Gluten and Celiac Disease


I buy all my ingredients for cooking at Jimbo’s Market ( They are a totally organic store and carry a great variety of items for people who cannot digest gluten, such as my daughter. She has celiac disease. We who live in California are fortunate because California has grocery stores such as Jimbo’s that carries options and varieties of foods to chose from for specific dietary needs. Jimbo’s carries non-traditional brands that are many times not available at the big-name markets.

My daughter did not know until several months ago that she has celiac disease. Yvette had a blood test that lets the person know definitively whether or not he or she has the disease. For those who have celiac disease, gluten is poison to their bodies. The good news is; once a person with celiac disease stops ingesting gluten, his or her body, within time, may have a chance to return to ultimate health. (

Yvette lives in the north of Spain with her family. There are more and more children being born in Spain with allergies to gluten or like Yvette have celiac disease. In our country too there are many people that have always had tummy problems but did not know their problems could all go away if they stayed off gluten. In my own family my sister and I feel that we are carriers of celiac and suspect that our father who died of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma might have had the disease.

In general, depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, anger, low energy, sleep disturbances, or loss of appetite interfere with daily life and may last for several weeks or longer.  According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), depression is persistent and can interfere with a person’s thoughts (cognitions), emotions (affect), behaviors, activity, mood, and physical health. In the general population, depression occurs twice as frequently in women than in men (APA, 2000, p. 354)

Researchers have observed an association between celiac disease and depression that dates back to the 1980s. In 1982, Swedish researchers reported, “depressive psychopathology is a feature of adult celiac disease,” as they found depressive symptoms in patients recently diagnosed with celiac. The researchers concluded that the depressive symptoms were the result of untreated celiac disease, possibly due to malabsorption (Hallert & Aström, 1982). A 1998 study reported one-third of individuals diagnosed with celiac disease also suffer from depression (Ciacci, Iavarone, Mazzacca, & De Rosa, 1998).  Adolescents with celiac disease also have higher than normal rates of depression: 31% compared to 7% of adolescents without celiac disease (Carta, Hardoy, Usai, Carpinello, & Angst, 2003).

Researchers are still exploring the link between celiac disease and depression. Most recently, a survey of 177 women with celiac disease found that 37% met the threshold for depression and 22% met the threshold for disordered eating (Arigo, Anskis, & Smyth, 2011).  (

Another interesting point — I notice that when I stay off gluten, although I don’t have a problem with it, I lose weight more easily and/or the weight stays off.

Gluten is in wheat, rye, and barley. Eating in restaurants can be a bit of a challenge when you cannot eat gluten because any trace of it is poison. It’s imperative to make sure that when grilled fish is ordered in a restaurant it doesn’t touch anything breaded that might also be on the grill at the same time.

Sometimes Yvette emails me, I think I was glutenized last night. Her term for being in a restaurant where, even though she painstakingly asks the chef and/or the waiter if they can prepare a gluten free meal, and then being assured that there will be no gluten she ends up being served some food with gluten.

Jimbo’s is so great because they have all the specialty items people need to stay away from gluten.

In my last blog post I mentioned the Organic Buckwheat Flax Baking Mix from The Pure Pantry Gluten Free and Delicious ( And it definitely is!!! Just thinking about those mouth-watering waffles makes my mouth start to water.

Pamela’s Brand, all products, are delicious too!! One key I have learned from my daughter is that it is much easier if the whole family choses to go gluten free when one or more family members have a gluten problem. I have a separate toaster that is just for gluten free toast. When buttering toast for breakfast one has to be careful not to butter all the toast with the same knife. Also, as my daughter Yvette reminded me, no double dipping into the butter! Any crumbs left in the butter will glutinize the next person who uses the butter.

Cooking gluten free foods can become a real art form. I was just visiting my younger daughter Erica whose close friend made us a delicious vegan meal, all gluten free.  Even my meat-lovin’ son-in-law found the meal delectable!

 In conclusion I am NO EXPERT but you can go to the computer and get lots of advice on this subject. If you suspect, after reading up on this subject, that you may have celiac disease, your first stop should be with your physician to get a blood test.

Happy balanced eating; vegetables, fruits and grains that are right for you.

The Author and Artist’s Quinoa Collard Greens Creation from her Garden

Happy Cooking!

 Happy Painting!

 Bye for Now



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