Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Treating Candida Albicans Intestinal Yeast Overgrowth in Celiac Disease

September 10th, 2009 by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN


The frequency of intestinal overgrowth by candida albicans is increased in people with celiac disease. In fact, infection by this common organism, also called C. albicans or candida, appears to be a trigger in the onset of celiac disease.1 Candida is yeast, a budding type of fungus, capable of fermenting carbohydrates. Albicans identifies this particular yeast from many others.

Candida albicans usually maintains a tiny appearance in our intestinal tract unless conditions change to favor its growth. It can thrive and invade if the intestinal lining becomes inflamed or damaged, the composition of normal flora becomes disrupted, immune defenses become diminished or malnutrition reduces our health. Candida albicans infection is characterized by superficial, irregular white patches with a red base. Invasion of the bloodstream is possible and would be life-threatening.


John Libonati

Buckwheat: The Gluten-Free Superfood!

September 4th, 2009 by John Libonati

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Don't let the name fool you. Buckwheat is anything but wheat. It is much more nutritious than wheat and, in spite of the name, is completely gluten-free.

Buckwheat has been grown in America since colonial days. Buckwheat was once very common on farms in the northeastern and northcentral United States. Production of buckwheat reached a peak in 1860s at which time the grain was a common livestock-feed and was in demand for making flour. Buckwheat enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the mid 1970's that was brought on by the demand for commercially prepared breakfast cereal and by exports to Japan for making buckwheat noodles. This boom was due to the nutritional excellence of buckwheat.(1)

Buckwheat Dietary Uses

Buckwheat flour has a strong, distinctive flavor and is often mixed with other flours to lend its distinctive taste to many baked goods. Buckwheat comes in a few different forms for dietary consumption:

John Libonati

Gluten-free Soft Pretzels That Taste Like the Real Thing!

September 3rd, 2009 by John Libonati

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Warm, chewy and wonderful gluten-free soft pretzels are being made in the heart of Lancaster County, PA.

Dutch Country Soft Pretzels in New Holland has turned out an excellent gluten-free soft pretzel that tastes like the real thing. This is a boon to Philadelphians with celiac disease and everyone on the gluten-free diet.

Jen Cafferty

Top Ten Kitchen Gadgets for Gluten-Free Cooks

September 3rd, 2009 by Jen Cafferty

All gluten-free cooks should have a few a great kitchen gadgets to brighten their culinary lives.

Here is a list of the items in my kitchen that I can’t live without.

1. Mandoline - I use it to slice almost everything. Fennel, carrots, radishes, garlic, pears, you name it, I slice it!

2. Food Dehydrator - This week we dehydrated pears, apples, straberries, nectarines, beets and sweet potatoes.

3. Microplane Grater - I use my grater for citrus zest, parmesan cheese and garlic.

PrintThe following message was posted on the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network Special Food Allergy Alert Notice on August 20, 2009

Van’s International Foods is recalling “Van’s All Natural Wheat Free Homestyle Pancakes” due to undeclared egg, milk, and wheat.

The product was distributed in Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.

The 12.4-oz. package bears lot number 200060629B1, UPC 0-89947-60604-9, and “best if used by” date of March 30, 2010.

Consumers may return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may call (303) 848-6013 or e-mail customerservice@vansintl.com.

Although it is unfortunate that the products were contaminated with gluten, it is very responsible of Vans International Foods to recall their product.

Responsible companies like Vans International Foods should be commended for their attempts to keep people with gluten-free sensitivities safe.

Other gluten-free products by Vans International Foods: Wheat Free Minis Wheat Free Flax Waffles Wheat Free Buckwheat Waffles Wheat Free Blueberry Waffles Wheat Free Apple Cinnamon Waffles Wheat Free Cinnamon French Toast Wheat Free Homestyle Pancakes

CSA Logo_180x173The Celiac Sprue Association 32nd Annual CSA Conference will be held at Erie, PA from Oct. 30th through Nov. 1, 2009 at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel and the Bayfront Convention Center.

Serving as local hosts are the members of CSA Gluten Free Erie, PA Chapter #135.

Under the 2009 theme of “Research, Education and Support,” the 2009 CSA Conference features over 15 speakers including leading experts in the field of celiac disease, a conference exhibit hall featuring a variety of exhibitors to assist individuals with celiac disease, networking through the “Making a Difference Forum,” cooking demonstrations, youth and young adult programs, an historical tour of Erie and an “Oktoberfest Buffet.”

The CSA Conference is an excellent opportunity to meet and communicate with the leadership and elected CSA representatives, as well as share and learn from other individuals and families dealing with celiac disease.

The 4th Annual CSA Dietitian Day will precede the Conference, scheduled for Oct. 29th. At the conclusion of Dietitian Day, participants will be able to: 1. Describe the pathophysiology of celiac disease 2. Define medical nutrition therapy for celiac disease 3. Identify at least two management strategies for celiac disease 4. Describe the relationship between type 1 diabetes mellitus and celiac disease

Continuing education units are available.

The Celiac Sprue Association®, the largest non-profit celiac support group in the United States, is committed to helping individuals with celiac disease to live well through one-on-one support and the latest research-based and medically approved information to help them manage their health.

For more information on the CSA Conference contact the CSA website, contact CSA toll-free at (877) CSA-4-CSA (877-272-4272) or email CSA at celiacs@csaceliacs.org.

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John Libonati

Osteopenia Found in 50% of Children with Celiac Disease

August 20th, 2009 by John Libonati

gym_06Research shows celiac disease can cause brittle bones in children. Can a gluten-free diet correct it?

A teenage gymnast is completing an exercise at the US Nationals gymnastics competition. At seventeen years of age, she is one of the top athletes in the country, physically strong and incredibly fit.

Both her wrists fracture during the dismount.

Doctors test her bone density to find out why her bones broke so easily. Although she is just a teenager, she is diagnosed with osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis and a bone disorder that normally afflicts people over 55. She has never had gastrointestinal issues, but her doctors test her for celiac disease anyway because something is obviously wrong with the way she is absorbing and/or metabolizing calcium.

wachovia-center Top Medical Professionals and Premier Chefs unite to increase awareness of celiac disease and the gluten-free lifestyle.

Appetite for Awareness is a dream come true for the 1,500 expected attendees who will be delighted by a wide range of gluten-free delicacies at every turn. Hosted by Ed Snider, the chairman of Comcast Spectacor, this dynamic event brings together 25 of the Philadelphia area’s most prestigious chefs, top docs and media representatives to compete for the best gluten-free dish.

WHAT: The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) will hold its 6th annual Appetite for Awareness: A Gluten-Free Cooking Spree to promote awareness and increase diagnosis of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder affecting 1 in 133 Americans. Top chefs and doctors will be assembled into teams and compete to create the best gluten-free dish. Guests will enjoy sampling gluten-free creations from over 25 of the area’s preeminent restaurants, gluten-free beer, wine, and products from over 50 of the nation’s finest gluten-free vendors. This will be fun. Guaranteed!

John Libonati

Gluten Free Restaurants in and Around Philadelphia

August 17th, 2009 by John Libonati

restaurant-bonefish2The following restaurants in and around Philadelphia have gluten-free menus or are able to prepare gluten-free cuisine.

Looking for a gluten-free restaurant for your next meal? You came to the right place because Philadelphia is fast becoming one of the nation's top destinations for gluten-free cuisine.

Due to hard work by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and other organizations, Philadelphia city and suburban restaurants have taken an active interest in offering safe gluten-free fare to the public.

The following list of restaurants can be found at the Phillyceliacs blog and Glutenfreeworks.com. The GFPhilly blog is another great resource with a wealth of information about eateries in and around Philadelphia.

Applebee’s Restaurant Applebee Dietary Inquiries 888-592-7753 You can call this number and someone will provide information on gluten free menu items. I have spoken with them while seated in the restaurant – though you could certainly call ahead

Arpeggio 542 Springhouse Village Center Springhouse, PA 19477 {GPS} 1101 BETHLEHEM PIKE OR SPRINGHOUSE VILLAGE CENTER 215-646-5055 Mediterranean BYOB. Per my GI doc, the owner is very in tune to the needs of celiac patients.

Baggataway 31 Front St Conshohocken, PA 19428-2867 (610) 834-8085 The same owner of the Ugly Moose in Manayunk. They carry GF beer and their staff understands GF foods. A bartender has celiac disease and instructed the staff. The steak is fantastic.

Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Yams

August 7th, 2009 by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Three great flavors blend naturally in this satisfying, healthy side dish. The natural fruitiness of raisins enhances the sweetness of yams and the spiciness of cinnamon. Butter or substitute enhances absorption of the rich beta-carotene and minerals in this dish.

Ingredients
  • 3 medium yams, cleaned, scraped and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins, plumped in hot water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter or substitute
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Equipment

Medium size pot.

Process

In a medium size pot, bring a cup of water to boil.  Add cut yams, salt and honey to the pot.  Lower heat, cover and simmer the yams for 15 minutes or until tender. 

Meanwhile, add raisins to a cup of very hot water to plump and set aside.

When yams are soft, add cinnamon and butter or oil then mash or beat with electric mixer until smooth.  Adjust consistency with water, milk or milk substitute.  Fold in plumped raisins.  Goes well with chicken, turkey, pork and ham.  Serves 4.