Friday, July 29, 2016

Nature’s Food Patch Named One of Top 12 Right-To-Know Grocers

Nature’s Food Patch 
Clearwater, Florida
Named One of Top 12 Right-To-Know Grocers
advocating for the labeling of GMO ingredients

CLEARWATER- July 2, 2013 – Nature’s Food Patch is proud to announce they have been selected as one of the top 12 Right-To-Know grocers in the United States by the Organic Retail and Consumer Alliance (ORCA).  Out of 156 customer nominations, Nature’s Food Patch was chosen to be part of the “diligent dozen.”  The top 12 stores were chosen to honor those companies which were transparent about their GMO labeling on items carried in-store.  These stores are considered to be pioneers in the area of truthful labeling, and are seen as encouragement to other grocers to provide transparent labeling as well. 

Nature’s Food Patch employs GMO researcher Patience Melton, who is responsible for researching all products to verify if genetically modified organisms are present, as well as educating employees and consumers on GMOs.  If a product is found to contain GMOs, Patience will actively seek out alternatives to find a non-GMO replacement for those items. If there are no alternatives for a product containing GMOs, these products will be labeled as GMO on the pricetag in the store to ensure customer awareness.

Genetically Modified Organisms are plants or animals derived from genetic engineering.  One example is commercial GMO foods that are engineered to withstand direct contact with insecticide.  While many countries around the world have significant restrictions or outright bans on GMOs, in the US, the government has approved the sale of GMOs, and it lies in the hands of consumers and grocers to educate themselves and actively opt out of purchasing GMOs. 

About Nature’s Food Patch
Nature‘s Food Patch Market & Café (est. 1987) is a community grocery store located on Cleveland Street in Clearwater, FL and is dedicated to offering a complete selection of quality organic and natural products. The store has been enthusiastically embraced by the health minded community and is known for its commitment to organic foods, quality natural products, community involvement and health education. Their vision is to serve and inspire their community in order to build a healthier world.

For More Information:

Cheryl Rosselle
Marketing Director, Nature’s Food Patch
(727) 443-6703 ext 240

Carolanne Le Blanc

Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse, 101 Imperial Palm Drive, Largo, Florida 33771

Friday, July 22, 2016

P F Changs China Bistro, Gluten-Free

We're truly glad that you're here and we will do everything we can to make you want to come back.
On a recent trip to Jacksonville, Florida my girls decided to treat me to an experience that I'd missed for over 20 years now.  We went out for Chinese Food!!  OMG  I didn't realize how much I had missed some good Chinese Food.  I'd heard about P F Chang' fact we have one right in my own neighborhood of Tampa, Florida.  But for some reason I never had the urge to try...probably because it had been so long since I'd had any.  So we packed up the family, kids and all - four generations, and headed out to P F Chang's for dinner.  Seven of us and we were seated almost immediately...that was nice considering the place was packed.  It was a Monday night and the kitchen was hopping.  In fact the kitchen had a big glass wall that allowed everyone to see what was going on.  I told my girls it was like watching Chef Ramsay on Television.

Right away we ordered drinks and my daughter ordered the CHANG'S CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS - Their signature appetizer. Wok-seared minced chicken, mushrooms, green onions, and water chestnuts served over crispy rice sticks and served with cool, crisp lettuce cups.  Gluten-Free of course - Oh My!!  Our waitress also brought out a variety of dipping sauces.  Also Gluten-Free - apparently my youngest daughter had informed the waitress of my needs as soon as we sat down.  Have I mentioned that I love my daughters??

When they handed me the menu I was absolutely blown away!!  I honestly expected only a few token items, nothing too complicated.  What I found was a menu with so many Gluten-Free options that I couldn't decide.  There was even a dessert!!  I had to get help choosing something to try.  I ended up with GF MOO GOO GAI PAN - Sliced chicken breast and tender shrimp served w/mushrooms and sliced vegetables in a mild sauce.  My 6yo Granddaughter ordered GF P F CHANG'S FRIED RICE - Wok-fried rice blended w/egg, gluten free soy sauce, carrots, bean sprouts and sliced scallions w/chicken. She wanted to share with me so ordered something safe for me to eat.

We had a wonderful meal.  But we all ate so much that no-one had room for dessert.  My oldest daughter has promised me we'll take a ride over to the Tampa restaurant some day just to try that dessert :-)

On the way out one of the evening Manager's stopped to ask if I had enjoyed my meal.  I told him that because of being Wheat-Free and Gluten-Free I had not been able to enjoy Chinese Food until that night.  I told him my meal was incredible and I couldn't describe how happy I was to be able to eat out in confidence with my family.  He told me that not only was P F Chang's working on expanding their menu even further...but that they were working on bringing their Gluten-Free dishes to the local Grocer's Freezer too!  Happy News!!

STARTER - GF Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps
NOODLES - GF Singapore Street Noodles
VEGETARIAN - GF Buddha's Feast
SOUP - GF Egg Drop Soup
RICE - GF P F Chang's Fried Rice
SIDES - GF Spinach Stir-Fried W/Garlic, GF Garlic Snap Peas, GF Shanghai Cucumbers
ENTREES - GF Chang's Spicy Chicken, GF Mongolian Beef, GF Ginger Chicken W/Broccoli, GF Moo Goo Gai Pan, GF Beef W/Broccoli, GF Norwegian Salmon Steamed W/Ginger, GF Shrimp W/Lobster Sauce, GF Beef Á La Sichuan, GF Pepper Steak
DESSERT - GF Flourless Chocolate Dome
NOTES ABOUT THIS MENU - All Gluten Free items are served on a special plate with the P.F. Chang’s logo. These menu items are either gluten free as prepared, or are modified to be gluten free.

Carolanne Le Blanc

Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse, 101 Imperial Palm Drive, Largo, Florida 33771

Friday, July 15, 2016

King Arthur Gluten-Free Bread Mix - and Donuts!!

King Arthur Flour is proud to introduce the very best gluten-free bread mix you’ll ever bake.  Certified Gluten-Free™ by the non-profit Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG®).

I’ve been Wheat-Free then Gluten-Free for over 25 years now.  And the two things that I desperately miss are donuts and bread :-(  I’m afraid to admit it…but I’m a bread snob.  There is NOTHING on the market that can beat a really great Wheatfull, Glutenfull bread or donut. {{Sigh}}  But I keep trying.  And I’ve found one or two that are actually worth buying or making on my own.  Rudi’s Raisin Bread is actually one of my favorites.  And I absolutely love my Chebe Rolls. 

So when I received some King Arthur Bread Mix I decided to just plunge right in and give them a chance too.  The other day I made up some of this new-to-me bread for our Gluten-Intolerance Support Group.  I followed the directions using coconut oil and coconut milk - I’ve been experimenting for a friend who is Dairy Free.  As it mixed up I watched in fascination as it all came together and actually began to look like bread dough!!  Not really the knead it on the counter consistency…but certainly not the pour it in the pan consistency I was used to.  It actually had a glutenous look…some elasticity.  I watched it for a minute and then began to wonder – Hmmmm, could I make donuts with this??  Needless to say, when it came time to put it into the pan I scooped some out and hid it in the refrigerator for after the meeting.  My loaf was a little small…but no-one seemed to notice :-)  It was actually a hit!  Everyone loved it; it was soft and not grainy at all.  It didn’t crumble when touched.  And true to their word three days later it was still really good bread.  I was impressed and put this on my list of possibilities for my future bread cravings.

The next day was Sunday...and the perfect time to experiment with some extra calories.  I remember my mom making Fried Dough or Doughnuts on Sunday mornings.  She'd actually stop at a local bakery and pick up a bag of their dough so we could make them fresh at home.  So out came my pot, my favorite cooking oil and the left over bread mix I had tucked away.  While I waited for the oil to heat up I mixed up a bit of cinnamon and sugar to coat my finished donuts with.  Since I didn't want to mess with the dough to much I decided to simply drop spoonfulls into the hot oil.  I was just tickled silly with the results!!  Within minutes I had several donuts sitting on paper to drain...then rolled around in the cinnamon & sugar mix...before taking my first bite of a still warm, wonderfully tasty, slightly sweet donut!!  They were perfect...golden brown on the outside with just a bit of crunch...white and incredibly soft inside...and topped off with a bit of sweet. MMMmmm!!

Egg Replacement Tips: We recommend using the flax egg replacer . We tried a commercial egg replacer, and our recipe based on starches, but found the flax gel worked the best, plus you get the added benefit of flax. The commercial egg replacer and the starch based recipe was slightly more dense. Use finely ground golden flax if you want a mild flavor, brown for a more “whole grain” taste.

135 US Route 5 South
Norwich, Vermont 05055-9430
phone: 802.649.3361
fax: 802.649.3365

Ingredients: Specialty Flour Blend (Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch), Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Sugar, Emulsifier (Rice Starch, Polyglycerol Esters Of Fatty Acids, Mono- And Diglycerides Of Fatty Acids), Salt, Xanthan Gum. Dry Yeast: Yeast, Sorbitan Monostearate, Ascorbic Acid.
Produced in a dedicated Gluten-Free, Allergenfree* Manufacturing Facility.
*Free of the 8 Most Common Food Allergens

Carolanne Le Blanc
Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse, 101 Imperial Palm Drive, Largo, Florida 33771

Friday, July 8, 2016

My personal experience

Nearly 30 years ago I developed this horrific rash that managed to cover nearly 75% of my body.  It started slowly enough…but two dermatologist, a walk in clinic, and two primary care doctors later it had nearly taken over.  I was suddenly several hundred dollars poorer and no-one had a clue.  I had tests, creams, lotions, wraps and nothing worked.  I was panic stricken.  Finally I received a verbal referral from a friend to go and see a Naturopath.  Back in those days it wasn’t unusual for a Naturopath to stay hidden in the shadows.  At the time I received my referral the FDA (or some other Government Agency) was busy closing as many Nature based offices as they could terrorize.  So I went to see my new Naturopath…and she literally saved my life!!  I left with a bag full of ‘stuff’ and still had money in my pocket!!  Wow!!  Within two weeks I could tell that I was well on my way to healing completely and I’ve been devoted to my Naturopath ever since. 

I didn’t realize it right away…but my skin issues were my body’s way of making me understand that I was one really sick puppy!!  I think that one of the saddest days of my life was when my Naturopath finally told me that I was allergic to Wheat and that I could never eat regular bread again.  I was just devastated.  I remember driving home in this sort of numb cloud.  To never eat bread again…how was I going to do that?? Up until that point I had never heard of a Health Food Store…let alone walk into one.  And what I found for wheat free products was enough to make me cry.  And I discovered it wasn’t just bread…but cakes, cookies, and pasta…all the things that I absolutely loved.  I was alone…there were no support groups then…I had no-one to talk to…and no-one had even heard of a wheat allergy…let alone know how to deal with one.  So I went without…but I felt better every day and that was such a blessing it was worth the loneliness.

There is no proven medical study. But in my research online I keep finding references to Celiac being passed down through the Celtic line - Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland, and Wales.  And the closer the family ties are to any of the Celtic Nations…the higher the probability that you do have Celiac.  I’ve read that it can be like Diabetes in that everyone has it…but it takes a traumatic event in life to trigger it.  I’ve also read that for many people they didn’t have any issues with Celiac until after an accident or physical trauma, or some sort of mental/emotional stress.  Many people support that it can be triggered by a life changing event.

Carolanne Le Blanc
Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse, 101 Imperial Palm Drive, Largo, Florida 33771

Friday, July 1, 2016

Did You Know? Facts about Celiac Disease & Gluten Intolerance

Here are some of the most staggering facts about Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance. Each statement highlights the need for education and awareness among the Medical and Culinary Communities as well as the General Public.

An estimated 3 million Americans across all races, ages and genders suffer from Celiac.

You don’t need to have Celiac Disease to be affected by it.  There are many different Diseases that can co-exist with (or because of) Celiac Disease.  Autism - Infertility – Migraine - Thyroid Disease – Depression - Intestinal Cancer - Osteoporosis/Osteopenia - Turner Syndrome - Dermatitis Herpetiformis - Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis - Peripheral Neuropathy - Type 1 Diabetes - Down Syndrome - Liver Disease -Sjogren's Disease - Williams Syndrom

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune digestive Disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.  Because of this constant malnutrition many areas of the body can be affected making Celiac Disease one of the hardest Diseases to diagnose.  1 in 133 Americans have Celiac Disease, as many as 95% of Celiacs are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with any number of other conditions. Celiac Disease can lead to any number of other disorders including infertility, reduced bone density, neurological disorders, some cancers, and other autoimmune Diseases.

6-10 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed.  Once a person is diagnosed 5-22% of Celiac patients have an immediate family member (1st degree relative) who also has Celiac.

$5,000-$12,000 is the average cost of misdiagnosis per person/per year of Celiac, not including lost work time.

There are NO pharmaceutical cures for Celiac Disease. A 100% gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment for Celiac today.

The Celiac Disease diagnosis rate may reach 50-60% by 2019, thanks to efforts to raise public awareness of Celiac Disease.

Gluten-free sales reached more than $2.6 billion by the end of 2010 and are now expected to exceed more than $5 billion by 2015.

It’s all in the numbers…
The number of people with Celiac Disease in the U.S. would fill 4,400 Boeing 747 airplanes. It would take 936 cruise ships to hold every American with Celiac Disease. The number of people with Celiac Disease in the U.S. is roughly equal to the number of people living in the state of Nevada. Alaska, Delaware, Washington DC, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah and Vermont all have populations that are less than 2,200,000 - the number of people living with Celiac Disease in the United States.

Carolanne Le Blanc
Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse, 101 Imperial Palm Drive, Largo, Florida 33771