NFCA Founder & President
Around the World on a Celiac Stomach
Travel always involves some adventure. When you’re a celiac, leaving the creature comforts of home also means bidding your gluten-free staples adieu.
As I mentioned in the July newsletter, I traveled to Indonesia this summer. I also was lucky enough to explore Italy in August. It was my own rendition of Eat, Pray, Love, but for me, it was more like Ask, Eat, Pray. Experiencing foreign culture is one thing; throwing caution to the wind is another.
I inquired about gluten at each meal. I ate what I trusted and avoided what I didn’t. Sometimes I tossed out a little prayer, hoping cross-contamination wouldn’t rear its ugly head on the trip. It’s a concern celiacs know all too well, and one we live with every day.
Indonesia posed a challenge. To be fair, my daughter and I were game for adventure and spent much of our time off the beaten path, so gluten-free options were few and far between. Traditional Indonesian dishes were riddled with soy sauce, a notorious source of hidden gluten. It wasn’t easy, but I managed to find naturally gluten-free meals like Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice) and Rujak (spicy fruit salad).
Italy, despite its spools of pasta and crusty bread, offered a surprising array of gluten-free options. Many restaurants served gluten-free pastas, and packaged products were labeled “senza glutine” as plain as day. The true treasures of Italy, however, were the fresh items, like dried peppers by the bundle and fish straight off the boat, served canalside.
And what’s an Italian trip without gelato? Delicious, refreshing and, for the most part, gluten-free. There were a few gluten-containing offenders—the “McDonald’s” of gelato shops actually used gluten in their ingredient base!—but I was pleased to taste plenty of celiac-friendly scoops.
Back in the U.S., my travels were far from over. Next up was a cross-country trek to San Francisco for the U.S. Foodservice Trade Show. With my global experiences still in mind, I was eager to see what was new on the culinary scene – and particularly, the gluten-free arena – at home. The foodservice industry has struggled to meet celiac needs, but they’re finally turning the corner to better awareness—and that means more options for us!
Now that I’ve finally returned to Philadelphia, I’m even more thrilled that Appetite for Awareness is just around the bend. It’s the perfect homecoming – a celebration of all the gluten-free goodies found right on our doorstep. I’m fortunate to live in what’s been dubbed the “first gluten-free, celiac-friendly city in the U.S.,” and I thank all the chefs and vendors who have embraced gluten-free food – especially those who recognize it as a medical necessity rather than a fad.
In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert learned self-acceptance. In my travels, I learned appreciation. Appreciation for gluten-free alternatives, knowledgeable staff, clear gluten labeling and, of course, the supportive celiac community.
Are You Getting Enough Vitamin B?
By Gini Warner, Clinical Nutritionist
Many people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Vitamin B deficiency seems to be a common one among celiacs. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to healthy, gluten-free sources of these nutrients.
Vitamin B is actually a complex of eight different vitamins referred to collectively as B vitamins or the vitamin B complex. The different nutrients in the vitamin B complex are often found together in foods and offer many of the same benefits, so it’s useful to discuss them as a single entity.
Each type of vitamin B has its own health benefits, but together they help the body function in a number of ways. The vitamin B complex boosts metabolic function, promotes skin and muscle tone, boosts the immune and nervous systems, and promotes cellular metabolism, growth and division. It also promotes cardiovascular health, improves energy and helps prevent depression. Deficiencies in certain B vitamins can result in such illnesses as beriberi, anemia, heart disease and birth defects.
Vitamin B is water-soluble, so it must be replenished every day. If you aren’t getting it in your diet, vitamin supplements may be necessary. Vitamins are best absorbed when you get them in their natural state: a food source. Some natural, gluten-free sources of Vitamin B include bananas, potatoes, lentils, chili peppers, green vegetables, eggs, dairy products and meats, including turkey, tuna and liver.
Gluten-Free Pasta With Lentils
2. Add chicken broth, lentils, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.
3. Simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils become soft.
4. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Combine lentil mix with cooked pasta and toss well to combine.
About Gini Warner
Gini develops nutritional programs for people with food allergies, for safe weight control, diabetes, eating for energy, disease prevention, and overall nutritional balance. She believes that the key to achieving proper nutrition and overall health is in making positive lifestyle changes.
How Much Gluten is Too Much for Your Celiac Child?
If your child has recently been diagnosed with celiac disease, it is likely your family is still adapting to his new gluten-free lifestyle. The gluten-free road to recovery may seem overwhelming at first to parents of celiac children, as there are many challenges to face in adjusting to dietary concerns. As a gluten-free advocate and mother of three, parents often ask me for help, and one of their most common questions is, “How much gluten is too much for my child?”
The amount of gluten that can be tolerated varies among people with celiac disease. In general, research suggests that less than 10 milligrams (mg) of gluten daily is unlikely to cause significant damage to the intestines in most celiac people. However, these small amounts could still be enough to make a person feel unwell.
How small is 10 mg? A dime weighs about 2,200 mg (2.2 g). Tricia Thompson, RD, a celiac disease authority, explains that a one-ounce slice of regular white bread has approximately 3,515 mg of gluten– about 351 times the maximum daily amount that’s safe for celiac children. That means even a crumb is too much!
Even if your child’s diet is gluten-free, chances are that he’s exposed to a minimal amount of gluten daily. Regulations in most parts of the world allow a product to be labeled gluten-free if it contains up to 20 parts per million of gluten (equivalent to about 20 mg per kilo). Even a slice of gluten-free bread contains a little over 0.5 mg of gluten.
It can be a challenge saying no to your child when he wants “just a little” bit of a gluten-containing product, especially on special occasions. After all, that bite-size candy looks pretty small – how much gluten could it possibly contain? However, sticking to an entirely gluten-free diet is the best way – and the only way – to ensure your child’s gluten intake is at a safe level.
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
Back by popular demand, NFCA presents the Gluten-Free Candy Quick List, courtesy of Sure Foods Living. Use this list as a guide when shopping for Halloween treats that will satisfy celiac and non-celiac children alike.
Remember, manufacturers may change ingredients at any time, so double-check packaging or contact manufacturers directly to inquire about a product’s gluten-free status.
Print the list now or visit NFCA’s Printable Guides page to access the list year-round.
Get more gluten-free product news in this month’s Hot Products section.
By Dr. Vikki Petersen
What if some of the symptoms of “getting older” were actually curable and preventable? Specifically, I’m speaking of such symptoms as numbness, tingling, unsteady gait, problems with balance and tingling or burning sensations.
A new study has indicated that gluten could be a root cause for some of these problems. This particular study focused on patients in their 50s and 60s, but younger people who suffer these symptoms may also benefit from the findings.
Published in Neurology on Sept. 14, 2010, the research paper is titled “Sensory Ganglionopathy Due to Gluten Sensitivity.” The lead author, Dr. Marios Hadjivassiliou from the Department of Neurology at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, UK, focuses on neurological issues related to celiac disease.
First let’s define some terms:
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, infections can cause nerve damage by “provoking conditions referred to as autoimmune disorders…and that ganglionopathies are more likely to be caused by autoimmune disorders.”
And what do we know to be the root cause of many autoimmune disorders? That’s right, gluten. Don’t forget that celiac disease is itself the most common gastrointestinal autoimmune disorder, not to mention the only one where the trigger is absolutely known – gluten.
Let’s go back to the study and discuss what they found. Beginning with over 400 patients who had different types of peripheral neuropathies, 53 of them (13%) had clinical evidence of sensory ganglionopathy. Out of the 53, 17 of them, or 32%, were determined to be “gluten sensitive” based on blood testing. Of those 17 in the “gluten sensitive” group, seven individuals, or 41%, had an abnormal biopsy indicating celiac disease.
Dr. Hadjivassiliou explained:
“Gluten sensitivity is a spectrum within which celiac disease (gluten sensitive enetropathy) is only a part. Patients can have gluten sensitivity with a normal small bowel biopsy but can still develop extraintestinal manifestations such as neurological problems,”he said.
Fifteen of the 17 gluten sensitive individuals went on a gluten-free diet. In 11 of these individuals (73%), the dietary change helped stabilize neuropathy. These results support something that I see clinically: the human body is rarely too old to receive benefit from a correct therapeutic program. Do keep in mind that the mean age of these patients was 67, and still 73% of them stabilized on a gluten-free diet. But could the improvement be even higher?
It turns out that the four individuals who didn’t stabilize were found to have poor adherence to the diet. Their neuropathy progressed, as it also did in the two patients who did not opt for dietary treatment.
In conclusion, the authors state that “sensory ganglionopathy can be a manifestation of gluten sensitivity, and may respond to a strict gluten-free diet.”
Dr. Hadjivassiliou further explained the value of their findings:
“This study identifies for the first time a neurological manifestation that has not been previously recognised. Sensory neuronopathy is a form of neuropathy that exclusively affects the sensory nerves near the spinal cord. This presents with asymmetrical loss of sensation that is slowly progressive. It does, however, respond to a strict gluten free diet. Patients with celiac disease should be aware of neurological manifestations and should seek advice from a neurologist if they develop any neurological symptoms,”he said.
Considering that this study focused on a mature population, the health improvements are impressive. Imagine what could occur in younger patients, whose reparative abilities are so much greater?
This is exciting news, and I urge you to share it with anyone whom you know that suffers from these symptoms or has neurological disease in their family history.
Dr. Vikki Petersen is founder of HealthNOW Medical Center and co-author of The Gluten Effect.
By Dan Kohler
Chocolate Frozen Custard
The end of summer brings many things: layered clothing, football season, schools of children and…a new cooking show.
(For a larger screen and Part 2 of this video, visit NFCA’s Videos page )
I’ve been working with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness since February, and together we’re producing “Alternative Appetites .” Thai Kitchen jumped on board as our very first sponsor. To be honest, I’ve been using their products in my kitchen for years. They make excellent curry pastes, fish sauce and noodles, but I get the most use out of their coconut milk. Everything on RenegadeKitchen.com is gluten-free and dairy-free, and more often than not, my favorite replacement for whole milk is coconut milk.
If you haven’t cooked with coconut milk before, get with it. Obviously it’s necessary when making a giant pot of curry, but you may not be well-versed in its sweet applications. Let me help you. Rice pudding, flan, frozen custard, lemon curd, sponge cake – I use coconut milk in every single recipe.
I developed this frozen custard recipe at the beginning of the summer, just when it was beginning to warm up outside. And guess what? I’ve been making it for months.
Frozen custard is so easy to customize, no matter what you’ve got in your kitchen, so start whipping up a batch now. No chocolate in the house? Try jam, fresh fruit, mint extract, espresso, vanilla, ginger or any other mix of flavors.
Chocolate Frozen Custard
2. In a separate bowl, whisk the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt until frothy, pale yellow and slightly thickened.
3. Whisk the egg mixture into the warm chocolate milk. Drizzle the egg slowly into the milk and whisk like a machine. The last thing you want is chocolaty scrambled eggs.
4. Continue to whisk the egg/milk mixture for 5-6 minutes over medium heat. What you want to avoid here is turning the liquid into pudding. If it looks like it’s thickening, remove from heat and continue to whisk. All you want to do is make sure the eggs are cooked, without too much thickening. When the liquid is very hot to the touch, take it off the heat and let it cool for 20 minutes before setting in the fridge to chill. Chill for at least 4 hours before putting the mixture in your ice cream machine.
5. When the custard base is cool, follow the instructions of your ice cream machine to reach delicious results!
Banana Caramel Flan
I started making flan months ago, obsessed with all things creamy (custard, mousse, pudding and curds), and when the dust settled, there were two contestants standing for the final round: flan and creme(less)brulee. To pick a winner, I was looking for high scores in three different categories: texture, taste and ease of preparation. With equal marks in taste, the brulee took a slight lead in the ease of preparation category. That left one round: texture.
To be honest, I expected the creme(less) brulee to take home the gold medal. Appearing on far more restaurant menus, creme brulee holds more clout with American audiences than flan. I was swayed by its star power and hardly glanced at the flan. What a mistake!
Now, if you’re trying to figure out the difference between creme brulee and flan, let me save you a trip to Wikipedia. Creme brulee: more cream, less egg. Flan: more egg, less cream. It’s that simple. Creme brulee is literally “burnt cream,” and has the flavor of slightly thickened and set cream. Flan, on the other hand, lets eggs shine as both the structure and flavor of the dessert.
It was this small but crucial difference that finally put flan in first place. Because I was making both custards without dairy, the fat content was significantly lower than traditional recipes. While I love the flavor of vanilla-scented cream, the dairy-free creme brulee presented one major problem: it took too long to set in the oven.
By the time it came out and cooled, it was slightly grainy. When I took it out earlier to avoid the grainy quality, it never fully set and left ramekins full of soupy custard. Hence, my love affair with flan began. The additional egg in the custard base meant the lack of dairy fat wouldn’t be a problem; the custard would set because of its pure eggyness.
Once I settled on flan as the winner of the 2010 Custard Games, it was time to glam it up a bit and give it the star treatment it deserved. I made batches of flan with various flavored extracts, but they left a heavy and unbalanced flavor through the custard. Realizing I wanted something subtler, I steeped the coconut milk and vanilla with tea bags in three different batches: raspberry, early grey and rooibos. The tea flavoring method had two significant advantages: 1) it was unbelievable easy, and 2) the tea bags left the custard gently scented – exactly what I wanted. Unfortunately, when blended with the egg mixture and baked, the tea-steeped coconut milk left the custards an unpleasant shade of grey (fine for serving myself; horrid for company).
In the end, I realized the easiest way to flavor the custard was with a few slices of fresh fruit. I sliced up bananas and placed them in a caramel sauce in the bottom of each ramekin. When I ladled in the custard, the banana slices floated and mingled with the delicious liquid. As everything baked together, the flavors blended and distributed throughout the custard. I can’t think of a fruit I wouldn’t like in here, peaches, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, plums – everything makes my mouth water.
Banana Caramel Flan
2. Pour 1 cup sugar into a pan over medium-low heat and step away from your stove. Don’t touch it; don’t stir it; don’t whisk it. If you need to do something to put your mind at ease, just give the pan a little shake. In 10-15 minutes, you’ll have caramel. While it’s still warm, pour 1-2 tablespoons into each ramekin. Do a little dance and tilt the dish to swirl the caramel around the sides.
3. Add 3-4 slices of banana to each ramekin.
4. In a sauce pan, combine the coconut milk and vanilla bean over low heat.
5. Fill a tea kettle or another sauce pan with water and bring it to a boil. You’ll need this later.
6. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar and salt until pale yellow and thick.
7. Remove the coconut milk mixture from the heat and drizzle slowly into the egg mixture, whisking the whole time. If you pour too quickly, you’ll end up with scrambled eggs, so slow down, cowboy. Pour a thin stream and whisk, whisk, whisk.
8. Pour the custard base through a strainer and then ladle into each ramekin, roughly 2/3 cup per dish. Set the filled ramekins on top of the towel in the baking pan. The towel helps prevent burnt bottoms.
9. Slide the baking pan into your oven and then pour the simmering water in the pan, around the ramekins. (Be careful to keep the water out of the ramekins.) Fill the baking pan until the water is about 2/3 up the ramekins. This will help the custards bake evenly.
10. Bake the flan for 28-32 minutes, or until the custard is gently set. It should tremble ever so slightly at your touch, a precious jiggle in the middle of the ramekin when you give it a tap on the side.
11. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and allow them to cool for an hour on a rack. Then, cover them tightly with plastic wrap and set them in the fridge to chill.
12. When you’re ready to eat, simply run a knife around the edge of each ramekin before turning it over onto a plate. Give it a tap, a little shake, close your eyes and say a prayer, then lift the ramekin away! Dessert!
Enter NFCA’s “Cool Weather Cooking with Thai Kitchen” Recipe Contest!
You test ingredients, tweak recipes and whip up new ideas in your kitchen. Now, we want to hear about them.
Submit your original gluten-free recipe using any Thai Kitchen product(s), and be eligible to win one of 5 fabulous prizes!
Grand Prize (one winner – $250 value):
Plus, the winning recipe will be featured on Thai Kitchen’s website!
Runner-Up Prizes (four winners – $75 value):
Enter one of two ways:
2) For submissions that include a photo , email the following details to [email protected]:
“Acknowledgement of Ownership and Permission to Publish: I assert that this recipe is my original creation, and I grant Thai Kitchen all rights, titles and interests in this submitted entry.”
Visit NFCA’s Recipe Contest page for full contest details, including Rules & Regulations.
Questions? Contact [email protected].
Win prizes during NFCA and Thai Kitchen’s Video Scavenger Hunt!
During the weeks of Oct. 11-15 and Oct. 18-22, NFCA (@CeliacAwareness) will tweet questions about the new Alternative Appetites videos. (You can watch Part 1 above, then see the rest at beyondceliac.org.) Questions could range from “What color is Dan’s shirt?” to “What’s the third ingredient Dan uses in his flan recipe?”
The first person to tweet @CeliacAwareness with the correct answer will win a free polo shirt and product coupons from Thai Kitchen. We’ll tweet one question each weekday, so that’s 10 chances to win! Keep an eye out – the tweets could come at any time!
Time is ticking. Get your ticket to Appetite for Awareness today!
NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR CELIAC AWARENESS
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Appetite for Awareness, NFCA’s annual celebration of the gluten-free lifestyle, is just a few weeks away. We’re gearing up for all the action. Take a look at what’s on the agenda:
The Eagles cheerleaders and Swoop the mascot will be back to help NFCA celebrate all the gluten-free fun Philadelphia has to offer.
Can’t attend? Follow the action on NFCA’s Twitter page . Then show your support by donating to the cause.
For full event details, visit www.beyondceliac.org/A4A.
Check NFCA’s Upcoming Events page frequently to find out about gluten-free events in your area.
It’s Not Just in Your Head: The Psychological Impacts of Celiac Disease
Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010
Join NFCA as Marie-Nathalie Beaudoin, PhD, Training Director at Bay Area Family Therapy & Training Associates, goes beyond the physical and explains how celiac disease can affect us mentally.
Dr. Beaudoin will:
Sponsored by Blue Diamond Growers, this Webinar is free of charge and the only requirement is a working Internet connection!
Marie-Nathalie Beaudoin, PhD , is the Training Director at Bay Area Family Therapy & Training Associates where she sees private clients and supervises the counseling work of doctoral and post-doctoral students in psychology. Marie-Nathalie also teaches a number of classes such as Child Development and Family Therapy at John F. Kennedy University. She presents internationally and has published several books, including a translated bestseller, Responding to the Culture of Bullying and Disrespect.
Since herself being diagnosed and having her son afflicted with celiac disease, Marie-Nathalie has started researching, writing about and increasing people’s awareness of this issue. She is currently co-authoring an article titled, “A Medical Issue Affecting the Diagnosis of Mood, Attention and Autistic Disorders: A Closer Look at Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance.”
Serving Up Gluten-Free at Colleges & Universities
Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010
Calling all college and university Dining Services staff, including dietitians and chefs! University of Connecticut’s recognized celiac and gluten-free leaders will identify and explain the need for gluten-free availability at higher education establishments.
Join NFCA as Chef Landolphi and Amy Dunham, RD:
Sponsored by TH Food’s Crunchmaster, this webinar is free of charge and only requires a working Internet connection!
Robert Landolphi is the Certified Culinary Arts Instructor and Culinary Development Manager with the University of Connecticut.
Rob is a member of The National Association of College and University Food Services, the American Culinary Federation, Slow Food International and the National Restaurant Association.
Rob has appeared on Food Network’s “How Do You Iron Chef?” promotion program while hosting the University of Connecticut’s Annual Culinary Olympics, and is on the new cable food program “Boy Meets Still.” He is the author of the Gluten Free Everyday Cookbook. www.glutenfreechefrob.com
Amy Dunham is a Registered Dietitian for the University of Connecticut, Storrs Campus. For the past 6 years, Amy has been the Nutrition Coordinator of Student Health Services and now Wellness and Prevention Services providing nutrition counseling and outreach to the college students. In addition, Amy is a board-certified specialist in Sports Dietetics.
Amy has 9 years of experience working with college students on various health-related issues such as eating disorders, weight management, gastrointestinal diseases, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
NFCA is hosting several Webinars on celiac disease and gluten-free nutrition throughout the year. Check our Webinar page frequently so you don’t miss out!
NFCA Keynotes Celiac Seminars at Better Health Stores
Director of GREAT Foodservice Beckee Moreland will host three celiac disease and gluten-free lifestyle seminars on Oct. 15-16 at Better Health Stores in Frandor, Novi and Grosse Pointe Woods, MI. Beckee will discuss topics including:
For information or to attend, download the event flyer .
Pica Pica Maize Kitchen touts GREAT Training in San Francisco Chronicle. (Check the Full Details tab)
Gluten-Free Featured At US Foodservice Educational Event
NFCA was a featured presenter at the recent 2010 Culinary Journey Food Show presented by US Food Service. Founder and President Alice Bast spoke before an audience of restaurant and foodservice industry professionals during the Sept. 22nd expo in San Francisco. Her presentation, “Gluten-Free: Truths & Myths,” dispelled the perception that the diet is merely a trend and that gluten‐free initiatives are difficult to implement. Alice spoke about gluten-free food preparation safety, and how GREAT Kitchens training provides the solution to what is a chief concern within the celiac community.
To learn more about the show, download the event flyer .
For more information on NFCA’s educational programs, visit the Education tab on beyondceliac.org.
NFCA celebrates celiac advocates who are making a difference !
Darian Greenfield of Elkins Park, PA is taking gluten-free dining into his own hands – and he’s not even 13!
Diagnosed with celiac disease about 1 year ago, Darian has made improving the gluten-free options his personal mission. For the past 3 months, Darian has been contacting local restaurants to educate their staffs about celiac needs and the benefits of NFCA’s Gluten-Free Resource Education and Awareness Training (GREAT). It’s all in preparation for his Bar Mitzvah, which will take place later this month.
“I have noticed a lack of gluten-free options at the restaurants I have been to since being diagnosed,” Darian said. “I would like to see more gluten-free options…This would help people like me be able to eat out more easily.”
So far, the project is going well, Darian noted. Restaurants have seemed open to gluten-free training, and many already had some knowledge of celiac disease and dietary needs. Finding time to contact and speak with chefs isn’t easy, especially with Darian’s active schedule, but he believes it’s worth the effort. “I feel good knowing my project could help the quality of life for people who adopt the gluten-free diet,” he said.
Graphic designer and celiac Katie Chalmers is making it easier for parents to talk to their kids about celiac disease. Chalmers, who also has a daughter with celiac, just published a children’s book about the condition. Mommy, What is Celiac Disease? shares a mother’s conversation with her daughter about celiac disease, with colorful illustrations set amid festive autumn trees.
“Through positive dialogue and captivating illustrations, this book can help kids of all ages understand their diet and feel empowered to restore their health and reclaim their lives,” commented NFCA Founder Alice Bast.
To learn more and purchase the book, visit www.katiechalmers.com.
Want to be an Awareness All-Star? Get Involved .
By Cheryl McEvoy
Casa de Fruta
Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka
For more product news and reviews, follow NFCA’s Gluten-Free Hot Products blog .
Celiac Disease Episode to Air on Public TV
Special Report on Celiac Disease Featured in Chicago Tribune
NFCA Founder Offers Gluten-Free “Insights” to Restaurants
Contributor Tina Turbin Earns Nomination for Top Info Site
Celiac Athlete Goes for Guinness World Record
Stay up-to-date between newsletters. Follow NFCA’s News and Blogs .