Gluten-Free Simplicity

Useful Info, Tasty Anecdotes and Simple Recipes for Attaining Gluten-Free Simplicity

Archive for the ‘G-F IQ’ Category

This is a draft list and more items will follow. These items may seem complicated at first look. Some of the terms are rather technical. But the concepts are relatively easy to understand at the basic level. If you see a word that you do not understand, look it up or ask a friend. Links are provide to help the study process.(c.2008, William T. Beverly).

How to Tell if a “Gluten-Free Menu” is Truly Gluten-Free

Posted by nepeht on February 2, 2009

How to Tell if a “Gluten-Free Menu” is Truly Gluten-Free

By William T. Beverly, Ph.D.

  First, it is important for me to acknowledge the efforts of Food Service People.  For one, I am very grateful for their sincere attempts at constructively addressing the important consumer need — “Gluten-Free”.

UPDATE (April 21, 2009): If you are a Food Service professional and you would like to look into this post from that perspective, please go to my site at: Gluten-Free Simplicity for Food Service Professionals .  Given the fact that this is going to be a really big issue in the food business for quite a while now, I have started working on ways to help food professionals through this.

  As a person with Celiac Disease who spent many years (about 20) working in food service, prior to just as many years in higher education, I have closely examined “Gluten-Free” Menus whenever I have been afforded the opportunity.  Following a brief period of wonder and gratitude, I could not help but start to notice the potential for misunderstandings that can lead to big problems. 

  By all means, please keep the “Gluten-Free” Menus.  But at the same time, please consider these areas that may call for closer attention.

  I can see for myself the various ways in which a food-service menu item advertised as “Gluten-Free” by well-meaning food-service planners and menu designers could be slightly altered by well-meaning restaurant staff to become Gluten-Contaminated. 

  Then I started thinking about how (given my experience) such maladies could fall between the cracks and become tragedies for both unsuspecting Celiac Disease or otherwise Gluten-Sensitive persons as well as for well-meaning restaurateurs.

  I have constructed a list which if used wisely, can help both consumers and sincere food-service persons to rule out sources of potential Gluten Contamination in the best of “Gluten-Free Menu” -offering food-service establishments.

  Please feel free to print this list and offer a copy to the managers of your favorite dining establishments.  And if anyone needs further clarification or could use some more focused help with this, I will be glad to accommodate.  My contact information is at the bottom of the list.

  1.  If you have a G-F menu, did the consultant or who ever designed it specify certain brand names for various items such as Vinegar, Rice, Pepperoni, Sauces etc. to use regardless of cost or convenience?  Are Buyer & Chef aware of these requirements and either committed or required to use these brands? (Why: Because certain brands of various ingredients are Gluten-Free and Certain brands are not.)
  2. Have key Staff (i.e., Managers, Chefs, Bartenders, Waitrons and Buyers) been oriented to the differences between Gluten-Free items and ingredients versus those with Gluten?
  3. Are key Staff (i.e., Managers, Chefs, Bartenders, Waitrons and Buyers) aware of the possible adverse and long-term effects of Gluten-Exposure?  (Why: Because staff who are aware of the seriousness of Gluten exposure may be more conscientious about serving Gluten-Free food.
  4. Have Staff been trained to leave Gluten-Contaminated off of plates upon request?  Have they been trained to offer non-Gluten substitutes? (i.e., Can they leave off the toast and substitute it with grits; or how about some fresh fruit instead of pudding?)
  5. Are preparation and line staff using the prescribed “Gluten-Free” methods and ingredients for thickening Gluten-Free sauces, gravies, soups, puddings, ice creams, shakes, icings, and toppings etc?  (Why: Perhaps the Chef has decided that flour-made Rouxs make richer cream soups than do those using Corn Starch.)
  6. Are the brands of prepared sauces used in food preparation of “Gluten-Free” items known to be “Gluten-Free”? (i.e., Vinegar, Ketchup, Tomato Sauce, Jelly, Syrup, Yogurt, Sour Cream, and Peanut Butter etc.).  (Why: Because even though the corporate recipe might call for a certain "Gluten-Free" brand of ketchup and mayonnaise used to make that Thousand Island Dressing, the Chef might have decided to use a different brand because it is less expensive — and possibly Gluten-Contaminated.)
  7. Are brands of prepared Cooking seasonings used on “Gluten-Free” items, actually “Gluten-Free” and MSG free? (i.e., Soy Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Marination, Wine, Sherry, Alcohol, Juices, Stocks, Consumes, Sprinkled Taste Boosters and Seasoning Salts). (Why, It could be that the Chef likes to  use a dash of his homemade meat tenderizer combination on ALL grilled and roasted entrees and this tiny dash has just enough Gluten to make it unsafe.)
  8. Is there possible Cross-Contamination of pre-shelled, pre-cut, pre-formed, pre-grated or milled items such as nuts, corn meal, canned fruits, cheese toppings, or prepped frozen potato items such as hash browns?  If so, do any Staff members actually  think it is acceptable to simply rinse off this item before serving in order to make it Gluten-Free? 
  9. Are any of the items being used that are NOT prescribed among the Consultant or Corporate Brands possibly Gluten Coated (i.e., Rice, Frozen Foods and Marinated items etc.)?
  10. Has Gluten been ruled out as an ingredient in certain non-suspected Pre-made items such as pop corn, pop corn seasoning, potato chips, mints,  bacon bits, condiments, candies, cold salads, desserts, cheesecakes and pre-portioned extras like ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, tarter sauce, cocktail sauce etc.? (Why: It could be that the Chef uses the prescribed "Gluten-Free" brand of ketchup in cooking, but the little packages of ketchup given to customers on to go orders are not"Gluten-Free".)
  11. Are the cheeses and Cold cuts offered on the “Gluten-Free” menu actually “Gluten-Free”? (Why: The original plan could have been to offer hot dogs that are “Gluten-Free”, but the the manager decided to get the others instead because they are about 1/2 the cost and in his opinion they taste the same.)
  12. Is there Gluten in items like Corn Bread, Corn Bread Stuffing, Corn Meal Fry or Bake Coatings, Nacho Chips or Corn Tortillas?
  13. Are all Ready-Mixes used for "Gluten-Free" items actually "Gluten-Free"? (e.g. Hollandaise Mix, Salad Dressings, and Brown Sauce).
  14. Are the fryers, Grill spots, and cutting boards where “Gluten-Free” items are prepared totally free of Gluten?  (Why: Grills and Cutting Boards can be cleaned, but a batch of fry grease that has been used to cook breaded vegetables has gluten in it and cannot be used to prepare “Gluten-Free” French fries.)
  15. Are the Dishwasher Chemicals, Table cleansers, and Hand Soaps all “Gluten-Free”?

 Please feel free to submit comments or suggestions at  One can also write to William Beverly, Ph.D. at, or send U.S. mail to P.O. Box 1271  Edinburg, TX 78540.

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Posted in G-F Cooking, G-F Diet Tips, G-F IQ, G-F Recipes, Gluten Watch!!! | Tagged: | 9 Comments »

Skin Irritation Problems and Celiac Disease

Posted by nepeht on November 7, 2008

Skin Irritation Problems and Celiac Disease

By William T. Beverly, Ph.D. (Updated May 2, 2009)

  If people were turtles, then our skin would be like shells — exposed for all to see.  Having skin problems, particularly beyond the age of adolescence can be a real bummer.  Why?

  • It can be painful
  • It can make one feel unattractive to others (as well as to self)
  • It can negatively challenge ones self image
  • It can be expensive
  • It can increase social isolation

  Attached is a broadly informative article from “” about a skin condition that is reportedly associated with Celiac Disease called, Dermatitis Herpetiformis:

  According to one of their sources:

“Dermatitis herpetiformis is an itchy, blistering skin disease that also stems from gluten intolerance. The rash usually occurs on the elbows, knees and buttocks. Dermatitis herpetiformis can cause significant intestinal damage identical to that of celiac disease. However, it may not produce noticeable digestive symptoms. This disease is treated with a gluten-free diet, in addition to medication to control the rash.”|2451545964.

  According to the Celiac Sprue Association:

“As with celiac disease, the best and only known, side-affect free, treatment for dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is a life-long adherence to the gluten-free diet.”

  In case you are wondering, despite the name, this condition has nothing to do with “Herpes” as is noted in this passage from the Vashon Organics website:

“Dermatitis herpetiformis is an autoimmune disease causing clusters of intensely itchy small blisters and hivelike swellings. Despite its name, dermatitis herpetiformis has nothing to do with the herpes virus. In people with dermatitis herpetiformis, glutens (proteins) in wheat, rye, and barley products somehow activate the immune system, which attacks parts of the skin and causes the rash and itching. People with dermatitis herpetiformis may develop celiac disease, which is caused by the gluten sensitivity.”

This source goes on to state:

“People with dermatitis herpetiformis occasionally develop lymphoma in the intestines. Small blisters usually develop gradually, mostly on the elbows, knees, buttocks, lower back, and back of the head. Sometimes blisters break out on the face and neck. Itching and burning are likely to be severe.”

  According to the Celiac Sprue Association, Dapsone — an Antibiotic, is sometimes prescribed.  The CSP website’s related anecdote describes this drug as effective, but the side effects can be significant.

  There appear to be alternatives.  The “Formotab” website states: “Formotab is a completely guaranteed and clinically proven herbal treatment for Herpetiformis Dermatitis.”

  Alternative health ideas for this condition might be found at:  And one might follow the links at:

  Unfortunately, there do not seem to be many options for treating this condition.  However, it seems all sources recomend a Gluten-Free diet for both prevention and treatment.  There is also information stating:

“Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Trade Names: ADVIL, MOTRIN, NUPRIN) may worsen the rash.”

  One of the concerns I have had is about the itching and how to treat it topically with a substance this is not in itself, problematic.  Regarding the itch problem, Vashon  writes:

“In general, itchy skin should be treated very gently. While scratching may temporarily ease the itch, in the long run scratching just makes it worse. In addition, scratching can lead to an endless cycle of more itching and scratching. To control the urge to scratch, a person can apply a cooling or soothing lotion or cold compress to the area. Itching may be relieved by applying a warm compress of diluted vinegar, preferably such herbal vinegars as plantain, violet, lavender, or rose. The itching associated with mosquito bites can be reduced by applying meat tenderizer paste, table salt (to wet skin), or toothpaste. Any alkaline preparation (like a paste of baking soda and water) will help ease the itch. Probably the most common cause of itching is dry skin. Flaxseed oil and vitamin E taken orally can help to rehydrate dry skin and can reduce itching. There are a number of simple things a person can do to relieve itching.

  • Don’t wear tight clothes.
  • Avoid synthetic fabrics.
  • Don’t take long baths.
  • Wash the area in lukewarm water with a little baking soda.
  • Take a lukewarm shower for generalized itching.
  • Apply bath oil or lotion (without added colors or scents) right after bathing.”

  There are other sources of information on this.  Some might prefer an anti-itch cream and this may be available, but I would caution them to be sure that the cream itself does not contain an allergin. 

  Finally, stress is suggested as a factor in this and many other skin conditions.  Check out this link:

  Thus it is proposed that the more one knows how to effectively prevent such problems as Dermatitis Herpetiforis; the more simple their life might be in the long run.

Note: Links updated May 2, 2009.

Posted in Dermatitis Herpetiformis, G-F IQ, G-F PsychoBabble, The Personal Side | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Autism Educational Services

Posted by nepeht on November 5, 2008

Information on Autism and how it is related to the need for a Gluten-Free diet.

Posted in G-F IQ, G-F Sites | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

“Tolerable Amount of Gluten for People with Celiac Disease”???

Posted by nepeht on November 2, 2008

  There is some reported research about the proposition that some people with Celiac Disease can possible handle Gluten exposure in certain amounts:

For people with celiac disease, the relationship between amount of gluten eaten and symptom development is unclear. How much gluten from “gluten-free” foods can they tolerate without harmful effects?

  Research on Gluten tolerance for persons with Celiac Disease is relatively new.

The threshold amount of gluten in ‘gluten-free’ products that can be tolerated by people with coeliac disease is unclear. 

  In an article: Systematic Review: Tolerable Amount of Gluten for People With Coeliac Disease by Akobeng AK, Thomas AG, published in Aliment Pharmacol Ther.2008;27:1044-1052. Epub 2008 February 29, it was written:

It is difficult to draw precise conclusions from the current review. However, it suggests that the current standard of 200 PPM or less of gluten in foods labeled as gluten-free will not be protective for all patients with celiac disease. Instead, the current review suggests that a new standard set at a maximum of 20 PPM of gluten will equate to an approximate daily gluten consumption of 6 mg. The current body of research suggests that this level of gluten intake would not promote mucosal abnormalities among the majority of patients with celiac disease.

  From this research, it seems that a possible proposition is that even foods that are labelled , “Gluten-Free” are not really safe for persons with Celiac Disease.  He is recommending that the standards for use of the “Gluten-Free” label be changed.

  As the latter article suggests:

The review also clarifies the need for further research into the threshold of gluten consumption in the setting of celiac disease.

  In their article, “Systematic Review: Tolerable Amount of Gluten for People With Coeliac Disease”, published in Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2008;27(11):1044-1052. ©2008 Blackwell Publishing
Posted 08/28/2008researchers, researchers A. K. Akobeng and A. G. Thomas concluded:

It is obvious from the results of this study that the amount of tolerable gluten varies among people with CD. The reason for this remains unclear. Future studies should investigate potential reasons (e.g. genetic variability) that may explain the variable response to gluten. Future studies should also assess the exact amount of gluten that can be tolerated by people with CD and over what period of time and the exact concentration of gluten in wheat-starch ‘gluten-free’ products and all other foods that can be tolerated.

  I have known personally at least one person with diagnosed Celiac Disease who adamantly claims that she can tolerate a small amount of gluten-contaminated foods almost daily without any symptoms.  On the other hand, there are many of us walking around with Gluten-related and Celiac Disease related symptoms who do not recognize them as such.  And even if one recognizes gluten-contamination symptoms, it is sometimes next to impossible to avoid either unknowingly / accidentally ingesting something containing gluten, or simply giving into temptation and knowingly eating something containing gluten.

  Thus, from this information no recommendation can be made by this blogger.

  Just try to be careful about what you eat.  If nothing else, try to know you are eating gluten if in fact you are.  This way you can possibly avoid it next time, if you so choose.

  And above all, enjoy life and prosper.

Posted in G-F IQ, Research & Funding | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Improving Your G-F Simplicity IQ

Posted by nepeht on October 16, 2008

If you review these items and find the answers, you will probably improve your G-F Simplicity IQ level.

Study / Review Items:

  1. Very Basic Description of Celiac Sprue.
  2. Primary sources of gluten in food.
  3. Sources of hidden gluten in food.
  4. Non edible items containing gluten.
  5. Symptoms of exposure to gluten for a person with Celiac Sprue.
  6. Other disorders commonly found with persons who have Celiac Sprue.
  7. Gluten as a “protein”.
  8. Diagnostic methods for determining gluten intolerance.
  9. Basic Anthropological issues related to gluten intolerance.
  10. The Biopsychosociospiritual Perspective.
  11. Basic Epidemiological issues related to gluten intolerance:
    1. Geographic prevalence of Celiac Sprue.
    2. Frequency of Celiac Sprue and Gluten Intolerance.
    3. Population variables.
  12. Celiac Sprue and genetic issues.
  13. The Mind/Body connection.
  14. Treatments for Celiac Sprue.
  15. Celiac Sprue, Gluten Intolerance and U.S. Tax Deductions.
  16. Current Research Trends related to Gluten Intolerance.
  17. Gluten-Free Product Costs compared to other products.
  18. Gluten-Free Living and the Grieving Process (DABDA).
  19. Gluten-Free Diet.
  20. Which beverages tend to be gluten-free versus gluten-contaminated?
  21. Medical Perspective understanding of celiac sprue.
  22. Basic anatomy of the Digestive System related to Celiac Sprue.

Posted in G-F IQ | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Thanks for viewing the Gluten-Free Simplicity Blog

Posted by nepeht on October 16, 2008

  Thank you for viewing the Gluten-Free Simplicity Blog. 

  This Blog is being created by William T. Beverly, Ph.d.  He has lived with Celiac Sprue for about a decade and has professional experience as a teacher, researcher, counselor, author, and chef.

  William likes to spend his time doing what he does best and the product of that effort often ends up in this blog so that other people can benefit from his labors.  If you would like to contribute your creative energy or just plain old reliable information to this blog please feel free to send in a comment with a return email address.  If you would like to make a donation to this effort so that William can continue this work, please send a check, cash or money order to:

  William T. Beverly, at P.O. Box 1271, Edinburg, TX  78540. 

  Please make checks payable to William Beverly.

  Thanks again for your participation.

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity, Contribute, G-F IQ, G-F PsychoBabble, The Personal Side | Leave a Comment »