Thursday, May 31, 2012

No Grain, No Pain

"What the cavemen knew back then.

For the most part, our bodies are still Caveman models. As strange as it may seem, genetically, we have changed very little since the “modern” human being appeared over 40,000 years ago.

Domesticated grains and their refined by-products like flour, bread and pasta are a very new addition to the human diet. Dr. Richard Kunin, an orthomolecular surgeon from San Francisco says it best, “Grains are really Johnny-come-latelies on the nutritional scene. Meats, fruits, beans, seeds, nuts and vegetables have had a considerably longer historical alliance with the human gut. Almost as if to make up for lost time, grain has deluged man’s diet and this excess increasingly appears to have something to do with common major and minor ailments.”

Grains and grain products are associated with a whole range of health challenges. Sensitivity to grains that contain gluten (the protein fraction of the grain, which gives it its resilient quality), mainly wheat and rye, and to a lesser extent barley, not only cause gluten intolerance, but can develop into full-fledged celiac/sprue disease (an autoimmune disease of the small intestine).

When low-carbs and the Atkins Diet were all the rage in the 1990s, I noticed something very, very interesting. When many of my clients stopped eating carbs, especially grains, they began reporting that their migraines, arthritis, eczema, intestinal gas, bloating, stomach aches, acid reflux, depression, and even IBS started to improve. Ironically, these are often hallmarks of some degree of gluten intolerance.

Gluten and wheat intolerance have been on the rise for the last two decades.  In the last decade alone, gluten intolerance levels have increased from 1 in 2,500 worldwide to 1 in 133. In fact, you can now visit the “gluten-free” section in your local grocery store or ask for the gluten-free menu at almost any chain restaurant.

But, what’s to blame?

Toxic pesticides and herbicides may have something to do with it.

A study in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine found that in the mid-1990s almost 100 percent of wheat crops were treated with an unhealthy dose of Round-Up herbicide during the final ripening period to “brown out” the unripe kernals so they aren’t rejected by the big grain brokers and mills.

Could the problem with wheat, gluten or grain sensitivity be how it was grown, processed or even milled, rather than with the grain itself. So in any case, it may be time to start eating like a caveman.

    Stick to complex carbohydrates from legumes and vegetables, such as lentils, chick peas, squash, sweet potatoes, yams, and peas.
    Snack on nuts and seeds instead of bread, muffins and crackers.
    Use flours from tapioca, almonds, or coconut for your baked goods.
    If you can’t live without some kind of grain, substitute brown rice, wild rice, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, or sorghum for gluten-containing wheat, rye and barley. Some people can also tolerate oats; while others cannot–sometimes oats can be contaminated with wheat in the process plant.
    Supplement with probiotics. Disturbed gut flora is usually prevalent with individuals that have any type of grain intolerance."

-Edge on Health, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman

Monday, May 28, 2012

Save the Date!

Our next GIG Support Meeting is
Saturday, June 16th, 10am-12pm
Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital
2211 NE 139th St., Vancouver, WA 98686
Rooms C-D
Our guest speaker:
Cariann Royall from Scentsy will introduce her
new Velata Belgian Chocolate Fondue.
We hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Diet Supplements: Slim Pickings

Google "diet supplements" and you'll get about 26 million search results, most from companies selling products that promise to cure your weight problem--in as little as a week. If only it were so easy.
Their proprietary formulas, which can cost $40 a bottle and up, are often touted as "all natural," "healthy," and "proven to work" with "no side effects." Their names tell all: Fat Blaster, Slenderizer, MeltRX, NanoSlim, Size 0, and, for men coveting a slim, ripped body, TestoRipped and Man Scorch. If you're overwhelmed by all the products, there are even websites that promise to help clear the confusion--that is, sell you their own products.
But weight loss is neither quick nor easy. Nothing "melts fat away," and certain pills can have serious side effects. Dietary supplements do not have to be tested for safety or effectiveness, nor do they have to list warnings or contraindications. And the FDA can pull them from the market only after there's proven evidence of harm. That's what happened with ephedra, which the FDA finally banned in 2004--but only after serious problems and even deaths were reported. Since then, ephedra-like substances, including synephrine (in bitter orange) and dimethylamylamine (sometimes listed as geranium oil), have taken its place and may not be any safer.
More cause for alarm: Some diet supplements have been found to contain undeclared pharmaceuticals, which can be harmful if not used properly. In recent years, the FDA has warned about dozens of diet supplements, many from China, that were tainted with drugs, including amphetamine-like chemicals, tranquilizers, antidepressants, prescription diuretics, and anti-seizure medications.
Keep in mind that if a diet supplement does work, it's likely to have other effects that may not be so desirable. For example, if it boosts metabolism, it might also boost heart rate and blood pressure. Some ingredients (such as chaste tree, daidzein, and dong quai) can affect levels of some hormones. And diet aids, even if "natural," may interact with medications.
Bottom line: Don't expect dietary supplements to help you lose weight. At best, the evidence is slim for just a couple of them. If any product was really effective, drug companies would be testing and patenting their ingredients, and there would be many fewer overweight and obese people. As it is, prescription diet pills have had a lousy track record, too. And even if some diet supplements do cause you to lose a few pounds, none are proven to sustain weight loss.

-University of Berkeley Wellness Alerts

Friday, May 25, 2012

Buffalo: Home on Your Range?

Just a decade ago, buffalo (technically bison) meat sounded pretty exotic. Today, it's fairly easy to find at natural foods stores, farmers' markets, and some supermarkets.
There are even buffalo-themed restaurants and cookbooks. But is bison meat--America's "original red meat--really so much better than beef, as claimed?
At the ranch
Bison are raised on ranches or farms, where they graze for their food (that is, they are "grass-fed"). Regulations and industry standards don't allow the use of hormones or routine antibiotics, which are often given as growth promoters to cattle.
Environmentalists like grass-fed bison because this method of meat production is more sustainable and less polluting than conventional methods. As bison graze, they keep the ecosystem in check by preventing grasses from overgrowing, while their waste nourishes the soil, among other benefits. Properly grazed grasslands can, in fact, help stem global climate change because they trap the carbon from greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and redistribute it in soil.
But as bison meat becomes more popular, many producers have turned to grain-finishing in feedlots for several months, similar to how cattle are fed before slaughter. This makes the texture and flavor of the meat more consistent, and it turns the yellow fat to white, which some people prefer. Though bison tend to spend less time in feedlots than cattle, being confined is still, as critics say, inhumane and unnatural for animals, particularly wild ones. Moreover, bison feedlots can have the same health and environmental problems as cattle feedlots. For example, 66,000 pounds of bison meat were recalled a few years ago due to possible E. coli contamination.
Whether all grass-fed or grain-finished, bison meat is leaner than beef (though grain-finishing does increase the fat content somewhat). And like all meat, it's rich in protein, iron, zinc, B12, and other nutrients. The National Bison Association promotes it as having only 2.4 grams of fat and 143 calories in 3.5 ounces (cooked), compared to 8 grams of fat and 200 calories in a piece of "select" beef. That's based on the leanest cuts, trimmed of all fat. Other bison cuts have 4 to 9 grams of fat and 165 to 190 calories, comparable to some lean beef cuts; ground bison meat can have 15 grams of fat and 240 calories in 3.5 ounces.
Bison meat is also promoted as a good source of omega-3 fats. Grass-fed cuts have more of these heart-healthy fats than conventional beef (the same is true for grass-fed beef), but the amount is minimal compared to salmon and other fatty fish. And grain-finishing causes a rapid decline in omega-3 levels.
In the kitchen
Because bison meat is so lean, it cooks quickly and becomes tough if you cook it too long or at too high a temperature. Chefs often recommend cooking steaks to no more than medium-done. To keep moisture in, sear with a little vegetable oil over high heat and then cook slowly at reduced heat. You can grill or broil chops and steaks. Moist, slow cooking is best for less tender cuts such as chuck. Ground meat patties should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F, the point where the pink just starts to disappear.

-University of Berkeley Wellness Alerts

Dental Erosion: 7 Tips for Your Teeth

You probably take steps to prevent cavities by brushing and flossing your teeth. Even so, you're still at risk for dental erosion.
This growing and underappreciated problem of dental erosion now affects as many as one in five Americans, according to a series of articles in the Journal of the California Dental Association.
Dental erosion is the acidic dissolution of teeth--starting with the softening (demineralization) of the enamel and underlying dentin and subsequent structural tooth loss. It's caused by acids in food and beverages as well as by regurgitated stomach acid resulting from reflux disease (in contrast, cavities are caused by acid-producing bacteria on the teeth, which feed on sugars). Overbrushing, abrasive toothpaste, tooth grinding, and other excessive mechanical wear and tear can dramatically worsen the damage caused by dental erosion.
Why the rise in dental erosion?
It's largely because Americans have been drinking more acidic beverages and have become heavier (obesity increases the risk of reflux disease). Older people are also at risk because many take medications that reduce saliva flow, making their teeth more vulnerable to acid. And ironically, in our zeal to clean and polish our teeth, many of us overdo it and thus abrade them.
If your teeth could talk
If you know you have dental erosion, or want to prevent it, take these steps:
  • Limit acidic beverages, such as soda (especially cola and citrus flavors, including diet sodas), energy drinks (such as Red Bull), sports drinks (such as Gatorade), citrus juices, and wine. Repeated and prolonged exposures--as in sipping or swirling the liquid in your mouth--are most erosive. Sugary acidic drinks are a double whammy, since they also promote cavities.
  • Limit acidic foods such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, sour candies, raisins, and vinegary items--or at least eat them with other foods, not on their own.
  • Rinse with water after consuming acidic foods or beverages. Rinsing with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and/or a fluoride mouthwash can further help.
  • Eat dairy products. Their calcium helps reduce the damaging effects of acids; their casein enhances remineralization.
  • Chew sugarless gum to increase saliva flow, which helps wash away acids.
  • Use a less abrasive toothpaste. Whitening pastes are most abrasive. Those containing baking soda, which is alkaline and nonabrasive, tend to be gentlest on teeth.
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles, but not too forcefully or for more than a couple of minutes. It's easy to overdo it with an electric toothbrush, since it requires little effort. 
-Berkeley Wellness Alerts

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Frito Lay


Frito Lay's Announces Gluten-Free Labeling

Continuing in the spirit of National Celiac Disease Awareness Month, we’ve got another billion-dollar corporation hopping on the bandwagon in support of a gluten-free lifestyle. This week’s multi-national advocate goes by the name of Frito-Lay's, which is owned by the global food and beverage tycoon PepsiCo. The celiac effort that Frito-Lay's (North American branch) is putting forth, as of last week, is “an initiative to validate and label products as gluten-free.”


"You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes every day -
unless you are too busy; then you should sit for an hour."
-Old Zen adage

Dominos Pizza

"The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) launched its Tiered Credentialing system in April 2012 in response to a growing concern in the restaurant industry around cross-contamination. While the NFCA recognizes the importance of alerting consumers to cross-contamination risks, the community response has prompted NFCA to reconsider the Amber Designation and related product labeling as an effective method to communicate these risks.

Given the public response and recent developments in this field, NFCA is suspending the use of "Amber" designation to describe a restaurant or foodservices establishment. We will conduct a review to determine the most effective and clearest way to warn the community of the risk of cross-contamination and the use of the phrase "Gluten Free." 
-Beth Hillson Weekly Newsletter, May 15, 2012

Flesh Eating Bacteria Alert!

Avoid unwanted hitchhikers at all costs.

Bad bugs are everywhere these days. We all have to be especially mindful because of the current outbreak of flesh eating disease or necrotizing fasciitis. This infection is usually caused by a virulent strain of strep or staph that goes wild and produces endotoxins that can spread rapidly resulting in a death rate of up to 40% with loss of limbs.
While the young woman in Georgia contracted necrotizing fasciitis from Aeromonas hydrophila, an extremely rare strain of bacteria (not strep or staph) found in warm and brackish waters, just yesterday I read that six patients infected by strep and/or staph-induced necrotizing fasciitis were treated at the Nebraska Medical Center’s hyperbaric oxygen unit during the last month.
Good to know.
I never would have considered hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a first line treatment against this life threatening bacteria. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy not only helps to greatly enhance the immune system to fight off the infection but can even turbocharge the antibiotics that are also prescribed.
A hyperbaric oxygen chamber can rapidly deliver oxygen into areas of the body that aren’t getting enough oxygen due to tissue swelling, damage, and inflammation.
After reading this article, I located a site that lists all of the hyperbaric oxygen centers throughout the United States. So just in case—and this information can truly be life saving—you should be aware of the closest hyperbaric oxygen center in your area.  Check out this link and have an emergency plan ready for your family and loved ones.
Who gets sick?
In most cases, individuals that are most susceptible to the bacteria are those with compromised immune systems.
Diabetics, substance abusers, the obese, and smokers are more vulnerable.  But, anyone—even in the best of health—can become infected.  It appears that the bacteria can pose a very serious risk to even healthy people—via a cut or lesion—when it gains access to the blood stream.
So—regardless of whether you are dealing with a paper cut or big scrape, use a 50/50 hydrogen peroxide wash immediately and cover with a bandage.  Remember to wash your hands before and after cleaning the wound.  If you start to experience more swelling, fever, pain, or the cut becomes red and more inflamed, then it’s time to head to the emergency room.
Other tips to outsmart the smart bugs:
1) Since nearly 75% of your immune system resides in your GI tract, a probiotic will help shield your body from the invasion of pathogens. Look for a probiotic formula like Flora-Key that contains 10 billion beneficial bacteria per serving. Avoid very high dosage probiotics that surprisingly can induce an auto-immune response.
2) Keep your adrenals strong—advice that is generally omitted when the topic of immunity is discussed.  Your energy, endurance, and resiliency all depend upon the functioning of your adrenals—the glands of stress.
To minimize negative responses to environmental assaults, the adrenal secretes anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-like hormones.  Just consider how many conditions hydrocortisone (the synthetic version of the adrenal’s naturally produced cortisol) treats:  swelling, inflammation, and auto-immune disorders. Strong adrenals allow your body to withstand stress of any types. People with weak adrenals don’t fend off coughs, colds, skin conditions, or allergies like other people. They frequently suffer from hay fever, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, multiple chemical allergies and suffer from recurring respiratory infections.
I personally take my adrenal glandulars three times daily upon arising, mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Look for a formula like UNI KEY’s Adrenal Formula which contains the highest-grade raw bovine whole adrenal gland (200 mg) and raw bovine adrenal cortex (15 mg) from New Zealand. It also contains tissue glandulars from the spleen (100 mg) and liver (25 mg), as well as vital nutrients for rebuilding adrenal function including vitamin C, pantothenic acid, zinc, serotonin-building vitamin B6, infection-fighting vitamin A, and the anti-stress amino acid, tyrosine. Tissue glandulars, unlike herbs, provide a DNA/RNA blueprint for our own glandular regeneration.
3) Last but not least, hit the hay early and get at least seven hours of restorative sleep to meet the challenges of our increasingly toxic environment.

With these tips in mind, may good health always be your companion!

-Edge On Health, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Save the Date!

Our next GIG Support Meeting is
Saturday, June 16th, 10am-12pm
Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital
2211 NE 139th St., Vancouver, WA 98686
Rooms C-D
Guest Speakers to be announced.
Thank you

Franz Gluten Free Bread

Every Monday Franz offers a gluten free 7 grain bread that tastes really good,
has the texture of a normal yummy wheat bread, and is delicious and safe.
It costs $4.99 per loaf unless you can find it on the clearance rack, but it
doesn't usually last that long! Give it a can find it at the Franz Bakery
Outlet, 6701 NE HWY 99,  Vancouver, WA 98665, 360-696-2546. Enjoy!

If you would like Franz to make more gluten free choices for us, please email
them at, more is better!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Not a Fad

FROM Cheryl Luptowski
The Huffington Post 

Gluten-Free: Not a Fad But a Necessity for 18 Million American

Gluten-free products seem to be everywhere -- from pasta and cookies to bread and even ice cream. Major food retailers such as WalMart, Whole Foods, Wegman's and Target carry a number of gluten-free products, and PF Chang's, Outback, Chili's and other chain restaurants have added several gluten-free menu items.
Although it may seem as though gluten-free is a fad in a society obsessed with new diets, the reality is that for those who suffer from gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, this is not a choice, but a necessity. In fact, experts estimate that 1 in 16 Americans have some form of gluten sensitivity.
So what is gluten and why is it such a big deal for nearly 18 million Americans? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley that is responsible for the elastic nature of dough. For many individuals this protein is easily digestible and has no effect on their overall health. But for those with any type of gluten sensitivity or intolerance, the ramifications of consuming gluten can range from constipation and bloating to diarrhea and malabsorption, which can result in malnutrition and severe weight loss. While there is a diagnostic test for celiac disease, there are no tests or a defined set of symptoms that identify gluten intolerances.
The increasing population of gluten-free eaters has not gone unnoticed by food manufacturers. Those that suffer from gluten intolerance have a much wider array of gluten-free foods to choose from today. The once small selection of gluten-free foods now makes up a $6.3 billion industry and growing.
The increasing availability of gluten-free foods is especially important to those that suffer from the most severe form of gluten intolerance, a condition called celiac disease. This autoimmune disease is a genetic disorder that affects 3 million Americans. Untreated, celiac disease can lead to a number of other health issues including malnutrition, osteoporosis, infertility, neurological disorders and other autoimmune diseases, according to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). Seventeen percent of family members of celiac patients also have celiac disease, making it one of the most commonly occurring lifelong, genetically determined diseases.
People with celiac disease suffer on average for nine years before they are correctly diagnosed.. For this group, a strict gluten-free diet is the only treatment. There are no pharmaceutical or surgical cures for celiac disease, so finding gluten-free foods are key to maintaining their health. This is why accurately labeling gluten-free food is crucial.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you or a loved one suffers from gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity or celiac disease:
  • Look for certification. Growing awareness about gluten intolerance has prompted manufacturers to step up their labeling practices and indicate products that contain gluten; however, without gluten labeling mandates from the FDA this practice is inconsistent across products and manufacturers. As a consumer, it's important to look for the certified gluten-free seal issued by Quality Assurance International (QAI), and the healthcare nonprofit National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). This seal ensures consumers that the food was produced in a facility without gluten and that it has gone through a supply chain free of gluten. Similar to the certification for organic and kosher foods, gluten-free certification is now much more commonplace.
  • Be aware. Some things that contain gluten are obvious, such as wheat pasta or bread. But gluten is also found in foods that aren't as apparent, such as soy sauce, beer, some salad dressings and gelatin. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires food manufacturers to list the eight most common ingredients that trigger food allergies on labels: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. Gluten is not included on that list because technically it's not an allergen, but there are efforts being made now to change this in the near future. In the meantime though, it's still necessary to be hyper vigilant about reading labels. If you see ingredients including wheat, rye and barley or ingredients made from these grains such as malt (made from barley), then it means there is gluten in the product.
  • Keep it fresh. Talk to any dietician and you'll hear that the best way to shop in the supermarket is to stick to the outer aisles, the thinking being that everything in that location -- fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy, etc -- is not processed, and therefore less likely to contain gluten. Certainly there are some processed foods, such as some cookies and potato chips, that are gluten-free and therefore safe, but as a rule the more processed it is, the more likely it is to contain gluten.
Living with gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity or celiac disease isn't easy, but it's manageable. It requires a complete change in diet that lasts a lifetime. It doesn't have to mean a life without flavorful and exciting foods. By knowing what to look for -- in the supermarket or on restaurant menus -- eating a gluten-free diet is accessible and can be a pain-free and healthful transition.

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Pitfalls at the Picnic

Pitfalls at the Picnic: Summer Barbecues and Gluten-Free Safety

Memorial Day is the official start of picnic and barbecue season - carefree summer entertaining, to be sure. But they can be filled with pitfalls for guests with food allergies. - - croutons mixed into salads, soy sauce (with wheat) added to marinades, and bread crumbs inadvertently sprinkled into the mayonnaise or mustard jar. All of these can easily be avoided without sacrificing any entertaining standards. So, before you don your straw hat and sandals, here are a few tips to ensure that your gluten, dairy-free and food sensitive guests can relax and enjoy your picnic along with the rest of your guests.

(1) In the initial invite, mention food allergies and invite guests to let you know of any dietary restrictions ahead of time. Review the menu with them.

(2) Put aside a plain burger or piece of unmarinated chicken that can be tossed on the grill before anyone else uses it.

(3)If the guest offers to bring a dish, it's not that they are rude or question your cooking ability. A gluten-free, dairy-free pasta salad, a hearty salad with protein, or baked beans that is safe for them and can fit nicely into your menu is great additions. And it guarantees that the allergic guest will have something substantial to eat that is safe for their diet. They can supplement with the burger and salad you've prepared.

(4) Clean the grill carefully before starting the grill and invite the food allergic guest to grill their food first. Or use a piece of aluminum foil to grill your food-allergic guest's food. Just make sure that other food is not being grilled at the same time, especially if it's hot dog or hamburger rolls or other bread.

(5) Pick up gluten-free, dairy-free rolls or ask the guest to bring a roll or two that is safe for their diet. Pick products from a safe reliable company such as

(6) Provide your guest with a clean plate and utensils to prepare their food and invite them to be first in the food line so they can be sure the serving spoons have not been mixed up. Set aside a small bowl of ketchup and other condiments that will not be used by others.

(7) Enjoy your summer and make it stress-free for everyone.

Frito-Lay Announces Initiative To Validate And Label Products As Gluten Free Partners with the Celiac Disease Foundation and the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness to help educate consumers about celiac disease

Source: PRNewswire

PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America division recently announced a multi-year initiative to validate many of their products as gluten free, with package labeling to follow. Since many of the company's snacks, such as Lay's Classic potato chips and Fritos Original corn chips are made from simple ingredients like corn or potatoes, they are, and always have been, naturally made without gluten ingredients.

Frito-Lay is not removing gluten from products, rather, has developed a gluten free validation process with input from the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) and the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) for testing ingredients and finished products to ensure they contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten before making a "gluten free" claim. This level is in accordance with the limit set forth by the FDA in its Proposed Rule for Gluten Free Labeling (2007).

The gluten free claim that Frito-Lay is adding to qualified products appears in the form of a "GF" icon and/or a statement on the back of the bag. Changes to packaging are being phased in and can take some time. Visit Frito-Lay's website, , as it is the most up-to-date resource to identify products qualified as gluten free.        

Gluten-Free Events

Arizona Diamondbacks GF Pregame

Location: Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ

Date: Friday, May 25 (First Pitch at 6:40PM)

For more info:

Have a gluten-free event? Send it to .        
                A Recipe From Beth
Cornflake Cluster Candies

Makes 24 to 36 candies

This quick and easy recipe belongs at a summer picnic. Make preparation a family affair and get the kids involved in scooping out the mixture and dropping spoonfuls onto baking sheets.

    • 1 cup of granulated sugar
    • 1 cup of honey
    • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter (a natural, sugar-free brand is best)
    • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract,
    • 4 to 6 cups of Glutino Sensible Beginnings Cornflakes
    • 1 ½ cups chocolate morsels or coarsely chopped peanuts
Butter two baking sheets, or cover with parchment paper; set aside.

Combine sugar and honey in a large saucepan and heat, stirring regularly, over medium to medium high heat until mixture begins to boil and sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat; blend in the peanut butter and vanilla. Add cornflakes, a cup at a time until mixture thickens.

Fold in chocolate morsels or peanuts. Spray two spoons with PAM. Using one as a scoop and the other to remove the candy mixture, quickly drop by spoonfuls on the prepared baking sheet and set aside to cool. Once firm, place into cupcake liners and bag to store.        
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-Beth Hillson Weekly Newsletter, May 22, 2012 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Save the Date!

Our next GIG Support Meeting is
Saturday, June 16th, 10am-12pm
Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital
2211 NE 139th St., Vancouver, WA 98686
Rooms C-D
Guest Speakers to be announced.
Thank you

Delicious Living

Announcing Delicious Living’s Healthy Grilling Cookbook.  

Grill season has arrived! Because it imparts fabulous flavor, takes us outside, and saves energy, grilling is one of our favorite cooking methods. Add some sizzle to your Memorial Day with this collection of healthy, mouthwatering Delicious Living recipes, including Shrimp and Fresh Herb Pizzas; Grilled Tomatoes, Eggplant, and Radicchio with Quinoa; Barbecued Tempeh Wraps; Grilled Peaches and Cream; and oh so much more. Did that light a fire under you?
Download the FREE cookbook today.
Healthy Grilling
New Hope Natural Media

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Benefits of Peppermint Tea

"Digestive boost
   Calms stomach muscles, eases irritable bowel syndrome,
   soothes heartburn, indigestion
   Reduces stress and anxiety, improves memory, alertness
 Respiratory respite
   Soothes coughs and colds, controls mild asthma
 Other properties
   Antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, freshens bad breath, controls
   muscle aches and chronic pain."

-Natural Choices Magazine, May 2012


"Children learn to smile from their parents." - Shinichi Suzuki

Gluten-Free Celebrities

"Some of these famous names have celiac disease, while others
report an allergy to gluten or sensitivity to wheat.
Drew Brees - NFL Quarterback
Meg Cabot - Author of The Princess Diaries
Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton
Novak Djokovic - Tennis Player
Actors: Dana Delaney, Zooey Deschanel, Mariel Hemingway,
Juliette Lewis, Ryan Phillipe, Emmy Rossum, Dean McDermot

Did you know? These celebrities eat gluten free by choice.
Jennifer Aniston, Victoria Beckham, Jenny McCarthy and
Gwyneth Paltrow"

-Natural Choices Magazine, May 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

May GIG Meeting

Come to our GIG Support Meeting
tomorrow, May 19th from 10am-12pm.
Our guest speakers are:
Health From The Heart, Dr. Julie Glass, ND
Elisha Joyce from Smarty Bars
Along with her yummy Smarty Bar samples, Elisha will
also be bringing her bars to sell. Cash or check only please!

Village at Van Mall Clubhouse
5000 NE 72nd Ave
Vancouver, WA 98661
Parking is on the street so please check the signs.
Don't forget to bring your food donations for the Food Bank.
See you there!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Gluten Free Food Fair

Come to the Gluten Free Food Fair
Saturday, May 19, 2012  11am-3pm
$5 per person, $10 per family
Kids under 12 free

Mittleman Jewish Community Center
6651 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR
(ID required by MJCC for entrance to facility)

A Fundraiser for GIG of Portland and McMinnville

Hidden Benefits of Dark Poultry

"A nutrient found in the dark meat of poultry may provide
protection against coronary heart disease in women with
high cholesterol. Researchers from New York University
found that a higher intake of taurine- found in the dark meat
of turkey and chicken as well as some seafood- was associated
with significantly lower heart disease risk in women with high
total cholesterol levels. Coronary heart disease is the leading
killer of American men and women. It is also known as
coronary artery disease."

-Natural Choices Magazine, May 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Whole Foods Food Fair

If there is anyone interested in representing GIGSWWA
at the Whole Foods Food fair on June 23rd from 12pm-4pm,
please contact: Kristi #360-695-0862
Thank you.

Gluten Free Beer Day in Portland

The Mayor of Portland declared today Gluten Free Beer Day!
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company has created a yummy gluten free
beer called Omission, which comes in a Pale Ale and a Lager.
It is still made with barley and malt but they use a natural enzyme
to dissolve the gluten. Take a look at the Omission website to see
the test results.

-KATU Channel 2 news, 11pm 5/15/12

Monday, May 14, 2012

May GIG Meeting

Come to our next GIG Support Meeting
this Saturday, May 19th from 10am-12pm.
Our guest speakers are:
Health From The Heart, Dr. Julie Glass, ND
Elisha Joyce from Smarty Bars
Along with her yummy Smarty Bar samples, Elisha will
also be bringing her bars to sell. Cash or check only please!

Village at Van Mall Clubhouse
5000 NE 72nd Ave
Vancouver, WA 98661
Parking is on the street so please check the signs.
Don't forget to bring your food donations for the Food Bank.
See you there!

Ditch Amber

Ditch the AmberGIG has been informed that Domino's Pizza was given an Amber Designation by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA).  GIG would like to see this designation removed.  If you agree with our stand and would like to help, please sign your name to the petition listed here:  Ditch the Amber Petition  and help us let the NFCA know that we all stand behind the petitiion!

Cynthia's letter to the head of the NFCA follows:

Open Letter to Alice Bast, Exec Director, NFCA

May 12, 2012

NFCA needs to remove the Amber designation from the Dominos "gluten-free" pizza. It is not safe for anyone requiring a GF diet for medical reasons. NFCA's reputation as a respected organization is suffering by giving a useless Amber designation to Domino's GF pizza. I implore you to consider the community we all support and want to help. Make the GREAT Kitchen's Amber designation disappear for good.

There is inherent liability in the GREAT Kitchens Amber designation that will have serious ramifications to the food industry and those of us who are working to make a difference for all persons living gluten free.

 1. Dividing the gluten free community is wrong. All persons living a gluten-free life style should have the same safe options in foods. Nearly the entire world accepts a definition for what gluten-free means. Stricter is better, but less than the standard is unacceptable. It goes against everything science tells us.
 2. The GREAT Kitchens Amber sign is a useless designation for restaurants that causes confusion and consequently mistrust of the restaurant industry and the organizations who are working so hard to help them. The Amber designation sets us back years on all the strides we have made to get the food industry to embrace safe gluten-free foods.

Thursday night I listened to the Jules' Gluten-Free Radio talk show with you as her guest. I have tried to make sense of your position for the GREAT Kitchens program Amber designation. I cannot understand why you are so passionate about a decal that sends mixed messages. The decal clearly states "GLUTEN-FREE" and 'Kitchen practices may vary". In a press release, you state NFCA's GREAT Kitchens Amber designation is for "restaurants offering gluten free products with varying kitchen practices, therefore suitable for those with gluten sensitivity." Yet the description of the program on your website states, "Amber Designation - ...requires ingredient verification and basic training of wait staff and managers." Kitchen practices may vary ... meaning those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity should ask questions and exercise judgment when dining at an establishment with an Amber Designation." These are two very different messages about the Amber designation.

Your biography states you are someone who is widely regarded as a celiac expert. I know you also attend many scientific meetings on gluten-related disorders. As such, your position that the Amber designation is helpful is even more alarming.

The GREAT Kitchen's Amber designation sends a confusing and dangerous message to gluten-free consumers, yet you stand boldly and confidently behind it. I would be concerned about a malpractice suit.

As a national leader and dietitian, representing consumers with gluten-related disorders, I feel the GREAT Amber designation is not only dangerous, but also irresponsible. Eventually this program will hurt our constituents.

I feel NFCA's messages related to what the Amber designation means for Domino's gluten-free pizza crust, compared to statements on your website and by Domino's are confusing. What does this really mean to consumers? Is it gluten-free or not? The sign says it is; the message says it is not. The sign does not say "not safe for celiacs, but may be ok for gluten sensitive persons". The sign does not say, "Buyer Beware." The sign does not say what you said on Jules' radio show about its meaning, or what Dominos disclaimer says. So if the disclaimer is not with the sign or GF pizza crust, what do you think an unaware consumer is going to think?

I believe it would have been better for NFCA to tell Dominos that the cross contamination of the gluten free crust is too great and that NFCA cannot endorse such a product as gluten free. Why would NFCA work to raise awareness of cross contamination by endorsing a cross-contaminated product?

Every time I read someone's post that they have no symptoms when eating Domino's GF pizza, I cringe and get angry. We have all heard the medical experts say many times that 'a lack of symptoms is NOT indicative of a lack of damage being done internally'. This is a major lawsuit waiting to happen. Stop using the GREAT Kitchen Amber designation now.

The celiac centers are also telling you this is a bad idea. Please listen to us all.

I hope that unnecessary harm will be adverted by NFCA taking immediate corrective action.

Cynthia Kupper, RD
Executive Director
Gluten Intolerance Group

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Astaxanthin: Pretty in Pink?

Astaxanthin is the orange-red pigment that makes flamingoes and salmon pink. It's now being promoted as the next super supplement.
Promoted on talk shows and all over the Internet, astaxanthin is said to fight heart disease, reduce cancer risk, improve fertility, relieve reflux, ease joint problems, enhance muscle endurance, promote healthy skin and eyes, and slow aging. You name it, it does it--or so marketers say.
Astaxanthin is a member of the carotenoid family, which also includes beta carotene. Made by certain algae and other microorganisms, it's thought to help protect against ultraviolet rays from the sun. Crustaceans (like krill and shrimp) that feed on algae store the pigment in their shells. In turn, fish (like wild salmon and trout) that eat the crustaceans (or the algae) store it in their skin and tissue. Some birds, like flamingoes, have pink feathers due to the astaxanthin in their diets. Humans get it primarily from seafood.
Astaxanthin's main commercial use has been as a feed ingredient in aquaculture to make farmed salmon pink. It's also "generally recognized as safe" by the FDA as a colorant for use in a number of foods.
Where's the astaxanthin proof?
Research, mostly in animals and test tubes, has shown that astaxanthin acts as an antioxidant and helps reduce inflammation. A handful of studies in people have found that the supplements lower C-reactive protein (a marker for inflammation in the body) and blood pressure and improve aspects of the immune system. In a company-sponsored study in Atherosclerosis in 2010, astaxanthin increased HDL ("good") cholesterol and decreased triglycerides. In a more recent study in the British Journal of Nutrition, it reduced substances in red blood cells that, at least in theory, might be linked to dementia.
But the few human trials have been small and short term, with mixed results. Supplement marketers cite numerous studies on websites that sound promising but were not well designed and/or have not been published in peer-reviewed journals.
Moreover, the Natural Standard, which evaluates complementary and alternative medicine, gives astaxanthin a C rating--unclear or conflicting evidence--for its use for high cholesterol, male infertility, muscle strength, musculoskeletal injuries, carpal tunnel, and rheumatoid arthritis. There's limited or no research at all to support its use for eye problems, asthma, dementia, exercise capacity, sunburn protection, or other conditions for which it's promoted.
More red flags
We don't recommend astaxanthin. The supplements seem to be safe, but that's what we used to think about beta carotene pills, which, at high doses, were eventually shown to increase lung cancer risk in smokers. Not only is the science behind astaxanthin supplements less than solid, but interactions with some drugs, as well as side effects (including yellow- or orange-colored skin, orange or red feces, unwanted hair growth, lowered calcium levels, decreased libido, and male breast enlargement) are possible. You should be especially cautious about taking astaxanthin if you're being treated for hypertension or have asthma, parathyroid disorders, or osteoporosis.

-Berkeley Wellness Newsletter, University Of California

Thursday, May 10, 2012

May GIG Meeting

Save the date for our next GIG Support Meeting
on Saturday, May 19th from 10am-12pm.
Our guest speakers are:
Health From The Heart, Dr. Julie Glass, ND
Elisha Joyce from Smarty Bars
Along with her yummy Smarty Bar samples, Elisha will
also be bringing her bars to sell. Cash or check only please!

Village at Van Mall Clubhouse
5000 NE 72nd Ave
Vancouver, WA 98661
Parking is on the street so please check the signs.
Don't forget to bring your food donations for the Food Bank.
See you there!

Gluten Free Food Fair

Come to the Gluten Free Food Fair
Saturday, May 19, 2012  11am-3pm
$5 per person, $10 per family
Kids under 12 free

Mittleman Jewish Community Center
6651 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR
(ID required by MJCC for entrance to facility)

A Fundraiser for GIG of Portland and McMinnville


"Children are the anchors of a mother's life." -Sophocles

Sometimes It Really Is All In Your Head

The single blow that really can change your life. "Every time I turn on the news these days, it seems like there is another athlete coming forward with major mental health issues linked to a history of concussions—so many so that as of this week there are now more than 1,000 former NFL players suing the league for inadequate post-concussion care. Many of these concussions have caused former pro athletes to suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease marked by depression, dementia, and other Alzheimer’s-like symptoms.
Interestingly, 13 former NFL players—some living and some deceased—have opted to donate their brains to science, in order to allow researchers to study CTE and the impact of repetitive head trauma. One in particular, “Iron Mike” Webster, a star in the 70s, suffered depression and dementia, before dying at the age of 50 in 2002.  A close look at his brain revealed damage the equivalent of “25,000 car crashes” after a 25-year career. Sadly, the effects of CTE have proven so grave that many of these 13 donors died by either suicide or erratic behavior-induced accidents.
While most of us aren’t subjected to repeated blows to the head, accidents do happen—something all too familiar to me. In 2007 I suffered a concussion after a visit to the emergency room for an eye abrasion which was exceedingly painful. The young intern asked if I wanted something for the pain and although I told him I didn’t take drugs, he never-the-less slipped me some samples of two pain meds—a Motrin and Percocet—that he said would help relieve my discomfort, but to make sure and take them with food.
He then sent me on my way. I was staying with my closest friends in my hometown of West Hartford, Connecticut at the time. When I returned to my friends’ home, my eye was still so excruciatingly painful—whether it was open or closed—that I begrudgingly took the meds with some crackers before bed. I was in such discomfort that I didn’t bother reading about Motrin or Percocet. Motrin would have been bad enough, it is very caustic to the lining of the stomach, but Percocet—well, that turned out to be a potent narcotic-like med.
What I remember next is that I went to bed but got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. I remember feeling dizzy, woozy, and fainted—hitting my head on the sink in the bathroom. But somehow I managed to stumble back across the hall—where sometime later my friends found me sitting in a yoga position in front of the bedroom door. They quickly sat down with me, assessed the situation and knew I had severely bumped my head because there was blood all over the place. When I got up, I looked in the mirror and sure enough, I had a major cut down my forehead and when I smiled, I actually burst out laughing (I apparently was still high on the Percocet) because several of my front teeth had broken in half.
Needless to say, at 4 am we went back to the Emergency Room and I got ten stitches on my forehead, but not before the staff questioned me intensely regarding the “real” situation behind my eye abrasion in the first place. (They suspected, I guess, that I had suffered some type of domestic abuse. By that time the Percocet was wearing off and I was beginning to get upset!)
In the months following, I started having major trouble sleeping, suffered from anxiety and even experienced some kind of post-traumatic stress. This made me wonder about the magnitude of my fall, and as I’ve always done with my health, I started looking for answers. I poured over books and studies on the subject, tried various tests and products and met with both traditional and alternative experts. In doing so, it has become my opinion that concussions are simply not taken seriously enough.
What I wish I knew then that I know now:
An MRI is not the answer. Although helpful in identifying other serious concerns (i.e. skull fracture, hematoma, and contusion), traditional structural tests such as CT, MRI, and EEG are not useful in identifying the effects of a concussion as it is a metabolic rather than structural injury. A neuro-cognitive test like the ImPACT Test can provide a thorough evaluation. But, it’s important to act quickly—the ImPACT test should be administered within the first 24-72 hours. Find a local provider at
What I did do that helped:

1. I saw several soft tissue experts that specialized in myofascial release. I especially benefited from the hiatal hernia adjustment I received and cranial sacral work.
2. I used L-tryptophan mid-day and before bed for calming and mood stabilization. As the precursor to serotonin, it also helped to alleviate insomnia. I used 50-100 mg of 5-HTP (which is one step biochemically away from serotonin) and sometimes straight tryptophan—500-4,000 mg divided throughout the afternoon and evening. In my case, the tryptophan helped me the most.
3. For anxiety, I took GABA, an amino acid precursor for dopamine that helps to reduce anxiety and stress—600-3000 mg per day at different times than the L-tryptophan.
4. I used Ultra H-3 twice daily between meals (morning and afternoon) to maintain my emotional equilibrium throughout the day. The bilberry ingredient helps to strengthen the walls of blood vessels and act as a potent anti-inflammatory while the ginkgo biloba is well regarded to aid restricted circulation throughout the body and can penetrate the blood-brain barrier."

-Edge On Health, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman

Celiac Disease Drug Trials

Alba Therapeutics is going into phase 2b clinical trials, and they’re looking for volunteers.

This particular drug revolves around a compound called larazotide acetate, a tight junction regulator. The compound, at least in theory works by temporarily closing off the junctions in the bowel that – in a quote-on-quote “normal” digestive system – are normally closed anyway. These junctions are supposed to only open to shed dead blood cells, but remain open more frequently in cases of celiac disease. In other words, the drug would plug up the leaks in a leaky gut, and if taken before a meal could reduce the inflammation caused by gluten.

The company has developed a questionnaire to pre-screen people for participation in their eventual trials. If you think you might like to participate in the trials, you can learn more via the website, Quickly though, in order to be eligible to even be considered for participation you would need to meet the following criteria:
  • between the ages of 18 and 75
  • diagnosed with celiac disease via either biopsy or capsule endoscopy
  • attempting a gluten-free diet for at least 12 months
You can read more via Alba Therapeutics press release.
What do you think? Would you participate in a drug trial (knowing that potentially, you could be assigned to a control group that winds up ingesting gluten)?

-Triumph Dining

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Domino's Pizza

GIG has been asked to take an official position on the recent Domino's announcement about their gluten free pizza. Our position follows:

GIG welcomes restaurants and food services who are committed to producing safe gluten free meal options for their guests. GIG knows that care must be taken to evaluate the food service's ability to do so in a safe environment and that this should not be undertaken with the idea that a gluten-free food is safe for some people but not others.

Food services should approach gluten free meal options the same way they handle allergens. There is only one option - food that is safe for all persons living gluten free, no matter why they are living gluten free. GIG works with many types of food services to successfully implement gluten-free options safely. GIG's programs have been implemented in hotels and hospitals, camps and schools, and many restaurants, including numerous pizza chains.

While GIG appreciates Domino's desire to offer a gluten free pizza, we do not feel the effort put forth demonstrates a true commitment toward making a safe environment for producing gluten free food.

As more restaurants try to meet the need of gluten free consumers, GIG reminds you that it is important to feel confident in the meal you are ordering. Ask questions. If you are not confident the meal is safe - do not eat it.


Cynthia Kupper, RD
Executive Director
Gluten Intolerance Group

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Honor Mom with A Delicious Brunch

Celebrate the women you love with a menu special enough for Mother’s Day!
Your mother deserves the very best! For Mother’s Day, I’ve assembled a truly delectable meal with fresh berries, spring garden veggies, a rainbow colored salad, savory sides, tender flaky fish, and a cooling and refreshing dessert.
Whether you are serving or being served, these deliciously healthy Mother’s Day recipes are a treat! Add a couple of beautiful napkins, place-settings and—of course—the guest of honor’s favorite flowers and you have a simply scrumptious brunch!

Mother’s Day Brunch Menu:
Crepes with Mixed Berry Puree
Garden-Fresh Vegetable Frittata
Spinach-Stuffed Portobello
Herb Crusted Salmon
Confetti Salad
Strawberry Granita

Crepes with Mixed Berry Puree (Makes about 4 crepes)
Batter ingredients:  2 eggs, 1 scoop vanilla Fat Flush Whey Protein, ½ tsp cinnamon
Filling ingredients:  1 cup frozen berries, 1 Tbs water, 1 Tbs flaxseed oil, ¼ tsp Stevia plus or to taste.
Batter directions: Blend the eggs, whey protein, and cinnamon together until smooth.  (The batter will be thin).
Filling directions: Place frozen berries in a small bowl and mix with water, defrost briefly in microwave to soften.  Puree the softened berries, flaxseed oil, and Stevia, and set aside.
Coat a crepe pan or small frying pan lightly with olive oil spray, place over medium heat. When the pan is hot (a drop of water will sizzle), pour a couple of tablespoons of batter into the pan, tilting quickly to cover the entire bottom with batter. Cook until the edges of the crepe begin to curl and turn golden. Flip carefully; cook briefly on the second side. Remove the crepe to a warmed plate. Continue making crepes until all the batter is used.
Place 2-3 tablespoons of berry puree along one edge of the crepe and roll up, arranging seam side down on plate. Pour remaining berry puree over the top of the rolled crepes.

Garden-Fresh Vegetable Frittata (Serves 4)
Ingredients: 1 Tbs olive oil, 2 crushed garlic cloves, ½ cup chopped onion, ¼ cup chopped Italian (flat) parsley, 1 Tbs chopped cilantro, ¼ cup fresh diced, steamed asparagus, ¼ cup cooked spinach, squeezed dry, ¼ cup chopped plum tomatoes, 6 eggs, ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or other cheese) salt to taste (optional), cayenne to taste.
Directions: Preheat the broiler. Heat the oil in a medium ovenproof skillet with a lid. Sauté the garlic until softened. Add the onion, parsley, cilantro, asparagus, spinach, and tomatoes and sauté until tender-crisp. Remove the skillet from the heat; discard the garlic. In a medium bowl, blend together the eggs, cheese, salt—if using—and cayenne. Turn the heat to low; pour the egg mixture into the skillet, stirring well. Cover and cook about 3 minutes, or until the egg begins to come away from the sides of the pan. Place the skillet under the preheated broiler. Broil for an additional minute or until the frittata is set and lightly browned. Cut into wedges and serve.
Variation:  Other vegetables to try are artichokes, eggplant, mushrooms, bell pepper and zucchini.

Spinach-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms (Serves 4)
Ingredients: 4 large Portobello mushroom caps (stems removed, gills remaining), 4 minced garlic cloves, ¼ cup finely chopped onion, ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper, ¼ cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper, 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry. 1Tbs olive oil, ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional), ¼ cup gluten-free bread crumbs, 1 Tbs minced Italian (flat) parsley, salt to taste (optional), dash cayenne, Flaxseed oil.
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a large baking pan with olive oil spray. Wipe the Portobello caps well. In a medium skillet, sauté the garlic, onion, peppers, and spinach in the olive oil. Stir in the remaining ingredients (except the flaxseed oil), continuing to sauté for a few minutes more. Mound the stuffing on top of the mushrooms, pressing firmly.
Place on a baking pan; bake 15 minutes.  Broil for 1 minute or until golden brown.  Arrange on a platter; drizzle with flaxseed oil.

Herb Crusted Salmon Fillet (Serves 4)
Marinade ingredients: 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbs olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, ½ Tsp dry mustard or 1Tsp Dijon, 4 Tsp natural unheated honey, 1Tbs fresh lemon juice, 2Tbs chopped Italian (flat) parsley, 1Tbs chopped dill weed.
1 pound salmon fillet, mixed greens or spinach leaves, for serving.
Directions: Combine the marinade ingredients in a blender or mini food processor and pour into a large plastic bag with a zipper closure. Add the salmon fillet, turning to coat. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, turning occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with olive oil spray. Place the salmon in the baking dish and cover with the marinade. Bake the salmon about 25 minutes, or until almost cooked through. Broil 1 to 2 minutes just until salmon flakes and a golden herb crust starts to form. (Watch carefully!) Serve hot or chilled over mixed greens or fresh spinach leaves.

Confetti Salad (Serves 6)
Ingredients: 10 Belgian endive leaves, 1 avocado (cubed), 1 cup cooked corn, ½ cup diced red bell peper, ½ cup diced green bell pepper, juice of 1 lemon, 3 Tbs avocado or sesame oil, salt to taste.
Directions: Combine all the vegetables in a salad bowl. Drizzle with a dressing of lemon juice, avocado or sesame oil, and salt.

Strawberry Granita ( Makes 6 servings)
Ingredients: 3 Tsp Stevia Plus or to taste (plus additional for sprinkling), ½ cup water, 1 pint hulled frozen strawberries, 1 ½ Tsp fresh lemon juice, 6 whole strawberries, halved.
Directions: Dissolve the 3 Tsp Stevia in the water. In a food processor, using a steel knife, process the frozen strawberries, lemon juice, and the dissolved Stevia until almost smooth.  Pour into an 8 x 8 metal baking pan and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze until partly frozen, about 2 hours; stir with a fork to break up any ice crystals. Continue freezing for several hours or until completely frozen.
To serve, let the granita stand at room temperature about 10 minutes, or until slightly softened.  Scrape into bowls using a spoon. Garnish with the strawberry halves sprinkled with Stevia Plus.

There you have it!  Let the celebration of mothers everywhere begin!

I wish you and your families a wonderful, healthy and loving Mother’s Day.

-Edge On Health, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Save The Date!

The GIG Health & Wellness Experience will be held in Seattle this year, 2012.

Location:  Doubletree Hotel Seattle Airport

Leadership Meeting:  June 14 & 15 
The Experience:  June 16

Among the many activities happening on June 16th at the Gluten Intolerance Group's Health and Wellness Experience is an intriguing lecture given by Dr. Stephen Wangen entitled "Understanding the Difference between Allergy, Intolerance, and Sensitivity." These terms have come to be commonly but incorrectly interchanged and Dr. Stephen Wangen will provide some clarity on the subject.

In 2005, Dr. Wangen co-founded the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle where he has helped to solve digestive issues for thousands of people. The Center is known as a world leader in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome; a place where patient's voices are heard. He has also written two excellent books focusing on digestive issues, Healthier Without Wheat and The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution. Dr. Wangen is considered an expert in the field with years of research, practice, and success.

Understanding the true medical definition and differentiation of these commonly interchanged terms - allergy, intolerance and sensitivity - can make a significant difference for those suffering from digestive disturbances. The lecture will define each of these terms in-depth and provide answers for those who are experiencing confusion about their own digestive situation.
Hotel Room Fees: 
Event rate: $119.00 plus taxes, 1 King or 2 Queens, for the Wing Suites or $129.00 plus taxes for the Tower Rooms, 1 King or 2 Queens.  You can use Group Code:  GFH  for the GIG rates.

You can go to the website for more details and to register online.

Franz GF Bread

There is a new gluten free bread in town that tastes really good and
has the texture of a normal yummy wheat bread, and it is delicious
and safe. Give it a can find it at the Franz Bakery Outlet in
Hazel Dell on HWY 99 and 68th Street. Enjoy!

May GIG Meeting

Save the date for our next GIG Support Meeting
on Saturday, May 19th from 10am-12pm.
Our guest speakers are:
Health From The Heart, Dr. Julie Glass, ND
Elisha Joyce from Smarty Bars
Along with her yummy Smarty Bar samples, Elisha will
also be bringing her bars to sell. Cash or check only please!

Village at Van Mall Clubhouse
5000 NE 72nd Ave
Vancouver, WA 98661
Parking is on the street so please check the signs.
Don't forget to bring your food donations for the Food Bank.
See you there!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Iron:The Double-Edged Mineral

"Too much or too little can be harmful to your health. Iron is one heavy-duty mineral.
As many of you know, iron is used to make red blood cells—the oxygen transport system of the body. Once iron is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is stored in the ferritin molecule. Unless the iron is eliminated through blood loss as in the case of menstruation, child birth, physical injury or blood donation, most of it remains in the body where it is stored.
Iron stores are known to rise with age and, for many years, were considered harmless. But a landmark study in Finland published in the journal Circulation suggested that excessive iron stores rank right behind smoking as the most prevalent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Elevated ferritin levels may contribute to heart damage—even after a heart attack—by producing free radicals which attack cellular integrity. It now appears that menstruating women are protected from heart disease from the loss of iron-rich blood during the menses.
It is estimated that the average female who is menstruating is losing approximately 500 mg of ferritin per year. If elevated (over 150 ng/mL for women and 300 ng/mL for men according to many integrative physicians), ferritin becomes an increasingly harmful risk factor for heart disease. The higher the ferritin, the more the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
Consistently high ferritin levels can reflect a condition called hemochromatosis—an inherited disorder impacting about 1 out of every 200 to 300 Americans that causes the body to store excess iron in the tissues.
But doctors fail to recognize iron overload because the symptoms are so similar to other more familiar diseases like cirrhosis, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Iron overload can also cause hair loss, fatigue, abdominal pain and even irritable bowel syndrome.
For those suffering from hemochromatosis or individuals testing above 150 ng/mL, consider reducing iron intake by cutting out red meat and monitoring supplemental iron intake especially in vitamins and fortified cereals. Cut down on vitamin C and red wine during meals, which are both helpful in the absorption of iron (I know, I know).
Surprisingly, there are very few iron-free multivitamins on the market. This is the very reason that I made sure that UNI KEY developed iron-free options for both men and women (especially post-menopausal)—Iron-free Female Multiple, Iron-free Male Multiple, and Iron-free Dieters’ Multivitamin & Mineral.
On the other side of the coin, if the ferritin levels are below 30 ng/mL, this can be an indication for anemia—a condition in which the blood cannot carry sufficient oxygenation required for optimum health. You can also be anemic if your red blood cells are low in hemoglobin, or if you are just low on red blood cells. Adult anemia is usually caused by an iron, folic acid, and/or B12 deficiency. Your body cannot properly manufacture hemoglobin without these critical nutrients.
It may also seem puzzling that after the age of 50, anemia rises sharply—similar to iron overload. In this case, however, adults with iron deficiency are bleeding somewhere and are “wasting” iron. These conditions include ulcers, colitis, precancerous polyps, or even colon cancer. Poor digestion and malabsorption (think lack of hydrochloric acid) are also huge factors, as well as alcohol abuse. Other causes of anemia are chronic inflammation, kidney disease, and low testosterone in both men and women. Symptoms of low iron are somewhat similar to those of excess: fatigue, lifeless hair with cold hands, and cold feet.
To know the true state of your iron levels, at your next blood test, have your physician order a ferritin test, first and foremost. In addition, get a CBC or complete blood count. A normal red blood cell or erythrocyte reading will be between 4.2 to 5.4 million cells/mcL for women and 4.7 to 6.1 million cells/mcL for men.
Low Hemoglobin (Hb) would be under 12 g/dL for women and 14 g/dL for men. Larger than normal RBCs indicate a B12 and/or a folate deficiency, whereas small red blood cells suggest iron deficiency or sometimes lead poisoning.
If you are suffering from anemia, it is imperative that you shore up your digestion. Make sure you are taking sufficient digestive enzymes and especially an HCL supplement which helps in the absorption of all acid-based minerals, including iron. Take a high quality multivitamin with up to 18 mg of iron daily (the RDA for menstruating women). Sometimes the addition of B12 (make sure it is the methylated B12 for complete utilization) and folic acid is necessary. Additional digestive enzymes derived from plants are also important to take because they assist with both digestion and absorption.
Remember, iron overload or anemia are just symptoms—not a disease. Understanding the cause, along with the cure, are the best pathways to better health and longer life.
(Please note: All values and measurement increments may vary between different laboratories. Talk to your healthcare practitioner about the meaning of your specific test results.)"

-Edge On Health, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May GIG Meeting

Save the date for our next GIG Support Meeting
on Saturday, May 19th from 10am-12pm.
Our guest speakers are:
Health From The Heart, Dr. Julie Glass, ND
Elisha Joyce from Smarty Bars
Along with her yummy Smarty Bar samples, Elisha will
also be bringing her bars to sell. Cash or checks only please!

Village at Van Mall Clubhouse
5000 NE 72nd Ave
Vancouver, WA 98661
Parking is on the street so please check the signs.
Don't forget to bring your food donations for the Food Bank.
See you there!

Alliance Update 2012 Vol. 2

Celebrate Celiac Awareness Month
Cupcakes and a Countdown
 1 in 133 Event logo
One year ago, the national news outlets from coast to coast were buzzing about gluten-free labeling. The efforts in Washington,DC, building the world's tallest gluten free cake, and the gluten free labeling summit, produced RESULTS. 
Congress and the FDA heard us and we ate cake!
This year, we invite everyone to make cupcakes - - one for every year they have been gluten-free. Take a picture and post it to the ACDA's Facebook page. Then, post it on your Facebook page or blog and link to the ACDA's page.  The more likes we receive the more voices will be heard from our virtual community.
People will vote by "liking" the photos, as well. Categories include: best presentation, most unique decorations and years of being gluten-free.  The winners will receive prizes of gluten-free products and coupons.  Among those gift giveaways come from many companies you know and love - - Glutino, Enjoy Life Foods, Mary's Gone Crackers, Savory Palate (Carol Fenster), Gluten-Free Makeovers (Beth Hillson), Jules Gluten Free, and many more. 

Now for the Countdown.  The FDA has a goal of finishing the gluten-free standards by the end September.  That means there are 153 days until (fingers crossed) the U.S. finally has clear GF labeling.  The countdown begins on May 1st, the start of National Celiac Awareness Month
Don't forget to check our Facebook  and pages throughout the countdown as we highlight your cupcake entries! 

Calling Labeling Advocates
We Need USDA


The majority of food products in this country (80%) are regulated by the FDA. So, when the labeling rules are finalized, our community will still have to monitor labels on meat and poultry products regulated by the USDA. There has been no word from USDA Secretary Vilsack about the need for GF labeling on foods overseen by his agency. 

Consistent labeling is critical and we don't want to wait years for that to happen. 

We're asking Secretary Vilsack to help us celebrate awareness month with a commitment to adopt the gluten-free labeling requirements, establish by FDA, once they are finalized later this year.

Tell Secretary Vilsack -- It's Celiac Awareness Month. Commit NOW to one gluten-free labeling standard.

Don't forget tweet that #advocate for #GFLabelingUSDA

It's Not Too Late for 
Awareness Month Proclamations
There's still time to get an official proclamation for Celiac Awareness Month. Having the Governor or your state or local mayor make an official proclamation is one way to raise the visibility of celiac disease.  How can you make it happen? In many cases, a citizen needs just to ask.  This is a wonderful project for local support groups or students.  Remember elected officials and their staff want to be helpful and look forward to educating the public, particularly on health issues, whenever possible.

North American Society  
for the 
Study of Celiac Disease 

Leading physicians, scientists and researchers in the fields of celiac disease 
and gluten sensitivity in the United States and Canada now have a professional organization dedicated to the study of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.  

The North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease (NASSCD) has as its mission to advance the fields of celiac disease and gluten related disorders by fostering research, and by promoting excellence in clinical care, including diagnosis and treatment of patients with these conditions. 
Membership in the organization is open to medical, scientific and allied health professionals in the fields of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. 
Stefano Guandalini, M.D., founder and medical director of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, was elected as the NASSCD's first president.  Other ACDA Members on the Board of the NASSCD include Joseph A. Murray, M.D., Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN; and Peter H.R. Green, M.D., Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. 

Coming Events 
May - National Celiac Awareness Month
         Arlington, VA
12     Making Tracks for Celiacs
         Buffalo, NY
         Syracuse, NY
19     Digestive Disease Week (thru May 22)
         San Diego, CA 
         Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN
         Baltimore, MD
         Tri-County, MI     
        Long Island, NY