- A registered dietitian's perspective on finding the balance between eating gluten-free healthfully and happily.
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Monthly Archives: May 2010
Not every post I write will be about gluten-free. I am first and foremost a registered dietitian and there will be times when a conversation around larger food and nutrition issues is important for me to share, and important for you to pay attention to. This is one of those conversations.
I had the wonderful opportunity of attending a seminar last Friday sponsored by Wellness in the Schools (which was part of a larger program called New Taste of the Upper West Side), which was a conversation with an accomplished group of panelists about how to achieve wellness in NYC schools and the larger community. The session, moderated by NY1 Anchor Elizabeth Kaledin, was a conversation with: Chef John Fraser of the Dovetail restaurant, nutrition medicine expert Dr. Joel Fuhrman, The Food Network’s Ellie Krieger, Food and Wine Magazine Editor Kate Krader, Steve Cuozzo of The New York Post, Bill Telepan of Telepan restaurant, and Eric Goldstein of NYC School Food Support Services.
The conversation that ensued is exactly what needs to happen in every large city and small town across the United States in order to address the childhood obesity phenomenon that is devastating this country.
Don’t get me wrong, the gluten-free food industry has made our lives better and you will see many future posts about the gluten-free products I love. However, this country is facing an obesity epidemic (and consequential health issues) that is just downright scary. All of us, whether facing the challenges of living gluten-free or not, can benefit from eating more fresh, whole, unprocessed foods. I know…we have less to choose from than the general population. What we do have going for us, though, is that fresh foods are naturally gluten-free. Let’s look at this as a benefit and not a hardship.
If you are gluten free and making a trip to NYC anytime soon, you must visit Risotteria. For those of you in NYC, gluten free or not, you know.
Risotteria is a cozy, casual dining spot in the heart of Greenwich Village that started as a risotto-centric establishment in 1999 and has since become the place to go for a gluten-free meal complete with breadsticks, pizzas, panini and desserts. To sum it up, for those of us who have to eat gluten-free, it is heaven. To boot, it gets a healthy thumbs up (minus the desserts, of course) from me.
We are finally making headway on the restaurant front. Every day I hear about another restaurant offering a gluten free menu, including local, privately-owned restaurants and regional/national chains. Local, gluten-free restaurants make you feel good knowing you and your family have a go-to place any night of the week. National chains provide that extra comfort when on the road and in unchartered territory.
With 1 in 133 people estimated to have Celiac Disease (CD) and 97% of those walking around undiagnosed, I can’t think of a better awareness month to be celebrating (I know there are many other serious diseases out there and I am not trivializing them by any means; I am referring to the high number of people affected by this disease). The symptoms of undiagnosed CD drastically alter one’s quality of life and the effects of untreated cases are even worse (see below). Every additional person that can identify the symptoms of CD and help others to seek diagnosis and treatment will have a great impact.