San Diego
Chapter #57


The Celiac Support Association, CSA/USA, is a national support organization that provides information and referral services for persons with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. Their slogan is "Celiacs Helping Celiacs". Note: it was formerly called the Celiac Sprue Association until January 2014.

Our San Diego Chapter of CSA was organized in 1993. It's membership is comprised of both persons officially diagnosed with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis, as well as those who are gluten sensitive. We all must follow the gluten-free diet and are able to support and educate each other with this often tricky diet.

Please contact one of the New Member Contacts below with any questions you may have about this support group or it's events. Membership includes a bi-monthly newsletter that keeps you informed of our group activities, relevant news items, GF recipes, and more.

Next Meeting

When: Sunday, July 26
Where: Village Park Recreation club #4, Encinitas
What: Picnic/bbq, with swimming available. Kelli Gray-Meisner, RD, will be answering your questions,

This is our annual picnic/bbq, and is very casual. There is a swimming pool at this rec center, so bring swimsuits and towels if you are interested. The food will be provided by CSA Chapter 57. New families will be charged $7.50, which includes the CSA dues for the rest of the year. There are some picnic tables available, or bring their own beach/lawn chairs. All welcome!

Support Group Meetings Members in Action Annual Dues
Next Support Group Meeting

San Diego CSA Youth Group

Membership Form
Community Involvement


Hildegard's Story
My Golden Gluten Free Anniversary
Our YouTube Video,
The Faces of Celiac Disease

Dining out Events

Board Planning Meetings
The History of Chapter #57
A Small Beginning
by Helen Foreman

Support Group Meetings

2015 Meetings

January 31, 1 - 3:30 pm Encinitas Public Library Thriving Gluten Free Event (see above)
Saturday, March 28, 2-4 pm Rady Children's Hospital, Medical Officel Bldg, Room 113 Dr. Kimberly Newton, gastroenterolist at Rady Children's Hospital
Sunday, July 26,
Noon - 4 pm
Village Park Recreation Club #4, Encinitas Annual picnic. Kelli Gray-Meisner, RD, will answer questions.
Saturday, September 26, 2-4 pm Rady Children's Hospital, Medical Officel Bldg, Room 113 Kelli Gray-Meisner, RD, will be our speaker.
Sunday, November 8, time TBD TBD Terry Meihaus, former owner of La Farfalla, will cater our event

Where: The Rady Children's Medical Office Building is at 3030 Children's Way, San Diego, 92123. The meeting room is # 113, which is on the ground floor at the south end of the building in the back. Enter using the door marked "3". The parking structure directly across the street has free parking on Saturdays. For those dropping things off, there is a driveway at the left of the building with a sign "Ambulance Entrance" that has a turn-about right in front of the back entrance to the meeting room.

Directions may be obtained by going to the Rady Children's Hospital website at www.chsd.org and click on "Maps and Directions". The "Printable Campus Map" shows the building for our meeting as "Medical Offices" and is bright yellow.

When other locations are specified, addresses and directions will be given with the announcement of the meeting.

Who comes: Anyone interested in information and support for celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, or gluten sensitivity. There are newly diagnosed as well as long-term diagnosed persons at every meeting. Newcomers are especially welcome and encouraged to come.

Meeting formats: The meetings may include guest speakers, discussion groups, potlucks, and more.

GF snacks and beverages: GF snacks are provided by members for everyone to enjoy at every meeting. If you would like to bring a GF snack, please bring copies of the recipe to share. If you bring a commercial product, please bring the original package. This enables all to eat safely, no matter what additional food sensitivities individuals may have.

Beverages including coffee and soda and/or water are provided by the support group.

In addition, the revised and expanded edition of Gluten-Free Diet by Shelley Case is for sale at our meetings for the bargain price of $10. Shelley is a well known dietician from Canada, and has spoken to our group. It is a very comprehensive resource guide to the gluten-free diet.

Annual Dues: The dues are $15 annually, from January to January. The dues may be paid by cash or check, or at the meetings they may be paid by credit card. Membership includes a bi-monthly newsletter, occasional pertinent emails, and a New Member Handbook with lots of practical advice. If you are renewing, please pay at the next meeting, or send your check to
Debbie Toon
2801 B St. #10
San Diego, CA 92102
If you are a new member, please see the CSA San Diego Membership Form.

San Diego CSA Youth Group
For ages 8 through teens

This group for younger people is headed by mom Julie Bradley. She can be contacted at juliebradley2@me.com for more information.

Community Involvement Activities

YouTube Video
Our San Diego CSA group "starred" in a YouTube video produced in May, 2010 for Celiac Awareness Month. Titled The Faces of Celiac Disease, in 4 minutes it shows the symptoms, length of time to get diagnosed, and how our members improved on the GF diet. It's now been watched over 12,000 times!

GF Food to Flood Area
Thank you to Carol Salvati for shopping and shipping GF bars, pasta, cake mixes, brownie mixes, foil pans, crackers, polenta, etc. to the leader of a Celiac Chapter in Joplin, Mo, that suffered from the terrible floods.  At our Support Meeting in May 2011, we voted to give Carol a check to buy GF items to ship to Joplin to help their celiacs out.

San Diego Gluten-Free Food Expo
The San Diego CSA Chapter helped sponsor the 2011 Gluten-Free Expo. Our members put in hundreds of hours of volunteer time to help make it an extremely successful event. All money raised was/is earmarked for celiac disease education and awareness projects within the San Diego area. www.sdgfexpo.com

San Diego Gastroenterologist Awareness Project
A flier listing available support for those on the gluten-free diet in the San Diego area was mailed in March 2014 to 187 area gastroenterologists. The flier listed support resources in our area, why it is important that patients attend support groups, as well as this website's business card. A summary of the basics of the gluten-free diet was included on the backside of the flier. Our CSA members helped address, stuff, seal and stamp.

Thriving Gluten Free Event
This 3 1/2 hour event on January 31, 2015, was sponsored by the San Diego Celiac Support Group and National CSA. It was held at the Encinitas Public Library, and over 160 people attended. There were three excellent speakers - Melinda Dennis, RD, Dr. Anthony Colatrella, and Misty Faulkner. There was a separate chlidren's program and a presentation made to teens. The cafes 2Good2B and Healthy Creations provided wonderful gluten-free snacks.

Dining Out Events
Our CSA group sponsors dining out events periodically throughout the year all over San Diego. These are open to everyone, and are a great way to casually chat with others on the gluten-free diet.

Help promote your favorite GF-friendly restaurant! These events help promote restaurants doing a great job with gluten-free. If you would like to promote one of your favorite restaurants by organizing an event there, please contact Michele at michelevargas110@gmail.com or 858-485-8868. She will guide you through the siimple process of setting it up. See previous restaurant locations.

Members of the support group receive a bi-monthly newsletter filled with the latest news in the celiac world, GF product and restaurant information, and GF recipes. This can be received either by email or regular mail.

Want to help the group save money on postage and paper? Did you know if you receive your newsletter via snail mail that is the only mail that you receive from our group? If, on the other hand, we have your email address, you would receive your newsletter via email and you would also get our email blasts about special events, dining out reminders, etc. If you want to change the way you receive our newsletters, please email Debbie Toon at toon.debbie@gmail.com

Twitter: We are looking for someone to use our Twitter account to post meetings and other events. Please consider getting involved with this simple volunteer job!

Board Planning Meetings

These are scheduled bi-monthly on the fourth Saturday of the month. They occur in the months that there is not a regular Support Group meeting. If you are a member and would like to attend a board meeting, please contact Jan Pruitt, our group's facilitator.

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Members in Action

There are many people that are involved in making our support group a productive and successful one. The following are some of the jobs being done by volunteers. Volunteering is a great way to get to know other persons committed to eating gluten-free, and it helps our group make a difference. There are usually several positions available. Please join us in taking an active role in the group! Contact Jan Pruitt if you are interested in participating.

Jan Pruitt
Membership Coordinator and Dining Out Coordinator
Michele Vargas
Resource Contact Person
Helen Foreman(760-931-7809)

John Philp

Resource Contact Person
Sandra Milne (858-278-1413)

Newsletter Editor
Debbie Toon

Youth Coordinator
Julie Bradley
Michele Miller
Misty Faulkner
Publicity Coordinator
Misty Faulkner

Roxie Johnson
Mary Collard
Dietician Advisor
Mary Collard, MS, RD, RCEP
Sheila Crowe
Medical Advisor
Sheila Crowe, M.D.
Dietician Advisor
Kelli Gray-Meisner, RD
Carol Salvati


Hildegard's Story


Hildegard Savage, a treasured charter member of the San Diego CSA Support Group, celebrated her 50th anniversary of celiac disease diagnosis in March, 2010. To help celebrate this event, Hildegard graciously shared her story, My Golden Gluten-Free Anniversary; 50 years on the gluten-free diet. A very special and fascinating story!



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