By Becky Berowski
Founder and CEO, Elizabeth Kaplan, Dishin’ with doB
Founder of The Pure Pantry
, Elizabeth Kaplan became gluten free when she learned that not only was she diagnosed with celiac disease, but her two children were also sensitive to gluten as well as various other foods. She began taking family recipes and converting them to gluten-free versions. This soon lead her to develop her own products and recipes to put in the market place making it easier for the rest of us to make the change.
Who: Elizabeth Kaplan of The Pure Pantry
Where: Thepurepantry.com, with stores across the country.
What do you believe is the most important reason to go gluten free?
The most important reason would be severe allergies or gluten intolerance issues. Those with celiac disease, such as me, must adhere to a 100% gluten-free diet.
Should people who don’t have celiac disease go gluten free?
Certainly, there are other reasons to go gluten-free. Many nutritionists and doctors maintain that a gluten-free diet lowers inflammation in the body. There are also other auto-immune related disorders that improve with a gluten-free diet such as arthritis, diabetes, and psoriasis.
What is your favorite gluten free product?
Besides my own products, I can’t live without Udi’s multigrain gluten-free bread and bagels.
How do you balance being a mom and a business woman?
I am very fortunate to have wonderful and supportive business partners, my mom and husband! I am also fortunate that my children admire what I do and that they look at me as role model. I feel that by balancing work and motherhood I am teaching my children how to have a full and rewarding life.
Can people who are gluten free still eat out at restaurants easily?
There is always the risk of cross contamination for those with celiac disease. It takes a lot of diligence for me to explain exactly what I can and can’t eat, and there are often problems. In general, I stick to grilled veggies, grilled fish or a salad but still have to be careful that the salad dressing or sauce served with my meal is gluten-free, and that my food is prepared in a separate pan with separate utensils. I limit my meals out – thank goodness I like to cook!
What is one beauty product you always keep with you?
Gluten-free lipstick by Ecco Bella. I also have to use gluten-free shampoo and conditioner and am always trying new products to find the best one. So far it has been easy!
Any advice for someone just starting a gluten free diet?
At first it seems very daunting to start a new lifestyle, but once you are committed, you will love how you feel!
Elizabeth Kaplan’s cookbook, Fresh From Elizabeth’s Kitchen, that she was gracious enough to send me, has kept me healthy and happy this past week. Also, her chocolate chip cookie mix and whole grain dark chocolate mix have helped me have a quick dessert for all the May babies I’m celebrating this month.