Breakfast Basics-GF Sept 08

As many of us head back to school or work, it’s a good time to start thinking about getting a healthy breakfast to start the day.  We need energy to study, work, and play!  Many studies have shown improvements in concentration and learning for children who eat breakfast, and starting the day with a healthy breakfast helps adults, too.  There are great options from both the regular grocery store and specialty products.

Some mainstream breakfast options are naturally gluten free, like Rice Chex, Cream of Rice, most kinds of yogurt, cottage cheese and fruit, even plain grits!  Sprinkle in a spoon or two of ground flax seed to get in a little extra fiber.  Or, get creative with eggs: scrambled eggs, omelets, huevos rancheros, or even hard boiled for an on the go breakfast.  Many kinds of breakfast meats, like sausage or bacon are also GF.

More and more cereal companies have special gluten free versions of the usual suspects.  Perky’s has Perky Os and Nutty Flax and Enjoy Life has a bunch of cereals and granolas.  As a plus, these cereals are fortified with vitamins.  EnviroKidz has some for children of all ages, like Gorilla Munch and Koala Kids, and these are in most local supermarkets.  And, of course, more stores sell GF bagels, muffins, scones, or other sweet breakfast treats.

As the days get cooler, hot cereals are a great way to start the day with fiber and whole grains.  Most GF grains cook up nicely as hot cereals, like kasha (buckwheat), millet, amaranth, teff, etc.  It’s easy to make a big pot and have them all week long. Bob’s Red Mill has a few nice options, like Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal. Don’t forget about GF certified oatmeal, which can be found at specialty stores or online.

You can also think beyond usual breakfast foods for a change of pace.  Soups or any kind of leftovers work well, and you’re only limited by your imagination!

GF Classes in Alexandria, VA:

The Art of Living GF

How, why and when to go gluten free
Saturday, October 4th
11:00-12:30

  • Sorting out the facts from common myths
  • All you ever wanted to know about label reading
  • Foods to avoid, cross contamination and hidden gluten
  • Books, resources, samples, and much more!

This is great for people who are familiar with the basics but still have some questions.  It’s also a great opportunity to educate family and friends to support you better!

School Meals:

Do you have a child with Celiac Disease?  American Celiac Disease Alliance just put out new information on school meals for children with Celiac Disease.  This is a great source of information on the Americans with Disabilities Act, 504 plans, and how they relate to CD.  For more info, please contact info@americanceliac.org

Seasonal grilled veggies:

As the weather gets a little cooler, it’s a great time to add vegetables onto the grill!  Make or buy kebabs with yellow squash, zucchini, mushrooms, red peppers and onions.  Or, use sliced of eggplant.  Drizzle with a small amount of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill until done.   Simple and delicious!  You can also grill corn.

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.

GF Summertime–August 08

Since it’s summer time, this will be a mini newsletter with tidbits from around the web:

Gluten free news:

There’s new research by Dr. Fasano on where and how gluten causes damage in the intestines of people with Celiac Disease.  Here’s an article summarizing the findings.

The rules, they are a changin’

In the past, traveling abroad poses some challenges, since many countries follow guidelines known as the Codex Alimentarius, which defines under 200ppm as gluten free (most experts in this country recommend under 20 ppm).  However, it’s been reported that they’ve decided to lower their limit to 20 ppm.

Canada has become more proactive as well, and has announced new proposed regulations that all gluten sources must be labeled.

Speaking of the new limit, the official ruling on what can, and can’t, be labeled GF in the US is due out in August, 2008, so stay tuned!  However, unlike Canada and abroad, in the US the new ruling is ONLY voluntary.  Essentially, if a company wants to label something as GF, they must comply with the rules, but most of our food supply will still not be required to have gluten information on the label.

Local Events:

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NCFA) is hosting a special Celiac Awareness Night on Saturday, August 16th for a game against the Colorado Rockies.

Triumph Dining is giving away their dining cards.  But it gets even better!  If enough people take them up on it, they’ll donate to a Celiac related charity.

Good news for multi-allergic chocolate lovers!  Enjoy life has new gluten/dairy/soy/nut free chocolate bars that will be at Whole Foods in August. There’s even a crispy rice bar!

Recipe and info round-up:

We’re seeing GF recipes in the mainstream more and more!  Emeril had a recent episode, with recipes that are gluten free, dairy free, egg free and nut free!  The included a brownie, wraps and more.

A local teen with Celiac Disease, Mike Perlman, has a GF cookbook out called Cookies for Breakfast. While perhaps this is not the healthiest cookbook out there, the proceeds go toward the Juvenile Diabetes and Celiac Disease research.  There was an article about in the Washington Post a few weeks back.

In the mood for some BBQ?  Here’s a bunch of gluten free recipes

The Gluten Free Goddess has a round up of her favorite gluten free products here.

Have a great 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.

Dining out GF–July 2008

Gluten free dining:

One of the most common question I hear from clients is about dining out.  Is it safe?  Where can you go?  How do you KNOW they’re taking our health concerns seriously?

Last month’s newsletter focused on travel, and whether you’re close to home or on a trip, eating out with food restrictions requires some planning for a safe and enjoyable meal.

A good place to start is with a restaurants with a GF menu, or one recommended by others on a gluten free diet.  For the Northern VA area, I’ve just posted a list of places either with a GF menu, or places that will accommodate the GF diet.  For DC, the DC Celiacs group has a great guide through the yahoo group.   Triumph Dining has a good national guide, Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) has a national listing.  Alocal or national list serv is a good place to get great ideas, like the Silly Yak’s Yahoo site, the St John’s Celiac listserv, or the Delphi group.  Or, if you’re gluten and dairy free, GFCF Recipes is a great place to get thoughts.  When you’re traveling some place unfamiliar, you can do a google search for GF blogs, CSA chapters, or ROCK groups.   Or, just choose restaurants more likely to have GF options, like grills, sushi, East Indian and Thai.  If you can, look for a menu online or call ahead.

It’s a good idea to dine early and avoid the dinner rush so restaurants can take the time to understand and meet your needs.  When you arrive, explain your diet simply.  Explaining Celiac as an allergy is easier than a medical discussion, and it’s often better understood.  If you have a dining card, bring that along, too!  Once you’ve figured out a safe entree, make sure you discuss cross contamination, including:

  • changing gloves
  • using a separate cutting board, pans, utensils, etc.
  • a dedicated fryer
  • no glutenous garnishes or rolls!

Make sure that the server understands your needs.  If not, it may be necessary to speak to a manager or chef, or (when possible) to leave.  When your meal arrives, always double check with your server before you begin to eat.

Definitely discuss the diet, even if it’s a place you’ve gone before, and even at a place with a GF menu.  New staff may not be well trained, and menus are ALWAYS changing!  Just because those fries were safe last time doesn’t mean they are safe today.

If you have a good experience, be sure to thank staff and leave a nice tip!  Whether your experience is good or bad, you may consider writing a letter or emailing management.  Feedback is important, and you’re helping yourself and others have a good experience in the future.

Recipes:

So many summer time recipes are naturally gluten free and use the fresh fruits and vegetables in season!  There are a lot of great summertime salads, like fruit salads, bean salads,  or even pasta salads by substituting gluten free pasta.  You can do a sorbet, like this Simple Strawberry Sorbet, and smoothies are easy and perfect for summer.  How about blueberry corn pancakes, a summertime tomato salad, a quinoa black bean salad or an apple mint salad? Also, grilled veggies are a great edition to any cookout.

Here’s a list of summertime favorites from the Gluten Free Goddess, who always has tasty treats.

News:

Survey for parents of children with Celiac Disease:

The American Celiac Disease Alliance has an online survey on the availability of gluten-free lunches for school aged students with Celiac disease. The survey will help ACDA to work with parents so their children can have gluten-free meals during the upcoming (2008-2009) school year.

To complete the survey go to www.americanceliac.org/news.htm and click on `What’s for Lunch?”  The survey will remain open through Sunday, July 20, 2008.

Celiac Awareness Night at the Nationals:

The Washington Nationals and the National Foundation for Celiac Awarenss have partnered for a special game on August 16th.  There are more details here!

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.

Gluten Free on the Go–June 08

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.

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:

  • Fruits
  • Veggies
  • Canned beans
  • Canned tuna
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Rice Chex
  • Cream of Rice
  • Nuts
  • Dinty Moore Stew
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Plain tortilla chips
  • Plain potato chips
  • Fruit leather
  • Corn tortillas
  • Dried fruit

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! 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.

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!

Local events:

  • The Northern VA CSA is hosting “Northern VA Celiac Forum” on Saturday, June 21, 2008 9-1pm at Inova Fairfax Hospital. There are more details here or contact Daniel at 571-289-5675

Local news:

Could it be? National’s Stadium is serving GF pretzels and GF beer!

Recipe:

This recipe is quick, easy, simple, tasty and nutritious. It’s one of my favorites for breakfast or a quick snack. Enjoy!

Banana Skillet Bread

Ingredients

1 cup teff
1 cup sorghum flour
1 T mesquite flour*
1Tablespoons +1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup hazelnuts, brazil nuts, pecans or walnuts
pinch of salt

Wet:
2 uber ripe bananas
1 level tablespoon +1 teaspoon ground flax seeds
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1/3 cup sparkling (bubbly) water, ‘milk’, or juice

Grease a 10 inch cast iron skillet with coconut oil. Preheat oven to 350.

Thoroughly mix dry ingredients together. Dump wet ingredients (not water) in a blender. Let it roll until well blended. In my vitamix, that takes less than a minute. I would assume an ordinary blender would take a few minutes. Then add in water and add wet to dry, mix until well everything is well combined, but don’t overmix (i.e. no more dry stuff, but no need for a workout)

Bake for 30 minutes or until top turns a beautiful golden brown. Cool on a drying rack 5 minute, then turn out.

* if you don’t have access to mesquite flour, you can just use a whole cup of sorghum or teff, and increase the amount of maple extract to 1 teaspoon, or add in an extra pinch of cinnamon to give more flavor.

~from Cheryl’s kitchen ©2007

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 in Season: May newsletter

Something in Season
Classes
Summer or spring rolls
Make your voice heard!
NoVA/DC/MD resource page

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, 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)
Here are some links to get information on Farmer’s Markets in your area:
Nationwide listing of USDA Farmer’s Markets
Nationwide listing that includes markets, farms, farm stands, CSAs etc.

Classes:

GF and Healthy

Saturday, May 31st, 2008
11:00-1:00

  • Different whole grains how to use them
  • Many GF ways to get fiber
  • Healthy fats
  • Glycemic load and foods

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

Recipes:
Summer or Spring rolls:
Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner, so this is a perfect time for these! You can fill them with any vegetable, and if you wish, you can include cooked meat or shrimp. Personally, I prefer just veggies.

Children love these, and often are having too much fun dipping to realize they’re getting their veggies. Rice paper is easy to work with once you get the hang of it.

Ingredients:
12 lettuce leaves
2 cups shredded carrots
about 1/3 napa cabbage, sliced very thinly
1/2 yellow, red or orange pepper, sliced thinly
1 cup bean sprouts
1/3 cup mint leaves
1/3 cup cilantro or basil

15 rice paper wraps (a few extra in case of mistakes)
Have a large dish of warm water and all of your veggies arranged. Put the rice paper in warm water. Grab a piece of lettuce. Arrange the rice paper on the plate. Put down the lettuce leaf and a small handful of the “filler” veggies. Roll up! If the paper rips, you can double wrap.

It takes a few tries to get the hang of it, and often less is more. Don’t overstuff! For a crash course, you can always come to my GF and healthy class in Alexandria, VA.

Serve with Thai dipping sauce or peanut sauce.

Make your voice heard!!!

Congress is considering HConRes 70, a bill to increase awareness of Celiac Disease, designate a Celiac Awareness month, provide money for research and support the provision of services by a Registered Dietitian. This bill is supported by the American Celiac Disease Alliance, the American Dietetic Association, the American Gastroenterology Association, the American Osteopathic Association and more. For more information and to contact your representative, go to http://www.americanceliac.org/advocacy.htm

NoVA/DC/MD resource page:

I’ve added a page of resources for this area, including nearby events, stores with GF lists, and local support group information. If you have an event you’d like listed, please drop me a line.

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.