Gluten Freedom — An Essential Guide to Gluten Issues, with Recipes!

glufreeDuring the writing of my own book on cooking to nourish your archetypes, I read Gluten Freedom by Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD, Founder and Director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Given that many of my own recipes feature gluten-free alternatives, I was eager to read an expert’s version of the history of gluten-related illnesses and to learn more about the current state of treatment. Dr. Fasano’s book did not disappoint. The book contains a comprehensive review of the spectrum of gluten-related disorders, and also includes chapters on discussing leaky gut (you’ll get introduced to zonulin) as well as gluten’s influence on brain chemistry. Gluten Freedom also discusses new treatments and therapies, including enzyme therapy, a “celiac pill” treatment, and the possible development of a therapeutic vaccine. The book also talks about methods for prevention including delaying gluten introduction until one year of age, which is now being studied.

Taking the subject to a richer level of detail and creativity, Gluten Freedom also offers several recipes to remove gluten from the menu including all-time favorites like chocolate chip cookies and gluten-free scones. There is a charming chapter called “Dinner with Dr. Fasano” where we learn about the region, Campania, where Dr. Fasano spent his childhood. He then offers what sounds like a heavenly five-course meal of gluten-free specialties including Capri Salad featuring Mozzarella di bufala di Campania — the soft mozzarella cheese from the Dr.’s home region.

I like how this book provides comprehensive information on gluten issues including an appendix of apps for mobile phones as well as an extensive list for recommended reading. There are also some excellent practical features like a “Wheat Alert” table of menu items that contain wheat, and a stage-by-stage life guide for how to avoid gluten from cradle to grave.

After finishing the book, I was still left with a question, which I posed to the authors: “Is there any value in a low-gluten diet even if you don’t have gluten sensitivity? Does it help to diversify the grains we eat? If gluten calories are substituted with more fruits and vegetables, would that be better for overall health?”

Pam Cureton, one of the contributing writers for the book and a registered dietitian at the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment, responded:

“No, there is no advantage to following a low-gluten diet for those who tolerate gluten. There is, however, an advantage to eating more whole, natural foods and reducing the amount of processed foods to reduce unwanted levels of sodium, sugar, fats and extra calories. For people who tolerate gluten, these are the problem ingredients, not the wheat, rye or barley. Including these as whole grains along with other ancient grains, amaranth, millet, sorghum and others, would benefit everyone.”

I’m glad my own oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie recipe contains sorghum! Thanks, Pam! And thanks to Dr. Fasano and all the contributors to Gluten Freedom — helping us navigate this difficult health and dietary issue.

Link to Gluten Freedom on Amazon

Cooking for Emotional Wellness by Kiersten Marek Now Available

My new book is now available! Please visit the link below to learn more!

Cooking for Emotional Wellness by Kiersten Marek eBook – Lulu.

Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market at Hall Library This Week

News from the Farmer’s Market:

Due to the Gaspee Days Parade, the market will be held at the William Hall Library, 1825 Broad St, Cranston, for this Saturday (June 14) only. Plan your route to avoid Pawtuxet Village. We will be in the parking lot behind the library at our usual hours of 9 AM to 12 noon.

The Market Table will be trying out fine imported olive oils and balsamic vinegars from the Olive Tap company in Wayland Square. Stop by and taste their offerings and let us know what you think. We have had requests from customers to expand the market’s range to include more ingredients for utilizing the fresh produce, meats and fish they purchase here, so it’s more of a one-stop-shopping-save gas-and-time experience.

Terry Yeaw will join us this week (and the 2nd Saturday of each succeeding month during the season) with her Terry’s Tasty Treasures: pepper jellies and salsas. Have a taste and chat with Terry!

The Green Used Book Sale and the E-waste collection with Goodwill Industries will take place when we return to Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet on the summer solstice June 21. Book, CD and DVD donations should be dropped off before the sale at porches at 25 Berwick Lane, 10 and 18 Williams Ave, and 37 Ferncrest Ave in Cranston. Please, no damaged books, magazines or text books.

Also on June 21: FireFirefly walk: 8:45 PM at the lower Rhodes on the Pawtuxet parking lot. A half-hour walk to see the firefly mating ritual. Bug repellent, long sleeves and long pants recommended. Please do not bring jars, nets, dogs or noisy electronics.

See you at the market.

What Paleo Means to Me a non-dogmatic view – They Call Me Oystergirl

I may be more Paleo than I realized, based on this definition! Thanks to Rhode Island’s one and only Oystergirl, Vanessa Query.

What Paleo Means to Me a non-dogmatic view – They Call Me Oystergirl.

FRAT BOY and NUTS at the Pawtuxet Village Farmer’s Market

From Steve Stycos:

 

Bob Fratanuono, that is! Rocky Ledge Farm (formerly Moosup River Farm) returns to the market this Saturday. After graduating from URI last year, Bob has more time to devote to the farm and so we will be seeing him for more of the season. This week he’ll be bringing greens and snap peas. Welcome back, Bob!

The Market Table will be offering samples of various nuts from the Virginia and Spanish Peanut Company. Stop by and take a taste.

Bernie will not be here this Saturday, but the market table will have his honey and honey sticks so you can stay locally sweet.

All our other usual vendors will be in attendance: Pak Express, Presto Strange O Coffee Truck, PV Farmstand, LeFavorite Bakery, Blue Skys Farm, The Local Catch, the Market Table (with products from Rhody Fresh, Terry’s Tasty Treasures and Virginia & Spanish Peanut Company), gC Farms, Beltane Farms, Baffoni Poultry Farm, Wedgewood Flowers and now Rocky Ledge Farm.

See you at the market.

Hedge Fund Tied to RI Pension Investments Comes Under Scrutiny

The plot thickens… Anybody want to hedge their bets about whether the SEC will have any teeth in this situation?  By the way, Standard and Poor’s is at an all-time high today.

GoLocalProv | News | NY Lawyer Charges RI Pension Investments Tied to New SEC Complaint.

Petition the RI Legislature: Pass Senate Bills 2368 and 2369 and House Bills 7841 and 7842 to fund the RI Center for Law and Public Policy | Change.org

I have been on the Board of the Rhode Island Center for Law and Public Policy since its inception in 2008 and have watched as this organization has grown to have an amazing impact on the lives of Rhode Islanders in need of legal services, particularly the elderly, poor families, and small businesses.  I ask you to sign this petition to ask the legislature to put these bills to a vote, so that if there is sufficient public support, RICLAPP can be sustained.  Thank you, Kiersten Marek

Petition | Pass Senate Bills 2368 and 2369 and House Bills 7841 and 7842 to fund the RI Center for Law and Public Policy. | Change.org.

Memorial Day Weekend at Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market

From Steve Stycos:

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, with its picnics, parades and the official opening of many summer recreational areas. Right here in Pawtuxet Village, we have the kick-off of the Gaspee Days celebrations with the Arts and Crafts Festival. But it is also a time to remember the all-too-many wars our nation has waged over the years, and especially the men and women who have died in those conflagrations. Many of them were farmers and small food producers who went to war to defend their way of life. We can honor their sacrifice by doing what we can to support those who carry on that heritage.

We’ve had a wonderful start to our outdoor season, with Baffoni Chicken joining our line-up as well as Terry’s Tasty Treasures. We now have a full complement of vendors to make our market a place where you can fill almost all your food needs:

Presto Strange O Coffee Truck: hot and cold beverages of the finest sort, bagged fair-trade coffee
Pak Express: Veggies. veggie starts, nime chow, eggs
PV Farmstand: Meats, especially boar, but also beef, lamb and poultry
LeFavorite Bakery: Breads, cookies, pies, pizza strips and other baked goods
Bernie B’s Honey
Blue Skys Farm: Greens, veggie and herb starts
The Local Catch: Fresh fish and shellfish, smoked fish
gC Farms: Veggie and flower starts, eggs
Beltane Farm: Goat cheeses and yogurt, goat milk
Baffoni Poultry: Fresh chicken
Wedgewood Flowers: Plants, veggie starts, eggs

Also, the Market Table has many local products to fill the gaps: Peanut butters, nuts and popcorn kernels from the Virginia and Spanish Peanuts Company, jams from Terry’s Tasty Treasures, and cheese and butter from Rhody Fresh. All the Rhody Fresh products are from RI dairy farms, whose cows are not treated with hormones. Special price on butter this week!

The Edgewood Community Garden at Cherry Woods (next to Edgewood Highlands School) still has plots available for this season. The fee is $20; gardeners are also expected to participate in communal work days twice a year. Contact Lisa Gibb at lisagibb2@verizon.net for further information.

See you at the market.

Rhode Island Supreme Court Rejects Equality of School Funding: Sorry, Kids!

Kiersten Marek:

Wow, this story did not make the local newspapers, or if it did, I missed it. This is where we need legal advocacy to “amend and strengthen the state constitution’s education clause.” What kind of a legal advocacy organization would handle something like this?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Almost sixty years to the day of the U.S. Supreme court’s historic Brown decision, the Rhode Island Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit against the stste’s inequitable funding system. The court said it was “deeply concerned” and acknowledged that the funding disparities hurt poor urban children most, but passed the buck. “Not our problem,” the court said.

Here is a summary from the Education Law Center.

RI SUPREME COURT IS “DEEPLY CONCERNED” BUT DENIES RELIEF TO SCHOOL CHILDREN

May 15, 2014

On May 3, 2014, the Rhode Island Supreme Court dismissed the fair school funding case, Woonsocket v. State. The Court concluded that conditions in the plaintiffs’ schools “make a strong case” against the current funding system. Nonetheless, the justices denied plaintiffs the chance to present their evidence in a trial on the merits of the case.

The Court wrote, “We emphasize that we are deeply concerned by the conditions of…

View original 532 more words

Update after Knee Surgery

Kiersten Marek:

Update from Diane Ravitch…more precautions should have been taken to prevent clots from traveling. However, progress is being made toward recovery and let’s hope for a full one.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

I haven’t been able to write before now. The pain after surgery was so bad that I was kept on various drugs to keep me sedated. I spent two days in the recovery room, then moved to a regular room. But my health remained fragile, On Sunday, the surgeon sent me for a CT scan, where I learned I had a blood clot in one of my lungs. My greatest fear about surgery was triggering a clot, which could go to my brain or lung or heart . There were many conversations among the various specialists about whether I should get a filter inserted in my blood vessels to prevents clots from traveling. The consensus was no, so didn’t. The consensus was wrong.

Well, I am still here but it is not easy, I can’t get out of bed without help. I can’t walk. The pain in my knee remains…

View original 72 more words

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