Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Celiac Disease Facts

Here are some facts about celiac disease and being gluten free. If you have been diagnosed or think you may be experiencing symptoms it is important to do the research.  Be informed.  Take control and your overall health will improve dramatically.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.

  • One in 133 Americans has Celiac Disease.
  • Three million Americans of all races, ages and genders suffer from Celiac.
  • 95% of Celiacs are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions.
  • 10 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed.
  • 17% of Celiac patients have an immediate family member who also has Celiac.
  • Celiac Disease can lead to a number of other disorders including infertility, reduced bone density, neurological disorders, some cancers, and other autoimmune diseases.
  • $5,000 - $12,000 is the average cost of misdiagnosis per person/per year of Celiac, not including lost work time.
  • There is NO pharmaceutical cures for Celiac Disease.
  • A 100% gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment for Celiac today.
  • A positive attitude, 100% of the time, helps Celiacs create a gluten-free lifestyle for themselves and their affected family members.
  • 500,000 new Celiac diagnoses are expected to occur in the next 5 years thanks to efforts to raise public awareness of Celiac Disease.
  • The gluten-free marketplace is expected to reach $1.7 billion by 2010 thanks to new vendors manufacturing better tasting and more affordable products.
This information was taken from The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Try some Whole Foods

While away on vacation recently I was lucky enough to be in a city that had a Whole Foods Store. I purchased some of my favorite foods only available at Whole Foods. Unfortunately Whole Foods Gluten Free foods can only be purchased in the store, they do not provide an online service for mail order. My favorite Whole Foods item is their Orange Cranberry Scones. They come frozen and can be easily served by defrosting for 15 – 30 seconds in the microwave. Served with a little butter and these are a bit of heaven in a plastic container. I also love their soft Gingersnap cookies. These also come frozen and come to life if left to sit on the counter to defrost by themselves, or can be softened in the microwave as well. You really can’t beat the flavor and texture of these cookies. I found some new brands of pasta I had never seen before and while taking in the smells of their bakery I noticed something behind the glass called Yucca rolls. They are dinner rolls that look exactly like a dinner roll you would normally be used to. When I inquired about them I was told that they sell them either already baked or they could be purchased frozen, unbaked in a package of 6. I went for the frozen and baked them myself. They were really good. They have a spongy texture and paired well with my meal. This is a good choice if you are looking for something a little different.

Home from vacation and back to work. With not much time for supper here is a quick pasta dish that I threw together. Start with a package of chicken tenders. Cut them into chunks and toss into a screaming hot skillet with a little oil, vegetable or olive. Cook until not quite done. Take out of pan and set aside to add later. Remove most of the leftover oil in the skillet leaving just a few tablespoons. Add onion and sauté until tender. Throw in some wine. I used a chardonnay, about ¼ to a ½ cup. Let this cook down for several minutes. Add chicken broth and cook a few minutes more. At this point add a can of stewed tomatoes and a can of whole tomatoes. Break up the tomatoes with a potato smasher. Add a few tablespoons of tomato paste, salt, pepper and sugar. Let bubble for about 10 minutes more to let the flavors come together. Add the chicken back in & let simmer. If you have it, add fresh parsley and basil. Before serving add something creamy such as mascarpone cheese, creamy ricotta or cream cheese. This can be left out but it adds a creaminess that makes this dish special. At some point throw on a pot of water and get the pasta going. After sauce is ready add pasta and there it is. I’m giving you the recipe and a picture. This is quick and really easy. Hope you enjoy it!

Chicken breast tenders
½ of a medium onion
¼ to ½ cup wine
½ cup chicken broth
1 14 ½ oz. Can stewed tomatoes
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
salt & pepper to taste
3 tablespoons sugar
chopped parsley
chopped basil
¼ - ½ cup mascarpone cheese, ricotta or cream cheese