Note from Alice
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Family Testing Survey
Science Fair Leads to 4 Diagnoses
Celiac Awareness Month
Mary's Gone Crackers: Q&As
Bon Appetit to Cookbook Author
NEWS & UPDATES
Celiac in the News
CHAT WITH NFCA:
NFCA Founder & President
You’ve Been Glutened. Now What?
It happens. We all have been “glutened” at some point or another, no matter how careful we are. I accidentally ate a gluten-containing food recently and experienced that familiar panic we know all too well. How long until I get sick? How bad will it be and how long will it last?
Unfortunately, there’s no magic cure or quick fix for symptom relief. What we do have control of is how we prevent it from happening again.
One of the most common places we experience accidental gluten ingestion is at restaurants. When we get sick from dining out, it’s natural to be upset and angry, but we have an obligation to each other to let the restaurant know what happened, rather than taking to online forums to vent or never speaking up at all. After all, if they don’t know they made a mistake, how will they know to correct the problem?
Telling someone they made a mistake can sometimes be a daunting task, especially if you’re more reserved. In my experience, these tactics have been the most successful in working with restaurants to prevent future mistakes:
Visit the manager in person.
People tend to pay more attention to someone when they’re standing in front of them, rather than hearing them on the other side of the phone. Plus, talking to them in person helps you stand out in their minds from the other phone calls they’re fielding throughout the day.
Pay attention to the time.
If you go to talk to a restaurant manager, be sure to avoid peak business hours. You won’t get the attention you deserve if you stop by during the lunch or dinner rush.
Explain to the manager why you became sick. For example, if you ordered gluten-free pasta, ask the manager and chef to walk you through how it is prepared. Do they boil it in the same pot as used for traditional pasta? Do they ladle the sauce using a spoon that also touches meatballs? I mentioned it above, but this part is so important. Restaurants can never correct mistakes if they do not know they are making them.
Offer constructive feedback and stay calm.
One of the most frustrating things is getting glutened, even after you’ve explained your needs to the restaurant staff. If we argue with restaurant staff, however, our messages will fall on deaf ears. Remember that old saying, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar”? It’s definitely true, especially in this scenario.
Suggest gluten-free training for the whole staff.
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) offers the GREAT (Gluten-Free Resource Education and Awareness Training) Kitchens program to teach restaurants how to safely prepare delicious gluten-free food. Proper training and education is the key to getting restaurants to understand the needs of the gluten-free community. Restaurants serving gluten-free food need to know that even a little bit of gluten will make their patrons sick.
If you get glutened at a restaurant, be sure to give these tips a try. The new Dining Out Tips guide from NFCA offers more ways to talk to your favorite restaurants about safe gluten-free food preparation, including an easy way to let them know about GREAT Kitchens.
You can help prevent future mistakes – a service to yourself and to others!
To your GREAT Health,
Hosting a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day dinner this year? Need a recipe idea for the baby shower you’re planning or just to celebrate the arrival of spring? Look no further than the Gluten-Free Seasonal Recipe Box!
Featuring recipes from gluten-free bloggers, chefs and manufacturers, the Seasonal Recipe Box is bound to have an idea for every occasion and holiday. Not convinced yet? Here’s a preview of what you’ll find!
Show Mom just how much she means to you by surprising her with a Mother’s Day breakfast, complete with easy-to-make crepes.
MEDITTERANEAN STYLE PIZZA
Celebrate the arrival of spring with this pizza, topped with seasonal fresh veggies.
ASPARAGUS IN ORANGE VINAIGRETTE
Whether you’re hosting a baby shower or just having some friends over for dinner, this light, fresh dish will please every palate – gluten-free or not!
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By Silvana Nardone
Get your gluten-free cooking and baking questions answered by the expert! Have a question for Silvana? E-mail Alicia at email@example.com and your question could be answered in a future NFCA newsletter.
Q. What advice can you give to people who are short on time to cook, but are looking to make healthy and tasty gluten-free meals at home for their families?
A. You’ve heard it all before. There never seems to be enough hours in the day. Nearly every evening, I glance over at the oven clock and wonder how it got to be so late. So, what’s my strategy? Here are the five things I do to get stay ahead of the game.
Start with the obvious: Keep things simple.
For my family, this means making sure our dinner includes a protein, veggie and starch. Think barbecue ribs with green beans and olive-oil smashed potatoes. Tonight, it’s a family favorite, my all-in-one slow cooker supper.
Make sure your pantry is full, especially with backup for ingredients you use every day.
I feel prepared for anything if I know I have my go-to ingredients at the ready, especially my gluten-free flour blend, which I use for sweet and savory dishes. Other ingredients I like to have in my pantry include gluten-free pasta, fresh herbs, canned black beans, gluten-free tortillas, frozen broccoli and frozen homemade chicken broth.
Cook extra batches of things like pancakes or gluten-free chicken nuggets and freeze them for later.
One way to stay ahead is to make your favorite foods and freeze them. In my freezer, you’ll find meatballs, chicken nuggets, pancakes, chocolate chip cookie dough, gluten-free pork potstickers and this gluten-free Chicken Potpie.
Get help from store-bought meal—or dessert—starters. Sure, I prefer to cook my family's meals from scratch, but I always have some store-bought foods on hand to jumpstart my meals, including gluten-free whole-grain bread, cinnamon-raisin bread, pizza crust, rice cereal and semisweet chocolate chips.
Keep an arsenal of meals that pretty much cook themselves in your back pocket.
I love making low-tech, high-flavor dinner pockets, which is basically a protein, veggie and sometimes a starch wrapped up in foil and cooked in boiling water. It’s that simple. My kids’ favorite pocket hands-down is salmon and potatoes seasoned with rosemary, lemon, garlic and olive oil. Go ahead and swap in chicken or extra-firm tofu with different herbs, greens and condiments (think gluten-free soy sauce, barbecue sauce, etc.). You can use whatever ingredients you and your family love to eat—it's really as easy as that.
About Silvana Nardone
Silvana Nardone is the editor-in-chief of the all-digital, gluten-free magazine, Easy Eats. Silvana is also the author of Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy, Delicious Meals and publisher of Silvana's Kitchen, a blog that takes the guesswork out of how to feed a family with food allergies. Previously, she was the owner of a Brooklyn-based bakery, Fanciulla Specialty Foods, and the founding editor-in-chief of Every Day with Rachael Ray.
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In 2012, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) conducted research in conjunction with Emerson College and The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to learn more about the attitudes and beliefs about testing for celiac disease among family members of persons diagnosed with this autoimmune condition. The research, a combination of an online survey, focus groups and interviews, was successful in that it provided informative details about this lesser studied area.
Today, we are pleased to announce that NFCA is continuing this research in collaboration with The Jefferson Celiac Center of Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Philadelphia. Together, NFCA and The Jefferson Celiac Center now ask you to complete a survey that aims to determine what recommendations patients with celiac disease receive from their physicians regarding family member testing.
Patient participation in celiac disease research is critical in helping physicians and researchers to advance science. Your participation is invaluable!
Please take five to ten minutes to complete this brief questionnaire.
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When Dairy Intolerance Joins Celiac Disease
By Lisa Fitterman
It was the itch that wouldn’t quit. Melinda Dennis had developed a painful skin rash that turned out to be dermatitis herpetiformis, a sure sign of celiac disease. But this was 1990 and back then so little was known about celiac disease and its symptoms that Dennis thought she’d just picked up the nasty rash from a germ-infested yoga mat. She then got the proper diagnosis and began the long journey of teaching herself about the foods that contain gluten, a protein in wheat, barley and rye products, which her immune system treats like an invading enemy.
Dennis learned to scour ingredients labels on foods and to be diligent eating outside her home. With vigilance, the rash soon disappeared. It was reasonable to assume that the gastric symptoms – bloating and alternating diarrhea or constipation – would go away, too. But oddly, they didn’t.
Read more from Allergic Living
Grace Rennard, an 8-year-old student living in Alaska, had a big hypothesis to prove through her science fair project. If she tested 133 people for celiac disease, would one person come back with positive celiac disease antibodies?
Grace recruited help from her mother, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), Mrs. Northwest International Brandy Wendler and My Health Clinic in Anchorage. She also secured donated celiac disease test kits from ImmunoDiagnostics. With everyone on board, Grace got to work on planning her science fair project. Starting on March 5th, My Health Clinic screened 133 people for celiac disease free of charge.
Amazingly, Grace’s project identified not just one person, but four people who tested positive for celiac disease!
Grace’s success doesn’t end there. She also placed 1st in the science fair and earned 1st place in the Public Health & Women in Science EPSCOR Awards.
NFCA could not be more impressed with Grace’s work in increasing celiac disease diagnoses, a major part of NFCA’s mission. Congratulations Grace and thank you for your dedication to restoring health and reclaiming lives! Job well done!
Read more of Grace’s story on CeliacCentral.org. Be sure to visit the NFCA Facebook page for additional photos from the science fair!
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The NFCA staff is hard at work preparing for National Celiac Awareness Month in May. This annual celebration is the perfect opportunity to put celiac disease in the spotlight, especially its medical connection to the gluten-free diet.
This year, NFCA is working to “Fuel the Family.” Throughout May, we’ll share family stories from gluten-free bloggers and NFCA staff, as well as a new informational toolkit, daily gluten-free product spotlights and announce a “Wear Green Day” – all to help your family be well, stay safe and get informed.
Some people think the “celebritization” of the gluten-free diet is good thing because it has raised public awareness of the lifestyle. Others believe it causes some people to take the gluten-free diet less seriously. Still others can understand both sides of the argument. Mary Waldner, the founder of Mary’s Gone Crackers, will join the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) for a Twitter chat about the increase in gluten-free diet awareness: Health Trend vs. Medical Necessity.
Before Mary joins NFCA’s Twitter chat, she’ll take to Facebook on Earth Day to discuss how she uses organic ingredients in Mary’s Gone Crackers products as well as share how you can explore using organic ingredients in your own gluten-free cooking at home.
When: Monday, April 22, 2013
Where: NFCA’s Facebook Page
Time: 4 p.m. EDT/1 p.m. PDT
When: Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Where: Twitter.com – follow the hashtag #GFreeNotFad to join!
Time: 4 p.m. EDT/1 p.m. PDT
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Former editor for Bon Appétit magazine, Kristine Kidd, has just released a new gluten-free cookbook, Weeknight Gluten-Free, designed to fit the lifestyles of busy families living with gluten-related disorders. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) staff caught up with Kristine to learn more about the cookbook and her experience as a food editor living with celiac disease.
Check out NFCA's coverage on the new book:
The expanding spectrum of gluten-related disorders is a clear indication that the gluten protein can cause an immune response in bodily systems other than the small intestine. Interestingly, research has found that different gluten proteins are the source of the various abnormal immune responses. Join NFCA as Armin Alaedini, PhD of Columbia University Medical Center discusses the current research on the role of gluten in popular areas of interest such as schizophrenia, ataxia, autism and ADHD.
Sponsored by Mary's Gone Crackers, this webinar is free of charge!
You asked and we’re answering! One of the most popular requests for an NFCA Webinar is how to maintain a healthy gluten-free diet while not breaking the bank. Join NFCA during Celiac Awareness Month as we share money-savvy grocery tips and provide a list of go-to healthy gluten-free recipes with the help of Kathleen Reale of Be Free for Me.
Sponsored by Cabot Creamery and Frito Lay, this webinar is free of charge!
Join the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) for the 6th Annual Celiac Awareness Nightwith the Philadelphia Phillies! Watch as the Phillies take on the Los Angeles Dodgers while enjoying even more gluten-free food and drink options at the ballpark. Plus, enter in a free raffle to win Phillies gear, tickets to a 2013 regular season game and more!
Order through this group sale now before they’re released to the public on July 2!
Get more details and PURCHASE TICKETS here.
Last month, NFCA led a presentation on gluten-free safety and successes at the 2013 International Pizza Expo – the largest pizza show in the world. NFCA’s Beckee Moreland served as moderator for the panel discussion, which included Adam Goldberg from Fresh Brothers Pizza and William Olund from Willy O’s Pizza & Grille. The presentation discussed key issues that owners and managers should address before launching a gluten-free initiative, including ingredients, cross-contamination/cross-contact risks and staff training – including servers and other front-of-house staff.
As NFCA works to educate restaurant owners and staff about the specific medical needs of customers with gluten-related disorders, you can do your part by learning the right questions to ask when dining out.
NFCA’s new guide - “Dining Out Tips from NFCA” – walks you through a number of important questions that can help you determine whether a restaurant is properly prepared to meet your gluten-free needs. This guide cannot guarantee a safe meal, but it can help you feel more confident and comfortable when speaking with the staff about their gluten-free options.
By Alicia Carango, NFCA Communications Assistant
NFCA Talks Gluten-Free Safety at Natural Products Expo West
Last month, NFCA participated in two panel presentations at Natural Products Expo West, a leading trade show in the natural, organic and healthy products industry that attracts more than 60,000 attendees. NFCA's Alice Bast offered advice on how grocery stores can better address gluten-free customers' needs and concerns, including ways to educate the staff so they can respond to customers' questions. Alice also explained the risks of cross-contamination of gluten-free food in the deli, bakery and bulk bins, and how staff training through programs like GREAT Kitchens can reduce those risks.
Read more from Celiac and the Beast.
Celiac Disease Research Gets Public Attention
The Boston Globe published an article focusing on strides made in celiac disease research. Complete with interviews from top celiac disease researchers like NFCA Scientific/Medical Advisory Council Member Dr. Alessio Fasano, the article stands out for highlighting the scientific aspects of celiac disease and promising new therapies rather than focusing on the gluten-free “fad.” Read this for a summary on the encouraging outlook in the research world!
Read more from the Boston Globe.
NFCA Founder Recaps Awareness Efforts in the Past Decade
NFCA Founder Alice Bast sat down with the team at Generocity, which highlights leading nonprofits in the Greater Philadelphia area, to show just how far the community has come in raising celiac awareness over the past 10 years.
Read more from CeliacCentral.org.
New Report: 30% of Americans are Eating Gluten-Free
A report from The NPD Group, a global information company, states that nearly 30% of Americans are either completely eliminating gluten from their diet or making an effort to cut back. The report also noted that gluten-free requests accounted for more than 200 million restaurants visits in the past year – a statistic that restaurants will find hard to ignore! As gluten-free interest continues to increase, NFCA encourages all individuals and industry professionals to learn the facts about gluten-related disorders and the specific dietary needs of these conditions.
Read more from NPD.
Gwyneth Paltrow Releases Gluten-Free Cookbook
Another gluten-free cookbook is hitting the market – this time from actress Gwyneth Paltrow. The cookbook will include 185 gluten-free recipes and is slated to hit store shelves on April 2.
Philadelphia: The City of Gluten-Free Love
Following on the heels of Pennsylvania’s title of “The World’s Most Celiac-Friendly Destination,” Philadelphia is being recognized as one of the top gluten-free friendly cities in the US. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness is honored to have played a role by training many Philadelphia-area restaurants through the GREAT Kitchens gluten-free training program.
Nutty Steph’s Magic Chunks
These “chunks” of granola have a great texture; they come in clusters that are crunchy, but not crack-your-teeth hard. I’m a milk chocolate fan, but the Dark Chocolate Vermont Granola flavor offers a great combo for those who like the subtle bitter taste of dark chocolate. Magic Chunks do contain oats, but they are certified gluten-free. Visit Nutty Steph online to check out her gluten-free products!
This sugar-free, sodium-free and gluten-free line of sparkling water fizzes with flavor. The Half & Half Iced Tea Lemonade variety has the flavor of your standard half & half tea mixes, but it has the added carbonated aspect. Cascade Ice comes in a whopping 31 bubbly varieties, so head to www.CascadeIceWater.com to learn more.
Graw Foods Graw Bar & Grawnola
Introducing another gluten-free snack bar: the Graw Bar. I tried both the Original and the Banana varieties (I liked the Original better). Filled with pumpkin seeds, apples, pecans, dates, almonds, walnuts, buckwheat, raisins, agave, lemon, lime, cinnamon, sea salt, orange oil and vanilla bean, these bars are a different treat for your taste buds. Since they’re made with all-natural ingredients and not chemically processed or unrecognizable ingredients, you can feel good about eating these products. The Graw Bars come in a granola-type variety too. They taste exactly the same, but are better suited for breaking up to add to a cup of yogurt. They’re not as flavorful as some other snack bars, but good nonetheless. Decide for yourself and visit www.Grawnola.com.
The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Cakes and Cookies Cookbook
Do Molten Lava Mini Cakes with Raspberry Sauce sound good to you? Are Peanut Butter and Jam Blondies more your speed? No matter what kind of sweet tooth you have, you’ll find the recipe to satisfy it in Laurie Sadowski’s cookbook, “The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Cakes and Cookies.” Not only are Laurie’s recipes all gluten-free, but everything in the cookbook is also free from dairy, egg and soy. Many (but not all) recipes are free from other allergens, like peanuts and tree nuts, too. To read more about this gluten-free-friendly cookbook, go to TheAllergyFreeCook.com.
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