February 2014

February 22, 2014

February 2014

February 2014 Subscribe now

Note from Alice


Cooking with Oonagh

Cook’s Corner


5 Reasons to Participate in Research


Share the Love!

Allergic Living Sneak Peek

Dana Vollmer’s Gluten-Free Diet


Dining Out

Coming Attractions

Celiac in the News

Hot Products

Alicia Carango
Communications Assistant
[email protected]


Alice BastNote from Alice

NFCA President & CEO

Saying “Thank You”

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) has just launched the Share the Love campaign! I am excited to participate in this activity geared towards thanking those who have helped us through our diagnosis of celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (‘gluten sensitivity’). You’ll read more about this fun NFCA initiative in the article below.

I’ll go first! I am taking this opportunity to thank just one of the many people who have helped me through my own celiac disease diagnosis and through the process of starting NFCA. After visiting countless doctors, I finally received my diagnosis of celiac disease in 1994. Shortly after, the gastroenterologist who diagnosed me retired from his practice and I began to see Dr. Anthony J. DiMarino, currently the Director of the Celiac Center at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Before being diagnosed with celiac disease, I suffered through multiple miscarriages. Dr. DiMarino and I suspected my experience with miscarriages were directly linked to undiagnosed celiac disease. Together, we poured over European research which confirmed our suspicion and started us on the path to publish a paper on reproductive health and celiac disease so we could help others who were struggling like I was. Words can’t describe how grateful I was to meet a doctor I could trust. Dr. DiMarino always listened to me and gave me hope that things could be different for those of us living with celiac disease. This fueled my desire to start NFCA even more; I knew I had to raise awareness of this autoimmune disease and help others like me find the help they needed, too.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Here is a photo of Dr. DiMarino and me at NFCA’s 10th Anniversary Celebration in October 2013. Thank you, Dr. DiMarino, for taking me seriously and for helping me on my quest to understand the many implications and complications of undiagnosed celiac disease so we can spread the message to others.

Alice Bast and Dr. DiMarino

Who do you want to thank? Learn more about the Share the Love initiative below and tell us your story today!

To our GREAT health,

Alice Bast

Donate button

Related Content:

Back to top

Blue Diamond Gluten-free crackers: New Artisan Nut Thins

Cooking with Oonagh

Warming Winter Recipes

I know February is usually a time for Super Bowl or Valentine’s Day themed recipes, but with the frigid temperatures and snow many of us are experiencing, it’s time for warming comfort food.

MINESTRONEMinestrone Soup
In Italy, minestrone basically means vegetable soup and the ingredients vary from region to region and season to season. Here’s my winter spin on the classic minestrone soup.

I was looking through my old handwritten recipes and found this one. I don’t know where I originally got the recipe and it’s been ages since I’ve made it, but I love anything with an orange flavor. This recipe is loved by both people on a gluten-free diet and people who are not.

About Chef Oonagh Williams

Chef Oonagh WilliamsBritish-born award-winning chef Oonagh Williams has a culinary arts degree and was trained in London and Switzerland. Based in New Hampshire, Chef Oonagh began adapting meals to gluten-free versions after her son was diagnosed with gluten and lactose intolerance two years ago. To learn more, visit Chef Oonagh’s website at www.RoyalTemptations.com or ‘Like’ her at Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook.

Related Content:

Back to top

Cook’s Corner

Preparing for Valentine’s Day Celebrations in the Classroom
By Silvana Nardone

Get your gluten-free cooking and baking questions answered by the expert! Have a question for Silvana? E-mail Alicia at [email protected] and your question could be answered in a future NFCA newsletter.

As a parent of a child living with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (‘gluten sensitivity’), you know classroom activities can pose unique challenges in keeping your child gluten-free. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you can be sure there will be classroom celebrations – and that means gluten-full foods are likely to make an appearance.

Get ahead of the game this year and try one of these gluten-free recipes, perfect for sharing with your little Valentines and their classmates, too!

red velvet cookies

Red Velvet Black & White Cookies

Valentine's Day Dougnuts

Valentine’s Day Doughnuts

parmesan popcorn

Buttered Parmesan Popcorn

strawberry scones

Strawberry Scones

thin minty cookies

Thin Minty Cookies


About Silvana Nardone

Silvana Nardone
Silvana Nardone is the editor-in-chief of the all-digital, gluten-free magazine, Easy Eats . Silvana is also the author of Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy, Delicious Meals and publisher of Silvana’s Kitchen, a blog that takes the guesswork out of how to feed a family with food allergies. Previously, she was the owner of a Brooklyn-based bakery, Fanciulla Specialty Foods, and the founding editor-in-chief of Every Day with Rachael Ray.

Back to top

$1 off Rudis GF Stuffing

5 Reasons to Participate in Celiac Disease Clinical Research

researcher and microscopeNFCA supports celiac disease research and we’ve made it part of our mission to help move this important work forward. Clinical research studies are necessary to bring pharmaceutical drugs to market. In fact, every drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has gone through the clinical trial process. While there is no pharmaceutical treatment currently available for celiac disease, some of these treatments potentially are on the horizon. And, the only way to bring them to fruition is though clinical research studies.

To help explain the importance of patient participation in celiac disease research studies, we talked to renowned physician and researcher Daniel A. Leffler, MD, MS, Director of Clinical Research at the Celiac Center at BIDMC and NFCA Scientific/Medical Advisory Council Member. Here are his top five reasons to participate in research:

  1. Research participants are key! Without patient participation, studies will not be able to move forward. By participating, people significantly contribute to researchers’ understanding of celiac disease so they can develop better tests and therapies.
  2. Participants get an insider’s perspective on how advances in medicine happen. They also become key players in making treatments available for other patients just like themselves.
  3. Diversity is critical in getting accurate results for a potential therapy. By having a diverse group of participants, researchers can better ensure that the tests and treatments developed work for the vast majority of people and not just a small selection. For example, if only women are willing to participate, researchers may not have a good sense of how men will respond to the same treatment.
  4. Participants have a chance to meet with celiac disease experts and receive quality care at no cost. Some research studies even compensate participants for time and travel.
  5. Research is necessary to keep many, if not all, celiac disease centers operating; and they need support from those living with celiac disease. Research is one of the pillars of most celiac disease centers and without it, they have much less energy and resources to devote to better understanding celiac disease and its potential mechanisms and treatments. Basically, research helps financially support educational materials, media outreach and other key initiatives that allow centers to help diagnose and treat people with celiac disease.

Want to learn more about how you can get involved in celiac disease research? Sign up for NFCA’s Research Opt-In. You’ll receive periodic email updates on opportunities to be a part of the expanding world of celiac disease research.

Opt-In Today!

Back to top

Share the Love!

Share the Love

Think back to your diagnosis of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Who was there for you every step of the way? Who always makes an effort to understand your gluten-free needs? Is there someone you’d like to thank in a big way?

Now is your chance. This February, NFCA wants you to Share the Love . We know that a lack of understanding can sometimes make it frustrating to live the gluten-free lifestyle, but we want to take the time to remind everyone of the people who really just get it.

All you have to do to Share the Love is submit a photo or a short story thanking the person who has been there for you on your gluten-free journey. No matter who your special someone is – whether it’s a parent, cousin, sibling, doctor, a gluten-free blogger, whoever – we want to hear about them!

Share the Love Today!

Back to top

$1 off ArrowHead Mills Gluten Free Product

Allergic Living Sneak Peek

Diet Secrets of Gluten-Free Athletes
By Mary Esselman

Olympic swimming champ Dana Vollmer and other top competitors are powered to win – without gluten.

Dana VollmerFor swimmer Dana Vollmer, it was a long-awaited moment: representing the United States in her first Olympic 100-meter butterfly event.

From the age of 12 Vollmer had worked towards this place on the starting platform, enduring serious injuries and illness, and persevering despite a disappointing showing in the 2008 Olympic trials, which kept her from performing in Beijing. After taking time off – and being diagnosed with gluten intolerance and an egg allergy – Vollmer seemed to be on a comeback roll, winning a gold medal for the 100-meter butterfly in the 2011 World Championships.

But this was the much-hyped 2012 London Olympic Games. Could Vollmer, a 24-year-old with a history of heart disease, who subsisted on a diet free of gluten and eggs, perform to Olympic standards?

Continue reading.

Back to top

Dining Out

Out & About: NFCA’s GREAT Kitchens Team Raises Awareness of Gluten-Free Needs on College Campuses

Maintaining a gluten-free diet can be difficult for anyone, but college students face unique challenges. Not only are most living away from home for the first time, but they are also learning how to get around on campus while juggling a social life and their studies. Low on time and, oftentimes, cooking equipment, college students can often fight an uphill battle to stay gluten-free on campus.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

With some changes to processes, pre-planning and education, foodservice departments on college campuses can work hand in hand with students to ensure they have safe gluten-free options for every meal. NFCA works hard to educate schools on proper gluten-free food preparation through GREAT Schools, Colleges and Camps, an adaptation of the popular GREAT Kitchens training program used to educate restaurants that serve (or want to serve) gluten-free options.

Gluten-free only
In the cafeteria at Virginia Tech

In mid-January, NFCA’s Director of Gluten-Free Industry Initiatives Beckee Moreland and Director of Foodservice Jerry Norris traveled to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, more commonly known as Virginia Tech, to educate foodservice professionals on gluten-free needs. There, they teamed up with staff from the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) group to cover all aspects of special diets. This event kicked off the FARE College Food Allergy Program which, according to the organization, “will focus on convening experts and stakeholders to create comprehensive guidelines and develop resources such as training for dining services and resident advisors, educational materials for existing and prospective students and their families, and guides for creating campus social groups.” Key members from several colleges and universities from around the country attended this kick-off event, as well as other foodservice industry professionals. The summit was sponsored by U.S. Foods and hosted along with Premier, Inc., a healthcare performance improvement company that contracts for discounted food and foodservice products.

From left to right, Jerry Norris (NFCA),
Beckee Moreland (NFCA), Anne Thompson (FARE)
and Mike Spigler (FARE)

“More and more colleges and universities are recognizing just how important gluten-free options are to college students living with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity,” said Beckee. “What’s even more exciting than this increased interest is their recognition of the need for education to know how to do it right.”

Jerry was equally pleased with the trip to Virginia Tech. “We’re finding that many schools are willing to accommodate special dietary needs,” he added. “They just need some help in understanding what those specific needs are.”

NFCA is working to help schools do just that. If your (or your child’s) college or university needs some help in understanding safe gluten-free food preparation, consider referring them to the GREAT Schools, Colleges and Camps program. The NFCA team is excited to jump in and help your school be able to best meet your gluten-free needs.

Related Content:

Back to top

Coming Attractions

Free NFCA Webinar: FODMAPs, Gluten Sensitivity & IBS
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 8:30 p.m. EDT/5:30 p.m. PDT

Join NFCA for “FODMAPs, Gluten Sensitivity & IBS” featuring Sue Shepherd, PhD, Senior Lecturer at LaTrobe University Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition and Director of Shepherd Works P/L. Please save the date for this exciting experience with Dr. Sue Shepherd, who developed the low FODMAP diet in 1999. More details to come soon!

Register button

Back to top

Crunchmaster: Happy, Healthy, and gluten-free

Celiac Disease in the News

By Alicia Carango, NFCA Communications Assistant

Can People with Celiac Disease Safely Drink Barley-Based “Gluten-Removed” Beer?

This question has long been asked by the celiac disease community and experts in the field. As of now, experts are not convinced that “gluten-removed” beer is safe because they cannot say with 100% certainty that no smaller gluten particles remain undetected in the beer. Tricia Thompson, MS, RD of Gluten Free Watchdog compiled data from top industry experts to break down the issue for the community.

Read more about the report on gluten-removed beer.

Gluten-Free Girl Scout Cookies Gaining Media Attention

Girl Scout cookie season is in full swing and the media is buzzing with news of their new gluten-free Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookie. In mid-January, NFCA’s Vice President Jennifer North appeared on NBC Philadelphia with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania to share not just news of the gluten-free cookie, but the reason behind the need for a gluten-free option.

Watch the news clip from NBC Philadelphia.

Dr. Alessio Fasano Talks Celiac Disease with Food Navigator

In a special “gluten-free” edition of Food Navigator – USA online, reporter Elaine Watson made the connection between gluten-free food and celiac disease, not the fad diet. Dr. Alessio Fasano, member of NFCA’s Scientific/Medical Advisory Council and Director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, shared his expertise on topics from celebrity “gluten-bashing” to changes in the mircobiome in the gut.

Read the Q&A with Dr. Fasano.

Chicago Restaurateur and Daughter Create Educational Cookbook for Teens

NFCA Chef’s Table Ambassador Carlyn Berghoff is working to improve the quality of life for teens on a gluten-free diet in a big way. The Chicago restaurateur was featured in MEDILL Reports alongside her 16-year-old daughter, who has celiac disease. They’re working together through their cookbook, Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen, to help teens and parents make the foods they miss most while educating them on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.

Read more about their efforts, including a quote from NFCA President and CEO Alice Bast.

Back to top

Hot Products

By Alicia Carango, NFCA Communications Assistant

Breton Garlic and Herb Gluten-Free Crackers

The NFCA office was excited to receive samples of Breton’s Garlic and Herb gluten-free crackers for two reasons. For one, this was the first time we’ve seen the NFCA logo placed on a product identifying it has been certified as gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP), the only program that certifies products for distribution in both the U.S. and Canada. Secondly, these crackers are sogood. In my experience, many gluten-free crackers are relatively small and usually on the hard side. Not Breton crackers. They are pretty large (about the size of a coaster) and have a consistency very similar to wheat-based crackers. I shared a photo of the boxes on NFCA’s Facebook page when they arrived and the vast majority of the online community agrees that these crackers are delicious. You can check them out on Breton’s website, but note that not all of Breton’s products are gluten-free.

Van’s Nacho, Nacho Man Multigrain Chips

Van’s gets points not only for making these delicious gluten-free chips, but for their clever spin on the Village People’s classic hit “Macho Man.” These multigrain chips are sure to satisfy any craving for a salty, cheesy snack. Unlike most traditional chips, the Nacho, Nacho Man chips don’t have a greasy taste or feel. They’re the perfect lunchbox companion, after school snack or quick pick-me-up at the office. If barbecue flavored snacks are more your style, you’ll be happy to know these chips come in a Mighty Good BBQ flavor, too. Learn more about Van’s multigrain snacks at VansFoods.com.

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Breadby Nicole Hunn

I was honestly surprised by the thickness of Nicole Hunn’s latest cookbook, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread. I had no idea so many types of bread even existed. Hunn has certainly covered all the bases – and then some. Her cookbook includes recipes for hot cross buns, garlic knots, cheese bread, braided challah, ricotta bread, cheese puffs, garlic focaccia, baguettes, olive bread, sourdough bread… I think you get the idea. The photography in this cookbook is amazing and there really aren’t too many ingredients needed for each recipe. The directions are clear, straightforward and don’t seem like they’d be overly difficult for a baking novice to follow. You can learn more about the cookbook here.

Back to top


*Stay informed between newsletter mailings!*
Check our News & Blogs for frequent updates >>

This newsletter is proudly sponsored by:


$1 off of Rudi's gluten-free stuffing

$1 off of any Arrowhed Mills Gluten Free Product

Blue Diamond Gluten-Free Crackers: New Artisan Nut thins

Frannies gluten-free muffins