My opinion? The problem is in the name of the treatment. A gluten-free “diet.” We’re programmed to automatically think of weight loss when we hear the word “diet.” In reality, the word actually just means the food we eat regularly. Could the ticket to getting our medical conditions taken seriously be as simple as changing the name of our treatment? I’m not sure, but it could be a great start.
As always, whenever we have these ideas, we rush to social media to get your opinions. Your comments did not disappoint! We tossed around a few ideas for making the name change – gluten-free regimen, gluten-free treatment and (my personal favorite), gluten-free prescription. Since our community did such an awesome job of putting their ideas out there, we’ll let them speak for themselves!
Do you have an idea of what language could better describe our gluten-free diets? Tell us on the NFCA Facebook page.
To our GREAT health,
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Getting Ready for a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving
By Silvana Nardone
Every Thanksgiving, no matter how much prep work I’ve done ahead of time, I always feel last-minute anxiety. Will all of the food get on the table at the same time? Will it still be hot? This year, I’m taking the words “make ahead” seriously.
I want Turkey Day to be one I can actually sit back and enjoy, at least a little! Why else fill my house full of family and friends if I can’t actually spend quality time with them? Without being prepared and organized, I run around the kitchen like crazy. This is never truer than at Thanksgiving.
With this in mind, I decided to launch a gluten-free, dairy-free flour blend company. I realized that when I didn’t have my gluten-free all-purpose flour blended and sitting ready in my pantry, I definitely baked less.
And this is how I arrived at my biggest tip for a stress-free Thanksgiving: Make things simple, but special. I know this is easier said than done. Believe me. I always start with a grand plan for a huge menu, then I cut it way down. My focus is on what I know my family looks forward to every year and ultimately, on what dishes I know make us all happy. This time, I went one step further and asked my kids, Isaiah and Chiara, if they could pick one dish for me to make, what would it be? Now, they’re both excited to sit down at the table!
After all, Thanksgiving is not about impressing my family and friends—or even myself—it’s about gathering together and sharing a beautiful, delicious—and relaxing—meal. Now I know that’s entirely within my reach.
Here’s a taste of what I’ll be making my family:
About Silvana Nardone
Silvana Nardone is the author of Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy, Delicious Meals and founder of silvanaskitchen.com, a blog that takes the guesswork out of how to feed a family with food allergies. Join the gluten-free conversation in her Facebook community or follow her on Twitter or Pinterest.
Everything we do at NFCA is done with you in mind. Our goal is simple: We want to provide you with the education and tools you need to live well with a gluten-related disorder.
To make sure we are meeting your needs, we are asking for your feedback through a brief survey. As an organization dedicated to serving you and your family, it is essential that we measure our impact to ensure we're meeting that goal. Your opinions will drive future NFCA initiatives aimed at serving the 2.5 million people we help to live life to the fullest and eat without fear.
The survey will close on Sunday, November 9. Be sure to leave your email address if you would like to be entered for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card as a thank you for your participation.
This month, we announced our newest patient-centered initiative - NFCA's Patient Advisory Council. We're so excited to see the enthusiasm and passion of those community members applying for one of the Council's 10 positions. Because of this positive response, NFCA is extending the application deadline by one week to Sunday, November 9, 2014.
The application process is easy. Email Rachel Rieger at [email protected] with the following information:
Still looking for reasons to apply? Check out our top five reasons here.
Study Proves Gluten “Brain Fog”
Note from NFCA: The NFCA team is excited to see "brain fog" being given more attention in research. In early 2011, NFCA teamed up with the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to learn more about brain fog and its effects on those with gluten-related disorders. Learn more about this collaborative study here.
By Patrick Bennett
The notion that gluten can affect the brain has generated its share of controversy in recent years, but now an Australian study confirms that for those with celiac disease, these symptoms are not all in their heads.
“This study has been able to show empirically and objectively that ‘brain fog’ is real,” study author Dr. Greg Yelland told Allergic Living. “We were pleased to find that, for untreated celiac disease patients, cognitive performance improved on a gluten-free diet.”
Let’s be honest. When it comes to the holiday season, taking some short cuts here and there can make all the difference between being festive and being frustrated. This year, we’re sharing tongue-in-cheek Gluten-Free Baking Hacks to bring you some stress-relieving laughs along with helpful advice for navigating the holiday season.
Have a shortcut you want to share? Facebook, tweet or Instagram it using the hashtag #GFBakingHacks.
Sponsored by Crunchmaster
Regardless of whether you’re newly diagnosed or experienced in the world of gluten-free, you’re bound to find new tips and ideas to keep your holiday festivities running smoothly. Check out last year’s hit holiday campaign, “The Gluten-Free Holiday Tip of the Day,” for 30 pieces of advice from the people who’ve been there.
Each Tuesday following Thanksgiving has been dubbed as Giving Tuesday – the official kick start to the giving season. This year, we’re asking you to think about NFCA and Giving Tuesday as you do your Cyber Monday shopping. You can financially support NFCA without spending an extra cent! Here’s how:
That’s it! Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase without adding any extra cost to your purchase. It might sound too good to be true, but it is!
For more information on Giving Tuesday, visit www.GivingTuesday.org.
Among the gluten-free items in today’s grocery stores, it’s becoming more common to see almonds, almond meal and almond flour as a staple on the gluten-free shelves. Long a sumptuous ingredient in macaroons and marzipan, almonds are playing a larger role in the diets of people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (‘gluten sensitivity’). Almonds, known for healthy fats, vitamin E and loads of magnesium and potassium, are a desirable choice for gluten-free eating.
Blue Diamond Growers, a sponsor of the NFCA, is a California agricultural cooperative and marketing organization that specializes in almonds.
We recently spoke with Steve Van Duyn, CEO of Van Duyn Family Farms, a California almond grower and co-op member of Blue Diamond, the makers of gluten-free Nut Thins and Artisan Nut Thins. They have been a part of the Blue Diamond cooperative for 25 years.
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NFCA is ready to put many rumors about safe and unsafe ingredients in gluten-free products to rest with this webinar. Tricia Thompson will discuss how the United States regulates items such as beer, oats, maltodextrin, beans, nuts, vinegar, and others. Many may be surprised to find new items on their shopping lists after learning how to better understand ingredients labels.
Sponsored by Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
Celiac disease affects more than just the stomach. Join NFCA as we talk about the genetic autoimmune disease's effects on other systems of the body. This webinar will feature celiac disease expert Dr. Anthony DiMarino, Chief, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
Sponsored by Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
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