Diet

Become a Gluten-free Activist

gluten-free-claire-harrison

gluten free activismOn a recent visit to a museum, my husband and I stopped at its cafeteria for a snack. The choices were cookies and cupcakes, pretzels and potato chips, and assorted drinks.  Clearly, the cafeteria didn’t cater to those of us who are gluten-sensitive, lactose-intolerant, and/or weight watchers.

Much against my will, I bought the only snack I could tolerate although it meant throwing my diet out the window: potato chips.  And much against my dislike of being labeled a complainer, I decided to speak up.  “Would you consider carrying gluten-free products?” I asked. “I can’t eat most of what Read More »

Celiac Disease Q & A: Common Nutrition and Celiac Disease Questions

By John Libonati

Commonly asked questions on nutrition and Celiac Disease, answered by Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, of the Celiac Disease Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Ms. Dennis has herself had Celiac Disease for more than 17 years.

Q. What is it like for a person you see who is newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease?
A. The gluten-free diet requires more preparation, taking food with you when you travel, making sure that you are safe in dining-out situations or when you are visiting with family or friends. So for some, it is very simple and straight forward and they are already experimenting with new grains like amaranth, buckwheat, millet, sorghum, and teff. But some people are completely unfamiliar with these grains and it is a bit more of a stretch for them. Many people just eat on the run these days and this really makes it challenging.
Others are in complete denial. Perhaps they were having no symptoms but this was discovered through a blood test and they think – do I really need to change my life? Those are the people who, understandably, ask “how much can I get away with?” So there are all different types of people. But more and more people are coming into the clinic well educated about this because of the good information on the web. That’s a big change from about seven or so years ago when there were very few resources.
 

Q. There are many gluten-free foods on the market now. Does this make it easier for those diagnosed with Celiac Disease?
A. Yes. But it’s important to stress that the gluten-free diet isn’t just about what we need to take out of our meals, it’s about making sure the foods you do choose have lots of nutrients. Rice, corn and potatoes have a really high glycemic index, and they don’t have a lot of fiber. They can create food cravings. They can lead to weight gain and they are not nutritionally dense. So when we think of Celiac Disease, we think – how can we make up for the fact that we don’t have a very high protein wheat product any longer? What can we substitute and what would be superior? That’s when we work on educating about other grains that are healthier and have plenty of vitamins and minerals. Several of the gluten-free foods are now fortified with B vitamins, iron and trace minerals, and you can check the labels to make sure.
 

Q. It’s great there are more gluten-free options, but even reading the labels don’t always help. What items have hidden gluten?
A. Lots of things you wouldn’t expect contain gluten. Toothpaste can have gluten; you have to be careful to wash your hands carefully after feeding your dog because chow usually contains gluten. Dental pumice that is used to polish your teeth may contain gluten. Soy sauce, gravies and marinades are suspect. Even communion wafers. Patients need to be educated on all of this, because consistent exposure to gluten will lead to increased damage to the small intestine.
 

Q. Do most patients eventually adopt a healthy, gluten-free diet?
A. Most patients, even those who have a hard time with the diagnosis, do learn how to eat well. From my own experience, I feel it was actually a blessing to be diagnosed. It changed my life for the better. It empowered me to make the right decisions, to eat well—actually better than I had ever eaten before. I travel more now and experiment with tasty foods, more ethnic food, as well. So it’s a good thing to have a diagnosis—and learn the best ways to take care of your body and be healthy.

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
Source: http://www.thebostonchannel.com:80/bethisrael-old/17014446/detail.html

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“””Author Information: John Libonati, Philadelphia, PA
Publisher, Glutenfreeworks.com.
Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease.
John can be reached by e-mail here.”””

Celiac Disease Q & A: Common Nutrition and Celiac Disease Questions

The following questions and answers were developed by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School:

Q. What is it like for a person you see who is newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease?
A. The gluten-free diet requires more preparation, taking food with you when you travel, making sure that you are safe in dining-out situations or when you are visiting with family or friends. So for some, it is very simple and straight forward and they are already experimenting with new grains like amaranth, buckwheat, millet, sorghum, and teff. But some people are Read More »

Chevys Fresh Mex Launches Gluten-free Menu

[We have been informed Chevys no longer offers a gluten-free menu. 1/1/2017]

The chain is the third to introduce gluten-free items this month

 

Chevys’ Guac My Way guacamole is part of its new gluten-free menu. Instead of chips, the dish is served with corn tortillas.

Chevys Fresh Mex this week became the latest restaurant chain to launch a gluten-free menu in its company-owned locations.

Chevys’ launch follows the debut earlier this month of Domino’s Pizza’s new gluten-free crust and Chuck E. Cheese’s test of new gluten-free products, including a pizza and a cupcake.

The new menus, which cater to those with gluten-related disorders, have also raised controversy over whether restaurants can accurately label a menu item “gluten free” if there is a risk of cross contamination.

Read More »

Chuck E Cheese to Offer Gluten Free Options

Effective today, over 500 locations of Chuck E Cheese restaurants will begin offering two GFCO certified gluten-free options for those visitors following a gluten-free diet. An individual cheese pizza and an individual chocolate fudge cupcake are the two certified gluten free options now available to children and parents visiting the establishment.

Chuck E Cheese to offer gluten free options

Chuck E Cheese to offer gluten free options

Read More »

Deal Alert! Gluten Free Medifast Meals: Free Shipping and Discounts for July

Free shipping and save up to $66 on Medifast’s gluten-free diet meal packages through July 31st.

Gluten-Free 4-Week Package

Gluten-Free 4-Week Package

Medifast has developed two gluten-free packages for people on the gluten-free diet who want to lose weight quickly and safely. The gluten-free packages come in a 4 week package and a 2 week package.

Discount codes are good until July 31st, 2013.

Get Free Shipping with any purchase of $150 or more. Click here and use coupon code: SHIPJUL13

Save $66 with a purchase of $250 or more. Click here and use coupon code: JUL31K

What is Medifast? From Medifast’s website… Read More »

December Gluten Free Weight Loss Deals from Medifast

Just in time for the Holidays! Save up to $50 on Medifast gluten-free diet meal packages through December 31st.

Gluten-Free 4-Week Package

Gluten-Free 4-Week Package

Medifast has developed two gluten-free packages for people on the gluten-free diet who want to lose weight quickly and safely. The gluten-free packages come in a 4 week package and a 2 week package.

Discount codes are good until December 31st, 2012.

Medifast – $50 off any purchase of $275 or more! Use Coupon Code: DEC31H good until 12-31-11

Medifast – $25 off any purchase of $150 or more! Use Coupon Code: DEC31H25 good until 12-31-11

What is Medifast?

The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan was developed by a medical doctor in 1980.

Medifast Meals are individually portioned, calorie- and carbohydrate-controlled, low-fat meal replacements.

Every Medifast Meal is based on a similar nutritional “footprint” that provides a proper balance of Read More »

Do Gluten Free People Eat Mostly Unprocessed or Processed Foods?

processed-vs-whole-nutrition-380x252Media “health experts” consistently stress the dangers of following a gluten-free diet if you are not medically diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. They ominously describe the “high sugar content” and “lack of vitamin and mineral fortification” of many gluten-free foods.

Besides ignoring the millions and millions of people in SouthEast Asia who live their entire lives gluten-free because wheat, barley, rye or oats are not part of their traditional diet, the reporters ignore unprocessed staples of the gluten-free diet: meats, dairy, vegetables, fruits, nuts, non-gluten grains like rice, beans, eggs and seafood. Unprocessed. You know, those foods that do not have to be fortified with synthetic supplements because they NATURALLY contain vitamins and minerals.

Without fail, the foods the medical contributors describe are processed  gluten-free foods.

Why??

Well, the ABC producer who once interviewed me admitted she had tried every diet to lose weight and knew absolutely nothing about nutrition. She mentioned the sweet potato diet worked best for her…although her skin turned orange.

Sigh. From my experience, here is how news reporting seems to work in TV news land.

Producers, under huge pressure to find something sensational every day, do the interviews and write the stories. They are not necessarily experts in the subject matter. The producer who interviewed me was off to cover a new type of car squeegee after my interview.

Medical contributors, grave looking urologists (urinary tract expert), dapper cardiologists (heart expert) or pretty nurses, then read the stories off a teleprompter, provide a few comments and frown or nod wisely at the appropriate times.

So why do they portray the gluten-free diet as if it contained virtually only processed foods?

Maybe the producers do not have time to research the truth. Maybe they focus on the sensational parts of stories instead of covering topics objectively. Maybe they think the entire United States population gorges itself on Hamburger Helper, Mac and Cheese, Oreos and Big Macs and therefore all the people who are gluten-free must slurp down their gluten-free substitutes.

Do they? Do gluten-free people only eat processed gluten-free foods?

My foods are almost all unprocessed. I buy the ingredients and I process them myself. I want to know what I eat and frankly the food I make tastes GOOD.

But that is just me. What do other people eat?

Unfortunately, I meet non-gluten-free people who think only foods that have a “gluten-free” label on the box are gluten-free. Misinformed by the media, they have no idea what gluten-free means. Their eyes widen when I tell them I eat steak, potatoes, apples, eggs, PF Changs Lettuce Wraps, Bonefish Lily’s Chicken, brownies, margaritas and a whole lot of other foods they recognize.

I wanted to find out what Gluten Free Works visitors eat so I asked our Facebook friends whether they eat unprocessed or processed foods.

Their answers did not surprise me, but will probably shock the news producers and their frowning, nodding medical experts who are supposed to be covering the gluten-free diet.

Read More »

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