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The Top Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free Headlines of 2012
It’s hard to believe that another year is coming to a close. As I think back on the happenings of 2012, I can’t help but be thankful for all the progress that we have made together as a gluten-free community. From the top celiac researchers around the world, to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), to those who support increasing celiac awareness, we’ve all accomplished some pretty amazing stuff! We’ve banded together to raise awareness, increase diagnoses, restore our health and reclaim our lives.
In the tradition of the year-end recap, I give you my picks for the Top Headlines for 2012.
Gluten-Free Food Becomes $12.4 Billion Industry
In 2012, annual gluten-free sales reached $12.4 billion, according to SPINS. This number is an 18% increase from 2011! As more people eat gluten-free for health and other reasons, we hope this number will continue to climb.
Read more on the rise in gluten-free food sales.
Community Bands Together on Gluten-Free Labeling Petition
The gluten-free community has long been awaiting an official ruling from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on gluten-free food labeling. To keep gluten-free labeling front of mind, a leading celiac disease advocate created a petition on WhiteHouse.gov. In order to receive an official response from the White House, the petition needed 25,000 signatures. Not only did the gluten-free community meet the minimum goal, we exceeded it! As of November 29, the petition has over 32,000 signatures!
Read more about the gluten-free labeling petition.
Mayo Clinic: 80% of People on the Gluten-Free Diet Don’t Have Celiac Disease
This staggering statistic shows that there’s still a lot of work to be done to counter the misconceptions about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. The Mayo Clinic reported that 85% of people living with celiac disease don’t know they have it, yet 80% of people on a gluten-free diet don’t have a medical reason to do so.
Read more on the Mayo Clinic report.
NFCA Hosts First-Ever Gluten-Free Pantry Raid
Supported by Crunchmaster, Glutino, Cabot Creamery and Walmart, NFCA hosted the first Gluten-Free Pantry Raid. On National Celiac Awareness Day, we announced the Grand Prize winners: the Littlejohn family of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I’ll be joining the lucky winners as they claim their prize: a $500 gluten-free shopping spree at Walmart and a $2,500 in-home consultation with an expert dietitian, which we’ll be filming in early 2013. Stay tuned for the video footage!
Read more about the Gluten-Free Pantry Raid.
Gluten-Free Olympians Take Home Gold
US swimmer Dana Vollmer and US pole vaulter Jenn Suhr have more in common than a set of gold medals; they’re both living a gluten-free lifestyle. In 2008, Vollmer failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics while Suhr struggled to compete due to fatigue and weakness. Both discovered they were living with a gluten-related disorder, adopted gluten-free diets and never looked back. Their big wins in London drew attention to the gluten-free diet and proved athletes requiring a gluten-free diet can still compete. Congrats again to Vollmer, Suhr and all of the gluten-free Olympians!
Read more on Dana Vollmer and Jenn Suhr.
Thank you all for your support throughout 2012. I look forward to working with you and celebrating NFCA’s 10th Anniversary in 2013!
For more 2012 highlights, including groundbreaking celiac disease research, see our "Top Research News of 2012," "Top Webinars of 2012" and "Top Gluten-Free Recipes of 2012" below!
View more NFCA highlights in the 2012 Accomplishments Sheet.
To your GREAT Health,
Gluten-Free Holiday Survival Tips and Recipes
By Miranda Jade Turbin
Just because you’re gluten-free doesn’t mean you can’t have a “normal” holiday season. By taking a few precautions and planning ahead, you can enjoy your holiday festivities while staying gluten-free.
Managing Unintentional Gluten Digestion Unexpected and Hidden Sources
Managing Intentional Gluten Digestion: When Gluten Ingestion Isn’t Accidental
Fight the “Just This Once” Justification:
These gluten-free holiday recipes are sure to impress your guests:
For more tips, see Miranda’s Gluten-Free Holiday Survival Guide.
About Miranda Jade Turbin
Miranda Jade Turbin became extremely interested and involved in the subjects of celiac disease, non-celiac 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, developing gluten-free recipes and reviewing companies for celiac consumer safety at the award-winning website: GlutenFreeHelp.info.
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Gluten-Free Holiday Favorites
By Chef Oonagh Williams
December is a crazy time for most of us, with parties and commitments starting right after Thanksgiving and running straight through to the New Year. And, we all want tasty, easy and attractive dishes for all the parties! For some delicious holiday recipe ideas, see my Chocolate Overkill Dessert or Toblerone Chocolate Mousse, and try out these new recipes below.
Happy Holidays to all of you and enjoy your time with family and friends! I hope you will use some of my recipes to astound people and show them how delicious gluten-free can be.
BAKED BRIE WITH ORANGE MAPLE CRAISIN SAUCE
I thought I would share a slightly different appetizer with you to add an extra flare to your holiday parties. I prefer to make my own version of brie, since I never cared for the amount of preservatives in the store-bought cheese. Making this recipe reminds me of a story about my grandfather, who would always eat stinky cheese and, eventually, was banned to the stone coal cellar by my grandmother, who couldn’t stand the smell.
SWEET AND SPICY SALMON ON APPLE SLICES
This recipe was inspired by a cooking segment on QVC. It’s easy to make and a refreshing contrast of crisp raw apple and grilled salmon with sweet spicy glaze. It can be served with salmon hot from the pan or cold.
ORANGE TRUFFLE BALLS
These are a variation on the traditional rum ball recipe. I made them using my gluten-free lady finger recipe cooked to be dry like wheat flour vanilla wafers. You could also try making this recipe with about 5 ounces of gluten-free sugar cookies or shortbread. Drizzle them with instant coffee melted with the chocolate and coffee liqueur, almond extract and amaretto, peppermint, ginger snaps with rum and some spices.
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. To learn more, visit Chef Oonagh’s website at RoyalTemptations.com or ‘Like’ her at Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook.
It was an exciting year for research about the continuously expanding spectrum of gluten-related disorders, and the field shows no signs of slowing down. From diagnostic algorithms to a “celiac drug,” research is touching upon every aspect of our gluten-free journey.
As 2012 draws to a close, the NFCA Team is reflecting back on some of the most memorable moments in the field of celiac disease research. After you review our selected highlights, join the conversation on Thursday, December 6 at 12:30 p.m. EST on NFCA's Facebook page and share what gluten-related disorders research you found to be most interesting.
Collaborative Report Breaks Down Differences Between Celiac Disease, Wheat Allergy and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
As interest in gluten-free increased, so did confusion about gluten-related disorders. To clarify the distinctions, 15 leading researchers wrote this report identifying specific characteristics of wheat allergy, celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Most importantly, the report concludes with a flow-chart outlining the steps to diagnose each condition.
New Definitions for Celiac Disease and Gluten-Related Disorders
Published on the heels of the collaborative report mentioned above, this paper summarized the results of an international task force meeting that aimed to create a standard language in the celiac disease field. Among the more striking conclusions, researchers recommended the use of “non-celiac gluten sensitivity” over the more common “gluten intolerance.”
Celiac Disease Researchers Form NASSCD
The U.S. and Canada’s top doctors, researchers and scientists in the field of gluten-related disorders joined together to create the North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease (NASSCD). The group’s goals include fostering research, promoting excellence in the diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease and encouraging more doctors and scientists to enter the celiac disease field.
NFCA Presents Poster at International Coeliac Disease Meeting
NFCA had the honor of traveling to Florence, Italy to present an abstract from a study we worked on with the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research and the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The study examined self-initiated diagnoses of gluten-related disorders in individuals who completed NFCA’s Celiac Disease Symptoms Checklist. If you participated in the follow-up survey, you had a direct part in making this happen! (The results are fascinating – worth the read.)
Major Steps in New Celiac Disease Therapies
Researchers are inching closer to potentially life-changing treatments for celiac disease. Alvine Pharmaceuticals earned Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for ALV003, a drug that degrades gluten and could provide a safety net (but not a replacement) for the gluten-free diet. Meanwhile, ImmusanT began clinical trials of a vaccine that could enable individuals with celiac disease to return to a normal, gluten-containing diet.
Follow research updates year-round on NFCA's Research News.
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Thank you to everyone who attended one or more of our webinars this year! It is our honor to bring thought leaders to you each month, and we look forward to welcoming even more in 2013.
If you have missed any of NFCA’s webinars, you can download the recordings 24/7 at beyondceliac.org/webinars/archive
Staff picks - here are three webinars that the NFCA Team highly recommends viewing:
Food as Medicine for Celiac Disease: Nutrition Beyond the Gluten-Free Diet
Featuring NFCA Scientific/Medical Advisory Council Member Rachel Begun, MS, RD, this webinar goes beyond the usual gluten-free diet overview. Rachel highlights essential nutrients that are often lacking in the gluten-free diet, then explains how to combine different foods to maximize your nutrient uptake. For example, pair your leafy greens with citrus (like a lemon vinaigrette) to enhance your absorption of iron.
Setting the Record Straight: Dispelling Gluten-Free Manufacturing and Production Myths
Do you know what that “gluten-free” label really means? What about products that claim to be “gluten-free” but also say “may contain wheat”? Renowned dietitian Tricia Thompson, MS, RD, founder of GlutenFreeWatchdog.org, lays out the current rules for allergen labeling and the FDA’s proposed definition of “gluten-free.”
Cross-Contamination in Restaurants: What You Need to Know
Dining out continues to be one of the biggest concerns of our community. Do you know how to protect yourself? This webinar shares important insights and perspectives, starting with a restaurant executive who breaks down allergen and food safety regulations. Then, two registered dietitians share ways to stay positive and outline steps you can take to dine out safely and confidently.
Remember to sign up for our final 2012 webinar You Ask, We Answer: 60 Minutes with Top Celiac Disease Researchers, taking place on Wednesday, December 19, at 12 noon EST. Then, join us as we kick off 2013 with the webinar, It’s Not Just Food Anymore: An Update on Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverage Labeling on Tuesday, January 22, at 8:30 p.m. EST.
Questions, comments or suggestions about our webinars? Email Kristin Voorhees at [email protected].
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Looking for a great gift for that gluten-free special someone? Look no further! The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) has you covered with the Gluten-Free Gift Guide 2012. Whether you’re shopping for the newly diagnosed, the gluten-free student or a gluten-free techie, we have a gift idea they’re sure to love. We even took it one step further and made a printable shopping checklist, so you won’t miss a thing on your list!
Each Monday, community bloggers and food manufacturers prove just how delicious gluten-free can be on NFCA’s Recipe of the Week. In case you missed them, here are some of the top recipe submissions of 2012.
Warm Lentil Salad with Grilled Portabella: From Kettle Cuisine and Chef Joseph Ascoli
Artichoke and Tomato Salad with Basil Vinaigrette: From Amy Green of Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free
Spinach, Pesto, Chicken and Asparagus Pizza: From Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery
Mary’s Apricot Stuffing: From Mary’s Gone Crackers
Vietnamese Noodle Salad : From Thai Kitchen
Smokehouse Almond Hummus: From Blue Diamond
Chicken Sausage & White Bean Soup: From Paul Biscione of Food Living and Everything Else
Mardi Gras Dirty Rice: From Zatarain’s
Apple and Pear Upside Down Cake: From Annette of Best Life Gluten-Free
Chilled Golden Beet Soup: Courtesy of Sherrie from Living Simply Gluten Free
By M. Carolyn Black
NFCA has partnered with Allergic Living, a print magazine dedicated to the celiac and food allergy communities. Each month, we’ll feature a Q&A, news item or article excerpt from the Allergic Living team.
Every day, adults and kids are diagnosed with food allergies or celiac disease, and they naturally expect that the people closest to them will take the most care – as they would with any serious health condition. After all, you should be able to trust your mom to keep gluten out of her gravy, and assume that, when your brother babysits your peanut-allergic daughter, he carefully reads the ingredients on that chocolate bar, right?
For too many living with food allergies and celiac disease, sadly the answer is no.
Read more from Allergic Living.
NFCA volunteer Michelle Carreno is bringing celiac awareness to doctors’ offices and pharmacies in her area. Michelle has been distributing NFCA’s educational materials, including information about GREAT Pharmacists, NFCA’s free continuing education course, to pharmacy professionals. She also stopped by an allergist’s office to drop off samples of NFCA’s resources on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. Thanks, Michelle!
Good luck to Briana Aleman and Stephanie Vadnais on their upcoming Gluten-Free Cupcake Fundraisers. We hope you and your guests enjoy decorating and eating the cupcakes – especially knowing that it’s all for a good cause!
If you would like to host a Gluten-Free Cupcake Party Fundraiser for NFCA, sign up here.
A big thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who helped NFCA take another step in restoring health and reclaiming lives. Whether you distributed brochures, helped out at Appetite for Awareness, contributed to our website, or assisted in another way, your time and effort made a difference for our staff and everyone we serve!
Free Webinar: You Ask, We Answer: 60 Minutes with Top Celiac Disease Researchers
Wednesday, December 19th at 12 p.m. EST/9 a.m. PST
NFCA’s special three-part non-celiac gluten sensitivity webinar series culminates with top researchers answering the gluten-free community’s most pressing questions. Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, of The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Joseph Murray, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, will share their expertise as they respond to your questions. This webinar will include live polling for a more interactive experience.
Free Webinar: It's Not Just Food Anymore: An Update on Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverage Labeling
Tuesday, January 22nd at 8:30 p.m. EST/5:30 p.m. PST
Those newly diagnosed with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity almost immediately realize that traditional beer is no longer an option during happy hour. Perhaps the most popular alcoholic beverage, traditional beer is brewed using malted barley. So if beer is off limits, what other alcoholic beverages and liquors can a person living gluten-free enjoy? Join NFCA as Tricia Thompson, MS, RD, a gluten-free expert dietitian, reviews a hot topic - current gluten-free labeling policies of alcoholic beverages as proposed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s Interim Policy established in May 2012.*
*The TTB has stated this Interim Policy was released pending a ruling from the FDA. Once the FDA releases a final rule on the labeling of food as gluten-free, the TTB will decide whether any revisions are needed.
Looking Ahead to 2013: Expanding GREAT Kitchens Training
2012 has been a busy year for NFCA’s Gluten-Free Resource Education and Awareness Training (GREAT) program, and we are excited to share some big news about the training with you!
In 2007, NFCA launched GREAT Kitchens, an online training program designed to teach restaurants and other foodservice professionals how to safely prepare delicious gluten-free food for their customers. Now, five years later, we are launching new training modules that include updated information, improved visuals and a more user-friendly course path - all easily accessed 24/7 online. While the new courses have been available in a beta version since Fall 2012, the new learning modules will officially launch early in 2013.
So what does this mean for you? It means local restaurants and foodservice providers will have access to updated information for safe gluten-free food preparation 24/7. Not only does the new GREAT Kitchens course offer updated information, but it’s also broken down into five different modules which are tailored to each staff member, from the servers to the cooks. With proper training, restaurants can greatly reduce the risk of accidentally serving a gluten-containing dish to gluten-free customers.
The new GREAT Kitchens modules include:
Restaurants that have enrolled in the beta version of the updated GREAT Kitchens program have been giving NFCA positive feedback. GREAT-trained Chef Tim Grandinetti says he believes in the gluten-free protocols that GREAT Kitchens teaches. “The education of our entire Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar Team, both front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house, is paramount to our success!” he says.
While the modules can be taken individually, restaurants can only be considered a GREAT Kitchen if they have successfully completed all five modules. Keep an eye out for the GREAT Kitchens decal at your local restaurants so you can feel more comfortable dining out! Check out the GREAT Kitchens page to find a GREAT-trained restaurant near you.
By Alicia Carango, NFCA Communications Assistant
Wonderfully Raw Coco-Roons
I knew I would love Coco-Roons from the second I opened the bag and got a whiff of the cookies inside. Actually, I’m not even sure if you can call these cookies. They’re these little dough-ball-like things that are made from raw coconut. I am not a big fan of coconut, but the blend of it with the Almond & Strawberry “PB&J” left me wondering why I thought I didn’t like coconut in the first place. I don’t know if it was the mixture of the ingredients or the super moist texture, but Wonderfully Raw has perfected this gluten-free, vegan treat. With flavors like Apple Pie, Brownie, Cacao Nib Lemon Pie, and Vanilla Maple, there’s a taste for every palate. Learn more about the snacks and order online at www.MyCocoroons.com.
Two Fat Guys Smoky Barbecue Sauce
I’ve found that some people think this recipe sounds weird and others think it sounds great, but on occasion, I boil and broil a sausage and top it with barbecue sauce. I usually use a hickory flavored sauce, but I thought I’d change it up and try out the Smoky Barbecue Sauce from Two Fat Guys. I was skeptical at first because it was a little on the thin side, but this barbecue sauce is a keeper. It’s not overly smoky and strikes that perfect flavor balance. It doesn’t overpower the food, but instead really enhances the flavor. So, in short, “I Love Two Fat Guys.” Check them out online for their other flavors and ordering options at www.ILoveTwoFatGuys.com.
Le Veneziane Gluten-Free Cookies with Chocolate and Hazelnut
If you’re short on time this holiday season, why not buy some gluten-free cookies and make your own cookie tray? Le Veneziane makes those cookies with the hole in the middle (they almost look like the Keebler fudge cookies). With a chocolate and hazelnut variety, these are certainly a season-appropriate cookie. The cookies are slightly harder than I prefer, but people who like a crunchier cookie are sure to love this. The texture almost reminded me of a Nilla Wafer (but with a delicious chocolate hazelnut flavor instead). Check out these and the other cookie, wafer and cracker varieties at www.Quattrobimbi.com.
Seeds of Peace Cinnamon and Sugar Pumpkin Seeds
It seems like this month’s Hot Products were full of surprises for me. I tried out the Seeds of Peace Cinnamon and Sugar Pumpkin Seeds, and I didn’t expect to like them very much since I’m not a fan of anything cinnamon. I was wrong; these seeds are the perfect blend of sweetness without the overpowering taste of cinnamon. At only about 180 calories for a 1.5 ounce tube (which is a lot bigger than it sounds) you can satisfy your sweet tooth guilt-free. This naturally gluten-free snack is packed with fiber and would make a great addition to some quinoa breakfast cereal, yogurt or anything else you want to add a sweet crunch to. Check them out at www.Seeds4Peace.com.
2013 Gluten-Free Print Calendar
NFCA Founder & President Alice Bast is one of 12 inspiring gluten-free people featured in this beautiful color print calendar. Sales from the calendar support the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland and several celiac organizations. Order through this link and your calendar order will support NFCA: 2013 Gluten-Free Print Calendar.
Participants Needed for Study on Gluten-Free in School Setting
Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University are looking for children with celiac disease and their parents to share their school experiences. If you and your child would like to participate in a 20 minute phone interview, please see the instructions at this link.
Read more in Research News
Today’s Dietitian Highlights Strategies for Maintaining a Healthy Gluten-Free Diet
While awareness of celiac disease is on the rise, some medical professionals still need more education about the medically necessary gluten-free diet. To help accomplish this, Today’s Dietitian, a magazine for nutrition professionals, featured an article for helping people transition to a gluten-free diet, complete with product recommendations, recipes, holiday tips, cross-contamination information and more from NFCA Scientific/Medical Advisory Council Rachel Begun, MS, RD, and Carol Fenster, PhD.
Read more from Today’s Dietitian
Students Explain Living Gluten-Free on Campus
Texas Christian University (TCU) students show their positive attitude as they talk about the ups and downs of living with celiac disease on a college campus. In a video produced by the school’s journalism department, two gluten-free students discuss dining options at both the school and local area restaurants while successfully increasing awareness of the gluten-free diet on campus.
Read more from TCU360
Jennifer Esposito Talks Celiac Disease with Dr. Drew
While some debate surrounds her interview with Dr. Drew, actress Jennifer Esposito has once again put celiac disease in the spotlight. In the six minute segment, Esposito discussed celiac disease and called attention to the need for increased awareness and understanding of the autoimmune condition.
Watch the video on HLNTV
NFCA Founder and President Alice Bast Offers Gluten-Free Holiday Tips
After nearly 20 years on the gluten-free diet, Alice Bast has some tips up her sleeve. In two recent interviews, she shared her tips and tricks for staying gluten-free through the holiday season. Florida Times-Union journalist Mark Basch interviewed Alice for an article on planning and day-of strategies for both the gluten-free and the family members cooking for them. Read the article here. “Family Food Experts” Ellen and Tracee invited Alice on their radio show for a chat about gluten-free holiday recipes. Listen to the podcast here.
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