Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Great Northville, MI Gluten-Free Dining

The Red Pepper Deli

116W. Main Street

Northville, MI 48167

I have passed this establishment almost daily for the last year but have never ventured in, that is until just recently. WOW, was I missing out on some crazy gluten-free dining. Obviously the fact that they are primarily all G.F. is reason enough to eat there but that is just the icing on the cake. They are vegan, raw and organic as well. They have all the whistles and bells. Sandwiches, salads, soups, smoothies, shakes and desserts. This is not your typical greasy spoon that you envision when conjuring up images of delis. No meats, no grill? No problem. If you are like me, I don't fit enough vegetables into my daily diet. Problem solved if have a meal here. Their counter space is literally stuffed with a farm full of produce. They actually grow some of their product right there in the case. Talk about fresh! I had the pleasure of meeting the owner, Carolyn Simon, who was diligently whipping up sauces and spreads from scratch. Everything is done in real time to ensure quality control and freshness. No bulk buying condiments from origins unknown for this crew. Though I took my food home in a biodegradable take out container (Kudos for that!), they do have a smattering of tables for people to chill and linger about. It has a very earthy feel that is inviting. After a long talk with Carolyn, she decided to pack up a sampler platter for me to get a flavor of their menu. I scurried home with excitement in my eyes and a hunger in my belly. I quickly divided the booty with my husband. He is a carnivore by nature but was interested because of shear curiosity. After taking a few bites we were hooked. Usually I always give my hubby the last bite of my food. Not this time buddy! So the next time that road trip feeling hits you and your family, come on down to our quaint Victorian town and get a bite at the Red Pepper Deli. Tell them that "The Shack" sent ya!

The October edition of "The Pipeline" is ready. Sign up for your subscription today at Thanks!


Susan Jones

The Celiac Shack

Friday, September 25, 2009

School Lunch Menus Are Horrible

If you have school children, I'm sure that you also are shocked at the options they have for their lunches at the cafeteria. With the obesity rates they way they are with Americas youth, how can they offer these meals with a clear conscious? It is not that hard or expensive to make healthy choices available to all school aged children. You and I do it every day when we fill their lunch boxes. I am making this my new crusade. I am also trying to get them to make gluten-free choices available to those with these need. So far I have met resistance on both fronts. If any one has any good ideas on how to approach this, I am all ears. Until then will march back up the hill and try to conquer these issues. I will keep you posted!


Susan Jones

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gluten Is Big Business

Unfortunately our food pyramid is based on grains, so convincing Americans that a gluten-free diet is the way to go is an uphill battle. From an early age we are taught in school that we should have three servings of grains per day. In many biblical teachings wheat is the staff of life. So if it is so good for us, how come so many medical illnesses have been linked to these very grains? It boils down to gluten is a big business. Go to you cupboard and read the ingredient labels on your food and you'll find gluten in just about everything. We are a small voice that knows the damage that can be done to the human body by digesting this processed poison. The political lobbying muscle backing this industry on capital hill will not stand for the messages we preach. So be smart the next time you go shopping and do some research of the ingredients in your favorite product. I bet you think twice about serving it to your family. Just because the food industry uses it doesn't make it safe.


Susan Jones

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Local & Proud

Did you know that The Celiac Shack is based right in the heart of the Midwest? Though we have an island theme that seems to be heralding from a far off paradise, we are located in a quaint little town called Northville in the great state of Michigan. Not only are our products all American made, many of them originate from our home state. Though we are currently only a web based business, we support local and national vendors. So remember the next time you visit our website, it's just virtual sand in between your toes. We are local and proud to be an American company!

Susan Jones

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Opinion Time at The Shack

Though my gluten-free website is gaining attention and followers, I cannot help to think that the gluten-free community has a much larger need than I am experiencing. A lot of people are pleased with the products and the over all website/community that we have established. Yet sales are less than booming. I would like to expand my product offering, but need to make more sales to reinvest into our store.

Would you be more apt to buy product from a physical location rather than a web based store? Is buying American products more important than price savings? Check out our store at and let us know your thoughts. What would you like to see at our store that would make you a customer and not just a follower?
We appreciate your opinion in advance.


Susan Jones

Friday, September 18, 2009

Celiac Disease & Psoriasis


I've been doing a lot of reading on the connection between psoriasis and celiac diease/gluten intolerance. I have found many articles stating that there is a connection between the two. I have suffered from psoriasis for about 15 years, and have been diagnosed with sporadic arthritis for the past two years. I've been on Humira injections for my joint pain and inflammation, but I have high hopes that a gluten free diet will allow me to go off my injectables and finally lead a "normal" life without medications.

I will keep updating my findings on the links between psoriasis and celiac, but for now, I'd like to share a list of signs, symptoms, associated disorders and typical misdiagnoses of CeliacDisease:

Abdominal pain (Naspghan pediatric guidelines)Addison's Disease (1, 2, 3)Alopecia
Anemia (
Grisolano, SW)Anorexia (Naspghan pediatric guidelines)Apthous ulcers ie, mouth soresArthritis (Stagi S)ArthropathyAtaxia (Hadjivassiliou, Hadjivassiliou)Atrial Fibrillation (Candelli M)Cardiomyopathy (Goel,NK)Constipation (Naspghan pediatric guidelines)Crohn's Disease (Tursi A)Delayed Puberty (Naspghan pediatric guidelines)Depression (Pynnonen P)Dental Enamel Defects (Aine L)Dermatitis HerpetiformisDiabetes, Type 1 (Mahumd F, Picarelli)DiarrheaDown's SyndromeElevated liver enzymes (hypertransaminasemia) (Duggan) EpilepsyGraves DiseaseGrowth Hormone Deficiency (Salardi S)Hair loss (not male pattern baldness)Heart Problems (Cardiomyopathy, Myocarditis, Ventricular Arrythmia)HepatitisHives (urticaria) (Caminiti, Meneghetti)Hashimoto's ThyroiditisHyposplenism (ie, poor function of spleen increasing risk of infection) (Di Sabatino)Hypertransaminasemia (ie, elevated liver enzymes)Infertility, male or femaleIrritabilityIrritable Bowel SyndromeKawasaki Disease (Stagi)Lactose Intolerance (Ojetti)Lupus (Hadjivassiliou)LymphomaMigraines (Gabrielli)MyelopathyMyocarditis (Frustaci)Multiple SclerosisNystagmus (Mohn A)OsteopeniaOsteoporosis (1)Pancreatitis (1, 2 3)Peripheral NeuropathyPrimary Biliary CirrhosisPsoriasisPulmonary (lung) inflammation (Brightling)RefluxSchizophrenia (Kalaydjian)SeizuresShort Stature (Salardi S)Sjogren's Syndrome (Luft)Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, aka papillary stenosis (Patel RS)SteatorrheaThyroid Disease, AutoimmuneTurner SyndromeVentricular Arrythmia (Frustaci) Vertigo (Mohn A)VomitingWeight Loss (unintentional)Weight Gain (from increased appetite)Williams Syndrome

As you can see, the list is extensive. I believe that so many of these symptoms can be alleviated from a gluten free diet. (My personal opinion, and you should always check with your Dr. for any medical suggestions or advice).

I will keep everyone posted as I find new studies and information.

Wishing you a happy gluten free day!

The Celiac Shack ~ Making gluten free fun one day at a time!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gluten intolerance vs. Celiac

I've been asked by many people what the difference is between Celiac disease and being gluten intolerant. I and my son have many signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance. We have not been tested for celiac, as I really don't want that on his medical record. Instead, we have been transitioning into living gluten free, and I can see a huge improvement in both of our symptoms.

Gluten intolerance sufferers can have a wide variety of symptoms which may include difficulty walking, slurred speech, depression, anxiety, anger control issues, chronic fatigue, ADD/ADHD, migraines, seizures, autism, neuropathy, memory and concentration problems, pain and mobility issues similar to multiple sclerosis, exhaustion, infertility, repeated miscarriages, or even the classic symptoms of celiac. There are over 200 symptoms of celiac disease, many of which are not related to the classic form of celiac, which is mostly gastrointestinal in nature. In the absence of gastrointestinal symptoms, it may not even occur to your doctor to test for celiac or recommend a trial of the gluten-free diet. Gluten intolerance is generally discovered by chance. This usually occurs when the person who feels that he may be suffering from gluten intolerance anyway, despite negative test results, decides to go on a gluten-free diet. In some cases, the diet will produce life-changing improvement in a matter of weeks, or even days.

I've also heard many people say to me that you cannot have celiac because only thin people have it. Well, that is a huge myth. Although weight loss is one symptom of the celiac, many other disorders can show, and everyone is different.

I do have to advise for you to see your Dr. for medical advice and testing if you think you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.

The Celiac Shack ~ Making gluten free fun one day at a time!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In a slump today

I'm sure you have felt the same way I am feeling today. I am feeling slightly overwhelmed by it all. From the kids being back in school to my husband looking for employment, I'm just tired. I was working on my dinner tonight and thought about how easy things used to be. When I had a schedule that was comfortable and I could cook anything I wanted to without having to think about the ingredients I have on hand.

I started to think about how easy life was when I thought it was difficult. Now I finally realize what difficult truly is. I realized that I used to take things for granted and have made a vow to myself that never again will I take even the smallest of events for granted after all that my family has been through over the past nine months.

I thought about how I'm watching my kids grow up and I'm wondering what events or lack of events are affecting them. We're doing all we can for them, but is it enough? Emotionally, mentally, physically?

I'm slightly tired because the past nine months have turned me from a once optimistic mother of four young children into a more jaded, cynical, and realistic person. Maybe that is for the better? I am always the first to say that everything happens for a reason, and I believe that. I'm just waiting to see the reason for all of this crystal clear. Kinda wishing I had hindsight sure would make all of my days much easier.

Back to my dinner...I realized that while I was trying to come up with something to make for my family that is gluten free and delicious, I just needed an easy way out tonight. I gave up and gave everyone a gluten free bagel and banana smoothie. Is that bad? On a good night, I would say it is bad, but today, it just seemed to fit.

Can anyone give me some inspiration to a mother that is looking for something so I won't make bagels and banana smoothies tomorrow night? I am always the one with pep talks and inspirational quotes, but today my cheerleader skirt just isn't fitting.

Thanks for listening to a slumpy gluten free mom

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake Recipe!

I just tried this Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake recipe and it was great! I'll be posting more gluten free cake recipes as September IS CAKE month here at The Celiac Shack!

Strawberry Short Cake
1/2 cup- shortening
2 cups - * sifted flour
1/4 cup - pure cane sugar
1- egg
4 tsps.- baking powder
1 tsp.- baking soda
1 tsps.- salt
1 qt.- frozen strawberries
1/2 cup- ** milk
1 cup- whipped cream
1 8“- baking pan


1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
2. Grease and * flour an 8“ baking pan.
3. Sift dry ingredients, working shortening into * flour mixture.
4. Mix in egg and ** milk.
5. Pour mixture into 8“ baking pan and smooth gently to fit pan.
6. Bake 12 - 15 minutes at 500 degrees F.
7. Cool on cake rack.

To Serve:
1. When cool, split cake crosswise.
2. Hull and slice or mash sweetened strawberries.
3. Cover bottom layer of cake with strawberries.
4. Top with second layer of cake and cover with more strawberries.
5. Finish with whipped cream and decorate with extra berries.

* Make flour from 2/3 cup Garfava bean flour, 1/3 cup Sorghum flour, 1 cup Cornstarch and 1 cup Tapioca flour- mix thoroughly before using.
** To make this GFCF, substitute Blue Diamond Almond Breeze for milk. Leave off the whipped cream, or look for a Soy based alternative (no casein).

The Celiac Shack ~ Making gluten free one day at a time!