Domino’s Pizza recently announced it would offer gluten-free pizza for gluten sensitive customers. Domino’s made it clear that the pizzas used a gluten-free crust, but are manufactured using the same equipment as the other gluten-containing foods and are not safe for people with celiac disease.
Domino’s worked with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) and received the NFCA’s new, and now suspended, “Amber Designation.” This designation was to tell people that although the ingredients are gluten-free, the product cannot claim that cross contamination does not occur. The “Amber Designation” differed from the NFCA’s existing “Green Designation,” which tells the customer that the product is tested to less than 10 parts per million of gluten. “Amber” was basically a caution sign.
What Did Gluten-Free Watchdog Organizations Say?
The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) and other organizations called for a recall of the NFCA’s “Amber Designation.”
The North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease commented on Domino’s Pizza ‘Gluten-Free’ Crust Announcement as follows,
For me, being happily gluten-free means eating many different kinds of foods—from meats to nuts—rather than just trying to replace bread products. This approach has sent me into the world of legumes, and I eat lots of beans. As a result, I’ve become more interested in the nutritional value of beans. More specifically, I began to wonder why beans are considered an “incomplete” protein.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really understood the term: incomplete protein. I know we have to “complete” the protein with other food, but what does that mean, and how are we supposed to do it?
Clearly, it was time to do some research, and here is what I learned. (more…)
When I became a gluten-sensitive newbie a year ago, I couldn’t figure out what I’d eat on a day-by-day basis.
This hadn’t been a problem when I became lactose-intolerant because so many alternatives to cow’s milk products were in the grocery stores. Nor had it been a diet problem because my program (Weight Watchers) was not restrictive in choice, just in portion size.
But gluten-sensitivity (and also a problem with oats, alas) threw me into a complete tizzy. So many of my favorite foods were out the window. What was I going to eat at breakfast? For lunch? What about when I just wanted to grab a snack? (more…)
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen Cranford, the president of our very own Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) chapter in Denver. I’ve known Karen now for about 7 months. We met when I became involved in the chapter and she helped me become the secretary. However, I feel that during this interview, I got to REALLY meet Karen and get to know her, which was such a joy. She has been the president of CSA for over two years and has helped, along with her many board members, build such a strong organization that has helped bring Denver to the top of the list in Celiac Awareness. She has helped the chapter bring the ’Incredible Edible Gluten-Free Food Fair™’ to Denver as well as worked hard to get incredibly knowledgable speakers, such as Dr. Ford, Dr. Fasano, and Dr. Wangen, to Denver to educate us all on Celiac disease and gluten intolerance. We all get the joy of experiencing the hard work she puts in on a volunteer basis to make living gluten free easier on all of us, but now we get the special treat of actually getting to know Karen.
Jenn: How old were you when you were first diagnosed?
Karen: So it’s been 7 years, when I turned 50. I’ve always laughed and said “Turn fifty…get celiac disease!”
Jenn: How long were you having symptoms before receiving a diagnosis?
Karen: Well, it’s easy to look back and say maybe I was having symptoms for a long time. I started having migraines around 22, and now I wonder if that was a symptom. But, I was probably really sick for about (more…)
Hopefully all of us are doing our best at these things… if we do, the weight should come off pretty easily without having to really “diet.” I’d just like to add a few more things that have helped me, and hope they can help you too :-) (more…)
This is a quote that a lot of people are hearing these days. What happens after your doctor says these words? Here is a synopsis of my journey; if any of this sounds familiar, give it some serious thought…there may be a very simple answer.
I first heard these words while I was barely concious, in a bed at Methodist Hospital in Houston. I had become so weak and debilitated by my undiagnosed and untreated celiac disease that my life was in danger. The symptoms over twenty years included gastrointestinal problems, fibromyalgia, irritability, bone pain and more. The good news was that I finally found out what was wrong with me; the better news was finding out that the disease is completely manageable through dietary changes alone.–no medications, no surgeries, none of that stuff. Just don’t eat grains that contain the gluten protein, mainly wheat, barley and rye. That sounded really good to me.
Not so fast. While still in the hospital, I was really still very sick, and not really able to process the information. After a couple of days (in which I was already improving), it dawned on me that (more…)
Gluten is the trouble-making ingredient you’re supposed to avoid when going on a gluten free diet. But how do you avoid something if you aren’t sure what it is or where to find it? I’ll admit, this can be a challenge. It’s just not as obvious I’d like it to be, but once you learn how to spot it you’ll feel more confident about grocery shopping. Also, knowing what gluten is and how it works in food can help you understand how to cook with gluten free ingredients.
What Is This Gluten Stuff?
Gluten is the stretchy glue that helps bread, pizza crust, and other baked goods get nice puffy air pockets. It creates a flexible structure that helps each baked good hang together without necessarily being tough or chewy. When a baker knows how to properly activate the gluten protein, it will start doing its thing. The presence of gluten has influenced baking techniques for decades, even centuries. Sorry, I’m not trying to build up gluten as some kind of magical essence that turns good food into great food. It’s just one of many ingredients with useful properties out there in the world. It happens that wheat is commonly grown and used across the world, and it affects a lot of food in Western cultures.
This is a great way to start the day on a sweeter note, without the sugars found in more traditional sweet morning fare—something that works great for those following a gluten-free–and even grain-free–lifestyle. It is packed with fiber, Vitamin A, protein and healthy fat. Use sweet potatoes or winter squash that has been pre-cooked to make preparation fast and easy–there should be plenty on hand, either before or after a Thanksgiving feast! This is a dish that pleases young and old alike.
• 1 cup cooked Sweet Potatoes or Winter Squash, skins removed
Finding out you have Celiac Disease is a big transition. Often it’s a good one that leads to feeling great, yet initially it’s a lot of information to take in at once to understand what you need to do for your health. Much of it is because we’re been eating one way for 15, 30, 50 or more years and it can be overwhelming to to instantly unlearn everything we’ve done and change overnight. Wouldn’t life be easier if you could take a doctor or dietitian home as a portable reminder of the basics? And so the Celiac Disease Video Project was born.
See below for videos of Dr. John Snyder, Chief of the Department of Gastroenterology at CNMC in DC, Dr. Gary Kaplan, Medical Director of Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine and Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist discussing testing, diagnosis and follow-up, eating a gluten-free diet and a short segment on when it’s not Celiac. Though there are an increasing number of videos out there on people’s stories of diagnosis and ways to make a gluten-free pie, this is the first of its kind to do a run-down of the medical and diet basics by healthcare professionals. The Celiac Sprue Association has been kind enough to support the project. (more…)