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April 2010

 

 

Note from Alice

Renegade Chef Dan Kohler Presents
Passover Zimtbissen

Tid Bits with Tina
Gluten-Free Pizza for Your Celiac Child

All Things GREAT
Updates on the Success of GREAT!

Celiacs and College
Tips for Parents and Prospective Students

Celiac Awareness Month
A Free and Easy Way to Celebrate This May!

Gluten-Free Market Survey
Boston College Business School Seeks Information

Celiac Awareness All Stars
Stories of Outstanding NFCA Volunteers!

Coming Attractions
Save the Date

Naturally Gluten-Free:  What is Xanthan Gum?

Hot Products
The best gluten-free products

Celiac in the News
Recent news about celiac disease


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Note from Alice

NFCA Founder & President

 

NFCA Goes To Washington! 

A major part of  NFCA’s mission is to improve the quality of life for those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. This includes serving in an advocacy role with government agencies and with major institutions that can affect real change.

In March, I had the chance to do just that!

On March 14th, I had the honor of speaking at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Annual Meeting and Exposition held in Washington D.C. The APhA invited me to speak as an expert on the subject of celiac disease and to educate pharmacists about celiac signs and symptoms, the issue of gluten in medications, and considerations for treating patients on a gluten-free diet. My topic was Hard to Stomach: IBD, IBS, and Celiac Disease. The pharmacists were a very receptive crowd, eager to learn about the role they can play in the health of their patients. Read more about this session on the NFCA’s website

Just one week earlier, on March 7th and 8th, the Digestive Disease National Coalition (DDNC) held its annual Public Policy Forum in Washington D.C., and NFCA was there advocating for the celiac community. This group took our case to Congress and was delighted that Congressman Patrick Murphy signed the Celiac Awareness Act and the National Celiac Awareness Month Resolution.  NFCA is a proud member of the DDNC, an advocacy organization focused on improving public policy and the quality of healthcare related to digestive diseases and on increasing public awareness of diseases that affect the digestive system. 

But, NFCA’s celiac advocacy efforts are filled with triumphs AND challenges …

Often, I am asked why NFCA is not a part of the American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA). It is important for those who support our efforts to know why we are not members of this national advocacy organization.  Candidly, ACDA has repeatedly declined our regular applications for membership since the organization’s inception. The formation of ACDA grew out of a recommendation from the NIH Consensus Statement on Celiac Disease in June 2004, as follows:

“Formation of a federation of celiac disease societies, celiac disease interest groups, individuals with celiac disease and their families, physicians, dietitians, and other health care providers for the advancement of education, research, and advocacy for individuals with celiac disease.”

This inclusive model sought to build and empower the largest possible consensus to promote the welfare of those with celiac across the spectrum of supportive activities. NFCA is eager to work with national advocacy groups to promote a better life for those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance and we remain an organization dedicated to such cooperative and empowering models,  resources that will allow us all to work together.

And, so, we focus on the positive. NFCA will continue restoring health and reclaiming lives for the millions still undiagnosed.

In good health,
Alice Bast


 


 


 



Renegade Chef Dan Kohler Presents: Passover Zimtbissen

I will admit to more than a little stealing in this recipe.

The Background:
Dear friends of mine make trillions of Christmas cookies each year. Set on platters before guests, the delightful assortment positively sparkles with holiday cheer. Truly, it would not be Christmas without the Fischer's grand assortment of sweets.

Now, while each treat is delicious and unique, let's not kid ourselves. These cookies aren't children; we're allowed to have a favorite. Enter the zimtstern. A traditional German Christmas cookie, the zimtstern (literally, "cinnamon star") is naturally gluten-free, crisp, light, spiced and sweet. Perfect for lunchboxes, holiday parties and afternoon tea, there is nothing the zimtstern cannot conquer. Now, before you scratch your head bald at my springtime musings on a Christmas delight, let me get to the point.

Passover:
I'll keep the story short.  Passover is traditionally a time to remember our Biblical escape from Egypt with all things unleavened. It is time, once again, to trot out the family recipes, the special cakes and cookies, muffins and brownies all unleavened for Passover. Everyone knows that a flourless chocolate cake will inspire traditional oohs and aahs from your dinner guests, but what about the rest of the week? Flourless chocolate cake is great (don't ever mistake this article as chocolate bashing), but it isn't the easiest to pack in a lunchbox and take to work.

This is where I begin to steal. Looking for an alternative to the dense cakes, my thoughts fell toward the zimtstern, a perfectly light alternative. While it is traditionally a Christmas confection, the ingredients (egg white, almond meal, sugar) are simply perfect for Passover. And so I hijacked the wintry recipe and spun it into my new favorite Passover dessert.

This cookie is similar to both the French macaroon and the Italian amaretti. Indeed, all three are made with the same basics: egg white, almond meal and sugar. The French version is more fussy, and the Italian variety more rustic, but neither of them pack the spiced punch of the German zimtstern. I appreciate the ease of the amaretti (they aren't shaped into stars), and incorporated that into my recipe. Of course, changing the shape means renaming the cookie, as these are no longer the "stars" they claim to be. We shall call these zimtbissen,  "Cinnamon Bites." They are wonderful dipped in coffee and they travel and freeze very well. Make a double batch; you'll find they disappear quickly.

Passover Zimtbissen

 •  2 cups almond meal
 •  2/3 cup sugar, plus more for dusting
 •  2 egg whites
 •  2 teaspoons cinnamon
 •  2 teaspoons almond extract

Get Busy

1. This couldn't be easier. Ready? Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

2. In your food processor, buzz the almond meal, sugar, cinnamon and almond extract together until they look like dirt.

3. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they are stiff.

4. Fold the almond mixture into the egg whites, using as few strokes as possible. The dough is ready when it all looks wet and sticky.

5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and scoop out small balls of dough, roughly 1 1/2 teaspoons per cookie.

6. Dust the little almond balls with sugar and slide the cookie sheet into your oven.

7. Bake the cookies for 18-20 minutes, or until they are just turning brown around the edges.

8. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the tray. When they are cool, peel them off the parchment paper and serve. You can let them sit uncovered for up to a day. They will gradually get crunchier and are perfect for dipping in coffee après dinner.

9. See, I told you this was easy.

Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 18-20 minutes
Yield: 35-40 1 1/2 inch cookies


Renegade Chef Dan Kohler launched his website, www.RenegadeKitchen.com, in the summer of 2009.  The site features recipes for the allergy bound punched up with a little attitude and is being turned into a cookbook as we speak.  Dan hosts a cooking show online, including a series dedicated to interviewing allergen-free food manufacturers. RenegadeKitchen.com is aimed at bringing a new voice to the gluten-free cooking world, focusing on simple recipes that you can make for yourself and your friends, whether or not they have allergies. 

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Tid Bits with Tina

Danny the Dragon and Author Tina Turbin Share "Yummy Gluten-Free Tid Bits"

Gluten-Free Pizza for Your Celiac Child

Ever since your child was diagnosed with celiac disease, it’s probably been a challenge changing his diet to gluten-free. This has required some adjustments, but chances are that you’re managing your child’s gluten-free diet fairly well. As a gluten-free advocate and mother, I work hard to help celiac children make the change to a gluten-free diet. One of the essentials every parent needs to know is how to provide your celiac child with delicious gluten-free pizza.

Pizza is an American favorite, a comfort food, convenience food, and a food used for bonding with friends, but it’s also a childhood staple. Pizza and childhood go together like tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. For many years, gluten-free pizza was very hard to find, but as celiac disease awareness has increased over the years, gluten-free options have increased significantly and continue to grow.

There are many ways to enjoy gluten-free pizza. You can buy it pre-made, make it from scratch at home, or order it in a restaurant. You can find recipes for pizza dough and various combinations of toppings in gluten-free cookbooks and on gluten-free websites. American restaurants such as Uno Chicago Grill, with 200 locations, serve gluten-free pizza. You can look up restaurants that accommodate gluten-free patrons with gluten-free pizza online through gluten-free restaurant websites.
    

An easy way to make gluten-free pizza is by buying already prepared gluten-free pizza crusts, which your child can top with his favorite toppings. Whole Foods Gluten Free Pizza Crusts come two to a package. They are thick, almost like a deep-dish crust, chewy and tasty. You can also make your own pizza crust from pre-made mixes or by making your own mix from gluten-free pizza dough recipes. Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix makes two 12-inch gluten-free pizza pie crusts. It tastes delicious, and you can even fold the crust over easily. If necessary, you can make the crust egg-free. Some pizza crust recipes, which you can find online or in gluten-free cookbooks, can be rolled out just like traditional wheat dough and can be made thin (New York style) or thick (Chicago style),  versatility that your celiac child will enjoy. Then, you and your child just need to load it with his favorite toppings and stick it in the oven.

Learning how to meet the gluten-free dietary needs of your celiac child has required some planning and adjustments, but in the end it isn’t very tough to successfully adopt a gluten-free lifestyle. Making the change to gluten-free eating can actually be fun. Enjoying gluten-free pizza is an absolute must for any celiac child.

More about Tina and the "Danny the Dragon" children's book series:

Tina Turbin was a prolific writer and speaker throughout her school years. At age 16, she wrote her first children’s book and that interest has never waned.

“Danny the Dragon 'Meets Jimmy" is the first in Tina’s series of children's books. Tina Turbin is currently working on the treatments for future books, as well as the sought-after Danny’s cookbook! This cookbook will teach children to prepare nutritious meals simply and educationally through Danny’s guidance, at a level a young child can understand and with just a lot of fun!

Tina Turbin became extremely interested and involved in the subjects of gluten-free, gluten sensitivity and celiac disease a number of years ago after having been diagnosed as gluten sensitive. Since then, she has engaged in diligent research and writing about these topics, contributing articles to such publications and websites as Awareness Magazine, MixingBowl.com and the Baby Boomers Knowledge Center, and Celiac.com. She also has her own gluten-free resource website, www.GlutenFreeHelp.info.

Tina resides in Dunedin, Florida, and also researches and writes on the topics of: children, families, mothers and women in society; and enjoys her abilities as an artist, decorator and author.


 


 

All Things GREAT: Gluten-Free Resource Education and Awareness Training (G.R.E.A.T) Program Update

Make a local restaurant near you a GREAT restaurant! Download our GREAT information and take it to your favorite establishment the next time you visit.


University of Nebraska Dining Services Becomes Gluten-Free, Celiac Friendly.

GREAT is thrilled to announce that the University of Nebraska campus at Lincoln (UNL) has become the latest institution of higher learning to receive GREAT training, and joins the rank of several gluten-free, celiac friendly schools across the country!

“I wanted to have our staff understand the reasons for having gluten-free options in our dining service and I wanted them to understand what celiac disease is and the role of gluten-free foods with that medical condition,” said UNL Dining Services Assistant Director Pamela Edwards, who helped GREAT Guide Beckee Moreland and the NFCA staff organize the training effort.

When asked about the benefits of the program, Edwards noted, “It was critical for our staff to understand all aspects of celiac disease and gluten-free practices in order to recognize areas of concern and know when questions should be asked.”

Edwards found GREAT training to be comprehensive and completely able to address her entire staff’s concerns at each and every step of the process  from reading labels, ordering ingredients, storing gluten-free foodstuffs, safe preparation, serving and cleaning practices.

Twenty-six members of the university’s dining services staff completed the program in March.  These newly GREAT trained foodservice staff will be spread across the seven different dining facilities on campus in an effort to make these educated professionals available to the 18,526 undergraduate and 4,978 graduate students that attend UNL.

“Our goal is to be able to continue GREAT training for all our current and new dining service staff members using the GREAT educational materials,” she added.

Edwards revealed she and her staff serve about 65,000 meals a week, and they currently have about 5 students who require gluten-free meals due to celiac disease. 

“I know the GREAT training program has already broadened our staff members' understanding and awareness of celiac disease and gluten-free food.  It has made our staff more alert to gluten-free diets and how to work with them.”

For information on how you can help your school, college or university get trained, click here.

GREAT Guide Hosts Tasting Event for New Rudi’s Products

Members of the celiac community in Lincoln, NE participated in a gluten-free bread taste testing party thanks to the coordination of their local NFCA GREAT Guide, Beckee Moreland.

The NFCA and its GREAT Food Service Program partnered with 21st Sensory, Inc., an Oklahoma-based consumer testing company to sponsor the January 20th event. Over 50 gluten-free foodies attended the tasting! Moreland credits the high turnout to the participation of the area’s Celiac Sprue Association Support Group members.

Moreland was able to host the taste testing party at her local Hy-Vee, a retail store with over 200 locations in the Midwest. For those unfamiliar with Hy-Vee, this line of retail stores is very celiac-friendly and maintains a Health marketplace complete with dietitians and gluten-free products.

Charter Baking Co. of Boulder, Colorado administered the sampling and brought along two of the company’s gluten-free white breads from Rudi’s product line. Doug Radi, the Vice President of Charter Baking Co., directed the sampling of four gluten-free breads. Rudi’s was very well received among the celiac taste testers.

Reflecting on the experience, Moreland said, “Utilizing GREAT Guides across the United States to coordinate tastings with celiac support groups is a great way to network with those in the celiac community as well as local health markets in an effort to spread the awareness of celiac disease and GREAT.

The gluten-free taste test was a great experience and I'm glad I was able to participate! It was fun knowing that we were able to help a company that will produce GOOD gluten-free bread for us all. It's nice to know that there are people who care about the quality of our food. I was surprised at the "scientific-ness" of the study.  I appreciated the study asking about the texture, appearance, what it felt like in your mouth, etc. They weren't simply concerned with the taste but also with the appearance and feel of the bread. Thanks for the opportunity,” added one of the participants.

Are you intrigued by Beckee’s experience and interested in becoming an NFCA trained GREAT Guide within your community? Please contact great@celiaccentral.org.

Social Work Today Magazine Promotes GREAT Healthcare Program for Medical Professionals

Celiac Disease-What Social Workers Need To Know, an article by Loretta Jay, NFCA Director of Program Development, was recently featured in Social Work Today! The bi-monthly magazine reaches over 110,000 Social Work professionals working in homes, hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, youth agencies, private practices, adoption agencies, AIDS services, county and state human services departments, educational institutions, addiction treatment centers and government agencies.

Read Celiac Disease-What Social Workers Need To Know on our website: http://www.celiaccentral.org/News/Celiac-in-the-News/161/vobId__2511/

NFCA Joins Pennsylvania Area Hospitals to Improve Healthcare for Celiac Patients

In March, NFCA and the GREAT Healthcare program shared in the celebrations of two hospitals exemplary in bringing the care we need to our local communities.

Congratulations to Dr. Keith Laskin and the new Paoli Hospital Celiac Center in Paoli, PA. The keynote speaker at the sold-out opening ceremonies, Dr. Alessio Fasano of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Disease Research, pointed out that celiac disease meets the criteria for general screening by the World Health Organization. 

•Early clinical detection is difficult
•Condition is common
•Screening tests are highly sensitive and specific
•Effective treatment is available
•Untreated disease can lead to complications

NFCA was pleased to be a part of this landmark event. For information about the Paoli Celiac Center, visit http://www.mainlinehealth.org/paoliceliac

NFCA was also proud to be a part The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) annual Patient Education Day on March 21st under the direction of Dr. Ritu Verma. Another sold-out crowd heard from a variety of speakers including NFCA’s Loretta Jay discussing NFCA’s advocacy programs, especially those aimed at gluten in medications.

Loretta said, “It was an amazing day and a wonderful forum. It is wonderful to see so many people out and eager to learn more. We’re so fortunate to have CHOP sponsor this event!

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Celiacs and College:  Tips for Parents and Prospective Students

By Rebecca Panzer, RD, LD

College is an exciting time! It’s a chance to assert your independence and show the world who’s boss. However, it’s a pseudo-state of independence.  You’re on your own in respect to your schedule but, often, meals and housing are governed by the college. This can be a challenge, but with a little preparation and foresight it’s a piece of cake (gluten-free of course).

As a dietitian, I frequently have celiac patients enter my office seeking advice on the gluten-free (GF) diet. So, when I was approached with an idea for a research project about celiac disease (CD) on college campuses, I jumped at the opportunity. As part of my master’s degree in Health Communication at Emerson College, I created the study with educational guidance from Dr. Daniel Leffler and other CD experts at Beth Israel Deaconess Center and Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

In the past few months, I’ve heard from young adults around the country who shared their experiences and words of wisdom. While the research is ongoing, I’ve summarized some of the preliminary feedback to help those preparing for college ask the right questions and be ready for the college admissions process.

CD and the GF diet do not define me. Most respondents advise that if you have a certain school you’re dying to attend, don’t let CD stop you. As one young lady from California said, “…you can make the gluten-free diet work anywhere. Just because you have celiac disease doesn’t mean your education should suffer. It might take a bit more work if the school can’t accommodate you, but if you plan ahead and make a few sacrifices, it’s definitely possible…but be realistic about how much time, work, and money you want to put in.

Many who responded did not factor in dining services when applying to colleges. However, when acceptance letters rolled in, some used the school’s ability to accommodate the GF diet to narrow their decision. In the end, students overall advise that academics should come first.

College tours.  New students and parents need to ask questions from the very start. When you visit prospective schools, tour the dining hall that you’ll be using. Keep in mind larger campuses may have multiple dining halls and still others limit which dining facility your meal plan is good at. Be sure to ask the tour guide how the system works. 

Analyzing the dining hall should begin at the tour. Ask the guide how the college accommodates allergies—but don’t stop there. When you’re in the facility, ask the staff serving, “Which foods are gluten-free?” If they can’t answer you, that’s a sign you’ll need to be your own advocate in numerous ways.

Every college student I talked to expressed the need to regularly communicate your needs to the staff. No employee at the college is intentionally trying to make you sick. Rather, they may need a little help understanding the GF diet, especially cross contamination.

Campus dining. Most people make the mistake of only talking with the head chef, dietitian, or dining services manager. While they oversee the operation, the managers are not the ones preparing and serving your food. Managers/head chefs are an excellent resource on ingredients and on how things should be done but, when it comes down to it, it’s the individuals on the front lines who will be your greatest day-to-day allies. Questions you need to ask all dining staff include:

How was it prepared? As one student from Pennsylvania said, “Just because the food Mom made was ok to eat, doesn’t mean dining services prepares it the same way.” He quickly discovered that even vegetables need to be investigated after he found out the staff steamed them using leftover pasta water. Another student in Connecticut discovered the eggs she had been eating every morning were the culprit for her sickness. She realized the advertised “gluten-free eggs” were being cooked after a batch of pancakes.  Be sure to double-check everything because you never know how it was prepared.

Have you changed your gloves? Watch the staff. Do they change gloves between serving the breaded chicken and the grilled? Do they use the same tongs for multiple types of food? Don’t hesitate to ask them to accommodate you.

What are the ingredients? You should check if the school labels the food it serves. Look closely. Do they label every ingredient? Allergens? One student from Massachusetts grew frustrated after she realized the dining hall was being inconsistent.  “They would label that a food had soy but they never explicitly stated they were using ‘soy sauce’ which has gluten…” Other students expressed the need to look beyond the label. As one young man said, “The ingredient list would say it has BBQ sauce in it. Well what’s in the BBQ sauce?”

How will they accommodate you? Students expressed a desire by the food staff to accommodate the GF diet. However, the accommodations varied and were not always realistic to the student’s preferred, spontaneous lifestyle. Be sure to ask the manager how they make dining services work for you:

  • Will they make you a meal in the back? (NOTE: This may take an extra 20 minutes).
  • Do you need to supply your own GF food or do they have food on hand?
  • Do you have to call ahead?

• Talk to other students. If you want to know how things really work, ask the head chef, dietitian, manager, or head of residential life to put you in touch with other celiac or food allergy students on campus. They can provide you with information about how they live day-to-day on campus and what you can expect as a student.

Administration. Having a discussion with the administration can be very helpful in numerous ways when it comes to CD. Students and professionals advise a few things to consider in these discussions:

Registering with disability services. Some students advise incoming freshman with CD to register with disability services since it’s covered by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. However, since the Act is not limited to celiac disease, the benefits can be hit or miss. Many students who did were able to get larger rooms or “exceptions” to the normal rules that govern students. It’s a worthwhile conversation to explore with administration at prospective colleges.

Is the meal plan “required?” Or, can I get an abbreviated plan? This is a crucial question when exploring colleges. Some institutions claim to be able to accommodate the GF diet, but fail to understand cross contamination. Sometimes there is a limited variety of GF foods on a day-to-day basis. Be sure to fully understand your meal plan options. Otherwise you may have to pay for a meal plan and still do grocery shopping to have enough food.

•Allowable appliances. Don’t assume you can bring a full kitchen with you. Check with the school about which tools you can bring and which you’ll have to share with other students. Celiac students swear by the micro-fridge but it was hit or miss if toasters, Forman grills and rice makers were allowed.

Be consistent. Don’t forget your new friends at college most likely will have no idea what “gluten” is. It will take some patience and explaining on your part. The students I spoke with highly advise that incoming students be very consistent in what they do and don’t eat. As several student expressed, “If you intentionally slip and eat bread one day, your friends will be more likely to pressure you later to stray from the diet saying, “Well you ate it yesterday and you’re still here. What does it matter?’”  If you want your diet to be taken seriously, it’s crucial that you are your own advocate and that you speak up to insist upon GF foods with everyone you encounter. It doesn’t need to be the center of your life, but it should play a role in how you live.

While it may seem that navigating college with CD is a mind-boggling challenge, every student I spoke with was extremely happy regardless of how many tough times they encountered starting out.  They all admitted it becomes second nature in a matter of months and within weeks the staff knew them by name (in a good way). So put in the effort early and don’t be afraid to befriend the administration. They’re only there to help. I wish each and every one of you the very best of luck!!

If you have any other questions or are interested in participating in this study, don’t hesitate to contact me at: rbka.panzer@gmail.com.

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Celiac Awareness Month:
A Free and Easy Way to Celebrate This May!

Raise awareness with celiac badges and enter to win prizes from NFCA and Triumph Dining.

 

 

Celiac Awareness Month (May) is quickly approaching, and we're looking to get the word out in a big way!  NFCA and Triumph Dining have joined forces to a run a website badge campaign geared to generate awareness across the country.

Placing a Celiac Awareness Badge on your website or blog is a great way to get a dialogue started and to let the world know that you support Celiac Disease Awareness.

Participants will be entered into a drawing for one of several Triumph Dining Gluten-Free Survival Kits.

To learn more about the website badge campaign, click here. The campaign will continue through the end of May 2010.

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Gluten-Free Market Survey

Boston College Business School team seeks special dietary needs information.

A team of business school students from Boston College invites you, the gluten-free community, to participate in an important market research survey. The goal is to learn more about consumers with specific dietary needs. The results of the survey will be used to assist in offering detailed recommendations about how to better support the community with unique, high-quality, gluten-free foods. This survey is not promoting a specific product or group of products. It is intended for market research purposes only.

Your opinion will be kept confidential. All results will be reported in the aggregate and not as individual entries.

The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Upon completion of the survey, you will be entered into a drawing to receive a gift pack of gluten-free products in thanks for your time and for sharing your experience with this Boston College Business School Team.

To take this survey visit: http://bc.qualtrics.com/SE?SID=SV_2hkGxpy22EpXbX6&SVID=Prod

The survey will end on April 9th.  Thank you for your participation!

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Celiac Awareness All Stars

Stories of Outstanding NFCA Volunteers!

Sweet Treats for Celiac: The Morell Family Candy Bar Fundraiser

When Jacob (13yrs.), Juliana Morell (9yrs.) and Abbi (15yrs.), of Woodstown, NJ needed a service project for church and school, they decided to direct their efforts toward raising awareness of celiac in honor of their sister Mikayla (11yrs.), who suffers from the disease.

They designed a custom celiac awareness wrapper for their chocolate candy bars and brought celiac disease information along with them during their door-to-door fundraising efforts!!!

 

Syracuse Student Scores with a Celiac Themed School Project

Alana Rosenberg utilized a recent assignment for her Introduction to Graphics course at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Communications as an opportunity to educate classmates about
celiac disease!

For the project, Alana designed a poster advertising the NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Night at the Philadelphia 76ers held on March 26th, 2010 at the Wachovia Center.

Alana writes: “The reason I chose to do a poster for NFCA’s event is because my sister was diagnosed with celiac disease a few years ago and it not only changed her life dramatically, but it also has changed the lifestyle of my family, as well. Many people are not aware of the implications of celiac and I think it is extremely important to raise awareness among today’s society.

Visually, I wanted to convey the fact that those with celiac disease cannot rely on bread as their ‘back-board’ by incorporating bread into the theme of basketball. I wanted to communicate awareness of celiac and that those with the disease have no choice but to be gluten-free.

Although my poster was only for a project, I hope the Celiac Awareness Night does, in fact, raise awareness for celiac and make people aware of how much it can change someone’s life.”

Synagogue Carnivals? A Perfect Place to Spread Celiac Awareness

Julia Finkle may only be eight years old, but she’s already established quite a history of involvement with NFCA! A fixture at Celiac Awareness Sports Nights and NFCA’s annual Appetite for Awareness event, Julia found yet another opportunity to raise awareness of celiac disease during a carnival hosted by her synagogue.

Julia manned a booth at the February affair, which took place in Phoenixville, PA. She distributed information about celiac disease, Do I Have Celiac? Symptoms Checklist brochures, and even gluten-free food to those in attendance.

Julia's education booth was a great success. Not only was she was able to spread the word about celiac disease, but she raised almost $50 dollars in donations for the NFCA!

 

As always, we are incredibly grateful for the help of so many fabulous volunteers working hard across the country to forward our mission. To get involved with NFCA and become a Celiac Awareness All Star, sign up to volunteer. http://www.celiaccentral.org/Get-Involved/23/

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Coming Attractions

Spring is here and that means baseball!  NFCA invites all celiac and gluten intolerant sports fans to join us and Philadelphia Area Celiac Support Groups as we promote awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerance with the Philadelphia Phillies. Gluten-free stadium treats will be available at specified concession stands at Citizens Bank Park for this special game.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies will host their third Celiac Awareness Night on Wednesday, July 7th at Citizens Bank Park when the Phillies meet the Atlanta Braves.

Game time is 7:05 PM.

To order tickets, go to www.Phillies.com/CELIAC

Seats are available in Sections 206-207 at $33 each and in Sections 307-310 at $26 per ticket plus a $6.00 per order handling fee. To get the special Celiac Awareness Night discount, be certain to enter the code CELIAC. This code also will ensure that proceeds from ticket sales go to support raising celiac awareness.

For group seating or questions about the game, call Stephanie Nieland at  215-463-9878  215-463-9878 or email her at snieland@phillies.com. For other questions, please call the NFCA’s Nancy Ginter at  215-325-1306  215-325-1306 , ext. 101.

Citizens Bank Park will have a special gluten-free concession stand at the “Break” area on the 200 level, in addition to the gluten-free items available at concession stands located throughout the stadium: South Philly Market behind sections 128, behind section 204, behind section 323, in the Brewerytown stand in Ashburn Alley and Redbridge beer behind section 139. 

NFCA has a rich tradition of partnering with local celiac support organizations to host these wonderful nights filled with food, fun, and all the excitement surrounding professional sporting events. We hope you will purchase your tickets today and join us for what is sure to be a fabulous evening of Philadelphia sports—all for a great cause!


NFCA’s participation in these events is underwritten by Conte’s Pasta.

 

Gluten-Free Goes Mainstream at NRA Show 2010

NFCA and GREAT Association Debut Gluten-Free Showcase Pavilion

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) and the GREAT Business Association will host the first ever Gluten-Free Showcase
Pavilion at the 2010 National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show to be held May 22nd through 25th in Chicago, IL. 

On the food industry’s most prestigious stage, the Gluten-Free Showcase Pavilion will highlight the evolving maturity of the gluten-free industry and open the door to millions of new consumers for multiple business models within the industry by:
 
•  Offering a business case for restaurants and food service to invest in a gluten-free consumer base.

•  Demonstrating the entire gamut of gluten-free menu items.

•  Presenting solutions that directly address the varying needs of kitchens, food service and manufacturers developing gluten-free initiatives.

The largest gluten-free affair in NRA history seeks to mainstream gluten-free foods and revolutionize how almost 13 million Americans suffering from celiac disease and gluten intolerance manage their health through a lifelong gluten-free diet. 

For Information, visit: http://www.celiaccentral.org/Events/Upcoming-Events/2010-NRA-Show/335/

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Naturally Gluten-Free: What is Xanthan Gum?

By Gini Warner, Clinical Nutritionist

www.healthbygini.com

What is Xanthan Gum? Does it contain gluten?

Xanthan gum derives its name from the strain of bacteria used during the fermentation process. This bacteria is known as Xanthomonas campestris and is the same bacteria responsible for causing black rot to form on broccoli and and cauliflower. The bacteria form a slimy substance which acts as a natural stabilizer or thickener. When Xanthomonas campestris is combined with corn sugar, the result is a colorless slime called xanthan gum.

Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide used as a food additive and rheology modifier. It is produced by fermentation of glucose or sucrose by the Xanthomonas. Xanthan Gum is considered a polysaccharide in scientific circles, because it is a long chain of three different forms of sugar. What's important to know is that all three of these natural sugars are present in corn sugar, a derivative of corn syrup. It does not contain gluten.

Xanthan Gum is also used as a substitute for wheat gluten in gluten-free breads, pastas and other flour-based food products. Those who suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance should look for Xanthan Gum as an ingredient on the label.

It is used by people who are allergic to gluten to add volume and viscosity to bread and other gluten-free baked goods. It is a natural carbohydrate. Xanthan Gum helps replace the gluten in a recipe and aid in binding and thickening recipes. It is an essential ingredient in gluten-free baking.

Some people have reported experiencing a bad reaction to Xanthum Gum. Symptoms include bloating, gas, stomach cramps, diarrhea, skin rashes and itching.

If you have a problem with Xanthum Gum, safe alternatives would be karaya gum, agar and carrageenan.

About Gini Warner, Clinical Nutritionist

Gini Warner completed her master’s degree in Health Education and Nutritional Science at New York University in 1988 and has been working with families, individuals and corporations in the fields of celiac disease, immune dysfunction, diabetes, osteoporosis, weight loss and overall wellness. She has been a practicing nutritional counselor for more than twenty years.

Gini develops nutritional programs for people with food allergies, 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.

Gini has developed wellness programs for corporations nationwide including AT&T, Citibank and Revlon. These programs have dramatically improved the health and quality of life for their employees.

Gini also writes articles for the Celiac Spru News and www.glutenfreeclub.com

As a clinical nutritionist, Gini works in most areas of nutritional wellness for adults and children, and welcomes referrals from medical doctors, chiropractors, and other healthcare professionals. She offers nutritional counseling in person or online.

www.healthbygini.com

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HOT PRODUCTS

Gillian’s Frozen Pizza Dough

I recently moved to a new apartment which, to my great pleasure, is just a five-minute walk from a Whole Foods Market. On my first official outing to the market, I couldn't wipe the smile off my face as I walked past the myriad of gluten-free options they offer throughout the store. Of course, I've been to Whole Foods plenty of times, but it's usually for an item or two. It's never been conveniently located enough for me to browse the aisles for my entire weekly menu until now.

While I was shopping, I happened across Gillian’s frozen gluten-free pizza dough. I had to try it out that very night so, when I got home, I just left it out on the counter to defrost. To my amazement, the dough rolled out beautifully and was very easy to work with.  I rolled mine out on greased parchment paper so I could just flip it into my pizza pan like a pie shell. It worked out great and I cannot say enough about the texture and flavor of this dough. It’s chewy, crispy and just plain delicious. I fell so madly in love I went back to the store that very weekend, bought more and tried my hand at making a Stromboli which, again, resulted in heaven on a plate. I have many, many plans for this miracle dough! The Gillian’s Foods’ website has a store locator feature that can help you find these products in a store near you. You can also order online.
http://www.glutenfreegilliansfoods.com/Store_Locations.html
http://www.glutenfreemall.com/catalog/gillians-foods-glutenfree-pizza-dough-frozen-unit-p-512.html

Gluten-Free Pantry’s French Bread Flour Mix
My boyfriend's birthday is coming up so I want to make him a special dinner. His favorite meal is traditional ravioli with a side of sausage and meatballs. I truly was considering making him a batch of regular old wheat flour ravioli, but he insisted that we both be able to enjoy the meal.  Sausage and meatballs I can handle. As for gluten-free ravioli, I have only tried homemade once. They weren't bad for a first attempt, but definitely not special birthday meal quality. So, I went on a hunt for the perfect recipe. 

I came across just the recipe I was looking for on the Gluten Free Girl blog (link to recipe below). It seemed perfect; simple with a short ingredients list.  The recipe calls for Gluten-Free Pantry's French Bread Flour mix.  At first, I thought it was a little odd to use a bread mix in a pasta recipe, but her photos looked so appetizing, I gave my test run a shot. As soon as I tasted my first test ravioli, I decided I am in love with this mix. Aside from the filling, it holds the weight of the recipe as it’s only mixed with eggs, oil and salt. Boy are these raviolis delicious! They are light and soft and held up beautifully. You must try this mix in this recipe. You don't even need a pasta machine! You can find Gluten Free Pantry products at stores like Whole Foods Market, Stop & Shop, Wegmans and Trader Joe’s. As always, you can also order online.
http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/2005/08/making-homemade-gluten-free-ravioli-at.html
http://www.glutenfree.com/Gluten-Free-Pantry-French-Bread-and-Pizza-Mix/Item126057M

Dr. Schar’s Gluten-Free Crispbread
Before I began life on a gluten-free diet, I used to love Melba Toasts (made with whole wheat).  I don't know if you are familiar with them, but they are almost like a mini hardened slice of bread. I preferred them over crackers for their crusty bread-like texture and I always had some on hand. They obviously are not allowed on the gluten-free diet, but I have found a substitute that I adore. Dr. Schar's Gluten-Free Crispbreads have replaced Melba Toasts in my heart and stomach. They have a similar texture and crunch and are wonderful when served with hummus, spreads, cheese, tuna and even peanut butter and jelly. They always satisfy my snack cravings and they are even great to put out for guests alongside a plate of fancy cheeses. Yum! You can find Dr. Schar's products in many mainstream stores like Whole Foods Market and Hannaford or you can buy online.
http://www.schar.com/us/gluten-free-products/crispbread/
http://www.glutenfreemall.com/catalog/schar-glutenfree-crispbread-p-1438.html
 
Glutenfreeda Granola
There is nothing quite like a big bowl of granola, a splash of milk and some sliced fruit to start your day off right.  There are a few brands of gluten-free granola on the market (or granola that is made with certified gluten-free oats), but I really enjoy Glutenfreeda's variety. Their Cranberry Cashew Honey Granola is my favorite, but I also love Raisin Almond Honey and Apple Almond Honey. It’s a big bowl of crunchy goodness packed with Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Sometimes, I even bring a little bag of it to work with me for a mid-morning snack. I've also tried using this product in some homemade granola bars, which were delicious. Their website can help you find their products online and, in a feature coming soon, at retail locations near you.
http://www.glutenfreedafoods.com/granola.html

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Celiac in the News

Hy-Vee Strives to Make Dietitians Accessible Chainwide
Hy-Vee Grocery Store is currently working toward its goal of ensuring that there is a dietitian available to customers in all of their 228 locations. Randy Edeker, president and chief operating officer of the West Des Moines, Iowa-based chain stated, “By building its reputation as a credible health information source, Hy-Vee hopes to gain the loyalty of shoppers.” While this is  a branding opportunity for Hy-Vee, this goal could mean dietary guidance for countless Hy-Vee shoppers that truly need it.  To learn more about this effort, follow this link:
http://supermarketnews.com/news/hyvee_dietitian_0324/

P.F. Chang's China Bistro Launches Expanded Gluten-Free Menu
We love P.F Chang's for offering a gluten-free menu, which has a hearty selection of delicious gluten-free options.  But now, we love them even more! P.F. Chang's recently announced that they will be expanding their gluten-free menu to include beef entrees and even a Flourless Chocolate Dome for dessert! According to this article, Gregg Piazzi, Director of Culinary Training for P.F. Chang's China Bistro said, "More and more of our guests are asking for gluten-free options and we're proud to offer them a greater variety of P.F. Chang's classics. P.F. Chang's is sensitive to all of the food allergies and dining requirements of our guests and we strive to serve customized cuisine that meets each diner's individual needs." Anyone in the mood for Chinese food? I am! To learn more about their expanded gluten-free menu, check out this article:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pf-changs-china-bistro-launches-expanded-gluten-free-menu-2010-03-08?reflink=MW_news_stmp

Glutino Introduces Three New Breakfast Cereals
Glutino recently announced the release of three new breakfast cereals.  Their new line is called “Great Beginnings” and consists of Corn Rice Flakes, Frosted Corn Rice Flakes and Frosted Corn Rice Flakes with Strawberries. They are the first fortified gluten-free cereal on the market, making them an excellent source of Vitamin C, B12 and Iron as well as several other vitamins and minerals. To learn more about this new line of cereals, follow this link:
http://foodbizdaily.com/archive/2010/03/25/97126-product-great-beginnings-range-of-gluten-free-breakfast-cereals.aspx

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