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CSA convention delegates

slate report to membership

    "Did your group charter a plane?" asked one perplexed CSA/USA member after noticing seven "Tucson" name tags among delegates attending the 27th annual CSA/USA, Inc., conference (Oct. 22-24) in Oklahoma City. Those tags belonged to four SACS board members: Georgina Rubal, president; Cleo Anderson, president-elect; Jeannine Faidley, past-president; Hetty Pardee, secretary; Shirley Curtis, newsletter/website editor; and to members Pat Ewing and Anna Leonard. None hired a plane.

Be sure to attend our general meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 13,  in the Marshall Auditorium at the Tucson Medical Center campus. (See map on Page 6).  Conference delegates will share information from presentations and handouts on new GF products. Photos taken at the conference will be on display.

   The convention this year attracted about 290 participants and featured speakers covering such diverse topics as dermatology, testing validity, plant genetics, nutrition and alternative GF grains. Dr. Joseph Murray, M.D, from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, was the keynote speaker.

   If you bring a GF treat to share at the general meeting, be sure and include the recipe, ingredient list or wrapper as many of our members have multiple food intolerances.


 GF Dining Club adds new venue

The GF Dining Club has changed the site of its 6:30 p.m. Nov. 17 meeting from Jonathan’s Cork Restaurant to the new Firecracker Pan Asian Grill at the southeast corner of Swan and Ft. Lowell Roads in Plaza Palomino, Tucson. Please respond to Karen Keating, 885-4828, for reservations.

 Ingredients in all Firecracker Grill menu items are available on a computer print out and GF items also are identified in the data base. Karen assures us that "The food is great, the atmosphere is fun, and they know what we can and cannot eat!"  

   Last month the GF Dining Club enjoyed lemon chicken and shrimp over rice noodles among other dishes at PF Chang's China Bistro at 1805 E. River Rd.  The Chinese specialties from the restaurant’s GF menu are served with GF soy sauce. PF Chang's has re-trained its staff nationwide so that the chain provides reliably consistent GF quality for traveling celiacs.


PillCam is all gain, no pain

   The sore throat, narcotic hangover, perforation danger and incomplete reporting of the traditional endoscopy may be a thing of the past with a new generation capsule endoscopy.  The only thing this new medical procedure cannot do better than a conventional endoscopy is take tissue samples. 

   The traditional endoscopy can see approximately 4 feet of the average 21 foot-long small intestine; the PillCam sees and records the entire length.  Because it is swallowed like a like a large vitamin capsule, there is no pain and no need for sedation.  As it is propelled along by the peristaltic action of the intestines instead of being forced, there is absolutely no danger of intestinal damage.

   An Israeli firm produces this disposable, miniature video camera  The PillCam©, produced by Given Imaging [http://www.given] takes up to 50,000 digital images of the intestinal tract over an eight-hour period, beginning at the tip of the tongue and ending at the beginning of the large intestine.  These images are transmitted to a belt worn by the patient. Later, the physician downloads the images and can evaluate every inch of the small intestine.  If a cancer is found, the physician can tell the surgeon exactly where it is located.  Or, if intestinal damage is spotty or intermittent – as is often the case with CD – the doctor knows the true extent of the damage.

   Many doctors will only order the PillCam© as a test of last resort because of the time required to process the information generated.  According to an interview with Kent Katz, M.D., a gastroenterologist in Casper. WY, the physician has to watch eight hours of excruciatingly boring videotape.  According to Dr. Katz, the PillCam© will sometimes be ’stuck’ in one section of the intestine for 20 minutes, snapping away at the same old landscape.  Then, without warning, it can slide down six inches, so rapidly that it only takes three photos. Since the HMO’s will only give him $50 for analyzing the images, he is understandably not very enthusiastic about the test.

   According to Given’s latest press release, they have introduced new software that will make ‘reading’ the images much more accurate and efficient for the physicians.


Chapter 15 Notes


Archway Macaroons now list wheat starch as an ingredient.

 Some Delimex Taquitos usually made with corn tortillas are now being wrapped with flour tortillas.  They were found in an Albertson’s stores, but be sure and check each box you buy.

Applebee’s, at this time, suggest that no items on their menu are GF due to frequency of menu/ingredient change and their policy of not providing nutritional breakdown of ingredients.

Sweet Sue (division of Sara Lee) provides individual foil packets of ham, chicken, and turkey that are perfect for traveling and a welcome change from tuna . The food starch listed in the ingredients is potato.  Spotted at a local Safeway.

No Brach’s Candy can be considered GF as they use wheat flour in their processing and consider that anything that doesn’t contain wheat has the potential for cross-contamination.


See’s Candy has five items that they consider GF and free from cross-contamination: Almond Royals, Toffee-ettes, all Sugar Sticks, Sugar Twists and See’s Dark Chocolate with Almonds Candy Bar.


Wendy’s makes its chili with leftover burgers that are cooked on the same grill as the chicken (which now contains wheat-based soy sauce), so you may want to avoid the chili if you are sensitive.


Olive Gardens, according to their Guest Relations spokesperson, will give customers a custom ingredient listing of selected menu items if the customer’s physician will send a written request to them.  This might be a good restaurant to avoid.


GF Candy out of its ‘normal’ shape may not be GF.  For example, Three Musketeers candy bars are GF, but the Three Musketeers Chewlicious Chocolate Flavored Chews.  As always, scrutinize the ingredient list.


Change of address/phone number: Change of email: Notify us via the website or call 825-3032


CSA/USA: 877-272-4272, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Central time.www.


SACS discussion group goes on-line

The Southern Arizona Celiac Support Group (SAZCSG) online discussion listserv provides a safe place for you to ask questions, receive answers, post articles (related to Celiac disease) or share recipes, and maybe make some friends LOCALLY. 

   Don't be afraid to ask questions, even if you think they are silly or obvious as we all were there at some point! 

The rules are fairly simple for this group:

►Please limit discussions to CD or related issues.

►No marketing—please do not use our group to market products or services.

►All the questions and answers posted will be reviewed by the moderator before they will be allowed to the rest of the group. 

►Keep in mind that we will not allow flaming or inappropriate language. 

We will occasionally use the discussion group to send members info on club activities or other CSA/USA news.  ALL current members (that we have email addresses for) of our SACS group (CSA/USA Chapter 15) have been invited to join, and we hope you do! 

   If you are new to our group, or recently acquired an email address, please contact Cheryl Wilson at, and she will make sure you receive an invitation. Please let her know any changes in email addresses, too.


Health news to use

Biodegradable shipping ‘peanuts’ sold by VeriPack are made with wheat starch.  Wash your hands after using them or choose the regular packing materials, especially if you have young Celiacs in your household. 


Soy may harm your thyroid, or so says the FDA’s expert on soy. “"there is abundant evidence that some of the isoflavones found in soy, including genistein and equol, a metabolize of daidzen, demonstrate toxicity in estrogen sensitive tissues and in the thyroid. This is true for a number of species, including humans.
   Additionally, isoflavones are inhibitors of the thyroid peroxidase which makes T3 and T4. Inhibition can be expected to generate thyroid abnormalities, including goiter and autoimmune thyroiditis. There exists a significant body of animal data that demonstrates goitrogenic and even carcinogenic effects of soy products. Moreover, there are significant reports of goitrogenic effects from soy consumption in human infants and adults."

   Daniel Doerge and Daniel Sheehan, two of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) key experts on soy, in a letter to the FDA, protested the health claims approved by the FDA on soy products.  
   Andrew Weil, a noted alternative medical doctor, has this to say about soy at his website:
"…you're unlikely to get too many isoflavones as a result of adding soy foods to your diet -- but you probably will take in too much if you take soy supplements in pill form. At this point, I can only recommend that you avoid soy supplements entirely."

[ is the website for more complete information and links.]


Conjunctivitis can be exacerbated by CD. The American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2003 found inflammatory conditions like celiac disease increase transglutaminase levels.  Transglutaminase plays a role in the inflammation seen in the allergic conjunctivitis, and this may explain why we have allergic conjunctivitis symptoms following gluten intake.


Untreated Celiac Disease can lead to hyposplenism and a dramatically lowered immune system. Dr. Peter Green of NYC suggests all newly diagnosed Celiacs be vaccinated for common infections, including pneumonia.  A strict GF diet can reverse this damage


Mark your calendar

(See SACS  Leadership box Page 3 for phone numbers/email addresses )


Nov. 4 - Board Meeting, 11 a.m. Bookman’s at Grant and Campbell

Nov. 13- General Meeting – TMC Marshall Auditorium  9 a.m.

Nov. 17 -GF Dining Club 6:30 - 8 p.m. Firecracker Pan Asian Grill (885-4828 for more info)

No Roundtable Meetings in Nov/Dec.


Jan. 15 - General Meeting  – Dr. Fasano to speak. Details TBA

Jan. 26 Roundtable  Columbus Library, 22nd and Columbus, 1 p.m.

Feb. 23  Roundtable, see Jan. 26

March 23 Roundtable, see Jan. 26

March 5 – General Meeting  – Details TBA

April 23 – Annual Celiac Walk

May 21- General Meeting— Details TBA


Chapter News

Missing volunteers—No one has volunteered for the SACS EMT program to provide GF meals for hospitalized members.  The committee to create a Physician’s Manual has also attracted no volunteers.  If no one will help with these projects, they will have to be abandoned.

   Only three people showed up for the initial planning session for the 2005 Celiac Walk, and it takes many more people to organize and put on that event.  If more volunteers do not come forward by the end of December, the board will have to reluctantly cancel next year’s Walk.  At this time, the board is considering teaming up with the Phoenix groups and supporting their Celiac Walk.


Living Without Magazine— is up for renewal.  Bring $15 in cash or your check made out to CSA #15 (not to Mary Louise).  The regular sub-scription price is $20, but you can get a discount if you order through the chapter.

Dr. Alessio Fasano, M.D.— from the University of Maryland will be the featured speaker at our Jan. 15 meeting.  Invite your doctor, physician’s assistant or other health professional to attend.


Baker-at-Large provides solution to ‘chocolate attack’

This cookie recipe is from yours truly. When I'm having a chocolate attack, I whip this one up. I do use Ghirardelli’s double chocolate chips when I can get them. Any chocolate chip will do, however.


1 C. chocolate chips, melted in the microwave on LOW heat.

Stir in 1 cup shredded coconut and

½ C. finely chopped walnuts or pecans Set aside.


Whip 2 egg whites till soft peaks form and gradually add

½ C. sugar and ¼ tsp salt.

Beat until stiff, and then fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.


Drop by tsp onto parchment lined cookie sheet. If you don't happen to have parchment paper, a single layer of brown paper bag will do very well.


Bake 18-20 minutes at 325 F  & ENJOY!



This one is from Jeanette Sather’s “mock oatmeal cookies"


Cream together:

1 C. butter or shortening or combination thereof

1 C. white sugar

1 C. brown sugar


3 eggs, beat well

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup of raisins or cut up dates, (softened)


Dry Ingredients: 

Combine them all together:

½ C. chestnut flour

2 C. Bette Hagman's rice blend mix

1 tsp salt    

2 tsp soda  

1 tsp cinnamon

1 TBS of xanthan gum


Mix this all together and add 2 cups of silvered almonds. Drop by teaspoonful onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 350F for10-12 minutes.

This recipe makes about 30 or so cookies, but they're good!


I always have to make some changes, because that's the way I am, so here is my version.

I did everything the same EXCEPT I changed the flour to:

1 C. brown rice flour

½ C. chestnut flour

½ C. tapioca starch

½ C. millet.

The slivered almonds I bought looked too big to me, so I put them in my food processor and chopped them up a bit.

These also made about 30 cookies and they were very good. 

(Editor’s note: These were taste-tested at Roundtable and excellent!)


This recipe is from Erika Williams, and is another delicious treat


Chocolate chip Mandelbrot  (I think Mandelbrot is German, not that it matters)


1 1/2 sticks of butter

1 C sugar

3 eggs (large)

1C. white rice flour

1 C. cornstarch

1 C. tapioca starch   &   1TBS of potato flour (not potato starch)

3 tsp xanthan gum

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

½  tsp almond extract

1 to 1 ½  cups chocolate chips

nuts  (optional)

cinnamon sugar for sprinkling on the top


Mix dry ingredients together

Cream butter and sugar; add eggs and continue beating, add vanilla and almond and chocolate chips and nuts.


Onto ungreased parchment-paper lined cookie sheet, spoon into 2 equal oval shaped loaves. Leave about 2-3 inches between the two loaves as they will spread while baking. Top loaves generously with cinnamon sugar.


Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.


Dana Korn prepares GF  lasagna at Wild Oats

Gluten-Free Lasagna
Prep time: 30 minutes, Cooking time: 1 1/2 hour, Serves four
1 lb lean ground hamburger or turkey (omit for vegetarian version)
1 package gluten-free lasagna noodles
2 jars gluten-free pasta sauce
2 cups cheese
(mix equal parts ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, and cottage cheese)
3 cups sliced or diced veggies- anything you like (try spinach, zucchini, olives, mushrooms and onions)
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup mozzarella and parmesan cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook meat, drain fat then add one jar pasta sauce and warm. Some gluten-free lasagna noodles do not require cooking in advance. Check the package. If the brand you have does require boiling prior to lasagna assembly, cook the noodles, but reduce suggested cooking time by two minutes. Drain and rinse with warm water. Combine cheeses, basil and pepper and set aside. Combine sliced vegetables and set aside. In a shallow baking dish, layer the lasagna as follows: sauce (on the bottom of dish), a layer of noodles, one half meat/pasta mixture, one half cheese mixture, one half vegetable mixture. Repeat this layering process with the other half of the ingredients. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for one hour. Remove the foil and bake another half hour, or until golden brown.

Danna Korn is an expert on the gluten-free diet and the medical conditions that benefit from it. She is the author of "Wheat-Free, Worry-Free: The Art of Happy, Healthy, Gluten-Free Living" and "Kids with Celiac Disease: A Family Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy, Gluten-Free Children."