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Before I launch into my beet salad recipe and nutrition spiel, I thought I’d briefly touch on some of the highlights of the Celiac Sprue Association’s National Conference, which I just attended in Tucson, AZ. I’ll fill in the blanks after I have a chance to go over my materials and piece together the information in a way that will make sense and be helpful to those of you following this blog.

Highlights from the CSA Dietitian Day:
I’m a Nutrition Therapist, not a Registered Dietitian. There are some philosophical differences, but we’re all working together with a common goal of providing education and nutritional support for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Differing philosophies and opinions make for an broader pool of resources, which we all benefit from.

Co-existing conditions (food intolerances and food allergies related to celiac disease)
Associated risks and normalization after compliance to a GF diet
Hidden and non-food sources of gluten
Breastfeeding and when to introduce gluten to the infant diet
Common nutrient deficiencies
Celiac disease and Type 1 Diabetes (the relationship: 10% of people with Type 1 Diabetes also have celiac disease, often in a silent form)
The importance of fiber in a gluten-free diet
Questionable ingredients

Highlights from the main conference:
Celiac disease from diagnosis to treatment
Dental enamel abnormalities
The role of tissue transglutaminase from diagnosis to treatment
Healthier grains through biotechnology (This is one I will definitely focus on in a separate post. It was a fascinating presentation about everything from the health consequences of obesity to amino acid sequences to omega 3s. Dr. Sands (director of plant sciences and plant pathology at Montana State University) also discussed, with great humor and enthusiasm, the convergence of new technologies and applied biology, biochemistry, and genetics. He focused on our attempt to adopt agricultural conditions that our bodies can’t relate to or keep up with. He has written extensively on how the “emphasis of traditional crop production on yield is counter-productive for human nutrition.” Very interesting guy with an important message. There are some interesting alternative grains coming from the wild west (Montana). More on this one later!
“We have met the enemy . . . and it is us.” (Saladin, 13th century)
Capsule endoscopy (the pill cam, another fascinating addition to the diagnostic yield)
Gluten-free baking and cooking
Entertaining demonstrations by Lee Tobin, head of the Gluten-Free Bakehouse at Whole Foods. I’ll add a wonderful gluten-free recipe of Lee’s to my blog once I receive permission from him. I hope, I hope!

Those are the highlights and I promise to put together some educational information to share with you. It may come in bits and pieces, but I’ll fill you in soon. In the meantime, here’s a wonderful fall salad of mine with beets, celery, sweet potatoes, and apples. Yum!

fall beet salad

what you need
2 beets (cooked and chilled)
1 sweet potato or yam (baked and chilled)
1 Fuji apple
2-3 celery stalks

I bake the sweet potatoes and beets at the same time in the oven at 425 degrees until tender (30 to 45 minutes, depending on oven temperature variations and the size of your vegetables). Refrigerate until chilled.

Cut all ingredients into chunks and toss lightly with dressing. This is easy, healthy, colorful and tastes yummy!

Beets are full of nutritional value. The deep rich, red-purple color is from a wonderful cancer-fighting nutrient called betacyanin. Studies show betacyanin is protective against colon cancer. This vibrant root vegetable also helps fight heart disease. Beets are good raw, shredded on a salad, baked, or roasted. The beet greens can be sauteed like you would Swiss chard, or used in soups or stews. The greens are packed with nutrients too (especially beta-carotene and lutein).

And don’t forget all the good stuff in apples, sweet potatoes, and celery. This is a power packed salad. And it tastes good!

Melissa’s GF salad dressing

what you need
•2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
•1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s raw, unfiltered apple
cider vinegar)
•2 tablespoons Annie’s Naturals organic Dijon Mustard (contains
white vinegar made from corn)
•2 tablespoons agave honey (I use Madhava raw organic agave
nectar)

Mix dressing ingredients in small jar and shake vigorously. Pour over mixed salad and toss lightly. Season to taste.

In good health,
Melissa

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Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
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