12 Oct Special of the day: All of the good, none of the gluten
Chances are good that you or someone you know is affected by some intolerance to gluten. Originally thought to be rare, Celiac Disease is now estimated to affect more than 2 million people in the United States. People with Celiac Disease (CD) cannot tolerate gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. When they do eat foods containing gluten, damage is caused to the villi, or small hair-like lining of the small intestine, rendering it incapable of absorbing vitamins, mineral and other nutrients.
Many years of just not feeling well followed by a really bad summer prompted Carol Paul to see local naturopath Dr. Jackie Arnold who asked Paul to try giving up wheat for a while. After a few days of doing so, she felt much better and now avoids anything made with wheat.
Miriam Walters started experiencing the extremely itchy, burning tiny blisters of Dermatitus Herpetiformis (DH), another form of gluten intolerance, back in February of 2004. Luckily she was diagnosed after her first visit to a dermatologist.
Walters has managed to totally transform her eating habits and become gluten-free which wasn’t easy. “I was a gluten glutton!” Walters said, remembering her pre-DH days of loving pasta, bread and cake. The first year was very difficult, Walters said, but it’s not bad now. “It seems like every time I go to the grocery store, there are more options. I used to only find gluten-free goods in 2Js but now both Albertsons and Smiths carry a good selection, too. Walters uses Gluten-Free Mama’s flour blends (Almond and Coconut) and says both are very good.
Walters’ diagnosis was shocking to her, but later read that it is common for a fourth decade presentation. Pregnancy or trauma can trigger it as well, she said, while gluten intolerance tends to run in families.
Miriam’s aunt, Merna Kochel found out she had Celiac Disease in March 2003, but had symptoms well over ten years before, she said. She now adheres to a strictly gluten-free diet as well.
Kochel’s recent great find was a loaf of gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free bread from Great Harvest Bread Company. For other gluten-free goods, she recommends Pamela products and Tinkyada pastas. Montana Gluten-free Processors (www.montanaglutenfree.com) sells certified gluten-free oats which eliminate the danger of cross-pollination, Kochel explained.
Restaurants are beginning to understand that gluten-free is really a need and not just a dietary choice, Paul explained. Boston’s has gluten-free pizza and Dante’s has a chef who makes good food gluten-free, Paul said.
This week’s Special of the day: Gluten-free Baking and recipes for Blueberry Muffins with Almond Streusel Topping, Cheesy Chipotle Cornbread with Roast Beef and Brandied Apple Crepes with Maple Cream. Enjoy!
- Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy Delicious Meals by Silvana Nardone
- Gluten-free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide by Shelley Case, RD
- Gluten-Free Mama’s Best Baking Recipes by Rachel Carlyle-Gathier
- Healthier without Wheat: a New Understanding of Wheat Allergies, Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance by Dr. Stephen Wangen
- The Gluten-Free Gourme:Living Well Without Wheat by Bette Hagman
- The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread: More than 200 Wheat-free Recipes by Bette Hagman
Websites:firstname.lastname@example.org. Sydne’s “Special of the day” columns and recipes are archived at: http://sydnegeorge.com/blog.