Posts tagged ‘social media’
What an exciting time for GREAT Kitchens and gluten-free dining! I can truly say I just had the trip of a lifetime representing the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) on the GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chefs Table tour. Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington were my destinations and the food and conversation were both exceptional and intriguing. I had the pleasure to work along the side of GREAT Chef Ambassador Chef Jehangir Mehta who is a master with spices and showcasing gluten-free ingredients. My favorite dish that he prepared was… well, all of them. But if I had to narrow it down, the halibut with beets and fried onion ring was primo DELISH!
As a true foodie, having the pleasure of tasting some extraordinary gluten-free meals prepared by some of the top chefs in the country was a thrill. In Portland, my favorite dish by Chef Naomi Pomeroy was the quince gallette and Chef Vitaly Paley’s icebox cake… crazy good. Plus, he made me banana bread for a special treat when we arrived for an early morning TV shoot. How sweet is that?
Chef John Howie’s tortilla soup’s spicy broth hit the spotand Chef Holly Smith’s cuttlefish ink risotto had such a mild fish flavor and striking presentation. What a contrast! These dishes celebrated fresh, local ingredients and honored key gluten-free ingredients like tapioca, chickpea flour, sorghum and infused flavors proving that gluten-free options should NOT be boring, bland tasting, or blah-looking – EVER!
All of the host chefs had a keen understanding of celiac disease and many had personal connections. Their interest was sparked by friends or family members that had a need for safe gluten-free meals which generated interest and intrigue in preparing their creations in a gluten-free manner to meet the same exceptional standard and quality as all of their offerings. During their presentations to the guests, they explained that when a “GF” request is made, serving gluten-free foods safely is always top of mind and caution in the kitchen is heightened.
However, I think the GREATest message from the tour was the importance of communication. GREAT Kitchens training emphasizes the importance of communication from taking the order to the serving of the plate. This is an important component in the training for the foodservice community to ensure safe preparation of gluten-free meals for our community. The training stresses continuous communication from host, server, manager, chef and server to get that order right with no mistakes along the way. But the communication doesn’t begin with the host greeting the guest; it really begins with the gluten-free diner. We really need to make our needs known and be clear to the restaurant and chef about what they are. People are eating gluten-free for all kinds of reasons from medical necessities such as celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (‘gluten sensitivity’) or maybe other medical conditions, but it’s quite possible the diner is eating gluten-free for the perceived health benefit brought on by the gluten-free fad diet. This muddles the message that we need to ensure restaurants receive. Chefs have requests for all kinds of allergies, diets, substitutions, and even requests from plain old picky eaters.
When you go out to eat, make it clear. Communicate. Use NFCA’s Dining Tips Sheet as a guide. Say “I have celiac disease and I must eat gluten-free for my health. This is not a choice. Can you serve me safely?” See what sort of response you get – you might be pleasantly surprised.
How do you handle dining out gluten-free? What has your experience been like? Tell me in the comments section below or on NFCA’s Facebook page. The GREAT Kitchens Chef’s Table Tour stopped San Francisco today and we’re hitting Los Angeles on Wednesday, so be sure to check for updates on Facebook, Instagram or follow NFCA (@celiacawareness) and Chef Mehta (@jehangir_mehta) on Twitter. Be sure to search for the hashtags #GREATKitchens or #GFChefsTable!
Safe and delicious dining to you all!
Raising awareness is a prime focus here at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). So, you can image that we have lots of ideas for raising celiac disease awareness every day, but especially on Friday, September 13 – Celiac Awareness Day.
Even if you are short on time, we have ideas that will have a big impact if we all work together. Check out our 10 suggestions for raising celiac disease awareness:
Share the Celiac Disease Symptoms Checklist
Did you know 83% of the estimated 3 million Americans living with celiac disease are still undiagnosed or misdiagnosed? You can help put these people on the path to diagnosis by sharing the Celiac Disease Symptoms Checklist. Share it on social media or print it out and hand it to a friend, coworker or family member.
Provide your insight for parents of gluten-free kids.
Maybe your child has been diagnosed with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (‘gluten sensitivity’) for a while. Perhaps you have a newly diagnosed child, but found a great trick for making things easier for them and yourself. Either way, share your tip with NFCA for the Back to School Gluten-Free Tip series. When you do, you’ll automatically be entered to win two mixed cases of Crunchmaster Cheezy & Grammy Crisps. Grab all the details here.
Try a new recipe.
Cook something new for dinner this weekend. Not only will this help you find additional recipe options, but if you share it with a friend, you’ll be proving just how delicious gluten-free can be.
Show your support by wearing green – green pants, shirt, shoes, nail polish, hair ribbon, socks, whatever! If you’re feeling extra adventurous, upload a picture of you and your friends wearing green to NFCA’s Facebook page. We’ll add it to our “Wear Green” photo album.
Help get the facts out there.
NFCA has a section for printable guides. Consider printing a few, like the “What is Celiac Disease?” information sheet, and leave them at your doctor’s office or favorite local store.
Use a hashtag.
Wouldn’t it be cool if we got #celiacawareness trending on Twitter? Tweet a celiac disease statistic to spread the word to your followers. Feel free to give NFCA a shout out at @CeliacAwareness, too!
Donate or make a purchase in honor of Celiac Awareness Day.
At NFCA, we appreciate every donation we receive, whether it’s for $10 or $1,000, it truly makes a difference in our ability to provide free programs and services to people living with gluten-related disorders. If you live in the Philadelphia area, consider attending our 10 Year Anniversary Celebration, a fundraiser for the organization. If you can’t attend, you can always share the details with someone you know.
Some organizations, like Scent-Sations, make a donation to NFCA when one of their products are purchased. More details can be found here.
Talk to your family about celiac disease testing.
Since celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disease, meaning that it runs in families, it’s important for family members to get tested, whether they have symptoms or not. Raise awareness in your family by sharing the facts. We have some tools to help you get the conversation started.
Make sure you are up to date on the latest celiac disease news and research.
Researchers are working hard to better understand various aspects of celiac disease. Visit NFCA’s Research News Feed to stay up to date on their findings and check in periodically with the Drug Development and Clinical Research page to see how you can get involved in advancing research.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially ruled on gluten-free food labeling. Learn what it means for you and your family by registering for the free NFCA webinar, “Understanding the FDA’s Gluten-Free Labeling Rule: What You Need to Know.” NFCA will also compile an informational sheet with key details from the webinar in the weeks following the live airing. If you can’t make it, don’t worry! Just register for the webinar and we’ll e-mail you a link to the archived version when it becomes available.
Share your ideas with NFCA.
These are just some of the many ways we can all work together to raise awareness. Tell us how you’re celebrating! Leave a comment on this blog, tweet us at @CeliacAwareness or drop us a line on our Facebook page.
Thanks for reading! I can’t wait to hear everyone’s ideas. Happy Celiac Awareness Day!
Starting a gluten-free diet can be challenging for anyone, but kids can have an especially tough time when faced with social situations. It’s hard to tell your little one they can’t have the cake at their friend’s birthday party or that Play-Doh is off limits. With a little imagination and creativity, though, you can get your child excited about the gluten-free diet.
Set Aside Time to Cook Together
Dedicate a few hours a week to trying new gluten-free recipes with your child. The recipes don’t have to be complicated or take a long time to make. Not only will this give you some quality one-on-one time with your little one, but you’ll also teach them how to manage their own gluten-free diet and identify possible gluten sources.
Get Them Involved
Depending on how old your child is, they might be embarrassed about the gluten-free diet or having special dietary needs. Get them talking about celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity and help them meet other gluten-free kids. Social networking sites can help them connect with their peers, and you might even get a few new gluten-free recipe ideas from other parents. Miranda Jade Turbin shared tips for social networking in NFCA’s September e-newsletter.
In-person meet-ups can be beneficial for kids because they give them a chance to meet others on a lifelong gluten-free diet. Groups like Raising Our Celiac Kids (R.O.C.K.) host meetings and activities across the country. They’re another great place to get activity ideas.
You can get them talking about the gluten-free diet through NFCA’s Awareness All-Stars fundraiser. Awareness All-Stars gives kids the opportunity to share their experience with celiac and help raise funds to support NFCA’s free programs and services. Plus, every All-Star earns prizes for participating and the top 3 fundraisers (we call them MVPs) get an extra special gluten-free prize.
Gluten-Free Show and Tell
Many kids have special show-and-tell days at school. Why not send them to class with delicious gluten-free cookies or cupcakes to share with their classmates? This will give them a chance to tell all of their classmates about celiac disease and show them how a gluten-free diet can still be tasty. Plus, this lets kids become more comfortable with talking about celiac disease and their dietary needs.
Arts & Crafts
Traditional Play-Doh contains gluten, but that doesn’t mean your gluten-free kid can’t enjoy the fun. Spend a Saturday afternoon making gluten-free Play-Doh with them. You’ll be giving them a safe alternative while showing them trying out new things can be fun! Check out this recipe for gluten-free Play-Doh from Parents Magazine.
Give Them a “Pep Talk”
Kids Central has a section dedicated to Pep Talks, which features tips from gluten-free kids and NFCA’s staff and Athletes for Awareness. The Pep Talks cover everything from “Being Gluten-Free and Confident” to “Awesome Things Done by Gluten-Free Kids.” In short 5-tip segments, your kid is bound to get a major confidence boost from Pep Talks!
So how do you help your child maintain a positive attitude about the gluten-free diet?
Up until about a year ago, I had never heard of celiac disease. I had heard of gluten, but never gave much thought to what it was. I don’t have celiac disease and up until I started working at NFCA, I didn’t know anyone who had it either.
I heard about celiac disease for the first time while working in clinical trial advertising. Since I knew nothing about the disease, I did some background research and found that people with the autoimmune disease couldn’t eat gluten. Well that’s no big deal, I thought. And then I kept reading.
I couldn’t believe gluten is in pretty much everything and the number of serious health risks it can cause for people with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders. The thought that people can get sick if a crouton falls on their salad was shocking. It didn’t take long until I felt a certain attachment to that project and the people we were trying to reach out to because of the life-altering effects of celiac disease.
For a while, I’ve known that I wanted to work at a nonprofit organization. I always thought that nonprofits are where people are most passionate about their work and that’s exactly where I wanted to be. I’m still learning a lot about celiac disease, but I’m excited to take on the challenge. I never cease to be amazed by the powers of social media and there’s an amazing sense of togetherness in the online celiac and gluten-free community. Between the website resources, knowledgeable bloggers, Tweet-ers, and Facebook-ers, there’s a wealth of information about gluten-related disorders to be shared.
I am truly looking forward to diving into this online group and sharing celiac and gluten-free resources from NFCA as well as learning more from this amazing community!
How many times have you watched a cooking video and didn’t try the recipe? Guilty. I’ve been known to watch my share of The Food Network, “Lidia’s Italy” and YouTube cooking shows only to admire, sigh, and move on to the next episode.
Time to change that.
When we premiered the latest videos in our Alternative Appetites series, I was determined to make one of the gluten-free recipes at home. I’ve made several recipes from the show before (Eggplant Casserole, anyone?). This time, the Amaranth and Black Bean Salad, a recipe sponsored by The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., caught my eye.
Let me start off by saying, this recipe makes a big batch. So big that is nearly overflowed my largest mixing bowl. If you’re sharing with a friend, it’s a good amount to last you a few days. If you’re single, I’d recommend halving the recipe.
The trick to this recipe was cooking the amaranth properly. Like many of you, I’ve just discovered the grain, so I’m still finding that point where it goes from undercooked to just right. Once the amaranth was done, I popped it into the fridge for a quick chill.
While the amaranth was cooling, I prepped the vegetables. It took some time, but shortcuts like using canned black beans and corn helped. I also took the lazy route and used a jar of roasted red peppers, but I highly recommend roasting your own (I learned a snappy way to do it from this Alternative Appetites video).
Then it was on to the vinaigrette, which was done in a matter of seconds. I forgot to pick up mint (it’s always something), so I threw in a bit of tarragon and chives just to freshen it up.
Finally, it was time to assemble – all of which I completed within the length of a commercial break. Then, the first bite.
You ever get that feeling when you eat something that’s filling, yet light and refreshing at the same time? Well, that’s what I got when I ate this. I consider it my mouth’s way of patting me on the back for doing my body good. The beans, tomatoes, walnuts and grains offer different textures, while the peppers and onions lend strong flavors. In fact, if you’re not a fan of red onion, I’d suggest using only ¼ of an onion. The vinaigrette and corn layer in sweetness, though I could have done with a little less dressing.
The best thing about this recipe is how versatile it is. You could easily add crumbled feta cheese or swap in sliced almonds for the walnuts. I added sliced beets when I scooped some out for work the next day.
So, now that you’ve read my experience, I want you to share yours. Try one of the recipes from the videos posted at www.celiaccentral.org/cookingvideos, then make sure to click through the video and leave a comment on the video on YouTube.
If you have a blog, share your experience just like I did and we’ll enter you in the Alternative Appetites Cooking Challenge. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with the link to your post. (Cooking wins and fails welcome!)
- Alternative Appetites Gluten-Free Cooking Series
- Alternative Appetites: Amaranth and Black Bean Salad
- Alternative Appetites Cooking Challenge
[This blog has been cross-posted on Food Living and Everything Else.]
June 30 has been dubbed Social Media Day, and while some may scoff at celebrating the growth of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like, you can’t deny the power of these sharing platforms. For the celiac and gluten-free community in particular, social media has picked up where doctors left off, providing practical advice and much-needed support for the gluten-free lifestyle.
Social media has also become a platform for change. The New Jersey Devils introduced more gluten-free concessions in response to pleas on Facebook and Twitter, while an online petition for gluten-free Girl Scout cookies has made national news.
So, how can we keep that momentum going? In honor of Social Media Day, here are some ways you can help the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) promote gluten-free initiatives via social media:
- Share NFCA’s Facebook page: The more fans we have, the more awareness we can spread and the more people we can help, especially in those first few months of diagnosis. So go ahead, click that Share button again and tell your friends why they should get informed.
- Join NFCA’s Cause page: It’s Facebook meets fundraising. NFCA’s Cause page allows you to show your support and gather donations to keep our goals on track. For an easy fundraiser, ask for donations in lieu of birthday gifts, and suggest that friends donate your age (i.e. $42 for your 42nd birthday). Collecting small donations each month can also add up over time.
- Forward NFCA’s e-newsletter to a friend: Information can be life-changing (we have the thank yous to prove it). Subscribe to our newsletter, then select “Forward to a friend” when it hits your inbox.
- Tweet about NFCA’s programs: Follow @CeliacAwareness and give us a shout out. Tweet about our Webinars, Gluten-Free Hot Products reviews, or why you think a restaurant should get gluten-free training through GREAT. Turn #FF into Funding Friday by tweeting a link to our Donate page, or tweet the Celiac Symptoms Checklist and encourage friends to get tested.
- Watch NFCA’s gluten-free cooking videos: Did you know NFCA has an online cooking series? Watch Alternative Appetites to get step-by-step instructions for fantastic gluten-free food. If you like a particular video, click on “YouTube” to visit our channel, then select Share and tell your friends.
What are some other ways you can help the cause through social media? What has been your biggest gluten-free social media success?
Why we’re fans: Jennifer’s blog is technically local, but she covers plenty of news that goes beyond the Atlanta limits. I often find myself clicking the links she tweets to learn more about a chain restaurant that will soon offer gluten-free options, or a new gluten-free product that can be ordered online or found in stores nationwide. She also has been an avid supporter of our Twibbon campaign for Celiac Awareness Month, wearing the little green border proudly around her photo.
Jennifer’s Story: I was diagnosed with celiac disease on April 7, 1997, after a decade of problems.
According to Jennifer: The most unexpected part of going gluten-free was that I turned my diagnosis into a career, working as Marketing Manager for Pure Knead Bakery in Decatur, GA. It is a GFCO certified local company whose bread/dessert products are free of: dairy/casein, soy, peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish. I also started my own consulting business working with local restaurants, and it is quite fulfilling.
A taste of Atlanta Gluten-Free Food Examiner:
- Tips for Recovering from Gluten Contamination
- Celebrities with Celiac…Are the Numbers Growing?
- Top 10 Words of Advice for Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus
For more of NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Month celebration, visit www.CeliacCentral.org/awarenessmonth.
It is a GFCO certified local company whose bread/dessert products are free of: dairy/casein, soy, peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish.