Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Man with Celiac Disease being inducted into American Football Hall of Fame

Recently, a received a very exciting e-mail from a good friend of mine, Craig Pinto. Craig, a former professional indoor football player, is the founder of Kicking4Celiac, a foundation whose aim is to reach out to people with Celiac Disease. Craig founded it in 2011 in order to educate and raise awareness about an illness that he suffers from. Craig and his board of directors works tirelessly to raise money for different Celiac Disease Centers and other Celiac-related non-profits as well as their own program, Cleats 4 Kids, which encourages good nutrition, healthy eating and places an emphasis on an active lifestyle. Kicking4Celiac also has their own scholarship program for high school student students in order to help off-set costs of living gluten-free while getting their undergraduate degree.
The past two years, Craig has put together a charity event to raise awareness for Celiac Disease by attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Records for most field goals kicked in 12 hours. Craig broke the record in 2011 with 717 field goals and then broke his own record in 2012 by kicking 1000 field goals! So, I was thrilled to receive an e-mail from Craig saying he was being inducted into American Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013. In November in Miami, Florida, Craig will be recognized during the fourth America Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony honoring a "League of Extraordinary People" for his world records and his philanthropy through football.
I know I am not alone when I say that the Celiac community is extremely proud of him and looks forward to all he will continue to accomplish through his incredible passion and devotion to raising awareness to an autoimmune illness that affects so many. Feel free to e-mail Craig and let him know how proud of him you are!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August Recipe of the month

Since my product of the month is going to be something yummy but high in calories, I wanted to pick a recipe that may counter/compliment it.
August, in most places, is the warmest month of the year. Alaska will always keep you guessing though. I think our warmest day this year was in July. It was a perfect 80 degrees with a slight breeze. I remember because I was at a street fair downtown and my friends and I stopped at a chocolate/coffee shop down one of the side streets to have an iced drink. There were 4 chairs right outside the shop and we all sat down and it became one of those blissfully perfect moments that I wanted to remember forever. Four beautiful ladies, enjoying a cold drink on a beautiful warm day filled with laughter. I even found a gorgeous pair of earrings at the fair.
Now, this memory also takes me back to another sunny afternoon a few years ago with my mom in Georgia. I was experimenting with new healthy recipes after our diagnosis and came across this yummy salad at Simply Recipes. I made this meal and we sat on the porch to eat it. Another good memory. Hopefully, this salad brings you good memories too.

Its gluten-free and dairy-free and has some good omegas and fiber as well.  Serves 4.

Chicken Apple Arugula Goat Cheese Salad

  • Olive oil (look for olive oil in a dark glass container - that's usually the best quality)
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and sliced
  • 1.5 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cooked and cut up
  • 1 tart green apple, sliced thinly (I like granny smith apples)
  • Baby arugula leaves - about 4 cups
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese (I used a goat cheese feta)
  • lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

I usually already have the chicken boiled when I start to build the salad. I am weird about grill marks and frying isn't the most healthy way so, I will leave it up to you to cook it the way your want. Set aside the chick to cool.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and place on medium heat. Lightly saute the shallots until they turn translucent in color. Remove from pan.
Place arugula in a large bowl and toss with shallots, cooled chicken, and sliced green apples. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice. Place into four bowls and top with walnuts and goat cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.

I have also used spinach for this salad and that worked well. Good source of iron too! :)

Original recipe found here

Monday, August 13, 2012

2012 Heart Walk

Dear Friends and Family,

Did you know...

  • that 1 in 3 Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease?
  • that heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined?
  • that 36,000 babies are born with heart defects each year?
My grandfather, Durwood, was taken from me when I was 13 because of heart disease and my other grandfather, Mark, suffered a stroke two years ago. Both my grandmothers have undergone heart surgery due to cardiovascular disease as well. This issue is very personal to me.
To fight this epidemic, I am participating in the 2012 Anchorage Heart Walk on 09/15/2012 (47 days away!) and raising funds to support the American Heart Association and eradicate heart disease in our community.  I am honored to have the chance to serve on the Executive Leadership Team for the Anchorage Heart Walk this year and I am excited to see how amazing this event will be!
Please support my fundraising efforts with a contribution! Click this link to go directly to my personal fundrasing page where you can give a secure online donation.

Your contribution will support the American Heart Association's work to fund groundbreaking heart and stroke research.  Please support me with a donation today. I hope I can count on your help!

Thank you!


PS. Ask your HR department if your company has a matching gift program.  After you make your donation, fill out your employer's matching gift form to double your donation!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gluten-free travel site

GlutenFreeTravelSite, started and managed by Karen Broussard, is a website for those who require a gluten-free diet with thousands of gluten-free travel and dining reviews. Her website recently got a face lift and has a brand new look to it. She sent an e-mail out to make the exciting announcement! A copy of it is below but, be sure to check it out for yourself and explore all the sight has to offer!

A Letter From Karen Broussard, Founder of GlutenFreeTravelSite 

August 7, 2012

Hello Brandy,

GlutenFreeTravelSite today announced the completion of an updated version of our website, which contains thousands of user-submitted Gluten Free Dining and Travel REVIEWS, searchable by location.  In addition to a beautiful new DESIGN, we've added New Features and Content to the Site, including:
  • Enhanced HOME page with links to all areas of our site
  • Expanded Gluten Free at College section, including reviews of college dining services, submitted by GF students
  • A CRUISE page, showcasing the gluten free policies of all the major Cruise Lines, along with links to cruise REVIEWS submitted to our site
  • An AIRLINES page, detailing which major airlines offer gluten free meals upon request
  • A Listing of CAMPS all over the country that offer programs for Gluten Free Kids
  • Social Sharing on each page of the site to allow you to share pages -- or specific reviews -- with your GF friends
  • Expanded GLUTEN FREE RESOURCES page, organized by category (Celiac associations, Trip Planning, GF-Friendly Hotels/Resorts, Mobile resources...)
  • Enhanced page listing Restaurant Chains offering Gluten Free Menus, with links to dedicated pages for each restaurant
  • Ability to upload photos as part of your dining and travel reviews
  • A page showcasing our Top Reviewers with links to their dining reviews from their travels
Of course, visitors to GlutenFreeTravelSite will be pleased to find the same user-friendly functionality that allows them to search for "gluten free friendly" businesses wherever they live or travel. Thousands of user-submitted reviews of restaurants, bakeries, stores, hotels, resorts, and cruises can be accessed via a braod search by state or country -- or a more narrow search by town or zip code.

Please consider "Liking" our Facebook page, Following us on Twitter, and adding us to your Google+ network. It's the best way to "stay in the loop" about all the latest GF dining and travel news. Plus, you'll be letting your GF friends know about GlutenFreeTravelSite -- and the many restaurants and other businesses reviewed on our site. (Don't forget to take just a few minutes to Submit a Review of your own!) And if you have a website or Blog, please link to our site to help others in the gluten free learn about us.

For more details about this important initiative, please see today's Press Release.

Warm regards,
Karen Broussard
Founder and President, GlutenFreeTravelSite

Features of GlutenFreeTravelSite

FREE Mobile Version

GlutenFreeTravelSite offers a FREE Mobile Version of its website, and there's nothing to download. Simply enter the site's URL into the browser of ANY smart phone (iPhone, Android, or Blackberry), and you'll be automatically routed to the mobile version of the site where you can access their thousands of GF dining and travel reviews while on-the-go! 

GFTS Monthly Contest

GlutenFreeTravelsite hosts a contest each month, where we select a particularly helpful review submitted over the prior month and showcase it as our Featured Review. The winning reviewer receives a special gift -- typically a gift card to a GF-friendly restaurant or merchandise from our Store. So Submit a Review of your own today!

More Restaurant Chains Offering Gluten Free Menus

More and more national and regional restaurant chains are offering Gluten Free Menus. Be sure to sign up for email updates from our Blog as well as our FREE monthly e-letter to stay in the loop about new restaurants launching Gluten Free Menus.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August Gluten Free Support group Meeting

Please join me next week for the Anchorage Gluten-free Support group meeting at Natural Pantry on Old Seward Highway. We meet in the Natural Pantry Cafe from 6-8 pm. See you there!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Gluten-free Olympian takes Gold in Pole Vault

I will admit that I have been one of the millions of people with my eyes glued to NBC watching the Olympics. If I wasn't home I made sure to record them. I was proud to know that there were several athletes in London who were on a gluten-free diet. Some of them may not have Celiac Disease but used a gluten-free diet as part of their training. One of these athletes, Jenn Suhr, is an American pole vaulter, who was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a few years ago. Click below to read a little bit about her story:

How American pole vaulter Jenn Suhr beat the odds and won Olympic Gold

Monday, August 6, 2012

New Canadian Gluten Labeling Regulations

Recently, the Canadian Celiac Disease Society had a major breakthrough for all people in their country with allergies. After almost 20 years of hard work, they have something to celebrate! Canadians who require a gluten-free diet will no longer have to guess if gluten is a hidden ingredient in items they purchase at the grocery store. The regulations are in full affect after August 4th, 2012. Check out more news on the story here.Below is the info released by the Canadian Celiac Association.

"Gluten Free" defined

When you see the words “gluten free” on a package, what does it mean? Now there are clear
guidelines set out in regulation and in implementation guidelines from Health Canada.
1. No ingredients that contain any gluten proteins from barley, oats, rye, triticale, or wheat,
including kamut and spelt, have been deliberately added to the product.
2. No ingredients that contain modified or hydrolyzed proteins from those same grains have
been deliberately added to the product.
3. Gluten levels in the product from accidental gluten contamination are less than 20 parts
per million (ppm).
4. Good manufacturing practices have been used to minimize the risk of accidental
contamination from gluten grains.
5. Any ingredients made from gluten grain have been processed to remove the gluten protein
using methods that have been demonstrated to be effective. Wheat glucose syrup and
wheat maltodextrin are ingredients that fit in this category.
6. Recognized testing methodologies have been used to measure gluten levels.

What’s changed?
1. A specific limit for the maximum amount of gluten present as a result of accidental
contamination has been set. This value was set based on scientific evidence on the safe
threshold for people with Celiac disease and estimates of the amount of gluten-free food
people consume per day.
2. Ingredients derived from wheat that have been demonstrated to contain no gluten protein
are permitted in gluten-free food. The most common ingredients that fit this class are
glucose syrup derived from wheat and maltodextrin derived from wheat. Both of these
products are carbohydrates that do not contain any protein.
3. Manufacturers have been given guidance about what tests to use to detect gluten,
especially when there is concern about hydrolyzed or fragmented proteins which can be
difficult to detect.
4. Clear directions have been given that it is not acceptable to deliberately add small amounts
of gluten products, even if the overall level of gluten is less than 20 ppm. This includes tiny
amounts of wheat flour in a seasoning mixture or barley malt used to add flavor.

Find the original PDF here.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Top 10 Genetically modified (GMO) foods

Now, I know my blog is mainly about Celiac Disease and being gluten-free however, as some of you may know, I also have additional allergies. Not only does gluten make me deathly ill but dairy and soy upset my stomach almost instantly and lately my gut hasn't been a fan of refined sugars either. That's why, when I cam across this article, I thought I should share it because it turns out three of the top ten foods are cross-sensitivities or allergies that I deal with along with my Celiac Disease. Coincidence? I'm not so sure . . . read the article for yourself at the link below.

Top 10 GMO Foods to Avoid

Friday, August 3, 2012

August product of the month

In most states, August is the hottest month of the year. It typically is in Alaska as well but with the crazy weather nation-wide this year, I'm not sure what August will bring us. However, I understand that my the majority of the continent south of Alaska has been facing temperature of over 100 degrees. So, what better way to cool off during the hot weather than having some yummy ice cream? Since I am dairy-free along with being gluten and soy free, its typically difficult for me to find something that meets my dietary restrictions. Also, refined sugar doesn't agree with my stomach and too much coconut milk can cause bloating as well so, I have more restrictions to throw in the mix.
Recently, I found an ice cream that meets all of my restrictions and taste just like homemade vanilla ice cream my grandparents used to make when I was a kid. Just the right amount of vanilla bean flavor and creaminess. It also goes perfect with the chewy chocolate cookie recipe I posted last month!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Upcoming NFCA Webinar: Back to School - Educating about the Importance of Gluten-Free

Topic: “Back to School: Preparing to Educate School Administrators on the Importance of Gluten-Free”
Date: Thursday, August 23, 2012
Time: 8:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m. Pacific
Speaker: Gabriela Pacheco, RD, LD, SNS, School Nutrition Consultant
In the past year, NFCA’s inboxes have been flooded with questions on how to address children’s medical needs while remaining positive but with more vigor. NFCA’s annual Back-to-School webinar will return with a focus on providing parents of gluten-free children with the knowledge and material needed to address tough gluten-free issues with their children’s school administration.
Register Now
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