Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stepping down as branch leader of Gluten Intolerance Group, Gainesville FL branch

Hi everyone,
I am pasting below an email I just sent to our group members, but did want to say that I took this on with the belief that no one who is starting on a gluten free diet should have to do it without support, since it's such a challenge, especially in the beginning. Even if I don't have a formal position of leadership, the desire to help is still there, so especially if you are in the Gainesville FL area and need some pointers, feel free to contact me. Gainesville also has a large "gluten free Gainesville" Facebook group which is outstanding! Please also check out, which is the website for the Gluten Intolerance Group.

Here's the email I sent to our group:

Hope everyone's new year is starting off well! This is a sad note for me to write, but I've reached the decision that I need to step down as the branch leader of our local Gluten Intolerance Group Branch. Right as I started, there were some major family changes with the loss of my dad and arrival of a grandchild soon after, and the demands on my time changed along with them. I've tried to do what I can to keep it going, which has ended up the bare minimum, and I have reached a point where I can't keep up with it.

If anyone would like to consider taking over this position, let me know, and I'll give you the rundown on the position, and what is absolutely required, since this a branch of a 501(c)(3) and there is some documentation that is required to maintain this status at the national level. I am more than happy to stay involved and help out any way I can, but promotion has been lacking and time for research and planning meetings has been nil, and as I see it, those are two things that will keep this group appealing to current and new members.

You guys have been fantastic-- I've enjoyed it all, but my own family priorities and mental health/sanity have to come first.
I'll be posting this on the blog too at, but it'll be the final post. Boo. :-(
Hope someone can take this on, but if not, I'll be sending the $ we have in petty cash to GIG and it'll be theirs from there.
Thanks, Everyone.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Thoughts on gluten free foods

Someone shared this article with me recently. Just food for thought, no pun intended, that gluten free foods are not always good for you! Keep in mind that the Gluten Intolerance Group ( is one of the biggest certifiers of gluten free foods. If you see the GF logo in a circle, it's been certified by GIG.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Gluten Free Pizza

Hello Everyone.
Just a reminder that although it's tempting when a local pizza joint offers a gluten free pizza option, we must all remember that it's still more than likely prepared in an environment where flour is used regularly, and is probably not safe for someone with a diagnosable condition, or for someone who knows that gluten makes them feel ill.

I am pasting a statement that was on the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America's Facebook page when Domino's started advertising GF pizza below:

"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."

Yet another loss, I know, but at least in my book, feeling and being healthy trumps all.

Happy and safe eating, everyone!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sept. 15 meeting

Hi Everyone,
Pasting the email I just sent to the group. Email me at if you'd like to come, please, since the deli asks for a rough head count. Thanks!


Hi Folks,

Wow, you snooze you lose. Jason's Deli had nearly every evening in Sept. booked, so I had to go with Monday, Sept. 15 at 6:00.  Let me know if you can make it, please, and we'll catch up with what's been going on with everyone and have some chow. I heard something on their hold music that was some announcement about chicken nuggets for kids that are gluten-sensitive. I wonder what that means, or how it's cooked?
Anywho, there was a request to discuss some of the associated conditions that go along with celiac disease like issues with thyroid, candida, etc. and strategies people use for coping with that. A good chunk of us have something other than issues with gluten...should make for good discussion and maybe we can come away with new ideas, or at least fresh perspective on the frustrations.
Please tell me if you think you can make it, and hope to see you there! I figure we can squeeze in one more meeting before the holidays too, even if it's just a dinner out somewhere.

Hope everyone's summer is wrapping up well!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Zoe's Kitchen

Hello All,

Summer's been a bit slow, but we just had a dinner meeting, and I'm pasting a portion of the summary email I just sent to our group. Kudos to Zoe's Kitchen!

"Just a few of us were able to make it to Zoe's Kitchen, but it was a fun time covering things ranging from the ridiculous and uninformed things that GI docs in our community are still saying (sigh) to plants that are edible, to dreams and plans for communities of sustainable and healthy living! Food was not bad, and I must give props to Zoe's Kitchen staff. I called midday to see if they'd set a table aside for us, and was told they didn't do that. However, manager said they would, and indeed they did. But they'd also coached all their staff to change gloves for our orders, and generally seemed interested in trying to help and offer the best service. Pretty cool! "

We'll be looking at a Fall meeting sometime soon... in the meantime, if you have not visited, the amount of information and presentations that Dr. O'Bryan is part of is staggering. A great resource; one of the biggest gluten free advocates. Of course there are many more, but his seem to show up in my inbox more regularly than anything else!

Happy what's-left-of summer! Back at you soon, hopefully.

Friday, July 4, 2014


Hello, Everyone! Happy 4th of July and all that it means for our country and those who are serving it!
Been a while; there's always a summer lull. However, I did want to share this piece of information that I'm pasting from a recent post from Dr. Tom O'Bryan, who you can learn more about at He's a huge advocate in the world of gluten free eating, celiac disease, and gluten sensitivity, and has newsletters you can sign up for. I encourage you to take a look and get on the mailing list. Everything he sends is informative and thought-provoking.

Meanwhile, I'm pasting a paragraph from an email I received this week from him:

Is it okay for a person with a gluten-related disorder to drink wheat grass juice?
Yes and no. It's generally thought that the genes for gluten proteins are selectively expressed only in the endosperm of the wheat grain and not in the vegetative tissues. As long as no heads are formed on the young wheat, then the leaves should be fine. Once heads have formed and flowered, there is potential gluten protein synthesis going on. Grass harvested before ~15-20 days after sprouting usually should be okay and not have any heading-out, but a visual inspection of the entire crop for heading is necessary.
So, grow your own? Yes, and harvest early. Say no to commercial wheat grass juice unless you speak with the grower and confirm the harvest age.
Now it's Janet again. Wishing you a happy summer, and more to follow! 
P.S. Those of you who are local ( and I suppose those not), please remember there is a large gluten free facebook page for Gainesville FL where people post fantastic information! It's Gluten-Free Gainesville. I don't do much with our page for the Gluten Intolerance Group Gainesville Branch because it can be accomplished through that page.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

Updates and links and such!

Hi Folks,
For those who weren't able to attend our  meeting a few weeks ago where Dr. Mary Smith, a Licensed Psychologist came to talk, it was thought provoking. The stance she chose to take in her presentation is that a new diagnosis and a major life change is a major stressor, and focused her talk on the ways to understand and manage the stress reaction. I have some handouts and her business card, should anyone wish to contact me. It's not the same, by any stretch, as hearing the talk, but she did also say that if there was enough interest, she'd be willing to consider a short-term (like maybe 8 weeks) group for people wanting help dealing with the adjustment.

And moving on, here are some interesting links folks have sent me (thanks, Jill!), with the heads up that I have not yet had time to look at them all: (one about gluten free restaurant menus)

Here's a virtual expo :

New magazine called Food Solutions:
which appears to have a focus on gluten and allergy free eating, and the list of contributors looks to include some of the more reputable, well-known names in the GF community.

Here's an interview with Dr. Fasano:  
(and just as an aside, a You Tube search with the expert's name will probably yield more interviews than you can shake a stick at!)

And as always, especially if you're in Gainesville, there is a very large Gluten-Free Gainesville Facebook page with a pretty supportive group of people and a huge variety of useful posts and good finds. Our Gluten Intolerance Group Gainesville Branch has a Facebook page, but that was before I knew about the other group page, so what I post on mine is minimal.

A peaceful and meaningful Memorial Day to you all,