past month I had the honor to participate in this years
annual DC Metro Regional Conference and dinner. Each year
this conference seems to get bigger and better! The speakers
were great, the food was great and everyone who attended seemed
to have a great time and gain a lot of valuable information.
Glutenfreeda.com was invited to provide
a two hour cooking class during the conference. The primary
focus of this class was to show people that living on a gluten-free
diet does not mean that you have to throw flavor out the window
or that you have to prepare unusual food that the rest of
your family will not touch! During this fun class we prepared
a springtime salad of Mesclun with Pears, Feta & Caramelized
Pecans, a creamy Mushroom Risotto topped with sautéed
vegetables and last, but not least (also one of my absolute
favorite dishes) Blackberry Cream Cheese Crepes. I hope that
everyone who attended left with the understanding that eating
gluten-free actually means great food choices, quality ingredients
and authentic tasting foods!
I also had the pleasure of spending about
an hour with the kids who attended the conference. Christine
Ewing did a wonderful job organizing a fun-filled lecture
series for children, parents and young adults. Nancy Patin
Falini, MA, RD, LDN put on a wonderful childrens educational
workshop teaching kids to not be tempted by the "gluten
bug" along with other helpful tips and exercises to help
children understand what gluten is and how to avoid it. Nancy
was a tough act to follow! I spent my time with the kids discussing
all the food choices they have from breakfast and lunch to
snacks, dinners and even desserts. The kids had so many wonderful
suggestions on what they could eat (and enjoy eating!). We
finished our discussion by making mini polenta pizzas and
chocolate chip brownies with ice cream and whipped cream (yum!).
I hope the kids had as much fun as I did during this session!!!
Unfortunately at the conference I was busy
with my classes but heres what I heard about this years
Dr. Peter H.R. Green (Professor of Clinical
Medicine at Columbia University) gave an informative talk
on Celiac Disease and its relationship to mortality rates,
its autoimmune connection, fertility complications and related
neurological problems. Everyone I spoke with who attended
Dr. Greens lecture found it very informative!
Dr. Margaret Gill, (Mayo Clinic Dept
of Family Medicine), lectured on her personal experiences
with Celiac Disease and how to master the diet. She also gave
helpful guidelines for health care providers on monitoring
the health of Celiac patients and other preventative issues.
Anne Roland Lee, MSEd, RD, Nutritionist
(Celiac Disease Center Columbia University), spoke about her
Nutritional Assessment Tools developed for dietitians to use
while counseling patients with Celiac disease along with a
discussion on different healthy gluten-free grains available
at the market.
Lee Tobin, chef & baker at Whole Foods
gave a lecture on "The Basics of Gluten-free Baking"
along with an exciting announcement of a new Whole Foods facility
which is currently being built that will produce only gluten-free
baked goods! How exciting!!! If that isnt a sign of
good things to come in the world of gluten-free, I dont
know what is!
All in all, this conference was a huge success.
Id like to thank Dan DuBravec for putting together such
a wonderful event. If you get a chance next year to attend,
I encourage you to do so it is definitely worth it!