Written by Patty Servidio, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 26 June 2014 00:00
Celiac disease is on the rise in the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom. The autoimmune disorder, which is also known as celiac sprue, occurs in individuals who are genetically predisposed to the condition. It can occur at any age.
Symptoms of the disorder are pain and discomfort in the gastrointestinal system, chronic constipation and diarrhea, anemia, and fatigue. Infants diagnosed with the condition also suffer with a failure to thrive. Symptoms have been noted in other organ systems, and are not just adherent to the GI tract. Vitamin deficiencies are commonplace, secondary to the fact that the individual is unable to absorb nutrients in the small intestine properly. Gliadin, the gluten protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats, is the culprit for wreaking such havoc on the sufferer’s body.
I can’t tell you how many people I have come in contact with who are suffering with celiac, or who are sensitive to gluten protein. A recent study done in the United Kingdom states that the diagnosed cases of sprue have increased fourfold over the last few years. In the United States, there has been confirmed documentation that substantiates the number of cases diagnosed yearly. In the United States, 1 out of every 105 people have undiagnosed celiac; in the UK, the number is 1 in 100.
In our home, both my daughter and I must follow the gluten free diet, for health reasons. We have learned to adapt recipes in order to enjoy old favorites, such as vegetable pot pie, bread, cookies, cakes, pies and pizza. We’ve both been rather lucky; we live in a town where there are not one, but two gluten free bakeries to choose goodies from, and many bakeries, pizzerias and restaurants are getting on board to offer gluten free items that are cooked and baked in dedicated gluten free areas. If the restaurant or bakery does not use a dedicated area, cross contamination can occur, which could really ruin our day. It might sound a bit dramatic, but it’s the truth. Ask anyone with a sensitivity; they will tell you pretty much the same thing. Cross contamination makes for very unhappy campers.
Gluten free diets are also commonplace for those who suffer with irritable bowel syndrome. Gluten containing items are not permitted on the FODMAP diet. Researchers in Australia discovered that FODMAPs, or foods containing Fermentable Olgio-, Di- and Monosaccharides and Polyols, increased liquid and gas in the small and large intestine. This increase of liquid and gas caused an increase in abdominal pain, bloating and other symptoms, which was anathema for a sufferer with IBS. Eliminating these foods alleviated symptoms, and in some cases, eliminated them. This was how my daughter started eating gluten-free; she suffers with IBS. And I have to tell you that the diet has helped her tremendously. The diet is also being suggested by neurologists for patients suffering with MS; The Best Bet Diet and MS Recovery Diet have helped many sufferers to not only improve their symptoms, also helps them to feel healthier. Children with autism also reap the benefits of following a gluten free diet.
Many mainstream manufacturers have gotten on the bandwagon, as they offer gluten free alternatives. Betty Crocker, Chex, Snyder’s of Hanover, and Barilla all offer gluten free options with a pretty decent taste. It’s a vast improvement over what was available seven or more years ago.
Food for thought: What has caused such a sudden and rapid increase in the number of cases diagnosed yearly of celiac? My sneaking suspicion is that GMOs might be the culprit…but that’s all subject to speculation.
Saturday, 30 August 2014 00:00
Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.
There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.
Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.
It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.
Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup. I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club. This U16 team has a group of standout players led by Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.