Celiacs helping celiacs; Local group provides support for those going gluten free
By Taylor J. Hale
STEVENS POINT – A Stevens Point area group is providing support for those who require a gluten-free diet.
Going gluten free can be a challenging path for many who face celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivities, according to Elaine Rubel.
Rubel has spearheaded the Gluten Free Stevens Point group — a National Celiacs Association local Partner — since 2017. The collective is focused on the challenges and benefits of gluten-free living.
“You always have to check the fine print on the labels of food,” Rubel said. “It can be hard at times.”
The Stevens Point chapter started in 2007 as a Celiac Sprue Association program, until the association transitioned and reformed as the NCA in 2017.
Mary Catura was the founder of the group, and Rubel has been an avid member since its origins.
“I have been gluten-free (since) 2000,” Rubel said. “CSA always had a motto of ‘Celiacs helping Celiacs,’ and I found that motto very true and helpful over the years.”
The local group embodies the former CSA motto, offering aid to anyone seeking information about gluten and dietary matters. The group assembles every month at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stevens Point, and always welcomes new guests.
“People are always welcome,” Rubel explained. Attendees can speak on relevant group topics, or bring their concerns to the table for discussion.
Martin Lieber, a longtime group member, voiced his insights on some of the troubles of living gluten-free. “If I were to go into a bar, there are no signs anywhere that there’s gluten-free beer, and they probably don’t have any,” Lieber said. “My concept is, you don’t eliminate — you substitute.”
Lieber and other group members hope to see more local restaurants offer gluten-free options advertised clearly on menus and signage. Lieber noted that “little things” in a gluten-free lifestyle can often surmount to more significant day-to-day issues.
The group welcomes individuals who wish to discuss nutritional issues and trends to join the group at their next meeting. New members are always welcome to the free community group.
Gluten Free Stevens Point works in cooperation with the Celiac Support Group, based in Wisconsin Rapids at Aspirus Hospital. The chapter meets the second Thursday of the month during February, March, April, May, June, August, September, and November, 3:30- 5:00 p.m., at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1410 Rogers St., Stevens Point.
For more information, visit: https://glutenfreestevenspoint.weebly.com or call 715-347-2417.