Catching Up … Again

artichoke flower, Stratford Hall, Robert E. Lee's birthplace

 Close-up of Artichoke Flower at Stratford Hall

So every time I think I’ll catch up here at gfe, it just doesn’t happen. For example, I planned to post my GFE Virtual Support Group (VSG) post last Tuesday—and that was after an earlier delay—but it’s still not up. I originally planned to add it to this post, but even I balk at a post that long. Sigh. But that’s only a momentary sigh, because such is life and I’m living it and it’s important to remember that is always a very good thing! Another reason that the GFE VSG post is delayed is that it seems to have gremlins or unknown gods conspiring against it. Seriously. I will make a bunch of changes and then before I hit “Save,” my computer freezes. Or versions of my file disappear. And I can’t find the temporary files to restore them. But lost edits are small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, right? The GFE VSG post will be up next and I’m  hoping that once it’s published, these mysterious issues will disappear.

gluten free, support group, virtual, online

One big factor in my online time (or lack thereof) is that I’m back working full time in my “other job” these days. That’s good, too. It just keeps me super busy and a bit behind here no matter what I do. However, yesterday and today, I had to come home from work almost immediately after arriving as they are painting in our office. I simply can’t tolerate paint fumes. Yesterday I was very proactive and left the office before feeling any effects, but today with several of the rooms already painted from yesterday, the painters painting near my office, and an assignment I had to complete, I did not get out as quickly. And I suffered majorly as a result. I came home and had to take a very long nap and am now still trying to detox. So I went for an “emergency” massage earlier this evening. I’m hoping that will make a big difference. Both my brain and body initially felt like mush, but my head is a tad clearer since the massage. Otherwise, I’m following much of the same protocol that I do when I get glutened. (I wish Diane of The Whole Gang was here to make me some of her amazing juice, which she used to recover from chemical exposure.) I’ve found that almost all of my gluten-free friends react very strongly to chemicals of any kind. Do you? I’ve read varying opinions on the reason for this connection, but would be interested in anyone’s input or personal experiences.

Gluten-Free Homemaker, Gluten-Free Cat, chedda, cheese fondue, gluten free, dairy free

Heather (Gluten-Free Cat) and Linda (The Gluten-Free Homemaker) Sampling “Chedda” Fondue

In other news, I’ve been staying busy with some other truly great stuff like just hosting 7 gluten-free bloggers/friends over 5 days at my house—yes, in person! Woohoo!! I’ll be sharing more later and so will some of those who attended, but Debi (Hunter’s Lyonesse), Diane (The Whole Gang), Johnna (52 Sweets and all her blogs), Heather (Gluten-Free Cat), Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free), Linda (The Gluten-Free Homemaker), and my friend Jennifer, were at my house for loads of fun and, of course, amazing gluten-free food! Check out Diane’s post with her video of us all enjoying the dairy-free Chedda Cheese Fondue she made.  Man, that was good! The recipe comes from The Ultimate Un-Cheese Cookbook. (Diane shares the recipe in her post with permission of the author.) Heather was even inspired to create a new series based on our retreat food: On Their Blogs By Their Own Hands. She’s sharing her review of two recipes from gfe (she did a gorgeous job making one of them) and a few more words on our retreat today. And as I said, I plan to share a bunch of photos and a few words soon, too. Oh, and while we were having what Mr. GFE called my “slumber party,” he was off completing his 500th logged recreational dive in Little Cayman. A pretty neat milestone for someone who loves to scuba dive! (He’s the third from the left in this shot.)

500 dives, milestone, Mr. GFE, Little Cayman Beach Resort

Mr. GFE’s 500th Dive

At the tail end of our gfe retreat, the Paleo Parents—Stacy and Matt—and their super cute, super active “Paleo Kids”—Cole, Finian, and Wesley—presented at my June support group picnic meeting. Both Heather and Debi were still at my house, so luckily they got to attend as well. Matt and Stacy gave a wonderful, down-to-earth, informative presentation and then signed copies of their wildly popular cookbook, Eat Like a Dinosaur: Recipe and Guidebook for Gluten-Free Kids. Let me just say that lots of “big kids” were happily purchasing their book or getting their copies signed! (I will share all on this event in my July GFE VSG post.)

Paleo Parents, Stacy Toth, Matt McCarry, Eat Like A Dinosaur, paleo, primal, caveman

Paleo Parents and Two of Their Three Boys Help Sign Eat Like A Dinosaur

Speaking of sharing, I continue to share a ton of fantastic recipes, tips, and info via from others via my status updates on my gfe Facebook page. However with recent Facebook changes, you may not be seeing my gfe status updates in your feed. I’ve read that only about 20% of what one wants to see is actually getting through. Facebook has put the emphasis on “promoted” (i.e., paid) posts/status updates and I have no intentions of paying to post on Facebook. To ensure you continue to see all my gfe updates, be sure to “like” gfe on Facebook and then hover over the “Liked” area (or click on it if necessary) and click on “Show in News Feed.” (See below.)

gfe, Facebook, gluten free easily

Much other great stuff has been going on …

I was quoted in the most recent issue of one of my favorite gluten-free publications, Gluten-Free Living, in an article by Amy Ratner titled, “Should I Worry About Gluten in Sauces and Marinades?” The frustration with a dish/food item being gluten free except for soy sauce was cited. The quote from me was my request to food manufacturers to simply use gluten-free soy sauce all the time to keep those of us who eat gluten-free safe and happy. While not everyone who is gluten free eats soy (and I avoid other forms of soy), many of us eat will eat gluten-free soy sauce. I originally issued that plea when I did my review of Guy Fieri’s barbecue sauces and salsas, as all except for the Pacific Rim Wok & Sauce are gluten free. The Pacific Rim Wok & Sauce contains wheat-based soy sauce and is, therefore, not gluten free. Here’s some good news though … at least one company is listening per information shared in Ratner’s article. Bone Suckin’ Yaki Sauce, which is Bone Suckin’s teriyaki barbecue sauce, is now gluten free because the company switched to gluten-free tamari. This fact is proudly proclaimed here on the company website.  Thank you to the folks at Bone Suckin’, a company that features products with real food ingredients that are all gluten free now! Finally, I appreciate all that Gluten-Free Living does to educate us, feed us via great recipes, and speak out for those of us who are gluten free!

Looking wayyyy ahead, I’ll be speaking at the Canadian Celiac Association Conference outside Toronto in Mississauga next June (June 7 – 9, 2013). Once I have all the details, I’ll post them on my Support Group and Events page. I would LOVE to meet up with all my Canadian friends there! And much closer to home for me and occurring a bit sooner, I’ll be doing one of my introductory talks on recognizing gluten-related symptoms/conditions and how to live gluten free easily at the Bull Run Library in Manassas, Virginia, in March 2013.

A few other happenings in the gluten-free world …

Shannon (Enjoying Gluten-Free Life) is hosting Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger this month. This is the monthly blogging event originated by Sea (Book of Yum). It’s designed to introduce and connect gluten-free bloggers (or bloggers who make gluten-free recipes). I’ve missed a month or two, but this is one blogging event that I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed! And you can even participate if you don’t have a blog—cool, huh? Read more and sign up by June 28 here.

In case you missed it, Diane (The Whole Gang) has reinstated her Friday Foodie Fix weekly roundup. Each week a “secret ingredient” is featured and everyone links up their recipes that focus on that ingredient. Last week blueberries were the secret ingredient. Learn all about the benefits of blueberries (there are many!) and see some of the tantalizing recipes here … my Blueberry Honey Pie with Honey Whipped Cream, Blueberry Lemon Cupcakes, Blueberry Buckwheat Donuts …

Josh Schieffer ( and is participating in a huge fundraising event for The Celiac Disease Foundation through Team Gluten-Free where donors receive free products and offers from some of the best gluten-free companies. The money from this fundraiser will send gluten-free kids to camp. A completely gluten-free camp! Where they can eat safely while doing all the camp activities that kids normally do when they go to camp. Don’t you love that? Linda tells you all about Josh’s fundraising efforts and gives you all the links here. Bottom line: You give and you will receive, Josh works his butt off with the athletic events he’s doing (one triathlon and two marathons—holy moly!), and gluten-free kids get to have a great gluten-free camp experience!

www.thedailydietribe.comIris (The Daily Dietribe) has issued her Second Annual Gluten-Free Birthday Cake Challenge. Entries are due by June 25. Join in or at least check out all the entries when she shares them on June 28. Iris is turning “the big 30,” which is sooo young still! Anyway, the cake challenge extends to cupcakes and pies, too. If you’re a blogger, read all the rules and enter. I think it would be awesome if she got 30 entries! Oh, and Iris is giving away a couple of great prizes as part of her event.

Elana's Pantry, Elana Amsterdam

My friend Elana (Elana’s Pantry) shared an inspiring post on her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis and the strategies she uses to still live well. Very well. There’s some great advice for everyone in Elana’s post. As I’ve said many times before, it’s personal stories that speak to us more than anything. One thing that Elana stated is resonating with me. I wonder which of her words will resonate with you., allergy-friendly recipes, health info, iPhone appDental issues related to gluten don’t get nearly enough publicity. This topic is one that I have shared repeatedly with my own dentist. Read Kim’s (Cook IT Allergy Free) son’s story and her Nine Ways to Strengthen Tooth Enamel Naturally.

Next post … the GFE VSG for June—finally. Upcoming posts … Coconut Banana Blueberry Pound Cupcakes; Spicy Sausage and Potatoes with Sweet Potato Cream Sauce; The GFE Retreat 2012; and an overdue Bermuda “trip report.”

artichoke flowers, butterfly, Stratford Hall, Robert E. Lee's birthplace

 Swallowtail on Artichoke Flower at Stratford Hall

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


34 Responses to “Catching Up … Again”

  1. Ina Gawne on June 21st, 2012 9:26 am

    Wow Shirley – you certainly have been busy! I always enjoy your GF Support Group posts, and how wonderful you will be visiting Canada! By the way, I think you are right about Celiacs having trouble with chemicals. It took me 3 years to paint my house one room at a time…was I ever sick! And removing wall paper was like an instant Gluten attack – flour in the glue! Glad that is all over with – no more wall paper…yeahh!

    • Shirley on June 23rd, 2012 8:17 am

      Ina–You make me feel better about my house not having been painted since we moved in (well, except for our bathrooms)! Thankfully, we have so much wood that there’s not much painting involved. ;-) I don’t know how folks can continue along and not be affected by paint. I’m so sorry that you went through all that to have a fresh, new look. :-(

      Thanks for all the kind words–as always–dear!

  2. Shannon Brown on June 21st, 2012 11:07 am

    Thanks for sharing about Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger this month. I had fun doing it last time so was happy to have the opportunity to host.
    I enjoyed this update post and will keep an eye on Friday Foodie Fix. Looking forward to your recipe for Coconut Banana Blueberry Pound Cupcakes!

    • Shirley on June 23rd, 2012 8:19 am

      Hi Shannon–Adopt a GF Blogger is such a terrific event … I know Sea, I, and many others are so happy you are hosting this month. Still *hoping* to get to particpate. ;-) If you have any Swiss Chard recipes, link them up to this week’s Friday Foodie Fix over at Diane’s. :-) Bad news … the Pound Cupcakes recipe is missing. Fingers crossed that it will turn up as I plan to enter it in Iris’ Cake Challenge!


  3. Faith on June 21st, 2012 11:16 am

    That must be fun to get a group of gf people together. Five days, was it a sleepover? I can imagine the amount of info shared and the learning for some that were there. Thanks for providing gf info to all of us who need it – I appreciate it.

    • Shirley on June 23rd, 2012 8:22 am

      Hi Faith–Yes, our retreat was a total blast and yep, a sleepover (or slumber party as Mr. GFE called it)! There’s something very special about getting a group of your gluten-free friends together. We were more “free,” too, but it was never a problem. We all “get it” and cook/bake safely for everyone else. :-)

      I’m so glad you appreciate my info “dumps,” Faith! ;-)

  4. Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy on June 21st, 2012 1:15 pm

    WHat a great post! You’ve definitely been busy! WOw!! and that artichoke flower is beautiful! such a cool flower!

    • Shirley on June 23rd, 2012 8:24 am

      Caralyn–Thanks so much! Those artichoke flowers are just totally amazing, aren’t they? :-) They hardly look real because they are so spectacular. I found myself wanting to stay there and just stare at it, especially with the butterfly makings its rounds.


  5. Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) on June 21st, 2012 1:27 pm

    Wowzers!! You sure can do an awesome catch up! I feel all up to speed now! :D Seriously this is such an awesome post! First off, I am still trying to figure out which one MrGFE is in that dive photo! That is so fun that they did that!! And I still cannot believe that he has done 500 dives. I think that I have done maybe 30 and Kurt has done maybe 70 or 80…and he thought that was a lot. LOL
    I am still reminiscing about all of our fun and wishing it could still be going on! I can honestly say that that was a magical and perfect weekend and EXACTLY what I needed!
    Hope you are feeling a bit better and more clear-headed after the paint fumes. I am the same way when it comes to those…and it drives me nuts.
    Thanks for including my dental post in your round-up as well, my friend!

    • Shirley on June 23rd, 2012 8:31 am

      Hey Kim–Thanks, dear! I try … I did remember a few more things I could have mentioned after I hit “Publish,” but that’s always the case. ;-)

      Mr. GFE is third from the left, but you can’t really see folks in that pic. It’s more about representing the milestone. I should add at least one other close-up of him that a friend took. His dive buddies estimated that it cost $175,000 to get to that 500 dives. LOL I don’t know about that, but considering that none of them were done in rock quarries, etc. but in some of the best places in the world, I guess they could be right. We only had one child and didn’t have the costs of raising more so I guess it all works out in the end. Hehe.

      I so loved having you and our gf friends here! Thank you so very much for joining in and those lovely words! :-)

      I was feeling much better (thanks to that “preemptive” massage) until we went out to eat last night. Gluten-free menu and all, but apparently not enough. So back in detox mode today. :-(

      I hope many read your dental post, and print it out and take it to their dentists, too. It’s such critical info! Thanks for sharing your steps to dental health. I truly learned a lot from them.


  6. The Celiac Husband on June 21st, 2012 1:31 pm

    I am inventing a conference in SW France and will engage you as a speaker. Even if it’s just for the family!

    • Shirley on June 23rd, 2012 8:33 am

      The Celiac Husband–Oh, you always delight me with your comments! :-) I am totally ready to get on the SW France gluten-free B&B conference agenda … for family and/or guests. Just say when!

      Thanks so much for the vote of confidence!

  7. Susan on June 21st, 2012 3:04 pm

    Goodness Shirley — I don’t know how you manage to maintain a blog, work, deal with health issues, and entertain! Makes me exhausted just thinking about it.
    Love that artichoke flower — gorgeous and I had never seen one before.
    Hope you are detoxifying and that you are feeling better. Interesting link between chemicals and gluten free! I was surprised to read Ina’s remark about removing wallpaper and it making her ill. Just never thought about it before.
    I learn so much from your blog. Thanks for the information and recipes. Glad to hear that you are coming to Canada!
    Congratulations to Mr. GFE on 500 dives. Wow!

    • Shirley on June 23rd, 2012 8:36 am

      Hi Susan–Thanks, dear! You are very generous. The detoxification process always seems to be ongoing to some degree, unless one cloisters one’s self from the world. That’s something that I’m not usually good about. Yep, I’m the canary in the coal mine for so much, and the more I chat with friends, the more I realize that I’m not alone. I think that many suffer silently though. (I’m never good at that silent part. Haha.)

      Thanks for all the lovely feedback, Susan! I’ve passed on your congrats to Mr. GFE, too. He appreciated them! :-)

  8. Brandae on June 21st, 2012 3:08 pm

    Lovely update! Thank you! Congrats to Mr. GFE on his 500th dive. :)

    • Shirley on June 23rd, 2012 8:37 am

      Hi Brandae–Thanks! And Mr. GFE says thanks, too! :-)

      Have a great weekend!

  9. Iris on June 21st, 2012 5:20 pm

    Shirley, you amaze me. You work a full-time job, blog a ton even when you say you aren’t, and keep on top of what everyone else is doing too! I am in awe.

    I’m currently having my last baking day for a while (well, except for making the cake for my friend’s wedding, but that’s a whole other story). I’m finishing up my last two recipes for my cake challenge, and then I’m taking a nice long break from baking while I continue to work on healing my gut. The good thing about less time baking is it will mean more time to read my favorite blogs, so I’ll be over here more often! Yay!

    • Shirley on June 23rd, 2012 8:40 am

      Awww, Iris, you are too kind, too generous, but thank you so much, dear! I’m taking some time off to head to our mountain/river property and then hoping that my cake challenge recipe will turn up before the deadline. My “write-it-down-on-a-scrap-of-paper” mentality is going to be the death of me yet! LOL

      I love that you’re taking a baking break (we all need them!) and will be hanging out here more!! :-)

  10. Cheryl on June 22nd, 2012 4:12 pm

    What a fantastic roundup, and what an amazing slumber party!
    There is some research suggesting that an inability to clear chemical/molds/toxins is genetically linked, so it wouldn’t be surprising if more Celiac folks were susceptible. Glad you’re feeling better.

    • Shirley on June 23rd, 2012 8:44 am

      Thanks, Cheryl! I did not know about a genetic connection. I had read about those of us with adrenal fatigue (common in those with gluten issues, as I’m sure you know) are predisposed to the chemical, etc. sensitivities. Plus I’d read/heard more, but don’t recall it right now. A genetic component makes sense though … as the underlying factor for all. Fascinating stuff as long as one doesn’t actually become a “test case.” Even I was shocked by how badly the paint affected me from my short exposure this week. That massage was critical to me bouncing back so quickly.


  11. Linda on June 22nd, 2012 4:36 pm

    I’m sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. I hope you recover quickly! The only thing I have noticed having problems with is chlorine. It gives me a headache. Whether it is being around a chlorinated pool for too long or my husband using bleach to clean something (he uses way too much but is learning) or chlorine used in tampons. They all give me a headache.

    Once again, I had a wonderful time at your house and can’t wait till next year!

    Thanks for all the news updates. That’s great about being quoted in GFL. That’s one magazine I have subscribed to for years.

    Get well!

    • Shirley on June 23rd, 2012 8:50 am

      Thank you on all, Linda! I was bouncing back until we went out to eat last night. Now I’m back to recovery mode. :-( Hoping the fresh air in the mountains will help! I appreciate you sharing your sensitivities with us. Chlorine definitely gets me. Yikes on chlorine in tampons … I had no idea!

      I and all of us at our retreat loved having you with us! Mr. GFE doesn’t plan to make that same trip next year, so I have no idea when our get together will occur, but it will be fun whenever it does. ;-)

      I was honored by being quoted by GFL. :-) Like you, I’ve been subscribed to their magazine forever. I actually heard the Editor-In-Chief, Ann Whelan, speak right after I was diagnosed. She was great! I hope that more manufacturers listen!


  12. Sarah @ Celiac in the City on June 24th, 2012 1:48 am

    Wow. Where do I start? You have been one BUSY lady — so much going on with you you… no wonder you have to catch up! What a fun group of blogger friends, and IRL meet up — how fun is THAT? Plus Paleo Parents and their cutie pies? Wow again. What a month. Take a deep breath. Take it all in. Enjoy it! :)

    • Shirley on June 25th, 2012 5:49 pm

      Hi Sarah–Thanks so much for the sweet and encouraging feedback! I do appreciate it. :-) Yes, it’s been so, so much fun lately. I can never get enough of such experiences with so many fabulous folks!


  13. Delise on August 19th, 2012 10:05 am

    Great Post! You may know this but — Beware of Dry Wall plaster. I was reading about your office being painted and thought of this. I learned Dry wall plaster (at least the fast drying kind I used) contains gluten. I had no idea until I patched up a small hole in the wall. I did okay until I sanded it later. I inhaled it and had my typical full-blown reaction. I can’t remember the exact ingredient but I’m always suspicious of anything sticky!

    • Shirley on August 19th, 2012 3:19 pm

      Hi Delise–Thanks! No, I didn’t know about dry wall and dry wall compound, but if I’d given it much thought or been exposed to any I would have. There was that type of work done at our office, but thankfully we were removed from the office space for a month while that went on. I still had to make quick trips into the space to get my lunch, grab resources, etc. and held my breath as much as possible while doing so, but I know that it still affected me. The last phase of the renovation was done just a week ago. Some more carpet replacement this time, in the office and hall adacent to me. I had to stay home for two days (and there was a weekend in the middle of those days) and then when I returned, I had to have my window open and fans running non stop. I’m hoping that when I return tomorrow that the fumes will be dissipated. Fingers crossed!


  14. theresa on November 18th, 2012 6:10 pm

    I have been working on being GF for over a year. In October I started to get a slight respiratory issue. I removed several layers of wallpaper (and a little latch and plaster) from a dining room. About a week and a half later I became so sick…lasted 3-4 weeks with tons of old symptoms. I’m wondering (sadly too late) if perhaps the wallpaper glue effected me. Any thoughts?

    • Shirley on November 18th, 2012 7:21 pm

      Hi Theresa–It looks like you are new here; welcome to gfe. :-) And congrats on being gluten free! Yes, wallpaper does have glue that contains gluten and you can inhale it. :-( (Read more here.) Gosh, I’m truly so sorry that you went through that. That’s the kind of thing that can really blindside us, because usually we are thinking about gluten in food. I wrote a post (with the help of some other bloggers) on recovering after being “glutened.” You might want to bookmark it for future reference, although I do hope you won’t ever have to use it!


      • Theresa on November 19th, 2012 12:53 pm

        Thank you for your speedy reply!! I appreciate the great resources you have on your page. I can’t believe that after being dedicated to this new way of eating I am still discovering things that I’ve eaten that have gluten in them…ugh. I’ve had multiple periods of not being well this year and wondering if that is why. I’m a runner and I keep getting different “injuries” (low back, right ankle, left outside shine, etc.). I’m wondering if this is somehow linked to accidentally eating gluten as well.

        • Shirley on November 19th, 2012 2:58 pm

          Hi Theresa–You’re welcome, of course! Note that I am not always so speedy. It really depends on when the comments come in. ;-) It’s not uncommon to continue getting gluten for a while because of lack of knowledge. It requires a lot of diligence until eating gf becomes fairly routine and then even after years of being gf, one can have slip ups because of eating something without checking a label or assuming an item is gf. Certainly, focusing on real, whole foods that don’t have labels that have to be read helps a tremendous amount. :-)

          My educated guess is that, yes, your physical issues could be related to continuing to get gluten. Here’s Allison’s personal story that’s shared on the NFCA site that shows how much and how quickly continuing to consume gluten can affect one’s body. I think you will find it eye opening. I also recommend the new book, The Gluten-Free Edge: A Nutrition and Training Guide for Peak Athletic Performance and an Active Gluten-Free Life. It is an excellent book for anyone who wants to stay healthy and active, but I think it would be ideal for you to explain the ramifications of gluten consumption on your body.

          Hope that helps. Thanks so much for your kind words!

          • Theresa on November 21st, 2012 1:01 pm

            Thank you, again. I ordered the book…looking forward to reading it.

            Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

          • Shirley on November 23rd, 2012 5:12 pm

            Hi Theresa–You are very welcome. :-) I know you will really learn a lot from and enjoy the book!

            Thanks so much for the Thanksgiving wishes. Our was terrific; hope yours was, too!


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