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,

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Why I'm Eating Gluten Free

Hi Everyone.
I'll be the first to admit that I don't do Pinterest and know little about it, but borrowing this link from a post on the Gluten Free Gainesville Facebook page. Hope the link works. It's a series about why I am and am NOT eating gluten free. Pretty powerful.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Gluten in Medications

I heard from someone from the GIG Ocala branch from a source they trust that Armour Thyroid has gluten in it. I checked with the GIG home office to see if they'd heard anything, and was told this (pasting):

This website is a good resource on medications.   Armour thyroid is listed here as gluten-free; I would trust this information.  However, just as is the case with foods, ingredients (fillers) may change at any time, so an individual with doubts should be advised to contact the manufacturer.

SO, overall, just a good reminder that if you take medications or supplements, it's always advisable to check with the manufacturer to see if there is gluten in the fillers.Things change, unfortunately sometimes at the speed of light! Even more specifically, since not everyone knows from "gluten," specify any fillers derived from wheat or barley or containing malt (rye pretty unlikely!). 
Just a friendly reminder. I've had more than one conversation over the years with people who were sickened by medications.
Thanks, All!

Summary of Gluten Free Living conference talks that I attended

Hello Everyone,  am simply pasting below the email I just sent to the Gluten Intolerance Group, Gainesville FL Branch. Please email me at if you'd like the notes (see caveats below!)

Hi all,

Still working on getting notes scanned so I could email them, but the talks I attended were these, so let me know if you'd like me to try to get you the notes.  Caveat:  they're the notes I took, so may not all be complete/accurate, due to interruptions, things I missed due to them talking fast, child crying, etc.

1. Expect the Unexpected:  Be Prepared for Any Nutritional Challenge that Comes Your Way, by Pam Cureton, RD, LDN.  She's worked with Dr. Fasano for over 20 years. Her talk touched on what if you're gluten free and not feeling better; being GF in healthcare facilities; gaining weight on GF diet; and GF disaster planning.
2. The Do's and Don'ts of Raising a Gluten Free Kid by Amy Leger, the Family Editor of Gluten Free Living magazine. This was looking at ways you can empower your child to advocate for themselves at various ages/developmental stages, and touched on 504 plans and what you can expect when you have to get the school involved in meeting your child's dietary needs.
3. GF Diet: Should We Be Concerned by Anne Lee, Ed.D., RD, LD, who is director of nutritional services at Schar. In a nutshell, she touched on the changing market in gluten free breads/products; labeling laws; and practical points
4. Dr. Alessio Fasano was the Keynote: Spectrum of Gluten Related Disorders: People Shall Not Live by Bread Alone. He went over the major milestones in the research in terms of the diagnoses of celiac disease. Way too much to try to summarize, but the takeaway is that more research is increasingly pointing to gut microbiomes as a key player in who develops celiac and who doesn't, when the genetic predisposition is there. If you ever get a chance to hear this man speak, I highly recommend it!
5. Dispelling the Myths of the Gluten Free Diet by Amy Ratnor, Editor of Gluten Free Living magazine. Went over several myths about the diet. I'm not sure if it was her presentation or my listening and note-taking skills, but my notes are the sketchiest here. Happy to share, regardless, as long as you understand there may be some gaps.
6. Panel of Experts:  Most of the above and more answered audience questions. I've jotted notes on it all, and it covered a variety of thing from Gluten Free Certifications to when family is not gluten free, to travel, to baking.
The editor did tell me they hope to do this conference annually, and probably in Florida around this time. VERY cool. :-)
Thanks for the RSVPs to the May 12 meeting. I now have about 12 folks committed to attend, which makes me feel better about having a speaker. Hope you all can make it! Please let me know, as Dr. Smith will want to know how many are coming.
See you soon!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Great email and video by Dr. Tom O'Bryan

Hello Everyone! If you have not visited I encourage you to do it. It's the webstite for Dr. Tom O'Bryan, who is a HUGE advocate for individuals who need to be gluten free. The video in this email I'm pasting below is well worth the three-minute watch. A good reminder to us that optimal health requires diligence (and sometimes detective work). Wonderful holidays to all!


Remember: No gluten! Not even a crumb!
In this religious week of Easter and Passover around the globe, it's important for those with a gluten-related disorder to remember a phrase I often use, "You can't be a little bit pregnant, and you can't have a little gluten." Your immune system does not forget how to react to gluten! But, there are options.
First, for those celebrating Passover or the commemoration of liberation from slavery in Egypt over 3300 years ago, gluten-free matzah is readily available.
And for those celebrating Easter, I'd like to remind you of a case study I often reference often about a 34-year old woman who was not healing from a gluten-free diet for over 2 years. Her specialists couldn't figure out why her symptoms remained despite her change in diet. Turned out she was a nun in street clothes regularly accepting communion. In other words, though on a gluten-free diet she was still consuming the wheat found in the communion wafer, and that was the possible reason for her continued symptoms.
When I was a boy, nuns often wore what's called a "habit." In Catholicism today, these religious garments aren't as prevalent outside of the church as they once were, so most of her doctors didn't realize she was of a religious order.
In Catholicism, the wafer signifies the body of Christ. According to Canon Law (the official rules of the Catholic Church), the "Bread of Life" must contain wheat in order to be valid. No substitutions allowed.
You've all heard me say it, "NO GLUTEN! NOT EVEN A CRUMB!"
Now, for those celebrating Easter, ask your church if it has low-gluten communion. Even my sister was embarrassed to ask her church, but then read about the new offering in the church bulletin! If communion has been the hindrance to your gluten-free diet and you have access to a low-gluten wafer, mark Easter as the resurrection of your savior and, possibly, your health!
So, to all of you working hard to learn how to be healthy, Happy Easter! Chag Same'ach (Joyous Festival)!
Dr. Tom O'Bryan