Tag Archives: coeliac

The Popeye approach to hypothyroidism


Day 4 thyroid summit – MTHFR!

bens smoothieThe big surprise was that Dr Lynch didn’t reccomend any particular folate supplements, just the Popeye approach – green leafies and avoid synthetic folic acid. Very refreshing – given the panoply of potions on every internet doctor’s website. The girly looking pink prenatal smoothie is actually Dr Lynch’s webinar energy booster! He was a jackaroo in Australia in his youth so they have labelled it ‘cowboy smoothie’ but no drover would own that drink. Needs spinach.

Just one small possible snag – you can overdose on veggies if you juice as the idea is to be able to get more in than you could with just teeth. I’ve personally done it with buckwheat sprouts which have fagopyrins. Kale is goitrogenic  and so is spinach which are my favourite greens 😦 According to Dr Lynch my low dopamine levels contribute to taste addictions.

These are Non-Goitrogenic leafy greens:

red/green chard ( silverbeet)
swiss chard
red or green leaf lettuce
dandelion greens
arugala / rocket

from http://rawpregnancy.com/goitrogenic-vegetables-and-curing-hypothyroidism-with-raw-food-during-your-pregnancy/

Why is MTHFR and Folate so important for hypothyroid patients?

MTHFR = very long name of folate activating enzyme, not an F word! though I certainly felt like swearing when I found out from nerve damage that the vitamins in most supplements, and those added back to to refined food such as ‘enriched’ flours, are NOT ALWAYS ACTIVE. The term ‘vitamin’ doesn’t mean they are plug and play molecules, or even the same molecule – folate and B9 are umbrella terms for many structures. Bit like the term ‘fresh’ can actaully mean ‘stored for months’!

Some ‘vitamins’ like folic acid, do squat all except block cell receptors unless the body can convert them into active enzymes. Dr Lynch managed to simplify an incredibly complex scenario without any dizzying biochemical pathway diagrams. Folic acid needs little bundles of carbon and hydrogen (called methyl groups) created by the MTHFR enzyme in order for you to be able to make T3.  Genetic mutations that reduce the activity level of  MTHFR will reduce production of T3. They are relatively common, especially in ADHD children according to Dr Lynch. (Some people wonder if this is because the mutations may actually confer some other evolutionary benefit).

Why is Activated Riboflavin so important for hypothyroid patients?

Dr Lynch explained hypothyroid people are probably deficient in activated riboflavin (called FAD) since converting that vitamin requires T3. If you are FAD deficient the MTHFR enzyme cannot function properly even if your genetics are optimal. And then you will have less T3. Vicious cycle.  Result – your body is crippled because you can’t make SAM-e or recycle glutathione, two key components of the biological system. Glutathione is the body’s major antioxidant. Glutathione apparently neutralises hydrogen peroxide so perhaps testimonials I’ve read of people who have their hair colour restored are due to this; I’m looking forward to reversing my grey hair when my levels are optimised! 70% of SAM-e goes to produce phosphotidyl choline for cell membranes, and creatine, (that stuff body builders are so fond of.)

(You can buy activated riboflavin and any other MTHFR pathway supports easily from iherb.com who ship cheaply to Australia. I’ve never had any issues with customs as they use DHL. For some reason customs pounces on anything that comes in Fedex. They send it on anyway but it gets held up for weeks.)


I concentrated on Dr Ben Lynch and methylation defects because I have just done my 23andme DNA test which gives actionable information on the MTHFR methylation genes if you can do your own reporting. Smartdna in Melbourne and Pathway Genomics in USA through Nutripath, an australian pathology company, are some other labs that can test for this and provide reporting. MTHFRsupport.com.au is a good place to look for information for australians – look out for their folate, mthfr and pregnancy webinar on the 24th June. $25

If you want to get even deeper into genomics check out https://www.coursera.org/course/genomicmedicine Coursera provide free tertiary level instruction – amazing! I enrolled late but even though this finished, I can still access the course materials so I think you can just sign up anytime.


click to register for the free event or order the recordings to own for a reduced price of $67 before the end of the summit.

Here’s another hour with Dr Lynch and Dr Alan Christianson if you want the methylation cycle more fully explained complete with alphabet soup diagrams. http://seekinghealth.org/resource/mthfr-and-thyroid-disorders/ It was well worth patiently working through, and as he promises it gets easier after a few goes. Discussion of CBS pathway upregulation which Ben didn’t have time for, is on Day1 post

Of course there was so much more on day 4, anti aging hormones with Dr Pamela Smith, and Dr Tom O’Bryan talking on gluten. ( I think my blood literally ran cold when I saw his information thinking about a young lady I know who has worsening epilepsy on a background of a family tree riddled with autoimmune and GI tract issues. Are they missing the root cause? )


Gluten and Thyroid – Dr Tom O’Bryan

Gluten and Thyroid – Dr Tom O’Bryan

quiche1YAY! Bernice’s GF Feta, Pea and Dill Quiche with Lentil and Sweet Potato Pastry recipe won the Canadian Lentil Challenge! Thanks to anyone who voted for it.

Second Opinion Series – the thyroid sessions
Yo! Wassup yall! – my teenage son just thought this was so funny when we were listening to an Underground Wellness podcast – till I did point out Sean is actually entitled to talk like a bro. Dr Tom OBryan will be talking about the gluten and thyroid connection on tuesday/wed USA which is wed/thursday australian time. Watch all of the sessions while it’s free ( just click the banner below; you still have 24 hours or so to catch up on the opening presentations too) or grab the complete sessions as a paid download – I’ve previewed this and watched the first couple completely and they are great. Sean Croxton always does a super job of asking the right questions, keeping it fun, relevant and intelligible for the average person. Plus he’s so genuinely supportive of his viewers, be they paying customers or just along for the ride.

The original Gluten Summit with Dr Tom is still available to download for USD $67 and it too was amazing – I learnt so much. ( Any commissions from sales go to Astrotas of course! )

Gluten Free Baking Class

Gluten Free Baking Class

10-1 Sat October 12th Penguin Highschool with Robin Ellenberger from Skyranch. Due to insurance woes we have had to move this back to Robin’s Bakehouse in Travellers Rest near Launceston. The venue is much smaller so only two at a time max. but then you have more attention from Robin so that’s better eh? You will arrange a time thats mutually suitable.

Learn to make three of her breads perfectly, and see demos of pastry and a delicious shortbread. Also previewing her new pumpernikel bread recipe! Each person will bake and take home three products of their choice.

Cost $75 members ( parent/child couple or lone adult ) Child must be primary school aged 8-13 and fully supervised. Only six places available! Non Members $10 surcharge.Payable at time of booking.

Please email your details including phone number when enquiring.  Bring Apron teatowels notebook pen and  containers for your goodies.

Astro GF Brownies

A jar of homemade gluten-free brownie mix makes a perfect gift for gluten-free family and friends. This recipe is easy to make and the brownies are soft and delicious!

from http://glutenfreecooking.about.com/od/dessertsandsweets/r/Gluten-Free-Brownie-Mix-Recipe.htm

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 -16 brownies


  • Dry Mix: (Makes enough to fill 500ml jar and prepared, fills one 8×8 inch pan)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free SR flour blend (woolworth’s Macro brand)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( Loving Earth Raw Cacao )
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup raw cane sugar ( for stickier brownies add 2 more tablespoons of sugar )
  • Add to dry mix:
  • 80 g (1/2 cup) softened unsalted butter*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts (or nuts of your choice) soaked overnight and chopped coarsely – optional


Preheat oven to 180° C

Grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with baking paper.

To prepare dry mix:Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.

To prepare brownie batter: Butter must be very soft – place in the oven briefly in an oven proof jug, or use the microwave (med 30 secs does a good job for me). Mix soft butter with vanilla essence and eggs with a metal fork.
Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Watch cooking time carefully. When a toothpick inserted into center of baking dish comes out clean brownies are done. Don’t overbake or brownies will be hard! Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 mins before running a knife around the edge to loosen from the sides of the pan. Wait 10 minutes more before turning out onto a cutting board and cutting (3×4 for 12 oblong brownies or 4×4 for 16 squares).

Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.

June 2013 meeting – Gluten Free Baking


Huge thanSkyranch van glow logo on whitek you to Robin and Jimmy Ellenberger of Skyranch, Tasmania’s only gluten free bakery , for the magnificent afternoon tea. This lovely couple was so full of energy  – they travelled all the way to us from launceston and then home to get the next day’s bake ready! Jimmy’s angel and devil food cakes along with Robin’s soft, fluffy fresh breads proved successful gluten free baking is just a matter of the right recipe. They are tested and compliant with australian standards for “gluten free’ labelling www.coeliac.org.au/professionals/food-manufacturer.html – be aware that international standards are often different to australian – the USA for instance is not as stringent. Labelling of general food stuffs is a bit hit and miss for gluten and you will have to be mindful of this when cooking  eg. Only apple cider vinegar does not have gluten. Interestingly Italy is very coeliac aware as all infants are tested at birth. You can walk into any restaurant there and get a truly gluten free meal prepared properly.

Robin has put so much time and talent into developing her lines – they are absolutely nothing like the crumbly supermarket lumps I have eaten from Woolworths. She is such a caring person she will bake to order for people who suffer from multiple allergies (legumes, yeast,other grains). She gave us the demonstration of how to make her signature yeast and gluten free ‘bunsky’ which is risen like a scone with soda water but has a smooth texture something like a choux pastry – in fact it’s delicious with sweet or savoury fillings. I had to bake up a batch of  bunskies premix  for a snack when i got home at 10 pm after the midwinter celebration at Reseed – and it was so quick  – the house was smelling popcorn yummy in 30 mins. A second batch disssappeared into the teenager on sunday dinner with lamb patties 🙂 I’m also wondering if the ‘wheat belly’ story is worth mentioning here http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/ as the Ellenbergers are the trimmest bakers i have every met. You will have to combine the wheat free change with a sensible diet all round – too much of Jimmy’s sugary cakes, or Robin’s Bunskies and the belly isn’t going to be any smaller.

Please see the Skyranch website for retailers, to shop online and to book a cooking class with Robin, also recipes and information on gluten/coeliac

Food for thought.

Perhaps this plant Oca (oxalis tuberosa) which is harvested now and common in Tassie amongst those in the know, can be used as a wheatflour subsitute – “The dried, frozen tuber is called khaya. If it is washed after freezing, a whiter product called okhaya is obtained which is considered to be of superior quality. The flour of the latter is used to make porridges and desserts. Oca is first and foremost a good source of energy; its protein and fat content is low.” http://www.fao.org/docrep/t0646e/t0646e0g.htm

pastor bruce french gave away a huge tubful to astrotas at a past meeting. expose to sunlight after harvest to sweeten and drop the oxalates. i’ve got them in my yard but was a bit scared to eat until i found this out ( mum had kidney stones) ref: http://www.thompson-morgan.com/how-to-grow-oca-new-zealand-yam

Coconut cookie recipe – gluten free


thanks to Sonia Dixon for this recipe
Coconut drop biscuits
4 eggs
¼ cup of butter or coconut oil melted
¼ cup honey
¼ teaspoon of salt
¼ cup of sifted coconut flour
¼ teaspoon baking power
Blend together eggs, butter, honey and salt. Combine coconut flour with baking powder and whisk into batter until there are no lumps remaining. Drop batter by the spoonful onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 205 degrees C for 10 – 15 minutes. Makes 8 biscuits

1 tablespoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of melted butter
¼ cup sliced almonds
Mix cinnamon, honey and butter, spread over the cookies when cooked and sprinkle with almonds