Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin March 2013 Meeting

Posted on February 12th, 2013 by Alison | ADD A COMMENT »

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Beyond Gluten: Identifying and Living With Multiple Food Reactions

Our next meeting of the Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin will take place on Monday, March 4th at 7:00.

Has being gluten-free solved all your problems? If not, you may be experiencing cross-reactivity with other foods or you may have multiple food sensitivities or both! Did you know that foods other than gluten can create antibodies against gluten even though you are gluten free? This could be one reason why you still don’t feel well even though you are vigilant about your gluten free diet.

Come and learn about how foods in addition to gluten may be affecting you or your kids and how to live more easily with multiple food intolerance. Our presenters are our Co-Leaders Sheila Wagner PT, CN and Alison St. Sure who welcome your questions and input!

Also joining us at this meeting will be Natalia Barr from Barr Necessities, offering a variety of organic and seasonal products that are entirely gluten-free, some of which are grain-free and sugar-free as well. Barr Necessities sources high quality ingredients to serve those with food allergies with products that not only meet their dietary guidelines- but satisfy their taste buds in a delicious and guilt-free manner. This product line stands out with its use of bold flavors, wholesome ingredients, and a very apparent artisanal quality.  By using low glycemic sweeteners such as raw coconut nectar and high quality oils such as olive and grape seed, Barr Necessities strikes an uncommon, but sought after, balance: healthful decadence.

Please welcome Natalia Barr to our meeting and enjoy sampling and purchasing from some of her most popular items:

  • Italian Herb Almond Flatbread (grain free)
  • Cherry Chocolate Vegan It’sa Meal (grain & sugar free)
  • Raisin Walnut Vegan It’sa Meal (grain & sugar free)
  • Turkish Coffee Biscotti
  • Triple Ginger Lemon Pear Muffins

We will also be providing gluten-free samples from several other manufacturers as well.

You can RSVP here or on our Facebook page. RSVPs help us plan logistically for the meeting, but if you haven’t RSVP’d, please come anyway! You are always welcome.

Please let your gluten free friends and family know about this fun event. The meeting is free; however, we appreciate a donation of $5 or more to cover the costs of renting the meeting room, printing the handouts, etc.

Whether you have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or are learning more about gluten free living for yourself, family or friends, we welcome you to the GIG of Marin. New members, friends, and loved ones are always welcome.

The Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin will meet:

  • Monday, March 4
  • 7:00 to 9:00pm
  • Community Room at Corte Madera Town Center (upstairs at PF Chang’s end) 770 Tamalpais Dr. Suite 201, Corte Madera, CA, 94925

We look forward to seeing you!

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New Summer Camp for Kids with Food Allergies

Posted on January 29th, 2013 by Alison | Read 3 Comments - Add Your Own »

I am happy to announce that there is a new summer camp in Oregon for kids with food allergies. As far as I know, it is the only one of its kind. When I told my daughter about how she wouldn’t have to worry about the food if she went to a camp like this, she said wide-eyed, “It would be like I didn’t have food allergies!” Yes, my love, it would. I don’t think she’s quite ready for sleep-away camp this year (she’s 8), but I want to support this wonderful camp so that when she’s ready, she has this option.

Here is the email I received about the camp:

I am happy to let you know that Camp Blue Spruce, a worry-free camp for kids with food allergies, is now accepting campers for its 2013 session, August 18-23. Loads of fun activities and Oregon’s great outdoors will make Camp Blue Spruce the highlight of the summer for children with and without food allergies.

We are excited about holding our first session this summer. Camp Blue Spruce will be like any other summer camp EXCEPT the food will be prepared without any of the top 8 food allergens, gluten or sesame. Up to 56 kids will be able to sit down at the table and eat all the foods that are being served — a simple gift for these children, who are rarely able to eat what everyone else is eating.  Kids attending Camp Blue Spruce will have a true camp experience without the worry and anxiety they experience daily with their food allergies. Camp Blue Spruce parents can be worry-free, too!

There are a few things you can do to help make this summer a success:

  1. Register your child for camp. Visit www.campbluespruce.org for the application. Registrations are arriving already, so sign up today!
  2. Encourage your friends with and without food allergies and sensitivities to register. We have reduced the cost for 2013 to make thecamp available to more kids.
  3. Let us know if you can leave postcards at your doctor’s office, naturopath, favorite food store, bakery, library or school. If you have other ways to spread the word, please let us know.
  4. Make a charitable contribution to Camp Blue Spruce. We cannot launch this camp solely with camp fee revenue. Your tax-deductible contribution will do three important things – promote the camp, provide scholarships to campers who are unable to pay the entire camp fee, and help cover essential camp costs. Donations can be mailed to: Camp Blue Spruce, 3519 NE 15th, #225, Portland, OR 97212.

Thank you for your interest and support of Camp Blue Spruce! Please call or email if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Louise Tippens
Camp Blue Spruce Board President
503-726-8886
info@campbluespruce.org

I really hope this camp is a success!

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Gluten-Free Summer Camps in California 2013

Posted on January 29th, 2013 by Alison | ADD A COMMENT »

Treat your child to a week of gluten freedom at a special summer camp! There are two California camps dedicated to gluten-free campers – Camp Celiac in northern California, and CDF Camp Gluten-Free in southern California.

CAMP CELIAC

In northern California at Camp Celiac, “campers, counselors, and junior counselors eat delicious gluten-free food and enjoy traditional camp activities such as a ropes course, rock climbing, zip-lining, boating, swimming, archery, arts and crafts, skit night, and outdoor sports. Three meals a day without having to ask if any of the foods are gluten free is life changing for many campers and staff!” Ages 9-17. Campers ages 16-17 years may choose to volunteer as junior counselors.

There will be two weeks (each with a different group of campers):

Week 1: Tuesday, July 23 – Saturday, July 27, 2013
Week 2: Saturday, July 27 – Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

To register:

All campers from Northern California who register between Feb 1st and Feb 14th will be given equal priority if all four registration steps (see below) are completed by February 14 (and received if paying by mail); i.e. there is no advantage to registering on February 1st rather than February 14th. After February 14th, available space will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis after all four registration steps are completed (and received if paying by mail). For more information about how to sign up for this camp, visit the registration page at CeliacCamp.com.

CDF Camp Gluten-Free™

At CDF Camp Gluten-Free™, campers with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity enjoy sports, swimming, arts, and high adventure in a strictly gluten-free environment. Camp is held July 15-19, 2013 at Camp Fire Camp Nawakwa, located in the beautiful Barton Flats Area of the San Bernardino Mountains in CA and accredited by American Camping Association” Ages 7-15.

There will be one week:

July 15-19, 2013

To register:

Camp registration is on a first come-first served basis. To register, you must send your completed camp registration forms, one registration packet for each camper or Mentor, with a $200 deposit to Celiac Disease Foundation. You will receive a letter from Celiac Disease Foundation confirming the camper or Mentor’s spot at the camp. Only campers on the confirmation list will be allowed to attend the camp. Payment in full is due by May 1, 2013. Full fee per Child $450; Full fee per Mentor $550. Call the CDF office at 818.990.2354 or follow the registration steps on the Celiac Disease Foundation website.

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How to Make Gluten-Free Brownie Bites

Posted on January 26th, 2013 by Alison | Read 8 Comments - Add Your Own »

When I thought of how to make gluten-free brownie bites one day, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it earlier. So simple, and so useful! These are also egg-free, dairy-free and nut-free.

There’s really no recipe here, but instead, an idea. All you need is a mini-muffin pan (I use this one) and a gluten-free brownie mix that you like. Because my daughter also has egg allergies, I need to make them egg-free. The mix I have been using for years is Pamela’s Brownie Mix, which has a “Fudgiest Brownie” recipe the bag – the only thing you add is oil and water. Sometimes cooking without eggs or with egg replacer can result in a batter that seems undercooked or takes a lot longer to cook, but because these are made in a mini-muffin tin, they get baked through very nicely.

Tip for Allergy Moms: These brownie bites can also be used as mini-cupcakes – just add frosting and sprinkles. These freeze well, so make extra and store them for a later date. Easy last-minute treat!

Tip for Valentine’s Day:  Use a heart-shaped mini muffin pan to make heart brownie bites for Valentine’s Day. Make sure to smooth the batter in each one as much as possible, and don’t fill to the top so that it bakes flatter. Top cooled brownies with pink frosting and colorful sprinkles! (I just ordered this Wilton Silicone heart mini-muffin pan.)

Which brownie mix to use?
There are many, many (many!) gluten-free brownie mixes on the market, so take your pick (most of these are linked to Amazon in case you can’t find them where you live). After compiling this list, I was shocked at how many there are! I have not taste-tested these, so you will have to make decisions based on your own taste, ingredient preference, price and availability.

Which mix is your favorite? Your 2 cents is welcome here!

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Gluten & Allergen-Free Expo is coming to San Francisco

Posted on January 14th, 2013 by Alison | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

The Gluten & Allergen-Free Expo, which originated in Chicago and will have five locations in 2013, makes its first stop of the year in San Francisco on February 9th and 10th.

According to the event’s website:

The Expo is the premier gluten and allergen free event in the US. Whether you are looking for specialty products that taste great or trying to learn how to cook and bake to meet your dietary needs, the Expo is the place to be!

The best gluten & allergen-free deal in town!

What do you get with your Expo Ticket?

  • Sampling and purchasing from over 100 specialty vendors
  • Membership in the GFAF EXPO CLUB – with exclusive online offers and news emailed to you every month
  • Free lectures about gluten & allergen-free living and cooking
  • The best cookbooks and the ability to meet the authors and get a signed copy of your book
  • A free gift bag to carry all of your loot
  • All products are labeled by allergen
  • Coupons for future purchases
  • Take home samples of of your favorite and new products
  • Purchase hard-to-find products
  • Shop at the new Expo Store – featuring gift products that can only be found at the Expo
  • Kids area

I will be attending this event on behalf of the Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin, so I hope you’ll stop by to say hi and learn more about our group if you aren’t already in the know! (I won’t be there the whole time, but my GIG of Marin colleagues will also be attendance.)

Here are some important links if you are planning on attending the Expo:

General Info for San Francisco Expo

Buy tickets and see which vendors will be there

Schedule of speakers and classes

 

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Gluten-Free Clam Chowder at Hog Island Oyster Co.

Posted on January 9th, 2013 by Alison | ADD A COMMENT »

I often get asked for gluten-free food recommendations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Well, I got a nice surprise recently at Hog Island Oyster Co. Bar, which has two locations. One is in the Ferry Building in San Francisco and the other is in Oxbow Public Market in Napa. (The actual Hog Island Oyster Farm in located on Highway 1 in Marshall).

A friend had picked this spot and at first I was a little wary because it didn’t seem like there were a lot of gluten-free options. When we were told that the clam chowder was gluten-free, I was sold! Doesn’t it look fabulous, piled high with fresh clams, and surrounded by potatoes and other vegetables, and bacon? It was delicious. (For those new to the gluten-free diet, you should know that most clam chowder is made with flour.)

There are other gluten-free options on their small menu – the salad I had was really good and fresh. And there are, of course, the oysters. Other than raw, I was told that the steamers are sometimes steamed with beer, sometimes white wine, but it’s no problem for them to accommodate. The baked oysters and the oyster stew are also gluten-free. On Sundays, they serve a gumbo, which is NOT gluten-free and there may be other specials that contain gluten. As always, be sure to double check for yourself. Don’t forget to pair with some nice California wines, and if you go to the Ferry Building location, grab a gluten-free baguette from Mariposa Baking Company to dip in the chowder… heaven.

For more information, see the Hog Island Oyster Bar sample menu and visit their website.

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Æbleskivers Gluten Free

Posted on December 13th, 2012 by Alison | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

Æble – what? Æbleskivers: a sphere-shaped Danish pancake. When my daughter had a Heritage Feast at her school, we were asked to bring in a food that had meaning to our family. Since my grandmother is 100 years old, I thought we should honor her with a dish from Denmark.

I borrowed her cast-iron Æbleskiver pan and set out to make — you guessed it — gluten-free Æbleskivers! When we called my grandmother to discuss, she confirmed that “Oh, yes!”, she used to eat Æbleskivers as a child growing up with her Danish grandparents and ate them either with jam or powdered sugar.

To hear my daughter have this conversation with my grandma was the best part of this whole experience, and the second best part was my daughter’s excitement to make the Æbleskivers. The third best part was that they turned out great and we loved them!

So, I bring to you: Gluten-Free Æbleskivers!

Gluten-Free Æbleskivers

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (I used Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • extra butter for frying

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  2. Add in egg yolks, melted butter and buttermilk and beat until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat or whisk the egg whites until they form a stiff peak. It is best to use cold eggs.
  4. Heat Æbleskiver pan until medium hot and put a pat of butter into each well.
  5. Put about two tablespoons of batter into each well. When the bottom is browned, turn the ball of dough so the other side can get browned. Be patient — if you try to turn it too early, it will result in a doughy mess. The browner it gets, the easier it will be to turn. People used to use knitting needles to turn the dough… I used a wooden skewer.
  6. When both sides are browned, remove the Æbleskiver to a plate.
  7. They are best served warm, dipped in jam or sprinkled with powdered sugar. There are many variations also — some people stick a piece of apple in the middle when it is half-way done cooking, others use applesauce, Nutella, banana — really anything you like!

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Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin Holiday Potluck 2012

Posted on November 8th, 2012 by Alison | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

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Mark your calendars and get out your recipe books: our Holiday Potluck is slated for Tuesday, Dec. 4. With a start time of 6:30 pm, this annual tradition offers more time for socializing among members and enjoying delicious gluten free foods together.

We are delighted to announce that this year our special guest will be Elaine Taylor, president of the Taylor Family Foundation and founder of Camp Celiac. In the spirit of the season, GIG of Marin will be giving the donations we collect at the door to The Taylor Family Foundation to support their goal of preserving the wellness and enhancing the quality of life for Northern California children with life-threatening or chronic illness, including celiac disease.

We will also hold a special raffle to raise money for the Taylor Foundation so bring extra cash or your check book!

Elaine Taylor has celiac disease herself, and is an advocate for education about gluten.  Her daughter, Katie Alin, is the owner of Miglet’s Gluten Free Bakery in Danville.  Read an interview with Elaine here.

Elaine Taylor and daughter Katie Alin at Miglet’s.
For the potluck, please bring a savory or sweet item to share with a card identifying the ingredients in your dish–particularly ingredients that are known to cause reactions in some people like eggs, dairy, corn, etc–so that all can find foods that are safe for them to enjoy.
And, if you can, please stick around at the end to help clean up the room–many hands make light work.
Because we need to provide enough supplies for everyone to enjoy the potluck, RSVPs are particularly important for this meeting. Please do so on our Facebook event page or by sending an email.
Help us spread the word and reach more people seeking support for their gluten free lives: visit our website for a printable flyer that you can post in public places and share with your friends, family and medical practitioners.Whether you have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or are learning more about gluten free living for yourself, family or friends, we welcome you to the GIG of Marin. New members, friends, and loved ones are always welcome.The Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin will meet:

  • Tuesday, December 4th
  • 6:30 to 9:00pm
  • Community Room at Corte Madera Town Center (upstairs at PF Chang’s end) 770 Tamalpais Dr. Suite 201, Corte Madera, CA, 94925

We look forward to seeing you!

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Where have I been and where am I going?

Posted on September 20th, 2012 by Alison | Read 4 Comments - Add Your Own »

Hello long-time followers of my blog (since 2007!) and hello newcomers, both to my site and to the gluten-free diet…

Where Have I Been?

Those of you who have been around a while may have noticed that I don’t post information as much as I used to (and those of you on Twitter may have noticed my absence there as well). It’s not because I don’t love you! My life has become filled to the brim, with a job, kids and their lives, a support group, and then of course I had to be the coach of my daughter’s soccer team (???!)

So I have put blogging on the back burner, last in the priority line. (Oh – I also have a husband that needs attention once in a while!) I still post occasionally, and I still have things to share with you, so don’t worry, I’m still around. I’m proud of the body of work I have created and moved by the comments and emails I receive every day — stories about recovery, desperate requests for advice, gratitude for providing a resource. I’m also thankful to all of you that have posted comments, offering insight to others needing help. (There are over 180 comments on the article I wrote about Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Gluten back in 2008 – amazing.)

Where Am I Going?

I’m going to Africa. Not for good — just an adventure. Why am I telling you this? Because for the next couple weeks I will really be out of touch! Plus, I’m celebrating two anniversaries — my wedding anniversary and my gluten-free anniversary. 10 years for each! I’ve got my bars packed, my GlutenEase (can’t hurt), and my fingers crossed that I will be able to easily eat. Good thing I’m a carnivore!

I will try to share my adventures when I return, including pictures of my food…

So hold down the site while I’m gone — make comments and help people out there on the path to good health!

Oh, one more thing — I have run out of time to do my annual Halloween candy safe list before my departure. I know many of you count on it every year. I don’t know if I will be able to do it in time for Halloween when I return. Sorry, sorry, sorry! It will be back next year.

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Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin Special Event Sept 27th

Posted on September 5th, 2012 by Alison | ADD A COMMENT »

gigofmarin1GIG of Marin invites you to their first special event featuring internationally renown gluten sensitivity expert, Tom O’Bryan, DC, CCN, DACBN, on September 27th, 2012. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are limited, so buy yours today!

O’Bryan is a board-certified nutritionist with a passion for educating people about the many manifestations of gluten sensitivity, both in the digestive system and beyond.

If you have been successfully managing a gluten free life due to celiac disease or gluten intolerance, O’Bryan’s presentation will provide you with the latest medical research about your condition. And since O’Bryan is well-regarded for his ability to clarify the confusion around conditions relating to gluten sensitivity, this is an excellent event to bring your friends and family who are curious about whether gluten may be impacting their health or even those people who are skeptical about “the whole gluten thing.”

Identifying and Conquering Gluten Sensitivity
Thursday, September 27
6 pm   Food samples offered by a selection of local restaurants
7 to 9 pm  Lecture by Tom O’Bryan

At The Mill Valley Hotel (previously known as The Larkspur Hotel)
160 Shoreline Highway, just off 101

$10, advance registration

A sought-after speaker, O’Bryan lectures around the world including to The Royal Society of Medicine, London and the American College for the Advancement of Medicine. He was selected as one of 5 nationally recognized presenters on endocrinology by the International Symposium on Functional Medicine.

Trained as a nutritionist and chiropractor, O’Bryan is also a graduate of the Institute For Functional Medicine’s hallmark program Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice. In his clinical practice he is known as a “Sherlock Holmes” for finding the root cause of chronic disease and metabolic disorders. He is an independent clinical consultant to Cyrex Laboratories, which recently debuted testing for gluten sensitivity.

Generously serving samples from their gluten free menus at the special event will be

Lydia’s Sunflower Center
Lotus Cuisine of India
PF Chang’s
Sans Gluten Free Grocery
Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria

Plus Flour Craft Bakery, owned by Heather Hardcastle who recently presented at a GIG of Marin meeting, will be offering samples of their confections which will be available at her new bakery in San Anselmo, opening this fall.

Buy your tickets now and invite your friends to this special opportunity to hear internationally-known gluten sensitivity expert Tom O’Bryan on September 27th.

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