Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SGFA November Update

Thank you to Russell at the Paperback Cafe!

We would first like to wholeheartedly thank Russell for hosting our association for dinner at the Paperback Cafe in October. It was a wonderful event where members and their family and friends got a chance to connect and enjoy a FANTASTIC gluten-free dinner - with no worries of getting sick! From the smoky shrimp and crab appetizer to the chicken parmesan and the vegetable pasta, it was all so yummy and tasty. The cake he made for dessert was also great. Please be sure to stop in a visit Russell - he's always got something special cooking for his gluten-free guests (I recently had GF cookies to top off my lunch there!) and is always willing to make adjustments for you to have a safe meal. The big news is that, although they are closed for dinner through the winter, you can order your favorite GF meals before 3:30PM and pick them up for dinner at home. Give them a call to learn more! Once again, thanks to Russell and all our members who came out for a great night!

Upcoming Events:

November 14th, 12PM - 3:00PM, Westbrook Firehouse: Are YOU dreading the coming holidays? Need some ideas for stuffing, desserts and casseroles? How about real onion rings? The SGFA is very proud to announce that Rob Landolphi, chef at UCONN and author of "Gluten-Free Every Day", will be joining our group for a cooking demonstration and will be answering your questions about cooking GF! Rob was recently featured on the CBS Early Show -- where he stressed that, "Gluten-Free Doesn't Have to Be Flavor-Free!" Come meet Rob -- we promise you won't be disappointed!

There will also be tons of samples, raffles for GF products, and holiday recipe. Bring a recipe, holiday side dish to share, and your tips for holiday survival!

Admission is free with a GF donation to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens. Empty handed? Come anyway!! Admission is $5. For more information, contact Sybil at 860-399-3410 or email

SAVE THE DATE: December 12th, 12PM: The Infamous SGFA Cookie Swap! Put your baking caps on and get ready...more details soon!

Do you want to inside skinny on SGFA, great recipes,
and discounts on our events?
Become a 2010 member! The SGFA has recently formalized a monthly newsletter but guess what? It's members only and our events and adovacy efforts can only happen with your support. Please consider becoming a member for only $25 for new members and $20 for returning member. For more information, contact Sybil at 860-399-3410 or email

Opportunity to Volunteer
Do you like to write? And perhaps research topics of interest to our members? We are looking for writers who may want to contribute to the newsletter and this blog. Touch base with Sybil if you might be interested!

That's it for now -- more restaurant information, product reviews, and research articles next month!

Friday, September 18, 2009

September SGFA Round-Up

Blink....summer's over and the chill of fall is in the air! Our September SGFA Round-Up is long over due - so take a look at these updates and we hope to see you at one of our many events this fall! Without further ado....

Upcoming SGFA Events
  • September 26th - SGFA Meeting at 12PM at the Westbrook Library, with Guest Speaker, Kim Snow, Owner of Aleia's; please RSVP by emailing our new secretary at lunajake AT
  • Stay tuned for details on the rest of our fall events:
  • October 17th - Mystery Luncheon: A gluten-free lunch extravaganza at a surprise local restaurant!
  • November 14th - A Taste of Gluten-Free in CT and Beyond! Come and taste them all at the Westbrook Firehouse. Gluten free vendors from around CT and beyond will be bring their products for you to taste!
  • December 12th - GF Holiday Cookie Swap: The very popular, kid-friendly, SGFA cookie swap at the Westbrook Library - yummy!
Restaurant Updates
  • Bell' Amici in Guilford - Currently offering a in a gluten free menu -- and here is link to a coupon too!
  • Chain Restaurants with Gluten Free Menus - This is a nice article with links to the set of chain restaurants that have developed a gluten-free menu. A few surprises like Olive Garden!? :-) I would be interested in hearing if any of you have tried these and what your experience was like! Post a comment below...
  • Paperback Cafe - There was a wonderful article on Russ and the Paperback Cafe in the Day in mid-August - here is the link if you missed it. Also includes his recipe for GF Chicken Parm!
Member Travels

One of members, Kristin, traveled to Italy this summer - and had this to report!

Last month I traveled to Italy...where it was unbelievably easy for me to eat! Almost every restaurant I walked into had gluten-free pasta on Rome as well as smaller cities. One night, I ordered gelato and was surprised to see that the person helping me washed his scoop and took out a fresh bin of gelato for me...without my even asking! It was really refreshing to see how Celiacs are treated in other countries...I hope we catch up here soon!

It took me a while to figure out, but all the gluten-free products are sold in the pharmacy! Schar has quite a number of excellent products in Europe (ciabatta breads, chocolate croissants, focaccia, baguettes, etc) that they apparently don't sell/ship here because they are perishable. There is also another great brand that I encountered in Europe called "Galbusera," which had amazing crackers and cookies. If you are interested, below are two sites that carry some of the products I found: Thanks for the update Kristin!

Product Suggestions
  • Are you longing for good GF at pizza at home? That is BRILLIANT? Run to Foodworks in Old Saybrook and pick an Against the Grain pizza crust...I will never go back to any other pre-made pizza crust at home. Crunchy crust, yet chewy too...can withstand a good amount of sauce. Lovely! Try it now!
  • Are you also looking for a hamburger/sandwich roll that won't break the bank? Try The Grainless Baker Buns (also sold at Foodworks)! You get 6 rolls for under $6! And they are good! Give them a try and let me know what you think!
Research & News Articles
That's all for now - stay in touch and see you this fall!

Friday, July 24, 2009

July SGFA Round-Up

Happy Summer!

Restaurant Updates
  • Grand Apizza Shoreline: Located at 9 East Main Street in Clinton, Grand Apizza is now offering Still Riding GF pizza and GF beer. Call 860-669-1204 for more information - Thanks to Sue for passing this on!
  • Wendy's Update and Report: One of our members recently went to Wendy's and had this story to share: "We ordered fries. At the bottom of my fries was a breaded chicken piece. So much for gluten free! Eric went to the Wendy's website to send off an e-mail to Customer Service. That's when we found out about their fries and their new disclaimer as of June, 2009." You can view the new GF list for Wendy's here. Thanks to Eric and Claudia for letting us know!
  • PF Changs Bistro: Have you checked this out yet? I had a great GF meal at the PF Changs in Stamford on our way to New Jersey this past week. The menu is full of tasty options! I had the lettuce wraps (messy but tasty), the fried rice (good, needed a little more GF soy sauce (which they gave me!!)), and the spicy chicken (which was the closest thing the General Tsao's chicken that I have had in years!).... overall, a great GF experience! If you've tried it out, let us know how it was for you!
  • Are you traveling to Boston? Check out Nebo and report back! The owners wrote to Sybil and I and shared their story: "Nebo is a traditional Italian restaurant offering dishes based on recipes that were passed down from our mother and grandmother. After being open for about a year, two of our closest friends were told they had Celiac disease. We then realized just how many people this disease has affected and the need for an alternative for their dining restrictions. Determined to serve our friends their favorites, we set upon making our menu available in a gluten free form. We are thrilled to say that we have now produced 90% of our menu with the same great taste as our regular menu. We don't think there has been an accomplishment that has brought us more pleasure." They offer GF pasta and pizza....but we haven't tried it yet! Have you?
Product Updates and News

  • Grandma's Goodies: These tasty delights are now available at Foodworks in Old Saybrook. From italian bread to banana bread to muffins to cookie, it all looks good! (The banana bread is fantastic!) One member shared, "It is the first Gluten Free product a non-GF person could like. I was really impressed." Check it out!
  • Missing Oreos?: According to Beth Hilson, these are the closest product to actually Oreos - I haven't tried them yet! Have you? Let us know how they are...
  • It's Summer...nothing like a cold beer!: Lea passed on this article on GF beers...CHEERS!
  • Betty Crocker GF Baking Mixes: Now available on Amazon!
New & Interesting Information
  • ABC News Story on Celiac: Passed on by one of our members, the article talks about one woman's struggle with Celiac. It also includes a good string of articles and a great new magazine (Delight Magazine) referenced within the article which has a nice website! Looks interesting...
  • Tax Deduction for Gluten-Free Foods as a Medical Expense: This is from one of our members, Laura, thanks for letting us know! You may deduct the cost of gluten-free products that are in excess of the cost of the gluten containing product that you are replacing. Special items are completely tax deductible. An example would be xantham gum, a product used in gluten free baking recipes. Xanthum gum is completely different than any ingredient used in an ordinary recipe. And as we all know, xanthum gum ain’t cheap! If you make a special trip to a specialty store to purchase gluten free foods, the actual cost of the trip to and from the store is deductible. If you are using your vehicle for the trip, you may deduct a certain amount per mile each way you travel. To find out the most up to date rates for mileage deductions, visit The Celiac Disease Foundation. Their resource page on tax deductions outlines very clearly the process you need to follow if you plan to claim deductions as a medical expensive. They even provide a spreadsheet template to get you started with recording your expenses.
  • Celiac on NPR: NPR has done a nice article on celiac, complete with recipes.
  • From the Celiac Disease Center: The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University hosted a Thought Leader’s Program in June which included the following presentations:
    Introduction to the Center and recent new information on celiac disease, Evaluation of poorly responsive patients, Why see an expert nutritionist for evaluation of celiac disease, and Nutrient and vitamin replacement. These presentations are available on You Tube and can be accessed at Enjoy!
Make Your Voice Heard!
  • Orange Valencia Cake at Starbucks: Sadly, Starbucks has decided to discontinue its GF Orange Valencia Cake. It really was quite a tasty treat! If you are as bugged as I am, sign this petition and make your voice heard! [Here is a little more background on what they have replaced it with...]
As always, thank you for your submissions and links! Enjoy the sunshine!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

SGFA Quick News - more updates coming!

Hope this finds everyone enjoying the summer sun that has FINALLY arrived on the Shoreline!

A couple quick news items....

  • SGFA at the Lace Factory Marketplace - TODAY! July 15th from 3:30 - 6:3oPM with Channel 3! The Lace Factory Marketplace is one of the newest farmers markets on the Shoreline - complete with amazing cheeses, veggies, berries, coffee, and hand crafted items - it is a great addition to our community. Sybil and Grandma's Goodies will be there to provide samples and give out information! The Lace Factory Marketplace is located in Deep River, located on River Road, opposite the Landing in Deep River. See their website for more information - come for a visit!
  • NEW SAVE THE DATE! Our Strategic Planning session will be held on Monday, August 24th at 5 PM. For those that can arrive around 5, we will start with a social hour, with a pot luck supper starting at 6. The meeting place be held at the Westbrook Firehouse, located in the center of Westbrook and convenient for everyone. More information will be available by Mid August.
More to come - happy summer everyone!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

SGFA June Roundup!


Thank you to ECHO Salon and all of SGFA supporters who helped to make our May 31st Cut-A-Thon a fantastic success! The funds raised will support the development of our school program which will educate schools on how to better support and provide options for GF students! THANK YOU!

Restaurant News and Updates

Panera Bread - Panera's does have certain gf items available. They also have an ingredient binder next to the cashier- at least they are supposed to have one in every store. This was confirmed by two of Sybil's grandchildren who worked there. The chicken is safe - it is coated with rice flour, the salads are ok, and some of their soups are gf. In case you get caught eating there when with friends, there are things we can eat besides gazing at the pastries and breads!

Traveling this Summer?
Good GF options on the road include: Dairy Queen ice cream is gluten free and Wendy's is always a good choice for safe, fast gf food: you can enjoy the chili, baked potatoes, french fries, grilled chicken/salads and Frosties. Do you have more tips? Send them over...or comment down below!

Restaurant Warnings

Max's chain of restaurants does have a gluten free menu however, we need to put out a disclaimer: "Dine there at your own risk!" The one in downtown Hartford and in Glastonbury so far seem to be ok, but the new burger place in West Hartford evidently is having problems in the kitchen, as several people have gotten sick. Also, be very careful at Uno's if you are going for the pizza -- although we had originally heard good things. In addition, The Fresh Meadow product is supposedly excellent, but something is going on the kitchen to render it nearly inedible. Two complaints so far, one at the site at the Danbury Mall and one In Machester. Also, word has been received that the new grilled chicken at KFC is NOT gluten-free. Beware!

One last restaurant to note. At It's Only Natural in Middletown, they check off items on their menu that are gluten-free. One of those items - the sweet potato fries - are checked off, but when asked for more information, it turns out they are made in a shared fryer. Be sure to tell your server you are celiac and have a severe allergy! [We did try to explain to our server that if done in a shared fryer, they are not GF...but to no avail.] The GF sweet potato enchiladas though - were fantastic!

Article of Interest
  • SFGA member, Laurencia Ciprus, recently wrote an article for the Old Saybrook Events Magazine about our group and its origins. The article is on page 42 - you can read it here. Thank you for sharing our story!
Product Finds and Discoveries
  • In support of Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Jones Dairy Farm will donate $5 to the Celiac Disease Foundation for every gluten-free gift pack ordered during May and June. View all of Jones' Gluten-Breakfast Gift Packs - maybe the perfect GF Father's Day gift? The packages includes GF pancake mix, syrup, and a package of gf bacon, sausage, or turkey breakfast patties! YUM!
  • We recently found out that Glutino/Gluten Free Pantry brands are actually owned by the Betty Crocker label. The cake, cookie, and brownnie mixes will be out soon and the Gluten Free Pantry label will be fazed out and the prices should come down. Betty Crocker's website has some more information about the new products -- looking forward to trying them!
Upcoming Events

Are you interested in shaping the future of SGFA or getting more involved in our association? Attend our planning meeting in July - more details will be distributed via Sybil's July Newsletter. The date will most likely shift from Saturday, July 18th to Monday evening, July 13th at 5PM - stay tuned for more details! If you can not attend the meeting but have suggestions, don't hesitate to email Sybil or comment below! Thank you for all of your ongoing support!

Friday, May 15, 2009

SGFA Weekly Roundup!

Events, restaurants news, product finds, and resources!

Upcoming Events

SGFA May Meeting: Join us on Saturday, May 16, 2009, at 10 am - please note change in time - at the Westbrook Library. Linda Lawton, owner "Olivia's Garden", Master Gardener, will be giving a talk on "Getting started, What You Need to Know about Organic Gardening". And...Mary Lawrence, owner of "WellonWheels", Chef & Nutritionist will demonstrate "Cooking Organically for Healthier Living". RSVP via email - Hope you can join us!

SGFA on Channel 8: Tune in to Channel 8 on Sunday, May 31st at 7:40am to see some of Board members and members talking about Celiac Awareness Month and helping schools better support children who are gluten intolerant!

Restaurant Suggestions & News
  • GF Pizza at Uno's Pizzeria! Can you believe it? I had to check out the menu to believe it -- hard to tell if it is available at every Uno's so I would suggest call ahead to the restaurant location you are interested in. If you have a chance to try it - let us know how it is!! (We've heard it's fantastic!!) Here is a coupon for $1 off! As an additional bonus as May is Celiac Awareness Month, print this coupon and 20% off your order will be donated to the American Celiac Disease Alliance - go and bring friends!
  • Mangetout Organic Cafe on State Street in New London is suggested by one of our members. The owner and her son are usually there. It is open for breakfast and lunch only. The menu changes daily. Items on the menu can easily be adjusted to be GF (for example, a wrap with GF components can be changed into a salad version with no wrap). They are very accomodating for ALL allergies. Their food supply is very locally-based and have simple, organic ingredients. There is a Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisp Bar that is divine!!! They also do GF birthday cakes with buttercream frosting and flowers! Sybil also say, "The coffee is superb!"
  • Hankering for a vegetarian gluten-free dinner? Check out Shoreline Diner in Guilford.
  • Enjoy waterfront dining? Aqua in Clinton (34 Riverside Dr, Clinton, CT 06413) has excellent food, beautiful view from the outside terrace-- well-informed chef. Don't eat the french fries but just about everything else is available for the gf diner... call ahead, please.
Product Finds
  • Liz Lovely Cookies: Sybil says they are divine and you can get a taste if you are able to attend the May SGFA meeting!!

  • Kim, one of our members, reported, "I served Sherrie's Streusel Topped Blueberry pie hot with vanilla ice cream and everyone raved! Also made French toast from Le Garden Bakery's Challah Bread with raisins. Yum. Both from It's Only Natural, Middletown, pricey but worth it."
  • Nature's Grocer in Vernon( making brilliant GF everything bagels. They also have a huge selection- the store is about the size of FW but it's ALL gf!!! For lactose intolerant celiacs, they will soon be carrying a goat milk cream cheese guaranteed to taste like the real thing, goat milk ice cream, and they already carry lactose-free ice cream. Worth the drive!
  • Aleai's will be coming out with a real gluten-free French bread on or about June 1st - watch for it in stores and restaurants...
  • Betty Crocker will reveal GF brownie and cake mixes in stores on or about June 1st as well, if you don't see them, ASK. Watch out also for General Mills GF cereals at about the same time.

  • GIG Resources: A great link to all of the informational publications from GIG, includes "Getting Started", "GF Diet", "Medical Awareness", and "Eating Out" - very helpful!
  • Navigating Restaurants: - This link comes from William Beverly entitled "How to tell if a G-F menue is truly G-F" -- chock full of good questions for your favorite local restaurant manager. It is at:
  • The Impact of NonDiagnosis: Recently, a team of Mayo Clinic researchers conducted an assessment of the long-term outcome of undiagnosed celiac disease, and whether the prevalence of undiagnosed celiac disease has changed during the past 50 years. The research team found that data from the 45 year of follow-up of subjects showed that people with undiagnosed celiac disease have a 400% higher risk of death than seronegative subjects ("non-celiacs"). They also concluded that rates of undiagnosed celiac disease seem have increased dramatically in the United States over the last 50 years.Read more here.
  • From Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University: A recently published set of recommendations of the National Commission on Digestive Diseases titled "Opportunities and Challenges in Digestive Diseases Research". This report reflects the scope and challenges provided by digestive diseases in the United States. It is encouraging to see celiac disease receive equal attention as other serious GI problems. Check it out!
As always, thank you for your submissions, suggestions, and research finds - continue to send them on - or post them as comments here! The information we are able to share is only as good as the information we are able to put our hands on - thank you for your help in making this blog a helpful resource to our members.

Off to track down some of that Uno's GF pizza.... :-)

Friday, May 1, 2009

SGFA Weekly Roundup!

First Gluten-Free Conference sponsored by SGFA

Our entire Board is so grateful for the association members, family members, interested community members, workshop presenters, and supporters who joined us on Saturday, April 25th - a gorgeous sunny day by the river - for our first conference for individuals who are gluten-free. We were honored to have Cynthia Kupper, R.D., Executive Director, Gluten Intolerance Group, and & Beth Hillson, President, American Celiac Alliance & founder of Gluten Free Pantry, as well as Kim Snow, owner of Aleia's Bakery, join us for the day!

Thank you as well to Alexa Carlson Catering for the amazing GF lunch buffet! As one attendee said, "That was the first buffet I have walked through that I felt safe to eat the food! Thank you!"

Enjoy these pics from the day!

Welcome by Mary Jane Engle of the CT River Area Health District

Cynthia & Sybil
Our Esteemed Panel -
Beth Hillson, Food Editor Living Without Magazine, Alex Lawton, SGFA Teen Rep, Kim Snow, owner of Aleia's Bakery, Ida Mae Kelley, Enfield
Listening to Our PanelThe Amazing GF Lunch Buffet
Enjoying Lunch

Thank you once again for organizing such a wonderful event.
And what a nice setting on the water, too!

The food was wonderful - I can't believe gluten-free food could taste so good!

I'd like to add my name to what was probably a long list of satisfied attendees.
It was a most enjoyable, informative, AND delicious day!!

Thank you to our members, our sponsors, and the companies
that donated products to make our first conference a success!

Restaurant News
  • Paperback Cafe in Old Saybrook is now officially a GIG restaurant, Cynthia and Sybil awarded the restaurant its door seal last night and the chef is so happy. Russ said he will start making GF muffins and scones soon, by mid May, but the regular GF menu is approved and he is doing a brisk business with it. (Note: The pesto pizza is great!!)
  • Nature's Grocer in Vernon (intersection of Rts 30-31, exit 67), a totally gluen-free grocery store AND cafe,is now an official GIG location, serving breakfast on Saturday, pizza on Fri nite, great bread, muffins and cookies, excellent lunches and soups. They are now a certified GF restaurant, have been open about a year. If anyone finds themselves in that part of I-84, they now have a place to eat and shop! Hours, M-F, 9-7, Sat. 9-4. Closed Sunday. Website is
Products & Finds
  • Great pasta!: The name of the amazing pasta mentioned at the conference is La Veneziane and can be purchased at Olive Nation
  • Questions about the truffles from Dee's One Smart Cookie: they are diabetic friendly, prepared with black bean flour, agave nectar, almonds, eggs, and almond extract, and are a total all protein treat! Dee's is open Mon 12-6, Tues-Wed-Thurs-Fri- 9-6, Sat. 9-3. Closed Sunday. Products will soon be delivered to Food Works, Old Saybrook. Birthday cakes,etc will be available on a special order, pre-paid basis. Watch for the announcement during May. Website is
  • Member find: here is a new line of breads at Foodworks from Le Garden Bakery. One of our members tried the Swedish Rye Bread -- and said "it was fantastic. Rye has been something that I have craved for..and this was not only a great Rye, but a great bread. You've got to try it!"
  • GF Cheat Sheet: Katrina the Gluten Freee Goddess recently posted a GF Cheat Sheet for people who are newly diagnosed - very helpful!
  • Recommended Newsletter: The newsletter from Clan Thompson's Celiac Site is recommended by one of our members - check it out here.
Take Action!
Upcoming Events
  • Chip In For Celiac Golf Tournament 2009: The Wheeler family invites you to for a day of great golf, food and friends to raise money for a great cause. The event is on Friday, May 15, 2009 -- if you are interested, you can view their website for more information. Proceeds are going to the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland and a donation from the proceeds will be made to the Greater New Haven Celiac Group.
  • SGFA May Meeting: Join us on Saturday, May 16, 2009, at 10 am - please note change in time - at the Westbrook Library. Linda Lawton, owner "Olivia's Garden", Master Gardener, will be giving a talk on "Getting started, What You Need to Know about Organic Gardening". And...Mary Lawrence, owner of "WellonWheels", Chef & Nutritionist will demonstrate "Cooking Organically for Healthier Living". RSVP via email - Hope you can join us!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009



Positive Change:
Leaving the past behind and
going forward

10:30AM -3:00 PM

Keynote Speaker:
Executive Director
Gluten Intolerance Group, North America
American Celiac Alliance & founder
of Gluten Free Pantry

Send your payment of $25 for members/$30 for non-members to:
Sybil Nassau
Founder/Branch Manager
Shoreline Gluten Free GIG Association
25 Hunters Ridge
Westbrook, CT 06498
Checks must by received no later than Wednesday, April 22nd.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

SGFA Weekly Roundup!

FROM SCOTT ADAMS CELIAC.COM WEBSITE THE NEWS OF THE FIRST EVER VACCINE FOR CELIAC BEING DEVELOPED AND TESTED IN AUSTRALIA. Check the website for further information. This idea is based on the de-sensitization process being used sucessfully for peanut allergies and could extend to many other kinds of allergies. Fascinating development.

ON THE RESTAURANT SCENE THIS WEEK, COMES NEWS FROM SHORELINE DINER IN GUILFORD! A gluten-free menu is being developed; the first item is a Tinkyata pasta dish: Mediterranean Penne with Artichoke Hearts, White Beans, Sundried Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives and Fresh Spinach. SGFA member Mary Lawrence is working with them to have more vegan/gluten free dishes available. If you dine there regularly, let them know!!! Sounds good enough for a field trip!

POSITIVE CHANGE CONFERENCE APRIL 25! Reservations are starting to come in-- if you plan to attend, checks must be received by April 22. With speakers like Beth Hillson and Cynthia Kupper, what else do you need? Sorry, we cannot "hold seats" due to space limits. There are 66 chairs- we are down to less than 45. Email for applications and information. Watch for news releases and posters in every community!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dee's One Smart Cookie- Glastonbury

If you missed the big spread in Thursday's Hartford Courant about this incredible bakery, believe it! The place is tiny, and the line was out to he parking lot, filled with people waiting to get in the door. Run, walk, fly-- but get thee to Dee's in Glastonbury, not far from the exit to Hebron Ave off Rt 2, turn left on Hebron Ave and look for the sign. I even took pictures of some goodies. She is known for beautifully decorated birthday cakes and cupcakes, really great-tasting breads, truffles, lemon bars- everything! Watch the blog for news about possible delivery to the shoreline starting in May. It's in the works! More soon....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

SGFA Weekly Roundup!

Upcoming Events

Saturday, March 21st - SGFA Monthly Meeting - CHILIFEST!

This Saturday, at the Westbrook Library, at noon will be the SGFA Monthly Meeting - complete with our own Chillifest! There will be a variety of chilis for all to taste -- we are still looking for side dishes, soda, ice and Easter desserts. Don't like chili? come on down anyway- the raffle prizes we have collected will be worth the price of admission! See you there, pardner! RSVP to Sybil by Thursday, 3/19 via email: shoreglutenfree Family and friends are welcome!

Saturday, April 25th - Positive Living Conference
We are also very pleased to announce our Postive Living Conference, to be held on Saturday, April 25th, from 11AM - 3PM at the Pavilion in Old Saybrook (which is located next to Dock n' Dine.) The event will include a catered gluten-free lunch, panels, speakers, and workshops. We are honored to have Cynthia Kupper, Executive Director of the national Gluten Intolerance Group, as our keynote speaker for the event. Please join us for what will be a very special event. The event will be $25 for members, $30 for non-members. RSVP to Sybil via email: shoreglutenfree

Take Action!
  • Citizen's Petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to Make Drugs Gluten-Free: (By Michael Weber Published 02/6/2009) Have you, as a Celiac, ever suspected that the medicine you were taking was making you sick? It could be because that pill or capsule was made with gluten. That’s because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows pharmaceutical companies to use wheat gluten, a large protein that celiacs can’t eat, to be used as a mixing agent in drugs. Drug companies use chemical agents called excipients as inert additives to mix and bind the actual active ingredient of a drug so that you can take it in the form of a conveniently sized pill. Currently gluten is on the list of permitted excipients that you might be taking without even knowing it. There is, however, something you can do. I petitioned the FDA to get gluten gone for good. I asked my congresswoman to write a letter to the FDA highlighting her concern about my petition. And any citizen can comment to the FDA about my petition, for or against. You can ask your congressman to pay attention to the decision, which the FDA is about to make. Now that I’ve wound you all up, here is how to contact the FDA. Go on the internet and surf to and enter the Docket number of my petition, 2008-P-0333, which you might enjoy reading. My petition is called Michael Weber of New York State. Highlight the line for comments of submissions, and then tell them what you think and who you are. Tell the FDA why you think there shouldn’t be any gluten in your medicine—please do it now!
  • Students with Celiac Disease Need Your Help ASK Congress Take Action!
    Reimburse Schools for Special Diets: It's time again for Congress to re-evaluate the child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. This is your chance to tell lawmakers about the needs of celiac students and urge funding for special diets so that ALL children can have lunch at school. Click this link to write a letter to your legislators.
Board & Member "Finds"
  • Still Riding Pizza at Iliano's: The Board met at the Iliano's in Old Lyme and enoyed yummy yummg GF pizza - my first time! We did learn a couple of tips though: 1) be sure to order your pizza well done - with extra suace - to really get that good crunchy crust! 2) If the regular size (a 12" pizza) is too big for you...Still Riding does offer a 9" size, both on their website as well as to restaurants. Just ask the restaurant to order the 9" - for your next visit! 3) Re-heating leftovers...according to the makers : "It does re-heat very well the following way: in a very hot oven (400+) on a pan with holes or right on the rack of the oven or toaster oven. You can't microwave, and you can't reheat on a flat cookie sheet." Hope that helps gf pizza fans!
  • We would also like to let you know that our own Teen Rep, Alex Lawton, has just started his own blog - "Gluten Free Boy" - for teens and kids with gluten intolerance. Check it out and pass it on!
  • One of our readers (Judy, all the way from Poway, CA!) recommends the cookbook, THE GLUTEN FREE ITALIAN COOKBOOK by Mary Capone. She says, "The bread actually tastes like bread, the popovers pop, the all purpose flour mix is the best I have tried, and the pie crust is pretty darn good."
Looking forward to seeing all of you soon! Stay safe!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

SGFA Weekly Roundup!

Thank you to De Puma Gluten Free Pasta!

Our last monthly meeting was an amazing event with over 40 people in attendance. Thank you to John and all of you for making it such a special day!

Yummy GF Pasta!

Enjoying Lunch!

Talking with John

As a result of our luncheon with John DePuma, you will soon be able to order DePuma's products at the Illiano's retaurants in New London, Middletown and Old Lyme. Watch for news! You may also purchase DePuma's products at his store front in North Haven. Your membership card will entitle you to 10% discount on the total order. Food Works in Old Saybrook has the products, and will soon be carrying the cavatelli we enjoyed at the event.

Restaurant Suggestions
  • Have you tried Four Seasons Market in Branford? They have a nice cafeteria to have lunch and wonderful GF baked goods. They also have natural and organic foods and produce and abundant GF products, including a great selection of The Grainless Bakery Breads, including pumpernickle. The GF baked goods are handcrafted by their own baker who also makes GF Birthday Cakes to order! An SGFA member recently had an amazing pumpkin/blueberry muffin and coffee and enjoyed it overlooking their patio.
    They are also a great supporter of SGFA. (875 W Main St, Branford, CT 06405;

Board Update
  • First Selectmen's Meeting: All agreed to get behind the idea that gluten intolerance is a public health issue and have pledged to support our efforts with proclamations for the month of May being "Celiac Awareness Month". (Old Saybrook, Deep River, Clinton, Essex.)
  • Local Convalescent Homes: Celiac patients living at local convalescent homes will soon not have to worry about their meals. Nutritionist Alessyana Quimby, a member of SGFA, will be training the staff at Gladeview during the month of March, a program which will become a model for other Homes in the area. As we suspected, the problem is not so much the food but the cross- contamination issues, but the lack of dedicated toasters and utensils and properly- trained staff. The owner of Gladeview has offered to allow us to hold a HEALTH AND WELLNESS FAIR at their facility also on a Saturday in early MAY, complete with GF vendors, and the VNA present to help us further the goal in getting more people tested. This is only in the discussion stages. Would you be interested in volunteering on this event? Contact Sybil.
  • Lots of great events in the works for the spring including a Chili Fest and Positive Living Conference! See below for more details!
News and Links

Diagnosing Celiac
  • Celiac Becoming Easier to Diagnose: After years of being misdiagnosed and even having her gallbladder removed, Harriet Harter finally found out she had celiac disease. Her gastroenterologist, Dr. Narayanachar S. Murali, says it is becoming easier for doctors to pinpoint celiac disease. "Refinements in diagnosis and higher suspicion of the disease by doctors is leading to more frequent diagnosis of the problem in people with atypical symptoms or no external manifestations of the disease.
  • New IBS Guidelines: On December 18, 2008, The American College of Gastroenterology issued new guidelines for management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The new guidelines now include: "IBS patients with diarrhea or a mixture of diarrhea and constipation should be screened with blood tests for celiac disease, a condition in which one cannot tolerate the gluten protein found in wheat and other grains." It is often difficult to differentiate between IBS and celiac disease, so this recommendation to test all IBS patients with CD symptoms is an important milestone.
Living Gluten Free Videos and Photographs
  • WebMd - A nice introduction to living GF - with photographs and tips
  • - A new video site with short videos reviewing products and tips for cooking
  • From Karina's Kitchen - Recently diagnosed? Blue about living gluten-free? Taste this is a gluten-free slide show featuring over one hundred juicy photographs of tempting gluten-free recipes.
Helpful Links (from one of our members!)

Upcoming SGFA Events & Membership

Saturday, March 21st, 12PM: Chili Cookoff - Family Day @ The Westbrook Library
We would like both meat and veggie chili, at least 3 of each, donations of corn bread, side dishes and favorite easter desserts. Let Sybil know if you would be interested in cooking for this event.

Saturday, April 25th, 8:30AM: Positive Living Conference. Watch for publicity! Event will include speakers, workshops, special keynote address by Cynthia Kupper, Executive Director of GIG, with GF catered luncheon. Old saybrook location, small charge for members.

Are you a member yet?
Learn about the latest news on the research front, hear about the newest products, meet a group of wonderful people who share your world - raffles & free goodies! We encourage a positive, healthy approach to leading a gluten-free lifestyle, so why not join? Try us out!

Please send membership dues to: Sybil Nassau, Founder, SGFA, 25 Hunters Ridge, Westbrook, Ct 06498. Cost: $10 For Individuals, $15 For Families.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

SGFA Monthly Meeting - February 21st

We are VERY excited about our upcoming monthly SGFA meeting - our February meeting will be a treat for YOUR taste buds-- SAT. FEB. 21, 2009, 12 NOON - at the Westbrook Library. We are serving a complete BUFFET luncheon featuring products by DePuma's (of New Haven) -- including SALAD, BREAD, DESSERT AND BEVERAGE.

Exec. Chef John DePuma will bring his products for us to try!

He will talk briefly about his restaurant in New Haven. Following lunch, we will gather in small groups, and talk about what makes YOU feel GOOD!

This meeting only: $2.00 for paid members, $5 for non-members. NO WALKINS, PLEASE!

RSVP A MUST! BY 2/19/09, EMAIL OR PHONE (860-399-3410)

Please bring a side dish or dessert to share (4)


For reservations: Email shoreglutenfree@

WHY BELONG TO SGFA? Learn about the latest news on the research front, hear about the newest products, meet a group of wonderful people who share your world - raffles & free goodies! We encourage a positive, healthy approach to leading a gluten-free lifestyle, so why not join? Try us out!

Please send membership dues to: Sybil Nassau, Founder, SGFA, 25 Hunters Ridge, Westbrook, Ct 06498. Cost: $10 For Individuals, $15 For Families.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

SGFA Weekly Roundup!

Welcome to this week's roundup - lots of yummy news and updates!

Restaurant Updates

We are very happy to report that John De Puma, maker of De Puma Pasta, has started another role as Executive Chef at dolci (a new modern, New York style lounge) in New Haven, CT. dolci is located at 932 State Street. Here you can have DePuma's Cavatelli tossed with wild mushrooms, arugula and truffle essence. John has other gluten free options on the menu so please come down and taste some great gluten free food! Check out a recent review here.

Product Updates - Cereals

Have you tried the new Rice Chex? This tidbit comes from a reader of - the recipes look great! Maybe for today's big game?

"Hi, Beth, I just wanted to mention that the box of Rice Chex that I bought just a few days ago was indeed gluten free but was not labeled on the front as the previous boxes I had purchased were. On the front, there was no mention that it was GF, however on the side of the box was a wonderful write-up about Celiac Disease and the Celiac Disease Foundation which they are partners with. I thought it was a nice way for the company to present it and wonderful that it is in a main stream market. I hope non-GF people read it and become aware of this disease. Rice Chex also has a website with gluten free recipes. They look fun and I’m looking forward to trying some for my 8 year old daughter. Here’s the website: Thanks, Camille"

Do you have a little one with gluten intolerance that likes Dora the Explorer? This tip also comes from a reader of

"Hi Beth, My GFCF 2 1/2 year old is a huge Dora the Explorer fan and at a recent grocery trip I found a cereal with her on the box. While hiding the box cover from my son, I quickly scanned the ingredients and found no gluten or dairy sources. I bought it and later confirmed on the phone with General Mills that it is, in fact, gluten-free and casein-free. In fact the representative stated that General Mills discloses not only wheat, but gluten as well, if a product of theirs contains these allergens. WOW was our son excited when I showed him the box later that day. It's a handy take along snack for us now that he really enjoys. Molly"

I also found this blog with a nice listing of mainstream GF cereals - it's a bit dated - but is a good overview. As always - check the ingredients before you purchase! Happy breakfast!

Do you have other recommendations? Post your ideas here on the blog!

A Heartwarming GF Story

Another wonderful story from SGFA Board Member, Liz. Grab the tissues!

"I just have to share the day Alex and I had Monday with you all. I wanted to take her out to lunch with my Mom after we went shopping for me, which was obviously VERY boring for Alex. We decided to try the Paperback Cafe, although I was hesitant, because I am always a bit worried that going out will be a disappointment for her. So, we went, and it was booming. All tables were full, and there were three parties to be seated in front of us. The wait was not too long, and it was definitely worth it.

Alex ordered the cheeseburger, and let me tell you it was like a light shone down from Heaven and angels began singing when the waitress put the plate down in front of her! It was a beautiful cheeseburger perched atop a gorgeous GF bun surrounded by glistening lightly seasoned baked fries. After sufficient smooshing so that it might fit, Alex wrapped her mouth around that incredible burger, and began beaming. She was only able to eat half, as it was huge, but she enjoyed every bite! While the price was a bit higher than I would have liked to have paid (atleast for "regular food"), I don't think you can put a price on that type of reaction from your child, especially one who usually is met with bitter disappointment when it comes to food.

Then, we decided to run into Food Works to get a loaf of Kinnickinick. We have only ever gone to the FW in Guilford, and it is a different world!! We were trying to find the freezer case when we came upon a huge sign that said, "Gluten Free Food". The freezer was packed with all kinds of items and even multiple brands of certain items. Then we turned and saw a huge rack with another sign above it, full of GF offerings, and then yet another! By the time we perused everything and made our way up to the register, both Alex and I had armfuls of GF foods. Included in our bounty were 8 packages of Ian's chicken nugget meals on sale for $2.49 instead of the $5.00 to $7.00 price tag we usually pay! At the register we then met Paul, the gracious owner, who was delightful. He was so friendly and enthusiastic about the GF community that I could have cried. The icing on the cake (gf of course!) was when he gave Alex a mood ring that she was eyeing, on the house! She was literally dancing and skipping down Main Street as we made our way back to the car.

For people who don't face dietary restrictions, they might have thought us crazy, but for those who have faced the sometimes daunting and disappointing GF frontier, I am sure they can identify with our excitment and joy at such a rare glorious day of delicious restaurant fare and successful grocery shopping!"

Upcoming SGFA Events & Membership

We are equally excited about our upcoming monthly SGFA meeting - our February meeting will be a treat for YOUR taste buds-- SAT. FEB. 21, 2009, 12 NOON - at the Westbrook Library. We are serving a complete BUFFET luncheon featuring products by DePuma's (of New Haven)! If you haven't yet tried DePuma's Ravioli, in the freezer case at Food Works, now is your chance-!

John will talk about his business and how he came to start it. Paid members ONLY will be given a discount coupon to visit his restaurant in New Haven, ONLY if you attend this meeting and have paid dues for this year! You need an official membership card! We will also share news about other restaurants with gluten-free menus who will soon be offering discounts to paid members! RSVP to Sybil -- shoreglutenfree @

WHY BELONG TO SGFA? Learn about the latest news on the research front, hear about the newest products, meet a group of wonderful people who share your world - raffles & free goodies! We encourage a positive, healthy approach to leading a gluten-free lifestyle, so why not join? Try us out!

Please send membership dues to: Sybil Nassau, Founder, SGFA, 25 Hunters Ridge, Westbrook, Ct 06498. Cost: $10 For Individuals, $15 For Families.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who attended the January meeting of the Shoreline Gluten Free Association - we had a wonderful group, including many new faces! We enjoyed two amazing soups donated by Kettle Cuisine - clam chowder and roasted vegetable - and they were... AMAZING! Everyone raved about the chowder - which had fresh clams and a thick, tasty creamy base - a huge hit! You can purchase these soups locally at Foodworks II in Old Saybrook -- but also at these locations - listed on their website. Definitely check them out on the next cold day when you've got hankering for soup! We were also treated to yummy gf desserts brought by our members - and a special thanks to Jennifer for the carrot cake - brilliant!

To kick off the meeting, we did a round-robin - the theme was "your favorite product/tip/find/observation" of the week! Here's what some of our members shared:
  • Learning that Hershey's kisses are gluten free.
  • Using brown rice flour in cooking - specifically in gravies and soups; there was also a suggestion that potato starch works well for soups as it does not coagulate like other GF flours or cornstarch do
  • Glutino pizza crust from Foodworks and Glutino's sesame bagels.
  • A breakfast suggestion... plain yogurt with fruit, nuts, dried berries and/or gf cereal
  • A restaurant find...Bell Amici in Guilford is offering GF pizza and amazing GF canolis.
  • Aleia's products, specifically the breadcrumbs!
  • The GF line of baked goods Whole Foods and the Taste of Thai brand of soups and noodles
  • Another restaurant find...Elizabeth's restaurant in Cromwell - when you arrive, let them know you are GF and would like to order the cheese rolls!
  • We learned that one of our members was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 18 years ago!
  • Bob's Red Mill gluten free rolled oats being good but somewhat hard to find.
  • San-J Soy sauce from Foodworks - also can be found at Adams in Deep River.
  • A product find...Pamela's white bread mix made in a previously-underutilized, now cherished bread machine that actually makes something that resembles bread! :-)
Thank you to everyone for sharing!

The meeting also included a brief talk by Susan McCall, our health consultant, who was kind enough to step in for the speaker that unable to join us. She spoke on the subject of "Leaky Gut Syndrome." With Leaky Gut, large food, bacteria or toxin molecules get through the small intestine and into the bloodstream. They can attach to body parts and may be attacked by antibodies causing inflammation, allergic reaction and other problems. Many serious conditions are thought to be caused in part by Leaky Gut Syndrome. She mentioned the supplements, el glutamine and Jerusalem artichoke as being helpful in "tightening up that gut." Susan also discussed some of the causes of Leaky Gut which include alcohol, NSAIDS such as Advil, naproxen, and aspirin, too much yeast. Most importantly, Susan explained that when Celiacs' intestines heal, it is possible for the intestinal environment to swing to the other end of the spectrum and lead to Leaky Gut.

Susan also talked about health and beauty issues. She passed on some thoughts from Liz Comstock from Food Works II and suggested that Celiacs need to be most concerned with lipstick and shampoo. Lipstick is a concern because it can be ingested, and shampoo is worrisome because of the possibility of hair getting in your mouth. Susan also told the group about http://www. and let the group know that there is a list of GF products available at Walgreen's Pharmacies.

It was a great meeting - thanks to everyone who joined us - and for those who could not - we look forward to seeing you at our next get-together!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

SGFA Weekly Roundup!

As our region gets doused with cold air and snow showers, we hope this finds you eating warm gf foods and enjoying the new year! Here is this week's roundup of interesting tidbits, Board updates, and news!

SGFA Board Update
The Board met last Tuesday evening - and there are some wonderful developments to report.
- Our group now has 29 paid members. A checking account was opened at Essex Savings Bank (Essex office) and all fees ,inlcuding the cost of checks, were waived. Linda Hunnicut, VP, said they would be happy to be a sponsor if we have an "event".
- Laurencia relayed Dr. Susan McColl's plans to work with physician's offices and schools with personal visits and SGFA brochures as leave behinds.
- Sybil presented the three versions of the SGFA brochures; one with a general focus, "Why Become a Member" and the other 2 directed specifically to medical practioners, or others. Liz Robison reported that her employer - CFF - has offered to underwrite the printing costs for this project. An acknowledgment will appear on the back of each brochure. THANK YOU to CFF for their contribution to supporting our efforts!
- The Board discussed the proposed theme of the February meeting - "Being Good to Yourself" as an introduction to the workshop to be held later in the Spring at The Mercy Center. The Mercy Center workshop would be an opportunity to share the emotional issues surrounding post diagnosis including loss, anger and mourning of a lifestyle. This group discussion would be led by Dr. Amit Oren PhD who is a psychologist and Yale professor who is experienced with these topics. Dates to be announced soon.
- Sybil and Laurencia shared their meeting with Mike Pace - 1st Selectman of Old Saybrook to learn more about our organization. He was very supportive! Laurencia will write an article for the quarterly periodical published by the town. She will address the Shoreline Board of Selectmen Meeting on Jan. 17 about issues critical to Gluten-Free living including public health and education sectors. The group will also be working with the Health Department and School Superintendents to support school-age children with gluten-intolerance.
- Also - keep an eye out in the Shoreline View for an article on GF Living on the Shoreline!

Restaurant Updates
This is a great update from Laurencia, and also mentioned by one of our members, Jennfier - there is now GF pizza in New London!

I just heard of a restaurant that serves gluten-free pizza in Middletown, CT. It is called Illiano's and they serve the gf pizza at two locations in Middletown as well as at their Meriden and New London locations. For their addresses, check their website at For more information about Still Riding Pizza, who supplies their pizza, check out I haven't been there yet, but I emailed the owner asking what care they take to avoid cross-contamination, and I received the following reply:

"Thanks for taking the time to find out more about my product. We are currently serving gluten free pizza at my two middletown locations, meriden, and new london. as far as insuring no contamination issues: we buy the gluten free dough from a company in bridgeport "still riding pizza." the pizza is than made in a gf environment ie: walk -in refrigerator. the pizza is placed on a designated tray that we only use for gf pizza and placed in our oven. when the pizza is fully cooked, we remove it from the oven and place it directly in a box (take-out) or on a tray (dine-in). lastly, the pizza is cut with a designated gf pizza cutter that looks entirely different from the others and is hung in a remote location. i hope this helps you with your decision of using illiano's for your pizza needs. buon appetito!"

Vinnie Scileppi
Illiano's Restaurants

Sybil also weighed in with her review -- "I have already tasted one of these and the crust is wonderful. Illianos is a good place!"

Our Events
We are very much looking forward to seeing all of you at our upcoming monthly meeting on Saturday - hope you can join us! Click here for all details.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Cookie Swap in December! Enjoy these wonderful pictures! (If you can not view them below, click here!)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Take a break from winter!


SATURDAY, JAN. 17, 2009, 12 NOON
(snow date, Sat. Jan. 24)

Uncovering hidden gluten in Prescriptions,
Cosmetics, Skin care, Vitamins and OTC products.

Speaker: Liz Comstock, Manager, Food Works II

  • Downstairs, rear entrance, park in rear lot.
  • Join us for a light lunch of soup and bread donated by vendors. We will be testing these new products! Bring a salad or dessert to share (for 4). We will provide beverages.
  • Choice of: New England Clam Chowder or Chicken Noodle.

Free for Paid Members, $5.00 for walk-ins.

Hope you can join us!

Important Note:
Dues are $10 per year for individuals or $15 for family.
Please make checks payable to "SGFA" and mail to:
Sybil Nassau, 25 Hunters Ridge,
Westbrook, CT 06498

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

The Board of the SGFA would like to wish all of our members and local supporters a very Happy 2009! Here is this week's round-up!

Articles & Information
A member recently passed on this interesting article about a celiac disease vaccine (nice to see that someone is working on this important effort!): Celiac Disease Vaccine Trials Slated for 2009

Some other sites you may find helpful:

GF Information
Connecting with Other GF Folks
  • - Gluten Free Club - This is online club; there is a fee to join, but it looks interesting if you are looking to connect with other GFers around the world.
  • There are also some great groups on Facebook as well.
Please send us any other sites that you think the group would be interested in! Or post them here - in the comments!

Board Member Ramblings
I am happy to report that I personally had a wonderful uneventful holiday season - complete with gluten-free scones (thanks to Pamela's Baking Mix), gluten-free cookies, an amazing gluten free pumpkin cheesecake and some great gluten-free bread both of which my sister-in-law made for me! How were your holidays? Any great recipes to share? Post them here!

One more reminder about the SGFA website/blog survey - please take a minute to provide your thoughts!

Looking forward to 2009 - meeting notices for the coming year will be posted shortly - we hope you will be able to join us!