Sprouting Garlic (low FODMAP)

garlic-4
Sprouted garlic

It’s a strange time right now. I know, the understatement of the century. A month ago, I/we were all out and about and didn’t know how much would have changed, and how fast, and yet here we are. So…

The good news is that you can sprout garlic pretty quickly and use the shoots the same way you might use scallion tops. Monash hasn’t tested garlic sprouts yet, but similar foods, like the green parts of scallions and leeks are usually well-tolerated, so it may be worth giving this a go if you miss your garlic! It’s easy to do now, even if you don’t have a lot of space or light.

Whether you’re low FODMAP and avoiding garlic, or looking for a fun DIY experiment to entertain yourself, or looking for something to entertain your kids, hopefully you can get your hands on garlic and some dirt, because that’s all you’ll need for this little experiment. This is perfect weather for sprouting it outside in Virginia right now.

Love garlic? You’re not alone. For many of my clients on a low FODMAP diet, missing garlic is the biggest complaint. Sure, there are scallions and chives, and garlic infused oil, but…there’s nothing like the real thing!

I sprouted these in a few weeks in a tiny pot on my shady patio, so if it works there…it’s likely to work in any pot during Autumn, Spring or Summer.

Preparing the plant will only take a few minutes.

Take a large clove of garlic with the peel still on it.

garlic-1

Put it in the soil with the pointy end up, and then cover with just ½ inch of soil

garlic-2

Water…and watch!

garlic-3

This is at 3 weeks.

garlic-4

Let me know how it goes for you. And if you actually want to grow garlic bulbs itself and not just the shoots, you want to plant it deeper, generally 1.5 inches.

And a special bonus–sprouted garlic seems to have even more antioxidants than regular garlic.

Stay home, stay safe and wishing everyone the best.

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, currently only virtually! Cheryl works with people to feel and look their best with a range of specialties, including Celiac Disease, IBS, and a range of tummy troubles,  promoting great health 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 Things I Love

chocolate almond cup

Things I love…and things I don’t

Chocolate almond cup
Chocolate almond cup

Hope you’re having a cozy Wintertime.

Here are a few interesting studies, and a quick and yummy gluten-free AND low FODMAP dessert you can make in 5 minutes. Yep, 5 minutes!!! It’s a chocolate almond cup for two. And then what I don’t love, and how you can make your voice heard.

tuxedo strawberries
Tuxedo Strawberries

And if quick, easy and delicious isn’t your thing, here are other Valentine’s day recipes I love to make.

Fun—SELF magazine shared my favorite book on relationship with food. Any guesses? It’s a great list they’ve put together.

Research:

Where in the world is the most Celiac? Here’s the most current research. What’s new/interesting? Celiac is more common in women than men. Interestingly, this study showed it was least common in South America, followed by Africa, North America, Asia, Europe and Oceania (includes Australia). This indicates that Celiac seems to be more common in Asia than in years past.

Trace amounts of gluten are common, even among people who believe they are strictly gluten-free. This is a small study…but caught my eye, especially as there’s been a push for ways for people to be less vigilant. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Menal health is an issue “without a doubt” for people with IBD. It’s hard, physically and emotionally! This matches what I see.

And now for what I DON’T like

General Mills is considering a new “Gluten Friendly” claim:*Gluten friendly in this context means items manufactured without gluten-containing ingredients. General Mills does not claim these items meet FDA requirements for “gluten-free” because of the possibility for cross-contamination with gluten, including due to shared cooking and prep areas in kitchens.

My take: OMG no. Gluten and I are not friends. The FDA defined gluten-free for a reason. The GF is recognizable and understood to mean gluten-free. They are being deliberately misleading.

Worse, these products are designed for food service—think hospitals, long-term care facilities, etc. These are often captive audiences, who believe they are getting gluten-free foods. As mentioned in the research above, many people are getting more gluten than they can safely tolerate already.

I know you’ve heard this rant from me before, but it’s upsetting. While I have no problem with people eating gluten-free because they just feel better, I worry about people who need to be strictly gluten-free for medical reasons. The underlying problem here is that even if you choose not to eat General Mills foods, if a big company decides to do this, and gets away with it, it will pave the way for others to do the same.

Fortunately, Gluten-free Watchdog is collecting comments, because this line is still in the “proposed” phase. Please send your comments along. This is when you want to make your voice heard.

Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellcoach in Fairfax, VA.  She helps people with a range of dietary issues, including Celiac Disease, digestive issues, food allergies, 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.

Happy G-Free Holidays

Christmas Meringues!

Something for everyone!

More recipes from around the web:

Wishing you a peaceful & joyful season!

Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellcoach in Fairfax, VA.  She helps people with a range of dietary issues, including Celiac Disease, digestive issues, 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.

 

Diet for IBD

“Dining with Inflammatory Bowel Disease” is such a great article by Dr. Gu and Dr. Feagins. It’s a review covering research about the dietary causes and treatment of IBD. If you can, read the whole thing. It was limited access before, which motivated me to write up this summary, but now it’s open access.

In terms of what *may* trigger, or increase the likelihood of IBD:

IBD is increasing…and associated with a Western lifestyle. Many suspect diet is a main component of that.

General beliefs

  • Nearly half of people with IBD believe diet contributes to the development of the disease
  • 69% of people say they get little to no info from providers.
  • Info found on online is often restrictive, conflicting and of poor quality.

What diet components might contribute?

  • Meat—especially red meat, may be a component. When meat is digested and broken down in the gut, it releases hydrogen sulfide, which might be a part of the development of UC. There are several potential mechanisms, including that the gut mucosa may be more permeable to pathogens. While studies are mixed in their findings of the relationship between meat and IBD, there is generally a trend toward finding that relationship, and a prospective study showed that people with UC who had a higher red meat consumption had a greater risk of relapse.
  • Fat—a Western diet tends to have inflammatory fats. There’s been a lot of interest, and suggestion that omega 3 fats might be protective. One large study showed that women consuming healthier fats had lower risks of UC, particularly.
  • Emulsifiers—Much of the research is on animals, showing that these may cause bacterial changes through less diversity in the microbiome, a general increase in inflammation, less butyrate (a helpful short chain fatty acid) and may cause increased intestinal permeability and changes in the mucosa (!!!) Not good! Few studies have looked at humans, the little study that has been done suggests that carrageenan may cause problems for IBD patients.
    • These are nearly ubiquitous in anything found on a shelf in the grocery store in a package. This means things like carrageenan, polysorbate 80, carboxymethylcellulose and the range of gums found in so many foods on the shelves.
  • Microparticles: these are small particles of aluminum, titanium dioxide and silicon—more study is needed to see where these fit and what impact they may have.

Beneficial effects

Finally! Research is starting to support the protective effect of fiber. Most studies are suggestive of a protective effect, although not all are statistically significant. Fiber may help with mucosal function because it supports the production of short chain fatty acids.

Preventing relapse

One study reports that ~68% of people make diet changes to prevent relapse, with 66% giving up favorite foods. But what are they choosing? And does it help?

  • Spicy, dairy, fatty foods and fibrous foods and possibly alcohol were what patients ID’d as a problem, but studies haven’t backed it up.
  • There is brief, but important mention that many test positive for lactose malabsorption, but a smaller portion have symptoms, mainly diarrhea—43% with CD, and 32% with UC. That’s a lot, but it isn’t all patients, either.

The diets…oh, the diets.

Exclusive Enteral Nutrition (EEN)

This means only 100% liquid feeding, either orally or by tube feeding. This is generally done for pediatrics, and it is unknown why it works, but it does for Crohn’s. Polymeric is as helpful as elemental. Studies are good for children, as good as steroids are; this isn’t the case for adults. (Cheryl’s note—my understanding is that EEN is often used in Japan with good rate for success—and many adults are unwilling to do it. I can’t blame them!) EEN does not seem to help UC.

CD-TREAT/ CDED (Crohn’s Disease Exclusion Diet) are two diets that try to mix EEN and “whole foods” to increase tolerability for children. This is very promising. (Cheryl’s note—details of the CDED have not been fully released because studies are still ongoing. While some info is available, it isn’t enough to fully design a diet. It’s frustrating as a clinician. Stay tuned.)

SCD—Specific Carbohydrate Diet

The SCD removes many foods that are believed to be poorly absorbed. It removed all grains, and focuses on fruits, vegetables, proteins, nuts. Etc. While studies are still limited, there is indication of improvement, including reduction in medications, and results have been promising, especially in pediatric patients.

(Cheryl’s note: I wrote a review of the research on the SCD for RDs a few years back which is mostly up to date.)

There are ongoing studies, including the DINE SCD and PRODUCE study, which looks at comparing a strict SCD diet with a modified SCD. These will be great additions to our overall knowledge.

Low FODMAP

Low FODMAP is generally used for IBS. It restricts rapidly fermentable carbs, and if patients benefit, reintroduces them in a systemic way to identify culprit foods.

There have been only a few studies, but those found that people on a low FODMAP diet did see decreases in symptoms for people with IBD. Changes were in symptoms like pain, bloating, etc.—fecal calprotectin did not change.

  • Low FODMAP is not intended as a long-term diet—it is an elimination diet. Following the elimination long term might lead to nutrient deficiencies. Don’t do it!

Cheryl’s note: The article notes that low FODMAP is notoriously hard to follow. May I suggest that with the support of an experienced professional, it really should be quite manageable. 🙂 Monash University has a list of RDs around the world who are extensively trained. I do have some resources for low FODMAP here.

Semi-vegetarian diet

A small, prospective study found benefits in Japan. This has not been duplicated in other places by other researchers. However, studies of reducing meat in other circumstances have not yielded benefits. This may be about different diet practices or adherence.

Curcumin may be a helpful adjunctive therapy. There is some data for mild to moderate UC. There is also now data for patients with CD showing endoscopic improvements as well. (Chery’s note—exciting!)

Moral of the story—more data is needed. And give lots of love to providers who you see who know and care about diet and IBD, because they are awesome!

Many thanks to Phillip Gu, MD and Linda A Feagins, MD.

October G-Free Newsletter

Halloween toys as treats
Halloween toy treats

Halloween candy lists are out for 2019. As many of you know, sometimes candies that are normally GF are not gluten-free when they are in holiday shapes. But those of you who have been reading for a while know my feelings on Halloween candy—skip it, and go for toys! It’s more inclusive, and you’re less likely to eat the leftovers.

HuffPo has a GF bread roundup. Is your favorite there? Maybe your new favorite will be.

ghost-shaped meringues
Spooky Meringues

Looking for a fun recipe? Spooky meringues are a staple around here. Meringues are a regular here because they’re simple…. And I appreciate that they are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, low FODMAP, gastroparesis friendly, GERD friendly…and delicious! The recipe is here for the bunnies, just draw a squiggle instead of a bunny. ?

Interesting research

Why get relatives screened for Celiac? Because they’re more likely to have it, even without symptoms. 44.4% had Celiac, 28% with no symptoms.

Isn’t this fascinating–> different probiotics may be able to suppress or even reverse food allergies. Granted, studies are currently only in mice, but it’s still a neat and encouraging concept.

Ah, the new cross-contamination study…I have so many thoughts. First, food anxiety is real. It’s a problem. I see it in clients, and I experience it, too. It’s no fun to get sick when eating out, or with friends. And study after study has shown that people with Celiac often have incomplete healing from intestinal damage. And then there’s a new study showing that it’s safe to be less concerned with casual contact and cross contamination at home. It’s a very small study, and that’s been a major concern. It addresses components (toasters, pasta water, etc.) when the real question is, what would the implication be for a real person over a typical day? The study contradicts all of the major Celiac orgs and what I’ve seen with clients over the years. I’m really curious to see if/when it’s repeated, and I have very mixed feelings. And, of course, if people are getting all the “allowed” contamination at home, what happens when they inevitably go out?

Bottom line:

  1. This is a very small study
  2. The test methods seem to be inadequate (my background isn’t in this arena)
  3. People with Celiac can only tolerate trace amounts of gluten. It’s often easier to control contamination at home than out.
  4. I absolutely agree with study authors in articles saying this study means that people should feel safe traveling without bringing their own pots and pans and utensils with them as they travel. I have rarely encountered clients who do that, and if this study provides peace of mind on that front, great.
  5. As summed up by Dr. Fasano from the Center for Celiac research: interesting, but it’s not enough to change any of the current guidelines at this point.

I look forward to more research on this as it comes out…and will keep you all posted.

And re: food fears, there’s a great post here from Kate Scarlata on food fears.

A new study on the AIP diet shows that it helps IBD (Crohn’s & UC). This is great news! The AIP is a very restrictive diet that removes grains, sugars, nuts, seeds, eggs, nightshade veggies, beans, and more. But…the rates of improvement were about the same as studies that were less restrictive, which is disappointing. It’s possible it helped people who had more severe damage. But the study doesn’t try to separate the effect of unlimited RD support, a health coach and a community focused on stress reduction better sleep, etc. and attributes all the positive changes in quality of life to diet change, which isn’t reasonable.

Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellcoach in Fairfax, VA.  She helps people with a range of dietary issues, including Celiac Disease, digestive issues, food allergies, 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.

G-Free On the Go

Cheryl and blueberry plant

August is often a great time for road trips! I’ve been having conversations with clients about dining out gluten free more than usual lately, so I wanted to share some tips:

Cheryl and blueberry plant
Cheryl Harris with her blueberry plant in July 2019

Local NoVA gal Karen runs GlutenfreetravelSite.com, which is a great resource and has an app. Find  Me Gluten Free is also a wonderful resource that also has an app for restaurants. Of course, reviews are only a starting point, you need to ask good questions—unless you’ve gone somewhere that’s dedicated gluten-free. Here’s a list for places from DC to Maine, and another dedicated GF restaurants in the DMV. Of course, these places can only exist if our community supports them!

My favorite question is, how do you make sure that xyz stays gluten free? If the waitstaff has an answer like, oh, we have a process with separate fryers, separate workstations, or that they grill on foil, or use different utensils or a process of whatever kind, I feel somewhat comfortable. They’ve thought through the pitfalls and that’s a big plus.

If I get a blank stare, that tells me that either I need to educate them and talk through each step carefully, or I may want to reconsider eating at that place. It’s just not worth it to get sick.

I also like the dining cards from Triumph dining, which are on Amazon…unfortunately the only have disposable ones now, but they are still helpful tools when out to eat.

What to pack? I have my grab and go list of bars and etc. in addition to naturally GF staples.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

G-Free Preparedness, Classes

What a month. We’ve gone from a sauna to monsoon season. At least my green beans love the water!

Here’s a quick g-free update:

Do you have food supplies for a natural disaster? The good news is it sounds like DC Metro won’t be hit very hard, but it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re stocked up…just in case. If/when there is need, food banks likely won’t be prepared to take care of the gluten-free community, so it’s a great idea to be as prepared as possible. This list gives a bunch of shelf stable options.

I’ve also updated my “grab and go” list that has healthier g-free bars, snacks, etc.

————————————————

Got g-free kids? Children’s Celiac Disease Program has new classes in VA, MD and DC that sound like great fun, and they’ve asked me to share with you all (and please share widely with others you know with children with Celiac)

“The Celiac Disease Program is proud to continue working with parents and children through our Peer Mentorship and Community Education Programs. They are meant to give you in-person support and access to our Education Team as well as opportunities to meet and socialize with other gluten-free families. Our Community Education classes will expose you to a range of topics about living a gluten-free lifestyle and will meet three times a month. Please check the listing to find the class that is most convenient for you.”

Stay safe & dry!

Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellcoach in Fairfax 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.

Digestive News

Digestion—New Celiac Research, FODMAPs & more!

Hope you’re having a happy and healthy summer. It’s one of my favorites because I love the fresh yummy stuff!  Before we talk about digestion, here are tips on g-free eating at summer events and some easy grab and go options good for travel.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find everything related to digestion fascinating! At the end of the day, we aren’t what we eat, we’re what we absorb. So how well the gut functions is key to every aspect of our health.
Here’s a quick snippet of new digestive studies and tips:

  • A new drug might help keep people with Celiac safe from cross-contamination with gluten. Exciting stuff, but also not yet available.
  • Poop! Everyone poops, most people don’t love talking about it. So many clients ask about fecal microbial transplants and what they’re used for. Currently, they’re used for c. diff infections, but there’s curiosity if it can help with autoimmune diseases, too! Digestive Disease Week 2018 was a few weeks ago and they gave a great explanation of FMT, and they cover keeping a healthy microbiome more broadly.
  • All you ever wanted to know about gluten and oats from Gluten Free Watchdog.
  • The gut and the brain—what’s the connection? This article gives a great overview, and specific therapies that may be helpful to ease tummy troubles.
  • What’s the problem, is it the gluten, or is it something else? For Celiac disease, it’s definitely the gluten. But for people without Celiac, the jury is still out as to the component of wheat that’s most irritating. Of course, bottom line, for many wheat is an irritant even if it’s not the gluten for some.
  • A review from Medscape of the top 5 digestive research topics in the last year. It includes studies on Celiac, PPIs and more.
  • Reader’s digest did a post on favorite supplements—and my pick was one that I often use with digestive clients. Any guesses?
  • Low FODMAP friends—it’s garlic scape season! Garlic scapes are the green shoots that grow out of the ground when you plant garlic. The good news is that they’re perfectly FODMAP friendly and give garlic flavor.  If you’ve learned that garlic and onions are not friendly to your tummy, this is your time of year! It’s pretty easy to find garlic scapes at the Farmers’ Market (as you can see above), and also spring onions with the greens on them. You can get a bunch, puree the greens (not the white part!) and freeze them in an ice cube tray. Then, when you need a little of that flavor, pop a cube in whatever you’re making.
  • What is a FODMAP, anyhow? FODMAP is an acronym for classes of carbohydrates that are poorly digested, which is why they can cause obnoxious symptoms. There’s a growing amount of research supporting it for people with tummy troubles of all sorts, especially IBS or IBD (Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis) and SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). Reducing these FODMAPs help about 75% of people with IBS problems. Obviously, this is a big deal for many people who experience ongoing gastrointestinal distress.

If you are on a low FODMAP diet, I try to keep updating my list of FODMAP friendly products.

  • Also, I had an hour-long radio chat with host Eli Marcus on the Motivation show on a range of topics, including gluten, digestive disorders, supplements, meditation, self compassion and more. Take a listen!

Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellcoach in Fairfax 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.

G-free Thanksgiving ’17

Thanksgiving tips & Recipes

Happy almost Thanksgiving! I’m sure this is already on your radar if you’re gluten-free.

AnchorThanksgiving tips:

It takes a little planning ahead to guarantee a great Thanksgiving. In many ways, it’s easier if you’re hosting, because you’ve already got the most familiarity with the diet. 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! I love these tips from Shirley of GFE and from GF Jules.
My 3 favorite tips:

  • Plan ahead, and try to bring along safe options when possible.
  • Bring along or order ingredients online that might be a problem. This includes broth, gravy, butter without crumbs, soups, flour for thickening, etc.
  • Keep it as simple as possible.

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 or frozen turkeys. I know there are emails that go out every year about warnings of “hidden gluten” in the turkeys, but ironically, the turkey usually the easiest and safest part of the meal. For the past 6 years I’ve been looking, calling and asking around if any of the brands of un-stuffed turkeys have gluten, and I haven’t found a single one in all that time. If you’ve seen one, email me or leave me a comment below. So you do have to look out for stuffed turkeys, and you do want to look out for gravy packets and of course, the preparation of the turkey.

The only exception Tofurky, which has gluten, and some glazed hams DO contain gluten. As always, read carefully! I have a gluten-free turkey list, with has manufacturer contact info.

As always, there can still be risks in the ingredients used on or in the turkey, and cross-contamination always needs to be on your radar. You’ll need to talk to your host about:
* Preparation method: Broth used for basting, or even the butter used for basting. This also includes the kind of flour used if a turkey is cooked in a bag.
* Seasonings
* Stuffing in the turkey
* Cross contamination<–and this is the most common problem.

AnchorGravy

Many regular canned gravy and gravy packets are not gluten-free. Gluten-free gravy is available online, and Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Wegman’s, etc. sell  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

My favorite gravy (paleo/starch free)

Gravy using Cornstarch from Simply Recipes

Side dishes

There are lots of good options here. Green bean casserole works, just sub the french onion–Aldi’s even has GF version in stores now, or use Fritos, or almonds, and buy a GF cream soup–Pacific is in most stores. 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.

Stuffing:

This is obviously requires a bit more planning. 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 GF bread crumbs, too. Aleia’s and Arrowhead mills are easy to find locally.

Make sure that “regular” stuffing is not used to stuff the turkey. Not only does that raise the risk of food poisoning, but the whole turkey would be cross-contaminated with gluten.

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 old-school recipes, you can easily make a crustless pumpkin or sweet potato pie or check out Whole Foods’ GF crusts. Or, you can easily make a crust from crushed up gluten-free cookies, shredded coconut or almond meal. Apple crisps are also simple, too. And, of course, now with the GF Wegman’s or Betty Crocker mixes, a cake or brownies are pretty simple, even if they’re not traditional.

The Best Pecan Pie (one of my very favorites)

Sweet Potato Pie (vegan)

Easy, Crustless Apple Pie from Gluten Free Easily

Super-cute baked apples from GF Jules

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. Here are a bunch of  wonderful things that would make for an absolutely amazing gluten-free feast some of my favorite GF bloggers and around the web.

And as a bonus, the Happy Tart has a bakery in Falls Church in addition to the Alexandria location, so it’s even easier to get a g-free pie without pulling out a rolling pin. Same goes for Rise in DC, Lilit Cafe, and the new Red Bandana

  • Wanting to make sure you’re not overdoing it through the holiday season? Here are my tips for keeping food balanced.
  • For those of you up in Maryland or who are up for a drive, Dr. Fasano of the Center for Celiac Research is speaking in Baltimore November 18th at In Good Health Holiday Expo. He’s always an informative and engaging speaker.

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

Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellcoach in Fairfax, VA.  She helps people with a range of dietary issues, including Celiac Disease, digestive issues, food allergies, 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. 

GF Halloween & News

Happy almost Halloween!
First things first: if you’re getting Halloween candy, make sure you’re checking the gluten-free status. Many brands that are typically gluten-free have special versions of holiday candy with different ingredients, which can include gluten, or other allergens.Celiac Disease Foundation has a great list with gluten and other allergen info listed.
Simply Gluten-free has a list of candy out, too.

But…maybe it’s time to go the non-candy treat route instead? I’m a fan, and I’ve been doing it for years. We give away slinkies, rubber duckies, and other fun toy assortments. Less temptation, of course, but great for kids (or parents) with Celiac or food allergies, too. If you decide to go the non-food-treat option, Food Allergy Resource & Education (FARE) launched the Teal Pumpkin Project. It now has an interactive map so that children with food restrictions can find safe houses to visit and you can add your house to the map so children and parents know that safe options are available.

News:

  • Some of you know I’ve long been concerned about the reports of contamination issues in Cheerios. The Canadian Celiac Association just announced a decision by the  Canadian Food Inspection Agency that by Jan 2018, the words “gluten-free” must be removed from boxes of Cheerios sold in Canada. Per the release: “Based on the advice of the members of our Professional Advisory Board, the experts of the Gluten-Free Certification Program, and other professionals working in the field, we believe that there is not adequate evidence to support the claim. When added to many reports from consumers with Celiac disease reacting to eating the cereal, we believe this is the safe recommendation for Canadians.”

My take: there is no indication that the FDA will take a similar step. However, I am hopeful this will push General Mills to take additional steps for safety and monitoring to ensure that their cereals are labeled accurately and appropriately.

  • A new study suggests that there’s a test on the horizon sensitive enough to detect Celiac accurately, even if gluten was consumed one time. This should make diagnosis much easier, and reduce the need for a long gluten challenge when this test is available.

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.
  • 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!

Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellcoach in Fairfax 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.