Celiac Digest

A publication of the Southern Arizona Celiac Support Group (SACS)
online at WWW.SouthernArizonaCeliacSupport.org
Volume 8, Issue 1
July 2009

DISCLAIMER: This publication is intended as a general information resource for gluten-intolerant individuals. It is NOT intended for use in diagnosis, treatment, or any other medical application. Please consult your physician for professional medical advice and treatment.

In this Issue

Another great GF Food Faire


Blood test at the GFFF

Judging from attendee comments, our annual Gluten-Free Food Faire in May was an unqualified success. Comments: "Your food fair was fabulous” and "My family and I attended the GF Faire today. It was fabulous! Not only was it nice to sample many different items, it was also great to talk to other people with the same issues. THANK YOU."

Approximately 630 people attended this year‘s event, which represents a lot of work but it was worth it. A number were impressed with how organized it was, almost everyone loved the array of food, and so many received help at the Medical Advisory Board Q & A table.

A city council woman from Sierra Vista said that she would like to start a celiac support group in her area. She asked me to sit with her for a few minutes and give her some input on laying the groundwork for this. We also learned that a local psychiatrist is now routinely testing her depressed patients for CD. SACS is making a difference.

The blood screening was successful on all levels. We had registrants from Colorado, Texas, California, and Minnesota as well as several from Phoenix who made up the 174 tested blood draws. Of this number, five were positive. There were another five tests that were 'high', although still in the negative range. These people received additional information about retesting.

2009 GFFF photos and more on pages 4 & 5

Our blood screening process was so much more efficient this year, thanks to added volunteers at the Screening Registration desk and the skillful phlebotomists under the oversight of new MAB member, Meg Roop, RN. Georgina Rubal-Peace, PharmD, Dr. Priya Abramian and their registration team oversaw patient registration. Our MAB Q & A team this year - Dr. Shelli Hanks, Dr. Lindsey Pearson and Nancy Schuller, RD— were wonderful. We are truly blest with an excellent MAB who stay involved. Thanks to them – and all the people and organizations profiled on pages 4 & 5 – we had a great GFFF.

Renew your membership now as this is your last newsletter for SACS’s fiscal year.

CD in US has increased 400+ % in just 50 years says Dr. Murray

A Minnesota study using frozen blood samples taken from Air Force recruits 50 years ago has found that intolerance of wheat gluten, a debilitating digestive condition, is four times more common today than it was in the 1950s.

The findings contradict the prevailing belief that a sharp increase in diagnoses of wheat gluten intolerance has come about because of greater awareness and detection, and raises questions about whether dramatic changes in the American diet have played a role.

"It's become much more common," said Dr. Joseph Murray, the Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist who led the study. No one knows why, he said, but one reason might be rapid changes in eating habits and food processing over the last half century.

"Fifty years is way too fast for human genetics to have changed," Murray said. "Which tells us it has to be a pervasive environmental influence." Researchers at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota who conducted the study also found that the recruits who had the undiagnosed digestive disorder, called celiac disease, also had a four-fold increase in the risk of death.

Murray said he initiated the study to find out whether the disease is on the rise, and whether it had long-term health consequences if undiagnosed and untreated.

Sixty- year-old blood samples provide a snapshot of Celiac Disease rates in the US during the 1950s

He turned to medical archaeology to find the answers - a treasure-trove of blood samples taken from recruits at the Warren Air Force base in Cheyenne, Wyo., between 1948 and 1954. At the time, strep infections were raging among the recruits, mostly young men on their way to fight in the Korean war. Doctors there drew the samples as part of a study that proved treating the infections with antibiotics would prevent rheumatic fever, a serious heart ailment that can follow strep throat.

One of the doctors in that study took some of the samples with him when he moved to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. When he decided to retire two decades ago, he asked Dr. Edward Kaplan, a strep specialist at the University of Minnesota, to become their guardian. The vials were transported in frozen-pizza delivery trucks to Minneapolis, where they reside today.

Murray used a similar design for the study on celiac disease, recently published in the journal Gastroenterology. He tested more than 9,133 samples for the antibodies that proved the recruits had celiac disease; 43, or about one out of 652, had the disease. He then tested blood samples from groups of men from Olmsted County, more than 12,000 in all. In an older group of men, one in 121 tested positive, and in the younger group one in 106 tested positive, an increase of four to four-and-a-half times.

His findings raise questions about why the number of people with the disease has grown so fast. But rates of other immune diseases have also increased a lot. One theory is that modern, clean living, which has resulted in fewer infections, parasites and microbes in our bodies, causes the immune system to turn on healthy tissue instead. Or it might be the modern diet, Murray said.

"The types of food we eat now are different," he said.

Chapter 15 Notes

  • Boston’s Gourmet Pizza, 5825 W. Arizona Pavilions Drive near Cortaro and I-10, has GF pizzas - small size only. You can download their menu here: http://www.bostonsgourmet.com/
    Their 'small' size feeds two.
  • Blue Diamond Growers (Nut Thins crackers) report that while their crackers are made in a facility that also has wheat products, the lines are sterilized between runs and their product tests for gluten routinely come back showing 0%
  • Tohono Chul Park Tea Room (Oracle/Ina Rd) has a new chef, Albert Hall, and he is offering GF and vegan menu options.
  • Betty Crocker has chocolate chip cookie and brownie mixes to add to its new line of GF cake mixes. See your local supermarket in the cake-mix section.
  • Gluten-Free & Fabulous pizzas are available at some Fry‘s Supermarkets. Call or stop by and speak to the manager and ask them to carry it if you don‘t find it there. They provided samples at the 2008 GFFF which were delicious.
  • French Meadow Bakery GF bread is available at some Sunflower Markets. Call to see if your market stocks it.
  • CSA/USA: 877.272.4272, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Time. Their URL is: www.csaCeliacs.org.
  • Membership changes? Notify us via the website or call 520.495.4829. Email the website if you wish to be added to or removed from our email notification list.

CD is serious: McKendra’s story


Mckendra Clark

When she was nine-months old, we realized there was something definitely wrong with our daughter, McKendra. She had always had trouble nursing her bottles, and then we noticed that she could not sit up. Her tummy was distended and she had severe constipation, which required medication. Because of her asthma, McKendra was on breathing treatments almost all of the time. Another major indicator of problems to me was that she was extremely small, and she would have been smaller had she not been put on steroids for asthma.

For years, we consulted specialists in cardiology, neurology, gastroenterology, genetics, otolaryngology, as well as speech, physical and occupational therapy practitioners. They performed test after test on her, including a nerve conduction test where electric shocks are administered to the skin see if the nerves are working normally. There were no answers and no diagnosis for her ailments beyond a verdict of "global development delay with unknown cause".

She absolutely physically could not speak for the longest time. McKendra‘s therapists said the speech problem was actually caused by her brain; she could not get the connection from her brain to her mouth to work properly and lacked the planning skills to coordinate movement in her mouth.

Cheyene Clark

She had major breathing problems, constipation, vomiting episodes, and seizures. Her father and I stopped looking for answers, and finally just assumed that the seizures from a 'diagnosis' of epilepsy were probably causing most of her delays. She began walking at two-years-old, and finally speaking at age four after extensive therapy.

When we were not even looking for a diagnosis anymore, the answer came unexpectedly. I was biopsy diagnosed with Celiac Disease in January of 2008. After researching this new disease, I quickly came to realize that McKendra had many of the symptoms of Celiac Disease.

Her pediatrician ordered the blood tests, and it was almost 100% con-firmed because her antibody levels were so high. Once McKendra went on a gluten-free diet, she grew five inches in just one year, almost never needs her breathing machine, and is not constipated. McKendra‘s developmental delays vanished and she is now a happy, healthy six-year-old at the top of her class in reading and talks all the time.

The relief we feel for her is immense. She will not go through life feeling sick. The best thing is that she is okay with the diet. It is a blessing to be diagnosed at six-years old. We hope she comes to appreciate that as she grows up in this gluten-filled world!

They made it happen — Thanks to all who made the GFFF possible

The Lotus Garden  Fine Cantonese & Szechuan Cuisine  Gluten-Free by request  5975 E Speedway  Ph: 520.298.3351
  • Cheryl Wilson organized this entire event, working tire-lessly to make sure everything went smoothly and coordi-nating everyone‘s efforts. Last week, she started sending out emails in preparation for the 2010 GFFF, which will, undoubtedly, be bigger and better than ever.
  • Cheyenne Clark was the GFFF Event Chair. She did a great job procuring donations for our annual silent auction, as well as contacting our vendors. It was great to have her energy and enthusiasm on the floor making announcements as well as being the MC for the second half of the event.
  • Celeste Harvey coordinated and contacted volunteers for the event and did a lot of last-minute calling and emailing to make sure everything ran smoothly
  • Darryl Wong owner of the Lotus Garden Restaurant showed up with enough delicious GF Chinese rice noodles to provide a serving for everyone who attended.
  • Boston’s Gourmet Pizza contributed a large basket of GF items for the Silent Auction. Next year we hope they will provide GF Pizza samples.
  • Linda Burton organized the Silent Auction. Also thanks to all of the Generous Donors of the valuable auction items—nearly $2,000 worth!
  • The Tucson Tamale Company booth had a long line waiting to sample their tamales. TTC said that they had to close their business that day since they either used or sold all of their products at the GFFF.
  • Trader Joe’s, Oracle Rd., for the second year in a row, had employees up at 5:30 in the morning to inflate and donate all the balloons we used.
  • Gluten-Free Creations Bakery in Phoenix came down to sell their delicious products as well as providing a large variety of goods for participants to sample.
  • Returning booth hosts providing samples and products were: Mindy’s Miracle Munchies, New Life Health Centers, Juice Plus, Organic Bistro, Sunflower Markets (with their bottomless plate of glazed Kinnikinnick donut samples), Food Conspiracy Co-Op, Chebe products and Arbonne.
  • Pamela’s, a GF powerhouse, has always donated product for sampling to SACS, but this year they sent a rep who handed out dozens of fresh miniature chocolate cupcakes that were a crowd favorite.
  • Eclectic Pizza, a new vendor, cooked fresh GF pizza and served samples to hungry GFFF participants.
  • KidzJump (see KidzJump.com) donated the jumping castle this year completely free of charge. SACS thanks you! The kids thank you.
  • Diana Knoepfle organized and ran the Cel-Kids informational table. A special thanks to face painter Shelly Pierson who donated her time and talent.
  • Gene Spesard and his wife, Tania Malven, hosted our 'Dining Out GF in Tucson' table which had a steady flow of visitors.
  • Hetty Pardee, using items generously donated by many in the group and our vendors, put together all the raffle bags for the GFFF. SACS earned almost $290 just from the raffle.
  • Life Foods (Chia), Homemade Gourmet, Made to Crave, and Fresh from the Goddess (Goat Cheese Products – available now at Whole Foods Stores) were new to the GFFF this year; their product variety was an appreciated addition.
  • Pat Hirsch worked for several months prior to the GFFF contacting news organizations to publicize the event. She also assisted Cheyenne in organizing, wrapping/packaging and pricing the silent auction items.
  • For two-years in a row Sprouts Farmers Market has donated all the food used on the KOLD-TV shows promoting GFFF. Thanks both to KOLD and Sprouts for their help in CD awareness.
Gluten Free Food Faire

Lunch Bunch — for food, fun, and fellowship

Denise Stegal

Lunch Bunch is held on the second Friday of each month at different restaurant venues around town. You do not have to be a SACS‘s member to attend. Besides being a fun outing to meet new friends, you can gain practice in ordering GF meals and restaurants gain practice in meeting our dietary needs

Our June 12th Lunch Bunch was held at Claim Jumper near El Con Mall. Many thanks to Claim Jumper’s management who not only let us bring in our own dessert but provided the table settings for us, too. About 20 people attended and were able to order a variety of GF dishes.

Denise Stegall, a vendor for Homemade Gourmet products, brought a delicious lime cheesecake for the dessert.

July‘s LB will be at the Tucson Tamale Co. which is always a favorite as everything they serve is naturally GF.

Don‘t miss the August gathering at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill at The Mall at La Encantada, just north of Skyline Drive in the Foothills.

Mark your calendar

  • July 10: 11:30 , GF Lunch Bunch, Tucson Tamale Company, 2545 E Broadway Blvd.
  • July 22: 1: p.m. Roundtable, Ward Six City Hall at 3202 E. 1st
  • Aug. 14: 11:30, GF Lunch Bunch, Firebirds at 11:30am (La Encantada) 2985 E Skyline Drive
  • Aug. 26: 1: p.m. Roundtable, Ward Six City Hall at 3202 E. 1st
  • Sept. 23: 1: p.m. Roundtable, Ward Six City Hall at 3202 E. 1st
  • Sept. 26: 9:00 a.m. General Meeting - Pima College

CD in mom linked to increased risk of autism

ABC news (short video clip: http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=8016021) reported a study in Denmark that showed a link between the mother‘s autoimmune disease status and the development of autism in her child.

Mothers with juvenile onset diabetes showed twice the risk of bearing an autistic child while those with Celiac Disease showed three times the risk. The risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis revealed a 70% increase.

The video clip did not explain why this is so. More details on this study can be found at this URL: http://www.statesman.com/health/content/shared-auto/healthnews/rhar/628750.html.

Researchers stressed that the great majority of women with autoimmune disease deliver normal infants, but they are researching the environmental and genetic possibilities of links between autism, the uterine environment, and autoimmune diseases.

Volunteer for SACS’s Mentor Program

Can you remember how scary it was to go to the grocery store after your diagnosis? You realized you had to scrutinize every bit of food that went into your mouth. You soon found or felt like =almost everything‘ had gluten in it. It doesn‘t, of course, but you could be the one to help assure a newly-diagnosed celiac of that fact by answering questions on the phone, sharing recipes, or meeting them at a grocery store to help them read labels and chose foods that conform to a GF diet.

In response to a request by a GFFF attendee, we have started a new GF Mentor program for SACS‘s members. This program is designed to especially help newbies—those recently diagnosed—by matching them with SACS‘s members who have been =on the journey‘ for awhile and are confident in their GF lifestyle. Matches will mostly be made based on geographical proximity by zip codes.

The driving force behind the GF Mentor program is YOU. Anyone and everyone can and should be involved. Even if you have only been on the diet for two years, that is two years longer than someone recently diagnosed. The program is not intended to be a long-term commitment but rather a short-term opportunity for you to help someone in a way that you once would have found helpful yourself.

If you want to be matched with a GF Mentor, or are willing to be a Mentor, please take time to visit our website, click on 'Mentor Program', fill out the online form and click 'Send‘ or download it in PDF format and mail it as instructed.

Renew your membership now as this is your last newsletter for SACS’s fiscal year.

Surprise Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Moist flourless chocolate cake, with a surprise twist

The base of this cake is Garbanzo beans.


  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 TB confectioner's sugar for dusting or Gluten Free icing of your choice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease a 9" cake/pie pan
  2. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Cook in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds after the first minute, until chocolate is melted and smooth. If you have a powerful microwave reduce power to 50 percent.
  3. Combine the beans and eggs in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Add the sugar and the baking powder, pulse to blend. Pour in the melted chocolate and blend until smooth, scraping down the corners to make sure chocolate is completely mixed. Transfer batter to 9" pie plate or cake pan.
  4. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. (alternate tip: bake in microwave on high for about two minutes using a glass 9" pie pan)
  5. Dust with confectioner's sugar or ice after cake is completely cool.
KOLD TV’s Jenny Anchondo featured this recipe on her show last April 29th when our own Cheyenne Clark prepared it for her. See photos at: http://www.kold.com/global/story.asp?s=10271674
Gluten Free Creations  Bakery Mixes Mail Order  2840 E Thomas, Phoenix AZ (behind the barber shop)  Ph 602.522.0659 Fax 602.955.2034 glutenfreenews@cox.net

Last modified on Thursday, 01-Dec-2016 15:20:52 MST

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