GF Passover finds–March 2010

Passover isn’t here until the end of March, 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, and some products contain products Matzo and matzo meal, (also potentially listed as cake meal or farfel).  However, many products don’t contain gluten.  Or, if you find products labeled “non-gebrok or gebroktz or grebrochts” (or another spelling variation) they’re non-grain containing and therefore have no gluten containing ingredients. 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 2004 FALCPA 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 5th, 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!

Upcoming classes:

GF and Healthy:
March 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 a delicious quinoa dish

The cost is $25 per person or two for $40. *

Workshops taught by Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian& Nutritionist. There will be tasty goodies and samples!   Classes are engaging and a lot of fun. PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED! See http://www.harriswholehealth.com/services Groups are kept small to provide a better space for learning and asking questions.

Living and Loving a GF Diet

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

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.

Other local events:

First Annual Fundraiser for the Celiac Program at Children’s National Medical Center:

The Celiac Disease Program at Children’s National Medical Center is the first Celiac disease program for children in the Washington metro area.  The goal of the program is to attack this disease comprehensively and aggressively through improved diagnosis, treatment and awareness. We are happy to announce our first fundraiser for the program will be held on May 1, 2010. The purpose of the event  is to raise funds to employ a psychiatrist or psychologist for three years.  As adults, we know how hard it is to make a lifestyle change.  For a child or adolescent, a lifestyle change can be much more difficult because of peer issues, feelings of isolation or fear of being “different”, for example.  Our program aims to give children the tools of self-empowerment to address their needs: dietary and socially as well as emotionally.  A lifestyle change requires more than just physical adjustments; the mind must be included as well for a successful outcome.  Children’s National’s Celiac Disease Program would be the first of its kind in the nation to have a dedicated mental health professional helping young patients adjust to life with Celiac Disease through self-advocacy.

Help us make a difference.  For more information, please contact Diana Della Villa at Children’s  Hospital Foundation  – 301-565-4951.

Event Details:
Who:  YOU!
What: Fundraiser for the Celiac Disease Program at Children’s National Medical Center
When: Saturday, May 1, 2010; 6:30 pm
Where: Children’s Design House in Chevy Chase, MD
Why: Raising funds to employ a psychologist/psychiatrist to help children with the adjustment to living with Celiac Disease
Ticket Price: $250

Celiac Fast Facts:
*1:100 people have Celiac Disease
*Most people do not receive the correct diagnosis of Celiac Disease until their 40s or 50s.
*Americans spend an average of 9-11 years traveling from doctor to doctor seeking help before their diagnosis.
*Celiac Disease is now recognized as one of the most important diseases of the 21st century.

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 and Healthy–Feb 2010 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.

First things first: no grains from the bulk bins.  It seems to be the civic duty of most 5 year olds to move things from one bin to another, and many people don’ t think twice about using a scoop from one bin and putting it in another.  So only use sealed boxes, preferably marked gluten free.

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, precooked or minute 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.  Trader Joe’s even has a pre-cooked wild rice.

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 very 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 March 27th!  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

March 27th, 2010, 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

Living and Loving a GF Diet

Saturday, April 24th, 2010
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

 


Gluten free Valentine’s

Compiled by Celiac Family

—————————————————————————————————————————————

Want more visibility and support for Celiac Disease?

The Digestive Disease National Coalition is having their (FREE!) annual policy forum in DC on March 7th and 8th.  This is a great time to speak to your Congressperson and tell them that Celiac Disease is important to you and should be to them, too!

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, Healthy and Simple Jan 2010

Keeping it simple

Gluten free foods are expensive.  And they can be hard to find.  Some don’t taste very good.  And many aren’t that healthy for you.  So this year, I’d encourage you to think about “normal” foods–real, simple whole foods that just so happen to be naturally gluten free.  Why?  They’re usually  healthier, they’re cheaper, they’re easier to find, and often easier to prepare.  Of course, gluten free grains can be harder to come by and those are important too.   Next month’s newsletter and a class on Feb 6th will talk about those (see below).

Most of the foods that are wonderful parts of any healthy diet are already gluten free.  Fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, seeds, dairy, fish, poultry, water, and even common grains like rice, wild rice, etc.  I have yet to meet a client who nutritionally needs more cake and cookies, gluten free or otherwise.  Here are a few ideas of easy things that you can to make your lifestyle healthier.

  • Beans are great in the winter! Think black bean soup, lentil stew, hummus, etc.
  • Here, fishy fishy: add in some salmon, trout and oysters or other fish twice a week.  They are high in heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids and low in mercury.
  • Look for seasonal fruits and veggies. Clementines, pomegranates, grapefruit, pineapples and mangoes are wonderful in the winter, and kale, collards, sweet potatoes, winter squash, are too.Choose whole (fresh, frozen or dried) vegetables and fruits over juices, which have most of the fiber removed.
  • Add some ground flax seed to your yogurt, cereal, or on a salad for more fiber and healthy omega 3s.
  • Drink your water!  6-8 glasses a day are important to stay hydrated, especially when you increase the amount of fiber you eat.  Sometimes taking a water bottle along can help remind you.
  • Talk to your doctor about your Vitamin D level. Most people with Celiac are deficient, and it’s tough to get enough from food and sunlight in the winter months no matter what.
  • Grab some almonds and walnuts, an ounce a day actually promotes weight loss and provides a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
  • Get whole grains in your diet.  Try a whole grain hot cereal, brown rice bread, wild rice with dinner, or even quinoa pasta.
  • Use healthy oils, like olive, walnut, canola, etc. and limit or eliminate animal fats like butter, cream, red meat, etc. and trans fats.
  • Take care of yourself. This includes sleeping well, reducing stress, and doing things you enjoy.  You’re worth it.

When I work individually with clients, we look at your food and lifestyle habits and dietary needs and customize a plan that will work for you.  If you’re ready to make changes, please contact me. Let this be the year you enjoy great health!

Classes:

Living and Loving a GF Diet
Saturday, Jan 16th, 2010
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

This is a great class for people who have heard the basics and have questions, and wonderful for significant others to come along and learn how they can support you on your GF journey.  There will be books, resources, and tasty samples, too.

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

also,

GF and Healthy

Feb 6th, 2010, 11:00-1:00
*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

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

Here are a few winter recipe roundups:

Gluten Free Goddess

Gluten Free Soup roundup

Gluten Free Winter Recipes

Elana’s Pantry (there are a lot of nice soup, stew and veggie recipes)

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 Holiday–Dec ’09

GF Baking for the holidays
Upcoming classes
Tips for a healthy holiday season

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, AND even simple and easy mixes, like Betty Crocker. For holiday classics,  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 50 + naturally gluten free 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 from around the web.


Upcoming classes:

Living and Loving a Gluten free Diet

Saturday, Jan 16th, 11-12:30

It’s great for people who know the basics but still have questions on
label reading, cross contamination, resources, etc. Or maybe there are
a few things you’ve heard and aren’t sure about. It’s also a way of
educating a significant other or family member so they can help
support you better in your GF journey!

* 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

The session will be run by Cheryl Harris, Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian.

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 and safe, 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  Clementines or or bring a box of your favorite GF cookies to work, or better yet, 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.


A Gluten Free Thanksgiving

Please see below for info on a GF Thanksgiving, a list of GF turkeys, an upcoming gluten free and healthy class, and more!

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). See this link for recipes

Stop the presses! Some Butterball gravy packets are now GF.  Read labels carefully!

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, even if they’re not traditional.

Class:

GF and Healthy:
November 14th, 2009

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!

http://www.harriswholehealth.com/services

This class is 2 hours and we will be making a delicious quinoa dish

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.

Workshops taught by Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian& Nutritionist. There will be tasty goodies and samples! PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED! Class limit is 12. Groups are kept small to provide a better space for learning and asking questions.

If you would prefer to pay by check, please call Cheryl to reserve your spot. Questions about the classes, the sign up process, please email Cheryl@harriswholehealth.com or call 571-271-8742.

Got FSA?

If you have a  flexible spending account (FSA) this is a great time to check in on your diet!  FSA funds can be used to cover the services of an RD (Registered Dietitian).

DC Celiacs meeting:

Nov 14th, 2-4 pm

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.


Halloween/Autumn GF newsletter

Tips for Enjoying Halloween with Food Restrictions

  • Plan ahead!  When possible, look online for favorite candies and snacks and see if they are gluten free.  Some treats that are normally GF or allergen free have different ingredients in the special holiday versions, so always double check.
  • Celiac Family has a nice list of candy which is GF and a list of those that are not.
  • 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.
  • Here’s another list from Sure foods Living

Here are a few ideas to safely enjoy the celebrations:

  • Stash safe bags of candy at friend’s houses for your child, and make that one of your first stops.
  • Talk to teachers and parents 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 allowed for your child (and/or you) so that you can safely snack along the way.
  • Have a trade in. Your child can trade the “gluten-y” candies and treats for “safe” treats, or games, stickers, yo-yos, toys, prizes, special outings, etc. You can either stash the problem candy somewhere out of reach, or donate it to the foodbank.  Oriental Trading company has a bunch of inexpensive fun toys.

Start planning ahead for the holidays:

I know it’s only October, but it’s a good time to start thinking about the holidays.  You can make life easier by just making sure you/your hostess gets a gluten free brand of turkey.  I’ve got a Turkey list here, which I will update again as we get closer to the holidays.

Classes

GF and Healthy:
November 14th, 2009

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 a delicious quinoa dish.  To register, see http://www.harriswholehealth.com/services

The cost is $25 per person or two for $40. *  If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) this is reimbursable with a receipt.

Hot Mulled Cider:

This is a family tradition and one of my favorites!
Serves: 8-10 people. Recipe may be halved or quartered.

It’s perfect for a crisp, cool day. We make this for a party every year and the kitchen fills when the autumn smell fills the house…

1-64 oz bottle apple juice
3 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves

Heat apple juice in a large pot over medium heat until barely simmering. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy. If there are leftovers, remove whole spices or it will become VERY spicy!

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and classes in 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.

Gluten Free Vegetarian-Sept 09 newsletter

Living and Loving a GF diet class
Vegetarian and GF (with many websites)
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

This is great for people still learning a GF diet, needing a refresher, or wanting to educate friends and family members.  To register, see http://www.harriswholehealth.com/services The class cost is $20 per person, or bring a friend for 2 people for $35.

Eating a Vegetarian GF diet

It can be challenging enough on gluten free diet, but what if you are a vegetarian or vegan?  It’s well established that there are health benefits to reducing the amount of meat in the diets of most Americans, and the lifestyle has appeal for some people based on ethical or even environmental reasons.  Fortunately, with extra planning, a well rounded and delicious gluten free vegetarian diet is possible.

The good news is that many vegetarian staples, like beans, lentils, tofu, dairy, nuts, seeds and eggs are already naturally gluten free.  And some of the best sources of vegetarian and vegan protein are gluten free pseudo-grains, such as quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth. Also, grains, such as millet, teff and sorghum are very nutritious.  In addition to protein and fiber, they all have other vital nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium, etc.

It’s vital for everyone with Celiac disease to get enough iron, calcium, Vitamin D, fiber and B vitamin (including B12), because these are often lacking due to damage from the disease process and eating patterns often seen in  GF diets.  Ironically enough, many vegetarians and vegans aren’t getting enough protein, iron, calcium, B12, omega fats, and Vitamin D.  Combine the two diets together, and iron, calcium, B12 and Vitamin D are particularly important.

So what’s a vegetarian to do?

  • Focus on typical veg staples that are GF, like beans, tofu, nuts and seeds, and, of course fruits and veggies and.  If your diet includes dairy, eggs, fish, etc. these are very nutrient rich as well.
  • Eat a good source of protein with each meal
  • Try quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth etc.
  • Get your vitamin D, iron and B vitamin levels checked
  • Take a vegan or vegetarian omega 3 supplement from algae if you don’t eat fish
  • Get fortified GF foods, like cereals, breads, etc.
  • Work with a dietitian to make sure you’re eating a balanced diet

Fortunately, there are more and more vegetarian and vegan resources out there.

Local events

WACSSG will coordinate a workshop by Bob and Ruth’s GF Travel Club on Oct 24th in Bethesda.  Stay tuned for more details!

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.

 

Celiac Disease, Autoimmunity and more

The latest news on Celiac and autoimmunity

Celiac disease is a genetically linked autoimmune condition, and having it raises the risk of developing other autoimmune conditions. But unlike other autoimmune conditions, like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) etc. we know that the key to turning off the disease process in Celiac disease is a gluten free diet. Researchers are examining what we know about the mechanism of Celiac disease to determine how we can take the knowledge and apply it to other autoimmune conditions, and find a way to disrupt the cycle of damage. Dr. Alessio Fasano, one of the leading experts on Celiac disease published an excellent article on this topic called “Celiac Disease Insights: Clues to Solving Autoimmunity” in the August 2009 issue of Scientific American. (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=celiac-disease-insights)

IIt’s well established that in autoimmune conditions, a normally harmless trigger causes the immune system to overreact and leads to inflammation and a range of physical damage.  But Dr. Fasano and others have discovered that many people with autoimmune conditions, like RA, MS, Type 1 diabetes, and others experience increased intestinal permeability or a “leaky gut”, too.  In all these conditions, the leaky gut is usually due to high levels of a molecule called zonulin. In people with Celiac disease, gluten triggers the increased zonulin production, but there’s some research showing that that gluten may raise levels of inflammation in people without Celiac, too, but to a lesser extent . There is research underway to see if using a medication called Larazotide to block zonulin would be effective, and so far, studies have been promising.  Companies have begun to examine if the same benefits may be seen in other conditions, like Type 1 Diabetes or Crohn’s disease.

So bring on the lasagna, right?  Actually, no.  The drug is still in research phases, and any medication is years away.  It’s only intended to protect against small amounts of gluten, or accidental cross contamination, so a gluten free diet is still necessary.    It’s also worth noting that Dr. Fasano has been involved in the development of this drug.  However, this could potentially represent a huge safety net for people with Celiac disease, and a potential for great benefits for people with other autoimmune conditions.  It is unclear how this medication or research could potentially impact people with non autoimmune gluten sensitivity, since such a wide range of conditions fall under this umbrella.

Got baby?
University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research has been conducting a study on infant feeding for the last few years, and the article gives us some preliminary thoughts from the research. This new study seems to indicate that delaying gluten the introduction of gluten for the first year of life in “high risk” infants may lead to a four-fold reduction in the risk of developing Celiac disease. However, it’ll be many years before we know if this protection is temporary or lifelong.  This is news, because previous research indicated that between 4 and 7 months was protective. Also, since August is World Breastfeeding Month, it’s worth mentioning that studies have also shown that breastfeeding offers some protection against CD, especially if mom is still breastfeeding when gluten in introduced.

Although it’s a lengthy article, it’s a must read for anyone with Celiac or any other autoimmune condition, and it’s very exciting new information.

Classes 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

This is great for people still learning a GF diet, needing a refresher, or wanting to educate friends and family members.  To register, see http://www.harriswholehealth.com/services The class cost is $20 per person, or bring a friend for 2 people for $35.

WACSSGs is having their next meeting on September 12, 2009

Speaker: Dr. John Snyder, Children’s National Medical Center
Topic: A New Celiac Center Comes to DC!
Location: Chevy Chase Neighborhood Library (5625 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC) www.DCLibrary.org

You win some, you lose some…

😎 Betty Crocker has introduced a new line of brownie and cake mixes which have gotten great reviews! I’ve seen them at local stores, and here’s link to a free coupon:

  • General Mills is offering a FREE coupon for any one of their new Betty Crocker gluten-free baking mixes! To redeem your free box, call General Mill’s customer service number at: 1-800-446-1898, which is the same number listed on the Betty Crocker boxes. Then, at the main menu press “4”. UPDATED NOTE: this no longer works, but if you call, they’ll give you coupons.

😥 Starbucks has opted to discontinue its GF orange muffin. While some people did complain it was too rich, having options means a lot to the GF community!

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 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.

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