Note from Alice
Cooking with Oonagh
Summer camp tips
Allergic Living Sneak Peek
Celiac disease & type 1 diabetes
Tax Deduction Guide
Test Your Gluten-Free Knowledge
The Science Behind Food
NEWS & UPDATES
Celiac in the News
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Where in the World is the NFCA Team?
While it doesn’t feel like it yet here in Philadelphia, spring is just around the corner. Spring signifies the beginning of the travel season for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) team. Around this time each year, various team members pack their bags and head to conferences and expos throughout the country, all with the goal of ultimately advancing our mission to drive diagnosis and improve the quality of life for people on a lifelong gluten-free diet.
Whenever I am traveling for NFCA, I send the team my usual update – a “Where in the World is Alice?” email, outlining my travel schedule. Since much of the team will be out and about raising awareness this month, I thought I’d give you the same update: “Where in the World is the NFCA Team?”
I am heading down to Atlanta, GA in two weeks with NFCA’s Director of Foodservice, Jerry Norris, to present to the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Executive Study Group, which is comprised of dietitians working for restaurant chains. There, I’ll educate attendees on the importance of safe gluten-free food preparation for the celiac disease and gluten sensitive communities.
I travel with NFCA Healthcare Relations Manager
Kristin Voorhees to all kinds of conferences. Here we
are at Partnering for Cures 2013.
The following week, I will make my way to Columbia University in New York City with NFCA’s Healthcare Relations Manager, Kristin Voorhees. This year’s educational sessions will focus on the “Development of Therapies for Celiac Disease.” I, for one, cannot wait to learn more about new developments from leading celiac disease experts, like Drs. Alessio Fasano, Carlo Catassi, Peter Green, Donald Kasarda, Benjamin Lebwohl, Daniel Leffler, Jonas F. Ludvigsson, Joseph A. Murray and many more. Talk about an A-team of speakers!
Today, NFCA Vice President Jennifer North is arriving in California to attend Natural Products Expo West, a huge expo featuring manufacturers from across the country. There, Jennifer will scope out the newest gluten-free products, meet with many of NFCA’s amazing sponsors and raise awareness of the rising need for gluten-free options among other manufacturers. Jennifer attends Expo West each year and always brings back samples to try for NFCA’s Gluten-Free Hot Products review blog. Stay tuned for reviews on some of the newest gluten-free products to hit the market!
NFCA's Beckee Moreland presented at the National
Restaurant Association (NFCA) Hotel-Motel Show with
Chef Jehangir Mehta.
NFCA Director of Gluten-Free Industry Initiatives Beckee Moreland will be presenting at the Midwest Foodservice Expo in mid-March in Milwaukee, WI. Beckee runs our GREAT Kitchens program, which is an online course designed to teach foodservice professionals about safe gluten-free food preparation. So, she will be out there doing what she does best – educating on the importance of gluten-free options for our community and how to serve it the right way. Just like the entire NFCA team, Beckee’s goal is to help people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity eat without fear.
The rest of the team will be holding down the fort in the Philadelphia office. Those of us traveling are excited to take our mission out on the road to help make life better for those living with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. We won’t stop spreading the word until everyone who remains undiagnosed or misdiagnosed joins those of us who were lucky enough to receive our life-saving diagnosis.
Want to help us spread the word? All you have to do is take NFCA’s “Test Your Gluten-Free Knowledge” quiz and then challenge your friends and family to give it a try. The quiz is designed to help educate people on the many aspects of living the gluten-free lifestyle. By challenging your friends and family to take the quiz, you’ll be spreading awareness of gluten-related disorders – not just the gluten-free diet.
To our GREAT Health,
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Spring is just around the corner! Enjoy these naturally gluten-free dishes as the warmer weather starts to roll in.
CHOCOLATE IRISH CREAM ALMOND TARTLETS
These tartlets are naturally gluten-free and super delicious. They have a chewy toffee consistency, but are still crisp. These are best eaten with your fingers! Share these with your family and friends on St. Patrick’s Day.
LABNEH – YOGURT CHEESE
This dish is loaded with flavor, yet lighter on calories than your typical cream cheese spread.
About Chef Oonagh Williams
British-born award-winning chef Oonagh Williams has a culinary arts degree and was trained in London and Switzerland. Based in New Hampshire, Chef Oonagh began adapting meals to gluten-free versions after her son was diagnosed with gluten and lactose intolerance two years ago. To learn more, visit Chef Oonagh’s website at www.RoyalTemptations.com/blog or ‘Like’ her at Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook.
Tips for Sending Your Gluten-Free Child to Summer Camp
By Silvana Nardone
Get your gluten-free cooking and baking questions answered by the expert! Have a question for Silvana? E-mail Alicia at firstname.lastname@example.org and your question could be answered in a future NFCA newsletter
Summer is right around the corner and I am looking into sending my gluten-free child to camp. Any tips for how to prepare my child as well as overcome some of my own concerns and worries?
This is one of those parent moments where you have to take a leap of faith that everything is going to be okay. When Isaiah went to camp, I was plenty worried. But that only made him anxious and did neither of us any good. After his diagnosis with gluten sensitivity, Isaiah wanted to continue to go to his favorite sports camp. It was up to me to make his weeks at summer camp as seamless, safe and as fun as possible. Here are my three tips for a successful camp experience:
You’ve been teaching your kids how to eat gluten-free safely. Now, you need to set them free.
As our kids get older and go off to camp, we need to trust that they were listening to all of our safety advice. Whether at school, a friend’s birthday party or summer camp, they eventually need to learn to eat gluten-free on their own. As much as I wish I could be by Isaiah’s side at all times helping him make the best food decisions, that’s not a reality. He has made bad food choices and it hasn’t always been pretty, but he has definitely learned from those experiences.
Talk to the camp counselor who will be with your child during meals.
Camp meals are always frenzied with everyone starving from the day’s activities. So before your child gets lost in the shuffle, talk with his counselor and set some eating guidelines. Remind them that when your kid is happy and healthy (just like all of the other campers), it makes the counselor’s job easier and everyone has tons of fun!
Pack and carefully label food to send along with your kid to camp.
Start by getting the menu for the time your child will be at camp. Whenever feasible, prepare or buy similar foods so he fits in with all his new friends. Also, having camp cooks in charge of feeding your child could easily result in cross contamination since they’re usually cooking for hundreds of kids and camp staff. I always preferred to make or buy food so I was confident that I reduced as many contamination points as possible. Plus, label everything, even down to the day, if you’re cooking to mirror the camp menu. Remember that with some planning, our kids can have their s’mores and eat them, too!
Can't wait for the taste of s'mores? Start summer early and enjoy these S'mores Milkshakes at home!
About Silvana Nardone
Silvana Nardone is the author of Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy, Delicious Meals and founder of silvanaskitchen.com, a blog that takes the guesswork out of how to feed a family with food allergies. Join the gluten-free conversation in her Facebook community or follow her on Twitter or Pinterest.
The Link Between Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes
By Claire Gagné
Managing type 1 diabetes is old hat to 31-year-old Catherine Oddenino. The New Yorker has had the disease since she was 11, and is adept at counting carbohydrates and dosing insulin. But in her mid-20s she was thrown a curveball. Whenever she ate something, she felt like she had food poisoning.
After a visit to her doctor, she cut dairy from her diet. But she was also sent to a gastroenterologist who, tipped off by the fact that she had diabetes, immediately tested her for celiac disease. Two weeks later and it was official: the culprit of her “poisoning” was gluten, not dairy.
Did you know some people may qualify to receive a tax deduction because of a medical need for gluten-free foods? There’s a lot to know when it comes to receiving these tax benefits, so NFCA broke down the rules for you in our Gluten-Free Tax Deduction Guide.
No matter how long you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, chances are you’re still learning new things about living the gluten-free lifestyle. Let’s face it – there’s a lot to learn! Want to see how much you know? Test Your Gluten-Free Knowledge with NFCA and Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery by taking a short 10-question quiz.
After you take the quiz, you can raise awareness by challenging friends and family to try and beat your score.
Special thanks to Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery for making this campaign possible!
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Ever wonder how gluten-free food is made? Who determines which ingredients will make a gluten-free alternative even better than its gluten-containing counter parts? The NFCA team went right to the source! We talked to Bryan Scherer, a food scientist and Vice President of Research and Development at Penford Foods Ingredients in Denver, CO.
(Photo courtesy of Penford Food Ingredients)
Question 1: What does a food scientist do?
Food scientists are individuals who have a shared passion for creativity, science and food. They have dedicated their scientific and technical expertise to the study and understanding of food products and their manufacturing processes. They utilize chemistry, physics and culinary art to understand the composition of foods and employ principles of engineering, mathematics and biochemistry to understand what happens to foods when they are produced, cooked, stored and consumed. Some food scientists use their skills to develop new food products and ingredients such as gluten-free foods while others develop the manufacturing equipment and processes to produce these products. The overall goal of a food scientist is to ensure a high quality, safe and sustainable food supply for the general population.
Question 2: What are the major differences between studying and developing gluten-free foods vs. gluten-containing foods?
In order to develop a gluten-free alternative to a food product that naturally contains gluten, a food scientist must fully understand the chemical and physical functionality that gluten contributes to the food. In bread for example, gluten naturally has three distinct functions that must be compensated for with other ingredients which include: dough elasticity, network for trapping gas bubbles and a solid structure for cell formation. In raw bread dough, gluten is responsible for the elasticity or "workability" of the dough during the kneading process and forming the network that holds the gas bubbles produced by yeast during the proofing or rising step. As the bread bakes, the gluten denatures or "hardens" to form the structural backbone of the bread and the light cellular structure and texture. In order to match these functions, the food scientist must identify other functional ingredients like potato or tapioca starches, natural gums or hydrocolloids and gluten-free flours such as rice or sorghum flour in order to get a final product that looks and tastes like full-gluten bread. Developing a great gluten-free alternative marries technical know-how with culinary art.
Question 3: Does a food scientist play a role in developing all packaged foods or just certain kinds?
Food scientists can be involved in the development of virtually any packaged food. They can be responsible for the gluten-free product composition or formula, the manufacturing, distribution, storage processes and the selection of the best final packaging. In addition, sensory scientists are a specialized group of food scientists who try to understand and optimize consumer acceptability of a product in terms of its appearance, flavor, aroma and texture.
Congratulations to our GREAT Kitchens & Schools!
We love the foodservice establishments and colleges and universities that go the extra mile to keep their gluten-free customers and students safe. To us, these places are home to real super stars – the cream of the crop! They not only recognize gluten-free needs, but they understand that for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, food is the only medicine. They know that people requiring a gluten-free meal aren’t just fad dieters.
In order to receive GREAT Kitchens Status, restaurants must take and pass the online training course, an in-depth program that covers all of the requirements of truly safe gluten-free food preparation. Then, these restaurants are required to change their procedures and share their gluten-free menu, ingredients and processes with NFCA, who will review them to ensure best practices are being implemented. Restaurants who have earned GREAT Kitchens Status have given their cooking practices an overhaul just to keep the gluten-free community safe. We hope you will visit these restaurants to show just how loyal gluten-free diners are to the places that really just get it.
Look for the GREAT decal in restaurant windows
(like this one at Loyola Marymount University)!
No GREAT Kitchens in your area? Just ask your favorite restaurant to become a part of this elite group of restaurants who are leading the way in safe gluten-free food preparation. Just use the right side of the Dining Tips Sheet to help get the conversation started.
The restaurants and schools listed below have successfully completed NFCA’s GREAT Kitchens or Schools program and have earned GREAT Kitchens Status through their proof of commitment to the celiac disease and gluten sensitive communities.
GREAT Kitchens Status
GREAT Schools Status
Thanks to all of the establishments listed above for being committed to serving safe gluten-free meals! Congratulations on achieving GREAT Kitchens or Schools Status!
Chances are that you have heard of the “low-FODMAPs diet,” but do you know what “FODMAPs” really are?"
In 1999, Dr. Sue Shepherd developed the low-FODMAP diet as an effective treatment for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Researchers and physicians also have found the low-FODMAPs diet to be beneficial for people diagnosed with celiac disease who continue to experience gastrointestinal symptoms despite living gluten-free. More recently, research has suggested that FODMAPs, not gluten, may actually be to blame for the digestive issues experienced in non-celiac gluten sensitivity patients.
Join NFCA as we learn about this groundbreaking research and get the facts from Sue Shepherd, PhD, Senior Lecturer at La Trobe University Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition and Director of Shepherd Works P/L.
Sponsored by Dr. Lucy’s, this webinar is free of charge!
Stay tuned for more information on a Twitter chat following the webinar with NFCA and Dr. Lucy’s!
It has become common knowledge that gluten plays an essential role in celiac disease, but how familiar are you with the genetic factors associated with the autoimmune condition?
Join NFCA as we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the celiac disease genes, the role of genetic testing and the increased risk among families.
Stephanie Winheld, MS, CGC will help to break down the basics about genetics by explaining what it means to have a hereditary condition and identifying which genes play the biggest role in celiac disease. Dr. David Kastenberg of the Jefferson Celiac Center will discuss the family link in celiac disease, why it’s important that family members be tested and the appropriate use of genetic testing.
Sponsored by Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, this webinar is free of charge!
Celiac Awareness Day with the Philadelphia Phillies is back! This year, it's happening right in the middle of May - Celiac Awareness Month.
As in years past, there will be a dedicated gluten-free concession stand and the NFCA gang will be on the 200 level by the Hall of Fame to provide educational materials to game attendees. New this year is the Power Ticket; add $12 of food credit for just $10! Not only does this year’s Celiac Awareness Day fall on the Phillie Phanatic’s birthday, but we’ll be doing a free raffle for Phillies memorabilia too! You’ll have a chance to win 4 tickets to a regular-season Phillies game in section 118 with preferred parking and $50 in concessions vouchers, courtesy of Aramark.
Joining us this year will be representatives from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. NFCA has had a long-standing relationship with the Jefferson Celiac Center and we look forward to raising awareness together at the game!
See what other fun things are happening at the ballpark on Celiac Awareness Day and grab your tickets here before they’re gone!
By Alicia Carango, NFCA Communications Assistant
Gluten-Free Options a Draw for College Students
College students face unique challenges when living with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity on campus. Luckily, more and more schools, like the University of Nebraska in Lincoln (UNL), are catching on to the special dietary needs of their students. NFCA intern and student at UNL Lianna Prill weighed in on the issue.
Read more about the article.
Clearing Up Celiac Disease Misconceptions
At NFCA, we work hard to clear up common myths and misconceptions about celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and the gluten-free diet. NFCA President and CEO Alice Bast targeted the medical professionals that make up the audience for the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute (PLMI). Her editorial focused on explaining celiac disease as an autoimmune condition that affects the entire body, not just the intestines.
Read Alice’s editorial “Branching Out: Taking a Holistic View of Celiac Disease.
The Cost of Gluten-Free Food
The cost of gluten-free food is a topic understood all too well by the celiac disease and gluten sensitive communities. With the help of NFCA President and CEO Alice Bast, CBS News shed light on what it’s like to live with a gluten-related disorder and the higher cost of gluten-free foods.
Get the full scoop from CBS News.
By Alicia Carango, NFCA Communications Assistant
Snyder’s of Hanover Gluten-Free Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel Sticks
If you’re a fan of Snyder’s of Hanover’s gluten-free pretzel sticks, your taste buds are in for a treat with their newest flavor, Honey Mustard & Onion. They are the perfect amount of flavor and the texture of the pretzels is just as good as their original flavor. If spicy is more your speed, you’ll probably enjoy the Hot Buffalo Wing flavor. They’re not too hot to enjoy, but just hot enough to give them a kick of flavor. They are great by themselves, but would go well with hummus or another gluten-free dip of your choice. Both of these flavors are certified gluten-free and are egg-free, casein-free and dairy-free, too. Check out all the gluten-free varieties on the Snyder’s of Hanover website.
Sweet Note Bakery Gluten-Free Bagels
The NFCA office is right near Sweet Note Bakery, known for their yummy gluten-free bagels. The Sweet Note team was kind enough to drop by the office with samples of their bagels for the team to try. Not in the Philly area? Don’t worry! You can order them online and have them shipped to your home. The bagels are frozen and, when heated following the directions exactly, these are some really tasty bagels. The texture is not gritty and they don’t crumble, not even under the weight of your favorite gluten-free spread. Learn more about the bakery at www.SweetNoteBakery.com.
Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Regular Size Morsels
These allergy-friendly and gluten-free chocolate morsels are perfect for your baking needs. The chocolate morsels are free from the top eight allergens and gluten. These morsels are perfectly delicious and melt well in gluten-free cookie recipes. The bag even comes with a recipe for “Nutty” Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies that are both vegan and gluten-free. Read more about Enjoy Life’s allergen-free and gluten-free products at www.EnjoyLifeFoods.com.
Van’s Natural Foods Gluten-Free Strawberry & Peanut Butter Snack Bars
Van’s has added to their delicious line of gluten-free snack bars. New to store shelves are the Strawberry & Peanut Butter Snack Bar. I’m a big fan of Van’s products, so it’s no surprise that these snack bars are a hit with me. They’re the perfect after-school snack for the kids and even better for that emergency gluten-free stash. The bars are packed full of flavor and while they are soft and moist, they don’t break apart easily or crumble when you take a bite. Check out these bars and all of Van’s gluten-free options here.
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