Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Celiac Disease and Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

In cases of type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the specialized cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. When the body can no longer produce sufficient insulin (a protein that regulates blood glucose concentration) the resulting chronically high glucose levels in the blood (hyperglycemia) cause blood vessel and nerve damage. This can lead to serious complications, such as: stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, and amputation.
Symptoms for diabetes include: frequent urination, thirst, hunger, weight loss, dry mouth, and fatigue.
The exact cause that starts the autoimmune reaction in type 1 diabetes is still not understood. There are genetic and environmental factors that can increase the risk of developing diabetes, as well as certain drugs that lead to the specific destruction of the beta cells. The condition is usually diagnosed in children or young adults, which is why it was once called juvenile diabetes.
Diabetes is much easier to test for than celiac disease. A blood test, usually done after a period of fasting, measures how much glucose is in the blood. If it is over a certain threshold, the person has diabetes or pre-diabetes. If caught early enough, the autoantibodies (antibodies that attack the body) can be tested for before the patient actually has diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Treating diabetes typically involves both a change in diet as well as insulin injections. Patients must monitor and control their blood sugar at all times to avoid hyperglycemia as well hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Type 2 Diabetes

Patients with type 2 diabetes still have insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, but they don’t produce enough insulin, or their other cells do not respond to insulin. This lack of responsiveness is called insulin resistance. This insulin resistance results in high blood glucose concentrations similar to type 1 diabetes and can cause similar symptoms and complications. The causes of type 2 diabetes are less established than for type 1, but there are certain things that can put someone at higher risk:
  • Being overweight
  • Being inactive
  • Having family members with type 2 diabetes
  • Being a certain ethnicity such as African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, or Native-American
  • Being over age 45
  • Developing pre-diabetes or gestational diabetes
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome

Diabetes and Celiac Disease

The link between type 1 diabetes mellitus and celiac disease was first established in the 1960s. The estimated prevalence of celiac disease in patients with type 1 diabetes is approximately 8%, and about 1% in the general population. Most patients with both conditions have asymptomatic celiac disease, or symptoms that may be confused for symptoms of their diabetes. For this reason, and the significantly higher prevalence rate of celiac disease in diabetes patients, many doctors recommend getting screened for celiac disease after a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, as well as celiac patients getting screened for type 1 diabetes.
A recent study in 2013, contributed to by Dr. Peter Green, a member of Celiac Disease Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board found that there were no standard uniform practices for screening type 1 diabetes patients for celiac disease. Of the facilities in the study that did screen for celiac disease, 60% of them only did so if there were symptoms present. The authors of the study suggested that a uniform protocol for screening should be in place, as well as a need for further education on the gluten-free diet in patients with type 1 diabetes for dietitians.
There is no established link between type 2 diabetes and celiac disease. Type 2 diabetes does have genetic components, but they are not associated with celiac disease genes like type 2 diabetes’ are.
The gluten-free diet may improve glycemic control for diabetic patients, although that is still controversial, as some studies support the idea and others suggest there is no difference in glycemic control between normal diabetic patients and diabetic patients with celiac disease on a gluten-free diet.
Untreated celiac disease, leading to a damaged small intestine, can increase risk of hypoglycemia because the small intestine may no longer be able to absorb nutrients such as sugars properly, making diagnosis even more imperative.
Having one autoimmune disease puts you at greater risk for developing another. To see other symptoms and conditions associated with celiac disease, check out our Symptoms Checklist, which you can print out and bring to your doctor to help with your, or a loved one’s, diagnosis.
  • Cohn A, Sofia AM, Kupfer SS. Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease: clinical overlap and new insights into disease pathogenesis. Current diabetes reports. 2014;14:517.
  • Elfström P, Sundström J, Ludvigsson JF. Associations Between Coeliac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2014;40(10):1123-1132.
  • Lazzarotto F, Basso D, Plebani M, Moscon A, Zanchetta R, Betterle C. Celiac disease and type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2003;26:248-249.
  • Schwarzenberg SJ, Brunzell C. Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease: Overview and Medical Nutrition Therapy. Diabetes Spectrum. 2002;15:197-201.
  • Simpson SM, Ciaccio EJ, Case S, et al. Celiac disease in patients with type 1 diabetes: screening and diagnostic practices. Diabetes Educ. 2013;39:532-540.
  • Waszczuk E, Kosiara M, Dobosz T, Paradowski L. Celiac disease and diabetes mellitus. ADVANCES IN CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE. 2007

Read more at https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/cd-and-diabetes/#70RDBz7EMHS3HmyE.99

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sleep on Your Left

Have you ever wondered to what extent the two sides of your body mirror each other?
It is very common for me to have a patient tell me that they have all their issues on just one side of the body. A pain in the left foot, a bad left hip, a bad left shoulder, left-sided abdominal pain, a pain in the neck on the right side; why?
Why do rashes choose the left or right side of the body?
Why does the acuity of the eyes differ so greatly from one to the other?
Why do we get pains often on just one side of the body?
According to Ayurveda, the left side of the body is completely different than the right side, and, while I know it sounds strange, emphasizing the left side for rest and sleep offers some time tested wisdom for very real health and longevity benefits.
Join me as we investigate this old Ayurvedic concept and see if it still holds water today.

7 Reasons to Try Sleeping on Your Left Side:

Here are some of Ayurveda’s reasons for recommending the left side for sleep. Keep reading for more detailed discussion.
  • Facilitate lymphatic drainage
  • Makes it easier for the heart to pump downhill
  • Better elimination
  • Support healthy spleen function
  • Encourages proper digestion
  • Helps circulation back to the heart
  • Helps bile flow more freely

The Lymph Drains toward the Left

Interestingly, the left side of the body is the dominant lymphatic side. The majority of the body’s lymph fluid drains into the thoracic duct, located on the left side. Along the way, lymph fluid carrying proteins, glucose and other metabolites and waste products is purified by lymph nodes and is then drained into the left side of the heart.
Because of this, it is common in Ayurveda to deduce that left side ailments may be due to chronic lymphatic congestion. When the lymphatic system congests, it is more likely that lymph will back up on the left, more lymph-dominant side of the body. Whether or not this is always true is debatable, but you can see the logic at play here.
In the same non-scientific vein, issues that show up on the right side are thought to be due to imbalances in the liver and blood. Since the liver is on the right side of the body, liver congestion will more easily back up into the right side of the body and potentially cause problems.

The Priority System of the Body

According the Ayurveda, congestion happens in the body according to a certain pattern, or priority system. In this priority system, the lymph is the body’s first detox system to congest, before the liver and blood become overwhelmed. Thus, early lymph issues may present more on the left side of the body and move to the right as they become more long-standing and begin to congest the liver and the blood, at which point symptoms may start to show up on the right side of the body.
You can read more about lymph-related issues in the Detox and Lymphatic Health section of my article library.

Dog sleeping on left side cradling alarm clockThe Magic of Sleeping on the Left Side

Better Elimination
The small intestine dumps waste through the ileocecal valve (ICV) on the right side of the body into the beginning of the large intestine. The large intestine travels up the right side of your belly the across the tummy, where it dumps waste into the descending colon on the left side.
Sleeping on the left side allows gravity to encourage the food waste to move more easily from the small intestine into the large intestine through the ICV.
As the night wears on and you continue to sleep on your left side, the waste moves more easily into the descending colon. With the help of gravity and a good night’s sleep on the left the side, the descending colon is full of waste to easily eliminate completely each morning.
Better Heart Function
Of course, one of the biggest players on the left side is the heart. It makes sense that if you sleep on your left side, the lymph drainage toward the heart will again be helped by gravity, taking some of the workload off the heart as you sleep.
The aorta, which is the biggest artery in the body, leaves the top of the heart and arches to the left before it heads down into the abdomen. By sleeping on the left side, the heart is pumping its biggest payload downhill into the descending aorta.
Sleeping on the left also allows much of the intestines to hang away from the very thin-walled inferior vena cava (IVC) which brings venous blood back toward the heart. Interestingly, the IVC lies against the right side of the spine, so when you lie on the left much of the viscera falls away from the IVC. Here again, gravity is just making the heart’s job a little easier.
The Spleen Is On the Left
The spleen, which is part of the lymphatic system, is also on the left. The spleen is much like a gigantic lymph node, except that in addition to filtering lymph it also filters blood. When you lay on the left side, drainage back to the spleen is once again helped and made easier by gravity.
Remember, the lymph system drains all the cells in the body via movement and muscular contractions, rather than being pumped by the heart. Helping the lymph to drain to the spleen and heart with gravity is a good thing.

Ever Feel Sleepy After a Big Meal?

In Ayurveda, it is common practice to rest on the left side of the body after taking a meal. Unlike a siesta where we take the whole afternoon off, Ayurveda suggests a short, ten minute hungry woman looking huge sandwichrest on the left side to help the body properly digest the food.
The stomach and the pancreas (which make digestive enzymes) hang like slings on the left side. When you lie on the left side, the stomach and pancreas hang naturally, allowing for optimal and efficient digestion. The food is encouraged to move through the stomach naturally and the pancreatic enzymes are released as needed rather than all at once, which might happen more easily than if you were on the right side with the pull of gravity.
If you lie on the right side, the stomach and pancreas will hang in a somewhat unnatural position, forcing them to empty their contents prematurely.
Meanwhile, the liver and gallbladder hang on the right side. Resting on the left side allows them to hang freely and secrete precious bile, with the help of gravity, into the digestive tract to emulsify fats and neutralize the acids of the stomach.
When the digestive process is encouraged in this way, in can often be a smoother and ultimately shorter digestive cycle that doesn’t leave you feeling sapped throughout the entire afternoon. So by taking a short rest on the left side, you may actually save yourself more fatigue throughout the day!

Get energized – not tired – from your meal! Here’s how:

Try eating a large midday meal in a relaxed fashion, followed by a 10 minute rest on the left side and see if you find yourself with more energy and better digestion as a result.
Try it!
So maybe this non-scientific technique of sleeping and resting on the left side makes some sense after all. I am a big fan of understanding ancient wisdom and then finding proof with modern science. In this case, I admit I lack some of the modern science but there is more than enough anatomical logic here to give it a whirl.
- John Douillard, LifeSpa

About LifeSpa
LifeSpa is the top resource for natural health and Ayurveda in the United States. It was started in 1996 by Dr. John Douillard DC, CAP as a natural health and Ayurvedic clinic. Today, LifeSpa has grown to host a robust online store, #1 Ayurvedic newsletter, self-help site, guided at-home cleanses as well as a booming clinic. LifeSpa is located at the base of the Rocky Mountains in sunny Boulder, CO.Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and has written and produced numerous health and fitness books, CDs, and DVDs. He has been teaching and lecturing on Ayurveda internationally for 25 years and publishes a free wellness video-newsletter linking the Ancient Wisdom of Ayurveda with Modern Science.
Read Dr. John Douillard’s Bio

Saturday, September 26, 2015


"A small subset of people with celiac disease will actually react to a protein found in pure oats, known as avenin, just as if they were reacting to gluten."
 - Allergicliving.com

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Nutty Millet Veggie Bites
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time:
15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • 1 cup finely grated carrots
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped roasted salt-free mixed nuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell peper
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsely
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free, fat-free egg substitute
  • 1 tsp. gluten-free, salt-free garlic herb seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups hot cooked millet
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the cups of an 8-cup muffin tin with foil liners; coat with gluten-free non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl combine carrots, nuts, bell pepper, onion, parsley, egg substitute, garlic–herb seasoning and pepper. Add millet; gently stir to combine. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin cups.
  2. Place muffin tin in oven. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature

Friday, September 18, 2015

September Meeting

Gluten Free Support Group of Southwest Washington
Agenda:   Guest speaker:  Margaret Duryee, R.N.  Following a brief history and philosophy of Jin Shin Jyutsu, Margaret Duryee will teach some basic self-healing practices which people will be able to do at home.  Discussion will follow.
 Date:  Saturday, September 19, 2015
Time:  10:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.
Location:  Health Education Center (Room 1 at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. (Location is accessed via NE 92nd Ave. off E. Mill Plain Blvd.  Pass the parking structure and turn left.  The entrance is directly ahead.
Cost:  Free Admission
For Information: Contact Maureen at 571-8998

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Three Easy Tips for Having a Safe Halloween

Consider hosting a gluten-free Halloween party in the safety of your own home. Make a few batches of your favorite GF goodies, rent a movie and enjoy them together.
If you choose trick-or-treat, remind your little ones that you must make sure their candy is safe before they can eat it. Once you have gone through their candy, set aside the unsafe candy and donate it to a good cause. Many local dentists have a buy back program that gives your child $1 per pound then they donate the candy to soup kitchens and troops overseas. Operation Gratitude and Operation Shoebox also have great programs that put extra candy to good use.
If you have teens or pre-teens, ask them if they are interested in selling you their collected candy for cold hard cash. Most will jump at the opportunity.
- Delight Gluten Free Magazine

Halloween Candy Choices

Not Your Average Candy by Delight Gluten Free Magazine
Justin's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups www.justins.com
Endangered Species Chocolate www.chocolatebar.com
Enjoy Life Chocolate www.enjoylifefoods.com
Surf Sweets www.surfsweets.com
Lovely Candy www.lovelycandyco.com
Hillside Candy Gonaturally www.hillsidecandy.com
Divvies www.divvies.com
Yumearth Organics/Yummy Earth www.yummyearth.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Talking to Your Doctor About Celiac Disease

Getting an accurate diagnosis is often the painful part of people’s gluten-free story. I know it was for me.
Once you understand what’s wrong with your body, you’re empowered to make healthy choices. But misdiagnoses can be as terrifying as they are dangerous. It’s a lot easier to find a favorite brand of gluten-free frozen pizza than it is to hear you have crohn’s disease or worse.
I can’t “do it all over again”, but I can share what I’ve learned from my experience with you. My hope is that you’ll be able to find a good doctor, ask her the right questions, and have a fast and relatively painless diagnoses process.

Doing Your Research

The best thing you can do for yourself is to prepare for your doctor’s visit. You are your own best advocate. Empower yourself with the information to get an accurate diagnosis, fast.
Since you’re here, chances are you have at least some understanding of what celiac disease is and how symptoms manifest in the body. Being able to talk knowledgeably about celiac disease will help you in the doctor’s office.
For the basics, check out our Celiac Disease 101 resource page.
Bringing a food journal will help a doctor get more clarity around potential causal relationships between what you’re eating, and the symptoms you’re having. For a week or two before your appointment, write down everything you ingest. This includes foods, liquids, vitamins, supplements – everything. Be as detailed as possible. Include the times you eat, as well as the times you experience symptoms.
At this point you should not be eliminating anything from your diet. Cutting out gluten before your diagnosis may cause a false negative.
Some other steps you should take to prepare include:
  • Research whether or not you have family members with celiac disease.
  • Talk to individuals with celiac disease about their diagnosis experience.
  • Collect both anecdotal information from online forums, and scientific information from published journals.
Write down this essential information so you don’t find yourself struggling for the right words when it comes time to stand up for yourself.

Finding a Doctor Who Will Listen

You are your own best advocate.
There’s nothing more infuriating than feeling like your doctor isn’t listening to your concerns. You want to make sure that you generally trust your doctor. There are a few ways to hedge your bets.
First, if you know someone who was diagnosed with celiac disease by a doctor in your area, ask them how their experience was and get that doctor’s information. Celiac support groups are a good place to find this information.
Second, be upfront about your concerns when you schedule the appointment. Say that you’ve been having common symptoms of celiac disease or gluten intolerance and are looking to get tested.
If the person you speak with asks you to spell celiac disease or otherwise indicates that they’re puzzled or confused about celiac disease, it’s a bad sign. Consider doing some additional research to find a different provider or a specialist.
The doctor or nurse practitioner you speak to may recommend you to a local specialist. This is usually great news. The fact that they both know what celiac disease is and know someone who is equipped to test for it indicates level of awareness that’s still relatively uncommon in the medical community. Shocking, but true.

Asking the Right Questions

You want to have your questions written down and ready to go before you enter the doctor’s office. Bring a small notebook with your questions, and a pen to take notes.
It can also be helpful to bring a close friend or family member with you to facilitate effective Q&A with your doctor. Bringing someone with celiac disease who has been through the diagnosis process can help you identify the most important questions to ask, and be assertive on your behalf if they suspect that doctor is giving you a misdiagnosis or otherwise doing you a disservice.
You should prepare for the questions the doctor may ask you about personal and family medical history, and your symptoms.
Whether you go by yourself or with a friend, don’t be afraid to ask for a clarification. It can be easy to accept things at face value, especially when the person giving you that information is your family doctor. You want to leave the doctor’s office with a complete understanding of what the doctor said, as well as your next steps in the diagnosis process.
For a complete list of questions, check out either one of these sites:

When to Get a Second Opinion

According to MassGeneral Hospital Center for Celiac Research, the most common misdiagnoses that doctors mistake for celiac disease are anemia, IBS, psychological disorders (anxiety, depression, hypochondria), diarrhea, and IBD.
Many who have been diagnosed with celiac disease report similar stories of misdiagnosis. They go to one doctor after another. First they have Crohn’s disease, next they have depression. They try multiple treatments that don’t seem to do any good.
Finally, they find a doctor that gets it. They take the blood tests, have the endoscopy, and discover they have celiac disease.
You can save your time and money by getting a second opinion fast.
Consider getting a second opinion if:
  • your doctor’s attitude is flippant or dismissive.
  • your doctor makes any dramatic diagnoses with little evidence.
Note: This is another instance when asking a friend or family member with celiac disease to come along to your appointment can be useful. If they think you should get a second opinion, it may be worth a second shot.

- Three Bakers Gluten Free Bread

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

September Meeting

Gluten Free Support Group of Southwest Washington
 Agenda:   Guest speaker:  Margaret Duryee, R.N.  Following a brief history and philosophy of Jin Shin Jyutsu, Margaret Duryee will teach some basic self-healing practices which people will be able to do at home.  Discussion will follow.
 Date:  Saturday, September 19, 2015
Time:  10:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.
Location:  Health Education Center (Room 1 at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.  (Location is accessed via NE 92nd Ave. off E. Mill Plain Blvd.  Pass the parking structure and turn left.  The entrance is directly ahead.
Cost:  Free Admission
For Information:  Contact Maureen at 571-8998

Vitamin K

With so much attention on other nutrients (hello, omega-3s and vitamin D), vitamin K probably isn’t even on your nutritional radar. But the latest research shows that this stealth nutrient can greatly reduce disease risk.
Vitamin K—found in leafy greens, cheese, and natto (a dish made from fermented soybeans)—is best known for its essential role in blood clotting. “Without vitamin K we would bleed to death in ten minutes from a large cut,” says Cees Vermeer, PhD, of Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Therein lies the catch. Although vitamin K is safe for most people—and is routinely given to newborn babies (who are not born with enough)—if you’re taking a blood-thinning drug, it’s dangerous to use a vitamin K supplement without a physician’s close supervision. This is because blood-thinners, such as Coumadin (warfarin), target the mechanism by which vitamin K works, so it could be unsafe to take them both at the same time.

Three kinds of K.

You might find yourself confused by vitamin K supplements because there are three forms to choose from: vitamin K1 (called phytonadione or phylloquinone) and two forms of K2: MK-4 (menatetrenone) and MK-7 (menaquinone). All three offer health benefits, usually specific to each type. And although studies have compared K1 and K2, no human studies have compared the effects of the two types of K2, says Vermeer, one of the world’s top vitamin K experts.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble nutrient, so it’s best to take it with a little food, even if it’s just a spoonful of nut butter. Also keep in mind that vitamin K1 and the MK-4 form of K2 break down within a few hours, whereas the MK-7 form of K2 lasts in the bloodstream for days. Discover three of K’s key benefits to see if you should consider taking it.

Addresses osteoporosis.

Your body needs vitamin K to activate osteocalcin—a protein that incorporates calcium into bone; if you don’t get enough, bones won’t develop normally. A recent study showed that combining vitamin K1 with vitamin D and genistein (a soy extract) reduced the risk of bone breaks in postmenopausal women. Another three-year study found that MK-7 supplements prevented bone loss. And very large daily doses of MK-4 have been shown to reverse the symptoms of osteoporosis. If you’re at risk for osteoporosis, your best option could be a combination supplement with all three K’s.
Dose: 180 mcg MK-7 or 5,000 mcg K1 or 5,000–45,000 mcg MK-4, daily

Balances blood sugar.

Vitamin K helps regulate blood sugar levels. Research shows vitamin K-dependent osteocalcin does double duty as a hormone—regulating the number of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Several human studies have found that vitamin K1 supplements improve glucose tolerance.
Dose: 500 mcg K1 daily

Reduces heart calcification.

Your body uses vitamin K to make a protein that helps regulate where calcium gets deposited. With adequate vitamin K, the body moves calcium to the bones (where it’s needed) and out of the heart’s arteries (where it’s not needed). According to research, both K1 and MK-7 seem to prevent or reverse arterial calcification, which is also known as hardening of the arteries. This could be most beneficial for the elderly and people with chronic kidney disease or diabetes because of their higher risk of heart health problems, says Vermeer.
Dose: 500 mcg K1 or 50–150 mcg MK-7 daily

Our vitamin K supplement picks

Think you might benefit from taking vitamin K as a supplement?
First, talk with your health practitioner to make sure it's the right move. Then keep an eye out for our picks (below) on the shelves of your local natural retailer.

Carlson Vitamin K2 (MK-4)
This supplement delivers a hefty 5mg (5,000 mcg) of vitamin K2 in MK-4 form.
Jarrow Formulas MK-7 (Vitamin K2)
Each softgel contains 90 mcg of MK-7.
Nature's Life Vitamin K1
Few K1 supplements use the "natural" phylloquinone form, but this one does; 1,000 mcg per capsule.
Nutricology Full Spectrum Vitamin K
This high-potency supplement provides all three forms of supplemental vitamin K: 1,000 mcg K1 (phytonadione), 3,000 mcg K2 (MK-4), and 50 mcg K2 (MK-7).

- Delicious Living Magazine

Sunday, September 13, 2015

September Meeting

Gluten Free Support Group of Southwest Washington
 Agenda:   Guest speaker:  Margaret Duryee, R.N.  Following a brief history and philosophy of Jin Shin Jyutsu, Margaret Duryee will teach some basic self-healing practices which people will be able to do at home.  Discussion will follow.
 Date:  Saturday, September 19, 2015
Time:  10:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.
Location:  Health Education Center (Room 1 at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.  (Location is accessed via NE 92nd Ave. off E. Mill Plain Blvd.  Pass the parking structure and turn left.  The entrance is directly ahead.
Cost:  Free Admission
For Information:  Contact Maureen at 571-8998
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bites
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten Free
Serves: 36 bites
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
A lovely little cheesecake that can be eaten like a cookie.
  • 1 8oz block Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • ½-¾ cup mini chocolate chips
  1. With an electric mixer, blend cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs together until smooth and runny.
  2. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Scoop into mini muffin pans that have been sprayed with Pam spray by tablespoonfuls (I use a little mini muffin scoop)
  4. Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and tops are set and no longer shiny. (do not overcook)
  5. Let cool completely on a rack and then refrigerate at least 1 hour (overnight is better) before serving.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fudgy Brownies

I am so not a fan of putting avocado in my desserts! It seems really gross to me. When I came upon this recipe on Pinterest this summer I first saw the photo and then read the recipe. That changed my mind. That photo of a super fudgy brownie looked so good I was going to use black beans and avocado to make it! What! Black beans in my brownie? Yep and in the food processor it goes. Wow the taste was incredible and it took just a few simple easy ingredients. Even my grandson asks for it now. No one can guess it has vegetables in it and you make it with a can of beans. HA! Who knew… I highly recommend this yummy chocolaty perfect brownie. I ran out of avocado once and made it with a little coconut yogurt instead and just as tasty. It’s a very good gluten free dessert to share with your friends and family.
I would like to personally thank Monique of Ambitious Kitchen for my favorite gluten free brownie recipe. Here is the recipe. Hope you try it :) What would I do without pinterest!
- gfreeandhappy
Coconut & Chia Seed Pudding


  1. In a pitcher add coconut, chia seeds, coconut milk, vanilla and salt
  2. Mix until very well combined.
  3. Place in the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least 2 hours
  4. Serve with fresh raspberries, mixed berries or a fruit of your choice.
- Gluten Sugar Dairy Free Lifestyle

The Nourishing Gourmet

Spiced Apple Muffins Makes Ten Muffins
The first time I made these I used a scant 1/2 of a cup of apples. It didn’t have enough apple flavor, nor was it moist enough. The second time I made it, I went a little overboard and used a heaping full cup of apples. The taste was great and it was really moist, but it was almost a little too moist and it got stuck on the muffin papers. For that reason, I am suggesting the middle ground, 3/4 cup.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prep the muffin tins. I suggest using muffin papers (baking cups), otherwise you can grease it.
Dry Ingredients:
    1/2 cup of coconut flour
    3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon medium grind sea salt (if you use fine, use 1/4 teaspoon)
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
In a medium size bowl combine the dry ingredient and briskly whisk until all lumps are removed.
    1/3 cup of coconut oil
    1/4 cup of honey
Melt together on the stove top, just until melted (don’t get it hot, otherwise it could cook your eggs prematurely).
    3 eggs, lightly whisked.
Whisk until everything is well combined, and then add:
    3/4 cup of shredded apples (wash, and core the apples, and then shred, peel and all)*see note above*
Divide between ten muffin tins, and bake for about 25 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the middle of the muffin.
Allow to cool for a few minutes and take out of the muffin tins and serve!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September Meeting

Gluten Free Support Group of Southwest Washington
 Agenda:   Guest speaker:  Margaret Duryee, R.N.  Following a brief history and philosophy of Jin Shin Jyutsu, Margaret Duryee will teach some basic self-healing practices which people will be able to do at home.  Discussion will follow.
 Date:  Saturday, September 19, 2015
Time:  10:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.
Location:  Health Education Center (Room 1 at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.  (Location is accessed via NE 92nd Ave. off E. Mill Plain Blvd.  Pass the parking structure and turn left.  The entrance is directly ahead.
Cost:  Free Admission
For Information:  Contact Maureen at 571-8998

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Beware of Coffee Filters

Contamination from COFFEE filters?? !!
Thanks Lee Ann for sharing. We know that tea bag adhesive may have gluten on the paper, even if the tea leaves themselves are gluten-free. Coffee filters? That's downright sneaky and unfair. Here's what Lee Ann wrote:

"I have something interesting to share about coffee filters. I was using those stiff white filters, these were made by Rockline Industries, and my husband bought them at Costco, so we had ALOT! I had probably been using them for about 6 months or longer.
When I had my annual check up my TTG level was 60, this was August 2014 and that was the highest it has been since i was diagnosed with celiac 9 years ago. I didn't feel particularly bad, but the antibody level was concerning to me and my GI doc. We rechecked it in 2 weeks just to make sure that there was not a lab error, but it was that high.
I figured it must have been something that i was getting every day, remembered something I had read about coffee filters and stopped using them. Long story short, my TTGa levels have slowly been going down and now, a year later, today it is 18. That is the only significant thing that I changed over this past year.
The company says that they periodically "...ask their raw materials vendors if there are any known allergans..." and apparently there are not. But, as we know that statement may not tell the whole story. A friend with celiac disease who has had GI problems stopped using coffee filters after hearing my experience and her GI problems disappeared."
Say it isn't so!! Be careful out there. It's a tricky world to navigate gluten-free. GIG of Portland loves you!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Thai Basil Chicken Soup

1 (13 oz) can coconut milk
about 1 inch fresh peeled ginger (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons packed fresh Thai basil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 & 1/2 cups packed fresh washed spinach
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup finely chopped carrots (about 3 whole carrots)
about 2 cups, cabbage, finely chopped
4 cups chicken stock (recipe below)
about 2 pounds chicken breast
Note: This makes enough for leftovers. You can cut it in half if you prefer (or if you have a small crock pot).
1) Blend the coconut milk, ginger, basil, salt, and spinach until smooth. Set aside.
2) Add the rest of the ingredients (onion, pepper, carrots, cabbage, broth, and chicken) to the crock pot.
3) Pour the puree from the blender in with the rest of the ingredients in the crock pot, and set it to 4 hours high.
4) After 2 hours remove the lid so that it can reduce slightly for the rest of the time.
5) When another 2 hours have passed turn the crock pot off, shred the chicken, and serve the soup.

Use leftover bones to make broth! Throw them back into the crock pot. Add half of an onion, some peeled cloves of garlic, some parsley, a dash of apple cider vinegar, and some salt, then fill the crock pot about 2/3 full with water. Set it to 10 hours low. In the morning strain the broth.
Now that you have your broth you can make soup!

- The Spunky Coconut

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Is Starbucks’ “Wheat Free” Bistro Box Gluten Free?

Wheat-Free Starbucks Bistro BoxStarbucks announced this week it would be offering a “wheat free” bistro box due to customer demand.
The Wheat-Free Omega-3 Bistro Box contains smoked salmon cream cheese spread, cucumbers, edamame hummus, trail mix and wheat-free crackers.
“We decided to put together a snackable bistro box that’s easy to eat on-the-go, but still brings you the healthy, wheat-free options you crave,” reported the official Starbucks blog.
But why “wheat free,” not “gluten free?”
A Starbucks spokesperson told Gluten-Free Living that the box is not intended for people with celiac disease.
“While the components for the Omega 3 Bistro Box do not contain wheat as an ingredient, this product is not certified gluten free. It would therefore not be recommended for our customers with celiac disease,” said the spokesperson.
Under Food and Drug Administration rules that govern packaged products, though not restaurant meals, gluten-free food does not have to be certified by an outside agency.  But it does have to contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten, a level largely considered safe for most people who have celiac disease.
Although the ingredient list does not include any gluten-containing ingredients, it is still unclear if the Starbucks is warning away customers with celiac disease solely because it’s not certified or because of possible cross-contamination or for another reason. We’ve reached out to Starbucks for further details and will update you once we learn more.
It’s unlikely the bistro box contains gluten, but when a company outright tells those with celiac disease that a product is not designed for them that’s plenty of motivation to spend gluten-free dollars elsewhere.