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Quick Gluten Free Treats

I just sent these ideas to my cousin. Thought I would share them here as well. If you need a sugar fix quick, here are some ideas…..

Marshmellow treats with fruity pebbles. Most fruity pebbles are gluten free, even the generic brand. I believe that cocoa pebbles are too (the name brand, not the generic brand are usually gluten free).
Bag of small marshmellows (16 oz)
1 stick (could do 2/3 stick) butter
Fruity Pebbles
Cut butter into squares and put in big plastic or glass bowl and put in microwave for 20 seconds
Add marshmellows into bowl and put in microwave for 1 minute
Stir for 30 seconds
Put in microwave for another 30 seconds
Stir for 30 seconds and it should be good enough if not put in micro again for 30.
Stir in 16-10 cups of fruity pebbles, depending on how much marshmellow you like in it. I never measure, so that is why I can’t tell you how much. Maybe 8 cups.

Fudge
Package of semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
2/3 can of sweetened condensed milk
Put chips in GLASS bowl in microwave for 1 minute
Stir well (30 seconds – minute)
Can put in micro again for 30 seconds and stir so no chuncks are left.
Add sweetened condensed milk, usually 2/3 can.
Stir
Put in pan
Let harden in fridge

Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Glutino Pretzels
bag of chocolate chips
Melt chocolate chips in glass bowl for 1 minute in microwave. Stir. Melt again for 30 seconds. Stir. Dip in Pretzels. Let cool on Wax wrap or plastic. Enjoy. :)

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownies get gluten free brownies from Betty Crocker. They are usually in the normal betty crocker section.

Microwave Brownies when you can’t wait
I like the betty crocker brownies, but if you have to have them NOW, then this one works in the microwave. Best if eatten that night with ice cream and fudge and whipped cream. :)
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup melted butter or 1/2 cup canola oil
• 3/4 cup sifted rice flour
• 1/2 cup sifted cocoa
• (i never sift them, fyi)
*Beat together eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and salt for one minute.
*Add melted butter or canola oil. Stir well with a wooden spoon (not mixer) so that the sugar is well mixed with the butter or oil. Stir in the sifted flour, cocoa and walnuts Lightly spray or grease a glass 10 by 10 inch baking pan
*Microwave on High for 5- 6 minutes
*When done the top looks dry but will spring back.
*In a 1000 watt microwave I recommend baking on medium high for 5- 6 minutes.
Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/gluten-free-chocolate-mint-brownies-microwave-recipe-gf-86139#ixzz1wkS88Ivy

Enjoy! :) –rox

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I am gong back in time to understand the new Gluten Free Labeling Laws. What were the governments initial findings in Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection

Public Law 108-282 of August 2, 2004 found that

“celiac disease is an immune-mediated disease that causes damage to the gastrointestinal tract, central nervous system, and other organs.” (Sec 202 – 6A) And

“the current recommended treatment is avoidance of glutens in foods that are associated with celiac disease” (Sec 202 – 6B)

The labeling of the eight major allergens with a ‘CONTAINS’ statment applies “to any food that is labeled on or after January 1, 2006” (Sec 203 – 2D) Wheat is included as one of the major eight allergens but Barley and Rye are not included in that list. This is why the “Gluten Free Labeling” is so important as hidden ingredient can be “derived from….a major food allergen” (Sec 202 – 5B) or “ingredients….declared as a class… [like]…spices, flavorings…are exempt from the ingredient labeling requirements.” (Sec 202 – 5C) Note that the eight major allergens and gluten free were intertwined throughout the record.

“Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with appropriate experts and stakeholders, shall issue a proposed rule to define, and permit use of, the term “gluten-free” on the labeling of foods. Not later than 4 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue a final rule to define, and permit use of, the term “gluten-free” on the labeling of foods. (Sec 206)

Also, “shall….pursue revisions of the Food Code to provide guidelines for preparing allergen-free foods in food establishments, including restaurants, grocery store delicatessens and bakeries, and elementary and secondary school cafeterias.” (Sec 209)

This was a good start, although weird that it was attached to as Section II to Public Law 108, which is a law about animal drugs. At least it is being addressed.

The labeling with “Contains” of the top eight allergents started January 1, 2006 as mandated, but the final ruling on gluten free was just made May 2011 and goes into effect September 2012…years after the 4 year mandated.

Responsible Parties are…..

sec 207: Improvement
a) In General.–The Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and in consultation with the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, shall improve (including by educating physicians and other health care providers) the collection of, and publish as it becomes available, national data on–
(1) the prevalence of food allergies;
(2) the incidence of clinically significant or serious adverse events related to food allergies; and
(3) the use of different modes of treatment for and prevention of allergic responses to foods.

sec 208: research
(a) In General.–The Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Director of the National Institutes of Health, shall convene an ad hoc panel of nationally recognized experts in allergy and immunology to review current basic and clinical research efforts related to food allergies.

(b) Recommendations.–Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the panel shall make recommendations to the Secretary for enhancing and coordinating research activities concerning food allergies, which the Secretary shall make public.

Approved August 2, 2004

Like I said, this is old news, but I am trying to understand the new laws as they go into effect and I thought I would bring you down that same road. If you feel I am incorrect in my findings, please let me know! I am not a lawyer or expert, just a member of the Celiac and Gluten Free Community.

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May is Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance Awareness Month. Let’s face it. How long did you go undiagnosed before figuring it out?! It’s all guess, from what I figure, but we think it was two years for my son and 6 years for my husband. We’ll never know, for sure. I feel like we were just lucky. Well, maybe not lucky to have Celiac Disease, but lucky that we found out. It answered so many questions, and solved so many problems when we went gluten free.

May is all about that. Helping others know more about the disease, symptoms, support systems and choices out there for a gluten free life style. Years ago, it was more like a death sentence, at least now there are some good gluten free food options out there. Restaurants are becoming more aware, stores are caring more options, manufacturers are actually making gluten free food that tastes good.

So it’s our turn to turn up the volume, to start raising the awareness in our circles, to start watching out for others. We know through research that 1 out of 22 of our close relatives are more prone to Celiac Disease. Have your children, siblings or parents been tested? Maybe this is the month. When you see that person reading labels or vacillating between gluten free products at the grocery store, do you offer your support or personal favorites? Have you found a restaurant that really knows how to safely take care of their gluten free patrons and do you share that with others? What about your favorite gluten free products?! Have you written a review on Amazon or put it out there on your social media circles.

I think anything we can do to support one another will help make a difference in raising the awareness. Isn’t it time we step up, claim our place and share our views with others. I think so. This month, the month of May, Celiac Awareness Month, is the perfect month to start! May your diets be gluten free, and may you ever be healthy!

Happy Celiac Disease – Gluten Intolerance Awareness Month!!

I have been researching the federal labeling laws concerning gluten free lately. Weird things. I will start at the beginning of what I found and explain what I know.
There was a law that was going through the legislation. It was trying to be passed back in 2004.
PUBLIC LAW 180-282-AUG 2, 2004 –
TITLE I-MINOR USE AND MINOR SPECIES HEALTH
Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Health Act of 2004
This law talks about the approval of new animal drugs, the need, the marketing and public interest concerning the drug.
You can google it in its entirety or look at this link for Public Law 108-282
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-108publ282/html/PLAW-108publ282.htm
So what does this have to do with Allergen Labeling of our food?! Exactly….Nothing. Only that is where TITLE II-FOOD ALLERGEN LABELING AND CONSUMER PROTECTION was added.
Just weird that the Allergen Labeling law is attached to an Animal Health Act. Why? Were they trying to get it passed wherever they could? Were they trying to sneak it past without people noticing? It is just weird that it was attached to a law about animal drugs. Just odd.
Any thoughts?

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Going out to eat can be frustrating when you are newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease and/or a gluten intolerance. Many restaurants now offer gluten free options, but their gluten free menu selection is limited. It can be disappointing when you go to a restaurant that offers gluten free food and you find only their steak is gluten free, when you were really craving chicken.

To help make your gluten free dining experience better, you can start with these two things. First, identify the restaurants that offered gluten free options you like.  For us, we love the Loaded Chicken at Wingers, the pulled pork at Goodwood, the Chicken Nachos at Costa Vida, the bbq chicken pizza at Malawi’s, the prime rib at Wallaby’s.
 

Second, change your thought when going out to dinner. Rather than going to a restaurant and getting a menu and picking what you want, think which dish you want and go to that restaurant. The friends that go with you can get the menu and pick what they want.
 
As simple as that sounds, doing these two simple things can help you enjoy eating out again. Enjoy!
Here are a few websites that list restaurants that offer gluten free menu options!

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As a new business owner, you are excited with your new venture.  As you get into the daily grind of things, that excitement dies down. With it, so does your motivation. How do you stay motivated to keep doing the things you know you should do to be a success?

I say, just do it anyway! Since when did you need motivation to work when working for someone else at the warehouse or telephone company? Now that you own your own business, it isn’t much different. Sure, you are doing what you love and you have a personal interest in it…..but there will be many times, even on a daily basis, that you just need to do it anyway.

So CHEERS to you for doing the little things (and big things) that you would rather not do today…. but you are doing it anyway…… just because that is what you do. That, my friend, is why you are a success!

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My 21 year old son has Celiac Disease and is Gluten Intolerant. He was away and had been sick with diarrhea, stomach problems and fatigue for three solid weeks. I thought….no problem, now that he’s home, I’ll help ‘fix’ him with a true 100% gluten free diet.

After the first day, I reailized it wasn’t going to be a simple ‘gluten free’ fix. He needed to get off milk as well for a while to help his body heal.

My son is the blond. :)

Why? He isn’t normaly lactose intollerant, but because his intestinal villi were damaged from the hidden gluten, he couldn’t tollerate milk.

The intestinal villi are the finger-like projections that are found on the intestinal wall that absorb digested nutrients. The middle of the villi get damaged when a Celiac eats gluten (wheat, barley or rye). They villi can be ‘bent’ over or even ‘mowed off’ after eatting gluten.

If the villi are damaged in the middle, the tips of the villi will not be able to perform their function either. The tips of the villi digest the milk. That was why his body couldn’t digest the milk.

We took him off milk as well as the gluten, so his body could completely heal. I supposed he could have taken a lactose enzyme supplement to digest the milk rather than taking him off of milk completely. Either should have done the trick.

After 4 days, his dirrhea has stopped, but his body isn’t completely healed. It is getting better. These things take time. The nice thing, is that he is getting better. And, of course, that he is home.

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My husband is very sensitive to gluten. The tiniest touch of gluten and he is sick. He has Celiac Disease. When we found out, we immediately removed all gluten from his diet, changed our pots and pans, rinsed clean dishes every time before he ate, and he was still getting sick. We realized there was one thing we didn’t think of, and that was our toothpaste.

The ingredients in our toothpaste were gluten free, but we were ALL using the same tube of toothpaste. I dont’ know, maybe other families don’t share a tube, but we always did. The problem is, we aren’t all eating gluten free. Traces of gluten were left in our mouth and left on our toothbrushes. When we would get toothpaste, traces of gluten would be left on the toothpaste in the tube.

My husband would then use the same tube, and get traces of gluten on his toothbrush which he would put in his mouth. He must have swallowed a little bit or traces of the gluten were left in his mouth, because he would have a ‘mild’ reaction. My son, who also has Celiac Disease, didn’t seem to have the same effect, but his reactions weren’t as immediate, so they were harder to trace.

We now have a separate tube that is the same brand, but a different formula so it is easily recognized as the ‘gluten free’ tube. We also have a separate tube for my daughter who has a peanut allergy. We also have a toothbrush holder that separates our toothbrushes to keep each from touching the other. The extra tubes create a little extra clutter in the bathroom, but totally worth it. Everyone is feeling great!

Crest, Colgate and Aquafresh are some of the toothpastes offered that do not have any gluten. Below is the official word from their corporate websites on the issue.

Aquafresh
“Aquafresh toothpaste does not contain gluten.”

Colgate
“We do not intentionally add gluten to any Colgate Oral Care products.
However, we cannot guarantee that the ingredients used are not exposed to any gluten.”

Crest
“No current Crest products contain gluten.”

If only part of your house is gluten free, you may want to consider having a special toothpaste for those gluten free members to keep them safe and healthy. It helped us!

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I just got back from camp where I was the Gluten Free Chef again. At my camps, I have provided gluten free food for under 10 people (camps had 200-500 people total). Here are some things I learned.

Menu is usually planned weeks to months before the actual camp.
* Review menu early and try to pursued them to provide naturally gluten free meals (have Taco Salad rather than Lasagna).
* Pick out meals that could be gluten free with the right gf brands and try to pursued them to purchase GF ingredients (use La Choy Soy Sauce or Original Kraft BBQ Sauce rather than gluten counterpart).
* Try to match menu with GF items as much as possible so your gluten free patrons eat same type of meals as others (Bring GF Bread for sandwiches or make gf pancakes).

Food is usually purchased week before camp by someone other than the person who is fixing food at camp. Review their ingredient list.
* Professional or bigger camps (500 or more people) usually purchase food from food distributor. Request ingredient lists for food used in menu. You can also make an appointment to go to the food distributor with the menu in hand and hopefully the person over purchasing the food with you. Most of the time you can get more ingredient information from the food distributor. They usually do not provide all ingredient information since they are getting the food from many different companies. (I did this last year, so maybe it is getting better.)
* Local camps will usually shop several local stores and brands, looking for the best deal. It is easiest to look at the ingredients on their stash of foods the day before leaving and make appropriate adjustments.
* Purchase the gf food needed. Keep your receipts.

Find out how food will be stored and prepared at camp.
* How is the food being stored. Will there be a ‘real’ freezer or just ice chests. This will determine what type of food you can bring.
* Label your gf food clearly, have separate container to put in freezers for gluten free food, keep your gf food in special place on shelves.
* How will food be heated? On grills, ovens, roasting pots or dutch ovens. This will determine what types of food you can cook and the equipment you need to bring.
* Bring your own ‘safe’ equipment which allows you to cook separate….Grills, pots, pans, serving utensils, etc.

Getting your gluten free food order in before the camp.
* When purchasing and preparing gluten free food before camp, think of the ones that will work best for the food item. We brought one bread for Egg Muffin morning sandwiches, and another for sandwiches. We pre-cooked and froze lasagna, made cookie drops and froze them to cook at camp and got coconut macaroons simply because they tasted good and stayed fresh a longer time.
* It is ok to bring extra food or have ideas what you could do if the food they provided isn’t gluten free as was planned.
* Gluten free foods that freeze well can bet gotten earlier. Others are best fresh. Leave time the day before camp to get those that should be freshests.

Set up a separate area at camp.
* Have a separate cooking area where you can use your own pots, pans and utensils. This also lessons the chance of someone stirring the gf meals with a shared spoon or bubbling sauces going into gf sauces.
* Have a GF serving table that is set apart from other serving tables enough so others don’t get in that line, but close enough so your gf patrons are not singled out when serving.
* Pull aside enough utensils, plates, cups for the camp so they are free from gluten. Many times, people will get bread products and then get their utensils. You do not want cross contact making your people sick.
* Pull aside butter and other condiments you may need for your gluten free patrons or better yet, just bring squeeze condiments (butter, mayo, etc) for your gf table so there is no chance of cross contact from someone that happens to use the gf products on gluten food.

Cooking & preparing food time
* Determine the items you need to cook on your own grills and cooking pans to avoid cross contact.
* Make sure same stirring and serving utensils do not mix between the gluten and gluten free foods.
* Re-check ingredients.

Serving time
* Setup the gluten free table to mirror the other tables.
* Put gluten free foods served on the gluten table on the gf table too. This allows your gf patrons to go through one line and get all their food. So if watermellon is served on other tables, make sure there is a generous portion on gf table. If chips are in gluten line, make sure you pull the chips (fresh bags or individual) that are gf and put them on the gluten free table. Always put extra on the gluten free table as it is easy to dump the extras back into the gluten table, but you can’t always pull extras and put on the gluten free table.
* Encourage your gluten free patrons to come early on to get their food as you may need to police the gf table to ward off cross contact.

Have fun!
* You will be the best part of the gluten free patrons camp.

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When I first started working at home, I had three children, five and under. I soon added one more and found that I needed to do something different when trying to balance being a career woman and a mom. I would try to work, and they would try and get my attention at the most inopportune times. It seemed like I was being a bad consultant and a bad mom. Not what I wanted to be.

I did two simple things that have proven helpful throughout their life.

The first was that when I talked with them, I stopped what I was doing, turned my whole body toward my child, got to their level and gave them my full attention. They learned to wait until I was done with my call on the phone or done with my thought on the computer, and I learned to give them 100% of me. This helped them know that both they and my job was important and it helped me keep my priorities in order…. but still get things done.

The second thing I did was I didn’t answer the phone while at the dinner table. It didn’t matter who was calling because…..’the most important people are here at the table.’ This proved helpful as they grew up and are in their late teenage years. When their friends call, they don’t jump to answer the phone (although they may think to) because ‘the most important people are here at the table.’ It gives us time to spend time together and bond as a family.

These two simple things let my kids know that they were important to me. It taught them patience. It helped grow their self worth. It helped me keep grounded and focused. They have still been a challenge at times, but fun!

Try it for a week and let me know how it goes for you and your family!

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