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Happy Gluten-Free New Year

Posted Jan 09 2011 4:24pm

Keeping it simple

Gluten-free foods are expensive.  And they can be harder to find.  Some don’t taste very good.  And many aren’t that healthy for you.  So as a good way to start off the new year, I’d encourage you to think about “normal” foods–real, simple whole foods that just so happen to be naturally gluten-free.  Why?  They’re usually  healthier, they’re cheaper, they’re easier to find, and often easier to prepare.  Of course, gluten free grains can be harder to come by and those are important too

Most of the foods that are wonderful parts of any healthy diet are already gluten free.  Fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, seeds, dairy, fish, poultry, water, and even common grains like rice, wild rice, etc.  I have yet to meet a client who nutritionally needs more cake and cookies, gluten-free or otherwise.  Here are a few ideas of easy things that you can to make your lifestyle healthier.

  • Beans are great in the winter! Think black bean soup, chili, lentil stew, hummus, etc.
  • Here, fishy fishy: add in some salmon, trout and oysters or other fish twice a week.  They are high in heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids and low in mercury.
  • Look for seasonal fruits and veggies. Clementines, pomegranates, grapefruit, pineapples and mangoes are wonderful in the winter, and kale, collards, sweet potatoes, winter squash, are too.Choose whole (fresh, frozen or dried) vegetables and fruits over juices, which have most of the fiber removed.
  • Add some ground flax seed to your yogurt, cereal, or on a salad for more fiber and healthy omega 3s.
  • Drink your water!  6-8 glasses a day are important to stay hydrated, especially when you increase the amount of fiber you eat.  Sometimes taking a water bottle along can help remind you.
  • Talk to your doctor about your Vitamin D level. Many people who are newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease are deficient, and it’s tough to get enough from food and sunlight in the winter months no matter what.
  • Grab some almonds and walnuts, an ounce a day actually promotes weight loss and provides a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
  • Get whole grains in your diet.  Try a whole grain hot cereal, brown rice bread, wild rice with dinner, or even quinoa pasta.
  • Use healthier oils when cooking like olive, walnut, grapeseed, etc. and limit or eliminate corn, soy or vegetable oil and trans fats.
  • Take care of yourself. This includes sleeping well, reducing stress, and doing things you enjoy.  You’re worth it.

Let this be the year you enjoy great health!

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Want to make sure you’re eating a balanced gluten-free diet?  Seeing a Registered Dietitian can be a huge help.

As a health care professional, I was deeply disturbed when I realized that many insurance companies do not provide coverage for Medical Nutrition Therapy for Celiac Disease.  I began writing letters on behalf of of my clients to spread awareness, and much to my surprise, about half the time the insurance company eventually provides coverage .  To the best of my knowledge Medicare and Tricare have not ever covered services for Celiac Disease.

There are two letters here .  One for Registered Dietitians to file on behalf of their patients , and one is for  clients to file on their own behalf.

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Celiac support groups are tremendously important.  They’re a great, fun, informative way of connecting with people in a similar situation, and  NIH recommends joining one , too.  We’ve got a few local groups, such as DC Celiacs , which meets 4-5 times yearly in DC, MD and VA, NOVA CSA group out of Reston,which has periodic events and a variety of meet up groups , too.

However, all of these groups are run by volunteers, and need funds to rent space for meetings, send out newsletters, have websites, and all that jazz.  So if you’re getting the benefit of the restaurant databases , meetings, yahoo groups with information, please consider paying dues so these great groups can continue giving the community fantastic information.

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DC Celiacs

Next Meeting Date: Saturday, January 29, 2011, 2:00–4:00 pm

Meeting Topic: The FDA’s Drug Ingredient Labeling Requirements.
Speaker: Terrell Baptiste, Digestive Disease National Coalition

Location: Arlington Central Library (Virginia) – Metro accessible, parking available.
1015 N Quincy Street, Arlington, VA 22201
703-228-5990

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Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better!  Cheryl works with people to feel and look their best with a range of specialties, including Celiac Disease, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating.  Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here , email or call 571-271-8742.

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