The Gluten Free Neighborhood

Where folks meet at the corner of good health and appetizing cuisine.

This Blog Has Moved

Posted by Kathy Dee Zasloff on July 22, 2009

Beyond Gluten Free has moved to The Gluten Free Neighborhood. Please click the link and visit our new home to see what’s happening in the ‘hood.  Hope to see you at the corner of good health and appetizing cuisine.

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Happy Fathers Day

Posted by Kathy Dee Zasloff on June 21, 2009

My Dad, Ira B. Zasloff, the Chef

My Dad was the one who taught me to cook and also the parent who gave me my first cookbook:  “The Settlement Cook Book.”  It’s still a staple on my cookbook shelf.  And, I think I really got to cook with my Dad because he enlisted me as his sous chef after he had a massive coronary and majorly revamped our eating habits when I was about 12 years old, which would have been around 1957.

Dad was a health educator and a do it yourself-er, so, after his heart attack he took over lots of the cooking and kitchen experiences.  Although my Mom continued to cook, Dad was clearly in charge.  Mostly, he was a super cook, but there were some activities that he never did very well, like mince and fine chop.  He mostly did rough chop.  So, I think I got recruited as sous chef because he thought I could do better mincing and also because I did the dishes.  Now I can safely say, I still detest mincing and still do dishes.  Nonetheless, we managed to create wonderful dishes despite the “larger” chunks of ingredients. No one ever complained about the food and the plates were always clean.

Although his emphasis was on healthy food and lifestyle because of his heart attack, his specialty eventually became Chinese cuisine …and he really did make a mean steamed Chinese sea bass.   Although I now wonder what we did about Soy Sauce/sodium issues, all the food we made was pretty darn good and tasted Chinese-ee.  I still use many of his and my Mom’s recipes.  Eventually, she handled the hot and sour soup we made at home.

We spent MANY Saturdays making Egg Rolls…and we didn’t just make a dozen we made easily 3 dozen or so…usually the number of wrappers in a package I imagine. Then we froze them.  I was the only kid in school who brought egg rolls for lunch…and if the truth be told, my friends were always eager to trade some “cafeteria” food for home made egg rolls.  I could count on getting some great Mac and Cheese or Chicken Chow Mein for an egg roll or two.  We never ate Mac and Cheese after my Dad had his heart attack and although I do like cafeteria food, I don’t eat it anymore….well, mostly.

Because my Dad had to watch his sodium intake, to this day I have trouble remembering to use salt in my cooking, although It’s always on the table for guests to use.

My Dad was an inspiration in my life in many domains and most especially when I am in the kitchen.  Every time I pick up an onion to cut it, I still make sure to tuck my fingers back, just like my Dad taught me.

Happy Fathers Day, Dad!

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Gluten Free Cooking Classes Schedule

Posted by Kathy Dee Zasloff on April 13, 2009

Welcome to our Spring – Summer class schedule

We are proud to offer our gluten free cooking classes at A-B Tech again.

To register you can go to the A-B Tech Link to registration

I want to make special note of  three events that we are offering.

Two Gluten Free Immersions – our tasting events

The first tasting is April 21st and we will offer an Asian Smorgasbord: Vietnamese, Chinese and Indian cuisines.  And they are all gluten free.

The second will be offered on May 19th.

We will be serving a Gluten Free Fine Dining experience.

And on May 11th and 18th we are proud to be collaborating with

Lavinia Plonka, author and Feldenkrais teacher, as we explore activities and recipes from her latest book: Playing in the Kitchen. We will sample “a smorgasbord of options for exploring our personal relationship to kitchen playtime.” With many delicious gluten-free options in this cookbook, we will create and relax by experiencing movement exercises for better use of self,

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Cooking Classes Information

Posted by Kathy Dee Zasloff on February 26, 2009

Our current classes have just concluded.

We will be posting our new schedule very soon.

Thanks for visiting our site.

….stay tuned

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Cooking Gluten Free

Posted by Kathy Dee Zasloff on December 31, 2008

A Gluten Free Tasting

and

Cooking Classes

Jan & Feb, 2009

Asheville, NC

We are proud to offer two ways to learn about gluten free cuisine.

Through A-B Tech’s continuing education program,

the GF Neighborhood will offer two ways to experience cooking gluten free.

Immerse yourself and friends in a GF tasting with our Immersion session.

Then

for 3 sessions, join our instructors and learn how to create new and delicious recipes

that will satisfy people who like to eat good food

and it will all be gluten free.

________________________________________

You can read about registration options online at AB Tech’s website here:
http://abtech.edu/ce/registration/default.asp

To register online you’ll need the secret class codes:

The January Gluten Free Immersion Tasting event: CSP-4148-176

and

Gluten Free and Beyond: New and Tasty Options for Cooking and Living Gluten Free: CSP-4146-175

To see the class descriptions go to

http://www.abtech.edu/ce/schedule/faw.asp

and scroll down to the “G.”  The classes are listed alphabetically.

If you’re new to AB Tech you’ll need to set up a user account before you can register.

That takes 24-48 hours for them to process.

You can also mail, fax or walk in your registration at the Asheville Campus.

To receive a flyer for more information please email

gfneighborinfo (at) gmail (dot) com  – Just substitute the @ sign and a “.” in the appropriate place.

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History of Celiac Disease

Posted by Kathy Dee Zasloff on August 18, 2008

I have found this historical accounting of Celiac Disease to be very thought provoking. I believe that Coeliac is the British spelling for Celiac Disease.

I can say that the diet referred to in this accounting as the “Hass diet” is what I lived on as a child. I ate lots of ripe bananas, rice and cottage cheese.

History of the Coeliac Condition
By: Dr James S. Steward, Consultant Physician, West Middlesex University Hospital, Isleworth, Middlesex.

About 10,000 years ago, after the end of the last Ice Age, people learnt that hunting animals and gathering wild berries and other fruits were not the only ways of supporting life. They discovered that if they settled in one place for long enough they could sow and then harvest crops of cereals like wheat. This was the neolithic revolution. One of its consequences was civilization. Another was that people who could not tolerate wheat in their diet became ill with the coeliac condition.

The first description of childhood and adult coeliac disease was written in the second half of the second century A.D. by a contemporary of the ancient Roman Physician, Galen. He is known as Aretaeus of Cappadocia and his writings which have survived to more recent times were edited and translated by Francis Adams and printed for the Sydenham Society in 1856. The original Greek Text of the sections on “The Coeliac Affection” suggests that Aretaeus may possibly have understood a remarkable amount about the coeliac condition.

The chapter on “The Coeliac Diathesis” describes fatty diarrhoea (steatorrhoea) for the first time in European literature and then proceeds to give an account of several other features of the condition including loss of weight, pallor, chronic relapsing and the way in which it affects children as well as adults. The chapter on “The Cure of Coeliacs” opens with the first passage in which these patients are specifically called coeliacs: “If the stomach be irretentive of the food and if it pass through undigested and crude, and nothing ascends into the body, we call such persons coeliacs”. While some people with disorders which may mimic the coeliac condition were doubtless unwittingly included in this description, the same is true for subsequent descriptions until the second half of this present century. The Greek work “koiliakos” used by Aretaeus had originally meant “suffering in the bowels” when used to describe people. Passing through Latin, ‘k’ became ‘c’ and ‘oi’ became ‘oe’. Dropping the Greek adjectival ending ‘os’ gave us the word coeliac.

It was not until seventeen centuries after Aretaeus that there follows the next clear clinical account of childhood and adult coeliac condition. In 1888 Samuel Gee, using an identical title to Francis Adams’ translation, “The Coeliac Affection”, gave the second classic description of the condition. Several passages from Gee’s account have often been quoted as prophetic, particularly “to regulate the food is the main part of treatment … The allowance of farinaceous foods must be small … but if the patient can be cured at all, it must be by means of diet.” During the early part of this century the doctors most responsible for increasing the understanding of the coeliac condition were looking after children. This may well have been because coeliac children tend to respond more rapidly and more dramatically than adult coeliacs to successful dietary treatment. Whatever the reason, children’s physicians (pediatricians) continued to lead the advance in the treatment of this disease, leaving the main discoveries on diagnosis to physicians caring for adults.

In 1908 there appeared a book in coeliac children by Herter, a paediatrician accepted as such an authority on this subject that the condition was often referred to as Gee-Herter’s disease. His most important contribution was his statement that fats are better tolerated than carbohydrates. This original observation was later supported by Sir Frederick Still, another famous paediatrician who, in a memorial lecture to the Royal College of Physicians in 1918, first drew attention to the specifically harmful effects of bread in coeliac disease. “Unfortunately one form of starch which seems particularly liable to aggravate the symptoms is bread. I know of no adequate substitute.”

This theme was developed further by Howland in a farsighted presidential address to the American Pediatric Society in 1921 on “Prolonged Intolerance to Carbohydrates” describing the treatment of children with coeliac disease. “From clinical experience it has been found that, of all the elements of food, carbohydrate is the one which must be excluded rigorously; that with this greatly reduced the other elements are almost always well adjusted even though the absorption of fat may not be so satisfactory as in health.” His three-stage diet allowed carbohydrates only in the last stage, when they had to be added, “very gradually with the most careful observation of the digestive capacity … Bread, cereals and potatoes are the last articles which can be allowed. The treatment is time consuming but these patients will repay the effort expended on them.”

Three years later came the banana diet advocated by Haas, which was essentially a diet low in carbohydrate except for ripe bananas. In a later paper, in 1938, Haas noted that a minute amount of some foods containing carbohydates will produce fatty diarrhoea even when the patient is taking hardly any fat in the diet, but a high carbohydrate intake in the form of banana will be well tolerated even though a much larger amount of fat is eaten.

After the 1939-45 war came a fundamental discovery, which proved to be the main advance in the treatment of coeliac children and adults alike. This discovery was made and described in detail by a Dutch paediatrician, Professor Dicke, in his doctoral thesis for the University of Utrecht in 1950. He showed how coeliac children benefited dramatically when wheat, rye and oats flour were excluded from the diet. As soon as these were replaced by wheat starch, maize flour, maize starch or rice flour the children’s appetite returned and their absorption of fat improved so that the fatty diarrhoea disappeared.

This work was confirmed and extended by Charlotte (now Professor) Anderson and her colleagues in Birmingham, who extracted the starch and some other constituents of wheat flour and found that “the resulting gluten mass” was the harmful part. Since 1950, therefore, the basis of treatment of coeliac patients has been the gluten-free diet.

The original observation which, together with Processor Dicke’s discovery, led to our present understanding of the nature of the coeliac condition was made by Dr. J. W. Paulley, a physician in Ipswich, and reported to the British Society of Gastroenology in Birmingham in the same year as Professor Dicke’s discovery. Dr. Paulley described an abnormality of the lining of the small intestine found at the operation in an adult coeliac patient. This abnormality consisted of an inflammation, the exact nature of which is still being investigated. The existence of this inflammatory change was confirmed in several patients by Dr. Paulley and was then found by many doctors in this country, the United States and elsewhere to be the most essential single feature on which the diagnosis of the coeliac condition could be based. Its importance to the patient is that it results in a loss of the microscopic projections or villi, which are partly responsible for providing the lining membrane of the small intestine with a large surface area. It is from this mucous membrane lining that the absorption of food into the bloodstream takes place.

It is encouraging to note that treatment with a strict gluten- free diet usually leads to a return of the “flat” lining of the coeliac small intestine to the normal stage. On the whole, the younger the patient, the more dramatic the improvement tends to be, but the most important single point is the strictness of the diet.

Within three years of Dr Paulley’s discovery an American physician, Colonel Eddy Palmer, used a tube which had been designed to take a tiny piece of the lining of the stomach to help find the cause of a different disorder, changed it slightly and slipped it into the small intestine of patients who had part of their stomach removed at a previous operation for something which had nothing to do with the coeliac condition. His paper (1953) includes an excellent photograph of normal intestinal lining obtained by this technique.

Two years later some doctors in Argentina made the biopsy tube more flexible so that it could pass through the intact stomach into the small intestine. In 1956 Dr Margo Shiner introduced further changes so that intestinal biopsy became the standard technique for diagnosis of the coeliac condition. Dr (later Professor) Israel Doniach, with whom the young Dr Shiner did this work at the Hammersmith Hospital in London, interpreted the changes in the intestinal lining of the coeliac patients.

Next year a completely flexible biopsy tube was designed by another American army officer, Colonel Crosby, working with an engineer, Kugler. Their instrument, known as the Crosby capsule, soon became the most widely used biopsy instrument throughout the world.

In the 1960s Physicians caring for disorders of the skin (dermatologists) discovered that a particular type of itchy rash call dermatitis herpetiformis may also be associated with atrophy of the villi and usually responds to a strict gluten-free diet.

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Call for comments in the Federal Register

Posted by Kathy Dee Zasloff on August 18, 2008

On August 8th, 2008 there was a call for comments for the new labeling law that is coming soon.

To see the complete request please go to: The Federal Register

If you think that your words don’t count, think again. My experience is that when it comes to making sure that people in government have all the correct information, I found that if I didn’t tell them what I thought they needed to know, often they never got the correct information. It’s important that we all voice our thoughts and opinions.

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More Dreams

Posted by Kathy Dee Zasloff on August 14, 2008

Add these to my existing dreams:

  • I have a dream that Weight Watchers will offer a gluten free alternative to their meals and recipes.
  • I have a dream that everyone will understand how important it is to be gluten free. So that means that people who can’t afford the tests, don’t know about the tests, don’t eat organic, don’t have the money to eat organic and are not in the pathway of the information that would let them know they could be healthier if they drastically reduced the amount of gluten in their diets.
  • I have a dream that people will come to know that gluten free means healthy food and not food for sick people..
  • Many of my friends and people I talk to are hesitant to eat gluten free food because they think it doesn’t taste good…well some of that is true…a lot of gf food doesn’t taste good. However, there are more and more products that taste better and better.
  • A friend of mine tasted my Madeleine cakes and in the same breath said, It doesn’t matter that these are gf. THEY ARE DELICIOUS…so I’ll just tell my kids they are gluten free and that way they won’t touch them.

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I Have A Dream

Posted by Kathy Dee Zasloff on July 14, 2008

Well actually I have a lot of dreams…and these are my dreams for getting us beyond gluten free….

I dream that:

  • People will talk about grains as what they are: abundant grains and not what they are not: gluten free
  • One day in the not too distant future I will open cooking magazines and there will be delicious recipes that use abundant grains
  • It will be as important to be gluten intolerant as to test positive for celiac disease
  • My friends will understand how important it is for all of us to eat abundant grains rather that gluten based grains
  • There will be abundant grain breads in restaurants and I won’t have to take my bread every where so I can have sandwiches like everyone else
  • Culinary schools will have accurate information on the use of abundant grains and their importance
  • There will be delicious and reasonably priced abundant grain products in mainstream groceries
  • Wait-staff will know what I mean when I say I am gluten intolerant
  • People and professionals will know that abundant grains are healthier
  • There will be accurate, reasonably priced and common place testing for gluten intolerance as well as celiac disease
  • Abundant grains will be a mainstay and not “alternative” or “exotic” grains


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Is There More Celiac Disease or Better Awareness?

Posted by Kathy Dee Zasloff on July 14, 2008


In 2005 I was hunting for a recipe on the Today Show web site and saw a link to Celiac Disease (CD). As I was diagnosed as an infant with CD that caught my interest. Three years later with lots more links and experiences, there’s much more information for me and lots of other people.

Here’s some of what I learned in the beginning:

From June 28 to 30, 2004, The National Institute of Health convened a Consensus Conference to look at the prevalence of Celiac Disease in the United States. Having some previous experience in health related Government activities. I was in awe at the list of people who came together for the Consensus Conference. Clearly, this was a serious undertaking. Click here to go to the NIH Awareness Campaign

The NIH was interested in knowing:

  • How is celiac disease diagnosed?
  • How prevalent is celiac disease?
  • What are the manifestations and long-term consequences of celiac disease?
  • Who should be tested for celiac disease?
  • How is celiac disease managed?
  • What are recommendations for future research on celiac disease and related conditions?

There was one recommendation.

To educate physicians, dietitians, nurses, and the public about celiac disease by a trans-NIH initiative, to be led by the NIDDK*, in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first CD Awareness Campaign newsletter came out in the Fall of 2005.

*The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) was given responsibility for developing the Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign. NDDIC is an information dissemination service of the NIDDK. The NDDIC was established in 1980 to increase knowledge and understanding about digestive diseases among people with these conditions and their families, health care professionals, and the general public. To carry out this mission, NDDIC works closely with a coordinating panel of representatives from Federal agencies, voluntary organizations on the national level, and professional groups to identify and respond to informational needs about digestive diseases.

I can tell that the awareness campaign is working. My friends send me articles, recipes from the news, or they ask me if I’ve seen this or that book, tv show or news item. Recently, a classmate of mine was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. She tested positive for CD and was clearly not prepared for the diagnosis. In fact, I don’t know that she was informed that she was being tested for CD. In addition to being told she tested postivie for CD, she was also told that she is a-symptomatic. That means she has “no symptoms.” I don’t know what her Dr. told her, but in my conversations with her it certainly didn’t sound complete. But at least she knows.

Remember, as of this date (July 14th, 2008) 95% of people with CD are undiagnosed.

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