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4 Questions for Julie Kreloff-McGinnis

Jewish Gluten-Free Lifestyle – What, No Bagels?

We recently met Julie Kreloff-McGinnis, MS, RD. Julie has been gluten-free for 8 years and started a company in Boulder that provides gluten-free pizza crusts and pastas to local restaurants, to make gluten-free eating out more accessible.  We turned our “4 Questions” spotlight her way.

Do you have a favorite Jewish food memory?

I grew up in a small town in south Jersey that had a non-existent Jewish population and therefore no Jewish deli. Every Sunday my father would get up at the crack of dawn and make the trip into Philadelphia to go to Famous Delicatessen. He would bring back bagels, lox, whitefish salad, pickles, and creamed cheese.  Upon his return my dad would walk down the bedroom hallway and declare that, “breakfast was served!” He would open the curtains in each of our rooms and continue to convince us to wake up. Following the smell of the platters of onions and fresh bagels, my brothers and I would scramble downstairs to the feast. We were often greeted by our family friend and neighbor who would already be picking at the lox and drinking coffee. This tradition carried on through divorce, college, adulthood and even through “low carb” diets.  Flash forward to 2002 when I was diagnosed with gluten-intolerance. My first thought was, what…no bagels? How could this be? I tried the gluten-free bagels and I thought, they call that a bagel?

What things should people who are GF look for when shopping?

These days the gluten-free world offers many great things, bread that actually toasts, and in some progressive areas, pizza, pasta, and entire gluten-free menus in the restaurants. When shopping it is easy to fall prey to buying a lot of junk food gluten-free items that may taste good but offer no nutritional value. Many of the gluten-free flours used in main stream products lack vitamins and minerals. These flours are not fortified like wheat flour so try to choose products made with flours that are nutrient dense like buckwheat, brown rice, sorghum and coconut. These flours provide protein, fiber, B vitamins and minerals. It is important to eat a healthy diet and restore nutrient status in your body. Gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease can often deplete the body and leave many with less than optimal health.  For a complete list of safe and forbidden foods and information about gluten-free body care products, prescription medications, and where to find gluten-free matzo please visit www.theglutenfreegirl.com. I created this site to tell my story and provide information about all things gluten-free.

How do you handle Jewish holiday recipes?

At first I was at a loss on how to convert my favorite Jewish holiday dishes to gluten-free but today there are many gluten-free blogs that have wonderful recipe conversions and meal ideas for all your favorites. Not too long ago I was purchasing gluten-free matzo from England for Passover (for $27 a box) and these days you can buy gluten-free matzo at Whole Foods and other local markets.

How did Gluten Free Bistro get started?

After being gluten-free for a few years I yearned for good pizza. I could not believe that there were still no good gluten-free products and that I could not eat a pizza out a restaurant. So, my friends and I decided with our backgrounds and experience that we could create a delicious gluten-free pizza that was also healthy. Today, we are in over 60 locations. We supply restaurants in Colorado, Utah and New Mexico with whole grain nutritious pizza crusts and pasta.  At this time we only sell our pizza crust and flour blend on our site and we hope to be retail soon. Additionally, our site, The Gluten Free Bistro (www.theglutenfreebistro.com), has our blog link where you’ll find many of Martha Stewart’s recipes converted to gluten-free versions. Enjoy.

About Lisa Velick

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