CCA Elects a New President

Treena-DuncanMy name is Treena Duncan and I am honoured to have been elected as the President of the CCA. It is a tremendous honour and privilege to serve in this way. I live in Surrey, British Columbia, and am a member of the amazing Vancouver Chapter. I have been on the National board for four years. I have celiac disease, as do my two teen-aged children. The CCA has been a source of support and education on our celiac journey and I am thankful that they have been there for us. I have particularly benefited from the Facebook group, which is a great source of information and support moderated by the CCA. Check it out if you haven’t already!

I want to take a moment to acknowledge the gift of leadership offered to us by Anne Wraggett, now past president. Anne has led the organization through some challenging times, and her skill and commitment have ensured that the association will be there to advocate for Canadians with celiac disease or gluten intolerance for years to come. The national board is made up of committed volunteers, and I welcome new members, Janet Bolton and Tamara Close. We will benefit greatly from their amazing gifts and skills. Mark Johnson has completed his term on the board. We are truly grateful for all he has brought to the board table, and know that he will continue to offer leadership as president of the Ottawa Chapter, and as a dedicated national volunteer.

As we look to the coming year, the board is working toward fulfilling our three-year strategic plan. Top priorities for us are working closely with the chapters, evaluating our organizational structure to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the services offered and creating a plan for financial sustainability. As you know, we are a not-for-profit organization and depend on membership and donations in order to continue our work. Our Executive Director, Melissa Secord has been a wonderful resource to the association and we are benefiting from her leadership in many ways. There is exciting research being conducted that will hopefully lead to major medical breakthroughs in the future. The CCA is proud to be able to support this research through our JA Campbell Research fund.

We have been engaging in work to improve access to safe foods. You are likely all aware of our Gluten-Free Certification Program which identifies through our trademark, safe foods in grocery stores. Just over one year ago, we partnered with the Gluten-Free Food Program (GFFP) which offers training and third party verification for food establishments serving gluten-free food. I know I find eating out very challenging, and this program will make finding safe places to eat so much easier! I was at the check-in desk of a hotel recently and listened as a celiac guest tried to identify safe restaurants in the area by asking a front desk clerk, who had no idea! I look forward to a time when this program is so prevalent that we will be able to point them to GFFP restaurants! We have also been busy advocating in Ontario, with great support from the community, to have the diagnostic blood screening test covered by provincial health insurance. Unfortunately, Ontario is the only province not cover the test. We hope that together our voice will motivate the new Ontario government to correct this injustice.

Finally, we are proud to have worked with the Canadian government and Frank Massong of the Allergen Control Group to complete research in the area of the delivery of safe grains and related products. This was a major three-year project which was recently completed. Delegates at the Ottawa conference were provided an overview. Watch for a special recording sharing the results and what this will mean for consumers. Thanks to David Congram, board member, who has been the lead on this project. David along with a number of other volunteers and staff have dedicated many hours to this project, which will serve to benefit us all.

I would love to hear from you about the ways in which the CCA can be of service to you. Please contact me at [email protected] with your ideas and suggestions.

Treena Duncan
President, CCA Board of Directors

Check out Treena’s new monthly video message!
We’re finding new ways to connect with you and keep you up to date on CCA news and activities. Watch for Treena’s message on our CCA Facebook Group or YouTube Channel. Her first one is now available. While you are there, check out some of our other topics and education sessions.

Kelowna Chapter President’s Report – July 2018

I wanted to touch base with everyone and let you all know what is happening regarding the next meetings. The executive agreed that we cancel the meeting scheduled for October 7th as that is the Thanksgiving weekend and we did not want to interrupt any plan that you may have. We will now only have our meeting on November 4th as planned. We hope to make this a special meeting for everyone and at this point we do not have those plans completed but will keep you in the loop as to what will be happening.

I am in the middle of a move and will be away from August 16th to September 15th while we move into our new home. I will be in Kamloops September 1st until the 15th so will be in the area. Marie is also busy and Marilyn will be on holidays as is Susan. As you can see we are all very busy.

I also want you to think about taking on the following positions so that this chapter can continue to grow and support members. We will need someone to take on these positions: President and Secretary-Treasurer. These are positions that need to be filled, at a minimum, in order for this chapter to move forward. It would be nice to have all the positions filled but a chapter can continue with just the above positions filled. We also need to have at least two meetings a year as well.

I will be asking for nominations to fill these positions at the meeting on November 4th so please think about serving and keep this chapter going. Contact me for more information.

I want to thank the members that have served on the executive of the Kelowna chapter for many years. GOOD JOB AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR DEDICATION AND HARD WORK!

Irene Thompson Wiseman,
President Kelowna Chapter

How to be Vegan with Celiac Disease

By Dayna Weiten, RD

Dayna is a Registered Dietitian with over 20 years experience as a clinical dietitian at Winnipeg’s largest teaching hospital and is a new member of the CCA Professional Advisory Council. Her areas of speciality are celiac disease, food allergies /intolerances, other gastrointestinal conditions, hypertension and hyperlipidemia/high cholesterol.

There are various types of vegetarian diets. If someone does not eat meat, chicken or fish, but still uses cow’s milk, they are considered a lacto-vegetarian. If they also include eggs, they are lacto-ovo-vegetarian. If no animal foods are included in the diet, it is termed vegan. Going vegetarian—especially vegan— is a huge food trend. But in order to be healthy, it has to be done right.

Don’t make this common mistake!

It can be very easy to create a diet that omits meat and chicken by using more cheese and other milk products. Milk, cheese and yogurt are excellent sources of protein and contain many other nutrients. The one drawback is that they are a poor source of iron. Lacto-vegetarians need to ensure they are including good sources of iron in their diets.

The key is protein

gluten-free veganWhen someone eating gluten-free decides to become vegan, or someone who is vegan is diagnosed with celiac disease, much of the advice given to nonvegan people with celiac disease would still apply: Eat whole unprocessed foods as much as you can, eat lots of vegetables and fruits, eat grains guaranteed to be gluten-free, use healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado. The differences come when we think about protein sources. Reading labels on processed foods is especially important as wheat is a common ingredient in prepared vegan entrees such as veggie burgers. You can make your own veggie burger as there are many recipes available which could be modified to become gluten-free.

If you are using non-dairy milks, try to use a type that has calcium and vitamin D added as these will contain the same amount of calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk and are therefore good sources of these nutrients. These products vary in the amount of protein provided.
Soy beverages are a good source of protein. Other milk alternates such as almond, rice, hemp or coconut are not good sources of protein. Read the labels as some flavoured non-dairy beverages may contain gluten.

Good protein sources for vegans that are also gluten free would include:

  • Pulses (dried beans, peas and lentils) – dried or canned
  • Nuts and seeds, nut or seed butters (read labels to make sure no gluten added)
  • Soy protein/tofu (Note: Read labels on prepared soy protein products as wheat may be added as a filler/binder in some products)

Make sure you are including sources of these important nutrients:

Soybeans, lentils, kidney beans, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, spinach, blackstrap molasses

Vitamin B 12
Fortified beverage that is GF, nutritional yeast or a B12 supplement

Fortified beverage that is GF, tofu processed with calcium sulfate, almonds, kale, bok choy, blackstrap molasses

ground flax, hempseed, walnuts

Vitamin D
most people do not obtain sufficient vitamin D in their diets; a supplement of 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D is recommended

Great vegan snack choices

If you’re gluten-free and looking for vegan snack options, try the following:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Dried fruits
  • Nuts/seeds
  • Roasted chickpeas (commercial GF roasted chickpea snacks are available)
  • Homemade GF/vegan muffins or snack bars
  • Some dairy-free cheeses are gluten-free

2018 JA Campbell Research Fund Recipients

Two Canadian researchers awarded funding to advance research in celiac disease

May 25, 2018 Mississauga, ON. The Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) is pleased to announce the winners of our 2018 JA Campbell Research Awards. After an extensive review by CCA’s Professional Advisory Council, the following winners will be granted funding towards advancing research i celiac disease in Canada.

James A. Campbell Grant

Dr. Natalie Riediger (pictured on left) is the recipient of the James A. Campbell Grant. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Science and holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Riediger has been awarded $20,000 to retrieve and analyze the secondary data from the 2015 Canadian Community Health (Nutrition) Survey. With 500 individuals adhering to a gluten-free diet, their demographics, socioeconomic data, association with other dietary avoidances and the origin of where the gluten-free food was prepared will be examined.

James A. Campbell Young Investigator Award

james kingJames King is the recipient of the James A. Campbell Young Investigator Award. He is currently a graduate student in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. With a specialization in epidemiology, his master’s thesis is focused on defining the incidence of celiac disease and how it has been changing over time.

Mr. King has been awarded $5,000 to conduct a systematic literature search on the incidence (the number of new diagnoses per year) of celiac disease globally and how this has been changing over time to examine healthcare utilization. He also aims to develop the Alberta Celiac Disease Surveillance Cohort to examine the direct and indirect costs associated with celiac disease.

The J. A. Campbell Research Fund began in 1993 in honor of Dr. James A. Campbell who died that same year. He was a member and advisor to the Ottawa Chapter and a member of the Professional Advisory Board. He was a long-time advocate for the CCA and completed research on gluten and safe foods for people with celiac disease. He advocated for the use of blood tests to screen for celiac disease to avoid unnecessary biopsies by publishing editorials in large journals such as the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).

The J. A. Campbell Research Awards are annual grants offered by the Canadian Celiac Association to fund research projects in Canada that is relevant to celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The fund is created to encourage research that furthers the understanding of the full range of implications of celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Once completed, the researchers will be asked to present their findings through the CCA to the community. To date, more than $350,000 has been awarded to top Canadian researchers through the J. A. Campbell Research Fund.

Gluten-Free BBQ Sauce Recommendations


by Wanda Goulden


refus-teague-bbq-sauceIt’s summer, finally! There are great BBQ sauces available that don’t contain gluten ingredients, but one can spend a great deal of time in the sauce aisle reading the ingredients on bottle after bottle. Rufus Teague BBQ Sauces are labelled gluten-free, are widely available and often placed in the GF section of the grocery. Best of all they are thick, tasty and come in five flavours: Honey Sweet, Touch’O’Heat, Blazin’ Hot, Whiskey Sweet and Smokey Apple. My go-to favourite is the Honey Sweet and I keep Touch’O’Heat around those dishes that do well with little extra zing, like chicken wings. Blazin’ Hot is far to hot for my tastes, but you like what you like. Give them a try!


  1. KFI Butter Chicken Cooking Sauce available at COSTCO & Walmart. Two thumbs up! And made in
  2. Greek Style Skewers Souvlaki: Now with the GFCP seal on the item package! Skewers come in beef. pork and chicken, eight skewers to a package. Easy to prepare and very tasty.

2018 Rod McDaniel’s Celiac Kids Camp


WHEN: August 26-31, 2018

WHERE: Camp Horizon in Kananskis Country, AB Sunday drop-off and Friday afternoon pick-up

• offers a completely gluten-free menu, approved by a registered dietitian
• Open to members ages 7-17
• Siblings are welcome to attend (and eat gluten free)
• Parents can volunteer for the week at no extra free
• Tons of fun activities for all ages
• $350 fee per camper for all CCA members (this is the subsidized fee) – Membership # required
• Register online at or phone during office hours at 403-237-0304

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

By Jessica Danford

I am all about cooking without a recipe and using what i have on hand.  Adapting to my preferred tastes and favourite flavours. This is a versatile recipe, a simple delicious base with four ingredients that can be jazzed up with whichever add-ins you like.

The first time I made this hubby found it in the fridge where I left it to set for 30 mins and ate it up thinking it was just normal chocolate pudding or mousse…  he had no idea it was dairy free and vegan. Talk about sneaking in the greens!


  • 2 avocados
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 lemon or lime
  • 2 to 3 cups of cooked GF pasta
  • salt and pepper
  • optional: topping could be anything from baked with vegan cheese or some hot sauce, or maybe a crispy crust of gluten-free crumbs with herbs, how about for a non-vegan add some tuna and diced radish for a fresh tuna salad


1. Take all ingredients to combine in a bowl. I recommend using a hand mixer to get the smoothest consistency.

2. Add the milk as needed to thin to desired consistency.

3. Then place in the fridge for 30 mins to set and serve with your favourite toppings like shredded coconut or banana slices.

Get Support On Our Facebook Group

by Janet Dalziel

The CCA’s Facebook group is a diverse, engaged community that offers help and support in real time.

join our Facebook groupWhen the Canadian Celiac Association was created 1984 support for people with celiac disease was one of several lofty goals, including advocacy and awareness, for its ambitious volunteers.

Back then, support meant local chapter meetings, national and chapter print newsletters of varying quality and a 1-800 national phone line. Requested materials could take weeks to arrive, the phone was not answered in the evening or on weekends, and volunteers did their best to make contact with members but with limited results.

Today, support from the CCA encompasses the best of the past along with a tremendous effort on social media. If you are a member of long standing and have not yet checked out the CCA Facebook group, you should do so. Traditional membership in the CCA is lagging while membership in the closed Facebook group shows phenomenal growth, with more than three times as many participants in the group as members, with lots of overlap, of course.

This support works for a variety of reasons:

  •  Myths and misinformation are corrected by our own experts very quickly; people can ask for clarification and are answered virtually immediately
  • Recipes are shared and adapted, successes are congratulated and photos are admired
  • Users frequently announce new products and where to find them, along with reviews on their palatability
  • Restaurant and travel recommendations are requested and quickly received from people with direct experience
  • Questions about the safety of ingredients are not just answered with a “safe” or “not safe.” Rather, the answers
    usually come with advice on how to become self-sufficient in reading food labels
  • Pleas for help in navigating difficult social and family issues provide tremendous insight from a variety of points of view, with practical suggestions and life lessons in dealing with difficult people
  • Food and lifestyle bullying or shaming is not tolerated
  • The Facebook group bypasses the geographical chapter structure and brings people together
  • Everyone in the group can benefit from everyone else’s questions and advice, unlike one-on-one support

People in this group are of all ages, from all over Canada, with quite a few from other countries as well. What unites them all is the need to survive and then thrive, from diagnosis problems through eating for health and pleasure. Many are worried parents doing their best for recently diagnosed children or struggling to get their children diagnosed.

It does not matter how long you have been dealing with any of these issues yourself—there is always something to learn and frequently some wisdom to add to the discussion. The support is ongoing and constant and it goes back and forth: Some days, you are the one getting new information you didn’t know you didn’t know, and other days, you are the one providing needed reassurance to someone else who is just learning.

And some days you are just laughing together at a shared joke. Participants often comment that finding this support group has been a lifesaver for them and their stories bear this out.

We finally have the shared community we always wanted, with real peer support. The experienced want to share stories about what they have learned and how they learned it; they want to help. The newbies are relieved to know they are not alone, that there are answers, that others had similar experiences and can offer advice, that their panic or grief or misery is understood. This is what we wanted when we joined the CCA, to learn and to help and to make it better for all of us. This is what we do. But remember that we can only do it with financial support.

External link: CCA Facebook Discussion Group

Don’t Try So-Called Gluten “Digesters”

By Adrianna Smallwood
Registered Dietitian, owner of Newfound Balance and member of CCA’s Professional Advisory Council

If I take a gluten ‘digester,’ can I eat a little bit of gluten and not get sick?”

adrianna-smallwoodFollowing a gluten-free diet can be extremely difficult. From missing our favourite foods to feeling left out at social events, it can sometimes be challenging and discouraging. But once symptoms have subsided and blood work returns to normal, a lot of people wonder whether can they add just a little bit of gluten back to into their diet, or if can they can “cheat” periodically?

Unfortunately, the answer right now is no. The only cure for celiac disease is complete avoidance of all gluten in the diet. Currently, the market boasts several forms of gluten ‘digesters.’ Often found in the vitamin aisle of drugstores, these products promise to break down gluten so that you don’t feel as sick when you’ve been “glutened”. But don’t get your hopes up. Gluten digesters have not been shown to work for people who have celiac disease and so should not be used to let you “cheat” or as a substitute for the gluten-free diet. At the moment, there are products being tested that might, one day, allow those with celiac to ingest gluten safely, but they aren’t approved or available yet. The Canadian Celiac Association is the trusted source for all information pertaining to celiac and the gluten-free diet, so you can be sure that when such products are proven safe and effective and come to the market, the CCA will make a big announcement.

So, what exactly are the consequences of continuing to eat gluten or incorporating it back into your diet after your symptoms have subsided? Firstly, you’re likely to experience a return of symptoms. That said, even if you feel fine, if you were previously diagnosed with celiac disease, you still have it, so eating gluten will cause damage in your intestine. Long-term consequences of continuing to eat gluten when you have been proven to have celiac disease include nutrient deficiencies, intestinal damage, decreased bone mass and even cancer. It’s serious business.

The moral of this story? Celiac disease should be taken seriously. This isn’t like a weight-loss diet, where the occasional “cheat” is acceptable. If you have celiac disease, diagnosed by your doctor or gastroenterologist, then you’ll need to strictly avoid gluten for the rest of your life. There are more and more gluten-free products available every day—having a bite of gluten isn’t worth the risk to your health.

Beer Labeling Changes Proposed

The Canadian Celiac Association lead the response to recommended changes to beer standards including the need for labelling of gluten and other food allergens last summer.  As a result of the community response and from stakeholder groups, Health Canada has recommended changes to the beer standards. Click here to read.

beer-not-gluten-freeAmong these changes is that that beer will no longer be exempt from the labelling requirements set out in the Food and Drugs Regulations for allergens, gluten and added sulphite.

In order to be successful, our community needs to respond to a second round of public consultations before the regulations are finalized. We’ll let you know when you can participate and ensure these regulations move forward as proposed.

As usual the beer industry will lobby hard against these changes so we need your support! Every letter counts.