Note from Alice
Tid Bits with Tina
Cooking with Oonagh
Celiac & the Thyroid
Surviving a 'Celiac Attack'
New video & recipes
Where Are My Groceries?
The gluten-free shelf debate
NFCA IN ACTION
Athletes for Awareness
Help Pete reach the top!
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13 Ways to Celebrate Celiac Awareness Day
Celiac Awareness Day? Isn’t that in May? Well, yes and no. While the 31 days in May are all devoted to spreading the word about celiac disease, September 13 is also a day of recognition. That’s the birthday of Dr. Samuel Gee, a physician and pediatrician who gave us the first full clinical picture of celiac disease back in 1888. In previous years, the Senate has passed a resolution to designate Sept. 13 as “Celiac Awareness Day,” and this year is no different. S. Res. 219 was introduced in June and now sits on the Senate floor. (Update! The Senate passed this resolution on Sept. 7.)
At NFCA, we devote every day to celiac awareness, so there’s always a reason to celebrate. Whether it’s on September 13 or any other day, here are 13 ways you can take celiac awareness one step further:
1. Share the Celiac Symptoms Checklist. Send the checklist to 10 friends. Odds are, at least one of them will have an “Aha!” moment and recognize the symptoms in a family member, neighbor or friend.
2. Play a role in research. The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is looking for relatives of celiacs to test a new self-administered blood test. It’s your chance to finally convince your mother, brother, or another family member to take the test once and for all. (Update: Study has been filled. Thank you to all who signed up!)
3. Go for a run. Restoring health isn’t just about making the dietary switch to gluten-free; it’s also about embracing your new lease on life. I’ll be here when you get back.
4. Or, support a fellow celiac while he runs. On September 24, Athlete for Awareness Peter Bronski will run 50 miles and scale 10,000 feet for the 2nd year in a row – all to raise money for NFCA. Donate to help him reach his goal.
5. Tell your doctor “Sorry” isn’t good enough. How many doctor appointments did you waste complaining of symptoms before you finally got diagnosed? End the cycle of misdiagnosis once and for all: Print the Celiac CME postcard from our website and urge your doctor to take NFCA’s free course on celiac disease.
6. Expand your dining options. If you know a restaurant that needs gluten-free training, now’s the time to act. Print the GREAT Kitchens information sheet from our website and bring it to the restaurant. As an incentive, tell the manager how many friends and support group members are just waiting to find a new gluten-free hot spot.
7. Be a part of something big. Sign 1in133.org's Letter to the FDA regarding the proposed gluten-free labeling rule. It’s one way to tell the FDA to keep moving and stop stalling when it comes to gluten-free safety.
8. Have a party. Bake some gluten-free cupcakes. Put out a bowl for donations. Voila! Instant Cupcake Party Fundraiser. (It’s really that easy.)
9. Head to class. Ask your child’s teacher if you can have a special Celiac Awareness Day at school. Read a celiac disease children’s book, then take questions from the kids. If your child’s school allows it, bring in gluten-free snacks for everyone to try. While you’re there, encourage the cafeteria staff to get gluten-free training through NFCA’s GREAT Schools program.
10. Sharpen your cooking skills. You never stop learning, so take advantage of NFCA’s library of free gluten-free cooking videos. The videos not only have step-by-step instructions, but also give you helpful tips, like how to sneak veggies into a dessert.
11. Make a new friend. If you’re not on Facebook or Twitter yet, get moving! The staff and I have met tons of new people through social media, and there’s sure to be a lot of exciting chats and activities for Celiac Awareness Day.
12. Try something GREAT. NFCA’s GREAT Business Association members are huge supporters of the celiac and gluten-free community. Encourage their continued involvement by picking up one of their products. (Make sure to tweet about it!)
13. Prepare future advocates. We’ve made incredible progress, but it’s up to our kids to keep that going. Teach them the joy of volunteering and advocacy by helping them contribute to Kids Central. They can sign up for the Letter Writing Fundraiser, share a gluten-free recipe, or submit a product review for kids.
(Don't forget - Every day's a good day to donate!)
Sleepovers and Your Celiac Child
By Tina Turbin
With school back in session and your celiac child making new friends, don’t be surprised if he or she gets invited to a sleepover or begs to host one in your home. After all, kids of all ages find sleepovers irresistible, and who could blame them? With delicious snacks, movies, games, and gossip, it’s the ultimate social event.
You may or may not know how to keep your child gluten-free at friends’ houses, depending on how long your child has been diagnosed with celiac disease. Make sure to speak directly with the parents hosting the sleepover before leaving your child with them. Just as you’ve done with your child’s teachers and administrators during back-to-school preparations, provide these parents with helpful books, pamphlets and lists of foods and ingredients that are off-limits and those that are okay. Trade phone numbers and email addresses, and let them know they can call you at any time, even late at night.
For the sleepover, provide a variety of gluten-free goodies and foods for your child, and some extra food for his or her friends. I recommend packing extra-special treats so your child doesn’t envy his or her friends’ foods. You can also ask the host parents for a specific list of what will be served and provide gluten-free alternatives for each of the items.
You’ll probably find that hosting a gluten-free sleepover in your own home is less of a challenge than sending your child off to one in another home. For dinner, bake your own gluten-free pizza and let the kids top them with their favorite toppings. I recommend making gluten-free cupcakes or cookies as the central activity of the night. Kids love decorating these, and your celiac child will love to see how much his or her non-celiac friends love gluten-free goodies. Here’s a recipe for cookies to bake during your sleepover:
Gluten-Free Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
This recipe was donated at the 2009 Tampa Bay Celiac Group Cookie Exchange.
1. Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add vanilla and mix well.
2. Add dry ingredients. Stir until a soft dough is formed, then add chips.
3. Shape dough into a flat square, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet.
5. Using a thick, sharp knife, slice dough into 5/8-inch slices and place on greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Chill again until cold before baking.
6. Bake 8-10 minutes until centers are cooked.
About Tina Turbin
Tina Turbin became extremely interested and involved in the subjects of celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and gluten issues a number of years ago, after being diagnosed as celiac after many years of unresolved troubles. Since then, she has engaged in diligent research and writing about these topics, weekly radio shows, developing gluten-free recipes and reviewing companies for celiac consumer safety.
Tina is an award-winning children's book author (DannyTheDragon.com) and donates her current children's audio book profits to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center. To stay update to date on her projects, sign up for her newsletter at www.TinaTurbin.com.
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Gluten-Free Recipes to Ride Out the Summer
By Chef Oonagh Williams
It may be back-to-school time for some, but for many of us, that no longer applies. It is, however, the end of summer, when those lazy, hazy days of relaxing and grilling start to fade.
In the days of kids, work and “What time’s dinner?” I used to make a large quantity of at least two meals over the weekend. I’d store the leftovers in the freezer. Then, during the week, I would prep tomorrow night’s meal while tonight’s meal reheated in the oven.
If you are cooking for a mixed family (meaning gluten-eating and gluten-free) I suggest that you cook up a batch of gluten-free pasta and freeze it in bags ready to top with sauce. That way, you have a quick meal when you walk in the door. Use two colanders – one for gluten-free pasta and one for wheat pasta - and make sure they look totally different. The starch from wheat pasta too easily gets clogged in a colander and can contaminate gluten-free food.
LAZY GLUTEN-FREE LASAGNA
This lazy lasagna was always popular with my son and his friends, who used to eat me out of house and home. Kids love snacking, so make sure their food is not just empty calories so they can grow strong and healthy. You can add shredded raw carrots, zucchini and squash to the onion mix to boost the vegetable content, make recipe go further, and use less meat.
HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE
To make my Lazy Lasagna, you need this sauce. I also put it on top of roasted vegetables and add meat for a Bolognese sauce.
GLUTEN-FREE QUINOA BANANA (OR APPLE OR PEAR) BREAD
(Egg-free, soy-free and dairy-free versions included)
My gluten-free banana bread just didn't taste like my original wheat banana bread. Then I saw a “light” recipe that used quinoa flakes, plus yogurt and oil. I adapted my own recipe using this tip. The combination of quinoa flakes and almond meal makes this a good source of protein. We frequently carry it when traveling. When covered, it can stay fresh on the counter for days.
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. Chef Oonagh gives presentations and classes on gluten-free cooking and living, consults and guides people in adapting to a gluten-free lifestyle. She appears most months on her local New Hampshire ABC station, WMUR, as the featured chef.
To learn more, visit Chef Oonagh’s website at www.RoyalTemptations.com or ‘Like’ her at Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook.
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By Whitney Ehret, NFCA Director of Communications
How well do you know your thyroid? That little butterfly-shaped gland in your neck plays a critical role in your whole body’s health, and celiac disease could put it at risk.
People with celiac disease are nearly four times more likely to develop an autoimmune thyroid condition. On the reverse side, many people with autoimmune thyroid disease may have celiac disease and not even know it!
To bring you up to speed, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) has created an overview of the two autoimmune thyroid conditions most commonly linked to celiac disease. You’ll learn the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment protocols, and the risks of going undiagnosed. It’s an important read for anyone affected by autoimmune disease!
By Nancee Jaffe
Every person with celiac disease knows: You are never supposed to ingest gluten.
We do everything we can to stay safe at home, at restaurants, at parties and when we travel. We know all the questions to ask, what to look for on food labels and that “when in doubt, go without.”
But let’s be honest, it happens: accidental ingestion.
Most of the time, it is minor. We might have no symptoms, develop a slight stomachache, experience a little bit of diarrhea, or notice a few bumps on our elbows, jaw line or knees.
But then there are the times when we get ambushed and accidentally ingest an amount that results in a serious outbreak. What do we do then?
It felt like my insides were liquefying. That is how I would describe my recent (and luckily first) major bout of accidental gluten ingestion.
I was diagnosed with celiac disease a little over 4 years ago and have been incredibly fortunate not to have had any serious issues with accidental gluten intake…until recently. After I was diagnosed, I learned how to cook my favorite meals in a gluten-free way and have an amazing support system that helps me stay healthy. I also have a few favorite restaurants that I frequent once or twice a month, where they know me and my gluten-free needs.
Unfortunately, this lifestyle bred a bit of laziness, and the last time I went to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, I placed my order without asking the usual questions:
Something went wrong, and 2 days later I experienced some of the worst pain I have ever felt, pre- or post-diagnosis. The damage seemed significant, and it took me more than 2 weeks to get back to normal.
In particular, my symptoms associated with this accidental gluten intake were an explosion of dermatitis herpetiformis on my right elbow, severe abdominal cramping that ranged from my stomach to my rectum, and constant diarrhea. I called this a “celiac attack,” and I thought my symptoms would never end.
It has or will happen to all of us. Being my first time experiencing such an onslaught, I felt fear and a sense of shame. I should have known better, I thought. Not only have I known about my celiac diagnosis for over 4 years, but I am also a dietetic student at California State University Los Angeles, specializing in chronic gastrointestinal disorders. I know the damage I caused in my small intestine, and the increased risk for future diseases like osteoporosis and cancer that gluten ingestion poses.
But, I also realized that “celiac attacks” are inevitable if we continue to be social creatures in a world where socializing is almost always synonymous with food. So, what do we do to help ourselves during an attack? As a recent survivor and a dietetic student, I have a few helpful tips that worked for me and may work for you:
When my symptoms hit, I didn’t know what to do. The pain was blinding, and the diarrhea made me feel embarrassed. I went online to my favorite celiac sites and had trouble finding any information or discussion about what to do when a celiac takes in a large amount of gluten.
As a community, it is important we talk about this unfortunate aspect of being a celiac.
Of course, the experience will be different for every person. Some may have no symptoms, while others may have symptoms far worse or different than I described. By sharing these experiences, we can collectively come up with some quick tips for surviving accidental gluten ingestion.
Have you had a ‘celiac attack’? What were your symptoms? How long did they last? What helped you feel better? Visit NFCA’s Facebook page to share your tips.
About Nancee Jaffe
Nancee Jaffe is a dietetic student currently training to become a registered dietitian, as well as earning her master's degree, from California State University Los Angeles. Nancee was diagnosed with celiac disease in May 2007 and has been an avid student of nutrition ever since. Her studies focus on chronic gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and celiac disease.
By Chef Dan Kohler of Renegade Kitchen
I usually eat salad for breakfast. But today, I’m coming to the normal-people-breakfast-party.
Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery sponsored the new episode of “Alternative Appetites” featured below, and they wanted a few back-to-school recipes. I knew immediately that I’d share my recipe for homemade mayo (the best way to brighten your sandwich), but puzzled over the second recipe.
When I was in high school, I swore by a meal of three eggs, over-easy, with some toast. But my audience, for the most part, isn’t 6 1/2 foot tall men. Which brings me back to the normal-people-breakfast-party. Breakfast is essential for anyone in school, and I want to give you a little sweet spread that will keep you full of good stuff, not just sugar and chocolate (nothing wrong with sugar and chocolate, but not the best for test-takers).
I thought of making a peanut-based spread, something with protein and morning-time appropriate, which made me think of other nut butters. Cashews have the distinct honor of blending up creamily with a rather unpronounced flavor, a perfect base for my experiments.
This spread delivers protein from the nuts and some hefty vitamins and minerals from the coconut cream, a potent combination for early mornings. And now that I’ve had a few pints of it slathered on toast I can say with conviction that I understand how the other half lives. I may still eat salad for breakfast, but I’ll keep this on hand for emergency cravings. Beyond breakfast, this spread will make a charming cake filling the next time I make something with layers. Who has a birthday coming up?
About Chef Dan Kohler
Dan Kohler is an actor and founder of Renegade Kitchen: Serious Food for the Allergy Bound, a blog chronicling his food adventures in the kitchen and on the street. Dan is also the host and producer of "Alternative Appetites," NFCA's online gluten-free cooking series.
By Teresa DeMarcos
“I can’t believe they only have one type of gluten-free pasta,” I said to the empty grocery aisle. I was at a local health food store, expecting to hit the gluten-free jackpot. I almost gave up in complete frustration. My error became clear when I spotted the “Gluten-Free” sign in the back corner of the store. Baking mix, chips, cookies, bread and - to my shock - at least half a dozen brands of gluten-free pasta. So this was where they were hiding the gluten-free food!
Awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerance is increasing, and with it the availability of gluten-free foods. Those of us who eat gluten-free couldn’t be happier to finally have al dente pasta and other long forgotten foods. Still, this presents a growing problem for grocery stores: where to put this stuff.
Life was easy enough when gluten-free was a specialty market designated to one small corner of the store. Gluten-free options were limited. In earnest we bought them, telling ourselves they were kind of the same. At least that’s what I hear. It seems I switched to gluten-free at just the right time because there are lots of choices! My party guests this summer couldn’t even tell the finger sandwiches were gluten-free – the bread got compliments! It’s a gluten-free Renaissance, but I can’t help notice my local grocery stores seem stuck in limbo.
Traditional logic says to expand the gluten-free section, but what about naturally gluten-free products? What about big companies who already have established shelf space? Not to mention the refrigerated and frozen products! Most stores seem caught somewhere between that old gluten-free shelf and the rest of the store.
As a shopper, I’ve had plenty of time to think while trying to locate the gluten-free ranch dressing. I’ve narrowed the possible solutions:
It sure is tempting to rally for our own section of the grocery store full of all the things we want and need. Better yet, why not plan ahead and start building whole gluten-free stores? Well, there are some advantages to getting rid of the gluten-free section for good:
Next stop: Customer Service. Bring that list of items you never get around to requesting, but this time, request them! If enough customers speak up, stores will listen.
Let your local stores know if you’d prefer your pasta in the pasta aisle. Of course, if you’d like gluten-free foods to stay in their hard won grocery territory, stores should know that too! Share your preferred grocery store layout on NFCA’s Facebook page.
About Teresa DeMarcos
Teresa DeMarcos has seen a dramatic improvement in her health since going gluten-free 6 months ago. While not a writer by trade, Teresa enjoys taking health into her own hands and sharing her discoveries with others.
NFCA is excited to announce that for the 2nd year in a row, NFCA Athlete for Awareness Peter Bronski will participate in the Virgil Crest 50 Mile Ultra Challenge.
The event is an ultramarathon distance trail running race. It covers 50 miles and 10,000 vertical feet of cumulative gain. That's roughly the equivalent of running back-to-back marathons, off-road, while climbing to the top of the Empire State Building 8 times.
Last year, in addition to placing 7th overall, Peter incorporated a fundraising element into his ultra endurance marathon participation and raised $3,600 dollars for NFCA! This year, he not only hopes to place in the top 5, but also set a goal to raise $5,000. Peter is appealing to the celiac community for support!
“Whether you're gluten-free, or know someone who is, the NFCA's work benefits us all. I believe in them enough that I'm willing to ‘punish’ myself for a second year in a row with the 50-mile ultramarathon,” Peter said.
HELP PETER REACH HIS GOALS – DONATE TODAY!
To help this incredibly physical and charitable campaign, visit Peter’s FirstGiving fundraising page.
And, to learn more about Athlete for Awareness Peter Bronski and his upcoming participation in the Virgil Crest 50 Mile Ultra Challenge, head to NFCA’s Athletes for Awareness blog.
NFCA’s Athletes for Awareness campaign is pleased to announce the addition of an outstanding and inspirational athlete who will represent NFCA and advance the organization’s mission!
Bodybuilder Susan Maloney is the newest athlete-turned-awareness advocate to join the team.
Having just faced a celiac disease diagnosis in January 2011, Susan says she is “now aggressively passionate to help educate the masses about celiac disease.” She intends to raise awareness not only in her athletic pursuits, but also in her role as a family nurse practitioner/educator and psychologist.
Since going gluten-free, Susan’s energy level and performance has blossomed. She even took 2nd place at the International Fitness & Physique Association Pro Bowl back in May!
Welcome Susan to team NFCA and learn more about her incredible story on the Athletes for Awareness Blog: Meet Susan!
Each month, "Pleased to Tweet You" will highlight an individual who chatted with @CeliacAwareness on Twitter. If you’d like to be featured, follow @CeliacAwareness and say hello!
Name: Laura Emmerson
Find her on Twitter: @gf_traveller
Tweeting since: August 2010
1. How long have you been gluten-free?
I have been gluten-free for a little over 2 years now after being diagnosed with celiac disease in July 2009. As an avid traveler, I started glutenfreetraveller.com almost immediately after my diagnosis. Traveling is one of the most challenging areas of gluten-free life for anyone with celiac disease, and I wanted to help and encourage celiacs not to let a gluten-free diet prevent them from exploring the world.
2. What do you like to tweet about?
I like to tweet my gluten-free travel tips, gluten-free travel stories, simple on-the-go recipes, restaurant and product reviews, gluten-free lifestyle articles and links to interesting gluten-free articles.
3. Why do you follow NFCA (@CeliacAwareness)?
I follow NFCA because I appreciate anyone who is working to raise awareness of celiac disease.
4. What's your favorite gluten-free dish?
My favorite gluten-free dish has to be my sweet potato, spinach and chickpea curry. Naturally gluten-free (as all the best meals are) and both spicy and delicious!
5. What's one thing you can do now that you couldn't do before going gluten-free?
I ran my first marathon last year in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For over a year prior to being diagnosed, I could barely run a couple of miles without feeling exhausted. My gluten-free diet gave me my energy back, allowing me to run 26.2 miles!
6. In 140 characters or less, why should others join the gluten-free community on Twitter?
Twitter is a great place to find support, info, news, recipes and stories from friendly people eager to help & share their GF experiences.
Each month, "Face It" will highlight a popular post from NFCA’s Facebook page, including a sampling of the responses. “Like” NFCA on Facebook and join the conversation today!
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness: Andrea's Story is a classic case of "not knowing how bad you felt until you started to feel better." Anyone else have that experience? Read Andrea's Story.
Amanda Nevels: I went 13 years with the rash before figuring out it was DH after looking at one picture and also putting the symptoms together with being celiac as well.
Beth Portmann: Yup! I was 30 years old before I realized that I had never had much energy!
Ilana Keeb-Rich: Great article, hon! If you or anyone you know who eats gluten-free is ever in need of gluten-free cake or cupcakes, please feel free to visit my page (Creative Cakes by Ilana). It's what i do.
Jenette Tory: Yep I had DH...a very miserable case of it for a year.
Join the Discussion >>
NFCA Director of Operations Nancy Ginter will run the NFCA booth at this exciting event. Meet leading doctors, wellness celebrities, sports and fitness specialists, authors and experts in health areas like food allergies, pregnancy health, men's fitness and breast cancer awareness. There will be a variety of seminars, demonstrations and hands-on activities at this event, so bring the whole family!
When: Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011
Time: 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Where: Jacob K. Javits Center (NFCA will be at booth #133)
New York, NY
For more information: Visit the PIX11 Expo site
NFCA Board of Directors member Denise Devine of Froose Brands will present “Gluten-Free & Healthy: The Next Generation” during this exciting weekend of gluten-free sampling, demos and workshops. Get tips on avoiding hidden gluten and finding nutritious gluten-free products. Information on gluten-free dining and gluten in medications will also be shared.
When: Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011
Time: 2:45-4 p.m.
Where: The Fountains
502 Carmel Drive
Carmel, IN 46032
For more information: See the event listing.
“The Importance of School Nurse Education & How-To Strategies for Parents of Gluten-Free Kids” is now available to download from NFCA’s Webinar Archives. Archived content includes full webinar recording and slides.
Here’s what one attendee said about the webinar:
As this was my "first" webinar I have every participated in, I had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised at how engaging and helpful it was…I will certainly use your site and references in the future.
To download the Webinar: Visit NFCA’s Webinar Archives
For more gluten-free and celiac awareness events, visit our Upcoming Events page.
The Emory University Foodservice staff decided to go ‘Back to School’ this August, getting an education in gluten-free food preparation for the 2011-2012 school year!
Last month, NFCA Director of Gluten-Free Industry Initiatives Beckee Moreland trained approximately 30 foodservice workers who provide meals to Emory students.
“Emory University Food Services Administration is all about helping to maintain the health of its current student population. Patty Ziegenhorn, RD, the Executive Director learned about GREAT and decided to pursue their program,” said Susan H. Johnson MNS, RD/LD, CDE, Assistant Director of Food Service Administration at Emory.
Emory is putting gluten-free at the fore this Fall, instituting a GF Dining station that will be a cafeteria mainstay throughout the academic year.
“Recognizing the issues with cross contamination in a foodservice area, yet knowing the need of students, we set out to find an organization to certify that our knowledge and plans were acceptable for those requiring a gluten-free diet,” Johnson explained.
She also admitted that although the staff was already very aware of gluten-free products, GREAT opened their eyes to how serious the issue of cross contamination can be for students with celiac disease. Employees made repeated remarks about how much new information they absorbed, according to Johnson.
“The GREAT training program has provided excellent learning materials by a knowledgeable and skilled trainer that put our staff at ease,” she said. “It has also provided excellent materials that can be used in the foodservice area to remind staff what is necessary to provide these services. We will be able to continue to draw on GREAT as necessary in building this program.”
Tree of Life, Customer Appreciation Weekends
August and September 2011
Beckee Moreland is representing NFCA and presenting “The Gluten-Free Marketplace: Valuable Insights & Updates” at the 2011 Tree of Life Midwest and Southwest Customer Appreciation weekends. Open exclusively to Tree of Life’s current vendors and retailers, these events are in Indianapolis, IN, and Dallas, TX.
Natural Products Expo East
NFCA is proud to announce that both Alice Bast, President and Founder, and Beckee Moreland, Director of Gluten-Free Industry Initiatives, will be presenting at Natural Products Expo East. Alice and Beckee will be featured panelists at the Expo’s Retailer Workshop, which provides intensive education and training for retailers, including current and cutting-edge topics. Their presentations, “The Crossover Consumer: The Newly Diagnosed” and “Selling Convenience: Special Diets,” will both take place on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
*Tell your restaurant it's time to get GREAT*
Learn more about gluten-free restaurant training from NFCA >>
By Cheryl McEvoy, NFCA Online Content Manager
Eat Me Cookies
It’s fitting that someone who beat cancer and stars on “General Hospital” would make a gluten-free cookie that’s satisfying without tipping the scales. Created by actress Bergen Williams and her friend, Eat Me Cookies is a line of cookies that includes two gluten-free versions. The “Mary Cranberry” is an oatmeal cookie made with certified gluten-free oats and studded with dried cranberries and currants. The cookie has a noticeable cinnamon spice to it, which offsets the sour bite from the cranberries. The “Sarah Brown” is a chocolate chip cookie (vegan chocolate chips, to be exact) aptly named after the soap star who has celiac disease. These cookies were moist without being too rich and just slightly sweet. If you’re looking for a buttery, sugary cookie, these aren’t for you. But if you’re like Kristin, NFCA’s resident health nut, you won’t want to put them down.
SOL Sunflower Beverage
I’m not lactose intolerant, but I have a great appreciation for dairy-free alternatives. I’ve tried beverages made from rice, coconut, soy and almonds, and now I can add sunflower to my repertoire. SOL is a gluten-free, dairy-free beverage made from roasted sunflower kernels. This sweet and creamy drink can hold its own among other dairy-free alternatives, and it even rivals milk as my cereal topper of choice. While SoL can be used as a milk substitute in smoothies and other recipes, I think it’s best enjoyed over a glass of ice. The manufacturer also supports sustainable farming practices, so you can feel good when you pick up a carton at the store.
One of my favorite summertime activities as a kid was buying an Italian ice from the hot dog stand at the beach. It was delicious, but always drippy and sticky. Not the case with Luigi’s Intermezzo. The new line of ices has a light, almost foamy texture, and it’s all contained in a study plastic cup. The ice also has no sugar added, so it’s not syrupy sweet like its boxed counterparts. The Lemon flavor was refreshing, especially on a 90 degree day, while the Cherry flavor satisfied without leaving my lips a violent red hue. Sophisticated enough for adults, but still fun for the kid in all of us.
Plocky’s Hummus Chips
Plocky’s Hummus Chips were among my gluten-free finds at the Summer Fancy Food Show. They’re light and crisp, with a tiny bubbled texture that’s noticeable when it hits your tongue. I tried the Original flavor while on the show floor. It was a bit bland by itself, but makes the perfect vehicle for (surprise!) hummus or another favorite dip. At home, I tore into one of the new travel-sized bags of Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Chips, and the flavor was fantastic. They were salty and robust while still maintaining the light feel. Now, I’m even more excited to try their new flavors: Greek Lemon Herb and Honey Caramelized Onion, which will debut at Expo East later this month.
*Get Hot Products updates from NFCA every week!*
Visit our Gluten-Free Hot Products blog >>
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants public input on its proposed gluten-free labeling regulations, and there’s an easy way to make your voice is heard. 1in133.org has written a Letter to the FDA on behalf of all celiac and gluten sensitive consumers. Supporters are encouraged to sign the letter by visiting 1in133.org/proposal and completing the form. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) stands behind this united response and invites those who sign the letter to list “National Foundation for Celiac Awareness” under the “Organization” option on the form.
To learn more, see our expanded news post.
Subway Rolls Gluten-Free Sandwich to New Markets
Gluten-free customers across the U.S. may soon get a bite of Subway’s gluten-free sandwich. Launched in Texas last January, the gluten-free sandwiches are now making their way into select Subway locations in Portland, OR. The company plans to expand the trial nationwide by the end of September, according to QSRweb.com. The gluten-free sandwich has been well-received in Texas, and the positive response has made Subway even more determined not only to meet gluten-free demands nationwide, but also keep celiac customers safe. "If I could get this out to the entire country tomorrow, I would," Subway R&D Baking Specialist Mark Christiano said. "But this isn't a trend, it's a way of life and I now understand how someone can get emotional about a piece of bread. It's something the rest of us take for granted. We have to make sure we do this slow and steady, and we do it right."
For the full story, visit QSRweb.com.
Family Members of Celiacs Needed for Study (Update - Need has been filled. Call for participants is now closed.)
The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is looking for adult relatives of people with celiac disease to trial a new self-administered celiac blood test. Participants must not be already diagnosed with celiac and must be following a normal gluten-containing diet. People who participate will be sent a packet with a fingerstick celiac test and a short survey. Please note that the fingerstick test is investigational (not FDA approved) and should not be used for celiac disease diagnosis.
Celiac Advocates Win State and National Pageants
Over the past month, two inspiring celiacs on the pageant scene have taken home the crown. Shannon Ford of Miami, FL, brought celiac awareness nationwide when she was crowned Mrs. United States 2011 on Aug. 4. Ford, who was diagnosed with celiac disease 2 years ago, participated as Mrs. Florida and beat out 52 other women in the national pageant. She will now promote her platform “1 in 133: Raising Awareness for Celiac Disease” at appearances, charity events and speaking engagements across the U.S. A few weeks later, NFCA volunteer Kayla Lafi was named Miss New Jersey Teen 2011. Kayla, who has celiac disease, also won three awards at the Junior Miss International Finals, held in Nashville, TN this past July.
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