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Posts Tagged ‘National Celiac Disease Awareness Month’

Anxious to know who won the books?

If you’re uninterested in knowing who won the three books I’m giving away to celebrate May as Celiac Awareness month and you’d like a recipe instead, scroll away. There’s an arugula salad with macadamia nut dressing recipe featured below. It’s a wonderful salad and the dressing makes for a nice diversion from oil and vinegar.

My intention was to do five book giveaway posts in May, but real life got the better of my good intentions and May zipped by much faster than expected. I’ll announce the current winners (three) and save the other books for random giveaways in June and July. It was also my intention to have my little neighbor girl help me pick the winners from the comments you all left, but my gosh, I had a flood of entries and although I couldn’t respond to many of the comments, I did read every word and am blessed to have such articulate and bright blog followers. Thank you.

I decided to resort to to pick the winners. There was no way I could choose fairly. All the answers (and the delightful poems) were so good that everyone deserved to win. How could I pick just one? I couldn’t, so the “True Random Number Service” did it for me.

Drum roll, please.

Book #1: 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Fenster. This is one of my favorite cookbooks and the “Quinoa Pilaf with Pine Nuts and Dried Fruit” is a standard in my recipe collection. I love it. It’s a multi-use dish that everyone enjoys.
Congratulations to Jody E (comment #14)!

Book #2: Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook by Leslie Cerier. This is a great, easy-to-follow cookbook full of healthy (and tasty) recipes.
Congratulations to Noelle (comment #27)!

Book #3: The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution: How the foods you eat can help you calm your anxious mind, improve your mood & end cravings by Trudy Scott. Wow, this post elicited so many heartfelt comments that I wish I had an Oprah-like pocketbook for giveaways! I’d give everyone a copy of this book. Because of the overwhelming response, Trudy emailed me with the offer to add another copy of her book to the mix. As I mentioned in my original post, I prefer to purchase the items I give away on my blog, rather than solicit products or accept free merchandise. This will be an exception since so many people are in need of help with anxiety (thank you, Trudy).
Congratulations to Renée (comment #35) and Joanie (comment #48)!

I will be contacting the winners via email. Stay tuned for the next round of book giveaways, and in the meantime, enjoy this recipe!

Arugula, grapefruit, avocado, and shaved fennel salad with macadamia nut dressing
what you need

dressing (makes about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 cup macadamia nuts
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
sea salt

salad (makes 2 servings) 
2 to 3 cups arugula
1 grapefruit, peeled, seeded, and chopped in chunks
1 avocado, sliced
1/3 cup shaved fennel

what you do
1. Assemble the salad in a large bowl.
2. Place macadamia nuts in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
3. Add the water, lime juice, agave, cumin, and salt to the food processor and pulse until creamy. If it’s too thick for your liking, add more water in very small amounts at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Makes about 3 tablespoons of dressing.
4. Toss 2 to 3 tablespoons of dressing with the salad and serve. Start with a small amount of dressing and adjust to your liking from there. Store extra dressing in refrigerator.

Thanks, everyone!

The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution book giveaway

Depending on the situation, anxiety (tempered by control) can be a good thing. Many years ago while mountain biking in a somewhat remote area of Montana, my riding partner and I came across a grizzly bear. Needless to say, in that context, both of us hit the anxiety button.

YIKES! There’s a grizzly bear. Right in front of us. Just off the trail.

Luckily the bear wasn’t all that interested. He (she?) stood up, looked straight at us, took a couple of lazy sniffs in our direction, and ambled off. Although he showed no obvious signs of aggression, my anxiety level shot up significantly. And for good reason.

Normal anxiety is like normal inflammation. It’s a positive response to danger or injury and something that is built into our physiology. Without anxiety, we might do stupid things.

“Cool, there’s a grizzly bear. I’ll go stand by him (her?) while you take my picture.”

While anxiety can be innately protective, I’m convinced some of us got the fortified version of the anxiety gene(s) and some of us got the watered down version. You know the personality types. There are scaredy-cats with AVOIDANCE being a distinct personality trait and there are risk-takers without a care in the world. It takes all kinds, but somewhere in the middle might make for a healthier balance.

Sadly, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, abnormal anxiety affects some 40 million people age 18 or older. That’s a lot of Americans living life hanging by a thread of jangled nerves. Are you one of them?

Enter Trudy Scott. She can help.

Although a lifelong adventurer (climber, skier, mountain biker, world traveler), Trudy had her own mid-thirties battle with serious anxiety. Her journey back to radiant health took her on a path of discovery that led to the book, The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood & End Cravings. Trudy is a clinical nutritionist and has a private practice focused on natural solutions for anxiety and mood disorders. She’s “been there, done that” and knows the solution.

I met Trudy while attending the National Association of Nutritional Professional’s conference a few weeks ago in San Francisco. She’s a girl after my own heart. How often do you meet other nutritionists who telemark ski, backpack, mountain bike, and ice climb—and do it all gluten-free? I knew I had to include Trudy’s book in my “May is Celiac Awareness Month” book giveaway. She’s awesome, we hit it off right away, and there’s not a shred of abnormal anxiety in her personality. She found the cure through the right food and lifestyle choices, and she’s here to help you do the same.

If you’re interested in winning a copy of Trudy’s book, please do the following:

• Leave a comment on this post. Make sure you include your email address when prompted (it will only be visible to me) so I can notify you if you win.

• The giveaway closes Thursday, May 31st at 6 PM. It doesn’t matter if you’ve entered the other May giveaways.

I’ll announce all the winners next month in one “wrap-up” blog post. Stay tuned.

Peace, love, and a calm mind.

melissa’s bimonthly potluck picks

bi•month•ly (adjective) – occurring or produced twice a month or every two months: a bimonthly blog post.

pot•luck (noun) – used in reference to a situation in which one must take a chance that whatever is available will prove to be acceptable: melissa’s bimonthly potluck picks.

Rather than a single-subject blog post, how about a few short, random samplings arbitrarily chosen depending on my mood? Instead of foto-Friday or meatless-Monday, I’ll do bimonthly potluck picks. That way I’m not committed to anything specific. Or often, for that matter. There’s no way I could commit to a weekly feature.

Every other week? Maybe. Every other month? Probably.

I love the ambiguous dictionary description of bimonthly. The indefinite and broad interpretation is perfect for someone like me who has no idea when my next blog post will occur or what it will be about.

Here we go — my first bimonthly potluck picks blog post. Hang on, I might wander into weird and icky territory.

Pick #1
advanced placement label reading

Castoreum extract is a food additive found in some processed foods. It’s been used as a flavor ingredient for the past 80 years and both FEMA (Flavor and Extract Manufacturer’s Association) and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regard castoreum as “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS). I avoid processed foods, but I imagine I’ve probably eaten castoreum at some point in my life. Here’s the truth behind the label. According to Webster’s Dictionary, castoreum is (cue retching sounds) a peculiar bitter orange-brown substance, with strong, penetrating odor, found in two sacs between the anus and external genitals of the beaver.

Enough said. Avoid processed foods.

Pick #2
Celiac Awareness Month

Last year the House of Representatives, with the Senate concurring, named May as National Celiac Awareness Month. Hmmm? And all these years I’ve been throwing my celiac soirées in October (former National Celiac Awareness Month). Increased awareness and Congressional support for advocacy and education regarding celiac disease is good, the month really doesn’t matter.

On second thought, I have celiac disease and May is my birthday month (emphasis on the whole month). Perfect reason for a May Congressional declaration and a gluten-free party. Or gala. I prefer birthday galas. Big, glittery galas with lots of presents.

Pick #3
Misnamed solar plexus

Following up on Celiac Awareness Month, I’d like to share something I learned many years ago in my cadaver lab. You’ve heard the term solar plexus, right? Well, it’s not called the solar plexus, it’s the CELIAC plexus. A plexus is a intricate network of nerves or vessels in the body. The following was taken directly from my Principles of Anatomy and Physiology textbook: The celiac plexus is found at the last thoracic and first lumbar vertebrae. It is the largest autonomic plexus and surrounds the celiac and superior mesenteric arteries. It contains two large celiac ganglia and a dense network of autonomic axons. Secondary plexuses that arise from the celiac plexus are distributed to the liver, gallbladder, stomach, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, medulla (inner region) of the adrenal gland, testes, and ovaries.

Doesn’t that sound like this celiac plexus thingy-ma-bob has an important role? Like maybe keeping us alive?

Then how come so many people in the healthcare profession (including doctors) have never even heard of the word celiac? Just wondering.

Pick #4
Best plant-based sources of calcium

Those of us who don’t eat dairy products (or in limited amounts) can get our calcium from plant-based sources. Here are some of my favorite high-calcium, non-dairy foods.
pinto beans (1 cup cooked), 82 mg calcium
chickpeas (1 cup cooked), 77 mg
sesame seeds (2 tablespoons), 176 mg
bok choy (1/2 cup cooked), 79 mg
collard greens (1/2 cup cooked), 178 mg
kale (1/2 cup cooked), 90 mg
dried figs (5 figs), 137 mg
blackstrap molasses (1 tablespoon), 172 mg

How was that? Is this worth repeating on a bimonthly (whatever that might mean) basis?

Peace, love and potluck picks!
P.S. As for pick #1, I’ll be sure to include something equally disgusting next time.

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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(co-written with Pete Bronski)

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