Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dining Out, Video 5

In honor of National Celiac Disease Awareness Month, I want to make sure that all my reader's understand exactly what Celiac Disease is and its impact. The University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research has teamed with General Mills to produce a series of videos (find them here) that provides information on Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet. Here is the 5th video of the series, Dining Out. Hopefully it helps ease any anxieties you may have the next time you go out to eat!

Video Desciption: Pam Cureton, registered dietitian at the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, gives tips for how to enjoy dining-out while maintaining a gluten-free diet. Calling restaurants ahead of time and the right questions to ask when choosing a restaurant and when ordering are covered.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Symptom Checker

Many of you have asked me how you might tell if you have Celiac Disease. The below photo is a great visual of a symptom checker that lets you know the common symptoms of Celiac Disease and the other conditions associated with this autoimmune disease. If you feel like you have that any of these symptoms, particularly the ones in bold, please consult your physician and ask for a tTg antigen blood test. However, do not automatically go on a gluten-free diet until you have spoken with your physician or you may not get a proper diagnosis.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Navigating the Grocery Store, Video 4

In honor of National Celiac Disease Awareness Month, I want to make sure that all my reader's understand exactly what Celiac Disease is and its impact. The University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research has teamed with General Mills to produce a series of videos (find them here) that provides information on Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet. Here is the 4th video of the series, Navigating the Grocery Store. Hopefully, this eases your stress the next time you walk into your local grocery.

Video Description: Pam Cureton, registered dietitian at the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, discusses what you need to know to navigate the grocery store when you are shopping for gluten-free foods. She describes the allergen labeling law and how that can help you when shopping for gluten-free food choices. She tells you the 5 key words you need to know to look for when shopping gluten-free.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Frito Lay and Gluten Free

Frito-Lay Announces Initiative to Validate and Label Products as Gluten Free

May 17, 2012

Partners with the Celiac Disease Foundation and the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness to help educate consumers about Celiac disease

PLANO, Texas - PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division today announced a multi-year initiative to validate many of their products as gluten free, with package labeling to follow. Since many of the company’s snacks, such as Lay’s Classic potato chips and Fritos Original corn chips are made from simple ingredients like corn or potatoes, they are, and always have been, naturally made without gluten ingredients.

Frito-Lay is not removing gluten from products, rather, has developed a gluten free validation process with input from the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) and the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) for testing ingredients and finished products to ensure they contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten before making a “gluten free” claim. This level is in accordance with the limit set forth by the FDA in its Proposed Rule for Gluten Free Labeling (2007).

May is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Celiac disease is a digestive disorder triggered by intolerance to gluten, a generic name for certain types of proteins contained in the common cereal grains wheat, barley, rye and their derivatives. It is one of the most common genetic autoimmune conditions in the world and often goes undiagnosed. It is estimated three million Americans have Celiac disease and up to 21 million may have some level of gluten sensitivity. The only treatment is a lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet.

Frito-Lay is partnering with the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to educate consumers and health professionals about gluten free resources and options. Activities through Frito-Lay’s partnerships will include development of educational content in English and Spanish, and cross promotion through social media channels.

“We understand that living with gluten sensitivities can present some challenges, and when you or a loved one is diagnosed it can be overwhelming and confusing. We are doing our due diligence to ensure that our validated products comply with the proposed standards by testing ingredients and finished products, so the shopper can trust our gluten free claim,” said Kari Hecker Ryan, PhD, RD, director, nutrition science and regulatory affairs, Frito-Lay North America.

“We are also proud to be partnering with Celiac Disease Foundation and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, as the work they do is so important to those with Celiac disease and gluten sensitivities as well as their support systems,” said Danielle Dalheim, RD, associate principal nutrition scientist, Frito-Lay North America. “We know that these two organizations are the go-to resources for those who are on a medically-prescribed gluten free diet, and we are committed to supporting their missions.”

The Celiac Disease Foundation is a non-profit, voluntary health organization, dedicated to providing services and support regarding celiac disease and gluten sensitivity through programs of awareness, education, advocacy and research.  “Frito-Lay will make label reading especially easy for gluten sensitive consumers, as it is starts to include its own Gluten Free symbol or claim on qualified snack products,” states Marilyn Geller, chief operating officer, Celiac Disease Foundation.  "We thank Frito-Lay for their support of our mission to raise awareness and increase the rate of diagnosis.”

“Gluten free grocery shopping can be stressful at times, especially for those newly diagnosed,” says Alice Bast, president, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. “The transition to the gluten free diet is easier when familiar brands already in the pantry make a gluten free commitment. Frito-Lay’s effort to provide its customers with easy-to-access information is commendable and we would like to see more national brands embrace this level of clarity.” NFCA, through its comprehensive website (celiaccentral.org) provides a variety of resources to both consumers and professionals including free webinars, cooking videos and printable guides.

The gluten free claim that Frito-Lay is adding to qualified products appears in the form of a “GF” icon and/or a statement on the back of the bag. Changes to packaging are being phased in and can take some time.  Visit Frito-Lay’s website, http://www.fritolay.com/your-health/us-products-not-containing-gluten-ingredients.html, as it is the most up-to-date resource to identify products qualified as gluten free.

Find original article on Frito-Lay's website here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Choosing the right food, Video 3

In honor of National Celiac Disease Awareness Month, I want to make sure that all my reader's understand exactly what Celiac Disease is and its impact. The University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research has teamed with General Mills to produce a series of videos (find them here) that provides information on Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet. Here is the 3rd video of the series, Choosing the Right Food. Staying on a gluten-free diet is important to staying healthy. Cutting out gluten can lead to other nutrient deficiencies so it is important to make up for those loses in other ways. Enjoy!

Video description: Pam Cureton, registered dietitian at the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, describes how to eat a gluten-free diet including what foods are naturally gluten-free and what foods must be avoided when following a gluten-free diet.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My 1st ever TWITTER PARTY!

In honor of May being National Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Schar Gluten Free Foods and I have teamed up to host a twitter party! Tomorrow from 6-7pm Eastern Standard Time (which is 2-3pm AKST). I will be tweeting about everything related to celiac disease and gluten free! From tips and facts on gluten free living to info about Schar and actions you can take to help them better meet your needs. I will also be giving away 5 Schar dining kits for two. The kit includes breads, pasta, cookies & more! I've already received mine and believe me, you don't want to miss out!
My twitter name is @BrandyWendler and when you tweet with me use the hashtag #ScharCares and follow Schar on twitter as well @Scharglutenfree

Friday, May 11, 2012

Alaska Star Article on Mrs. Alaska and Celiac Disease

Front cover of the Chugiak-Eagle River Star May 10th, 2012

Check out this article written by Mike Nesper of the Chugiak-Eagle River Star newspaper about me and my platform to raise awareness for Celiac Disease! Thank you, Mike!!

Article on website

Home page of the Chugiack-Eagle River Star website for the day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

GIG Health & Wellness Expo June 16th, 2012

I will be making another national appearance in Seattle - please cosnider joining me!

Also, the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) will be hosting a Gluten-free Awareness night at the Mariners vs. Giants game Friday, June 15th 7:10pm. There is special discounted seating reserved for all who attend and purchase tickets under the gluten free promo code and $5 of every ticket purchase goes to benefit the GIG organization. Gluten free options will be available at The Natural at Section 132
There will also be a gluten-free tailgate party before the the game  Friday night at 5:10pm!

To find out more please visit: mariners.com/glutenfree.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May GF Support Group Meeting

Please join me for a CELEBRATION! As you might have already noticed if you are a regular follower of my blog, May is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month. In recognition of this month and the passing of Senate Joint Resolution 16 that recognizes this month in Alaska, we will be having a feast with gluten free and allergy friendly foods!
***Please NOTE: the meeting time will be an hour earlier! We will meet from 5-7pm at Natural Pantry on Old Seward hwy in the University Center mall. Stop by for Udi's samples, cake and more!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

So, what is gluten exactly? Video 2

In honor of May being National Celiac Disease Awareness Month, I want to make sure that all my reader's understand exactly what Celiac Disease is and its impact. The University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research has teamed with General Mills to produce a series of videos (find them here) that provides information on Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet. Here is the second video of the series, What is Gluten?

Video description: Dr. Alessio Fasano, Director of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, defines gluten and describes the spectrum of gluten intolerance. Dr. Fasano describes the symptoms and treatment of celiac disease.

Hope you enjoy the info!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

May Recipe of the Month

Black Beans and Rice with Cilantro Pesto

I love black beans! They are hearty and filling - 1 cup contains over 15 grams of protein and almost 60% of your daily serving of fiber. The problem with canned black beans however is that they contain a lot of sodium. Even if you buy the low sodium version, its more than you would normally get if you cooked them the old-fashioned way. So, I decided to go to my local natural health food store, buy them in bulk, and soak them over night before making them into something. It didn't take too much extra time, I simply placed 2 cups in a bowl (after rinsing and picking them over to make sure there was nothing odd in them) with two cups of water and went to bed. Later the next day, I uncovered them and rinsed them and started making a yummy black bean dish! I got the recipe from the Food Network. You can find the original here.

  • 1 pound of black beans
  • 2 tablespoons of olive or canola oil (for onions)
  • 1 Spanish onion
  • 2 cups long grain brown rice
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves, plus 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup pure olive oil (for pesto)
  • 1/2 cup Manchego (or Parmesan) cheese
Place soaked beans in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium-low, and simmer until cooked through, about 1.5 hrs, adding more water if needed. Drain beans into a colander set over a bowl and reserve the cooking liquid from the beans.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan on the grates of the grill. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the rice, toss to coat in the oil and onion mixture, and cook for 2 minutes. Add 3 3/4 cups of the bean cooking liquid (if there is not enough liquid, add some water to measure 3 3/4 cups). Season the rice with the pepper (I added cayenne for a little zing), stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, place cover on the pot, and cook until rice is just cooked through, about 14 to 16 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, place cilantro, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, add the oil and process until smooth. Add the oil very slowly though because you don't want there to be too much. Add the cheese and process until incorporated. Season with pepper (and salt if you must) to taste.

Place rice and beans in a large bowl, fold in the cilantro pesto, and garnish with additional chopped cilantro.

Friday, May 4, 2012

May Product of the Month

Cumin and Clove Mumbai Stew

I found this amazing stew at the Chicago Gluten & Allergen Free Expo! Sueson Vess, co-owner of Cumin and Clove, has been a friend of mine for almost a year. Ever since I met her at the Gluten-free and Allergy Free Expo in Carmel, Indiana, I have admired her. She has some excellent gluten free recipes and even has her own company, Special Eats, that teaches about gluten free and allergy free cooking. Here is one of her books on gluten and dairy free cooking.
Her new company, allows for someone with multiple allergies (corn, dairy, soy, gluten) to try a healthy meal that is packed full of flavor! When I say healthy, I mean it - this stew has no sodium, no cholesterol, 25% of your daily fiber in one serving, and 10 grams of protein. Perfect for heart healthy living and a girl preparing for a pageant! It made plenty stew so I froze half of it and kept the other half out to eat for the week. My husband thought it was delicious as well. Check out Sueson's new website, www.cuminandclove.com, and order some for yourself!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Celiac Disease Foundation Annual Education Conference

I was thrilled to be invited to the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) Annual Education Conference in Los Angeles, CA this year.The Celiac Disease Foundation is who gave me my start as a Support Group leader and helped me get on my feet the first year. They have also been wonderful with helping me find resources to draft the legistlation to recognize May as National Celiac Disease Awareness month here in Alaska. The Celiac Disease Foundation's campaign "Are you the One?" is also well known throughtout the Celiac and gluten-free world. 1 in 133 people have Celiac Disease. Founded in 1990 by Elaine Monarch, they have since been at the forefront of Celiac information, advocacy, awareness, education, and support services. They also help to fund vital research to advance the medical knowledge of Celiac Disease.

The Conference took place on Saturday April 28th, however, I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at the leaders meeting Friday April 27th. The leaders meting was attended by all support group and chapter leaders around the country. It was a celebration of all their efforts in supporting those with Celiac Disease throught their community as well as a chance for the Celiac Disease Foundation to unveil some of the excited events that they were planning to unveil in the near future. I spoke with the group about the legislation Seantor Geissel and I worked on in order to establish May as National Celiac Disease Awareness month in Alaska and told them a little bit about my pageant platform and the opportunities the Mrs. International state title had provided for me. It was such a delight to meet all of them. Below are a few group pictures!

 Later Friday night, there was also a VIP party for some of the vendors and speakers. It was there that I was able to meet some of the heros of the Celiac Disease field. Elaine Monarch herself was present along with her husband Selwynne (below left) and I was able to spend a few minutes talking with Dr. Green, author of Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic and a Director at the University of Chicago's Celiac Disease Center, Dr. Guandalini, also a Director at the University of Chicago's Celiac Disease Center, and Shelley Case, the world's leading expert on Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet. I felt like I was at a Hollywood party filled with Celiac Disease celebrities!
I also had the pleasure of meeting Deb Wheaton, who was essential in helping me formulate and present the legislation. She was pivotal in having the same legislation passed in California. Deb has her own non-profit and gluten-free campaign, Not Even a Crumb, that supports gluten-free lifestyles and gluten-free awareness. She is also owner of a new company, Gluten Free Prairie, that specializes in a new kind of oat! (see details below)
The 2012 CDF Annual Education Conference & Food Faire's goal was to provide its attendees with a greater understanding of Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, associated conditions and how family members are affected, dietary compliance, future therapies and the promising hope of a cure. Network with other attendees following the gluten-free lifestyle, meet with exhibitors, sample and discover the latest gluten-free foods and services.
Here is a photo of Dr. Guandalini and two of his slides during his lecture "Connecting the Keychain". He had wonderful information to share and was a great speaker!
I met Barbara Elliot, host of Celiac TV, and spoke with her about my title and my efforts to raise awareness for Celiac Disease throughout the nation (below left). My favorite part was speaking with the attendees about my platform and hearing their stories of their indivdual journey's to wellness after diagnosis (below right)

 The day was also filled with wonderful samples from various gluten-free vendors. Kinnikinnik had some new mixed to display. They also were handing out samples of their new bread! They claim it can sit on the counter like regular bread and retains it mositure and taste. I had a piece and it was delicious!

Kraft foods is hoping on the Gluten free train as well. They have two new items that they gaurantee are gluten free. Most of the gluten free world has used these two products without issue but now the company is gauranteeing to uphold the gluten-free standards requested by the Celiac community of containig less than 20 part per million (PPM) of gluten.
 Gluten Free Prairie was one of the new products I was excited to sample. Family owned and operated, Gluten Free Prairie oats are special because it is naturally hull-less, it requires minimal processing and has not been soaked or steamed. Bonus: there is no hull debris to remove prior to packaging. Additionally they have an 18 month shelf-life. Their new variety of hull-less oats, developed at Montana State University, is also higher in protein than many other varieties. Most oats are approx. 13% protein, while Gluten-Free Prairie Oats consistently test out between 17 & 22% protein!

Growing Naturals was also another company I was excited to discover. If you are gluten-free and vegan, they make multiple products with brown rice! They believe that "from proteins to milks, baked goods and meal replacements, whole grain brown rice has endless possibilities for people at every stage of life."

Rudi's was cooking up quesadillas with their new tortillas. They have three different flavors to offer. All tastes fabulous and I did not witness any of the typically issues of the tortilla falling apart or being to try that can occur with your average gluten-free tortillas.

The Good Cookie, a local LA bakery, was kind enough to give me two sets of free samples! The good cookies use all natural, organic ingredients in their baking. No sugar, no butter, no dairy and all gluten-free! They were so good, I ate an entire bag that same day! I saved the rest for the plane ride home but if I lived closer to the bakery, my waist line would be in trouble!

There were plenty more vendors and free samples to try but there is just not enough space to tell you all about it. However, my support group was elated to get the benefits of all my wonderful finds! I highly recommend attending next year if you get a chance!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Jules Gluten free E-book for FREE!!

Dear Brandy,

To impart my cookie-baking secrets, and in response to the many, many requests I get, I've created a cookie e-book.  And now through Wednesday, you can have it for FREE!!! 
Cookie e-Book

Making your own cookies allows you to control the sugar content, fat content...and is cheaper and more satisfying than buying pre-packaged ones. And this e-book will show you how easy it is ~ for FREE!!! 

How to get your FREE e-Book:
  • Go to the Daily Deals page. 
  • Scroll down and add the CookiE-book to your shopping cart ~ for FREE. 
  • An email will be sent to you allowing you to download the e-Book.
  • Valid now through Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012.
Happy baking!!!

Jules Signature
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