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February 2009

2/3/2009
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Newsletter Articles:

Note from Alice 

A Special Wedding Announcement
LPGA Golfer Sarah Jane Kenyon Ties the Knot

An Invitation from NFCA and Navigenics
For the First Time - Personal Genomic Testing

Nourish

Happy Hearts

Warm Breads for Winter Days
Recipes for Delicious GF Breads

Valentine's Day and You Celiac Child
Tips on Treats that are Safe to Eat

For the Sake of Love
Tips on Adjusting to the Gluten-Free Diet with Your Partner

This Month's Advocate for Awareness
Eliana Actor-Engel Raises Awareness

All Things GREAT
Updates on the Success of GREAT

2009 Webinar Series Continues
Information on the next session

Hot Products
The best gluten-free products

Celiac in the News
Recent news about celiac disease


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CONTACT INFORMATION
www.CeliacCentral.org
Editorial Comments:
Emily Freedner
Editor@CeliacCentral.org

 

CeliacCentral
Volume 3 Issue 13
February 2009

 

Note from Alice
NFCA Executive Director

alice_headshot.jpgWill You Be Our Valentine?

Valentine's Day could not come at a more perfect time. Many of us are desperately in need of an infusion of warmth and love during these long, dark and chilly weeks of winter!  With all the chocolate, flowers, and romantic gifts that so often define this holiday, it's important to remember that the sweetest things in life aren't "things," but the people who enrich our lives. The love we share with treasured family and friends is truly our reason for celebration.

Giving to the NFCA is a wonderful way to show someone in your life with celiac disease that you care about their health and want to better their lives by increasing awareness of their disease. This gift truly will help "restore health and reclaim lives!"

At the NFCA, we are so very grateful to all of those who donate not just their money, but their time and efforts. This Valentine's Day, you can also give the gift of awareness by promoting the airing of a powerful Public Service Announcement on your local television station. Your gift in bringing greater recognition to celiac disease shows the depth of your love and generosity; not only for the celiac in your life, but for the entire celiac community. To find out how you can give this gift of awareness and air one of the NFCA's PSAs in your area, visit our website.

The wise people in our midst tell us, "Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference." At the NFCA, we are driven to make a difference in the lives of all those who live, diagnosed and undiagnosed, with celiac disease. But, we are not able to do it alone. Your labors of love and kindness are what fuel our efforts and fill our hearts with the passion and determination to continue on this mission. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Continue to support our cause, donate.

Cheers, 

Alice Bast

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NFCA "Athlete for Awareness" Ties the Knot
 

Sarah-Jane-Kenyon.jpgOur warmest congratulations go out to the NFCA's "Athletes for Awareness" spokeswoman Sarah Jane Kenyon, on her January 10th wedding to long-time caddy, Duane Smith. After being together on, and off, the course for over 5 years, the couple tied the knot in front of a small gathering of family and friends at Sarah's home in Little Mountain, Australia.

Sarah and Duane are holding off on a honeymoon as she continues to prepare for the LPGA tour this spring.  Sarah makes her debut under the name Sarah Jane Smith today in Australia's NSW Women's Open. Sarah will also appear in the New Zealand Masters and the ANZ Ladies Masters, taking place in early February, before she and her husband return to the states.

We hope you all look forward to following Sarah Jane Smith's progress on the NFCA's new "Athletes for Awareness" blog sponsored by Blue Diamond Growers.  The blog is set to debut in February 2009!

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An Invitation from NFCA and Navigenics
A Special Study: Personal Genomic Testing

For the first time in history, you can use your DNA to live healthier.

And right now you have the unique opportunity to be part of a special project that uses the latest advancements in technology and medicine to give you insight into your DNA, so that you can take powerful steps toward prevention.

The Scripps Genomic Health Initiative (SGHI) is a unique study designed to find out how personal genomic testing will improve health by motivating people to make positive lifestyle changes, such as exercising, eating healthy and quitting smoking, as well as decisions to seek further medical evaluation and preventive strategies.

With your participation in the Scripps Genomic Health Initiative, you will receive:

  • An analysis of your genetic predisposition for more than 20 conditions that you can take action on to prevent, delay or detect early - including breast cancer, celiac disease, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, glaucoma, heart attack, lung cancer, multiple sclerosis, prostate cancer, obesity and more.
  • A scan of your whole genome, carried out by a government-certified laboratory that captures data on 1.8 million of your genetic markers.
  • A Navigenics personalized risk assessment, with your results available online by April 2009.
  • Updates for an entire year based on new insights into genetic risk, including new condition predispositions, new genetic markers, and other wellness strategies.
  • Information on you and your family's ancestry and geographic origins, which will be available to you in 2009.
  • A Microsoft® HealthVaultTM account where genetic risk results, survey results, and related information will be stored and where additional information can be deposited by you.

Scripps Health is proud to be able to offer Scripps community members and friends exclusive participation in this study, and a discounted rate for participation in Navigenics service.

This offer expires February 28, 2009.

$470 for orders between February 1 and 28, 2009

To enroll, please complete the simple online sign up.

Special instructions: During Step 1 of registration, please identify yourself as "Other" and enter your name and email address.

If you have questions about this opportunity please contact Navigenics Member Services by phone at (866) 522-1585 (US and Canada), +1 (650) 585-7743, or via e-mail at memberservice@navigenics.com.

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Nourish
By Linda Simon, Registered Dietitian

Happy Hearts

February is a natural time to talk about love. Isn't it best when we start with a healthy heart? And, add chocolate?

There are good, but preliminary scientific studies that show the cardiovascular benefits of cocoa and dark chocolate. The studies have serious sounding names. Two examples are, "Effects of Low Habitual Cocoa Intake on Blood Pressure and Bioactive Nitric Oxide" and "Acute Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Ingestion and Endothelial Function." In everyday language, they say that a small serving of cocoa or dark chocolate lowers high blood pressure. And, there are reports of either no effect or an improvement on total, HDL, and LDL cholesterols (don't stop taking your medications though).

One ounce of cocoa is a very good source of fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese. A 1-1/2 ounce serving of dark chocolate offers a similar amount of antioxidants as a serving of green tea, red wine, or blueberries.  Both cocoa and dark chocolate are very low in sodium and have no naturally occurring cholesterol. It truly is a happy heart health food.

The most nutritious choice is natural cocoa powder because nothing is added to it. Dutched cocoa is a reasonable second choice for cocoa. It has been treated with alkali, has lighter color, milder flavor, fewer antioxidants, and mixes with liquids more easily. When choosing chocolate, choose dark, the darker the better. Look for at least 65% cacao. The higher the percentage of cacao, the lower the amount of added sugar. Sugar reduces the cardiovascular benefits somewhat. And white chocolate? It lacks the nutrition and flavor of dark chocolate, so it doesn't even count as chocolate to me.

To add five minutes of happiness to each day, pop a small piece of fine dark chocolate in your mouth. Close your eyes and savor the silky flavor as it slowly melts on your tongue. Quietly say "mmmmm." Or, try some other tasty ways to add cocoa.

  • Toss dry gluten free breakfast cereal with a spoonful of natural cocoa before adding the milk.
  • Make a smoothie. Cocoa with raspberries, strawberries, bananas or peanut butter are classic combinations.
  • Add a tablespoon to a recipe of chile, sloppy Joes, or BBQ.
  • Revive your afternoon with a steaming mug of hot cocoa, made from scratch. Put 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa, a tablespoon of sugar or sugar substitute, and a tablespoon of milk in a mug. Stir until the cocoa dissolves. Fill the mug with milk and microwave for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add some to a gluten free spice rub and use it on pork tenderloin or chicken with the skin. Roast meat at 400-degrees until it is tender inside with a dark, flavorful coating.

And of course, make a treat. This is a so simple recipe that does not require any expensive or hard to find ingredients. Using brown sugar instead of white sugar increases the antioxidants.

Cocoa Bean Brownies (or Flourless Chocolate Cake) Makes 16 small brownies.

A thin batter puffs up during baking and then deflates a little as it cools.

The brownies are very fudgy and very yummy. They also stay amazingly moist for many days.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cocoa
1/3 cup canola oil
1-15 oz can beans, drained and rinsed (kidney, pinto, navy, or black beans all work well)
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Oil an 8x8 inch pan. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until brownies are just set. Cool, cut and serve. For a flourless chocolate cake, and a fancier presentation, use an 8" round cake pan. Cut into wedges and serve with raspberry or strawberry sauce.

Linda Simon  linda@glutenfreekitchentherapy.us

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Warm Breads for Your Hearty Winter Days
By Chritina Gentile, NFCA Volunteer Staff Writer

There is nothing more delicious than warm bread with a hot winter dinner.  The delicacy of the bread complimenting the heartiness of the meal is a true experience!  Making fresh, homemade gluten-free bread can be a challenge, but once you master the recipes and gather all the ingredients, you will find yourself making batches of bread all the time.  There are many possibilities for gluten-free bread; some of my favorites include dinner rolls with sea salt and oregano, biscuits with cheddar cheese, and basic brown rice bread. 

Gluten-free bread can compliment many hearty dinners.  Dinner rolls with sea salt and oregano go great with hearty soups such as beef vegetable, stews, and black bean soup.  They are also a great addition to any meat dish such as pork, beef, and chicken.  These rolls taste amazing when paired with vegetables such as sautéed asparagus with lemon, herbed corn, or breaded cauliflower.  These freeze well and can be stored for about 1 month.  I usually make two batches; one for dinner and one to have on hand in the freezer!

Biscuits with cheddar cheese are definitely my favorite.  When I make this recipe for a family meal, I always double the recipe because they disappear quickly by gluten-free and non-gluten free eaters! Like the dinner rolls, they freeze well, so you can always make them ahead and reheat them in the oven.  You can even substitute the cheddar cheese for Parmesan cheese for a different taste.  I love making these biscuits whenever pasta is being served for dinner.  The taste of the tomato sauce paired with these cheesy biscuits makes me feel like I am in one of my favorite Italian restaurants! These biscuits also compliment many seafood dishes.  If salmon, herbed fish, sautéed shrimp, or lobster is on your dinner menu, be sure to try these biscuits!

Basic brown rice bread is a staple to have on hand.  I like to make a few loaves at a time and store them in the freezer when I have enough ingredients available.  This bread can be used to make any type of sandwich you could dream up: turkey, ham, vegetable, meatball, tuna, or even peanut-butter and jelly!  I even like to make garlic bread using the brown rice bread.  I cut the loaf into slices, spread with butter, sprinkle with garlic powder, and let it warm in the oven at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.  This easy garlic bread tastes great with virtually any Italian dish!  For a variation, I have used sautéed onions and roasted tomatoes to compliment many chicken, beef, and stewed meals. 

When baking gluten-free bread, I like to use flours that act as thickening agents such as cornstarch and potato starch, as well as bean flours in order to yield delicate bread that does not taste gummy.  I have found that these flours yield a bread that is easy to work with, does not crumble when removing them from the loaf pan or baking sheet, and can be used in almost any bread recipe.  I have also come to learn that making great gluten-free bread requires adequate mixing, a proper balance of wet to dry ingredients, and using room temperature ingredients.  For example, if you store your flours in the refrigerator, let them sit out on the counter for about an hour to come to room temperature; for eggs, put them in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.  If one of my recipes calls for milk or buttermilk, I warm it to about 100 degrees. 

Below are the recipes for the gluten-free breads I have discussed.  Make sure to use fresh ingredients and to correctly measure out the flours-too much or too little can cause the bread to be too dry or taste sticky.  Most importantly, enjoy and savor every bite!     

Gluten Free Dinner Rolls with Sea Salt and Oregano - Yields 9 Rolls

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons honey
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 packet yeast 
½ cup potato-starch
1 cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon vinegar
Sea Salt
Oregano

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Combine all ingredients.  Mix well to remove all lumps (dough will be wet).
2. Wet hands to handle dough.  Take about ¼ cup of dough and shape into a ball.
3. Drop into a greased muffin or cupcake tin.  Repeat until all dough is used.
4. Sprinkle with sea salt and oregano.
5. Bake about 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle is clean.

Gluten-Free Biscuits with Cheddar Cheese - Yields 8 Biscuits

Ingredients:

1/3 cup shortening
¾ cup cornstarch
½ cup potato starch
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
¾ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup butter, melted, mixed with ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. In medium bowl, blend all ingredients except for last two and mix until there are no lumps (Dough will be soft and sticky).
2. Roll out dough that is ½ inch thick on a lightly floured surface (I dust with corn starch). Make biscuits by using a 2-½ inch biscuit/cookie cutter.
3. Place biscuits on lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.
4. Immediately after taking them out of the oven, brush with the melted butter mixed with garlic powder.

Brown Rice Gluten Free Bread - Yields 2 Loaves

Ingredients:

1-½ cups brown rice flour
1-½ cups bean flour
1 cup corn meal
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon xanathan gum
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon yeast
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup molasses

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

1. lightly grease and flour two large loaf pans (I use white rice flour).
2. In a bowl, combine the flours, corn meal, sugar, baking soda, yeast, salt and the xanathan gum.
3. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the buttermilk, mixing well.
4. Add in the molasses and mix until blended.
5. Pour into the prepared loaf pans.  Bake for 50-55 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

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Valenine's Day and Your Celiac Child 
By Abby Schwartz, NFCA Volunteer Staff Writer

Valentine's Day is almost here. Unlike the ubiquitous pizza parties that pop up throughout the school year, this is one occasion that is easy for your celiac child to enjoy. If your child's class is having a party, ask the teacher to provide some suggestions to the parents who volunteer to bring in treats. Many mainstream, store-bought candies are gluten-free, including M&Ms, Hershey's Kisses, all flavors of Jelly Belly jelly beans, Snickers and Snickers Dark bars, Skittles, Starbursts, and the list goes on. A word about M&Ms. It was always my understanding that crispy M&Ms do contain gluten. My advice is to double-check the labels of any "crispy" versions to look for the presence of gluten (watch for malt).

Sweet Talk Your Kid
Remember when you were a kid and Valentine's Day meant the reappearance of those pastel-colored candy hearts with the fun sayings on them? Well, guess what? They are still around and they are gluten-free. Necco, the manufacturer of Valentine Sweethearts Conversation Hearts ­- the original candy hearts - confirms that this holiday treat is gluten-free. Another brand of candy hearts, Elmer's Small Talk Conversation Hearts, is also gluten-free.

Chocolate Treats
When I was a kid, I also liked the heart-shaped boxes of chocolate candy with the surprise fillings. Today, these can be found everywhere, including your local drugstore. I placed a call to several candy companies to find out which ones are gluten-free. The first two calls were disappointing: customer service representatives from both Godiva and Ghirardelli stated that while most of their chocolates were in fact gluten-free, there was still a risk of contamination from the manufacturing process.

On my third attempt, I contacted a classic Valentine's chocolate maker, Whitman's.  By phone, they wholeheartedly endorsed their candy as safe for celiacs. The makers of the famous Whitman's Samplers, stated that all of their Valentine's candies are gluten-free with the exception of products containing cookies, such as S'mores and Cookies and Creams. However, on their website, they make the following statement:

"To the best of our knowledge, our products are gluten free - with the exception of products containing cookies, such as S'mores and Cookies and Creams. These products contain a small amount of gluten, and ingredient labels indicate clearly that they contain wheat.

Be aware that products containing wheat are produced on equipment that's also used to make other products. So we can't completely rule out the possibility of cross-contamination, despite efforts to prevent it."

Therefore, only you can decide if this product is, or is not, safe for your celiac child to consume.

Baked Treats
One of the easiest and tastiest treats you can make for your child to bring to school is gluten-free brownies. There are a number of very good baking mixes sold in supermarkets or online including those by Miss Robens, Pamela's Products, Bob's Red Mill, and our favorites: Gluten Free Pantry Chocolate Truffle Brownies. You can follow the recipes as is, or add mini chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, before baking. Not only are brownies a delicious treat for your child, they have the added bonus of being very close to the real thing when it comes to texture and taste. In other words, your child's classmates will be none the wiser that they are eating gluten-free.

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For the Sake of Love 
By Emily Freedner, NFCA Staff Writer

Being diagnosed with celiac disease is a big shock.  Although I always try to encourage people to view the diagnosis in a positive light, it can be overwhelming when you realize you have to completely rethink your diet and your lifestyle.  Often, you wonder how this new lifestyle will affect your significant other.  You wonder how you'll share the kitchen, share food, and prepare meals that are healthy and enjoyable for both of you. I know from my own experience, I stressed about how this would play into my personal relationships.  Luckily, I have a very supportive boyfriend and he made the transition an easy one.  As February is the month of love, I thought I would share a few tips on how you and your partner can more easily integrate the gluten-free diet into your lives.

Consult a Dietitian
After being diagnosed, some people are very comfortable doing their own research to learn how they need to change their diet.  However, some of us learn better in an environment where we are being taught.    Consulting with a dietitian can be a great way to learn more about the gluten-free diet in a setting that is informative and comforting.  It also offers the opportunity for you and your partner to go through the educational experience as a team, so that together, you can reflect on what you have learned as you adapt to your new lifestyle.

Join a Local Support Group
Joining a local support group will put you in touch with other individuals and couples that have gone through the same transition you are embarking on.  You will also meet others who have just been diagnosed and, like you and your partner, are starting at the beginning. A support group is a great place to share stories, recipes and ideas.  Most importantly, it is a place where you will see and hear, first hand, the benefits of sticking to a gluten-free diet, which will encourage you to stick to your own. You will also have the opportunity to forge new and lasting friendships.

Take a Romantic Trip to the Grocery Store
Spend a Sunday afternoon strolling through the grocery store and make a list of all the gluten-containing foods that you both enjoy.  Jot down things that you know you will miss, and scope out products you    commonly use, to identify any hidden sources of gluten.  Once you have your list, spend a night together researching alternatives. Once you know exactly what you are looking for, it's easier to search for and identify a good replacement.  Before you know it, you will be trying various brands of breads, cookies and pastas and identifying your favorites.  The gluten-free marketplace is rapidly expanding and manufacturers of     gluten-free items are learning new cooking techniques and recipes.  Many of the gluten-free products on the market today are fantastic substitutes for mainstream ones.  Today, I hardly think of a time I didn't eat gluten-free and I am perfectly satisfied with my diet.  In fact, some of the gluten-free pasta is so good; my boyfriend actually prefers it to wheat pasta, even though he doesn't need to eat gluten-free.  The more products you identify that you both enjoy, the easier it will be to share meals.

Divide and Conquer the Kitchen
When someone is diagnosed with celiac, one of the big transitions a co-habitating couple may go through is learning how to share the kitchen.  Start by having a conversation with your partner about how you can organize the kitchen so that it is a mutually happy and healthy place.  First, decide how you will prevent cross contamination. Whether it involves designating which side of the toaster is for whose bread, color coating your cutting boards, or labeling jars of peanut butter, you need to decide how to manage your kitchen in a way that suits your lifestyle as a couple.  Shop for essentials and compromise on what things need to be kept on hand at all times and what things need to be isolated or discarded.  In my pantry, I have two shelves that only hold items that are gluten-free.  That way, all of my gluten-free food stays clean and organized.  I also have a shelf in the fridge with sauces and dips I enjoy. It doesn't mean you can't share food.  A good     practice to get into is using a clean utensil to serve dips and sauces onto individual plates.  That way you and your partner can each dip what you please, without contaminating the supply with gluten-containing crumbs.

Take a Cooking Class
Cooking classes are a fun and romantic way to learn how to make new and exciting dishes, and gluten-free cooking classes are becoming increasingly available.  However, if you can't find one that's specifically for gluten-free cooking, don't let it discourage you. If you can find a facility that offers traditional cooking classes, call ahead and tell them your situation. They may be able to recommend ingredients you can bring to adapt the meal that's on the menu.  For example, you could bring along your own gluten-free pasta for   Italian dishes or gluten-free broth for soups and stews. You could also attend a traditional class and ask the head chef for tips on how to make the meal deliciously gluten-free!  Take these tips home, try out the recipe and enjoy the new meal you and partner learned to make.

Make a Gluten-Free Recipe Book
Once you and your partner become more comfortable with sharing meals, try to identify gluten-free meals that you both enjoy and put together a recipe book that you can reference in the future.  We all have nights where we just can't think of what to make for dinner and don't have the energy to be creative.  Having a book like this that you can reference in those situations will take off some of the stress of planning.  I also found a fantastic new website through MyFoodMyHealth, Inc. that allows you to submit your dietary needs and have a weekly menu automatically planned for you.  Talk about taking the stress off! This will allow you and your partner to sort through the options and pick meals you think you will both enjoy.
http://www.myfoodmyhealth.com/

The Gluten-Free Challenge
When I was diagnosed with celiac, I challenged my partner to try the gluten-free diet with me for a couple of months. It was fun to "be in it together" with someone I am close to.  It also gave him the chance to wear my shoes for a while, experience the frustrations and the excitements and help brainstorm great ideas for meals.  After that experience, he grew to like many gluten-free products and today, cooking together is a breeze. However, it doesn't end there.  Asking your partner to do this for you is a big commitment on their part. To create balance in your commitments to each other, let your partner choose a goal that he or she would like to achieve and become a part of it.  Whether is be going to the gym four times a week, learning how to ski or taking a class together, making a commitment to join your partner in a personal goal or need of their own will show them that you support their needs as well. This way, everyone wins!

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February's Advocate for Awareness
By Emily Freedner, NFCA Staff Writer

Every month, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is pleased to recognize an individual in the community for her outstanding dedication to raising awareness of celiac disease. This month, the NFCA is pleased and proud to introduce you to Eliana Actor-Engel.

Eliana is a student, a current Bat Mitzvah candidate, and is now the NFCA's newest volunteer!

When Eliana was younger, she was almost always the shortest student in her class.  Last year, her mother decided it was time to take her to the growth clinic at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  A series of tests showed that Eliana, in fact, had celiac disease. 

Being young and attending school meant having to do a lot of explaining to her friends and teachers about what celiac is and why she can't eat certain foods. Camp was also difficult for Eliana because she had to have a special meal and couldn't enjoy the yummy desserts being served to the other campers.

Today, Eliana says, although she struggled with temptation in the beginning, her diet has made all the difference and she has grown about two inches since she began eating gluten-free.  And, after experiencing the frustrations of having to explain celiac and her diet over and over, Eliana has decided to take the initiative.  She has taken it upon herself to become involved with the NFCA so that she can help raise awareness about this disease that affects her, and millions of other Americans. 

Eliana will be helping us streamline our database management system so that getting the word out is an organized breeze! She will begin her volunteer work in the coming weeks and we are so grateful to have her!

Thanks Eliana, you are truly a celiac awareness rock star!

Read the rest of Eliana's personal story. And, to learn how you, too can become involved with the NFCA, visit our website at www.celiaccentral.org.

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All Things GREAT: Gluten-free Resource Education Awareness Training

Good Eatz Cafe is green, gluten-free and GREAT!

Congratulations to GREAT trained restaurant Good Eatz cafe on all their success since opening 7 weeks ago! Located in West Reading, PA, Good Eatz offers an extensive gluten-free menu using all locally-sourced or Fair Trade ingredients that are over 85% organic.

From gluten-free bagels, waffles, wraps, homemade rolls and breadsticks to potato and even pasta salads- Good Eatz cafe gives you a great selection of gluten-free options for every meal!  Daily gluten-free soups include creamy tomato bisque, Asian beef with watercress and jasmine rice, and mixed mushroom stew with a polenta crisp. For those with a sweet tooth, Good Eatz cafe carries gluten-free breads, pies, cookies, cakes, and brownies, all baked fresh and in house

Good Eatz cafe not only committed to being celiac friendly, but environmentally friendly as well. Using Energy-Star appliances, earth-friendly cleaners, recycled paper products, no-VOC paint on the walls, compostable take-out containers and trash bags- this place is as green as it gets!

Good Eatz cafe is located at 701 Penn Avenue in West Reading, PA. For more information or to order any of their gluten-free bakery items online, visit their website,http://www.goodeatz.org/.

GREAT making news is truly GREAT NEWS!

JJ Haywood, CEO of GREAT restaurant Pizza Luce, discusses plans to expand their gluten-free menu with the Pioneer Press. Read the entire interviewHERE .

GREAT program to shine in the Lone Star State.

As the NFCA and GREAT program strive to bring greater awareness, availability and accessibility of gluten-free products and menus in the marketplace, we are pleased to announce our participation in the Research Chefs Association (RCA) Culinology® Expo, to be held March 5th-8th in Dallas, Texas.

NFCA has partnered with Across the Board Resource Inc., a multi-unit restaurant chain account resource, for its Culinology® Expo presentation entitled "Rolling Out a Gluten-free Menu or Product." The slated presentation speaking lineup features: NFCA director of Education and Gluten Free Education Awareness Training (GREAT) founder Nancy Baker, Across the Board Resource Inc. president Sharon Fratilla, corporate executive chef of Biaggis Ristorante Italiano Peter Schonman, Tricia Hamilton of Godfather's Pizza, and senior culinary director of Maggianos Little Italy Keith Burnell. NFCA and GREAT representatives also heading to the event include: Whitney Ehret, Linda King, and Beckee Mooreland.

Through our presentation and presence, we hope to not only increase awareness and educate conference attendees on the special dietary requirements of those celiac disease and gluten intolerances, but to generate interest and participation in the GREAT program. 

"Rolling out a Gluten-free Menu or Product" is one of 20 presentations scheduled for the three-day event. Over 200 industry establishments and organizations will be represented this year. The 2008 Culinology® Expo drew a record attendance of over 1600 attendees, attracting the top research and development professionals in the industry. The RCA Culinology® Expo has become the premiere venue to launch new and innovative products, gain insight on growing industry trends, and establish networking opportunities.

Our team is partnering with nearly 20 gluten-free food producers to give attendees samples of high-quality products that are available in commercial sizing, packaged to prevent cross-contamination, produced in compliance with gluten-free standards, and ultimately paired with our gluten-free process. Our strategy is to provide the gluten-free product AND gluten-free process for industry representatives. We hope by making the process and ingredients as simple and readily available as possible, establishments will commit to the gluten-free dining experience!

To learn more about the RCA and 2009 Culinology® Expo, visit www.culinology.org.

We are so excited about our trip and look forward to sharing our experiences with you when we return from Texas!

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The NFCA's 2009 Gluten-Free Lifestyle Webinar Series Continues
The NFCA's Gluten-free Lifestyle Webinar Series is sponsored by Blue Diamond Growers Nut-thin Crackers.

Parenting the Gluten-free Child
February 27, 2009
9am PST or 12pm EST. 

Registration limited to 200.

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Presenters: 

Elaine Monarch
Celiac Disease Foundation
Effective child programming and support groups for kids.

Nancy Baker, MEd
NFCA:  Director of Education
Using the school curriculum to empower your child.

Loretta Jay, MA
NFCA :  Director of Program Development
Emotional support for children.

Nancy Patin Falini,MA,RD,LDN
Author:  Gluten-free Friends:  An Activity Book for Kids
Social skill sets for kids.

Margaret Masiello RD
Kogan Celiac Center, St. Barnabas Health Care System
Menus that work and school lunch.

Jessica Hale
Glutenfreeda
Kid Friendly Recipes.

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HOT PRODUCTS

Bakery on Main's Gluten-Free Granola
I recently discover the gluten-free granola by Bakery on Main and I absolutely love it!  I really like having granola around the house to eat like cereal, mix into my yogurt or keep in my purse as a healthy on-the-go snack. The variety produced by Bakery on Main is not only gluten-free, but casein free, cholesterol free, dairy free and low in saturated fat. This company is dedicated to giving consumers a healthy snack that tastes like it isn't! The granola comes in Nutty Cranberry Maple (my personal favorite), Rainforrest, Apple Raisin Walnut and Extreme Fruit and Nut, to name a few. They also offer other gluten-free granola bars.  Bakery on Main also makes products that are not gluten-free, so be sure to select the correct, gluten-free product.  The granola is sold in stores and their website has a tool to help you locate the store nearest you. If you can't find one that's close enough to you, you can order online. http://www.bakeryonmain.com

Glutino's Vegetable Crackers
I have tried many varieties of gluten-free crackers, but I think I recently found my favorite.  Glutino has a line of gluten-free crackers that have the texture and shape of a Ritz cracker.  They are everything you would like a cracker to be, gluten-free!  They come in several delicious flavors. My favorite is the vegetable, but they are also available in original, cheddar and multigrain.  They are perfect for putting out with cheese or dip when company comes over, because unless you saw the box, you wouldn't think they are gluten-free.  Now, I always keep some on hand.  I've seen their products in many mainstream stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Stop and Shop, and at several health food stores.  If for some reason you can't find them locally, you can visit their website for more information http://www.glutino.com or check out theirpage on glutenfree.com, here.

Thai Kitchen Instant Rice Noodle Soup
Thai Kitchen's Instant Rice Noodle Soups are my favorite on cold days, for quick lunches, or a snack. They are prepared like Roman Instant Noodles, but a much healthier option, and gluten-free! I always keep them around the house and store some at the office.  They are also perfect for kids that are off to college.  They are easily stored under a dorm bed, individually packaged and ready from the microwave in 3 minutes.  My favorite flavor is Lemongrass and Chili, but they also have other fantastic flavors like Garlic and Vegetable, Bangkok Curry, Spring Onion and Thai Ginger. If you are going to send some off to a college student, they are also available in packs of 72 on Thai Kitchen's website.  Thai Kitchen's products are available in many mainstream stores like Giant. You can also order online at: http://www.thaikitchen.com

Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix
I am a huge fan of delicious pancakes and Pamela's Products makes the best gluten-free pancake mix. Best of all, it's versatile! It can also be used to make waffles, breads, cakes and muffins.  I used the mix to make chocolate chip muffins and they came out beautifully.  Everyone enjoyed them, and couldn't even tell they were gluten-free.  For many recipes, using this mix is as easy as adding eggs, water and oil. The pancakes, waffles and muffins come out light and fluffy, just the way they should be! Their website offers helpful hints for baking with this mix, to ensure the absolute best results, check it out here. Pamela's Products are readily available in stores like Whole Foods, Wegmans, Trader Joes and many others, or do your shopping online at www.pamelasproducts.com

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Celiac in the News

Three More "Gluten-Free" Products Removed From Shelves
In a follow-up to last month's Chicago Tribune investigation of
product mislabeling in Chicago area grocery stores,  three more products, that were labeled gluten-free and in fact were not, have been pulled off the shelves. Grocer Hy-Vee, which operated 225 stores in the Midwest, said that it has removed Garrett County chicken bites, beef corn dogs and chicken corn dogs from its stores. The products were pulled after  customer George Pitcher complained that his fiancé, who has celiac disease, became nauseous several times after eating them. However, "Pitcher, said he was ‘thrilled' with Hy-Vee's response to his complaint. They responded to him within 24 hours and took the products off the shelf." Learn more...

Starbucks Thinking of Offering Gluten-Free Options
Starbucks, popular for sugary beverages and not so healthy baked goods, is considering the benefits of offering gluten-free snacks to customers. Considered a fresh new idea, Starbucks has started doing operational testing in a select number of stores and baristas to see the response.  So far, participating customers have been very enthusiastic about the idea.  One barista said, "Of all the tests we've done, this one feels like we're doing the most for the customer!" Over 400 responses so far have been in overwhelming supportive.      Billions of dollars are at stake, but the gluten-free food and beverage market is growing by 25% annually and Starbucks would be smart to act before Peet's or Caribou Coffee do. Stay tuned!
Read more...

Aetna Awarded $590,000 to Non-Profits in Pennsylvania
In 2008, the Aetna Foundation awarded community grants and sponsorships in  Pennsylvania totaling $590,000, with a particular focus on promoting wellness and targeting health and economic disparities.  One of the foundations that was fortunate enough to receive a gift was the NFCA. Since 1980, the Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed over $334 million in grants, sponsorships and social investments. In 2007, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation contributed $24.5 million nationally.  It was a fantastic gift to receive as it is gifts like this that enable the NFCA to continue in its efforts to raise celiac awareness. 
Read more about the contributions of the Aetna Foundation...

Entirely Gluten-Free Store to Open in Thousand Oaks, CA
On Saturday January 31st, Simply Gluten Free launched the grand opening of its
first entirely gluten-free grocery store in Thousand Oaks California.  This is the only store of its kind in the area.  Aside from gluten-free food, the store will offer books, cookbooks, gifts and gift baskets, all related to the gluten-free diet.  The store will carry products from several gluten-free manufacturers, including Shabtai, Yummy Bites, The Sensitive Baker and Laura's Wholesome Junk Foods.  Services such as special ordering of products and free home delivery to local residents will also be offered.  As if that wasn't amazing enough, all product shelves will be labeled with nutritional information and clearly mark which items are also casein free, soy free, nut free, dairy free, sugar free and kosher. Amazing! To learn more about the store, visit their website: http://simplyglutenfree.org

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