Gluten Free on the Go–June 09

Upcoming Class

Gluten Free On the Go

GF and Healthy:
June 27th, 11:00-1:00

We’ll talk about:

  • Different gluten free whole grains and flours and how to use them
  • Many GF ways to get fiber
  • Easy ways to make meals and baked goods healthier
  • Ways to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need
  • and much more!

This class is 2 hours and we will be making summer rolls with Thai dipping sauce (yum!!!)

The cost is $25 per person or two for $40.  If you have a flexible spending account (FSA), I can provide you with a receipt for the class, which you can submit for reimbursement as a health expense.

For more info, see http://www.harriswholehealth.com/services

Gluten Free On the Go

For many people, summertime is filled with picnics, outdoor adventures and travel. With a little planning, you can make sure to have fun and take care of your health, too.

Picnics and cookouts tend to work well for a gluten free diet. Most grilled foods, like burgers, hot dogs, chicken breasts, etc. are gluten free in the regular grocery store, so you can coordinate with your host and ask about any marinades, or just bring your own food to grill. For vegetarians, Portabella mushrooms and veggie skewers work well. If they’re grilling buns, marinated meat, or anything else ‘glutenous’ in the same area, bring along aluminum foil to wrap your food and keep it safe from cross contamination. Just bring along your own bun, or in a pinch, use a lettuce leaf as a wrapper. It helps to carry a few little packets of condiments, in case there aren’t squeeze bottles of mayo or mustard. Green salads, fruit salads and watermelon are usually on the menu, and don’t forget grilled corn as a yummy treat! Ice cream, popsicles and frozen fruit bars are often GF, though it’s important to check the label. Since these events are often potlucks, it’s easy to bring along a safe dish that you’ll enjoy.

Or, bring along one of the little “Go picnic” snack packs.  They have a variety of gluten free options, AND many of the selections are even pretty nutritious and high in fiber.  Gluten free+ easy+nutritious=often hard to come by!

For out of town travel, it helps to plan ahead. It’s a good idea to pack a few meals in a carry on bag, just in case your luggage gets lost or your flight gets delayed. Good options can include GF energy bars, tuna with a pull top, dry cereal, dried fruit and nuts, baby carrots, rice cake “sandwiches”, apples, fruit leather, a hard boiled egg, chocolate bars,”just add water” GF meals, etc. Remember, things with liquid aren’t a good idea because of the new security laws. You can also check this resource on dining options at airports nationwide to get an idea if there’s food you can grab and go.

No matter where you’re headed, you can get basic GF food nearby, even if you don’t have access to a kitchen. Almost every supermarket will carry some GF staples. Here’s a list to get you thinking:

Fruit Veggies Hummus and baby carrots
Canned Tuna Yogurt Cheese
Rice Chex (many varieties now!) Cream of rice Nuts: peanuts, almonds, walnuts, etc.
Dinty Moore Stew Amy’s Organics meals and soups Sunflower or pumpkin seeds
Microwave popcorn Plain tortilla chips and salsa Plain potato chips
Corn tortillas Hard boiled eggs Dried fruit

As always…check labels…

If you’re going to be away for a while, you may want to order some GF specialty foods and have them shipped to your destination. And restaurants are getting into the act, with Uno’s, Outback, Maggiano’s, Bonefish, Starbucks and more offering GF options. There are many options from both national and local chains. Triumph Dining has a good national guide, Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) has a national listing . Gluten Free Travel Site is a new site with reviews of places across the country. There’s even Bob & Ruth’s Gluten Free dining and travel club, which has GF travel getaways and newsletters. There are many websites with dining cards and I have a few of them listed here. You may also want to email the local Celiac association and find out where the locals go.  DC Celiacs is hosting a seminar on GF travel soon, so stay tuned for more good ideas!

If you’re traveling abroad, that takes more planning. Here’s a link to an article with good tips.

No matter what you love to do, go out and have a fabulous summer!

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Whether you are dealing with Celiac Disease, food allergies, picky eaters, children on the Autistic spectrum, chronic illness, or if you just want to feel and look better, Cheryl can help you achieve your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here or call 571-271-8742.

Something (GF) in Season

Great news! There are thousands of new places opening up across the country with delicious, healthy, fresh gluten free food. It’s even better than what you can get at the usual supermarket or even at health food stores. You don’t have to read any labels or call the manufacturer. Does it sound too good to be true? Well, Farmer’s Markets are about to open up across the country. Most open in May or June.

Farmer’s Markets are a fabulous place to get gluten free and allergen free foods. Yes, many have a booth with baked goods or soups, but aside from that, it’s a paradise of gluten free goodness.

Benefits of shopping at the Farmer’s Market

  • Fresh produce and meat-most fruits and vegetables are picked that day
  • Support for local farmers
  • Few or fewer pesticides on fruits and vegetables. A plum shipped from Chile need a lot of pesticides to keep it lovely even after traveling thousands of miles.
  • Better taste! There’s nothing that compares to the taste of a freshly picked tomato, peach, or apple.
  • The “manufacturer” is usually right in front of you, so if you have questions about how something is made or grown, just ask!

Also, another great option are CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture).  Essentially, you buy a share of a farm, and each week you get a bag of whatever they are growing.

Classes:

GF and Healthy

Saturday, June 27, 2009
11:00-1:00

  • Different whole grains how to use them
  • Many GF ways to get fiber
  • Easy ways to make meals and baked goods healthier
  • Important nutrients many people on a GF diet are missing

This class is 2 hours and we will be making summer rolls with Thai dipping sauce (yum!!!)

The class is held in Alexandria, VA.  To register, please see www.harriswholehealth.com/services

News around the Web:

Many companies are jumping on the GF bandwagon, and that means more availability and variety of products.

  • Rice Chex has decided to make 5 of their cereals GF: Rice, Corn, Strawberry,Honey nut, Cinnamon and Chocolate.

As always, buyer beware!  Most of the boxes on the shelves still have malt.  Check carefully, even if it says “new formula” it may not be GF.  Their website is not yet updated with all of the new info.

  • Starbucks will be offering Valencia Orange Cake, which will be wrapped to prevent cross contamination.  This came out May5th!
  • Dunkin Hines is getting in on the GF market with a variety of Betty Crocker mixes:
  • Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix
    Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
    Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devils Food Cake Mix
    Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
  • Bob’s Red Mill just announced not only that they are FINALLY offering
    New GF Cornmeal, Corn Flour, and Corn Grits on their dedicated lines, but that they are available at a 25% discount for the month of May.

Events:

DC Celiacs is having its quarterly meeting on Saturday, May 16th.

Speaker: Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD, LD; Harris Whole Health
Topic: Going Gluten-Free and Still Fitting into Your Jeans!.

Location — Davis Community Library (Large meeting room, downstairs) –
2 p.m.
Address: 6400 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda, MD 20817, (240) 777-0922

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Whether you are dealing with Celiac Disease, food allergies, picky eaters, children on the Autistic spectrum, chronic illness, or if you just want to feel and look better, Cheryl can help you achieve your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here or call 571-271-8742.

Are you getting the nutrients you need on a GF diet?

 

Classes:
Nutrients on a GF diet
Local news and events

Living and Loving a GF Diet

Saturday, Sept 26th 11:00-12:30

  • Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and the importance of testing
  • All you ever wanted to know about label reading
  • Foods to avoid, cross contamination and hidden gluten
  • Sorting out the facts from common myths
  • Where to get support-local and online groups, websites, books

To register, see http://www.harriswholehealth.com/services The class cost is $20 per person, or bring a friend for 2 people for $35.

Are you getting the nutrients you need on a gluten free diet?

When people start off on a gluten free diet, step one is figuring a way to take out all the gluten, and get adjusted to this new way of living and eating.  But as life starts to ease back to normal, it’s important to take the second step and eat a diet with all of the nutrients you need to feel better, allow your intestines to heal, and live well.

Years ago, studies showed that many people weren’t getting enough iron and B vitamins, so the US government decided to fortify our breads, cereals, etc.  However, GF foods are considered specialty foods, and there are no laws about enrichment. Many GF foods are not fortified, so it’s not surprising that researchers have found that many people on a gluten free diet are eating less of these key nutrients than general population.   People on a gluten free diet also seem to be eating less calcium, fiber and grains than recommended, especially among women.

Calcium:

Calcium is particularly important to people with Celiac disease, since osteoporosis often occurs due to intestinal damage from CD, which can cause malabsorption of calcium and Vitamin D.  Also, many people with Celiac disease avoid dairy due to lactose intolerance.   In a study of people on a GF diet, less than a third of the women ate the recommended amounts of calcium, although most men did get the amounts recommended. When people start off on a gluten free diet, step one is figuring a way to take out all the gluten, and get adjusted to this new way of living and eating.  But as life starts to ease back to normal, it’s important to take the second step and eat a diet with all of the nutrients you need to feel better, allow your intestines to heal, and live well.

Iron:

A survey of people on a gluten free diet found that less than half of women are getting recommended amounts of iron.  This is particularly important, since many people with Celiac disease are anemic before going gluten free due to the constant intestinal damage and irritation.  Anemia often causes fatigue, weakness and poor concentration.   Liver and organ meats are great sources of iron, but there are a variety of foods and ways of combining foods with vitamin C that can help raise iron levels, too.

Fiber:

Most Americans are getting less fiber than recommended, and getting enough fiber can be even more challenging on a gluten free diet, since many high fiber cereals, breads and bars are off limits.   Fiber is best known for its help keeping people regular, but it is important in helping lower risk of heart disease and diabetes, too.

So what’s a gluten free gal (or guy) to do?

  • Take a (gluten free!) multivitamin
  • Choose fortified gluten free products
  • If you avoid dairy products, find other calcium fortified beverages and other high calcium foods
  • If you are feeling tired, talk to your doctor about getting your iron level tested.
  • Make sure you’re getting enough fiber!  Beans, flaxseed, and whole grain GF foods are a great source of fiber.
  • Consider speaking to a dietitian to make sure you’re getting what you need!

News:

The Center for Celiac Awareness is hosting the annual Gluten Free Cooking Spree on May 1st.  It’s always a good time, good food and tons of samples.  It’s $50 if you register by April 15th.

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please email cheryl@harriswholehealth.com or call 571-271-8742.

 

Passover: A GF Dream

  • GF class
  • GF foods for Passover
  • Healthy GF Recipe Contest

Living and Loving a GF Diet

Saturday, March 7th 11:00-12:30

  • Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and the importance of testing
  • All you ever wanted to know about label reading
  • Foods to avoid, cross contamination and hidden gluten
  • Sorting out the facts from common myths
  • Where to get support-local and online groups, websites, books

The class cost is $20 per person, or bring a friend for 2 people for $35.  To register, see http://www.harriswholehealth.com/services

Passover as a source of great GF foods!

Passover isn’t here until the beginning of April, but many of the products are already starting to appear in grocery stores.  Not all Passover foods are gluten free, but many are, and there’s a much wider selection than usual at the grocery store.  This can be a good time to stock up on GF cakes and mixes, cookies, macaroons, “bread” crumbs and supplies like potato starch.  As an added bonus for people with multiple restrictions, most Kosher for Passover products contain no corn or soy products, either.

In a nutshell, the basic rule of foods for Passover is no leavened foods, which eliminates normal breads, cakes etc.  Matzo, (an unleavened bread usually made from wheat) is eaten, but aside from Matzo and matzo meal, (also potentially listed as cake meal or farfel) many products are gluten free.  So anything containing matza, cake meal, matza meal, matza flour, etc. contains gluten. If you find products labeled “non-gebrok or gebroktz or grebrochts” (or another spelling variation) they’re non-grain containing and therefore safe on a GF diet. Often Kosher for Passover products and cakes are made of potato flour or nut meals rather than wheat or glutinous grains.

  • As always in the GF world, read labels carefully.  Kosher and Kosher for Passover are two different things entirely.  Kosher for Passover foods will be labeled “May be used for Passover” or have a symbol that says OUP.  I have often seen “regular” Kosher foods in the Passover section at grocery stores, so please do check the labels for gluten containing ingredients.
  • Keep in mind that some of the foods are imported from other countries, and therefore not under the 2006 US labeling laws.  So a label will still say matzo, but may not say wheat explicitly or have the disclaimer stating that it contains wheat.
  • Most Kosher for Passover products will have to adhere to strict standards for cross contamination from a religious perspective, but again, buyer beware and no guarantees.  “Made in a factory” claims are still not regulated.
  • From a gluten free perspective, possibly the best part of Passover is AFTER Passover, when all of the great GF goodies are on sale!  Passover ends April 16th, so mark your calendars, because the word has gotten out in GF circles.

Back when you really couldn’t get GF prepared foods in the regular grocery store, this was a much bigger deal.  But it’s still nicer to have an expanded selection, and nicest of all is AFTER Passover, when all of the products are on sale!

Healthy GF Recipe contest:

The entries for the ‘09 contest are up! You can vote for your favorites.  It’s not too late to enter your favorite, and there are great prizes. http://www.harriswholehealth.com/gfrecipe09

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please email cheryl@harriswholehealth.com or call 571-271-8742.

 

 

GF and Healthy–February Newsletter

Gluten free whole grains:

Most of us start out on a gluten free diet with a lot of rice and potatoes.  I remember when I bought my first bag of quinoa. I didn’t know how to cook it or what it tasted like. Needless to say, it stayed in my cabinet for an awfully long time.  But there’s a great world of gluten free whole grains out there, from the familiar, like brown and wild rice, to the more exotic, like quinoa, buckwheat and beyond.

Health experts agree that whole grains play a role in weight management, lowering risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease and inflammation, too.When people think whole grains, often thoughts of wheat bread and oat bran come to mind.So where does that leave the gluten free community? The good news is that whether you enjoy crunchy, chewy or soft grains, there’s one that will work for you, and there are plenty to choose from.

Brown rice: This doesn’t require a lot of explanation.  It’s readily available and inexpensive.  It takes a long time to cook (around an hour), or you can always go for Uncle Ben’s. More and more companies are selling frozen or bagged brown rice, which makes it quick and easy.  To keep things interesting, there are varieties like Bhutanese Red Rice, which cooks in 25-30 minutes, or Chinese Black Rice, which turns a beautiful purple color when cooked.

Wild rice: It’s widely available, and has more of many vitamins and minerals than brown rice.  It has a nutty flavor, and works very well in soups, hot or cold salads, casseroles, as a stuffing for poultry or vegetables, or as a pilaf. Like brown rice, it freezes well.

Quinoa: this one of the easiest “beginner” GF grains.  In the past few years, it’s gained popularity among gluten eaters and non-gluten eaters alike.  Quinoa is actually not a grain, but the seeds of a plant.  Quinoa is a traditional Incan food and is considered a “superfood” due to the fact that it’s a wonderful source of iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc and a vegetarian complete source of protein, meaning it has all of the amino acids that are needed in the body.  Quinoa is a relatively firm grain with a consistency like couscous, just a little larger.  It cooks in just 15-20 minutes.  It works well in casseroles, pilafs, as a stuffing for vegetables or poultry, or just by itself.  Quinoa flakes are also available, and these substitute well for oatmeal in cooking and baking.

Buckwheat: There’s much more to buckwheat than pancakes! Buckwheat is completely unrelated to wheat and actually is a distant relative of rhubarb. Buckwheat is a great source of protein, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and several B vitamins. The edible portion, or groat, is also known as kasha. It has a nutty flavor, which becomes stronger if toasted (whether that is desirable is a matter of personal preference). Buckwheat is a great pilaf, side dish, stuffing, or hot breakfast cereal and cooks in just 20 minutes. It is also sold as Soba noodles, but check labels carefully: most Soba noodles are a mix of buckwheat and wheat.

In more exotic territory, there’s millet, teff, sorghum, and amaranth, too, which are a story for another day.

By now, hopefully you’re convinced that there are a lot of great gluten free grain options out there. But for most people, the hardest hurdle is just getting started trying them! If someone put a bowl of plain rice in front of you, chances are you wouldn’t be terribly inspired by the taste. So here are a few hints for cooking whole grains:

  • Cook the grains in broth instead of water.
  • Sauté some garlic or ginger and/or vegetables, then add in the required amount of broth or water and grains, and cook as directed.
  • Add in herbs, spices, a squirt of lemon, etc.

 

Or, if you’re nearby, come to the GF and Healthy Class on Feb 21st!  We’ll be talking about gluten free whole grains, other great sources of fiber, and ways to make sure to eat a balanced gluten free diet.

Classes:

GF and Healthy

Feb 21st, 2009, 11:00-1:00

For more information or to register, please see http://www.harriswholehealth.com/services
*Different GF whole grains and flours and how to use them
*Many GF ways to get fiber
*Easy ways to make meals and baked goods healthier
*And much more!

We will be making a tasty quinoa dish, and there will be other yummy treats.
Location: 3345 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA

also,
Living and Loving a GF Diet
Saturday,March 7th
11:00-12:30
* Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and the importance of testing
* All you ever wanted to know about label reading
* Foods to avoid, cross contamination and hidden gluten
* Sorting out the facts from common myths
* Where to get support-local and online groups, websites, books

2nd Annual GF and Healthy Recipe Contest!
Submission and rules here

You could win cookbooks, GF goodies, and of course, bragging rights!  Submit your recipe by Feb 15th, 2009.


Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Whether you are dealing with Celiac Disease, food allergies, picky eaters, children on the Autistic spectrum, chronic illness, or if you just want to feel and look better, Cheryl can help you achieve your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here or call 571-271-8742.

Label reading: Jan ’09

Happy New Year!

One of the most common questions I hear as a dietitian from people with Celiac Disease or allergies is about the “made in a factory containing wheat” or “made on lines shared with wheat” disclaimer statements on packaged goods.  The confusion is completely understandable, because at this point, those statements are not regulated or defined by the FDA.  These are also voluntary statements.  If you don’t see them, there are no assurances that a factory does not also produce products with wheat.

Even worse, the Chicago Tribune did two great articles in November on allergy labeling.  They looked at products from Wellshire Farms specifically labeled gluten free, and did independent testing.  Different products came back with levels ranging from 116 ppm to 2,200 ppm (current research suggests that 20 ppm may be the maximum safe limit).  Unfortunately, this can happen because even the term “gluten free” is not yet regulated, although the FDA has proposed a standard for products labeled gluten free.

So where does that leave us? First, as a group,  the Celiac and allergy community has a lot of influence, through our voices and collective buying power. The FDA has a comment period specifically on these statements.  More information is here and comments are welcome through January 14th, 2009.

It is possible to find companies that use testing methods or have dedicated wheat free facilities, and organizations such as the Gluten Intolerance Group have certification programs. Celiac Sprue Association also has a list of companies with safe products.   Some places, like Allergy Grocer, give a lot of information about how each product is manufactured.

Remember, you can always call companies and ask questions about how products are manufactured, and decide how comfortable you feel with the answers you receive. Experts suggest that with good manufacturing practices, many products are safe even if they are manufactured on shared lines.  Also, many people eating conventionally manufactured foods have healed intestines and normalized blood levels, which is really the overall goal.  If you still have discomfort or elevated blood levels, your doctor may well recommend that you cut out all products that are made on shared lines until your intestines heal.

The moral of the story is that there isn’t a clear cut answer based on current labels as to what may or may not contain cross contamination.  Using common sense is always a good idea–there’s likely more risk when buying flour and baked products.  It’s also good to keep all of it in perspective.  Any time you eat at a restaurant, there is a considerable risk of cross contamination as well and potentially fewer precautions taken than in most factories.

Upcoming classes

Gluten Free and Healthy

Feb 7th, 2009 11:00-1:00

For more information or to register, please see http://www.harriswholehealth.com/services

*Different GF whole grains and flours and how to use them
*Many GF ways to get fiber
*Easy ways to make meals and baked goods healthier
*And much more!

This class is 2 hours, and we will be making a tasty quinoa dish.
Location: 3345 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA

Each class is $25 per person, or bring a friend for 2 people for $40. There will be tasty goodies and prizes!

Gluten free Healthy Recipe Contest:

Details on the ’09 contest coming soon! http://www.harriswholehealth.com/recipe-contest

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Whether you are dealing with Celiac Disease, food allergies, picky eaters, children on the Autistic spectrum, chronic illness, or if you just want to feel and look better, Cheryl can help you achieve your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here or call 571-271-8742.

Holiday GF Newsletter Dec ’08

The holiday season is usually filled with fabulous food and opportunities to eat at every turn. With a little time and planning, you can enjoy all sorts of great food, even with food restrictions.

We’re lucky that there are more and more recipes out there that taste just like the real thing. But for most people, it’s easier to make some treats that happen to be gluten free, rather than gluten free adaptations of “normal” foods. Foods that are naturally gluten free avoid the expense of specialty flours. Also, it can take a few tries to find a GF flour mix that you and your family likes. I know I’ve had my share of “learning experiences” along the way. My chief guinea pig, (AKA my husband,) used to call them my incredible inedibles. It also avoids the complaints of friends or family who aren’t willing to try GF foods just because they’ve decided they won’t like it. There are a lot of treats which just happen to be GF, or mostly GF. You can find recipes in normal cookbooks, or maybe you have family recipes and didn’t realize they were safe! Here’s a list of treats from which I put together with the help of many folks at my classes. I’ve marked the desserts that are dairy free (DF), egg free (EF) and soy free (SF), because many people are dealing with several issues. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the number of things you can still have! Remember, these foods are only GF if you use GF ingredients.

Also, here are recipes from last year’s holiday GF cookie exchange, and a variety of holiday GF recipe roundups from around the web.

Upcoming classes:

Gluten Free and Healthy

Feb 7th, 2009 11:00-1:00

For more information or to register, please see http://www.harriswholehealth.com/services
*Different GF whole grains and flours and how to use them
*Many GF ways to get fiber
*Easy ways to make meals and baked goods healthier
*And much more!

This class is 2 hours, and we will be making a tasty quinoa dish.
Location: 3345 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA

Each class is $25 per person, or bring a friend for 2 people for $40. There will be tasty goodies and prizes!

Holiday tips:

The holiday season can be a time of overindulgence, expanding waistlines and a lot of temptation, especially for people with food restrictions. Here are some ways to enjoy the spirit of the season and favorite holiday foods, while staying healthy, too.

Get Prepared: It’s not fun to sit in a room full of people eating delicious (off limits) foods while you sit quietly drinking your water and nibbling a carrot stick.  Have a box of GF cookies, Clementines, or your favorite chocolate at work, or bring an apple crisp along with you to a party.   Make sure your children have treats stashed at school so they don’t feel left out, either.

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, gluten free 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 treats every day will add up.

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 dish in a cupboard and move the cookies where you won’t have constant temptation. Instead, put fruits on the counter or in your refrigerator where they are easy to grab. Seasonal fruits in the winter months include Clementines, oranges, pineapples, grapefruits, grapes, pomegranates, persimmons, mangos, and more.

Fill your table with fruit and veggie dishes: Have your holiday meals feature seasonal vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, collards or other greens. Have soups, roasted veggies, sautéed green beans, and much more. Make roasted chestnuts as a snack. Have a fruit inspired dessert, like baked apples, poached pears, sautéed bananas, etc.

Soups: as long as they’re not cream based, most soups are a healthy snack or part of a filling meal. Chicken and turkey soup with brown or wild rice, butternut squash soup, lentil soups and other beans soups are a great way to stay warm and enjoy seasonal flavors.

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, 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 classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Whether you are dealing with Celiac Disease, food allergies, picky eaters, chronic illness, or if you just want to improve your diet, Cheryl can help you achieve your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, click here or call 571-271-8742.


Thanksgiving 08: GF newsletter

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! Here’s a list of 40 recipes and round ups for GF Thanksgiving recipes from around the web.

Also, here’s a run down of the usual foods, and what you need to plan for:

Turkey

Though it’s always good to check, the good news is that all plain fresh turkey is naturally gluten free. However, self-basting turkeys usually contain gluten. Most gravy packets are a problem, too. Here’s my turkey list with information on many brands of turkey, plus other common Thanksgiving main meals.

If you’re not hosting Thanksgiving at your house, talk to your host as soon as you can. If they haven’t already bought a turkey, they may be open to buying a different brand. In addition to the brand of turkey, you’ll need to talk about:

  • Broth used for basting
  • Seasonings
  • Stuffing in the turkey
  • Cross contamination
  • 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 GF cornbread or premade bread crumbs.

Gravy

Almost all canned gravy and gravy packets are not GF. However, it’s pretty easy to make a simple gravy with GF broth and cornstarch instead of wheat (and if corn is a problem for you, arrowroot can be substituted 1:1 instead). Or, try this recipe using xanthan gum as a thickener from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

Side dishes

There are lots of good options here. Green bean casserole, 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.

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, 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.

One last thought: we sometimes get so busy during the holiday season that it’s easy to forget that the point of Thanksgiving is to give thanks for friends, family, and the many gifts in our lives. Happy and healthy Thanksgiving, from my family to yours!

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Whether you are dealing with Celiac Disease, food allergies, picky eaters, chronic illness, or if you just want to improve your diet, Cheryl can help you achieve your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, click here or call 571-271-8742.

Thanksgiving Roundup

Here’s a list of information from many major brands of turkey. This list was last updated on Nov  2016. Please note: NONE of the brands contain gluten in their plain, unstuffed turkeys. Some hams DO contain gluten, and so does holiday Tofurky.Please let me know if there are any broken links!

Thanksgiving tips, tricks and a ton of recipes HERE

General turkey tips:

  • Fresh, plain turkeys that are not stuffed are naturally gluten free
  • All regular stuffed turkeys contain gluten, even if you don’t eat the stuffing.
  • Check the gravy/seasoning packets very carefully. Some are g-free, but some are not.

Turkey/Ham/etc.:

Aaron’s Best
Shipped Kosher turkey, goose, duck, etc. WITH GF stuffings (buckwheat, quinoa or rice). Pricey, but wow!
Here’s their product list.

Butterball
800-288-8372
http://www.butterball.com/

D’artagnan
(800) 327-8246
“All of our raw products are Gluten free..” via email,

Empire Kosher Poultry
717-436-5921

Esskay and Mash Hams
1800-638-7350
“Esskay and Mash hams gluten free.” Via email, November 2011.

Honeybaked Ham

http://www.honeybaked.com/

Per website, Nov 2014 “Please note: You are now free to enjoy any of our signature meats (HoneyBaked Ham, Sliced & Glazed Turkey, Hickory Boneless Ham) without wheat gluten!”

Honeysuckle White

316 -683-4691
Honeysuckle White Turkeys are GF, but some of their other products have gluten.  A list of products that DO have gluten here. All other products are GF, according to the manufacturer. Updated Nov 2014

Hormel Foods
1-800-523-4635
Gluten-free list includes turkey products and ham, too. (updated Nov 2014)

Jennie-O
800-523-4635
Listing of all GF products

Manor House (Safeway brand)
877-723-3929

“The Safeway Brand Holiday Turkeys, fresh or frozen are Gluten Free.”

Perdue
800-473-7383
Are your products gluten free? “Yes. Many PERDUE® products are free of gluten. Perdue chickens, chicken parts and turkeys are all gluten-free. These are sold fresh, as well as frozen, and some are flavored with seasonings.”

Plainville Farms

http://www.plainvillefarms.com

800-724-0206
“Yes, our turkey is gluten free and casein free. However, our turkey gravy and our homestyle dressing contain wheat.” Nov 2013

Shadybrook Farms
1-888-723-4468
The majority of Shady Brook Farms® products do not contain Gluten. However, the following list of products do contain Gluten:
While some Tofurky products are now certified gluten-free, holiday tofurky products are wheat based. (updated Nov 3 2014)

Wellshire Farms
(856) 769-8933

Wellshire Farms’ website labels each product for the presence of gluten, casein, and a range of allergens. Some hams DO contain gluten.

Gravy:

Trader Joe’s, Mc Cormick and Whole Foods have gluten-free gravies.

* Disclaimer: This information is based on websites, email and telephone correspondence and is intended for informational purposes only and not as medical advice. Harris Whole Health is not responsible for any changes in ingredient lists, and always recommends double checking all labels.*

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and classes in Fairfax and Alexandria, VA to help people eat healthier and feel better! Whether you are dealing with Celiac Disease, food allergies, picky eaters, chronic illness, or if you just want to improve your diet, Cheryl can help you achieve your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, click here or call 571-271-8742.