Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, gluten free or otherwise, are among the finest meals we enjoy we enjoy with family and friends. Here are the recipes you need presented as videos to make things easier for the the novice cook: Continue Reading
Appetizers whet the appetite for the holiday meal and simultaneously control the hunger pangs that we all experience waiting for the feast to be ready. Continue Reading
These videos will enable you prepare gluten free vegetable side dishes for your Christmas or Thanksgiving feast. Continue Reading
Flourless cakes appeal to everyone at your holiday feast. Wheat-eaters are a bit disappointed when they hear the term ‘gluten free’. Almost everyone responds positively to the word ‘flourless’. Continue Reading
During the holiday season, you may need to explain the gluten free diet to a friend or family member who knows very little about the gluten free diet and how you deal with it. Here are my thoughts on the subject. I’ve phrased this in the form of a letter, which you can modify to fit your situation. Another approach would be to read my ‘letter’, react to it as seems appropriate, and use the ideas in conversations with friends and relatives. Continue Reading
Cranberries add color and excitement to your holiday table. Cranberries are naturally gluten free, of course. Your concern is to make sure that toxic material does creep find their way to your holiday table. Check out these ten recipes and then view the videos to get even more ideas.
Here are videos that guide you in preparing dressing to go with your gluten free turkey. Dressing can be cooked inside the turkey or cooked separately. My policy is to cook the dressing separately — that way you can offer different kinds of dressing to accommodate your guests’ food allergies and preferences.
The gluten free family friendly feast (GFFFF) is much more than a fancy gluten free holiday dinner. It means that celiacs and others get the gluten free food they need, wheat-eaters get their expected favorites, and the rest of the dinner guests fill their plates with whatever appeals to them. Continue Reading
The annual Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years Eve celebrations involve family reunions and festive meals. During the year since the last family gathering, some people may have been diagnosed with celiac disease or ‘gone gluten free’ for some other reason. Continue Reading
Our recent survey indicated a positive feeling about the new rules and a hope (or is it an intention) that the program will be expanded. Continue Reading
In the days after Halloween, most families must decide what to do with an over-supply of candy. This candy may-or-may-not be gluten free — the problem is that there is simply too much of it. It makes sense to have a solution in mind before the crisis erupts. Here are some suggestions: Continue Reading
Cupcakes are a big part of almost any Halloween celebration! In order to provide them for a gluten free child’s Halloween celebration, you will need
~~~> a gluten free cupcake recipe, preferably one that your child has already tried..
~~~> decorations for the cupcakes. Most decorations are naturally gluten free but this is obviously an issue. Continue Reading
Here are four schemes for re-inventing Trick-or-Treat to include children who live gluten free. It is unreasonable to expect young goblins to ‘read every label every time’, most individually wrapped pieces of candy lack ingredients labels, and we can’t assume that the individual-sized candy bars are made with the same ingredients. Continue Reading
The traditional classroom’s Halloween party is the school year’s first major challenge for gluten free children and their parents. There are two pieces of good news: Continue Reading
Breyers Ice Cream recently announced that it is relabeling 36 flavor of ice cream to identify them as gluten free. Click here to read the complete list. The article stresses that these are not new products, they are simply new labels. Continue Reading
Hopefully, gluten free America made a step forward by implementing a standard definition for the term ‘gluten free’. Or did it? What difference has it made? To address these issues, please complete the three-question survey below. Continue Reading
“Unless people are very careful, a gluten free diet can lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber.” Continue Reading
Some people live gluten free as the result of a physician’s diagnose. For others, it is a personal choice. I belong to the first group, the people who have been formally diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. I’ll call my group the traditionalists.
The human race was on a de-facto gluten free diet for 99.6% of its 2.5 million years on Earth. Food processing began about 10,000 years ago, and grains are pretty-much useless unless they are processed in some way. Click here and/or here to study the facts-and-figures supporting this statement, but I am more interested in the implication of these facts. Continue Reading
Let’s think about John, a hypothetical eighth grader, who was diagnosed with celiac disease this summer. He’s found things that he can eat, agrees that the diet is “not that bad”. But soon he will be entering high school, meeting literally hundreds of kids and — hopefully — making new friends and succeeding in high school. How can we support him? What does he need? Continue Reading
Jerry is an imaginary third grader with an altogether-too-real problem. He was diagnosed with celiac disease this spring. He’s enthusiastic about his new diet and feels better than at any time in his life. The problem is that his dad received a promotion this summer and the family moved across the country and now need to explain his situation to a new teacher and a new school and new set of potential friends. Continue Reading
I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1999. “Going gluten free” produced spectacular life-changing results — I was ecstatically happy — it never occurred to me that things could be even better if I used gluten free vitamin and mineral supplements to improve my diet. Continue Reading
I’ve heard only one major objection to the new regulations adopted (after a seven year battle) by our Food and Drug Administration: some people would prefer to be held to a stricter standard. These three organizations test foods and will affix their symbol to products that meet these standards:
The Gluten Free Certification Organization, a service of the Gluten Intolerance Group. Requires that certified foods contain less that 10 ppm of toxic gluten. The website enables people to search for products by key word, product name, or state.
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness also requires less than 10 ppm for the food products it certifies as ‘gluten free’.
The Celiac Support Association has the most stringent requirements. Oats are not allowed in certified products and qualifying items must contain less than 5 ppm toxic gluten. This organization was formerly called the Celac Sprue Association.
Here’s a description of the ideal diet for all Americans, as determined by the Department of Agriculture (USDA)and Health and Human Service (HHS) and updated every five years. The newest updte is called “Choose My Plate” and
~~~> “emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products;
~~~>”includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and
~~~> “is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
~~~> ” is not a therapeutic diet for any specific health condition. Individuals with a chronic health condition should consult with a health care provider to determine what dietary pattern is appropriate for them.”
People who live gluten free can comply with the diet’s requirements, since the diet refers to “whole grains” rather than “whole wheat”. I wrote an article about the My Plate Diet in 2011 shortly after it was announced in 2011. Perhaps the most interesting part of this article is a video clip in which the White House chef prepares a meal featuring brown rice. First lady Michelle Obama is featured in the video.
On August 5, a week ago today, new rules governing the use of the term ‘gluten free’ on food packaging became the law of the land. What has changed? What will or will not be changing? The <20 parts-per-million figure was being used by an estimated 95% of food manufacturers in 2013, the year this debate began in earnest in Washington. That number has not changed and almost certainly will not change.
Manufacturers who can demonstrate that their products contain significantly less than 20 ppm are welcome to advertise this fact, although there may be some limits on the exact terms they use.
Manufacturers are not required to test their products to demonstrate that they contain any specific amount of gluten. Of course, they may be challenged in court to do so.
Two things have changed:
~~~> There is now an official definition of ‘gluten free’. Without specific definitions, legal action is difficult and often impossible. Compare this to the situation involving ‘natural food‘ . The Food and Drug deals with this problem regularly, but admits that its work has not been specific enough to be called definitions. Adequate definitions are necessary for legal actions.
~~~> Anyone who has followed this seven year battle for a definition of ‘gluten free’ will notice that the sole focus has been on controlling celiac disease. People who see the gluten free diet as a way to lose weight or win basketball games have not even been mentioned. I hope that some of them get the message!
Americans who live gluten free now have an official definition of ‘gluten free’. After seven years discussion, the Food and Drug Administration has finally implemented its decision last Tuesday, August 5. Here are the highlights: Continue Reading
People who live gluten free shop successfully on-line as well in conventional supermarkets and grocery stores. I recently wrote about shopping on-line and today I will talk about patronizing local stores. The costs are roughly equal, and many people who live gluten free use both systems. Continue Reading
Shopping for gluten free food on-line in easy, inexpensive, makes thousands of safe products available, can be done anywhere in the country, and welcomes anyone with the computer skills needed to use this website. Continue Reading
Omission Beer, and similar products, must be labeled “Product fermented from grains containing gluten and crafted to remove gluten. The content of this product cannot be verified, and this product may contain gluten.” The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is not committing itself. It is merely saying “we don’t know. Use your own judgment.” Continue Reading
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided that food containing less that 20 parts-per-million gluten may be labelled gluten free. This is a legal definition not a medical determination, of course, but the experts seem to agree that 20 parts-per-million is appropriate. We might call it “gluten free enough”: 20 ppm is equal to 20 inches in 16 miles or ten minutes in one year.
It’s possible to reduce your gluten consumption by concentrating on foods that are “naturally gluten free” or “inherently gluten free”. All unprocessed food falls into this category. Here are some examples:
Another way to reduce gluten consumption is to look for labels indicating that a product certified to contain less than 20 ppm gluten. Obviously, these stricter requirements reduce the number of foods that can be certified and limit their availability. I suggest that you read my recently-updated article on these certification organizations, learn to recognize their certification symbols, and jump at the opportunity to purchase food items certified to contain less than 10 ppm or even 5 ppm.
Today we have talked about the front of the package. Next Friday, I will talk about the ingredients list which useful information about whether a product belongs in your kitchen. Unfortunately, I can’t link you to that article until it is actually published.