Nourishing Your Body for Better Health

Happy Celiac Awareness Month!

In honor of Celiac disease awareness month, I’m highlighting a few of my favorite things—including info on jicama and info (and a coupon!) for the 2015 Washington D.C. Gluten-Free Expo, which is coming up in June.jicama

Jicama is one of my favorite raw veggies, and it often flies under the radar. It’s common in Texas and Central America, and always seems to make an appearance around Cinco de Mayo, although you can often find them year-round in Central American or Asian Markets. It’s a tuber and kinda funny looking, but don’t be fooled…inside is a crunchy, juicy veggie, which is perfect for scooping up dip. You can also slice it thinly with a mandolin and it makes a naturally gluten-free wrap. I love it for tpeeling jicamahe taste, but also appreciate that it’s a great source of fiber, which most people are lacking on a gluten-free diet.

So…get a jicama without blemishes or soft spots. Refrigerate it after buying if you’re not going to use right away. Cut off the top and bottom, so it sits flat, and then peel it like you would an apple…

And slice!

Jicama is great with lime, salsa, or guac.jic and guac

You’re welcome.

And while we’re on the topic of Cinco de Mayo and great things to dip with jicama, I’d recommend on of my very favorite recipes–Salsa-mole–a cross between salsa and guacamole, of course.

2015 Washington D.C. Gluten-Free Expo:

June 7th, 2015 is the annual DC Gluten-free Expo at the Doubletree Bethesda Hotel. The Expo benefits the Children’s National Medical Center Celiac Disease Program in DC. Personally, I think it’s a great program and a wonderful cause, and I really appreciate how much CNMC has done to provide comprehensive, integrative care for children, teens and their families with Celiac disease in the DC Metro Area. Or, of course, you could go to the Expo because you get a ton of yummy food and free samples. Your call!

Join Children’s National Health System’s Celiac Disease Program for the 2015 Washington D.C. Gluten-Free Expo on June 7, 2015 at the

The Expo will feature an exhibit hall with more than 70 gluten-free vendors from across the globe! Each vendor will provide samples and/or sell their products. In some cases, the vendors will offer large discounts to purchase products at the event.

To buy tickets go to: http://www.dcglutenfreeexpo.com/tickets.html

Enter the code GFREEGOODNESS25OFF to receive 25% off your tickets!

To learn more about the Celiac Disease Program, go to: http://www.childrenscookingclasses.org/celiac-disease-program

Cheryl’s note: this is not a sponsored post from CNMC and I have no vested interest, financial or otherwise. I’m just a fan of the Celiac programs at CNMC.

Quick odds and ends:tj's bread

Trader Joe’s now carries fresh(!!!) gluten-free breads. This pic is from the Fairfax store, and it’s cheaper than most GF breads.

NY Times just had an article on new drug therapies for Celiac and non-Celiac gluten sensitivity.

NFCA has a new campaign about talking to family members about Celiac disease.

Care2 just featured some of my suggestions for G-free family meals

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Cheryl works with people to feel and look their best with a range of specialties, including Celiac Disease, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here, email or call 571-271-8742

March G-Free Roundup

Happy almost Springtime! Since March is flying by at, this is a short OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand sweet rundown of news & research:

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Cheryl works with people to feel and look their best with a range of specialties, including Celiac Disease, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here, email or call 571-271-8742

Gluten-Free Sunshine: February Newsletter

  • Spread a little sunshine
  • Chocolate love
  • News

Spread a little sunshine this winter…All about Vitamin DOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the winter months, most of us aren’t getting much sunlight. It’s still dark when we leave our houses and often dark by the time we get home. When we go outside, we’re usually bundled up from head to toe. Not only does this tend to affect mood, but we also depend on sunlight as a source of Vitamin D. Even if someone were to go out dancing in the snow in a bathing suit in the winter months, in many areas it’s still impossible to get all of the vitamin D needed for good health. Skin pigmentation, age, sunscreen, and geographic location all play a role in determining how much vitamin D the body produces from sunlight.

When people think of vitamin D deficiency, they tend to think of rickets, or the bowed legs seen in children. Actually, the problem is much more widespread and affects most systems in the body. Researchers are increasingly learning that most people have Vitamin D levels are below the ideal, and this seems even more common in people avoiding gluten for various reasons. Recent studies are reinforcing the importance of vitamin D, showing that deficiency can cause joint pain and bone weakness, and lower vitamin D levels are linked to higher rates of cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, increased fall rates, lowered immune function, depression and more.

Vitamin D is especially important to people with Celiac disease, gluten intolerance and people following a gluten free/casein free (GFCF diet). Celiac disease often causes great damage to the small intestine, and the small intestine is where our bodies absorb vitamin D. Osteoporosis and osteopenia are frequently seen in Celiac patients, and Vitamin D is an essential component to both calcium absorption and the formation of healthy bones. Additionally, untreated Celiac disease also may lead to fat malabsorbtion, and vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin.

Fortified milk and milk products are one of the few commonly eaten food sources of vitamin D. However, usually eating those foods alone isn’t enough to do the trick, and many gluten free folks are lactose intolerant, or avoid dairy products due to following a gluten free, casein free (GFCF) diet. The NIH just released a statement about a study showing that autistic boys tend to have thinner bones.So regardless of why you are GF, it is important to speak to your doctor and have your vitamin D levels tested.

There are several ways to get vitamin D in the winter months:

  • Eat vitamin D rich foods: fortified dairy, cod liver oil or other fatty fish, are good sources. For vegetarians or vegans, there are small amounts found in eggs, or some in mushrooms exposed to UV light.
  • Take vitamin D3 supplements: Many doctors recommend high doses of vitamin D initially to normalize vitamin levels in people who are deficient, but since Vitamin D is fat soluble and stored in the body, at some point it is possible to get an excess. Most people have vitamin D levels in the 20-30 range, and you don’t hit a risk of toxicity until the 100+ range, so that’s usually not an issue.
  • Take a vacation to somewhere warm and sunny: totally self explanatory, and my personal favorite way of getting vitamin D. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to sunbathe all day. Experts say that 15-20 minutes of sun in most warm areas 3-4 times a week is usually all that is needed. However, this does differ by season and latitude.choc 2

Chocolate love:

I love chocolate. So, for the sake of research, I tried a range of gluten-dairy-soy free chocolate bars and rated them. Yes, I had help, and I’ve been working my way through them since last May.

Here are a few of my favorite gluten and dairy free chocolate recipes:solo egg cream small

Chocolate Egg Cream: This old fashioned drink is really easy to make and it’s delicious. Although it’s called an egg cream, it’s actually vegan.

Amazing Chocolates or Hazelnut Buttercups. These MYO chocolates are delicious, and pretty easy to make, too.

haz buttercups

 

 

 

 

 

tuxedo strawberriers

Tuxedoed Strawberries Fruit in tasty formal ware. What’s not to love?

 

chocoraspslice

Chocolate Raspberry Pie Yes, there’s a secret ingredient, but don’t let that scare you. Bloggers at the Washingtonian tried it and gave it a thumbs up!

News:

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Cheryl works with people to feel and look their best with a range of specialties, including Celiac Disease, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here, email or call 571-271-8742

Happy Healthy GF New Year 2015

Happy New Year!

Often January is a great time to take inventory of habits and see what fits…and see what to recycle. Here are some of my favorite suggestions for living well on a gluten-free diet.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

  • Unleash your inner rabbit: find ways to get at least one vegetable or fruit with every meal—5-9 servings a day.  That can be as easy veggies in your morning omelet, a veggie soup and a salad with lunch, yogurt and berries for snack and 2 servings of veggies along with dinner.
  • Choose whole (fresh, frozen or dried) vegetables and fruits over juices, which have most of the fiber removed.
  • If tolerated, include legumes (i.e., dried beans and peas) with your meals regularly; increase your intake of these foods gradually to limit gas. Not only are meatless meals better for the environment, but beans feed good bacteria in our gut.
  • Drink up!  8-10 glasses a day are important to stay hydrated, especially when you increase the amount of fiber you eat. Tea and broth can be great alternatives to water.
  • Include nuts and seeds daily or at least several times a week, which also contain monounsaturated fats and can help control blood cholesterol levels.
  • Go for healthy fats. Increase the amount you eat of fatty fish, like salmon, trout, flounder, sole, sardines, etc.mint quin
  • Make your grains whole grains, and experiment. Wild rice, quinoa, and buckwheat are easy to find, and sorghum, millet, teff and amaranth can be a fun new adventure.
  • Move it. Exercise helps our cardiovascular health and lowers sugar, and benefits our mood, concentration and joints as well.
  • Use healthy oils in cooking and baking. Eliminate trans fats at all cost.
  • Limit all sweeteners–I’ve never had to tell a client they need to eat more sugar for good health.
  • Take care of yourself. This includes sleeping well, reducing stress, and doing things you enjoy. You’re worth it!

Need more inspiration? Here are a handful of my favorite gluten-free cookbooks from the last year or two that are both delicious and promote good health:51jgCwjOlBL._SL500_AA300_

News:

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Cheryl works with people to feel and look their best with a range of specialties, including Celiac Disease, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here, email or call 571-271-8742.

Healthy, Happy Holiday Season 2014

Hopefully you’re all staying warm and cozy this December. It’s always a busy time for everyone, so here’s some good stuff for surviving and thriving this holiday season.celeriac soup

Wintertime generally means cold, and to me that means soup. Whenever I can, I make my own–I adore chicken and turkey  soup, and I love my Red Lentil DalCreamy Veggie SoupSniffle Stew…the list is endless!

Canned soup is a also great fallback. Here’s a list of soups that avoid BPA. BPA is an additive in many can liners, and research has indicated there are potential links between BPA blood pressure, weight, PCOS and/or endocrine conditions.

Of course, December is famous for reasons other than soup. For most people, mindless munching is also a huge part of the season, so here are my top 5 holiday mindless eating tips:

  1. Survey your options: Research shows that people at a normal weight are more likely to survey all of their options, then hone in on what they most enjoy. Otherwise, we have much more of a tendency to keep going back. Standing further from the buffet, facing away from the food and engaging in something else fun (conversation, dancing, photography) also can be a help.
  2. Surround yourself with what you want to see. Remember all that talk about a see-food and eat it diet? Make sure you’re seeing the foods you want to be eating. Put seasonal fruits such as grapefruits, mangos and my personal favorites, pomegranates, on the counter or in your refrigerator where they are easy to grab. Bonus points for putting them at eye level!
  3. Choose the special foods: If you can’t live without mint fudge, then plan to have a piece or two! Skip on the “filler” foods you can have every day, like chips and dip or even booze.
  4. Limit alcohol. I know that’s not always the easiest sell, but sometimes it’s helpful to consider which you’d enjoy more, that truffle or that 2nd glass of wine. Not only is alcohol empty calories that slow your metabolism, but it can be harder to make good choices after you’ve had a few. It can help to set a target before you go. WaPo included some of my tips for reducing excess last year.
  5. Keep the evidence: Out of sight, out of mind, right? If you don’t keep the wrappers or plate, it’s easier to conveniently forget how many mini plates you’ve already munched through.

And…why not plan ahead for a healthier January? One of my colleagues is running a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction series in Annandale and Vienna. MBSR has a lot of research for helping improve mood and a variety of medical conditions, such as depression, stress, anxiety, IBS, IBD and more. IT’s a 8-week educational group that teaches mindfulness meditation as a health intervention. Created by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD., in 1979, MBSR offers participants the possibility to develop a different relationship to stress resulting from chronic stress, illness and psychological illnesses. Research outcomes have demonstrated positive improvements in physical and psychological symptoms, as well as changes in health attitudes and behaviors.

MBSR uses mindful movement, meditation, group discussion, and inquiry to teach students how to use mindfulness to relate differently to stress. The course teaches practical ways to integrate mindfulness into daily life and build and sustain a personal mindfulness practice.

Interested? Contact Mary VanDevanter, at mvandevanter@verizon.net or call 703-370-6525, ext. 3.

Wishing you a warm and wonderful holiday season, and a happy New Year!

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Cheryl works with people to feel and look their best with a range of specialties, including Celiac Disease, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here, email or call 571-271-8742.

To subscribe or unsubscribe, see www.harriswholehealth.com

G-Free & Joyful Holiday Season

Wow, December has really flown by, and it’s so easy to get swept away sometimes in the holiday swirl.

For many people, the holiday season is one of the most challenging times to be gluten-free. I’ve highlighted some of my favorite tips for staying SANE and gluten-free here from Simply Gluten-Free Magazine. 

Of course, this time of year is pretty much  about desserts, yes? Some of us aren’t all about mixing 5 different gluten-free flours and whipping out the xantham gum. I’ve collected a list of NATURALLY gluten-free desserts over the years—tried and true recipes that aren’t specialty cooking, but just happen to be marvelously gluten-free.

Remember, these foods are only GF if you use GF ingredients. And as always, check labels to avoid surprises.

There’s a range of allergy-friendly, grain-free, low sugar and completely decadent options, but there are enough options to choose from that you can surely find something that works for your lifestyle/food restrictions that you and your family can enjoy together.

dairy free (DF), egg free (EF) and soy free (SF), NF (nut free) *=check labels

Not that these are healthy by any stretch of the imagination, BUT Martha Stewart has a slideshow and recipes of 40 holiday candies, all of which (at a quick glance) are GF. Of course, you need tocheryl's pralines make sure the chocolate is GF, be mindful of cross contamination, etc. but this is an easy way to keep traditions without venturing into specialty flours and unfamiliar territory.

My personal favorites? My Bittersweet Chestnut Fudge and my Vegan Pralines.

Oh, right, and there’s holiday food, too. I’ve got a G-Free Turkey and Ham list for 2014.

More recipes from around the web:

Giveaway

‘Tis the season of giving, right? I’ve always gotten a kick out of the sample boxes because it’s always fun to see what’s new and tasty in the gluten-free world. So when Taste Guru offered to give away a box to newsletter readers, I happily agreed. Taste Guru has monthly gluten-free boxes with a variety of samples. Mine had coupons and a magazine. The products change every month, and you can *ahem* give them as gifts as well if you’re still looking.

When I got my box, I was drawn to the Justin’s samples and my husband was intrigued by the bacon jam. Yes…I indeed said bacon jam. Houdini cat, on the other hand, decided to play in the box while I was trying to take pictures, proving that everything on the internet is better when you add a cat.

If you’d like to enter to win a free monthly box from Taste Guru

Contest ends Dec 24th, 2014, 12pm EST and a winner of the free box will be chosen at random. Your box will likely be different than the one I receive. While I did receive a free box (correction: I got the goodies, Hou commandeered the box) I was not compensated for this review/giveaway.

Local Events & News:

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Cheryl works with people to feel and look their best with a range of specialties, including Celiac Disease, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here, email or call 571-271-8742.

 

Holiday Balance

October through December is probably the hardest time of year for balance around food. Some days, it seems like our main form of exercise is usually moving the fork from the plate to our mouths. Here are some ways to enjoy the spirit of the season and favorite holiday foods, while staying healthy, too.

Enjoy seasonal healthy foods.  Clementines, pomegranates, pineapples, mangoes, oranges, localfoodsgrapefruits and apples are wonderful this time of year.  Keep them on the counter or in the front of the fridge where you can see them! Some Farmer’s Markets are still open, and apples are amazing this time of year. And, if you’re an apple fiend like I am, one of my favorite local farms has bi-weekly apple deliveries in the NoVA/DC area.

Move the goodies out of sight:  One of the biggest challenges of the season is a see-food diet, otherwise known as “if I see it, I eat it”. Studies show that when people keep food out of sight, they eat smaller amounts. Put the candy out of reach and move the cookies where you won’t have constant temptation.

Balance: if you are going to a holiday party in the evening, make an extra effort to eat well on other days.  Add in more vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, etc. and move more, too!  A piece of chocolate cake one day or one big holiday meal won’t make or break a diet, but daily treats do add up.

Choose what you’ll most enjoy: It’s a given that you’re going to have some special foods this holiday season. Can’t live without Aunt Sarah’s apple pie? Then plan to have some. Scope out your options before you dig in, and target things you enjoy most. Skip on the foods you can get any day.

Savor your favorites:  When you eat, really eat!   When we are really tasting our food (rather than inhaling something while talking and multitasking) food tastes much better, we’re more satisfied and full quicker.baked bananas

Fill your table with fruit and veggie dishes: Have your holiday meals feature seasonal vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, collards, green beans, or even sauteed celery in chestnut sauce! How about Fresh Cranberry relish vs the stuff in the can? Add in bean or veggie soups.  Make roasted chestnuts as a snack. Have a fruit inspired dessert, like baked apples, poached pears, sautéed or baked bananas, etc.

Skip the alcohol, or limit it to a drink or two.   Not only does it have a lot of calories, but once you’ve had a few, it’s easier to indulge on other foods.

It’s not all about the food… Honest! How else can you treat yourself? A massage? A hot bath? 15 minutes of quiet time with a good book? Having tea with an old friend? Plan in a variety of ways to relax

Get moving! Exercise is a great way to improve mood, reduce stress levels, and burn calories, too.  Head out at lunchtime for a short walk, check out the holiday lights in the evening, start a new family tradition and do something active at family events, dance at party functions, or make a habit of hitting the gym.  You don’t have to wait until January for healthy resolutions.

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Cheryl works with people to feel and look their best with a range of specialties, including Celiac Disease, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here, email or call 571-271-8742.

G-Free Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving tipssweet potatoes 2014

Recipes

FREE Thanksgiving ebook

Local Events

Thanksgiving and the cooler weather has really crept up on us. Here are some tips and recipes to insure a happy and healthy celebration!

Thanksgiving tips:

It takes a little planning ahead to guarantee a great Thanksgiving. In many ways, it’s easier if you’re hosting, because you know what you can and can’t have. Most people hate to impose on their hosts, but it’s easier on you AND your host to ask beforehand than sit through a four-hour meal and watch others eat. Remember, nothing is more important that staying safe!clip-art-thanksgiving-turkey-free1 I love these tips from Shirley of GFE.

Turkey:
Though it’s always good to check, the good news is that all plain fresh turkey is naturally gluten-free–again, that’s ALL plain, fresh, turkeys. So you do have to look out for stuffed turkeys or self-basting turkeys, and gravy packets, but plain turkeys are naturally gluten-free. Obviously this is fantastic news. Again, that’s ALL plain unstuffed gluten-free turkeys. The only exception Tofurky, which has gluten. Also, some glazed hams DO contain gluten. As always, read carefully! I have a gluten-free turkey list, with has manufacturer contact info.

If you’re not hosting Thanksgiving at your house, talk to your host as soon as you can. You’ll need to talk about:
* Broth used for basting
* Seasonings
* Stuffing in the turkey
* Cross contamination

Gravy

Many regular canned gravy and gravy packets are not gluten-free. Gluten-free gravy is available online, and Trader Joe’s sells some now. Even Mc Cormick’s has a gluten-free gravy packet that’s certified GF! Also, it’s pretty easy to make a simple gravy with gluten-free broth and cornstarch instead of wheat (and if corn is a problem for you, arrowroot can be substituted 1:1 instead).

Herb Gravy From Elana’s Pantry

Gravy using Cornstarch from Simply Recipes or see this link for recipes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Side dishes

There are lots of good options here. Green bean casserole (or get creative–we do roasted green beans), baked yams, cranberry relish, gelatin salads, butternut squash soup, mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, applesauce…all of these things are easy to adapt to food restrictions, and they’re healthy and delicious to boot.

Here are some ideas to get you going:

Sides:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My Cranberry Fresh Fruit Relish

Crockpot Applesauce by Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free

Green Bean Casserole from Ginger Lemon Girl

Simply Tasty Asparagus from Celiac Family

Stuffing:

This is obviously more of a challenge. You can go the nontraditional route and do a wild rice, buckwheat or quinoa stuffing. You could use a gluten-free cornbread or pre-made bread crumbs.

Cornbread stuffing with roasted acorn squash from the Gluten-Free Goddess

The NY Times Blog had a G-Free Stuffing section with a few recipes

Dessert!

For many people (myself included!) dessert is the highlight of the Thanksgiving route. If you’d like to use your standard recipes, you can easily make a crustless pumpkin or sweet potato pie or check out Whole Foods’ crusts. Even Pillsbury has a GF pie crust! Or, you can easily make a crust from crushed up cookies, shredded coconut or almond meal. Apple crisps are also simple, too. And, of course, now with the new GF Betty Crocker mixes, a cake or brownies are pretty simple, even if they’re not traditional.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Best Pecan Pie (one of my very favorites)

Sweet Potato Pie (vegan), pictured right here—>

Easy, Crustless Apple Pie from Gluten Free Easily

Ginger Lemon Girl’s Pecan Pumpkin Pie bars

Apple Crisp: simple, delish!

T Day Recipes:
It’s dangerous when someone asks about food while I’m hungry. When I was asked for Thanksgiving favorites, of course I started thinking (and drooling) about all the wonderful things that would make for an absolutely amazing gluten-free feast! Here are a bunch from some of my favorite GF bloggers.

FREE Gluten-Free Thanksgiving ebookjules logo

Friend and fellow blogger, Jules Sheperd has been a tireless gluten-free advocate for years. To put it into context, I think the first GF cookbook I ever owned was Jules’ Nearly Normal Cooking, which I bought over 10 years ago. Some of you may remember 1in133, which Jules spearheaded. If you’re newer in the GF world, that was the huge gluten-free cake that finally led to action and the GF regulations that came out in August in 2014. We all owe Jules a huge thank you!

As some of you may know, Jules went through a recent messy “breakup” with her old company, and now has a new company with the same great products at http://gfjules.com so if you want her products, that’s where to get them now. She’s got everything from GF all purpose flours, to cookie mixes to a gingerbread house kit.

She’s got a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving E-book which is normally $12.95 but *free* for you–my delicious newsletter readers. The code is gfjules54601c422d031, which you can put into the coupon box. Expires Nov 13th, 2014

I haven’t been compensated in any way to promote Jules or her company–I’m just a fan.

Local Events

The DCMCO Next Quarterly Support Meeting will be held on Saturday,  December 6, 2014 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm at the Tenley – Friendship Heights Library.

The topic will be “Navigating Through the Holiday Season Gluten-Free.”

2nd annual Gluten Free Cookie Exchange. Click HERE  to find out the details about the cookie exchange and how to participate! 

As always, wishing you and yours a joyful, peaceful and yummy holiday season.

I’m submitting this to Gluten-Free Wednesdays.GFW is co-hosted by Shirley of gluten free easily, Linda of Gluten-free Homemaker,  and Lynn of Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures.

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Cheryl works with people to feel and look their best with a range of specialties, including Celiac Disease, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here, email or call 571-271-8742.

Halloween Fun with Food Restrictions

c n pumpkinThink outside the candy dish…

About 10 years ago, I made the choice to stop giving out Halloween candy. Candy isn’t the only fun kind of treat, and I really didn’t need or want to be staring at a bowl of candy the month prior and the month after Halloween. My husband was definitely not happy with my decision, and I was a little nervous, until my first trick-or-treater ran back to his dad and said, “Cool! A slinky!” One year, a group of girls even told my husband that she looked forward to the “rubber ducky house” every year.  Somehow, I resisted the opportunity to say I told you so.

There are plenty of good options for stickers, toys, rubber duckies, mini games or even temporary tattoos for children you know well. Amazon has a ton of fun toy assortments (glow in the dark fangs, anyone?) Oriental Trading Company has a wide selection. G-free peeps, do remember that Play Doh has gluten. Some are more expensive than candy, but it depends on how you halloween treatslook at it. When you average in the bag of candy you bought on sale in September (and ate), the one in mid-October (trust me, that one will disappear as well) and the one you have to run out at the last minute and buy, it evens out in the end.

One of my clients, Stephanie, got really creative and put together goodie bags of her own (above). She found the DIY approach was cheaper than ones she could buy. I predict they’ll be a hit!

Extra bonus–if you decide to go the non-food-treat option, there’s a new registry so that children with food restrictions can find safe houses to visit. FARE also just announced the “Teal Pumpkin Project”, a new initiative for people with non-food treats to paint a pumpkin teal and put it on the doorstep, so children and parents know that safe options are available.

This isn’t a rant against candy. Like everyone, I have great memories eating excessive quantities of candy on Halloween as a little kid, and I trust there will still be more than enough to go around without my help. There’s nothing wrong with that on occasion. I’m a fan of eating treats when I really, really want them and will enjoy them, not eating treats because they’re sitting right in front of me and then *poof* where’d they go? You can also opt for healthier treOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAats, like mini Larabars and mini Kind Bars, all fruit leathers, mini-packs of pistachio nuts, etc.

Tips for Enjoying Halloween with Food Restrictions

  • Talk to teachers and friends about focusing parties around activities (like pumpkin carving, apple bobbing, costume contest) rather than just trick or treating.
  • Pre-stock your Halloween bag with foods that are ‘legal’ for your child (and/or you) so that you can safely snack along the way. Some treats that are normally gluten-free or allergen free have different ingredients in the special holiday versions, so always double check.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Here’s the 2014 list from CDF.
  • Stash safe bags of candy/treats at friend’s houses for your child.
  • Have a trade in. Your child can trade the “problem” candies and treats for “safe” treats, or games, prizes, special outings, etc. You can either stash the “problem” candy somewhere out of reach, or donate it to the foodbank.
  • Kids with Food Allergies has a great resource for safe Halloween activities, games, tips, etc.  Although it’s not directed at people avoiding gluten, a lot of the strategies are the same.

Fall recipes:

One of the things I love most about autumn is the beauty of the leaves. The food is a close second! Here are some of my favorites:

  • Butternut Squash Bisque: The tastiest way to get vitamin A! A wonderful soup for the fall or winter. Allergen friendly with a dairy free option.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Hot Mulled Apple Drink: a favorite at our annual pumpkin carving party. It’s the perfect drink for a crisp autumn day.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: several variations on this classic snack.
  • Roasted Green Beans: So easy to get green beans this time of year. Yum yum yum!

News

Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellcoach in Fairfax & Alexandria, VA.  She helps people with a range of dietary issues , including Celiac Disease, GI issues,  food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals and feeling great!  Email or call 571-271-8742.

A Healthy Halloween, Recipes & More

A fun and healthier Halloween, Fall recipes & Newsc n pumpkin

Think outside the candy dish…

About 10 years ago, I made the choice to stop giving out Halloween candy. Candy isn’t the only fun kind of treat, and I really didn’t need or want to be staring at a bowl of candy the month prior and the month after Halloween. My husband was definitely not happy with my decision, and I was a little nervous, until my first trick-or-treater ran back to his dad and said, “Cool! A slinky!” One year, a group of girls even told my husband that she looked forward to the “rubber ducky house” every year.  Somehow, I resisted the opportunity to say I told you so.

There are plenty of good options for stickers, toys, rubber duckies, mini games or even temporary tattoos for children you know well. Amazon has a ton of fun toy assortments (glow in the dark fangs, anyone?) Oriental Trading Company has a wide selection. Another easily available non-food option is mini cans of Play-Doh, (g-free peeps, remember that Play Doh has gluten, so if you play, wash your hands very, very, very thoroughly!) Some are more expensive than candy, but it depends on how you halloween treatslook at it. When you average in the bag of candy you bought on sale in September (and ate), the one in mid-October (trust me, that one will disappear as well) and the one you have to run out at the last minute and buy, it evens out in the end.

One of my clients, Stephanie, got really creative and put together goodie bags of her own (above). She found the DIY approach was cheaper than ones she could buy. I predict they’ll be a hit!

Extra bonus–if you decide to go the non-food-treat option, there’s a new registry so that children with food restrictions can find safe houses to visit.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This isn’t a rant against candy, because of course I have great memories eating excessive quantities of candy on Halloween as a little kid. I fully trust there will still be more than enough candy to go around. However, I’m a fan of treats when I really want them and will enjoy them, not eating treats because they’re sitting right in front of me and then *poof* where’d they go? You can also opt for healthier treOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAats, like mini Larabars and mini Kind Bars, all fruit leathers, mini-packs of pistachio nuts, etc.

Fall recipes:

One of the things I love most about autumn is the beauty of the leaves. The food is a close second! Here are some of my favorites:

  • Butternut Squash Bisque: The tastiest way to get vitamin A! A wonderful soup for the fall or winter. Allergen friendly with a dairy free option.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Hot Mulled Apple Drink: a favorite at our annual pumpkin carving party. It’s the perfect drink for a crisp autumn day.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: several variations on this classic snack.
  • Roasted Green Beans: So easy to get green beans this time of year. Yum yum yum!

News

Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellcoach in Fairfax & Alexandria, VA.  She helps people with a range of dietary issues , including Celiac Disease, GI issues,  food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals and feeling great!  Email or call 571-271-8742.