With 2010 just around the corner, many people are working on their lists of New Years Resolutions. It comes as no surprise that, with the economy the way it is, that one of the New Years Resolutions topping the list this year is trying to reduce spending. For gluten free households, this can be a challenging thing to do.
A single loaf of gluten free bread can cost between six and ten dollars. Add to that the expense of flours, pasta and the ever present snack foods and the grocery budget can get out of control very quickly.
If your grocery budget could use a little trimming this new year, these suggestions may help. (more…)
For individuals just diagnosed with celiac disease or other gluten intolerant auto immunity issues, the prospects of learning a whole new way of eating can be daunting at first, especially for those eating the standard American diet (S.A.D.). Following are answers to a list of frequently asked questions:
What grains contain gluten?
Wheat, barley, rye, and any flours derived from these grains. There is controversy over oat’s status.
What are hidden sources of gluten?
Soy sauce (the second ingredient is wheat), barbecue sauce, marinades, teriyaki sauce, Asian sauces, or anything that contains soy sauce in the list of ingredients. Modified food starch, malted drinks, malt vinegar, most cold cereals, grain based veggie burgers, meatballs, breaded foods, durum and semolina pasta (another name for wheat flour), some seasoning blends, and many prepackaged foods.
What foods are safe to eat?
Most whole foods are safe, especially fruits, veggies, legumes, oils, nuts and seeds, and lean meats, and for some people, dairy. Safe grains include rice, corn, millet, tapioca, sorghum, teff, buckwheat (not related to wheat), potato starch, bean flours, nut flours, and coconut flour. Some people may tolerate gluten free oats, but caution is advised as there is controversy over their gluten free status. Visit the Celiac Sprue Association for more information. (more…)
For people with diagnosed celiac disease or autoimmune related gluten intolerance, eating a gluten free diet is not optional. It’s the only medical treatment currently available and requires 100 percent lifelong adherence.
In addition, other conditions frequently occur alongside celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Maintaining health requires attention to lifestyle behaviors and adequate nutrition that will improve quality of life and prevent complications. The following three tips will ensure success eating gluten free. (more…)
Halloween can be a difficult holiday to navigate for a gluten-free child or allergic child. Here are some tips for an easy gluten-free Halloween and some great sources for gluten-free Halloween candy.
Organize a Gluten-Free Halloween Party for Kids
Kids love parties, especially when they can eat all the goodies. Host a party where everything is safe for your child. Carve pumpkins, have a costume contest, and eat gluten-free Halloween treats (such as Halloween Sugar Cookies.) Inexpensive party supplies and art supplies can be purchased online at www.orientaltrading.com. (more…)
Many places in the U.S. are not gluten-free friendly and many places are great to visit if you’re gluten-free. New York City and Atlanta are fantastic in terms of gluten-free shopping and dining, while Panama City Beach, FL is horrid. For this reason, many people who can’t eat gluten pack an extra suitcase full of food for any trip.
Taking your own food on trips is often a good idea. It is a terrible feeling to find yourself without something safe to eat – even if it’s just a cracker to nosh on when others around you are dining on gluten filled appetizers. It’s a good idea to keep a survival pack of food in your car, even if you’re not leaving town. There is something comforting about knowing there is safe food available, should a need for it arise.
If you are traveling from the U.S. to some parts of Europe, you might want to rethink your packing habits. Planning our first visit overseas after my celiac diagnosis was scary. Through much research I knew that it seemed easier to eat out outside the U.S. than at home, but until you experience that for yourself you’re a skeptic. (more…)
This is an easy-to-make, delicious entree that is gluten-free, inexpensive and fantastic. It’s as good as any dish I have had in any Thai or Vietnamese restaurant in the Houston area. Do not fear the Asian fish sauce…it adds lots of flavor, and it is easy to find in the Oriental foods section of just about any grocery store.
1/2 pound dried rice noodles, about 1/4 inch wide (I used Caravelle brand, available at HEB)
Who doesn’t love fall weather? The colors changing on the leaves, cooler weather (well, maybe we will be a couple degrees less than 100), the beginning of a new football season, the glorious Austin City Limits Music Festival, the list goes on. Some of the best tasting vegetables are also in season in the fall such as the mushrooms, oranges, lemons, cauliflower and fennel. All of the following vegetables have unique flavors and can be used in a variety of dishes. The top five are:
Mushrooms are known for their immune boosting benefits in the nutrition world. They have been used for thousands of years in helping prevent cancer, boost the immune system and are also known as a great anti-aging food. There are several different types of mushrooms that are fabulous to cook with. Try grilling some beefy Portobello’s with Italian seasonings for a nice vegetarian meal this fall.
The beloved orange; it’s one of the most popular fruits in North America. Known for the immune boosting vitamin C, oranges have many other health benefits. Oranges also have a good amount of Potassium (which helps with muscle contraction), fiber and vitamin A. Oranges are very versatile when it comes to cooking. Try this yummy recipe from celiac.com: Orange Chicken. (more…)
Glutenfreeworks.com has comprehensive gluten-free diet cards that lists unsafe foods and ingredients (including hidden) broken down by categories: whole grains & cereals, flours, thickeners, sweeteners, distilled spirits, fermented, cooked products, baked products, protein polymers, brewed, germ/bran and other.
Gluten-Free Diet Cards make dining out and shopping for groceries easy. These cards are perfect for eating out at restaurants or comparing ingredient labels when shopping for groceries. No more long explanations to waiters and managers. Just hand them the card. They’ll compare the ingredients to their recipes and let you know what you can have. No more wondering if an ingredient is safe or not when shopping. Just check it against your Gluten Free Works Diet Card. (Always call the company though if you’re unsure!)
By Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN
Nutrition Coordinator, Celiac Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Avoid ordering fried foods, such as French fries or taco “basket” shells at a Mexican restaurant, which are fried in the same oil as battered foods or coated fries.
Check to make sure that liquid eggs held in a buffet line for eggs-to-order are not mixed with wheat flour (to keep them from separating).
Ask your server to request that the cooks change their gloves and use a clean skillet and utensils to prepare your food.
If you don’t feel that your needs are being met, ask to speak with the chef or the manager. Carry a restaurant card (available from several of the national celiac support groups and online) that lists safe and prohibited food.
Rice and corn-based cuisines, such as Japanese, Thai, Indian or Mexican, usually have many more naturally gluten free items available than American fast food or standard fare.
If you are with a large group and you prefer not to draw attention to your special diet, order your meal last so that table conversation is flowing and you can take your time. Or excuse yourself and have your conversation with the chef or your server near the kitchen.
If you’ve had a wonderful meal, tip generously, thank the chef and server personally, and tell the restaurant you plan to share your good experience with fellow diners, the local celiac support group and your clinicians. As restaurants are alerted to the needs of those with celiac disease, gluten-free dining out will be more and more enjoyable.