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GIG Eugene

Eugene Gluten Intolerance Group
Providing Support to Persons with Gluten Intolerance

Meetings are held the 2nd Thursday of the month
1800 Lakewood Court, Eugene, Oregon
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Contact Diane Connell for more information 541-343-0459   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Restaurants interested in developing Gluten-Free Menu items contact Michelle Graff   541-505-6869

If you are starting on a gluten-free diet and would like to have someone go with you to Market of Choice at Delta Oaks to show you where to find all the gluten-free food choices that are now available to you, please contact Jody to set a time to meet at the store, where you will have more time talk about all the great options. 541-543-4100

Delta Market of Choice is a big help to GIG-Eugene and our gluten-free community.  Every aisle has gluten-free products, just look for purple gluten-free stickers on the shelf.  If you need help finding something, ask for Jessica or Teresa on Sat or Sun,  Ryun is the store manager and you can also ask Alena, Debbie, Jim or Ryun weekdays.  Any cashier can put you in touch with someone that can help you.






We are still looking for a bookkeeper, we can not exist without one.

Emma tells me that it is very easy and only needs to be done once a quarter.  We have so little to do that it doesn't take much time.  It is done on the computer and Emma can tell you how to to do it.


At our September meeting, Ellen Syversen, a holistic nutritionist and health educator with a Masters Degree in public health, spoke to us about "Junk Moods and Junk Foods." She told us how unmet nutritional needs can have a negative influence on brain chemistry and mood. Eating well can help us remain balanced even in difficult times. Proteins are very important because they are made up of amino acids that are precursors to neurotransmitters that are necessary for a positive mood.

Although each of us is a unique biochemical individual, there are some foods that are proinflammatory for everyone: sugar, white flours and processed salt. Ellen notes that sea salt is usually fine for most people because it is high in minerals (those minerals even help control blood pressure). Some other "Bad Mood Foods" to be aware of are artificial sweeteners, rancid fats, processed foods and food additives. These should be eaten in moderation, if at all.

Drugs are substances that have an effect on our physiology. White sugar is a "food drug" which has detrimental effects on insulin and serotonin levels creating dependency and addiction. Sugar withdrawal can even cause reactions similar to cocaine withdrawal. Plus, Ellen says, sugar "steals the appetite for more nourishing fare." If you think you may be addicted to sugar, try eating healthy fats, proteins and fiber with sugary foods (including fruit) to help balance the negative impact on the body. Or, better yet, switch to stevia or xylitol. Both alternative sweeteners have lower glycemic values than sugar and xylitol is beneficial for the teeth.

Ellen also spoke about "Food Cravings, Real and False." A Real Food Craving, for example, is when someone eating a balanced diet has a hankering for spinach or other healthy food. A False Food Craving, on the other hand, is based on nutrient deficiency, blood sugar issues, unbalanced brain chemistry, malabsorption, candida and other microbial overgrowth and/or food sensitivities. Did you know that we often crave foods that are reactive for us?

Ellen made a list of the relationship between food cravings and possible nutrient deficiencies. For example, craving chocolate? Perhaps you need more magnesium. Or if you crave carbonated drinks a calcium imbalance may be the cause. If you would like a copy of Ellen's list, they will be available at the GIG meetings.

If you would like to learn more on the subject, Ellen recommends "The Food/Mood Cure" by Julia Ross. If you would like help figuring out what may be causing your food cravings or other nutrition-related concerns, Ellen can help you. She very generously gives a free one-hour consultation to help get you going. Contact her at 541-912-8624 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . You can also visit her website at

Dr. Miriam Mazure-Mitchell, ND will be speaking at our October meeting.  She will be speaking about SIBO (intestinal bacterial overgrowth), leaky gut, intolerances, IBS, nutrient deficiencies: What do these conditions have in common?

How can they be prevented or reversed?


Costco has stopped selling Krusteaz Double Chocolate Brownie Mix, we are asking that if you like this product to write a request at Costco to start stocking it again, and put it in the suggestion box.  If enough people ask for it they will might stock it again.  It has happened on some other products.

Fred Meyer's is moving GF foods from the Nutrition area and mixing them in with the regular merchandise, this will not be very convenient we will not know where to find GF food quickly.  Let Fred Meyer's know that we would rather they keep it the way it is.


Here's some good news for restaurant diners with serious food allergies: Startup 6SensorLabs is working on an"affordable" device that will allow users to quickly test if a food has allergens. According to TechCrunch, the company recently raised $4 million to create the portable device — called Canary — which will cost users around$150. In addition to purchasing the sensor, customers will have to buy disposable "one-time use units" that are put in the food to test it. he company is also aiming to build a mobile app that will help users share the results of the their tests with others to educate them about what foods are safe to eat.

While there are many food allergies out there, the first model of Canary will test for gluten. The company's website explains that the founders have "long struggled with Celiac Disease and various food allergies" so they decided to create a "company to bring clarity and trust back to the dinner table." If restaurants make use of the device they may be able to alleviate the need for menus tailored to those with allergies.

TechCrunch notes that the sensor isn't strictly for those with Celiac but can also be used by "those who have decided to move to a gluten-free diet for other reasons." Those that are both gluten-averse and also device-averse can now just go dine at chef Mark Ladner's new Celiac-friendly pasta concept, Pasta Flyer. The company hopes to launch the portable Canary sensor early next year.


By Jane Anderson      Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity Expert

Question: Does celiac disease increase or lower your chances of getting breast cancer?

Having celiac disease increases your chances of developing certain other cancers, including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. But what does it do to your chances of getting breast cancer?


It looks like there's good news for women with celiac disease: the condition seems to significantly lower your odds of developing breast cancer.

(Although the evidence is scantier, this may also be true for women with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.)

It's not completely clear why this protective effect occurs in celiac women, but it may be due to celiac's effects on your hormones ? women with celiac disease tend to get their periods later, enter menopause earlier, and generally have lower fertility levels. This could be a result of lower levels of circulating estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that have been linked to breast cancer.

Studies Show Lower Levels of 'Female' Cancers in Celiacs

Several medical studies have identified a lower risk of breast cancer in women who have been diagnosed with celiac disease.

For example, a study published in 2004 in the British Medical Journal compared 3,095 women with celiac disease to 18,545 control subjects without the condition. The study found a rate of breast cancer in celiac women about 40% lower than the rate in the control subjects.

The researchers couldn't explain the results, but they speculated that certain unknown genetic, nutritional or environmental factors may protect people with celiac disease against breast cancer and certain other cancers. "By understanding the mechanism of protection in people with celiac disease, we may gain insight into the causes of breast cancer," they wrote.

In a second study, this one published in 2012 in the International Journal of Cancer, researchers used Sweden's national medical records to identify 17,852 women with celiac disease, estimated their expected risk of breast cancer, and then compared them to 88,400 similar control subjects.

That study also found women with celiac disease were significantly less likely to develop breast cancer; although the odds weren't as low as in the 2004 BMJ study, they improved beyond the first year past the women's diagnoses of celiac disease, the researchers said.

Lower Risk Extends to Ovarian, Endometrial Cancers

Women with celiac disease may also have lower risks of ovarian and endometrial cancers, two other forms of female reproductive cancers.

In addition to breast cancer risk, the 2012 Swedish study also looked at how many women with celiac disease developed ovarian and endometrial cancers. The researchers found much lower levels of both cancers in women with celiac disease when compared to control subjects.

It's possible that lower levels of circulating female hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, could lead to lower levels of those two cancers in addition to breast cancer, the researchers speculated. It's also possible that something in the genetic makeup of women with celiac disease leads somehow to the decreased risk, they said.

What Does This Mean for Women with Celiac Disease?

Although more research needs to be done to determine why women with celiac disease have lower rates of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers, it's still good news, especially since rates of other forms of cancer (notably, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) are higher in people who have celiac.

Still, having a lower risk of breast cancer (or ovarian cancer or endometrial cancer) than the overall population doesn't guarantee you won't develop the disease ? in each of these studies, some celiac women did develop these cancers. Therefore, you might do well to talk to your doctor about your overall risk of breast cancer, and other ways you may be able to lower your risk for the disease.


By Justin Caba

Helminthic therapy, an unconventional form of immunotherapy that involved deliberately infecting patients with parasitic worms, has actually showed promising results in treating certain autoimmune diseases and immune disorders. In a recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, celiac disease patients had their symptoms of gluten intolerance reduced after being infected with hookworms.

"By the end of the trial, with worms onboard, the trial subjects were eating the equivalent of a medium-sized bowl of spaghetti with no ill effects," Paul Giacomin, an immunologist at James Cook University (JCU) in Australia, said in a statement. "That's a meal that would usually trigger a debilitating inflammatory response, leaving a celiac patient suffering symptoms like diarrhea, cramps, and vomiting."

Giacomin and his colleagues recruited 12 celiac disease patients who were infected with hookworms, and followed them for up to 52 weeks. Throughout the course of the study, researchers asked each patient to consume a portion of spaghetti. These portions increased as the study went on, and by the end they were able to consume between 60 and 75 straws of spaghetti. Four of the study’s participants were forced to withdraw from the research due to reasons unrelated to gluten or hookworms.

The eight remaining celiac disease patients significantly increased their gluten tolerance at the end of 52 weeks and were even unperturbed by the presence of hookworms in their body. In fact, all eight chose to keep the hookworms when they were presented with the option of medication that would clear their system of the parasitic worms. The research team attributed their results to a protein found in hookworms with the ability to keep the human immune response in check.

"The eight who stuck with the trial were able to increase their gluten tolerance by a factor of 60, a massive change," said Alex Loukas, head of the Centre for Biodiscovery and Molecular Development of Therapeutics at JCU. "We and others have had promising results in earlier trials, but this is clear proof-of-principle of the benefits of hookworm in treating inflammatory disease."



This creamy and cozy soup recipe uses butternut squash (my personal favorite among the Cucurbit family) but you could also use fresh pumpkin in the spirit of Hallow's Eve.


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2-3 teaspoons mild gluten-free curry powder

4 cups diced butternut squash

4 to 6 cups light vegetable broth (or fresh water)

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or raw agave nectar, to taste

½ to 1 cup coconut milk


Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and curry powder; stir and cook until the onion softens. Add the squash and broth. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer.

Simmer until the squash is very soft and fork tender- maybe 30 minutes. Add a bit more water if you need to keep the squash from sticking to the pot- I didn't need to, but, Bubbe you never know.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender till smooth. Stir in the maple syrup and coconut milk. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.

Warm through gently and serve.

Serves 4.


By Jean Duane

Serves 8-10

Sweetened with natural sugars and fruit juice, fruit crisp can be a nutritious dessert or a crunchy breakfast.

2 cups gluten-free oats or flaked grain* (rice, buckwheat or quinoa flakes)

¼ cup brown rice flour

½ cup rice syrup**

2 tablespoons sunflower oil or walnut oil or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon cinnamon or cardamom

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut or slivered almonds

4 pears and/or apples

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1½ cups apple juice or concentrate

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. In a medium bowl, mix together oats, rice flour, rice syrup, oil, cinnamon, salt and coconut. Set aside.

2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8x11-inch baking dish.

3. Peel, core and chop apples and/or pears. Place fruit in prepared baking dish.

4. Dissolve cornstarch in apple juice. Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and pour mixture over fruit. Sprinkle fruit with oat mixture.

5. Place pan in pre-heated oven and bake 45 to 60 minutes until fruit is soft. Cover pan with parchment after baking 15 minutes to prevent over-browning.


November 13th - Yaakov Levine - the meeting will be held at the new Natural Grocers store at 7:00 pm instead of 6:30.  We will have our meeting then do a tour at the end.