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    Testing for Celiac Disease, Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity, and Other Adverse Reactions to Foods by Alcat Food Allergy Testing


    Celiac.com Sponsor: Banner


    • The Alcat Test offered by Cell Science Systems, Corp., measures the response of innate immune cells following exposure to foods and other substances.


    Testing for Celiac Disease, Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity, and Other Adverse Reactions to Foods by Alcat Food Allergy Testing

    Celiac.com 08/01/2018 - Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder characterized by destruction of intestinal villi, followed by malabsorption and greater risk of developing other autoimmune disorders, such as type 1 diabetes.  It can be triggered in genetically susceptible people by gluten.  The test for the genetic risk for celiac has high negative predictive value; meaning, if you do not have the genes, you cannot get the disorder.  


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    However, if you do have the genes, you may, depending on other factors, principal among them being your gut microbiota, and you do consume gluten, you may develop celiac disease.

    In either circumstance, you may have other health issues, Chrohn’s disease, IBS, UC, fatigue, and/or many other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, brought on by consuming gluten; or, any other foods, herbs, or chemicals, that you are sensitive to.

    Despite all the noise out there about tests for food sensitivities, there is only one test that has been clinically and technically validated at a major institution through a randomized controlled, double blinded trial, and that is the Alcat test, available from Cell Science Systems, which has also been recognized as, “Company of the Year for Food Intolerance Testing – N. America” by the international consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan.
    The Alcat Test® can test for almost five hundred individual items, including foods, additives, functional foods and herbs, molds, common drugs, and others.  You can customize a test according to your needs and budget.    CSS also offers nutrition, dietary and lifestyle counseling through its sister company, PreviMedica.

    For the month of August, Cell Science is offering a free celiac gene risk assessment with the ordering of any Alcat test.

    Log on to CellScienceSystems.com; or wellio.co, or call 1-800-Get-tested for more information or to speak with a counselor. 

    For more info visit their site.

     

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    Scott Adams
    Introduction
    Through his writings, we know that Hippocrates, the father of medicine, had already recognized the presence of allergic reactions in people as early as ancient times. However, the term allergy is a relatively new one, as compared to many other commonly used medical terms. In 1906, Viennese pediatrician Baron Clemens von Pirquet used the term for the first time to describe an altered response of his patients bodies. Von Pirquet believed that this altered reaction manifested itself in changes of the immune system, effected by external influences on the body, such as: food intake, the air breathed or direct skin contact. The term allergen (the substance responsible for the altered reaction) was born. At that point in time, however, von Pirquet had no means of scientifically proving that these immunological changes actually occurred in the body. It was not until the mid-1920s, that a second significant event occurred.
    Researchers found that, by injecting a minute quantity of purified allergen under the skin, certain individuals would develop a clear skin response; a welt, with or without itching and redness, could be provoked. This positive skin test for allergies would show itself most prominently in patients with hay fever, asthma, chronic rhinitis, hives and eczema. The prick test became a method of demonstrating the involvement of the immune system in allergic reactions. However, the precise biological reason for the reaction continued to remain a mystery.
    It was not until the Sixties, when an important discovery occurred which provided long-awaited scientific support for the classical allergy theory and removed any doubts about the relationship of the immune system with allergies. This breakthrough came about with the scientific discovery of immunoglobulin E (IgE) by a Japanese couple named Ishizaka.
    Classical Allergic Reaction
    The following are the chain of events which happen in allergic reactions:
    An allergen must be present in the body. This allergen is the substance which causes us to have an abnormal immunological response. Allergens tend to be protein molecules. Interestingly enough, the immune system only detects particles of a certain size as potential troublemakers and protein molecules are just the right size. In a small number of cases, the body actually responds to molecules other than proteins. These molecules, which are generally much smaller, are called haptens. By combining with protein molecules, haptens form larger complexes which can then be detected by the immune system. The allergen is detected by the B cells. These are specialized immune cells, capable of producing antibodies. Just like allergens, antibodies are protein molecules, which have the capacity to neutralize allergens. Every B cell produces its own, specific antibody, depending on the type of intruder it needs to respond to. It is easy to understand why the body must have a ready pool of millions of antibodies, in order to combat these numerous offenders. There are five main categories of antibodies (IgG, IgA, IgM, IgD and IgE) which the body releases under different circumstances (for instance to fight off various infections, etc.). In the case of allergies, the body produces the antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE), first discovered by the Ishizakas. Usually, antibodies will bind directly to the appropriate damaging substance and neutralize it. However, IgE deviates from this common path. It first attaches one of its legs to one of the bodys numerous mast cells. The other leg is used to hold on to the offending allergen. This action signals the mast cells to begin disintegrating, thereby releasing histamine. Histamine is a chemical substance responsible for a great number of complaints which may arise during allergic reactions. It causes muscle cramps and an inflammation-like process with redness and swelling of mucous membranes.
    Allergic reactions can occur under a variety of circumstances. For instance, inhaling certain substances, such as grass pollen, house dust, etc., may cause an allergic response. However, the consumption of certain foods may do the same. Allergies typically bring on complaints very rapidly upon contact with the allergen. Complaints may vary from a runny nose, sinusitis, earache or runny eyes to itching of the skin, eczema and shortness of breath.

    Intolerance
    Conventional medicine can easily diagnose and treat allergies for foods or inhalants. Here, the so-called RAST test plays a very important role, because this test can demonstrate the presence of IgE.
    However, demonstrating the presence of intolerance is more difficult. In this situation, similar to the case of classical allergies, the body responds abnormally and, in addition, the immune system does not produce IgE. It quite often takes much longer for complaints to come on, thereby masking the possible link between the offensive substance and the complaints themselves.
    These are only a few of the reasons why food intolerance is considered a fairly controversial concept in conventional medicine. Intolerance can be responsible for a wide variety of complaints which, at first glance, seem to lack a plausible explanation. Intolerance can manifest themselves as the following:
    Gastrointestinal complaints: stomach ache, irritable bowel, Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis Skin complaints: itching, eczema, hives, acne (in adults) Joint and muscle complaints: ranging from atypical pains to rheumatoid arthritis Headache and migraine Chronic fatigue Asthma, chronic rhinitis or sinusitis Pre-menstrual syndrome Hypoglycemia Depression, anxiety Sleeping disorders
    Diagnosing Intolerance
    It is impossible to accurately demonstrate intolerance through conventional testing methods.
    The Amsterdam Clinic currently uses the following test, which is very reliable.
    Another useful test is the IgG(4) antibody test. Here, the presence of IgG(4) antibodies is determined. These antibodies are the slowly occurring variety, which do not appear in the blood until 24 to 48 hours after exposure to an offending food or substance. The reliability of this test varies between 80 and 90%.
    Treatment
    Diet
    In the treatment of inhalant allergies (such as asthma, hay fever) and food allergies and intolerance, avoidance (elimination) of allergens plays an extremely important role. In the case of food sensitivities, either the cytotoxic test or IgG(4) test can help determine reactions to specific foods. Based on the test results, an elimination/rotation diet can be specifically tailored.
    Foods causing strong reactions in these tests, should (temporarily) be excluded from the diet. More moderate reactions allow for rotation of certain food items in the diet. These may be eaten once every four days. Especially during the first week(s) of the diet, withdrawal symptoms, similar to complaints stemming from the cessation of coffee, tobacco or alcohol consumption, may occur. The body seems to crave offending food items. Generally, these withdrawal symptoms disappear after a couple of weeks. Concurrently, those complaints relating to food sensitivity also diminish.
    Using this dietary approach, the reaction to food allergens may decrease in the course of time. After a three month moratorium, reintroduction of forbidden food items can be attempted, one at a time. In this way, food items still causing reactions can be isolated more easily. Often, at least part of existing intolerance completely disappear after an elimination/rotation diet.
    With the treatment for inhalant allergies, elimination is also the first step. It is obvious that patients having an allergy for cats or dogs, should avoid any contact with these pets. The situation becomes more difficult when dealing with allergies to grass or tree pollen, since total elimination is basically impossible. The same goes for house dust mite allergy. The house dust mite lives in mattresses, pillows, carpeting, drapes, upholstery, etc. Through mite-killing pesticides, special mattress and pillow covers, non-carpeted floors, etc. reasonable results can be obtained.
    Medication
    Medicines for inhalant allergies, such as antihistamines (Triludan), corticosteroids (Prednisone, Pulmicort, Becotide), cromoglycates (Lomudal, Lomusol), and airway dilating medication (Ventolin, Berotec, Atrovent) do suppress symptoms, however, they do not cure the allergy! In the realm of conventional medicine, effective medications for food allergy and intolerance do not exist at all.
    Desensitisation
    Enzyme-potentiated desensitisation (EPD) and the provocation/neutralization method are very effective treatments for food allergy/intolerance and inhalant allergy problems. These methods tackle allergy problems at the root.
    During EPD treatment, a small quantity of a food or inhalant allergen mixture is injected intradermally into the skin, in conjunction with the enzyme beta-glucuronidase. This combination causes the body to gradually adjust its exaggerated responses to food and inhalant allergens. In this way, the immune system is readjusted and reset. Initially, the injections have to be given once every two months. Gradually, however, the intervals between injections become longer and the injections can often be discontinued after a time. According to conservative estimates, at least 80% of those patients treated with EPD show considerable improvement in the course of time. Provocation/neutralization can be used both diagnostically and therapeutically. Here, separate extracts of food or inhalants, suspected as possibly offending, are injected intradermally. This causes a welt to appear in the skin. After 10 minutes, the size and nature (firmness, color, etc.) of the welt are evaluated. A positive welt will generally bring on symptoms (provocation). Depending on the size and nature of the welt, as well as, the presence of symptoms, varying concentrations are injected, until a dose is found which does not cause any welt changes or symptoms. This is the neutralizing dose. Injections with the proper neutralizing dose will bring on immediate protection against the symptoms caused by the offending food and/or inhalant. Copyright © 1996 the Amsterdam Klikiek
    For further information please contact:
    Also in THE NETHERLANDS:
    Amsterdam Kliniek
    Reigersbos 100
    1107 ES Amsterdam Z.O.
    Telephone 31 (0)20 697 53 61
    Telefax 31 (0)20 697 53 67
    Lydia S. Boeken M.D. London/Amsterdam

    Scott Adams
    The following was a post from Merete Askim regarding the avoidance of the contamination of foods during the manufacturing process. If you have any questions regarding it, direct them to him at: Merete.Askim@INF.HIST.NO.
    My name is Merete Askim, and I am a College Lecturer at the Department of Food Science, Soer-Tronedelag College, Trondheim, Norway. In my teaching in nutrition and food chemistry, I am very interested in food allergy and intolerance. My students get jobs as food technologists, so it is important for them to be aware of food allergy and intolerance.
    I have invented a new concept which I call ALLERGY-HYGIENICS.
    This combines both the aspects of avoiding contamination by:
    Harmful Bacteria Ingredients Not Meant to be Part of the Food in Question A traditional concept in industrial food production is called HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Points), which is concerned primarily with bacterial contamination. My new concept ALLERGY-HYGIENIC improves upon HACCP, by adding the concept of consideration of allergic and intolerant ingredients, either directly through insufficient consideration of the impact of an ingredient on the population, or inadvertently through contamination by ingredients not meant to be part of the food in question.
    We teach the students to start the analysis of food production with the least complex product, and end with the most complex, to have knowledge of every ingredient, down to the smallest, including the food-additives.
    For example, some firms use vacuum tubes to deliver ingredients from storage facilities to their production machinery. If a gluten free product is being made, and the tube used to deliver rice flour was previously used to deliver wheat flour, there is likely cross-contamination which cannot be removed by simply cleaning the final production machinery. The tube itself would have to be cleaned out, or the facility would have to be designed so that gluten free flours are never transported in tubes which at other times contain gluten.
    Another example is when a dairy produces both "strawberry-yogurt" and "raspberry -yogurt" on the same day, the ALLERGY-HYGIENIC concept is to avoid any strawberry contamination in the raspberry product, or vice versa.
    Our goal is that all products will eventually have ALLERGY-HYGIENIC qualities!
    But we know this takes time and can be expensive in some occasions. It is a new concept in the traditional way of hygienic thinking. Even with ALLERGY-HYGIENICS, we can not guarantee no contamination, but we are attentive, and take our precautions.
    At our Department of Food Science, Trondheim, Norway, want this new concept ALLERGY-HYGIENIC to catch-on all over the world, and become common knowledge. So please tell others, and if you dont mind, remember that it was created here.
    When you are in contact with the food-industry, you might ask them:
    Is your production in accordance with ALLERGY-HYGIENIC principles? Have you taken ALLERGY-HYGIENIC considerations in your production? If you find this concept useful, please let me know by private email. I would also be interested in your experiences as Celiacs with locating cross-contamination in foods. By cataloging your real-life experiences in the field, I can help my students and their companies determine likely problematic areas in food production.
    Merete Askim: Tel (work): 47 73 91 96 25
    N-7004 Trondheim, Norway

    Jefferson Adams
    Food Allergy, Intolerance Market to Hit $26 Billion by 2017
    Celiac.com 09/01/2011 - The global market for food allergy and intolerance products will surpass $26 billion by 2017, according to the most recent projections from companiesandmarkets.com.
    The retail growth in foods free of gluten, wheat, lactose, cow's milk, nuts, egg, soy and ominous additives has been driven in part by increased diagnosis of digestive health conditions, growing interest for gluten-free diets, better label regulations, and tastier products.
    The United States is by far biggest market for food allergy and intolerance products. In the U.S., an estimated 10% of the population have difficulties digesting gluten.
    In addition to their popularity with celiac-disease sufferers, gluten-free foods also appeal to a wide proportion of the general population, partly because of growing concerns related wheat consumption, and to symptoms associated with celiac disease.
    The sector is also benefiting from numerous celebrities who have touted gluten-free and wheat-free diets as apart of a weight-loss and personal fitness routine.
    Others are swayed by claims that going gluten-free can help treat disorders such as autism, chronic fatigue, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder, multiple sclerosis, migraine and fertility problems.
    At least partly in response to that fact, market for gluten-free products began to explode in 2010, with savory snacks, energy bars, baking products, chocolates, and cookies leading the way among new gluten-free products.
    One result is that consumers now have a variety of options to choose from in the baked products category, including baking mixes, breads, bagels, muffins, entrees, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, baking mixes, pastas, pizza, cereals, snack foods and soups. This, in addition to a number of new gluten-free grains, starches, flours and seeds.
    Online sites that specialize in delivering gluten-free and other specialty foods for for those with food allergies, such as The Gluten-free Mall have added upwards of a hundred new products and twenty new vendors a year, and expect those numbers to continue, according to its founder and CEO, Scott Adams.
    The report includes comprehensive marketplace information, including analysis of key players, products, and strategic activities, trends, product launches, innovation, and regulatory issues, along with historic and forecast data covering 2003-2017.


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 02/08/2013 - In an article for Fox News, Hans von Spakovsky, a senior fellow at the right-wing Heritage Foundation, ridicules the idea that the Department of Justice (DoJ) should use its weight to force colleges and universities to accommodate students with food allergies under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    At issue is a settlement the DoJ obtained with Lesley University in Massachusetts, which had allegedly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not adequately accommodating students with food allergies.
    Under the settlement agreement with the DoJ, Lesley University will pay $50,000, offer meals that do not contain “egg, wheat, shellfish, fish, soy, peanut, tree-nut products, and other potential allergens," prepare the food in a dedicated area, and to allow students to pre-order their special meals, among other requirements.
    In the view of von Spakovsky, the agreement amounts to "extortion" by the the DoJ. He calls the "idea that this is a federal issue, or that the Justice Department should burn its resources investigating food preparation in university dining halls…a complete absurdity."
    He goes onto call the DOJ's efforts at Lesley a "dish-hunt [which] exemplifies mindless mission creep and the bloated expansion of the federal nanny state."
    What do you think? Do you have children or loved ones with celiac disease, especially of college age? Should celiac disease be considered a disability? Do they deserve gluten-free food options at school? Should the government pressure schools that either can't or won't act on their own? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.
    Click here to read Hans von Spakovsky's full article, ridiculing efforts by the federal government to use the Americans with Disabilities Act to pressure colleges to accommodate students with food allergies.

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Could Gluten-Free Food Be Hurting Your Dog?
    Celiac.com 08/15/2018 - Grain-free food has been linked to heart disease in dogs. A canine cardiovascular disease that has historically been seen in just a few breeds is becoming more common in other breeds, and one possible culprit is grain-free dog food. 
    The disease in question is called canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and often results in congestive heart failure. DCM is historically common in large dogs such as Great Danes, Newfoundlands, Irish Wolfhounds, Saint Bernards and Doberman Pinschers, though it is also affects some Cocker Spaniels.  Numerous cases of DCM have been reported in smaller dogs, whose primary source of nutrition was food containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds or potatoes as main ingredients. These reported atypical DCM cases included Golden and Labrador Retrievers, a Whippet, a Shih Tzu, a Bulldog and Miniature Schnauzers, as well as mixed breeds. 
    As a result, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine, along with a group of veterinary diagnostic laboratories, is investigating the possible link between DCM and pet foods containing seeds or potatoes as main ingredients. The good news is that in cases where the dog suffers no genetic component, and the disease is caught early, simple veterinary treatment and dietary change may improve heart function.
    According to Nutritional Outlook, an industry publication for makers of dietary supplements and healthy foods and beverages, there is a growing market for “free from” foods for dogs, especially gluten-free and grain-free formulations. In 2017, about one in five dog foods launched was gluten-free. So, do dogs really need to eat grain-free or gluten-free food? Probably not, according to PetMD, which notes that many pet owners are simply projecting their own food biases when choosing dog food.
    Genetically, dogs are well adapted to easily digest grains and other carbohydrates. Also, beef and dairy remain the most common allergens for dogs, so even dogs with allergies are unlikely to need to need grain-free food. 
    So, the take away here seems to be that most dogs don’t need grain-free or gluten-free food, and that it might actually be bad for the dog, not good, as the owner might imagine.
    Stay tuned for more on the FDA’s investigation and any findings they make.
    Read more at Bizjournals.com
     

    Jefferson Adams
    Did You Miss the Gluten-Free Fireworks This Past Fourth of July?
    Celiac.com 08/14/2018 - Occasionally, Celiac.com learns of an amusing gluten-free story after the fact. Such is the case of the “Gluten-Free Fireworks.” 
    We recently learned about a funny little event that happened leading up to Fourth of July celebrations in the town of Springdale in Northwest Arkansas. It seems that a sign advertising "Gluten Free Fireworks" popped up near a fireworks stand on interstate 49 in Springdale. 
    In case you missed the recent dose of Fourth of July humor, in an effort to attract customers and provide a bit of holiday levity, Pinnacle Fireworks put up a sign advertising "gluten-free fireworks.” 
    The small company is owned by Adam Keeley and his father. "A lot of the people that come in want to crack a joke right along with you," Keeley said. "Every now and then, you will get someone that comes in and says so fireworks are supposed to be gluten-free right? Have I been buying fireworks that have gluten? So then I say no, no they are gluten-free. It's just a little fun."
    Keeley said that their stand saw a steady flow of customers in the week leading up to the Fourth. In addition to selling “gluten-free” fireworks, each fireworks package sold by Pinnacle features a QR code. The code can be scanned with a smartphone. The link leads to a video showing what the fireworks look like.
    We at Celiac.com hope you and your family had a safe, enjoyable, and, yes, gluten-free Fourth of July. Stay tuned for more on gluten-free fireworks and other zany, tongue-in-cheek stories.
    Read more at kark.com
     

    Jefferson Adams
    Stress-Related Disorders Associated with Higher Risk for Autoimmune Disease
    Celiac.com 08/13/2018 - It’s not uncommon for people to have psychiatric reactions to stressful life events, and these reactions may trigger some immune dysfunction. Researchers don’t yet know whether such reactions increase overall risk of autoimmune disease.
    Are psychiatric reactions induced by trauma or other life stressors associated with subsequent risk of autoimmune disease? Are stress-related disorders significantly associated with risk of subsequent autoimmune disease?
    A team of researchers recently set out to determine whether there is an association between stress-related disorders and subsequent autoimmune disease. The research team included Huan Song, MD, PhD; Fang Fang, MD, PhD; Gunnar Tomasson, MD, PhD; Filip K. Arnberg, PhD; David Mataix-Cols, PhD; Lorena Fernández de la Cruz, PhD; Catarina Almqvist, MD, PhD; Katja Fall, MD, PhD; Unnur A. Valdimarsdóttir, PhD.
    They are variously affiliated with the Center of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland; the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland; the Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital, Reykjavík, Iceland; the Centre for Rheumatology Research, University Hospital, Reykjavík, Iceland; the National Centre for Disaster Psychiatry, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; the Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; the Centre for Psychiatry Research, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; the Stockholm Health Care Services, Stockholm County Council, Stockholm, Sweden; the Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden; the Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden; the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; and the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
    The team conducted a Swedish register-based retrospective cohort study that included 106, 464 patients with stress-related disorders, 1,064 ,640 matched unexposed individuals, and 126 ,652 full siblings to determine whether a clinical diagnosis of stress-related disorders was significantly associated with an increased risk of autoimmune disease.
    The team identified stress-related disorder and autoimmune diseases using the National Patient Register. They used Cox model to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% CIs of 41 autoimmune diseases beyond 1 year after the diagnosis of stress-related disorders, controlling for multiple risk factors.
    The data showed that being diagnosed with a stress-related disorder, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress reaction, adjustment disorder, and other stress reactions, was significantly associated with an increased risk of autoimmune disease, compared with matched unexposed individuals. The team is calling for further studies to better understand the associations and the underlying factors.
    Source:
    JAMA. 2018;319(23):2388-2400. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.7028  

    Jefferson Adams
    Gluten-Free Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts
    Celiac.com 08/11/2018 - Need a quick, easy, reliable gluten-free dish that will satisfy everyone and leave the cook with plenty of time to relax? This recipe is sure to do the trick. Best of all, it's super easy. Just grab some chicken breasts, season them, hit them with a sprig of rosemary, wrap some bacon around them, and chuck them on the grill and call it dinner. Okay, you can add some rice and veggies.
    Ingredients:
    4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 4 thick slices bacon 4 teaspoons garlic powder 4 small sprigs fresh rosemary salt and pepper to taste Directions:
    Heat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate.
    Sprinkle 1 teaspoon garlic powder on a chicken breast and season with salt and pepper. 
    Place a rosemary sprig on each chicken breast. 
    Wrap the bacon around the chicken and the rosemary. 
    Hold bacon in place with a toothpick or extra rosemary stem.
    Cook the chicken breasts until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 8 minutes per side. 
    Keep an eye out for any grill flare ups from the bacon grease. 
    Remove the toothpicks and serve with steamed rice and your favorite vegetables for a winning meal.

    Connie Sarros
    Five-Minute Healthy Breakfasts
    Celiac.com 08/10/2018 - You’ve heard for years that it’s wise to start your day with a healthy breakfast.  Eating food first thing in the morning gets your metabolism revved so you have energy throughout the day.  There’s also the issue of incorporating healthy foods into your first meal of the day.  Ideally, every meal should include fiber and foods from a variety of food groups.  But the reality is that most people don’t have time in the morning to create an involved meal.  You’re busy getting ready for work, packing the kids’ lunches and trying to get everyone out of the door on time.  
    Don’t fret.  The task of preparing a healthy breakfast just got easier.  You can make 5-minute breakfasts and, with a little bit of planning, you can sneak fiber into those meals without spending a lot of extra time with preparation.  An ideal breakfast will include whole grains (from gluten-free cereals, breads, muffins, or uncontaminated oats), a low-fat dairy item (1% milk, low-fat yogurt, or low-fat cheese), and a source of protein (such as peanut butter or eggs).  Adding fruit is a plus.  
    If you can tolerate uncontaminated oats, make a bowl of oatmeal and add a little extra fiber by stirring in chopped walnuts and dried cranberries.  If you like scrambled eggs, toss some fresh spinach (sliced into thin strips), 1 chopped canned artichoke heart, two tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, and a dash of Italian seasoning to the egg as it cooks.  
    If you have time on weekends to make healthy gluten-free pancakes (which  means that you added perhaps flax seed meal or shredded apples or something that qualifies as fiber to the batter), then freeze the pancakes between sheets of wax paper, place them in a freezer bag, and freeze so they’ll be handy on busy weekday mornings.  If you don’t have time to make them prior to need, you can always use commercial frozen gluten-free pancakes.  In a bowl, mix together a few raisins, half of a chopped pear or apple, a few dashes of cinnamon and a couple of tablespoons of chopped walnuts.  Spoon this mixture down the centers of two toasted (or microwaved) pancakes, drizzle each with 1 teaspoon of pancake or maple syrup, then fold in the sides of the pancakes to make two breakfast sandwiches.
    Brown rice is brown because the bran layer is still on the rice, and the bran layer is the part that’s so high in fiber.  White rice is much lower in fiber and has less nutritional value.  Brown rice isn’t just for dinner anymore.  It offers a nice breakfast alternative from traditional hot cereals.  The next time you make brown rice for dinner, make a little extra and save some for breakfast the next morning.  In the A.M., mix the rice (about 1 cup) with a few chopped pecans, a few raisins, 1/2 cup milk, 3 tablespoons pancake syrup, a dash each of vanilla and cinnamon, then microwave the mixture for 1 minute, stirring once after 30 seconds.  Let it sit for 30 seconds to thicken before eating.  Or stir together 1 cup cooked brown rice, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 navel orange diced, some chopped dates, dried cranberries, and shredded coconut; heat this in the microwave and then top it off with 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt.
    Just a note about using the microwave—it’s not an exact science.  Different ovens have different power levels so what cooks in 30 seconds in one person’s microwave may take 45 seconds in someone else’s unit.  Unless you want the food to splatter all over the sides of the oven, you’ll need to cover any liquids or soft foods with waxed paper.  
    There will be days when you don’t have time to sit down at the table and enjoy a leisurely breakfast.  On these days, make a “grab-and-go” breakfast that you can take with you.  Gluten-free wraps keep for several weeks in the refrigerator and they make great fill-and-go containers on busy mornings.  Spread a wrap with peanut butter, sprinkle some fortified gluten-free dry cereal on top, then drizzle with a teaspoon of pancake syrup; roll up the wrap and you have the perfect dashboard dining breakfast to eat on the way to work.  Or scramble an egg, spoon it down the center of the wrap, and then top it off with a little salsa and pepper-jack cheese before rolling it up. If you only have three minutes before you have to leave the house, spoon some low-fat cottage cheese into a cup, stir in a dash of cinnamon, top with a little low-fat gluten-free granola or fortified dry gluten-free cereal, sprinkle berries or chopped peaches over the top, grab a spoon, and you’re ready to go!
    Smoothies can be made in literally one minute.  Toss some frozen raspberries into a blender, add a 12-ounce container of low-fat lemon yogurt, a little milk, and two teaspoons of vanilla; blend, then pour the mixture into a large plastic cup.
    If you oversleep, don’t panic.  Have some back-up foods on hand that you can grab and eat en route to work, like a gluten-free protein bar and a banana, or a bag of nuts and dried fruit, or flax seed crackers with a handful of cheese cubes, or toss some gluten-free granola over a container of yogurt and grab a spoon to take along.
    All of the above suggestions can be made in five minutes or less.  Take the time to start your day off with a healthy breakfast—you deserve to do that for yourself and for your family.
    Apple English Muffins by Connie Sarros
    This recipe is from my newly-released book Student’s Vegetarian Cookbook for Dummies.  While this isn’t a gluten-free cookbook, most of the recipes are naturally gluten-free or can very easily be converted to gluten-free.  
    Preparation time:  4 minutes.  Cooking time:  30 seconds.  Yield:  1 serving
    Ingredients:
    1 tablespoon peanut butter  1 gluten-free English muffin, toasted  1/8 large apple, peeled, cored and sliced thin ½ teaspoon butter  ¾ teaspoon brown sugar 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon Directions:
    Spread peanut butter on one toasted English muffin half.  Lay the apple slices on top. In a small microwave safe bowl, heat the butter in the microwave on high for 15 seconds.  Stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon then nuke for another 15 seconds.  Stir until smooth.  (If necessary, pop it back into the microwave until the brown sugar melts).   Drizzle the cinnamon mixture over the apple slices then place the second half of the English muffin on top. Note:  If you’re out of apples, use a pear, ripe peach or nectarine, mango, or even a banana.