Chelsea Wheeler is a 10-year-old girl with a passion and a plan.
"I want to have a diner," she says, sitting on her bed in her parents' house in Oxford, Connecticut.
"I'd like to make things that people think are yummy healthier, less fatty, and make it like they're being cooked for the Queen."
Chelsea loves helping her parents, Chris and Linda, prepare food for the whole family. They say she spends much of her free time watching the Food Network looking out for new recipes.
But Chelsea cannot taste the food she makes. She can eat almost no food at all. She suffers from a rare disease that has caused her intestine to fail irreversibly.
Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the host of The Post Punk Kitchen and author of multiple vegan cookbooks, including her most recent, "Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes For Every Day Of The Week." And yes, there are recipes if you scroll down.
Chances are you have a vegan in your life - a real dyed-in-the-natural-fiber-cruelty-free-wool vegan for whom all animal products are off limits. And perhaps that vegan is threatening a visit to your Thanksgiving table this year.
Thanksgiving is stressful. Everyone knows that; the very history of it is stress. The original celebration was not what people had to eat, but that they had anything to eat at all. Maybe things aren’t as bad as all that today, but it can still be stressful when someone needs a special menu.
But one of the great things about vegan meals is that everyone can enjoy them. (Provided they don’t have a nut allergy, or a wheat allergy, or...well maybe we oughta just go out for Chinese food.)
If your first thought was an eye roll, or something along the lines of, “That’s their choice - I don’t have to cook for them,” or if you think they can get by on salad and cranberry sauce, well, honestly, don’t even invite them. Somewhere there’s a welcoming table where the lentils overfloweth, and they will take your vegan in.
But if you actually like them, maybe even love them, or if your loved one loves them, or if you want them in any way, shape, or form to have a great time as your guest, then read on.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration set a final standard on Friday to clearly define what the term "gluten-free" means on food labels.
The new regulation is targeted to help the estimated 3 million Americans who have celiac disease, a chronic inflammatory auto-immune disorder that can affect the lining of the small intestine when gluten is consumed. Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, rye, barley and crossbreeds of these grassy grains.
“Adherence to a gluten-free diet is the key to treating celiac disease, which can be very disruptive to everyday life,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, in the release. “The FDA’s new ‘gluten-free’ definition will help people with this condition make food choices with confidence and allow them to better manage their health."
Editor's note: Dr. Arthur Agatston is the medical director of wellness and prevention for Baptist Health South Florida. Creator of the best-selling South Beach Diet series, he is the author of the new book, "The South Beach Diet Gluten Solution."
If you're confused by the gluten-free diet craze, you're not alone.
Like many people, you've probably heard about the phenomenon but really don't understand what gluten is or what, if anything, you should be doing about it. Yet millions of people in this country are turning their lives upside-down trying to avoid it.
Here are five things you need to know about gluten: